Goodreads Monday

Hey Guys! It has been a LONG time since I did one of these – again, sorry about that hiatus. I have been reading more recently, but I just wanted to get back into the swing of reading again without the pressure of writing a review afterward. However, I do want to start doing these again and hopefully get back at the whole review thing soon.

Anyway, this weeks pick for me is a book that I am so stoked to get. I absolutely LOVED the first instalment and I will probably swing by the bookstore later today (it’s Saturday at the time of writing this) to see if they have it in stock!

Wildcard

Wildcard (Warcross #2) by Marie Lu

Published: September 18th 2018 by G. P. Putnams Books for Young Readers

Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.

Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price.

Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?

Have any of you read this book yet? Feel free to leave comments and links and I will check out your GM posts as well 🙂

Cover Reveal: A Bond of Swords and Sacrifice by Karen Tomlinson

Hey guys! I hope you are all well. I come to you, after a pretty long time, with a cover reveal! Anyone who has followed my blog for a while knows just how much I love this series and I have actually already beta read it! This book is the final in the series and I am sad that it is coming to an end.

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A Bond of Swords and Sacrifice by Karen Tomlinson

Amazon Pre-Order

Expected Publication: December 15th 2018 – Self Published

Sometimes winning means losing EVERYTHING.

Reeling from their encounter with the God of Chaos, Diamond and Eryanth Arjuno, the true heirs of the Avalonian crown, strive to rekindle their broken bonds and heal their shattered hearts.

But the machinations of war are never simple. Challenges must be faced and threat hovers ever closer as painful truths are revealed and blood ties are uncovered.

No longer an innocent village girl but a fierce and powerful queen, Diamond will fight for those she loves. She will wage war for her people and battle for the survival of every soul in the Eight Kingdoms. But she soon discovers destiny will exact a high price. If she cannot accept the cost to her heart and soul, the Eight Kingdoms—and those dearest to her, will be doomed for eternity.

Prepare yourself for magical lands, heart pounding battle, sailing through vast oceans and flying with fierce dragons. You’ll be pushed to your limits and sucked back in for this final, breathtaking adventure in The Goddess and the Guardians series. It’s the epic conclusion you never knew you were waiting for.

Isn’t that cover just so pretty??? I am in love with the blue that is going on and I really feel that it fits perfectly with the story that is inside. It’s an amazing finale and I cannot wait for you guys to read it as well!

Author Profile:

karen

Karen Tomlinson is the USA Today Bestselling author of The Goddess and the Guardians YA fantasy books.

Karen adores books and will read any genre that catches her eye. She was whisked away by fairies as a child, has been a dragon rider and grew up learning to fight. (This bit’s true!) She likes nothing better than an epic fantasy full of hot warriors and romance especially when it is set in a magical and dangerous world.

Karen lives in Derbyshire, England, (think Mr Darcy territory) with her husband, twin girls and her dalmatian, Poppy. When she is not busy writing, reading (or eating cake and drinking coffee) Karen likes to keep active. She has been practicing Shotokan karate since being thirteen, loves running, mountain biking and walking in the hills with her family.

She loves to connect with her readers and you can find her on:
http://www.karentomlinson.com, follow her on: Facebook-@ktomlinson.author. Chat on her Facebook group-Karen Tomlinson’s Silver Guardians, or follow her on Twitter-@kytomlinson and Instagram @karentomlinsonauthor or Book Bub

UPDATE

Hey guys! It has been FOREVER since I last wrote and updated here – and I thought it was probably about time to climb back up to the face of the earth and give a little update.

So, firstly, I’m sorry I haven’t written in a while. Around mid April I ended up in a pretty huge slump and it got to the point where even looking at books just didn’t interest me. Reading and blogging etc. was starting to feel more like a chore to me as opposed to something I was really enjoying and I just needed that break away from it. I didn’t even open up Goodreads during my slump, so I am not even sure whats been going on, whats coming out etc. So I am off for a good long scroll through Goodreads as soon as this post ends. I actually recently started reading stuff on Wattpad (THAT is a dark hole to fall into, I am telling you), so my interest is definitely returning and hopefully I will be back at it in no time. I am also currently beta reading, which I am also enjoying, so I will probably pick up something after that (that isn’t on wattpad!). My slump basically means that I am woefully behind on my Goodreads Goal (Which I honestly don’t think I am going to make) but I am still reluctant to change it – I’ll have a think about it. Luckily for me, the stories that I picked up on Wattpad are actually listed on Goodreads, so I can count them toward my goal 😉

In the meantime, I’ve been pretty invested in Kpop and Drama – yet another dark hole that is impossible to crawl out of! For those of you who are interested, Call Me Baby by EXO was my first ever foray into the world of Kpop (We Are One 😉 ) and The Heirs was my first ever KDrama. I also started watching more Korean Variety shows… in a nutshell, you can call me obsessed!

