Friday, 1 December 2017

Apologies for the impromptu Hiatus

Hey guys,

Sorry that I haven't posted in a while, things rather got on top of me and my TBR suffered greatly.

I'm going to start trying to catch up on reviews as soon as I can and hopefully I'll be able to be back to the normal schedule as soon as possible.

This does mean that some of the books will be reviewed a little while after publication, but I promise all the reviews I have agreed to do will be done.

Lily xx

Monday, 6 November 2017

Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 183
Publisher: Open Road Media
Released: 5th of September 2017 (first published 1982)

When Liza Winthrop first lays eyes on Annie Kenyon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she knows there’s something special between them. Soon, their close friendship develops into a deep and intimate romance. Neither imagined that falling in love could be so wonderful, but as Liza and Annie’s newfound sexuality sparks conflict in both their families and at their schools, they discover it will take more than love for their relationship to succeed.

What I Have to Say 

This book was truly amazing. What struck me the most was how different it was from modern LGBT books.  Because it wasn't all about the struggle of being gay and coming to terms with it and all the other things that go along with it. I wasn't expecting such a positive book. Obviously there were struggles and a lot of hardship that the girls had to go through, but for the most part it was about two people just falling in love. The gender of them didn't matter until later.

You see that's what I want to see more of and it's so interesting that a book from the 80s can capture exactly what the genre is missing. Because so many LGBT books act like the gay characters can only possibly be defined by being gay. That all their story has to be about struggling to come to terms with it, or fighting to be accepted. It's never about just two people falling in love naturally. It's never about the gradual discovery of what it means to be gay.

Obviously there was drama at the end and it got very sad, but it ended on a hopeful note. And the characters were just beautiful. I have to say that I fell in love with Annie a bit too during this book. She was so lively and well rounded. I loved the made up games they played and the way they both were together. They fitted together so greatly and made a very beautiful, very realistic couple.

This is definitely a must for anyone interested in the LGBT genre, whatever your sexuality, it's a truly wonderful story.

My thanks go to Open Road Media and Netgalley for providing me with this copy for review. 

Thursday, 2 November 2017

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

Synopsis (from Goodreads) 

Pages: 432
Publisher: Simon Pulse 
Released: 7th of November 2017 

Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.

That’s no surprise, since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.

When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.

Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself? 

What I Have to Say 

This was an interesting take on the whole concept of zombies and eating people. I loved the idea of gene hacking and the way that Suvada developed the idea of smart phones and apps to include things that actually change the way people look. The way that medicines had transformed and the problems that Cat faced because of her illness were so realistic and interesting. 

There were also so many twists and turns that this book took. Just when you thought you knew where things were going it zoomed off in another direction with a shocking turn of events. This is definitely a book where you can't trust anyone and even they can't trust themselves. There's so many secrets and lies that are hidden away. 

I can't wait for the next book to see what Suvada decides to do next. 

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

Monday, 30 October 2017

No Shame by Anne Cassidy

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 192
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre 
Released: 21st of September 2017 

Stacey Woods has been raped and now she has to go through a different ordeal - the court trial. But nothing in life it seems is black and white and life is not always fair or just. Suddenly it seems that she may not be believed and that the man who attacked her may be found not guilty . . . if so Stacey will need to find a way to rebuild her life again . . .

What I Have to Say 

I liked this a lot better than the first book. I almost think that this could be better as a stand alone, but then it is useful to have seen the actual event happen in the first book. Either way, I really enjoyed reading this book. With the horror of the actual rape in the past, it wasn't as hard to read and it was really interesting to see how the court proceedings in a case like this would actually go down. 

I was sympathetic and completely feeling for Stacey the whole time. It was very clear from every point how hard this was to do and her bravery really came through. I connected with her a lot more in this book than the last. 

The ending was really well written as well. The results of the trail and how it kept you reading until the last word because of what was happening and how much you wanted Stacey to be able to move on with her life and go back to fashion design and all the things she enjoyed. 

This is definitely a really interesting read and an important one. It shows the way that rape is handled in the legal system and how easily someone's actions can be twisted and used against them. 

My thanks go to Bonnier Zaffre and Netgalley for providing me with a copy for review. 

