Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare


Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Published: August 31st 2010 by Simon & Schuster

In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Timesbestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…

I picked this book up as soon as I had finished City of Glass (as per Clare’s recommended reading order). I had heard from a lot of different places that The Infernal Devices series was a lot better than The Mortal Instruments, so I was extremely excited to pick it up. However, whilst it was mostly enjoyable, it didn’t blow me away the way I was expecting it to, which left me a little disappointed.

As mentioned, whilst I enjoyed the plot as a whole, I wasn’t completely hooked on it. It was fast paced, easy to follow and had some slower moments to help balance it out. I found the plot to be typical Shadow Hunter world, which was easy to step back into. I also enjoyed the steampunk aspect of the book, which is something I wasn’t particularly expecting.

I wasn’t entirely invested in the characters. Whilst I am interested in knowing what Will’s story is and why he is the way that he is and what happened, I’m not emotionally connected to any of them. None of them were stand out unique – which is another reason that I wasn’t entirely hooked on this book. I am also not committed to either #TeamJem or #TeamWill as of yet, but I do have an idea as to who I will eventually commit to – as well as an idea of what is going to happen to Jem by the end of the series.

I did like the fact that we got to see Magnus again! I did read somewhere after this that Magnus is the only character who has been in every single book so far – so I guess it wasn’t all that surprising to see him again. I do like the fact that we got to see more of his character from a different time period and to see his similarities and differences between TID and TMI.

The time jump between The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices was a little off putting and difficult to get into. I picked this book up straight after finishing City of Glass, so I struggled to make the transition between current day Shadow Hunters and 1878 Shadow Hunters. I think the time difference between City of Glass and Clockwork Angel also stopped me from really getting into the story because I kept forgetting that we had gone back in time.

All in all, whilst this book had an enjoyable plot, I wasn’t totally hooked and blown away like I was expecting to be. I am still looking forward to reading the next instalment because a lot of people have said that they are great books. I gave this book 3/5 stars

Pretty Dead Girls by Monica Murphy


Pretty Dead Girls by Monica Murphy

Expected Publication: January 2nd 2018 by Entangled Teen

Beautiful. Perfect. Dead.

In the peaceful seaside town of Cape Bonita, wicked secrets and lies are hidden just beneath the surface. But all it takes is one tragedy for them to be exposed.

The most popular girls in school are turning up dead, and Penelope Malone is terrified she’s next. All the victims so far have been linked to Penelope—and to a boy from her physics class. The one she’s never really noticed before, with the rumored dark past and a brooding stare that cuts right through her.

There’s something he isn’t telling her. But there’s something she’s not telling him, either.

Everyone has secrets, and theirs might get them killed.

Note: I received an ARC copy of this from Entangled Teen via Netgalley. This in no way influences my opinion. 

I had seen this book floating around a little on Goodreads before I found it on Netgalley, so when I saw it, I knew I wanted to read it. I loved the cover and the premise sounded extremely promising because Whodunnits are absolutely my kind of thing. Overall, this book was a quick and relatively enjoyable read, with a few minor issues along the way.

The plot of this book was definitely fast paced. We knew who was being targeted, but we didn’t know why and by who. My guess as to who was doing it changed multiple times throughout the book and not one of my guesses was right – so kudos to the author for keeping me blind for so long! Whilst I enjoyed the plot ad playing the guessing game, I felt like the reasoning behind the murders was a bit lacking? I don’t feel that it kept up with the rest of the book and it felt a little anticlimactic after everything that had happened!

I also have mixed feelings about the characters. Whilst I liked our MC, she was definitely a little snotty in places (mostly to the younger Larks). However, I feel like the author tried to make Penelope out to be someone that she wasn’t. Whilst she was sometimes snotty to the juniors, I could understand her reasoning at the time, but the author then tried to make her out to the the Queen B – but her actions throughout the story never really indicated that she was really in that position. There was definitely a bit of a personality crisis in the middle of the book where the MC is concerned and I feel that definitely distracted from the story a bit.