I also just want to thank those people that kept up with Goodreads Monday, even though I didn’t! I will be going through all my notifications and checking them out one by one! I hope you guys discovered forgotten books on your TBR’s!

 

Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted here. To participate, choose a random book from your TBR and show it off. Don’t forget to link back here and feel free to add your links to the comments so that others can see what you picked.

Hey guys! Hope you’re all well. I have become obsessed with K Dramas – which means I have done absolutely NO reading! I should really get back on it… XD

Anyway.this weeks pick for me is a sequel. I really enjoyed the first book and I have been meaning to pick up a copy of the sequel for a while now… and I just haven’t #bookishproblems

SoS

Siege of Shadows by Sarah Raughley 

Published: November 21st 2017 by Simon Pulse 

There’s nowhere to hide.

Not when you’re an Effigy. No matter where they go, Maia and the other Effigies can’t escape the eyes of the press—especially not after failing to capture Saul, whose power to control the monstrous Phantoms has left the world in a state of panic. It’s been two months since Saul’s disappearance, and there’s still no sign of him, leaving the public to wonder whether the Sect—and the Effigies—are capable of protecting anyone.

When Saul suddenly surfaces in the middle of the Sahara desert, the Sect sends Maia and her friends out after him. But instead of Saul, they discover a dying soldier engineered with Effigy-like abilities. Even worse, there may be more soldiers like him out there, and it looks like the Effigies are their prime targets.

Yet the looming danger of Saul and this mysterious new army doesn’t overshadow Maia’s fear of the Sect, who ordered the death of the previous Fire Effigy, Natalya. With enemies on all sides and the world turning against them, the Effigies have to put their trust in each other—easier said than done when secrets threaten to tear them apart.

Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted here. To participate, choose a random book from your TBR and show it off. Don’t forget to link back here and feel free to add your link to the comments so that others can see what you picked.

Hey guys! I hope you all had a great weekend. I was down with the flu most of last week, so I am so glad that I am finally feeling a little better! I started watching K Dramas in that time and it’s a new guilty pleasure 🙂

Anyway, this weeks pick for me is a book that was released a few years ago, but I recently added it to my TBR after discovering a different book of hers!

TMD

Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne

Published: July 2nd 2013 by Sourcebooks Fire

They said it was an accident…

Sawyer Dodd is a star athlete, a straight-A student, and the envy of every other girl who wants to date Kevin Anderson. When Kevin dies in a tragic car crash, Sawyer is stunned. Then she opens her locker to find a note:

You’re welcome.

Someone saw what he did to her. Someone knows that Sawyer and Kevin weren’t the perfect couple they seemed to be. And that someone—a killer—is now shadowing Sawyer’s every move…

What books are on your TBR’s? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

The Window by Amelia Brunskill

TW

The Window by Amelia Brunskill

Published: April 3rd 2018 by Delacorte Press

Anna is everything her identical twin is not. Outgoing and athletic, she is the opposite of quiet introvert Jess. The same on the outside, yet so completely different inside–it’s hard to believe the girls are sisters, let alone twins. But they are. And they tell each other everything.

Or so Jess thought.

After Anna falls to her death while sneaking out her bedroom window, Jess’s life begins to unravel. Everyone says it was an accident, but to Jess, that doesn’t add up. Where was Anna going? Who was she meeting? And how long had Anna been lying to her?

Jess is compelled to learn everything she can about the sister she thought she knew. At first it’s a way to stay busy and find closure . . . but Jess soon discovers that her twin kept a lot of secrets. And as she digs deeper, she learns that the answers she’s looking for may be truths that no one wants her to uncover.

Because Anna wasn’t the only one with secrets.

I am not going to lie, whilst I had this on my TBR, it wasn’t high on my radar. I haven’t really seen a lot of people talking about it – so I picked this up for my kindle on a bit of a whim because of the mood I was in. I am so glad I did because this book was just amazing in SO MANY different ways, and I feel that a lot more people should be reading it already!

