Thursday, 31 December 2015

2016 and More Reading!

2016 and Even More Reading!

Hello and happy new year! So keen followers - if I still have any of you left that is haha - might have noticed I haven't posted in...say...EONS! But that's about to change. Akin to my usual problem-solving methods:
  • I've diagnosed the problem: A lack of things to write about and a lack of time and effort to write those things.
  • I've given it some thought and rolled it around my head periodically.
  • I've come up with the solution: READATHONS!

Yep, I will be doing readathons and giving you updates here as I go along. I will also be attempting reviews, however I want to try and put them away a bit and branch out into other book-blogging endeavours. I will also be doing Top Ten Tuesdays from now on, starting from next Tuesday. Just as a bit of a look forward, these are the readathons I'll be participating in this January:
  • Winter Biannual Bibliothon: 3rd-9th
  • #AYEARATHON: 4th-10th
  • Then I get a week off! Hopefully I'll have a review to post here :D
  • RYBSAT: 19th-25th

Links will be posted in my pre-readathon posts I do for them and my first post, for the Winter Biannual Bibliothon, will be up hopefully on the 2nd of January.

Keep reading!

Abi Ainley

Friday, 3 July 2015

Date With a Rockstar by Sarah Gagnon

I received this book for free via Netgalley however this in no way affects the opinions expressed in this review

Date With a Rockstar

by Sarah Gagnon

Released: 23rd June 2015
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Genre: Romance, Dystopian, YA, Girly
Other books by Sarah Gagnon:
Goodreads Description:
Monet isn t just another lust-struck teenager trying to win the heart of Rock God Jeremy Bane--she needs the prize money from his new reality show to cure her illness. Monet has Fluxem, a contagious disease that's spread through saliva. It's completely curable if you have enough money, which she and her single mother don't. Now that she's on the show, Monet has to work harder to keep her Fluxem hidden. She only has to keep the secret long enough to woo Jeremy Bane so he picks her as the winner. She doesn't even care about the love part; the prize alone will change her life. But the real Jeremy Bane is nothing like she imagined. Monet finds herself fighting against feelings that make her want to give in to her attraction and Jeremy's attempts for a kiss. The further she goes in the competition, the more impossible it becomes to resist him--and when the producers turn the tables and start digging up dirt on the contestants, Monet fears her secret will be revealed before she's ready and ruin everything. The only way to win Jeremy's heart is to tell him the truth, but confessing her disease could cost her the competition, the prize money, and him.

My Review

I write this at ten to four in the morning, precariously cradling a cup of tea on the sofa arm, inbetween my laptop and the crook of my elbow. Yes, Date With a Rockstar is one of those books. You know? The ones that you desperately try to put down just before midnight because you know you need sleep, but it’s to no avail because you just need to read a little more. So, you read a little more, and after that you’re reading a little more again, and the next thing you know you’re sat in front of Sky Arts at ten to four in the morning, writing a review whilst precariously cradling a cup of tea on the sofa arm, inbetween your laptop and the crook of your elbow.

Just to catch you up, Date With a Rockstar is about a girl named Monet who enters a reality TV show contest called…wait for it…Date With a Rockstar. So basically, she has this disease called Fluxem and it’s going to kill her unless she can get her hands on the $20,000 cure. If she can win Date With a Rockstar, which involves her having to woo the hottie popstar of the time, Jeremy, she’ll get $30,000. Also, I’d like to mention that for some reason this story seems to be set in a future where there’s a crap-load of sci-fi style technology, lots of pollution, and America’s selling all their metal back to China. I know what you’re thinking: “Oh for Christ’s sake… Really Sarah Gagnon? Really?” However, I am pleased to inform you that it surprisingly works and somehow manages to add a hell of a lot of charm. You’ll have to read it to get what I mean.

(Afternote: If you’re feeling put off by the idea of crazed fangirls and worshipped male pop icons, don’t be. I hate this idea as much as (and I’d be willing to bet more than) the next person, however it’s definitely worth the read. Sarah Gagnon writes in a way that makes it bearable and a little less frustrating than you’d expect.)

Now, I’m not quite sure what made this book so compelling. The writing was extremely easy (probably what made it so effortless to read so despicably late on) and the characters weren’t anything greatly special. Sure, Monet (our main gal) was likeable, and Jasmine (our beloved antagonist) was wholly hateable, however I’m not quite sure how I found myself rooting for Monet so much. I was whole-heartedly invested in her success with Jeremy (the lad of the book) and suffered some confusing and unnerving hyper squealing, as well as some tense palpitations of the heart on multiple occasions. I often found myself wondering: “What in hell’s name is happening to me.” Just to explain, this crap doesn’t happen to me with easy-read YA like this. What is going on?!

The world was fabulous, and even though the plot really was rather contemporary-style, Sarah managed to combine the world and the plot in a surprisingly fluid way. The sci-fi-esque technology wasn’t overly shouted about and I really felt as if the world was completely normal. Not sure how you managed it, but well done!

Read this if you like an easy and entertaining read that’s a little peculiar and eccentric whilst remaining a girly YA romance that you’re sure to finish in one or two sittings. It’s great if you’re looking for something that’s not necessarily intellectually stimulating but compels you from start to finish and sucks you into the storyline.

I entered Date With a Rockstar with a hell of a lot of trepidation however I finished it in one sitting. (It wouldn’t let me put it down; it’s the book’s fault.)

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Abi Ainley

Romance by the Book by Jo Victor

I received this book for free via Netgalley however this in no way affects the opinions expressed in this review

Romance by the Book

by Jo Victor

Released: 15th June 2015
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Genre: Romance, LGBT, Mystery
Other books by Jo Victor:
Revenge of the Parson’s Daughter Or The Lass that Loved a Pirate
Goodreads Description:
For a smart woman, Alex is pretty clueless. She wants the truth, but she’s looking in the wrong place. She wants love, but she’s not looking at all. If only Cam didn’t keep disrupting her life, Alex might be able to find some answers. After all, it’s not as if Cam is interested in her. Which is probably a good thing, since Cam is even more infuriating than she is charming—and she’s got plenty of charm. On the other hand, Rosamund, Cam’s ex and Alex’s professional rival, is definitely interested in Alex, but can she be trusted? Alex doesn’t even realize the historic house she’s staying in is haunted. Perhaps a little supernatural help will lead Alex to uncover the secret of a love story hidden for over a century, and to solve the greatest mystery of all—the truth hidden in her own heart.

My Review

(Afterword: I was dying of heat exhaustion as I wrote this. It should not be 32 degrees Celsius in England. Nu-uh. So, if my writing’s a little, well, crappy, then I apologise.)