I also felt that the interactions between the characters wasn’t always befitting that their relationship was supposed to be. We’re constantly reminded that Dani and Penelope are best friends, but its not really shown in a huge way that they are best friends throughout the book – more like reminded. They never really acted like best friends toward each other, more like casual friends. We are also told that, whilst they have their issues, Penelope was friends with Gretchen and Courtney, but their interactions also claim the opposite. They are pretty bitchy toward each other throughout the book, and this isn’t really resolved at the end even after the things that Penelope did for Courtney.

I did enjoy the slow build relationship between Penelope and Cass. They didn’t really liked or trust each other at the beginning and I loved the way that their relationship developed throughout the book. It wasn’t and insta love, or really a huge slow burn, but something more in the middle that is befitting of teenagers in high school. I enjoyed watching the relationship and how they overcame the issue of trust and struggling to really believe that the other isn’t the killer.

Having said that, I don’t feel that the secrets that Cass revealed throughout the book were all that shocking. I was expecting something huge and it just wasn’t? The secrets actually never really had a huge impact on the plot line itself because of who it turns out to be, so I feel these were added for a shock factor, which didn’t really deliver.

I did enjoy the )extremely) short chapters in between which were written from the killers perspective. They were written in such a way so that the identity was never revealed, which kept me guessing right up until the end. I enjoyed getting that little snippet throughout the book because it was refreshing reminder of the fact that the killer is there and watching.

I do, however, believe that the identity of the killer was a bit anticlimactic. We didn’t really get to see all that much of them throughout the book, so it was a bit of a ‘really?’ moment when they were revealed. It didn’t seem very realistic and we only got a very short explanation of why they were doing what they were doing. I would have much preferred It to have been someone we had been reading about from beginning to end, someone that I would have related to as a reader before finding out that they betrayed the characters and my trust. I feel that other characters would have been a more appropriate fit (just not the person that they suspected it to be) and would have ultimately led to a better ending if it had been someone different.

All in all, I have very mixed reviews about this book. Whilst it was mostly enjoyable, I had some issues with the characters and the overall ending of who did it and why. It is a quick and easy read, and I read this in one sitting! I gave this book 3/5 stars

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Frostfire by Amanda Hocking


Frostfire by Amanda Hocking

Published: January 6th 2015 by St. Martin Griffin

Bryn Aven is an outcast among the Kanin, the most powerful of the troll tribes.

Set apart by her heritage and her past, Bryn is a tracker who’s determined to become a respected part of her world. She has just one goal: become a member of the elite King’s Guard to protect the royal family. She’s not going to let anything stand in her way, not even a forbidden romance with her boss Ridley Dresden.

But all her plans for the future are put on hold when Konstantin– a fallen hero she once loved – begins kidnapping changelings. Bryn is sent in to help stop him, but will she lose her heart in the process?

So, I recently created a jar in which I put all the titles of books that I own into so that I didn’t have to decide what to read next – because we all know how indecisive I can be sometimes. This is a book that I have had on my shelf for a long while now, so I am glad that it was the first book that I picked out! However, having said that, I was somewhat disappointed with the way this book turned out.

I loved Bryn as a character. She is strong, she doesn’t take anything from anyone (not even her parents) and she has no issues being fierce. She does have character flaws, which make her relatable, but as a whole, she was a great character.

I also really enjoyed Ridley’s character. We see more and more depth to him emerge as the book continues on and we find out more about him and his past. I liked the way his character developed throughout and I am looking forward to seeing the way that his character develops as the series continues. He has many flaws in a lot of areas, but he definitely tries to do the right thing, even if he doesn’t always get it right.

I would have liked to have seen more of Konstantin. We see him briefly at the beginning as he sets certain events into motion and after that we only see him a handful of times. I feel like this book needed more information to be revealed on him as to why he was doing certain things and what exactly he is all about because he is such a huge player within this series.

This book did feel dragged out. I think it needed more information on Konstantin and the events that were going on for it to not feel as long and dragged out as it did. The pacing felt a bit off, which also didn’t help with the dragged out feeling.

I also wasn’t feeling it with the romance. I did not ship the ship that was trying to sail and I honestly believe that Bryn will end up with someone else. I’m sorry if this sounds a little vague, but I don’t want to give away too many spoilers for people who want to read this series, but haven’t yet. I have a theory with who she will end up with in the end and I am looking forward to seeing how it all pans out.

