The Window by Amelia Brunskill


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

These Great Affects by Andrew Toy


These Great Affects by Andrew Toy

Published: November 6th 2016 by Endever Publishing.

Adelle is the center of this upcoming young adult book, These Great Affects by Andrew Toy. Adelle and Trill meet in an unconventional way. They also are forced to say goodbye too soon, even before they have a chance to kiss, hug, or even hold hands. When Trill’s life is cut unexpectedly short, Adelle begins to believe that love just isn’t for her. But she has second thoughts when Trill comes back to visit her as a ghost, and at first it seems they’ve been given a second chance. But soon they realize the awful truth: will she really have to say goodbye to him again?

Note: I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influences my opinion.

Andrew Toy’s blog is a blog that I have followed from the very beginning of my blogging career. Even when I finally swapped blogs out to blog about books, I continued to follow his blog. When I saw this book, I had to request it! I am so glad that I did. This book broke me in so many ways, but it was a beautiful look at love and loss and a bunch of things on between.

Adelle is our MC. She is the daughter of a Senator and she hates it. I loved her personality! she was fun and quirky when you get to know her. I loved her passions and the way in which she got to know Trill. I felt extremely sorry for her throughout the book. I wanted to wrap her up in a ball of bubble wrap and never let her go! Her storyline is full of pain and loss and I loved to follow her and watch her grow throughout the book. I cried a lot for this character and the things that she went through. I was a blubbering mess – lets put it that way!

Trill!! I don’t even know how to put my love for this character into words. E is the kind of person that you hope to meet and someone you should never let go of if you do! He is full of life and personality and is generally a joy. Again, I balled like a baby because his story ways not a pretty one – even thinking about it is making me all teary eyed. The worst things always happen to the best people.

This book faces a lot of major issues. Love, Loss, friendship and how to move on after facing the loos of someone who is extremely loved and cherished. Trying to live with guilt that isn’t yours to carry as well as trying to find happiness after the loss of someone you love. I loved to watch this story play out because it broke me in so many ways! I laughed, cried and felt along with these characters! As a reader, you become so emotionally invested in this story, it is difficult to put down. It is a story that will stick with me!

The only thing I have with this book is that the timeline wasn’t always clear. It would jump a couple of weeks ahead and it wasn’t made clear when it did that – so I got a little confused!

This story is a beautiful book that will stay with me forever. It deals with a lot of issues in a way that makes the reader feel completely immersed in the story to the point where you feel what the characters are feeling and your heart bleeds for the characters! I cried buckets throughout and laughed at other moments. I can’t wait to see more from this author! I gave this book 4.5/5 stars.

Everlasting Flame by Katelyn Anderson


Everlasting Flame by Katelyn Anderson

Published: July 30th 2016 – self published

Joan becomes involved in a war that will change her life forever. She discovers that the world holds many secrets, even magic beyond her wildest dreams. The existence of immortality drove humanity to the edge. Humans are hunting Joan’s kind to extinction. Circumstances force her to act. She wishes to put an end to the slaughter of innocent Tainted Beings. Only she has the courage to step up. How far can a hero fall before they became a villain? The road of revenge is a dangerous and slippery path. That doesn’t stop Joan from making the ultimate decision of becoming an assassin. Her true test is to prevail and not become consumed by darkness. Will she succeed or will she turn into the monster she was trying to destroy?

Note: I received a review copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review. This in no way influences my opinion.

Can I just say WOW!! Whilst this book took me a little bit to get emotionally involved, when I was it was a rollercoaster of emotions! It had me on edge, laughing and crying with the characters. Also, THAT ENDING!!!! SERIOUSLY!! WHAT WAS THAT ENDING! *Ahem* I’ve had stern words with the author (AKA my friend) and she was apologetic… but not at the same time. This book broke me in a lot of ways.

I absolutely LOVE Joan. She was hilariously sassy and didn’t know when to stop. She is one of those characters that you just wish existed because you know she will be your best friend if she did. She never held back, even if she knew it would get her into trouble. I loved that she treated everyone the same, despite ranking, and she would put you on your arse if the occasion called for it. She does a certain something to a certain Russian… lets just say CRINGEWORTHY!! Pretty sure Katelyn was laughing at my hilarious spam the entire time. She goes through a lot throughout the entire book and it makes you want to wrap her up in bubble wrap and never let her go. I felt so sorry for her it was unreal!

Dane is my new babe. Lets put it that way! He absolutely scared the hell out of me and he was still a character, by the end of the book, that I would not want to run into in a dark alleyway. However, I, personally, think that he is misunderstood. I think there is more to him than meets the eye and I cannot wait to find out what his story is! I’m so excited for the next book because I want to know what made him the way he is! He is ruthless, constantly threatening Joan and generally a pretty creepy guy!

Lorenzo and Damian are the fictional family members that I don’t have! I loved them both, but I didn’t entirely ship Lorenzo with Joan. For me, they were more like a brother sister relationship, rather than a couple. *ahem* Dane *Ahem*. They were both hilarious and sarcastic, but they were also serious when they needed to be. They both help Joan when she needs it most and they are generally cute! I really want to know more about Damian and his past – which we briefly touch on, but I am definitely looking forward to getting to know him more. I would’ve liked to have seen more of Damian within the book, but his wife is pretty scary… so I guess it’s probably better that we didn’t!

Cyrus…. Where do I even begin with Cyrus?? He is a ruthless assassin who only really cares about himself… until he does something really nice to redeem himself – and then he goes and does a dick move!! SERIOUS DICK MOVE!!!! He needs to be shot really… but no one comes close because he is the worlds best assassin… go figure! I want to know more about him and I hope he can really redeem himself because what he did was NOT COOL!