Thursday, 26 October 2017

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 304
Publisher: Gollancz
Released: 12th of October 2017 

In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer.

These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her. 

What I Have to Say 

This book had everything stories, dragons, a rebellious and kick-ass main character. It was easy to get absorbed into the world and the beautiful, complex main character and her struggles. Asha was truly a beautiful character and it was really great to see her go through her journey and character dIevelopment as she started to do what was right and wrong. 

I'd also like to see more of this world. I feel like what we saw was almost the least interesting part of it, dragons aside. I want to see more of what the kingdom used to be and what it becomes after the events of the book. I want to see more of the other cultures in the book. I enjoyed the book so much, but I feel like there's so much more to see of this world. 

I definitely want to see more from this author and this beautiful fantasy world. 

My thanks go to Gollancz for providing me with this copy for review. 

Monday, 23 October 2017

Undercover Princess by Connie Glynn

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 288
Publisher: Penguin
Released: 2nd of November 2017 

When fairy tale obsessed Lottie Pumpkin starts at the infamous Rosewood Hall, she is not expecting to share a room with the Crown Princess of Maradova, Ellie Wolf. Due to a series of lies and coincidences, 14-year-old Lottie finds herself pretending to be the princess so that Ellie can live a more normal teenage life.

Lottie is thrust into the real world of royalty - a world filled with secrets, intrigue and betrayal. She must do everything she can to help Ellie keep her secret, but with school, the looming Maradovian ball and the mysterious new boy Jamie, she'll soon discover that reality doesn't always have the happily ever after you'd expect...

What I Have to Say 

I really enjoyed this book, but the girls have got to get together in the next book or I'll scream. They are wonderful characters in a wonderful setting, but it feels so much like it could be gay baiting, especially when there are boys thrown into the mix. I really hope the author takes a stance one way or another because this series could be amazing, but not if we're just being set up for disappointment. 

I loved Rosewood so much. The school was a really interesting blend of magic fairy-tale school and elite prep school, full of beauty, secrets and pressure. It's a place that I know so many people are going to fall in love with and long to go to. 

Lottie and Ellie are great characters. Lottie is so full of dreams, fairy-tales and hopes and Ellie is a beautiful, unique person who I think I could read about forever. The plot is full of suspense, mystery and drama. 

I am definitely reading the next book. 

My thanks go to Netgalley and Penguin for providing me with copies for review. 

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Satellite by Nick Lake

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 464
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books 
Released: 5th of October 2017 

A teenage boy born in space makes his first trip to Earth.

He’s going to a place he’s never been before: home.

Moon 2 is a space station that orbits approximately 250 miles above Earth. It travels 17,500 miles an hour, making one full orbit every ninety minutes. It’s also the only home that fifteen-year-old Leo and two other teens have ever known.

Born and raised on Moon 2, Leo and the twins, Orion and Libra, are finally old enough and strong enough to endure the dangerous trip to Earth. They’ve been “parented” by teams of astronauts since birth and have run countless drills to ready themselves for every conceivable difficulty they might face on the flight.

But has anything really prepared them for life on terra firma? Because while the planet may be home to billions of people, living there is more treacherous than Leo and his friends could ever have imagined, and their very survival will mean defying impossible odds.

What I Have to Say

 I really enjoyed this book. It was a surprise since I often find Nick Lake books to be a little slow, but this one had such a good concept and was written well enough for to hold my attention. It went into things that I would never even consider. No sci fi book I've ever read has even touched upon the significant differences in the way a child's body would develop when they have spent their entire life without gravity.

It was still slow, but I found that the slowness just didn't matter. I enjoyed taking my time over it and discovering more about Leo and how he adapts to life on Earth. The fact that there were always mysteries surrounding their birth and why Leo couldn't get in touch with Orion and Libra helped a lot, but I do think that the main thing was just the fact that it was so interesting and well thought out.

The only thing I didn't like was the fact that it was written with u instead of you and c instead of see. It's something that just really annoys me. I'm not even sure teenagers write like that anymore. Without constraints on the number of characters, why would they need to?

In all though this was an amazing book, so different from anything else I've read.

My thanks go to Negalley and Hodder for providing me with this copy for review.