Mega book hang-over here. I’m not even sure where to start with this review and almost certain I’m going to find it hard to write anything of substance. I shall give it a go though…

Romance by the Book did it right. Well, most of it. Her writing’s amazing: I was miffed when it ended. I could have read about Alex’s daily life for months without getting bored. I especially noticed how much I highlighted in this just because it made me laugh or I thought it was witty. There were plenty of superb and entertaining language choices that never failed to make my smile or even chuckle out loud.

The characters in this book – mainly Alex, Cam, Rosamund and Nicola – were diverse and enjoyable, however I did happen to notice how the entire friendship group was lesbian. Sure, you need a few lesbians to create a complex of relationships, however it took away so much potential realism. It wasn’t that big of a deal; it wasn’t like it was made a big fuss of. In fact, I rather liked how the sexuality wasn’t shouted about like it is in most lgbt novels.

I also loved how I was as interested in Alex’s work into discovering the mystery of Artemisia and Lady Melissa as I was in Alex and Cam’s relationship. It’s not often you get a romance novel where some other part of the plot is equally as – if not more – compelling as the romance. I absolutely loved this!

Most of all, I admired the sex scene, even if it was a relatively small part of the book. It was the longest, most honest and most gutsy lgbt sex scene I’ve read in a long while – and I’ve read a lot of sex scenes. Being a bit of a lgbt sex scene aficionado (no judgements here guys xD), I consider myself able to proclaim this one a masterpiece.

Also, West Yorkshire. Just saying. I was so not expecting to open this book and still be at home. Honestly, I was expecting something either American or European. Not a fictional village based near Ilkley. Props!

This book would be great for people who are after an excellent, enjoyable lgbt read, and also maybe to fans of mystery as Jo Victor does a fairly decent job of that as well. The only thing I can say though, is I wouldn’t recommend this novel for anyone who likes a fast-paced, clearly-defined plot. The actual writing of it is what makes this book so good. Although the plot is still great in my opinion, and quite compelling at multiple parts, it’s nothing next to the artistry of the words.

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Abi Ainley

Sunday, 28 June 2015

The Changeling by Helen Falconer

I received this book for free via Netgalley however this in no way affects the opinions expressed in this review

The Changeling

by Helen Falconer

Released: 4th June 2015
Publisher: Corgi Childrens
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Supernatural
Other books by Helen Falconer:
Primrose Hill
Sky High
Goodreads Description:
Some of us are born to be magic.

Aoife is an ordinary teenager, hanging out with her childhood friend Carla, putting up with school. The worst she has to contend with is that the boy of Carla’s dreams is trying to get off with her instead.

But then, after chasing a lost little girl no one seems to be able to see, Aoife starts to develop mysterious powers. Eventually her parents confess that she isn’t their real daughter. Their human child was stolen by the fairies, and Aoife is the changeling left behind in her place.

Shocked and disorientated, Aoife turns to Shay, the taciturn farmer’s son who is the only person who might believe her story. Together, they embark on a dangerous journey, which takes them deep into the underworld and changes everything they thought they knew about fairies.

My Review

I can’t express how amazing this book was! After the pretty upsettingly bad run of books I’ve had in the past few weeks, The Changeling was a welcome treat that’s definitely made it’s way onto my favourites. I read it in one sitting and it had reduced me to tears by the end: How could I not proclaim it a favourite?

Being a huge fan of romantic fantasy, I entered this book with my critic head on, ready to compare it to every other romantic fantasy on the planet. By about 20% through the book I realised that wasn’t going to work. The Changeling is incomparable to any of my past favourites and brings a whole new concept to my idea of romantic fantasy. Sure, I’ve read books based off Irish mythology, and I’ve read plenty of YA romantic fantasy, but combining the two can be quite a difficult task due to how complex Irish mythology actually is. Helen Falconer did it stunningly and proved it definitely can work.

The way she revealed the plot bit by bit had me rolling around my bed in eager frustration as I came up with the most abstract of theories about what was going on. And I still found myself screaming at myself as Falconer revealed things that I really should have guessed from all the sneaky little clues but nu-uh.

Aoife and Shay, the two main characters, were loveable at their worsts. Although you were kind of told something was up with Shay, Aoife was as normal as you can make a character. It was so exciting when she began sprouting up all these powers and began to learn who she was. On the other hand, for some reason I spent almost the entire book in denial about Shay, believing he was totally normal, even when he started showing a couple of blatant signs he wasn’t actually human. When it became too much and I finally had to admit he wasn’t quite human, it took me way longer than it should’ve to figure out the whole ins and outs of the situation and got me way more excited than it should’ve.

Anyway, I can’t recommend this book enough to anyone with any interest in folkloric fantasy or just a thirst for a good YA Romantic Fantasy. I will definitely be buying this book if only to lend it to everyone I know and can’t wait to reread it!

As far as I can tell there’s going to be more to this series and boy am I glad. I need more! Now!

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Abi Ainley

My Personal Read-a-thon

So, as you might have noticed, I haven't posted a review in a couple of weeks or so. In and amongst my exams, my kindle breaking and my trip to London, it's been hell trying to find time to read. I've read on and off different books (I read a good way through This is Not a Love Story by Keren David but had to give it up because I just couldn't get into it) but haven't been able to finish any.

For these reason's, I'm ridiculously behind on review books and have therefore decided to spend the next week reading as many as possible, to a reasonable extent. I've just finished my first book (The Changeling by Helen Falconer), which reduced me to tears so I'm definitely out of my accidental reading slump! I'll be writing that review right after this and will post in either tonight or tomorrow. :D

Very excited to read all week!

Abi Ainley

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Bound by Spells by Stormy Smith (Book blitz & GIVEAWAY)

Book Blitz & Giveaway!

Bound by Spells

by Stormy Smith

It’s always fun to talk about a second book, but we never want to spoil anything about the first one for you, so today, we have a special treat from Stormy Smith, author of the Bound Series. Right now, BOTH Bound by Duty and Bound by Spells are on sale for just 99 cents each on Amazon (US and UK).

To set this up, the Bound Series is a coming of age story. A clean, new adult, urban fantasy that has wracked up 190 5-star reviews between both books. Bound by Duty is the story from Amelia, our main character, and Bound by Spells alternates between Amelia and Aidan.

Right now, Bound by Duty is nominated for “Best Book Hangover” in the UtopYA 2015 awards and Bound by Spells was endorsed by USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog as “paranormal gold.”

For my part in this book blitz I've decided to go for the excerpt from Bound by Duty as I know many people who read this post, like me, haven't read it yet. I have to say though, I'm quite impressed by this excerpt and definitely fancy getting the book now!

From Aidan

 What in the hell am I doing here? The thought raced through my head for the hundredth time. I scrubbed both hands over my face and back through my hair, yanking on it a little and trying to reason with myself. 

You’re going to freak her out. 

She doesn’t even know you. 