All in all, whilst I mostly enjoyed this book, I do feel like there were certain aspects that needed to be worked on. I am definitely looking forward to seeing how this series pans out. I gave this book 3/5 stars.

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Theres someone inside your house

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Published: September 26th 2017 by Dutton Books for Young Readers

Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.

I absolutely loved the Anna and the French Kiss series. So, when I heard that this author was going to be tackling a horror story, I was excited to see how it was going to pan out, but at the same time, I was worried about it not being very good because the author is an amazing romance writer. Whilst I enjoyed the concept and aspects of this book, I felt like there were certain things that let it down in a huge way.

The books starts off relatively creepy. The start of this book definitely had me hooked because it was the beginning of the slayings and it got right to the mystery of things. I loved the way the scene was set up with the egg timer and the way in which the character was thinking about it because it gave it that creepy factor that I think a book like this needs.

However, having said that, I feel like this book went off on a tangent after that first hooking chapter. To me, it felt extremely unrealistic because a classmate had just been brutally murdered and mutilated, but our MC was focusing on her love life. I feel like the romance aspect of this book played too much of a role and it took away from the murder mystery aspect of this book. It dragged in certain places and I feel like the MC should have been more concerned about what was going on in the bigger picture rather than focusing on her and what her relationship was with Ollie.

The murder aspect of this book was extremely interesting. I loved the way in which the scenes were written from the victims’ perspectives and we read exactly what happened to them. The author definitely didn’t hold back on the way in which the murders were carried out – to the point in which I sent a snippet of a murder through to my brother because it was pretty gruesome. I do feel like we needed more of the psychology behind the murderer’s actions and why he did the things he did before committing the murder.

I would have also liked to have known more about the murderer as a whole by the end of the book. I felt like his identity was lacking and the reasoning behind it was very well thought out or fleshed out as a whole. I was actually confused as to who the murderer was because we had read very little about him and he seemed like the unlikely choice. I felt like things with him were definitely rushed toward the end of the book and I also feel like certain things would not have happened because he would have gone down sooner considering the description we are given about his appearance.

I was also pretty disappointed about the big reveal of our MC’s past and just why she was sent to Osbourne to begin with – I don’t feel like it was particularly shocking enough and it was rather anti climatic after that way in which it is described as a secret that has to stay secret throughout the book.

Overall, whilst I enjoyed certain aspects of this book, there were others that I was relatively disappointed in. The ending was rushed and not fleshed out enough and I feel like our MC needed to sort her priorities out! I gave this a 3/5 stars.

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

Etiquette and espionage

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

Published February 5th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

It’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners–and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage–in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education.

I’ve been meaning to read this book for years now. I added it to my TBR way back when because I absolutely loved the cover and I thought the synopsis looked quirky and fun! Whilst this book was a light, quick read, I felt like it was at odds with itself sometimes.

I loved the MC! She was fun and a complete misfit – and thats what I loved about her. She didn’t fit in and conform to what society expected of her and whilst it bothered her in some aspects, she was still true to herself and she had fun doing it! She made friends easily, whether they were upperclass or lower-class and she treated everyone fairly – no matter what class! She did make some improvements in the sense that she learnt social etiquette… along with espionage techniques, but ultimately, her personality stayed the same!

I also really enjoyed the relationships that Sophronia had with the other girls in the school. I liked the way her friendships came about! I would’ve liked to have seen more of the rivalry between Monique and Sophronia because I felt like it came on pretty suddenly from being something that was relatively petty! I also really liked Dimity! She was a fun and quirky character and I definitely feel like she added a certain light heartedness to the book.

I often felt like the book was at odds with itself. It was steampunk, set in Victorian era. It took me a while to get used to the robots in a victorian setting, and I felt like it didn’t fit sometimes. I also felt like the language didn’t always flow and sometimes it was more modern and then it would switch back to old fashioned language. I also felt like the girls were too modern… if that makes sense? I felt like they were the kind of girls you would see today and then they would say or do something that would transport them back and put them into the right characteristics of being from the victorian era. All in all, I felt like the book criticised itself throughout.

All in all, I had fun reading this book, despite its flaws. It was a quick and quirky read and I am really looking forward to starting book 2! I gave this book 3/5 stars.

