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. 

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.