‘Oh, hi, Amelia. I know you don’t know me but I’ve been watching you the last few weeks and I think we’d get along great. No, I’m not a creeper. Trust me.’ 

I groaned and dropped my head down. I was sitting under some kind of beach pergola on a picnic table that had seen better days. If I even took a deep breath it might crumple under me. I was hiding and I knew it. It’s bad enough I heard Amelia and her friend talking about this party and then psyched myself into showing up, but now I have totally chickened out. I wasn’t interested in the party or the drunk chicks upstairs. Just her.

I don’t normally get worked up like this but she has me all turned around. I’d been watching Amelia Bradbury since the first day of class. I was the charmer. I knew from years of experience with foster families how to make sure people liked me, but she never even gave me a chance. She wanted to hide and never once even looked my way. I could see it in the way her eyes darted all over the room without making eye contact with anyone. And in the way she wore her hair down, trying to hide behind the long, dark strands. She sat in the back, forcing me to the outer edges of the room so that I could keep watching without making it obvious. When she got up she would often run into things, but never people, clutching her backpack before hustling to the next place. 

The first time I saw her relax was by accident. I was in the commons eating and suddenly, there she was. Her eyes lit up and her posture straightened. She yanked the band from her wrist and flipped her head down, coming back up with it in a ponytail. It was the first time I’d been able to truly see her and I was captivated. Her eyes couldn’t decide what color they wanted to be and floated between brown and green. Some people would call it hazel but they didn’t mix so much as shift as the light hit them. She was thin but curved. I wanted to run my hands from her shoulders to her hips just to feel the dip and flare. I turned, anxiety flooding my system, and found the source of her joy…another girl. I let go of a breath I hadn’t known I was holding and couldn’t stop the laugh the erupted from my chest. Amelia strode up, gave the blond a hug, and they immediately started talking. Then the blond spoke and Amelia laughed. It was music to my deaf ears and something inside me came alive. I wanted to be the one to do that. I wanted to make her laugh. For the first time in my life I was jealous of a girl.

I was ready to call it. Being here on this picnic bench was ridiculous and there was no way I was going to have the balls to walk up to her now. I had completely psyched myself out of having any kind of shot at this. I was ready to get up and head for my car when I heard someone bouncing down the stairs. I worried first that something was wrong. Their feet pattered down so quickly I thought they might be running. I stayed in my spot in the shadows, but tensed my body in case I had to move quickly. Lately I had had way too much excess energy and I’d been spending a lot of time in the gym. I could do some damage if it came down to it. The last thing I expected was to see shoes flipping off and long legs soaring through the air as Amelia leapt from the last step and landed softly out into the sand. For just a moment she was suspended mid-air and I could have sworn she was flying. When she hit the beach she didn’t miss a beat, her feet moving her swiftly toward the water. 

Her body was long and lean. A ballerina but with curves. She was so focused on the water that it wasn’t until she was ankle deep and had dropped her head back, a small satisfied smile pulling at her lips, that she realized she wasn’t alone. I had barely moved, a low groan coming from the bench underneath me. Her whole body stiffened in what I assumed was fear. I felt like an intruder. This was going to be a great way for us to meet, surely. But, you shouldn’t blow opportunities when they come. Or so said my last caseworker before I turned eighteen and had been accepted into Brighton’s community college. No sense in turning back now.

“So, you’re hiding from them, too, huh?” I was going for charming. Like I had some kind of game. But the words felt like peanut butter in my mouth and I was glad she couldn’t see my reddened face from where she was standing. Amelia slowly turned toward me, her voice small as she squinted and tried to see me better. “Do I know you?”

I felt like even more of a tool. She had no idea who I was. She stared my way for a few more seconds and then whipped around, facing back out into the water. I watched her chest moving quickly, her breaths coming too fast. I slowly started to move toward her, worried she might be getting a little too freaked out and wanting to reassure her that I wasn’t actually a sociopath.

“You don’t have anything to worry about,” I said, trying to keep my voice steady but soft. She turned to face me slowly and the full moon sliced its light just perfectly to illuminate me but keep her face mostly shadowed. She was close enough that I could see her eyes widen and roam from my nose to my knees, without ever meeting my own. I stood up a little taller and couldn’t stop the smirk as I realized I might have some of the same effect on her that she had on me. She raked her gaze up and down and it wasn’t until I tried to get her attention that her eyes finally snapped back to mine.

I couldn’t help but laugh as I waved a hand in front of her face and said, “Hello?” Then the Amelia I knew came back in a mad rush. She fumbled over her words, looking anywhere but at me. She tugged at the ends of her hair and a tried to walk away, but I couldn’t let her. I wasn’t ready to let her go yet and I needed to know her. I couldn’t stop myself from reaching out and taking her arm. It was our first contact and I don’t know what I had expected, but it wasn’t heat blooming under my fingertips or her heartbeat inside my head. In milliseconds of my skin on hers she was inside me, and I knew I’d never get her out.

“Wait. Just wait.” More quiet, controlled words. I couldn’t let her leave. I had to keep her there. I had to keep touching her. “I’ve seen you before. You’re Amelia, right?” Normal, Aidan. Act normal.

“Yeah,” she whispered. I had forced her to look at me and I would swear to any judge that we wore the same expression. She felt something. I knew she did.

“We have a couple classes together, but you always sit in the back and never say anything.” Dammit. So suave. So charming. You’re an idiot, Montgomery 

I was instantly ashamed. I watched her reaction and I knew it too well. She squeezed her eyes shut and her lips smashed together, holding in the pain of not fitting in. I might be a charmer now, but I’d been sent away by enough families to know what I had just done.

“Oh, that was dumb. I’m sorry. Anyway, I’m Aidan. Aidan Montgomery.” I took advantage of the opportunity to trail my fingertips from her bicep down to her wrist and then folded her hand into mine, shaking it softly. I felt fire the whole way and judging by the widening of her eyes and the swift intake of breath, so did she. For a second, she gripped my hand, but as our eyes connected again and I couldn’t stop my grin, she dropped it and without a word took off running. I couldn’t move, my hand still in front of me and my jaw hanging open, as I watched her bound up the stairs and disappear. I dropped onto the hard-packed sand and didn’t bother to move as the tide rose and the salty water surrounded me.

Well, that couldn’t have gone better. 


Personally, I'm a little desperate to find out what's her problem. I definitely see a pretty exciting relationship developing from this is well!

Ready to read more? For the duration of this book blitz (June 11th to June 14th, 2015), BOTH Bound by Duty and Bound by Spells are on sale for just 99 cents each on Amazon (US and UK).

Buy the books:
-          Bound by Duty (Bound Series, Book One) Release Date: July 24, 2014
-          Bound by Spells (Bound Series, Book Two) Release Date: March 19, 2015
See UK Amazon link for Bound by Spells at the bottom of the post.