Asylum by Madeleine Roux


Asylum by Madeleine Roux

Published: August 20th 2013 by HarperTeen

Asylum is a thrilling and creepy photo-novel perfect for fans of the New York Times bestseller Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program—it’s a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum—a last resort for the criminally insane.

As Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, explore the hidden recesses of their creepy summer home, they soon discover it’s no coincidence that the three of them ended up here. Because the asylum holds the key to a terrifying past. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.

Featuring found photos of unsettling history and real abandoned asylums and filled with chilling mystery and page-turning suspense, Madeleine Roux’s teen debut, Asylum, is a horror story that treads the line between genius and insanity.

I’ve had this book on my TBR for years! I recently decided to get through my Goodreads Backlog TBR by reading at least one book per month that has been on the TBR for years now! I am a sucker for horror done well and I was really excited for this book because it looked extremely promising! However, whilst it was enjoyable in its own way, I was still left feeling vaguely underwhelmed.

I was excited about the asylum aspect of this book! I think that old asylums are morbidly fascinating and I was looking forward to having photos of real asylums and history accompanying the story. Whilst it did add a little bout of uniqueness, I felt like it didn’t flow as well as it should have with the photos and the story and I think maybe it would have been better had the photos been sharper and on a glossy paper!

I liked the mystery behind Brookline and the past surrounding it! I wanted to know more about the old warden and what made him so infamous with the residents of the town! I also liked the coincidences with Dan, Abby and Jordan and I am looking forward to finding out more about them and the way their stories/pasts interlink in the rest of the series.

I also really like the character dynamics within this story. I loved the awkwardness of starting to get to know one another and the struggles to keep the friendship with the pressure they’re facing with things that have happened in everyday life and in the past (in the sense with the asylum). They had their ups and downs and I loved the fact that they were like everyday friends that would find in normal life. They argued and didn’t always agree, but, at the end of the day, they were still there for each other.

Whilst I did enjoy the mystery and the character dynamic, I was disappointed by the fact that I wasn’t creeped out… at all. I was looking forward to reading something that would have me thinking psychologically, stuck with the lights on, but I didn’t get that from this book. I’m not sure if this is because I am not particularly easy to scare – but I definitely felt like this was missing from the book!

All in all, this was an interesting, but underwhelming book. I enjoyed the storyline and the mystery behind Brookline and what links the characters to the old asylum and I am looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of Sanctum. I gave this book 3/5 stars.

Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas


Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

Published: February 21st 2017 by HarperTeen

Book Depository

Freya was never meant be queen. Twenty third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne.

Freya may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, Freya knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom – and her life.

Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can’t trust anyone. Not her advisors. Not the king’s dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her, but also wanted more power for himself.

As Freya’s enemies close in and her loyalties are tested, she must decide if she is ready to rule and, if so, how far she is willing to go to keep the crown.

When I saw this cover and read the blurb, I knew I had to read it! It had a lot of potential… but I feel like thats about as far as it went. I felt underwhelmed by the end of the book and the sense of “Is that it…?”

I’m going to start with the good (and the best) aspect of this book – and that would be Freya’s character development. I loved watching her grow from the nervous girl she was at the beginning to this strong and independent ruler by the end of the book. I loved watching her grow through her experiences and, at the same time, staying true to her core values – which she then twisted into the way the she ruled. I enjoyed the fact that she was interested in science, despite the fact everyone around her is a little skeptical about it and they don’t like it at first. She earned her respect from both the people and the nobles, stayed true to herself and came out of her shell so that, by the end of the book, we are faced with this strong woman who rocks at being queen!

I think my biggest issue with this book was that I felt like the plot underwhelmed by the end of the book. I feel like it took a little too long for the mystery to actually get anywhere and I feel like it all came together way too quickly by the end. I wasn’t convinced by the explanation or the person who did it and I feel like it could have been better thought out and better executed with a different culprit.

Whilst I think the ending was supposed to be left open to interpretation for the future, I feel like I was left with questions. I don’t understand why Freya did some of the things that she did and I feel like the book needed more closure than was actually given to me as a reader. I don’t like what she decided to with the culprit and I feel that absolutely no closure was given about the other character… I don’t want to say too much because of spoilers.

