Thursday, 12 October 2017

The Treatment by C.L. Taylor

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 384
Publisher: HQ
Released: 19th of October 2017 

You have to help me. We’re not being reformed. We’re being brainwashed.

All sixteen year old Drew Finch wants is to be left alone. She's not interested in spending time with her mum and stepdad and when her disruptive fifteen year old brother Mason is expelled from school for the third time and sent to a residential reform academy she's almost relieved.

Everything changes when she's followed home from school by the mysterious Dr Cobey, who claims to have a message from Mason. There is something sinister about the ‘treatment’ he is undergoing. The school is changing people.

Determined to help her brother, Drew must infiltrate the Academy and unearth its deepest, darkest secrets.

Before it’s too late.

What I Have to Say 

This was a really interesting book. It took a detailed look into brainwashing and the way that it could be used to bring out of control children into line. It really went into the horror of how society could be changed so much if people in the government decided to fund this kind of research and kept it hidden like this. 

I loved all of the characters, though Drew was a little stupid and headstrong. I don't know what I'd have done in her situation or what other options there were available, but getting yourself sent to the same place seemed a little reckless. I'm not sure what she thought was going to happen when she got there. 

There was an interesting array of characters though and even though I think Drew should have thought things through a bit more, I felt she was clever and resourceful. I really liked her as a character. 

I'll be interested to see what C.L Taylor brings us next. 


My thanks go to Netgalley and HQ for providing me with this copy for review. 

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Shadowblack by Sebastien De Castell

Synopsis (From Goodreads

Pages: 400
Publisher: Hot Key Books 
Released: 5th of October 2017 
Other Books in the Series: Spellslinger 

It's a few months since Kellen left his people behind. Now aged sixteen, Kellen is an outlaw, relying on his wits to keep him alive in the land of the Seven Sands. He misses home, he misses family and more than anything, he misses Nephenia, the girl he left behind. 

Then he meets Seneira, a blindfolded girl who isn't blind, and who carries a secret that's all too familiar to Kellen. Kellen and Ferius resolve to help - but the stakes are far higher than they realise. A Shadowblack plague is taking hold - and Kellen can't help but suspect his own people may even be behind it. 

What I Have to Say 

This series just keeps getting better. I really enjoyed the first book and this one brought in even more intrigue and mystery. The new characters were interesting and fitted in well with Kellen, Feruis and the squirrel cat. Who were all just as good as in the first book. 

I still really love the setting. I think that it's interesting to have the slightly western theme, but I do think that the characters and the Argosi are the best part of it. It was interesting to meet Rosie and see how different Ferius is to her and how they both fit together well as Argosi while still arguing over the right way to follow the way of the Argosi.

I'm really looking forward to the next book. Things were really heating up in this book and I'll be interested to see how it goes on. 


 My thanks go to Hot Key Books and Netgalley for providing me with this copy for review. 


Monday, 2 October 2017

The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 349
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books 
Released: 7th of September 2017 

New York City, 2118. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible – if you want it enough.

Manhattan is home to a thousand-story supertower, a beacon of futuristic glamour and high-tech luxury… and to millions of people living scandalous, secretive lives.

Leda is haunted by nightmares of what happened on the worst night of her life. She’s afraid the truth will get out – which is why she hires Watt, her very own hacker, to keep an eye on all of the witnesses for her. But what happens when their business relationship turns personal?

When Rylin receives a scholarship to an elite upper-floor school, her life transforms overnight. But being here also means seeing the boy she loves: the one whose heart she broke, and who broke hers in return.

Avery is grappling with the reality of her forbidden romance – is there anywhere in the world that’s safe for them to be together?

And then there’s Calliope, the mysterious, bohemian beauty who’s arrived in New York with a devious goal in mind – and too many secrets to count.

Here in the Tower, no one is safe – because someone is watching their every move, someone with revenge in mind. After all, in a world of such dazzling heights, you’re always only one step away from a devastating fall…

What I Have to Say 

I have to say I was expecting better. I thought there would be more about Mariel and her investigation into Eris's death, but she wasn't given much space in the book for her thoughts and plotting. It was just the same characters as the previous book blackmailing and breaking up with one another. 

I liked what happened with Watt and Leda. I liked their scheming and where it got them. I also liked the stuff with Rylin starting at the highlier school. It was interesting to see her having to adapt to the world that she doesn't really like and it was great to watch her find a passion for something. I think out of the whole book, she and Watt are the only characters I actually like, unless you count Nadia who is awesome. 

I'll probably read another book in this series, because I'm invested and really hard to give up on series that might get better. But I wish this book had gone in a different direction and I didn't like it much more than the first. 


My thanks go to Harper Collins and Netgalley for providing me with this copy for review. 

Saturday, 30 September 2017

The Red Ribbon Blog Tour - Excerpt

I am honoured to be able to take part in this blog tour, for the beautifully written, touching book. I'm delighted to be able to share a excerpt of this book with you all here today. 