Bound by Duty Synopsis: Amelia grew up in a world of half-truths. She knows she's an Elder, but has no idea what that means. Her father reminds her daily that she must maintain control, but he refuses to explain why. Even worse, she's betrothed to the prince of the Immortals and doesn't even know his name.

Finally breaking free to live a few normal years at a community college, the last thing Amelia expects is to find her best friend in a cheeky southern girl, or fall for a self-assured human who sees her for who she is, not what she will become.

As she learns more about herself, Amelia realizes the line between love and duty is a thin one. As her power continues to increase exponentially and her questions are slowly answered, Amelia must make the ultimate choice. The question is, will her head win the battle, or her heart?

Bound by Spells Synopsis: Aidan Montgomery hadn't been prepared for Amelia Bradbury to walk in and then out of his life. He also hadn't expected to find the powerful magic hidden deep within him for the last nineteen years, but he's embracing it -- finding more control and more answers every day. Now, with the help of Amelia's best friend, Bethany, Aidan is on a quest to understand his destiny and find Amelia.

Amelia decided to stand by her duty, which meant walking away from her first chance at love. Trapped in Cresthaven at the Queen's mercy, she spends her days with Micah -- an ally she still holds at arm's length -- struggling to manage her heartbreak while keeping her mind focused on the task at hand. As she continues to unlock the secrets of the Keeper power, Queen Julia's true motives reveal themselves, forcing Amelia to decide, yet again, how much she's willing to sacrifice.

Will Aidan get to Amelia before it's too late, or will the very power that sustains them keep them apart?


Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • $40 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Featuring a cast of mages and shapeshifters with unique magical abilities, one destiny-shaping prophecy, a genocidal megalomaniac, and a budding, heated romance (or two!), this book is paranormal gold! Read the first book in the series first, of course, but once you finish this one you're sure to be salivating for the next release in this not-to-be-missed romantic paranormal series." 

-- Serena Chase, USA Today's Happy Ever After blog

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Xpresso Book Tours

Abi Ainley

Monday, 8 June 2015

Review: The Witch Hunter (The Witch Hunter #1) by Virginia Boecker

I received this book for free via Netgalley however this in no way affects the opinions expressed in this review

The Witch Hunter

by Virginia Boecker

Release: 2nd June 2015
Publisher: Orchard Books
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Supernatural, Historical
Other books by Virginia Boecker:
Goodreads Description:
Your greatest enemy isn't what you fight, but what you fear.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she's accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.

Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that's been laid upon him.

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth's witch hunting past--if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she's thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

Virginia Boecker weaves a riveting tale of magic, betrayal, and sacrifice in this unforgettable fantasy debut.

My Review

The Witch Hunter is a low fantasy set in an alternate Middle Ages. There's a ban on witchcraft derived from fear and witch hunters traverse the country catching anyone practising any form of magic to be burned. Elizabeth is a witch hunter, although it's made pretty damn clear that she wasn't right to be a witch hunter and she only did it for Caleb.

I feel like I'm going to repeat what everyone else's said but with a few more positive points inbetween but whatever...

I did find that Elizabeth seemed ridiculously oblivious to some obvious points at times, which was only to direct the plot. It got a little annoying and I came out of reading this with the only character I liked being Schuyler. Who, may I say, is conveyed as being British but has a specifically Dutch name. In the Middle Ages. Other than that though, he was pretty entertaining. And the only character who didn't seem to be dumb as they come.

The majority of this book was about Elizabeth's love life. Sure, that ain't a problem to have a bit of romance, but you either focus on advancing Elizabeth and John's relationship or advancing the plot. Attempting both obviously didn't work out and, although the book was written as if the plot was meant to take centre stage, the character relationships messed it up quite a lot.

Over all though, I did enjoy the book, even if it annoyed me multiple times throughout, and I will definitely be picking up the next in the series. Just to see where Elizabeth and John go to be honest. And hopefully the plot will have been fixed up a bit.

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Abi Ainley

Sunday, 31 May 2015

5 Reasons Why All The Bright Places is So Painfully Amazing

This post contains graphic images of destroyed books.
Contains slight spoilers, but they won't inhibit the enjoyability pain of reading this book.

This book will rip your heart out and shred it into dust, and may (will) cause ugly crying - the really ugly kind.

Just a quickie before we begin... I took this book way too personally and, from what I've seen, seemed to read it in a completely different way to most people. The romance wasn't really the focus in my mind as I read it. To be honest, the focus was more on how much I could relate to Finch. Then Miss Niven killed him off. So, you can see why I was probably a little more wrecked after reading this than some. This is also the reason I'm not writing a proper review as I don't think it'll be of much use due to the fact that I personally connected with the story in an unusual way.

And, onto the 5 Reasons Why All The Bright Places is so painfully amazing...
1. You know you'll never be as great at pick up lines as Finch

I hear that Pluto and Jupiter and the earth are about to align. I wonder if you want to join me in a floating experiment

1.5 You'll cry just skimming a section to find a quote.

2. "Oh hey look! Let's make the character one that everyone can relate to and love, and kill him!" Why Jennifer! Why couldn't he have been a little more hateable!

3. You'll read it late into the night and destroy the book in your babbling, teary, snot-faced stupor. Then seriously regret it the next day.
I will be picking up a hardback copy to replace this. It pains me to look at it Dx

4. The book will always torment you. No matter how hard you try to block it out. No matter how many TV programs you watch. It will take over your life, taking any chance to remind you what happened. The words will bounce around your head, bringing tears to your eyes at the most inconvenient of moments.

5. There's a movie coming out in 2017 and you know you're going to have to put yourself through the pain of going to see it. That's two years to try and prepare yourself for it. Two years of collecting tissues. Two years of tears.

All in all though, no matter how much pain it causes and ignoring the fact that your heart's in a million pieces by the end of it, it's an amazing book and a must read, if you haven't read it already. I'm probably the last person to read this; I've been putting it off for months, purely because I anticipated the above. In fact, no I didn't. I anticipated being babbling, teary and snot-faced but I seriously did not even imagine the rest of the pain!

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Abi Ainley

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Review: A Lonely Magic by Sarah Wynde

I received this book for free via Netgalley however this in no way affects the opinions expressed in this review

A Lonely Magic

by Sarah Wynde

Release: 10th July 2014
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Sci-fi, Romance
Other books by Sarah Wynde:
Tassamara (Series)
Goodreads Description:
Fen’s life is on track—she works, she studies, she pays her rent—until a gorgeous guy points a gun at her and demands that she choose how she wants to die. What the hell? When a teenage boy, Luke, comes to her rescue, she survives, but escape won’t be so easy.

Luke’s sexy older brother, Kaio, offers to help her, but his protection simmers with unnerving undercurrents. The brothers have secrets and Fen has questions. Who are they? How did they find her? And why was she targeted for murder in the first place?