I also feel like sometimes the relationships between Freya and other people wasn’t entirely genuine? I felt like, at some points, she swapped Naomi out for Madeleine and Naomi is supposed to be her best friend. I also wasn’t entirely sure about the whole thing between Fitzroy and Freya was also a bit… iffy? I didn’t feel like there was a romantic connection between them – there wasn’t that swoon feeling… it was more like just friends, to be honest.

All in all, I felt like this book had a lot of potential, but it didn’t actually live up to that potential and I felt underwhelmed by the time I got to the end of the book. I gave this book 3/5 stars.

The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

the accident season.jpg

The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

Published: August 18th 2015 by Corgi Children’s

Book Depository

It’s the accident season, the same time every year. Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom.

The accident season has been part of seventeen-year-old Cara’s life for as long as she can remember. Towards the end of October, foreshadowed by the deaths of many relatives before them, Cara’s family becomes inexplicably accident-prone. They banish knives to locked drawers, cover sharp table edges with padding, switch off electrical items – but injuries follow wherever they go, and the accident season becomes an ever-growing obsession and fear.

But why are they so cursed? And how can they break free?

This was one of the books that I purchased over the Christmas period – so I am considering it a gift because normally I wouldn’t splurge on that many books in one go… my husband still loves me 😛 I had heard a lot of great things about this book, so I was really looking forward to starting it. However, I didn’t love it. I really struggled to get through the book and it stuck me in a partial reading slump, if I am going to be completely honest. It was ok, but I had no issues putting it down in lieu of Gordon Ramsay instead.

I had real issues connecting with Cara – our MC. I found her to be a really bland kind of character and I wasn’t really fussed about whether or not she got through the Accident Season with bumps and scrapes or not. I struggled to stick with the book because I had such a hard time connecting with Cara – she was boring for me, which is a shame.

I did like Bea and Alice. I definitely found them to be more relatable despite Bea’s weirdness and Alice’s tendency to be closed off at times. As the book went along, I really enjoyed Alice’s growth. She still had her secrets, like all the characters do, but she was someone I cared about in the sense that, I didn’t want anything to happen to her! I also enjoyed the relationship between Bea and Alice and the way that it grew throughout the book.

I saw the plot twist coming from a mile off, which is probably why I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I wanted to. I had already guessed what had happened, so that, by the time all the secrets came out, I knew already. I think this detracted from the book itself because it became predictable and I wanted a book where I had no idea what was going on.

I did like the weird imagery going on at some points. It did add a certain aspect to the book which made it interesting. It tied into Bea’s obsession with card reading and it worked in its own way.

All in all, there were good and bad points to this book, which is a shame because I really wanted to love it. I got bored watching the characters meander around for the most of the book and I enjoyed the ending where things got a little more interesting, despite the predictability of the book. I gave this book 3/5 stars.

Blog Tour: The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova

This blog tour is being hosted by Xpresso Book Tours. I actually received an early copy of this book from Keymaster Press themselves, and had to jump on the book tour when I got the opportunity!! Please check out some of the other guest blogs as well because there is a mix and match of author interviews, as well as reviews, excerpts etc. I am doing a review of the book – so without further ado:

the alchemists of loom

The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova

Expected Publication: January 10th 2017 by Keymaster Press

Her vengeance. His vision.

Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.

Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.

When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.

He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.

Note: I received an ARC copy of this book from Keymaster Press in return for an honest review. This in no way influences my opinion.

 I did not enjoy this book as much as I wanted to. I absolutely loved the Air Awakens series and I couldn’t wait to dive into this one. However, whilst I felt the plot was good, ultimately I had no feelings for the characters themselves, which meant that I didn’t really care what happened to them.

The plot itself kept me hooked in this book. The book was definitely more plot and world building based rather than character and characterisation based. There was never a boring moment where the plot was concerned and the action constantly had me on the edge of my seat. I loved the different action scenes and the skill set the each and every character used based on their guilds/race.

Ultimately, what ruined this book for me, was the fact that I didn’t feel anything for the characters. I didn’t feel connected to them in any way and I didn’t feel like I could relate to them or their struggles – which basically led me to not caring about what happened to them and whether or not they were going to make it out alive. It’s a shame because I was expecting more from this book after reading the AA series and absolutely loving it; and I feel that, if there had been that spark of connection with the characters themselves, this definitely could have been a really great book.

