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. 

Monday, 18 September 2017

The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse

Synopsis (Goodreads)

Pages: 290
Publisher:  Lake Union Publishing
Released: 18th of July 2017 

What would you do if you learned that the life you lived was a lie?

Nina McCarrick lives the perfect life, until her husband, Finn, is killed in a car accident and everything Nina thought she could rely on unravels.

Alone, bereft and faced with a mountain of debt, Nina quickly loses her life of luxury and she begins to question whether she ever really knew the man she married. Forced to move out of her family home, Nina returns to the rundown Southampton council estate—and the sister—she thought she had left far behind.

But Nina can’t let herself be overwhelmed—her boys need her. To save them, and herself, she will have to do what her husband discouraged for so long: pursue a career of her own. Torn between the life she thought she knew and the reality she now faces, Nina finally must learn what it means to take control of her life.

What I Have to Say 

I have to say that this book was not for me. It was interesting to see Nina slowly thinking more and more about her relationship with her husband and realising how little control she had; how little she knew about what was going on in her life. 

The portrayal of the children I found a bit off. Obviously they were upset by all the changes in their life and sometimes they rallied around their mother, but a lot of the time when they were being nice to the mum, it felt a bit false and unlike something a teenager would actually do or say. And when they weren't being nice to their mother it felt a bit like a cliché teenage getting upset about moving house/ losing their father. 

To be honest I was a bit bored. A lot happened, but there wasn't much to interest me. After everything was uncovered about the Finn and their finances, there just wasn't much of a hook to keep me reading. 


My thanks go to Lake Union Publishing and Netgalley for providing me with this copy for review


Saturday, 16 September 2017

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 416
Publisher:  Simon and Schuster Books for Younger Readers 
Released: 1st of November 2016

Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator's daughter, Sidonia. There's no one Nemesis wouldn't kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy's most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she's been told she doesn't have - humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire... 

What I Have to Say 

I was completely blown away by this story. From the moment it started I was completely hooked. Nemesis was such an interesting character and seeing everything from the perspective of this creature that was breed to protect another person was such a unique and intriguing thing to read. 

It was very easy to fall in love with Nemesis as a character. Although she was so hardened and made fierce by her upbringing, her relationship with Sidonia and Sidonia's love for her made her so easy to empathise with and like. 

The twists and turns and all the politics were thrilling. It was impossible to figure out what would happen next. The Emperor was brutal and the other members of the elite were wonderfully venomous. It was all exactly what I like from a political thriller and set in a great sci fi background.

I'll be really interested to see what happens in the next book. 


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

Thursday, 14 September 2017

The Glow of Fallen Stars by Kate Ling

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 368
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers 
Released: 24th of August 2017 
Other Books in the Series: The Loneliness of Distant Beings 

I longed so hard for all the things that make life life, and I never thought they'd be mine. But now ... now they are. Now I have something to lose.

Seren and Dom have fled their old lives on board spaceship Ventura in order to be together. They crash-land on a beautiful, uninhabited planet, which at first seems like paradise.

There is no one to answer to ... but no one to ask for help. And with each new day comes the realisation of how vulnerable they truly are.

This planet has secrets - lots of them. Uncovering them could be the key to survival, but at what cost?

What I Have to Say 

This was so much better than the last book. I was worried that it wouldn't be great after the last one, but after the way the last one ended, I really wanted to give it a chance. I'm really glad I did. 

It was still a little slow, but the planet was so amazing. I love a well made world and there was so much beautiful imagery in this book that was truly wonderful to read. I want to visit this planet and see all the sights, though I think it would probably be a bit dangerous to live on. 

The stuff with the coral life was a really interesting twist in the story. I was very intrigued by what was happening and I kind of wish there had been more of it. I loved the ending though. It felt right and it all tied up neatly, even though I feel that maybe there should have been a bit more of a fight to change everything. 

