ARC Review: Sea Witch

Sea Witch


Title: Sea Witch

Author: Sarah Henning

Series: N/A

Publisher: HarperCollins

Release Date: July 31st 2018

Rating:

Five Stars

Everyone knows what happens in the end.

A mermaid, a prince, a true love’s kiss.

But before that young siren’s tale, there were three friends.

One feared, one royal, and one already dead.

Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch.

A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes – and hearts – of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.

But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain.

The rise of Hans Christian Andersen’s iconic villainess is a heart-wrenching story of friendship, betrayal, and a girl pushed beyond her limits—to become a monster.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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ARC Review: Bright Ruin

Bright Ruin


Title: Bright Ruin

Author: Vic James

Series: Dark Gifts, #3

Publisher: Pan

Release Date: July 26th 2018

Rating:

Five Stars

A gripping Orwellian vision of Britain, with a rebellious Hunger Games heart, Bright Ruin is the third and final title in Vic James’s electrifying Dark Gifts Trilogy, following Tarnished City.

A shattered country A world-changing magic Magically gifted aristocrats rule Britain, and the people must serve them. But rebellion now strikes at the heart of the old order. Abi has escaped public execution, thanks to an unexpected ally.

Her brother Luke is on the run with Silyen Jardine, the most mysterious aristocrat of all. And as political and magical conflicts escalate, each must decide how far they’ll go for their beliefs. Dragons clash in the skies, as two powerful women duel for the soul of Britain.

A symbol of government will blaze as it dies, and doors between worlds will open—and close forever. But the battle within human hearts will be the fiercest of all.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.

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ARC Review: Spinning Silver

Spinning Silver


Title: Spinning Silver

Author: Naomi Novik

Series: N/A

Publisher: Macmillan

Release Date: July 12th 2018

Rating:

Five Stars

Spinning Silver is a new take on the classic fairytale Rumpelstiltskin, from Naomi Novik, the author of the award-winning Uprooted.

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father is not a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has left his family on the edge of poverty—until Miryem intercedes. Hardening her heart, she sets out to retrieve what is owed, and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold. But when an ill-advised boast brings her to the attention of the cold creatures who haunt the wood, nothing will be the same again. For words have power, and the fate of a kingdom will be forever altered by the challenge she is issued.

Channelling the heart of the original fairy tale, Naomi Novik deftly interweaves six distinct narrative voices – each learning valuable lessons about sacrifice, power and love – into a rich, multi-layered fantasy.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Autoboyography

Autoboyography


Title: Autoboyography

Author: Christina Lauren

Series: N/A

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Release Date: September 12th 2017

Rating:

Five Stars

Fangirl meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this funny and poignant coming-of-age novel from New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren about two boys who fall in love in a writing class—one from a progressive family and the other from a conservative religious community.

Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.

But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar – where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester – Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

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Daughter of the Siren Queen

Daughter of the Siren Queen


Title: Daughter of the Siren Queen

Author: Tricia Levenseller

Series: Daughter of the Pirate King, #2

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Release Date: February 27th 2018

Rating:

Five Stars

The capable, confident, and occasionally ruthless heroine of Daughter of the Pirate King is back in this action-packed sequel that promises rousing high seas adventures and the perfect dash of magic.

Alosa’s mission is finally complete. Not only has she recovered all three pieces of the map to a legendary hidden treasure, but the pirates who originally took her captive are now prisoners on her ship. Still unfairly attractive and unexpectedly loyal, first mate Riden is a constant distraction, but now he’s under her orders. And she takes great comfort in knowing that the villainous Vordan will soon be facing her father’s justice.

When Vordan exposes a secret her father has kept for years, Alosa and her crew find themselves in a deadly race with the feared Pirate King. Despite the danger, Alosa knows they will recover the treasure first…after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.

In Daughter of the Siren Queen, Tricia Levenseller brings together the perfect mix of thrilling action, tense battle scenes, and a heart-pounding romance.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

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Daughter of the Pirate King

Daughter of the Pirate King


Title: Daughter of the Pirate King

Author: Tricia Levenseller

Series: Daughter of the Pirate King, #1

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Release Date: February 28th 2017

Rating:

Four Stars

There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map – the key to a legendary treasure trove – seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

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Batman: Nightwalker

Batman - Nightwalker


Title: Batman: Nightwalker

Author: Marie Lu

Series: DC Icons, #2

Publisher: Penguin

Release Date: January 4th 2018

Rating:

Four Stars

The highly anticipated coming-of-age story for the world’s greatest super hero: Batman by the # 1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu.

Returning home from his lavish eighteenth birthday party, Bruce Wayne stops a criminal’s getaway—disobeying the police and crashing his car during the chase.