When Fen and Luke are forced to run for their lives, Luke spirits Fen down into an enchanting underwater city. But every enchantment has its dark edges. Caught in tides of romance, fear, and a plot to destroy humanity, Fen must look deep within herself to find the strength and courage she’ll need to stay afloat in an amazing new world.

My Review

First of all, I'd like to mention that I did love this book. I wasn't expecting much from the lack of hype however this is one of those situations where you have to just ignore the presumption that it'll be crap and enjoy the book for what it is: absolutely brilliant!

Fen spends her days working in a bookstore, living on her own after her mum died and contemplating the benefits and banes of going to college. Until one day she's attacked by a man who offers her a choice between him killing her and her killing herself with pills. Lucky for her, there's a (rather good-looking) mysterious boy named Luken who intercepts her death in return for a bullet wound. The next thing Fen knows, she's on a journey through a fantastical land of magic, running from a group called the Val Kyr.

The characters in this novel were great. Fen was likeable and entertaining and the Del Mars (family) were suitably charming. I wouldn't say there was a great deal of emotional connection to the characters however this is a very light-hearted book and I think maybe too much emotional attachment could have destroyed that essence of humour that runs throughout the novel. So, that being the case, the characters were exactly how they should be. They weren't anything special but they worked brilliantly. Elfie even became my favourite character and she wasn't even a person: she was the magical equivalent of AI!

On the world-building front Wynde really impresses. Everything was sparkling and magical, as it should be in a joyous fantasy story like this one. The world was very reminiscent of an elf's dwelling, as Fen graciously pointed out, and I found myself desperate to explore every nook and cranny of this new world.

Most of all:
I should have seen that coming. But I didn't. And I legit had to put down the book for a few minutes whilst I got my bearings back again after.

Finally, I hope to God this is the first in a series. The way it was left indicates that there's more to come but I can't find any sign of a sequel so my only option is to wait (im)patiently.

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Abi Ainley

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Review (MUST READ): Half Wild by Sally Green

So, another must read: I'm having a great booklife at the moment ;D

Half Wild

by Sally Green

Release: 24th March 2015
Publisher: Puffin
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Action, Romance, Awesome, Bloody amazing
Other books by Sally Green:
Half Bad
Goodreads Description:
"You will have a powerful Gift, but it’s how you use it that will show you to be good or bad."

In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, seventeen-year-old Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world's most powerful and violent witch. Nathan is hunted from all sides: nowhere is safe and no one can be trusted. Now, Nathan has come into his own unique magical Gift, and he's on the run--but the Hunters are close behind, and they will stop at nothing until they have captured Nathan and destroyed his father.

My Review

Being a huge fan of Half Bad, I was expecting to love this book. I was expecting to finish reading it and write a lovely positive review about how good it was. Turns out I more than loved this book. I've loved books before but never as much as this one. And this ain't going to be a lovely positive review about how good it is. I'm pretty certain this is just going to be me babbling on about how god damn amazing and awesome and ridiculously super it was!

Everything just got turned up a notch when I opened the first page of this book. The setting was vivid and exciting, the characters were awesome and way too lifelike, and the emotions, well, I don't think any word in the English dictionary could describe accurately what this book did to me. I'm pretty sure my heart aged 20 years in the process of reading this book. I kind of feel sorry for it in some respect: it spent a good portion of this novel stopping, clenching and palpitating. My tear ducts have also been worn down significantly, and most of it was crying when Annalise kept refusing to disappear. Come on, I'm pretty sure everyone just wanted her out so Nathan and Gabriel could actually get together!

In a normal review, I'd be critically analysing the novel, picking out the good bits, the bad bits, commenting on the characterisation and the writing of the novel. However, I hardly think that's necessary here. I failed to pick out much that could have been better. Okay, there could have been a few more tears throughout the novel, but the ending seriously makes up for that.

Finally, I'd love to conclude with who I recommend this to but really:
-If you loved Half Bad you'll love Half Wild even more.
-If you hated Half Bad you'll love Half Wild.
-If you haven't read Half Bad you really need to go do that right now.

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Abi Ainley

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Review: Dragonfriend (Dragonfriend #1) by Marc Secchia

I received this book as an ARC from the author however this in no way affects the opinions expressed in this review

Dragonfriend (Dragonfriend #1)

by Marc Secchia

Release: 11th April 2015
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Dragons
Other books by Marc Secchia:
Shapeshifter Dragons (Series)
Shioni of Sheba (Series)
IsleSong (Series)

Goodreads Description:
Stabbed. Burned by a dragon. Abandoned for the windrocs to pick over. The traitor Ra’aba tried to silence Hualiama forever. But he reckoned without the strength of a dragonet’s paw, and the courage of a girl who refused to die.

Only an extraordinary friendship will save Hualiama’s beloved kingdom of Fra’anior and restore the King to the Onyx Throne. Flicker, the valiant dragonet. Hualiama, a foundling, adopted into the royal family. The power of a friendship which paid the ultimate price.

This is the tale of Hualiama Dragonfriend, and a love which became legend.

My Review

I was flickering (I'm already on the puns ;D) between 4 stars and 5 stars for this book but I finally settled on the latter since it was my fault I found it confusing at times for picking completely the wrong period of time to read it! It took way longer than I expected to read this book but it was definitely worthwhile. It's not actually that long, however due to the nature of the writing it takes a lot of focus and can't just be lightly read like most YA novels.

The book begins with an adopted princess named Hualiama being thrown off a dragonship by Ra'aba, an evil power-seeker who's trying to steal the throne from the rightful king. As you can tell, she didn't die; that wouldn't have been much of a story! She's saved by a feisty dragonet called Flicker. As the story progressed Hualiama and Flicker search to save the Onyx Throne and in the process attempt to figure out Hualiama's past and why she remembers being raised by dragons.

First off, I'd like to mention the impressive character and relationship development at the beginning, when Flicker is looking after Hualiama. It was weeks ago when I read the first couple of chapters and I still remember how in awe I was of how they bonded and got to know each other. Honestly, I think that was my favourite section. Flicker is like no other character I've ever seen before and he quickly became my favourite dragon character - and I've read a lot of dragon books! His attitude towards humans, including Hualiama, had me laughing throughout the novel and was the main factor in keeping me interested before the dragon Grandion was introduced. The development of Grandion's character wasn't as great as Flicker's but it was still impressive. In fact, all the character relationships in this book were pretty amazing.

One thing I have to say about this book though, is it can be confusing as heck. With all the old English language and new made-up words it was a challenging read. Although I did enjoy the language used, I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who'll be preoccupied whilst reading it. It needs a heck of a lot of concentration. So basically, don't read it whilst you're doing exams. Tried and tested. Doesn't work. I had to break off every few chapters to think about what was happening so I'll definitely be setting aside some devoted reading time for the next in the series.