I probably wouldn't recommend the whole series even though I did like this book. The first one was just not worth it, though in retrospect, I'm glad that I got the chance to read this one. 


My thanks go to Netgalley and Little Brown Books for providing me with this copy for review. 

Monday, 11 September 2017

Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 464
Publisher: Orion's Children's Book 
Released: 21st of September 2017 

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far's birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he's ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past. 

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far's very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems. 

What I Have to Say 

I want to squeal and jump up and down and just tell you all to read this book. But I'll work hard to be more professional. This book was beautiful. Ryan Graudin weaved a thrilling story that went throughout history to so many great locations. 

I loved the crew of the Invictus. They fitted so great together and I would love to read a whole series of books about their various adventures through time. I think that a strong team of quirky characters is important in a book like this to set it apart like the rest of time travel book, and Graudin had both that and a story that was unique and exciting. 

I fully respect any author who can write time travel well and having a great plot and a group of characters who I really want to read more from truly makes this a book that I will love for a long time. 


My thanks go to Netgalley and Orion Children's books for providing me for this copy for review. 


Saturday, 9 September 2017

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 320
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Released: 5th of September 2017 

The story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete. 
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two. 
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains. 
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.

What I Have to Say 

This book caught me and kept me hooked from the first sentence, but it was a little difficult to get my head around the backwards storytelling at first, but after I'd gotten used to it, it was really great to see how each event had been triggered by the one before it. It was a very different way of storytelling but a very interesting one. 

Jules was a very interesting character. It was both hard to get to know her and very, very easy because there were some things that were very true to her, such as the superheros and the way she picked up on things so easily and could memories things so quickly. And other things that seem like a part of her but that she has lied about completely. 

This is definitely one of these books that I sped through, not wanting to put it down and am now regretting it because it's over. If you're looking for something compelling and intriguing that will keep you reading then this is the perfect book. 



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


Thursday, 7 September 2017

The Red Ribbon by Lucy Adlington

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 304 
Publisher: Hot Key Books 
Released: 21st of September 2017 

Rose, Ella, Marta and Carla. In another life we might have all been friends together. But this was Birchwood. 

As fourteen-year-old Ella begins her first day at work she steps into a world of silks, seams, scissors, pins, hems and trimmings. She is a dressmaker, but this is no ordinary sewing workshop. Hers are no ordinary clients. Ella has joined the seamstresses of Birkenau-Auschwitz. 

Every dress she makes could be the difference between life and death. And this place is all about survival. 

Ella seeks refuge from this reality, and from haunting memories, in her work and in the world of fashion and fabrics. She is faced with painful decisions about how far she is prepared to go to survive. 

Is her love of clothes and creativity nothing more than collaboration wth her captors, or is it a means of staying alive?

Will she fight for herself alone, or will she trust the importance of an ever-deepening friendship with Rose?

One thing weaves through the colours of couture gowns and camp mud - a red ribbon, given to Ella as a symbol of hope.

What I Have to Say 

This was like a fairytale set in the worst imaginable place on earth. The background setting of Auschwitz was harrowing and detailed enough to give a good picture of life there, while the story of Ella and Rose held a beautiful light of friendship and hope, which made the story one that was a pleasure to read and not just a bleak picture of day to day life in a concentration camp. 

Ella was such a great character to read. The way she tried to ignore things about the camp around her, because they were too hard to think about was just a brilliant way of talking about the horrors without going into all the gritty details. Though of course all things must be faced eventually. 

I loved the descriptions of the dresses she made as well and the process of dress making. It was nice to see how much of her identity was in her dressmaking. It was a good way to show who she was. Because she was Ella who sewed. And that was a perfect way to add to all the themes of identity in the book. 

Rose was such a beautiful character too. It made me feel like crying a bit, but she was such a light in the darkness of the camp. 

This is a wonderful book and a great introduction to the horrors that happened in the concentration camps for younger readers. 


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