The plot itself was absolutely AMAZING. There were so many plot twists and there was never really a quiet moment where you could, as a reader, take a breath and calm down. I say this because, everything came one after the other after the other, which all led up to the horrible, horrible ending. I don’t know enough words to do the plot justice, just know that it was great! And you guys seriously need to get in on this book!

That ending BROKE ME UP INTO A THOUSAND PIECES!!!! I was bawling like a baby, spamming the author and telling her that I hate her. It was THAT BAD!! I still don’t forgive Katelyn for that! Seriously. Ugh… its one of those endings that you really don’t want to talk about because it was so awful, but you need to talk about it because it was important to the story and without it, it wouldn’t have worked. This doesn’t mean I’m happy. Im royally miffed. I actually put the book down and didn’t want to read the last 10%. Yeah… *DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP BREATHS!!!*

The only real issue I had with this book was that it took me a little bit to actually get into the book itself. I found it a little difficult to become emotionally attached because I wasn’t feeling the characters grief – if that makes sense? However, that all changed pretty quickly and when I did get into it, it was AMAZING!!!

I absolutely loved this book and I cannot wait to read more from this series! I really want to get to know Dane and Damian more because I NEED to know their stories. Also… still holding out hope here for DANE AND JOAN!! Because I totally ship them. Even if Dane is REALLY scary and constantly threatening to shoot Joan. With reason because she is sassy and doesn’t know when to shut up 😛 I cannot wait for the next instalment in this series and gave this book 4/5 stars!

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

an ember in the ashes

Laia is a slave.

Elias is a soldier.

Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.  (Goodreads)

I have had this on my TBR for a while, but somehow I never actually got around to getting a copy and reading it. I was attracted to this book after reading the premise, but I was disappointed.

This book was a pretty slow read but there was something about it that made me carry on reading – although I am not entirely sure what that thing was. Let’s start with Laia – I found her irritating from the get go. She is a very naive character and the reader just feels like slapping her nearly constantly. However, she is a character to be respected. Her unflinching loyalty toward her brother and saving him help her to become a stronger and wiser character. She shows the reader that people can change and they can grow from what they were and become great people – with the help of others.

I liked Elias. Aside from the fact that he shares my sons name (:-D) he is a character who tries to be a good person despite his training and his upbringing. He doesn’t want to be the person that the empire want from him. I also like the fact that Laia helped him – she made sure that he didn’t lose himself in the face of the Trials and the burdens he was bearing on his shoulders. She made sure that his soul remained his own – and he listened to her! 🙂

So what was the problem with this book? Well, I feel like the book needed more meat to the story. I know it set the scenes and it probably laid the stage for what is to come, but I feel like it was missing action. There was action in it, without a doubt, but there wasn’t enough. I wanted more from the evil commander and I wanted to know more of her plans. I wanted more from the resistance – which we saw very little of. More over, I wanted more Elias and Laia. It felt lacking in a way that can only be fixed when the author includes more in her story to make the readers turn the pages.

What I am still wondering, even after I finished this a while ago, is who Cook is? Why does she stammer every single time she talks about the resistance? Was she betrayed – did she betray her own? What happened? I think this is a story that every reader of this book needs to find out at some point in order to stay sane. It is a mystery that haunts me every single time I think about this book. Clearly I need to go and grab the second copy…

I was expecting more from this book and was vaguely disappointed that it didn’t turn out (for me) to be all it was cracked up to be. I gave this book 3/5 stars.

GoT Season 5 Finale


So, to make this perfectly clear before I even start; if you haven’t yet seen the Season 5 Finale of Game of Thrones, then I suggest that you DO NOT read this post. It contains spoilers – spoilers which you probably want to live without until after you have satiated your need for the program. You have been warned.

After a week of binge watching PLL from the beginning of series one because I was waiting for the next episode of GoT I was finally able to watch it – which I finished doing about half an hour ago. I don’t even know how to control my rage right now – hence the post. I need an outlet. My blog seems like the best place to do this until my dad has watched said episode… then I will proceed to rant and rave to him to my hearts content.

Let’s make my anger and sadness etc perfectly clear – Kit Harington. Aka John Snow. Yesterday, while my dad was perusing the MSN homepage – as he does to catch up on the news – we read an article of guesses the author was making for the deaths within the finale of this season. It was only really then that it caught up to us that it was the finale. Here is the article, if you would like to read it.

Now, Stannis Baratheon is someone who I have been waiting for to die. He is a character that I have never really bonded with and someone who just annoys me on a general basis with no real reason. I just don’t like him that much. I don’t know why – he is just one of those unlucky people, I guess. Ramsay is a character that everyone loves to hate – you want him to die (almost as much as our ‘beloved’ Joffrey), but at the same time, he makes things interesting. Grey Worm, Missandei and Myrcella were all people in which I said “yeah, ok, I don’t see enough of them to be really that bothered about”. John Snow, however, was a different story.

As soon as I saw John Snow on the list, I immediately turned to my dad and professed just how upset and annoyed I would be if they cut the character. He reassured me saying that he is a popular character, he probably won’t get the cut. So imagine my face when I reached the end of GoT. I cried… I then travelled over to my Facebook to find an interview with the one and only Kit Harington waiting in my newsfeed for me to read. Coincidental. Here is said Interview.

True to GoT form, serial killers of the fictional world, there were enough deaths to keep die hard fans happy. Why oh why did he have to be one of them?? Also, how on earth am I now supposed to wait for them to film the next season?? I am going to go and hibernate for a while, I think, until they get their bums in gear and release season 6. I guess, up until this point, I will have to cure my need with reading the books – or should I say I should carry on reading the books. Even then, I am nearing the end, and if Martin doesn’t release the next one soon, I am going to full on flip. You know what they say, don’t get in the way of a pregnant woman!!

*and breathe*