Back onto a bright note, this book is one on its own. Normally I'd be saying who I recommend it to here but I honestly have no idea. I've never read anything like it. As I tweeted last week, Dragonfriend is more of an experience than a story. The lyrical writing takes you on an extremely strange journey of thoughts and emotions and you come out from reading this as if you're waking up from a pretty amazing dream. I'm not entirely sure how to explain the feeling of reading Dragonfriend but it's different. I recommend you give it a go because, whether you come out loving or hating it, you won't ever forget reading it.

This book is the first in a series.

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Abi Ainley

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Review (MUST READ): Nowhere But Here by Katie Mcgarry

Nowhere But Here

by Katie Mcgarry

Release: 26th May 2015
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Other books by Katie Mcgarry:
Pushing the Limits (Series)
Red at Night

Goodreads Description:
Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

My Review

This book didn't even make it onto my "currently reading" shelf I was that taken by it. It made me cry, laugh and boy did it make me smile!

Emily lives a fairly standard life with her mum and adoptive dad; her biological father visits her once a year and life's pretty swell - for use of a better word. Then one day there's an email from her biological father. Her grandma's dead and he wants her to go to her wake. Next thing she knows there's an illegal motorcycle club after her and she's forced to stay with her biological father and his motorcycle club with a personal bodyguard - who happens to be pretty damn good-looking.

Alright, the beginning didn't really grab me and I spent the first 30% of the book unsure whether it was going to go above average. But it did. It went way above average. It actually surprised me it became that good! I was expecting a fairly average and uninteresting book but Mcgarry managed to bring a lot more to the table than that. ;)

The characters were amazing. I usually hate characters in contemporary romance but that definitely wasn't the case here. Emily was believable and had me rooting for her from the beginning. Her hopes and fears were cleverly entwined into the story in a way that gave it a whole lot of substance. Oz (her bodyguard) was a great character who I'm pretty sure has yet to fail to steal any reader's heart. He was loveable with just the right amount of annoying quirks to keep him from becoming too perfect and unrealistic.

The romance in this book's extremely well presented. There's none of those cliche knew-that-was-going-to-happen moments and a lot of those exciting holy-shit-that's-unexpected-and-freaking-adorable moments. It most definitely was not annoying and I was in full support of this relationship, which is definitely unusual; I spend half my life sighing at the annoying and unrealistic relationships that seem to dominate contemporary romance!

There were also a hell of a lot of surprises throughout this novel which kept me on my toes. From finding out what the stars on her biological father's arms meant to discovering her parents' past. It keeps you guessing from point go and you'll be wanting to read the book every second of every day just to find out more of the story. All in all, I would recommend this book to anyone who's anyone as it's an almost perfect example of what a good contemporary romance novel should be like.

Aaaaaaand... Before I make this review unbearably long I'd like to say once last thing: Thank God this is a series because you'll want way more of this when you're finished. I'm so excited for Razor's story!

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Abi Ainley

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Book Tag: Help Me

This book tag was created by Aria (bookgeekmoviefreak) You can view her Youtube channel here . Enjoy!

The Questions:

1. You have a test tomorrow, but instead of studying you’ve been reading. Which fictional character do you call to help you cram for this test?
Elfie from A Lonely Magic. Just have her tattooed onto me and I'll be good to go ;)

2. Payday is still 2 weeks away, but you are broke. Which rich character do you ask for money to help you out?
I don't think I've ever actually read a book about a rich character... crap.

3. There is a burglar in your house, which character do you call to help you beat up the burglar?
Riley/Cobalt from the Talon series. Not much a burglar can do against a dragon ;).

4. There is a spider/snake/something else that really scares you in your house. Which character do you call to get rid of it for you?
Hagrid. He does all that malarkey.

5. You’ve had a really bad week, which character do you call to cheer you up?
Flicker from Dragonfriend. He's absolutely hilarious and I could really have a good laugh with him!

6. There is a zombie apocalypse going on, which character can totally handle him/herself in this apocalypse? Pick the character that would give you the highest survival chances.
Wes from the Talon series. He could hack into everything and could track the zombies and stuff to keep us away from them.

7. Your house caught on fire, you need a place to stay. Which character’s house do you want to stay in?
Lazarus' house from The Watcher in the Shadows. It's HUUUUUUGE and full of awesome mechanical toys. Even if they do get possessed by shadows <.< >.>

8. Because your house caught on fire, you obviously don’t have any clothes. Which character do you want to borrow clothes from?
Just Irene from The Watcher in the Shadows :p. It's in the 30s so she'll have loads of cool clothes!

9. You’ve been wrongly accused of something, which character can weasel him/herself out of any bad situation and can certainly help you get out of this pickle.
If I'm literally stuck in a pickle I'm sure Hermione Granger could get me out with a bit of magic. However, if this is not a literal pickle, I'll go Cassel from the Curse Workers trilogy. He's sly and seriously good at getting out of bad situations ;)

10. You just broke up with your boyfriend/girlfriend, which character do you call to be your rebound.
Riley from the Talon series. He's not with Ember yet; it's fine xD

Thanks for reading this! Unfortunately, due to it being exam season, I won't be able to do as many blog posts as preferred over the next month and a half, but I'll still post up maybe one a week. I'll be doing a giveaway when I get back so keep an eye out for about 6 weeks time!

Abi Ainley

Thursday, 30 April 2015

New Releases: May 2015 (plus a sneaky one ;))

Quick Notes:
  1. Under normal circumstances there'd be more books in a wider variety of genres but I've been stuck for time so unfortunately it's majority fantasy for May. Hope you still enjoy and can find a book you want to read :)
  2. If there's a book you see on this list that you want me to review, comment and I'll make sure I add it to my list!

Click on the picture of any book to visit its Goodreads!

Goodreads Goodreads Goodreads
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Goodreads Goodreads Goodreads
In order of appearance left to right, top to bottom.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas Release: May 5th 2015
Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge Release: May 5th 2015
Illusionarium by Heather Dixon Release: May 19th 2015 (I am way too excited to read this book!)
Compendium by Alia Luria Release: May 5th 2015
Nil Unlocked (Nil #2) by Lynne Matson Release: May 12th 2015
The Guardian, A Sword & Stilettos by Kristin D. Van Risseghem Release: May 20th 2015 (This one looks like a bit of fun lol)
The Heir (The Selection #4) by Kiera Cass Release: May 5th 2015
The Reaper's Daughter by K.M. Randall Release: May 9th 2015 (View the review HERE)
Dragonfriend by Marc Secchia Release: tbc (The kindle version is already out HERE. From what I've gathered it will be coming out in paperback, however I'm not certain when. I'm putting it in the May releases under the assumption that it won't be too far off. And because I'm reading it at the moment and am more than slightly obsessed with it.)