I think my favourite aspect of this book was the way in which it was written. Interspersed between each of Jess’ chapters was a couple of lines from Anna, slowly telling the story. With the clues that Jess was trying to figure out, and the snippets of Anna’s story in between, the author managed to create a mystery that really had me guessing right up until the very end. I was constantly changing my theories and I love the way that this book twisted and turned and kept me on my toes. As soon as I had thought I had something figured out, something happened and everything was put back on its head. Fragments of what happened to Anna, and the clues that she left behind were constantly being questioned by Jess, and it left the reader wondering if Jess was reading too much into things, or if something really did happen to Anna… and it also put a lot of focus on the grieving process and what was happening to Jess throughout psychologically.

Grief plays a HUGE part in this book – especially the grieving process. I loved the way in which the author featured various different grieving processes and represented the idea that everyone grieves differently and that there is no wrong way to grieve. Whether it is trying to find closure, accepting what has happened and moving on or even trying to find a second chance amongst everything that happened, everyone in this book processed things differently and it added an extra element to the story itself.  Having said that, the author also managed to weave in the idea of whether grief can be taken too far and just how low we can sink when we are grieving.

I also liked the fact that the author didn’t just represent grief through the loss of a friend/daughter/sibling through death. The author used various plot points to highlight different forms of grief and loss – loss of innocence, self worth, love and relationships and childhood. Everyone was facing different issues and processing it in different ways and showing different forms of grief, even within their everyday lives.

The author also wove in different societal issues that we face today and showed how one can affect another and how that in turn can affect something else. It was written in such a way that focused on teens trying to find themselves and navigate the world around them and the way in which it can sometimes go completely wrong – Alcoholism, the date rape drug, death, corruption, pedophilia, blackmail, sexual assault. Brunskill tied everything together and this book contributed, I think, in a huge way to the discussion of various issues and I really think that, young people especially, should be reading this book.

I also loved the way that this book focused on good things in amongst the bad. The sibling bond that Jess and Anna had was beautiful. Being twins, they had a different kind of special bond, that often left people feeling a little left out, but it was a bond that stuck right up until the very end, and even after Anna’s death. They were loyal to each other, as many siblings are (myself and my brother included) and I loved the fact that it showed that, even though you might not always get along with your siblings or see eye to eye with them, they’ll always be there for you in the end.

The ending was extremely bittersweet. I don’t want to give too much away, but the development and the changes that Jess went through throughout the book, and the point that she had gotten to by the end was both heart warming and heart breaking. I was left ugly sobbing in the corner – that’s all I’m saying.

All in all, I loved this book. It was poignant and heart breaking, but also bittersweet right up until the end. It focused on so many different issues and wove them all together pretty seamlessly. I gave this book 5/5 stars

Tarnished by Kate Jarvik Birch

Tarnished

Tarnished by Kate Jarvik Birch 

Published: December 1st 2015 by Entangled Teen

Freedom comes at a cost…

Ella was genetically engineered to be the perfect pet—graceful, demure…and kept. In a daring move, she escaped her captivity and took refuge in Canada. But while she can think and act as she pleases, the life of a liberated pet is just as confining as the Congressman’s gilded cage. Her escape triggered a backlash, and now no one’s safe, least
of all the other pets. But she’s trapped, unable to get back
to Penn—the boy she loves—or help the girls who need her.

Back in the United States, pets are turning up dead. With help from a very unexpected source, Ella slips deep into the dangerous black market, posing as a tarnished pet available to buy or sell. If she’s lucky, she’ll be able to rescue Penn and expose the truth about the breeding program. If she fails, Ella will pay not only with her life, but the lives
of everyone she’s tried to save…

I loved the first book in this series. I thought it was unique and well written and I was looking forward to seeing what the author was going to do with this world she had created and how she was going to develop it. However, this book fell completely and utterly flat for me. I was left feeling so disappointed and wanted to punch the characters.

One of my biggest issues with this book was the plot – in a lot of ways, it felt too convenient and predictable. From Missy being right there when Ella wanted to escape the safe house in Canada (with no explanation as to how she got there and why she was there), to the easy way these characters just strolled through the story and the way that Ella’s plan to get Penn just fell into place without any issues whatsoever. The plot really suffered in this book, and I struggled to pick the book up throughout.