I did absolutely love the plot twist toward the end, because I did not see it coming! It was interesting watching the events unfold to what they were and who the characters really were. I was not expecting Arianna to be who she was and I think it could make for a really interesting storyline for future books!

All in all, whilst I really enjoyed the plot itself, I was hard done by the characters and the characterisation because I felt no link to them whatsoever. I didn’t really get to the point where I really cared what happened to them, which is a shame, because without this element, the book is lost. I gave this book 3/5 stars.


There is a tour – wide giveaway going on (US/CAN) in which you can win:

  • 1 signed Hardcover of The Alchemists of Loom
  • 3 Hardcover pre orders of The Alchemists of Loom (Available through TBD)
  • 5 swag packs

This giveaway is running through to January 9th! If you would like to participate, then click HERE

Elise is also giving away swag to people who pre order! If you would like to find out more, check out her website

Pre order links:





That is it for this post! Good luck to everyone who enters the giveaway and don’t forget to email Elise with your details for your pre order swag!!

Winning by Lara Deloza


Winning by Lara Deloza

Published June 28th 2016 by Harper Teen

Whoever said being nice would get you to the top?

Certainly not Alexandra Miles. She isn’t nice, but she’s more than skilled at playing the part. She floats through the halls of Spencer High, effortlessly orchestrating the actions of everyone around her, making people bend to her whim without even noticing they’re doing it. She is the queen of Spencer High—and it’s time to make it official.

Alexandra has a goal, you see—Homecoming Queen. Her ambitions are far grander than her small town will allow, but homecoming is just the first step to achieving total domination. So when peppy, popular Erin Hewett moves to town and seems to have a real shot at the crown, Alexandra has to take action.

With the help of her trusted friend Sam, she devises her most devious plot yet. She’ll introduce an unexpected third competitor in the mix, one whose meteoric rise—and devastating fall—will destroy Erin’s chances once and for all. Alexandra can run a scheme like this in her sleep. What could possibly go wrong?

I’m not actually sure I know where to start with this book. It was good in a I’m – scared – of – overachieving – girls kinda way. I felt like I was reading Mean Girls, but about Homecoming…. Anyone who lives in America, can you please enlighten me as to whether your schools are really like they are portrayed? If they are, I’m so glad I grew up in England!!

Alexandra Miles is our Grade A Psycho Girl who uses and abuses people to stay at the top. She tries to hide her horrible ways behind a sickly sweet demeanour of being nice to people … but obviously no one buys it! Everyone knows exactly who and what she is! Girls like this actually genuinely scare me! AS a reader, I was hoping that she would see the error of her ways and actually change by the end of the book… however, it was not meant to be!

I felt really sorry for her best friend Sam! I mean, she is her own worst enemy because she was best friends with such a psycho, but the way she was treated was horrible!! I was happy that, by the end of the book, she really does change and we see someone who is liable in general rather than the best friend of the schools queen bee! I really liked her as a character and I felt sorry for her throughout most of the book! I’m glad she found her ending the way that she did!!

I think the character that went through the most change was Ivy! Sure, Alexandra helped to make her the person that she was, but she still remained true to herself! she didn’t turn into queen wannabe and she became a stronger person because of that! She got a push in the right direction from Alexandra and then she stood on her own two feet and defended herself when she needed to! Which is something she would never have done at the beginning of the book! Way to go Ivy! I felt like a proud mother with her!

The ending of the book definitely left it open for a sequel – however, whether one has been planned or not, I don’t know. We could easily revisit this high school where it left off and watch the girls go for another round. I think it would be interesting to see where the author takes these characters if she does decide to do a sequel!

There were times when I had to push myself through this book a little bit because I thought the pacing was a little iffy. For me, the high school drama – whilst fun to read ever now and then – it can get a little same old same old, especially because every one of us lives through some sort of school drama at some point in our lives!! I did enjoy this book, but sometimes it felt like a little too much and I just kinda wanted to roll my eyes and put the book back down again!

All in all, I mostly enjoyed this book and the characters within it! I would definitely read a sequel to this book because I would be interested to know where the author takes these characters and just how far some of them are willing to go to remain on top! I gave this book 3/5 stars!

Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it? Would you read this book, if you haven’t already? 

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