Abi Ainley

Tuesday, 28 April 2015


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Review: Rogue (Talon #2) by Julie Kagawa


by Julie Kagawa

Release: 28th April 2015
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Dragons
Other books by Julie Kagawa:
The Iron Fey (Series)
Blood of Eden (Series)
Talon (Series)

Goodreads Description

Ember Hill left the dragon organization Talon to take her chances with rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues. But Ember can't forget the sacrifice made for her by the human boy who could have killed her—Garret Xavier Sebastian, a soldier of the dragonslaying Order of St. George, the boy who saved her from a Talon assassin, knowing that by doing so, he'd signed his own death warrant.

Determined to save Garret from execution, Ember must convince Cobalt to help her break into the Order's headquarters. With assassins after them and Ember's own brother helping Talon with the hunt, the rogues find an unexpected ally in Garret and a new perspective on the underground battle between Talon and St. George.

A reckoning is brewing and the secrets hidden by both sides are shocking and deadly. Soon Ember must decide: Should she retreat to fight another day…or start an all-out war?

My Review

In this upstanding sequel to Talon, Ember, Riley and Garret continue to run from Talon and St. George, whilst Ember continues to battle between her feelings for the bad boy dragon, Cobalt (Riley), and the enemy-turned-ally human, Garret.

Contrary to Talon, Rogue is definitely a lot less teeny-I’m-kinda-a-dragon-romance and more YA- I’m-a-badass-dragon-fantasy. I loved this even more than I loved Talon, and probably for this reason. Not that I don’t like the romance aspect, I just like it quite a bit more when there’s dragons and fire and bloodshed involved! It adds a bit of an edge to the cliché girl meets two boys and can’t choose between them part. So, first off, Rogue is a hell of a lot more badass than Talon.

The increased badass-ness (I’m sorry, but it’s the best term to describe this book ;D) definitely made me root for the characters a lot more. On top of this, the characters seemed a lot more 3D in this novel, whether that’s because I was more interested in it due to all the action, or because the characterisation was actually better. Riley stole me this time. Originally, in Talon, I’d been a little dubious when it came to him, not quite sure what to make of the whole “look how amazing I am: come join me and be awesome too” thing. However, in Rogue, we find a lot more out about Cobalt (Riley) and he quickly loses that act, as I now know it was, becoming a pretty amazing and exciting character. I noticed that the characters’ faces all seemed to be a little more characterful in my mind’s eye. Again, probably because of how much Rogue sucks you in compared to Talon.

I found myself reacting to almost every situation: laughing, gasping, “f**k you”-ing. The one thing I’m waiting for is a bit of a sob. Yes, something a little sad happened at the end, but it wasn’t to the extent of tears. I’m strongly hoping that the next book in the series can reduce me to tears, because, well, no book series should go without at least one breakdown.

Julie Kagawa, if you can hear me, I’m ready to get out the buckets!

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Abi Ainley

Sunday, 26 April 2015

The Dragon's Hoard: This Week's Book I'm Grasping After for my Collection

This Week's Book I'm Grasping After for my Collection

Dragonfriend by Marc  Secchia

Released: 11th April 2015
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Dragons (yes, I have given dragons their own genre)
Other Books by Marc Secchia:
Shapeshifter Dragons (series)
Shioni of Sheba (series)
Islesong (series)
Feynard (standalone)
The Legend of El Shashi
(They all look pretty damn amazing)

Goodreads Description

Stabbed. Burned by a dragon. Abandoned for the windrocs to pick over. The traitor Ra’aba tried to silence Hualiama forever. But he reckoned without the strength of a dragonet’s paw, and the courage of a girl who refused to die. Only an extraordinary friendship will save Hualiama’s beloved kingdom of Fra’anior and restore the King to the Onyx Throne. Flicker, the valiant dragonet. Hualiama, a foundling, adopted into the royal family. The power of a friendship which paid the ultimate price. This is the tale of Hualiama Dragonfriend, and a love which became legend.

My Idea

DRAGONS! In case you haven't been able to tell I love dragons! Other than the cover looking darn amazing, this book seems like a brilliant epic dragon story to follow up the amazing The Dragon Children: The Prophecy by Hannah Byrnes. Unfortunately, this is only available in ebook format - and as you may know, I have an issue with ebooks - however I won't let this put me off, as I can definitely see this being enjoyable even amidst the imminent headaches that appear when I read ebooks!

Abi Ainley

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Review: The Reaper's Daughter by KM Randall

The Reaper's Daughter

by KM Randall

Release: 5th May 2015
Other books by KM Randall: Fractured Dream

Goodreads Description

I’ve always felt like an average girl ... except for my strange relationship with death. You could say I like to court it. Whether I’m soaring through the air as a flyer for Specter University’s cheer squad, or speeding down the steepest mountain with only grace and balance keeping me from an icy end, I’ve always needed to feel a rush. But now Death is courting me―in more ways than one. First, there’s Rishi, a rogue death deity who has a penchant for annoying me nearly to my grave and whose intense gaze has the power to see right through me. Then there’s Hades, who I’d rather had stayed just a myth. Now that he knows I exist, he’s not going to leave me alone until I meet the same end as my mother.

Oh yeah, did I forget to mention her? I spent my whole life thinking she had died when I was a baby, but now I’ve found out she’s much more than dead. Fifty years ago, Hades banished my mother from the underworld and took away her ability to cross over souls―souls that have wandered lost through the world ever since. Now she wants me to clean up the mess. You may have​ heard of her before ...

They call her the Grim Reaper.

My Review

        This was very much a "meh" book for me. It wasn't absolutely mind-blowingly brilliant and neither was it excruciatingly tedious and boring. It was enjoyable though and I'd recommend you give it a go if you're into YA Paranormal!

        Blake is your standard American teenager. I don't claim to know much about American teenagers being British, but from what I've observed of Youtubers and the like, she's fairly standard. She's a cheerleader with a quite dominant thirst for thrill. All her life Blake's lived a normal life as a normal teenager. That's until a strange boy appears in her life. This boy, Rishi, has been living with Blake's dead mum since he was a child. Turns out she's not dead. In fact, she is death: she's the Grim Reaper. Unfortunately, she's death with a bit of a chunk of her missing. The Reaper's Daughter follows Blake, Rishi, and Blake's best friend Shelby, on their journey to retrieve the stolen scythe that will give Grim back her humanity.

        As with a lot of books from newer authors, this got progressively better as it went on, the quality of the tone and the quality of the characters increasing dramatically. Unfortunately though, for most of the book the tone was rather lacking. It seemed very cheery "I'm a teenager living a teenager life" contemporary. Sure, it's YA and it's about teenagers, but it's also about death. I feel like this book was lacking the more morbid imagery that would have made the book so much better. I don't mean turning it into a gothic novel, but the tone just didn't fit the theme of the book and it did seem to disrupt my enjoyment.