I loved the unique idea of people (namely women) being owned as Pets. Having said that, I was expecting this to be more developed in book 2. We had gotten a pretty good look at the life of Pets and what they’re expected to do, but we have no idea how America got to the point of allowing this kind of legislation through. The world needed to be developed more to make it plausible. The America that was presented to us was very much like a modern day America…they had just allowed people to becomePets (slaves). What happened to the constitution, the people who uphold the law, the supreme courts and everything else that would stop this kind of bill from being passed? Especially genetically engineering people to be pets – where are the ethics? Scientific ethics etc. Nothing about this was written in a plausible way.

Another major issue I had with this book was Ella. She was naive to the point of being a 10 year old child and a lot of her actions were extremely stupid. I physically couldn’t get on board with her actions because they all felt extremely stupid and I didn’t agree with her reasoning. The love between Penn and Ella is really too insta lovey for me, so using love as the reason to return and get him (even after everything he sacrificed to make sure she got OUT of America) just… I wanted to bang my head against the wall, ok? I struggled. Her naivety about EVERYTHING else throughout the whole book, despite everything she had been through in book one and the things she had seen, also left me struggling to pick up the book if I had put it down.

Missy was another aspect of this book that I struggled with, but I did sort of like her. She was constantly sacrificing herself for Ella and protecting her. She was definitely a strong character – but her actions made no sense to me. She openly admitted to not liking Ella in the first book. She suffered and went through a lot to get to Canada and then she just decides to help out Ella (eve after miraculously being there with no explanation). Nothing she did was explained and I honestly don’t know why she did what she did throughout the book.

All in all, this book suffered severely with second book syndrome. The plot was underdeveloped and all too convenient, the world building itself was completely lacking anything that would make it plausible and the characters were naive to the point of me wanting to bang my head off the wall. I gave this book 1.5/5 stars (half star for Missy).

 

Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted here. To participate, choose a random book from your TBR and show it off! Don’t forget to link back here, and feel free to add your link to the comments so others can see what you picked! 

Hey guys! THE WEATHER HAS WARMED UP!!! I cannot even begin to tell you how happy this makes me! Hopefully it will be summer warm before I know it:-D

Anyway, this weeks pick for me is a relatively new release. I have heard amazing things all around about this book, so I am extremely excited to pick a copy up!

TWD

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Published: March 6th 2018 by Simon Pulse

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

What books do you have on your TBR?

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

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The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

Published: February 8th 2018 by Gollancz

I am a Belle. I control Beauty.

In the opulent world of Orléans, the people are born grey and damned, and only a Belle’s powers can make them beautiful.

Camellia Beauregard wants to be the favourite Belle – the one chosen by the queen to tend to the royal family.

But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favourite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that her powers may be far greater – and far darker – than she ever imagined.

When the queen asks Camellia to break the rules she lives by to save the ailing princess, she faces an impossible decision: protect herself and the way of the Belles, or risk her own life, and change the world forever.

This book was one of my highly anticipated reads for 2018. I was completely drawn in by the beautiful cover and the blurb had me intrigued – as well as all the amazing reviews this was getting! I absolutely loved this book! It was magical in so many ways, whilst highlighting so many social issues.

The world building in this book was phenomenal! It was magical, lush and vivid and I was never left struggling trying to picture anything! I could easily envision the treatments, the rooms, the city itself, the characters and it was a world that was easy to get lost in.

I liked the representation of beauty in this book – both the good and the bad sides. I liked the fact that Clayton represented the idea that beauty is ever changing and that the trends are set by a select few in our community and that everyone is always clamouring to have the last thing. I also liked the fact that Clayton didn’t shy away from the ugly side of beauty – the unhealthy body images that are constantly being presented and the fact that people are willing to change their bodies to extremely unhealthy lengths, just to be trendy, was very reflective of today’s society. Camellia tried to advocate for a natural and healthy body type, but was constantly being shut down, which, again, is constantly taking place in society. Beauty was painful and expensive to uphold and it really reflects everything about the beauty industry in today’s society.

Aside from beauty, Clayton also represented other societal issues – Media influence, sexual harassment/assault, rape culture, Politics and power in politics etc. Clayton managed to weave in various issues and represent them in a way that mattered and didn’t feel flimsy. I also like the fact that Clayton had LGBTQ representation throughout in various places.

I largely enjoyed the plot, but I’m still not sure where this series is heading? Books usually have an end game/a goal that the characters are trying to reach by the end of the book/series and it’s their journey to get there and the challenges that thy face throughout. I can’t say I really know where this series is going and what the characters are ultimately setting out to do because it was never made clear. So,while the plot itself was good and had good twists etc. it seems a little lost in where it’s going.