People laugh at fashion. It’s just clothes, they say.
Right. Just clothes. Except, not one of the people I’ve heard mock fashion was naked at the time. They all got dressed in the morning, picking clothes that said, Hey, I’m a successful banker. Or, I’m a busy mother. Or, I’m a tired teacher . . . a decorated soldier . . . a pompous judge . . . a cheeky barmaid . . . a lorry driver, a nurse . . . You could go on for ever. Clothes show who you are, or who you want to be. 
So people might say, Why do you take clothes so seriously, when there are more important things to worry about, like the War?
Oh, I was worried about the War all right. The War got in the way of everything. Out in the real world, outside of here, I’d wasted hours queuing at shops with empty shelves. More hours hiding in the cellar when bombers flew over. I’d put up with endless news updates, and Grandad plotting battle lines on a map pinned to the kitchen wall. I’d known War would come – it was all people talked about for months. We learned about War in history lessons at school. War was something that happened to other people a long way away. 
Then it came to my country. My town. 
It was War that brought me to Birchwood – known, in a harsher language, as Auschwitz-Birkenau. The place where everyone arrives, and nobody leaves. 
 Here people find out that clothes aren’t so trivial after all. Not when you haven’t got any. The first thing They did when we arrived was make us strip. Minutes off the train and we were sorted into male and female. They shoved us into a room and told us to undress. Right there. With everyone watching. Not even underwear allowed. 
Our clothes were folded into piles. Without them we weren’t bankers, teachers, nurses, barmaids or lorry drivers any more. We were scared and humiliated. 
Just clothes. 
I’d stared at my pile of folded clothes. I memorised the soft wool of my jumper. It was my favourite green jumper embroidered with cherries, a birthday present from Grandma. I memorised the neat folds of my trousers and my socks, rolled into a pair. My bra too – my first-ever bra! – that I’d hidden from view along with my knickers. 
Next They took our hair. All our hair. Shaved it off with blunt razors. Gave us limp triangles of cloth as headscarves. Made us pick out shoes from a pile about as high as house. I’d found a pair. Rose obviously hadn’t been so lucky, with her one silk shoe and her one leather brogue. 
They said we’d get our clothes back after a shower. They lied. We got sack dresses with stripes. As Stripeys we ran around like herds of panicked zebras. We weren’t people any more, we were numbers. They could do what they liked to us. 
So don’t tell me clothes don’t matter.

I hope you enjoyed this extract and want to read the rest of the book. For the rest of the blog tour see the banner below: 


Thursday, 28 September 2017

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 384
Publisher: Simon and Schuster 
Released: 10th of October 2017 

Find your magic

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy. 

What I Have to Say 

This book was slow. I think if I'd relaxed, I would have been able to enjoy it a lot more. Other than the pacing, I loved it. The magic system was really interesting, I liked how each of the children had a gift that was just theirs and that they exhibited it without even trying, so that there was literally no way of escaping their magic. 

I think I also would have enjoyed it more if I had read Practical Magic first. There were probably references and stuff that I didn't notice because I hadn't read it. It had enough to stand on it's own, but I do think that reading Practical Magic first would probably be better. 

I liked the relationships between the siblings. I liked how they were close and always had each others backs. I think that and the magic were the main draws of the book. 


My thanks go to Netgalley and Simon and Schuster for providing me with this copy for review 

Monday, 25 September 2017

The Book of Fire by Michelle Kenney

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Publisher:  HQ
Released:  25th of August 2017 

Life outside the domes is not possible. At least that’s what Insiders are told.
Twins Eli and Talia shouldn’t exist. They’re Outsiders.

Their home is a secret. Their lives are a secret. Arafel is a secret.

An unexpected forest raid forces Talia into a desperate mission to rescue her family while protecting the sacred Book of Arafel from those who would use it as a weapon. As Talia and her life long friend Max enter the dome, she makes some unexpected discoveries, and allies, in the form of rugged Insider August, that will change the course of her life forever.

She’ll stop at nothing to save her family but will she sacrifice her heart in the process?

What I Have to Say 

I have to say I wasn't as impressed by this book as I hoped I would be. The idea sounded great and at the start I was really interested in Arafel and their lifestyle. The Roman based life in the Dome was also really interesting, but beyond that, nothing really hooked my attention. 

Talia as a character was good, but she was so determined to get her family back and for most of it, she did nothing but what others told her to do. There was so much waiting around as she predictably got involved in a love triangle and got distracted from her goals by it. 

There was so much there that would have been great but for the most part it was just the same as every other dystopia book out there. There was nothing there that set it apart and there needs to be something, especially in this genre. 


My thanks go to HQ and Netgalley for providing me with this copy for review. 



Thursday, 21 September 2017

The Taste of Blue Light by Lydia Ruffles

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 352
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books 
Released: 7th of September 2017 

'Since I blacked out, the slightest thing seems to aggravate my brain and fill it with fire'

These are the things Lux knows:
She is an Artist. 
She is lucky. 
She is broken.

These are the things she doesn't know:
What happened over the summer.
Why she ended up in hospital.
Why her memories are etched in red.

'The nightmares tend to linger long after your screams have woken you up ...'

Desperate to uncover the truth, Lux's time is running out. If she cannot piece together the events of the summer and regain control of her fractured mind, she will be taken away from everything and everyone she holds dear.

If her dreams don't swallow her first

What I Have to Say 

This was a really interesting book that went in a lot of unexpected directions. I wasn't sure how it would go at first, but I quickly really came to like the characters and the school was so interesting and creative. While the school probably wouldn't work in real life, it was really cool to imagine. It also had this cult-like undertone that gave a good in-joke type vibe. 

The trauma that Lux showed was really intense. I loved how they gave such little pieces of information at a time. I couldn't possibly have guessed what really happened. 

In all though, it's hard to say much without giving too much away, but I just loved the atmosphere of the book and the secrets and lies involved in the mystery. 

Definitely a good book about trauma. 


My thanks go to Hodder Children's Books and Netgalley for providing me with this copy for review.