        The character's in this book are more likeable as you get to know them. (I'm speaking for Blake and Shelby here; I'll talk about Rishi later in this section) At first Blake was as annoying as they come. I really considered stopping reading it near the beginning because I just couldn't stand her characterisation. However, I did begin to see the more likeable side to her as the story progressed. Shelby, though...well...I guess there's always going to be that one character you just can't get along with! Rishi, on the other hand, was an amazing character. I loved him since the beginning. He's fantastic and just knows what he's doing. He's not annoying once in this book, which is great! I'd say the only really 3D characters in The Reaper's Daughter are Rishi and Seba, however Blake does become a bit more of an expanded character as the novel progresses. Shelby though...we've already been through this. ;)

        One thing I loved in this book, just to lighten up the mood a bit here, was the scenery. Everything had it's image in my head and the world wasn't left grey and misty like a lot of books that I've read. Not the best imagery, but still relatively strong and very clear. Maybe that was the main thing that kept me going and enjoying it? 

        In the next novel I'm hoping we'll get to know some lost souls and maybe even get to know Grim! It would be great to meet all the people who've died and learn about how they all feel about everything. I'd also love an eccentric character, but I always love an eccentric character!

Will I be buying this book for my collection?: Probably not. 
Will I be reading the next book in this series?: Definitely!

Abi Ainley

Monday, 20 April 2015

The Dragon's Hoard: New Books I'm Grasping After for my Collection


I love writing book reviews and all, but I can't possibly make a blog all reviews so I thought it might be fun to give you a book recommendation each week for what I'm desperately after for my collection! As with many bookworms, I can't get enough of owning physical books and am always on the lookout for more - most of the time I'm needing more than I could ever afford! Hey ho, it's fun to imagine owning them all ;)

Here's one that's coming out in May. I wouldn't be surprised if this isn't a new one to you!:

A Court of Thorns and Roses
by Sarah J. Maas

Release: 7th May 2015

Goodreads Description:
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

My Idea:
With names like Feyre and Tamlin, what could go wrong? With faeries and magic, really guys, what could go wrong? Now I'm not going to lie and pretend I've read Sarah J. Maas' other books. I'd like to but there's just so many other books! However, I'm excited to have this be my first and it looks pretty badass if we're being honest...

Now for one that's been recently released but I haven't got my hands on it yet:

Paper or Plastic
by Vivi Barnes

Released: 1st March 2015

Goodreads Description:
Busted. Alexis Dubois just got caught shoplifting a cheap tube of lipstick at the local SmartMart. She doesn’t know what’s worse—disappointing her overbearing beauty-pageant-obsessed mother for the zillionth time…or her punishment. Because Lex is forced to spend her summer working at the store, where the only things stranger than the staff are the customers. Now Lex is stuck in the bizarro world of big-box retail. Coupon cutters, jerk customers, and learning exactly what a really is (ew). And for added awkwardness, her new supervisor is the totally cute—and adorably geeky—Noah Grayson. Trying to balance her out-of-control mother, her pitching position on the softball team, and her secret crush on the school geek makes for one crazy summer. But ultimately, could the worst job in the world be the best thing that ever happened to her?

My Idea:
This is a book I've picked up from seeing it on booktube. I haven't read one of these cheesy (allegedly it's pretty anti-cliche but the description doesn't sway me!) girl-meets-boy romances since I was newly in high school. There's always the time to have another go at some old genres long forgotten!
All you grammar nazis out there may be thinking: "Hey! There's two. You said 'a book' singular" but hey guys, I want a lot of books and can't possibly choose only one: sue me ;)

See you later!


Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Review (MUST READ): The Dragon Children - The Prophecy by Hannah Byrnes

The Dragon Children - The Prophecy

by Hannah Byrnes

You know those books? The ones where you’re like:
“Why did you end? I did not permit this! Continue! Now!”
So, yeah… excuse me; I’m suffering from book buzz syndrome.

Bridget and Kai are about as opposite as you could imagine. Bridget is a feisty young girl with ambitions to become a knight. She was brought up in a family of travellers, is home-schooled, and her best friend seems to be a white pony named Robber. On the other hand, Kai is a shy and forcefully studious young boy, who lives under pressure from his eccentric father to get a “successful” job, when in reality he aspires to become a healer like his mother. The characters get brought to a seemingly impossible land called Dragonreach where the last two remaining dragons, Seralak and Mirsoth, reside. Bridget and Kai must learn the ancient secrets of runes and legends in order to defeat the evil that threatens to wipe out all belief in magic.

There is so much I would like to say about this book, I don’t know where to start! One thing that amazed me about this book and the main reason, I think, why it left so much longing for more, is the enchanting and enticing imagery used consistently throughout the story. Every landscape, every dragon and every mechanical animal: my imagination went wild in a way it hasn’t done in a long time. Even as I'm writing this, I’m still imagining the soaring dragons; the swish of Calidori’s hair; the shattered lake; and the whirring mechanical crows. I really haven’t read anything this beautiful in a long, long time.

The characters… don’t even get me started on the characters. One thing I noted down in my notebook, was: “Where did the personalities come from?”. Where did the personalities come from? In most books there’s always a bit of obvious “Jim held a constant uneasy smile” or “Jane was a bouncy young character” but no. Not here. Here, the characters just happen to have the most 3D and unique personalities and could easily be real people. Where did they come from? We may never know. By far my favourite character is Calidori. I actually wrote in my notebook at chapter two: “More Dr Calidori please! Such swagger much wow.” When he brought Bridget and Kai to Dragonreach in the beginning, I prayed that he would come back later on in the book. And oh boy did he come back. Alongside the biggest plot twist ever that made me feel like a simpleton because, seriously, there were clues. There were clues and I didn't even bother to notice them!

I have to add a bit of constructive criticism as I do in all of my reviews, so what I have to say is solely to do with the first chapter/prologue. I'm halfway to blaming this on the fact that I was adjusting to the writing style after just having finished a tedious adult novel, but I did note down some specific things that didn’t sit with me so well. There was a serious lack of fluidity. The writing seemed a little sporadic, as if the author wasn't quite settled into the writing at this point. If this book is rewritten/re-edited in any way, I hope the first chapter is rewritten. Although, to be honest, I’m kind of just writing this to warn you not to put the book down at the first chapter. It’s not all like that and oh boy does it get better. It really does get better!

Will I buy this book?: YES! Not only do the proceeds go to the magnificent charity, Make A Wish, who organise great experiences for children with life-threatening illnesses, but it’s a blooming great book and you’d be barmy not to buy and read this book!

Abi Ainley