I would have also liked to have seen a little more development in certain plot points – specifically things like the crying in the teahouses. It is mentioned throughout the book and we are reminded at various points throughout, but I feel that the answer to what it was and what was really going on should have been more fleshed out. The author could have made more out of the mystery.

I liked Camellia as a character. She had no issues questioning things that she knew wasn’t right and she ultimately stayed true to herself throughout, despite what was being thrown at her. I liked the fact that she tried to do the right thing and made things right that she knew she had done wrong. I also loved her interaction with Auguste! They were hilarious and sassy and really helped to lift the mood when various plot points had brought it down. I found myself laughing at them often and always looked forward to when they would verbally spar!

I would have liked to have seen more of a relationship development between Remy and Camille. I enjoyed the tentative relationship that they had the and the judgyness that came from Remy regarding Camille – but I would have liked to have seen them get to know each other a little more (especially Remy) and I would have liked to have seen Remy’s perspective change a little bit more fleshed out – especially because of the ending.

I have a love hate relationship with Sophia. She was well fleshed out and I liked the subtlety of her actions at the beginning, which became more erratic and obvious as the book carried on. She was conniving and manipulative – I can’t wait to see what the author is going to do with this character.

I loved the ending! I was not expecting things to go down the way that they did and I was not expecting a certain character to be at the middle of it! I was pretty shocked when I found out what had happened and I felt betrayed! The ending wasn’t predictable at all and I loved it!

All in all, I absolutely loved this book, despite the few issues that I have with it! The characters were mostly well fleshed out and the world building was just magical and amazing! I gave this book 4/5 stars.

 

Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

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Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

Published: July 1st 2014 by Entangled Teen

Perfection comes at a price.

As soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury.

Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman’s bubbly young daughter, but she doesn’t expect Penn, the congressman’s handsome and rebellious son. He’s the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows… and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating.

But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she’s faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is leaving… and if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate far worse than death.

For fans of Kiera Cass’ Selection series and Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series, Perfected is a chilling look at what it means to be human, and a stunning celebration of the power of love to set us free, wrapped in a glamorous—and dangerous—bow.

I have had this on my TBR for AGES! I have also had it on my kindle for the longest time. So, when I was offered a place on the blog tour for the third book (which releases in a few days), I thought it would be a great time to FINALLY pick this series up. I actually really enjoyed this book, and I am totally bummed at myself for not picking it up sooner!

I liked the concept of this book. The idea of certain humans being raised to be ‘pets’ (and those people being exclusively women) was unique. It was very reflective of society today in the way in which they have expectations of how they are to act and present themselves and what is expected of them b their ‘owners’ – they were expected to be thin, beautiful, have shiny hair, hold themselves in a certain way, have multiple talents, etc.But of course they weren’t allowed to speak for themselves. It is very reflective of the way in which some parts of society still see women and I liked the fact that it was compared to slavery in its own way (which it basically was).

I also liked the fact that the author didn’t shy away from using language that really drove home the fact that these people were considered pets and, therefore, property. She repeatedly used phrases such as ‘pets’, ‘Kennel’, ‘Trained’ etc. It made me extremely uncomfortable in places that humans were considered this way, and I liked the fact that it made me stop and consider it.

What I also like about this book was the fact that a lot of people in the society were vehemently against the idea of keeping humans as pets, despite the fact that the MC didn’t really understand that she was a slave in her own right. Whilst a lot of dystopian books focus on MC’s who are a part of the rebellion to change the society they are in, this book wasn’t like that. It took a lot of convincing from people outside of the MC’s usual life, along with other aspects, for her to really understand what was going on.

This book, however, was a little predictable – much like a to of the books written around this time period,I think. I had already guessed from relatively early on why the previous girl had been sent away and I was expecting the ending to happen in the way in which it did. I also felt like the ending was a little too easy (Don’t want to give away spoilers) and I would have liked to have seem more of a challenge for the characters to face.

I would have also liked to have seen the characters be fleshed out a little more. I felt that they were a little superficial and I struggled to really connect with them. The relationship between Penn and Ella was eye roll worthy because of the insta love and I felt like that could have been developed much better to be a slow burn, as opposed to what it was.

All in all, despite a couple of issues, I enjoyed this book. I liked the pacing of it and the plot overall and the way in which it reflected aspects of today’s society. I gave this book 4/5 stars.