Sentenced to community service in Gotham City’s Arkham Asylum, he encounters some of the city’s most dangerous and mentally disturbed criminals. Among these, Bruce meets the intriguing Madeleine who has ties to the Nightwalker gang that is terrorizing Gotham City.

She’s a mystery Bruce has to unravel but can he trust her? The Nightwalkers target the rich, and Bruce’s name is next on their list.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

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ARC Review: Ash Princess

Ash Princess


Title: Ash Princess

Author: Laura Sebastian

Series: Ash Princess Trilogy, #1

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

Release Date: June 14th 2018

Rating:

Three Stars

The queen you were meant to be
The land you were meant to save
The throne you were meant to claim

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. Ten years later, Theo has learned to survive under the relentless abuse of the Kaiser and his court as the ridiculed Ash Princess.

When the Kaiser forces her to execute her last hope of rescue, Theo can’t ignore her feelings and memories any longer. She vows revenge, throwing herself into a plot to seduce and murder the Kaiser’s warrior son with the help of a group of magically gifted and volatile rebels. But Theo doesn’t expect to develop feelings for the Prinz.

Forced to make impossible choices and unable to trust even those who are on her side, Theo will have to decide how far she’s willing to go to save her people and how much of herself she’s willing to sacrifice to become Queen.

From author Laura Sebastian comes Ash Princess, a nail-biting YA fantasy debut full of daring and vengeance.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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May 2018 Recap

May was a much better month for me. There’s still a lot going on in my life at the moment that isn’t so great but after April it’s nothing I can’t handle.

Reading wise though, May was another brilliant month. I managed to get through twelve books, which is again a 2018 personal best tied with last month, and I’m catching up on my Goodreads Reading Challenge too. Give me another month and I may even be ahead of my 125 book goal for the year.


Monthly Recaps - This Month

Books I Read

May Recap (1)

End of Days by Susan Ee – Four stars

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas – Four stars
Check out my review here.

Circe by Madeline Miller – Five stars
Check out my review here.

State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury – Three stars
Check out my review here.

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh – Five stars
Check out my review here.

Ōkami by Renee Ahdieh – Three stars
Check out my review here.

Yumi by Renee Ahdieh – Three stars
Check out my review here.

Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh – Four stars
Check out my review here.

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi – Five stars

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik – Five stars

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning – Five stars

Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake – Four stars

May This Month


I’m very steadily catching up on my Goodreads Reading Challenge. After getting through 12 books in April and another 12 in May I am 100% confident that by the time we come to the end of June I’ll not only be on track but ahead of my goal for the year.

May GR 2018 Reading Challenge

The best book I picked up in May was Circe. There was a lot of competition this month because I got through some incredible books, but Circe was a tiny bit ahead of the rest. The development Circe went though over the thousands of years she was exiled on Aiaia was wonderful to explore, and Madeline Miller is the queen of Greek mythology retellings in my mind.

Circe

The worst book I picked up this month was Ōkami. It wasn’t terrible but what counted against it were the facts that it was a short story that didn’t add much to either Ōkami’s character or the overall story arc for the Flame in the Mist duology. Granted it didn’t take long to read at all, but you don’t need to pick this one up to understand what’s happening in Smoke in the Sun.

Untitled-4


My WIP

I’ve finally started writing again. This is a big moment for me, and while I can’t really say I’ve written a lot this month I have got something down on a Word document, and that’s more than I could have said previously this year.

One of the things I’m doing, and this is something I’ve always done no matter what I’m writing, is editing as I go along. So far I’ve written just under 5K words, but every single one of those words has been re-written at least once because when I finish a paragraph I go back and re-write it, and then when I finish a page or scene I’ll go back and re-work sections of it.

This was something I was doing even while working towards 50K words last November for NaNo. What I’m doing going forwards is setting myself a goal of 25K words a month, because maybe that will force me to cut down on my ad-hoc editing until I’ve finished the second draft of my WIP.


Life in General

There were two bank holidays in May, and they were sorely needed. During the first my mum and I took part in Southend’s Great Pier Walk. It’s something we do every year, walking up and down the longest pier in the world (and the pier that’s burnt down the most times as well).

May Recap (2)

I went to see Hairspray live on evening, again with my mum. I’d seen the movie before when it was first released, but it was something special being able to see it live on stage.

Hairspray the Musical

During the second bank holiday I travelled up to London and went to the V&A exhibition Fashioned From Nature. I took a fashion-related course while at university so it’s always something I enjoy learning more about. The exhibition focused on the way nature contributed to fashions of the past, and the affect fashions of the present are having on nature now.

May Recap (3)

I started talking to one of my friends about us potentially moving out and buying a place together, just as a first step to get us both on the property ladder. Granted we’re still at the very beginning stages of everything, but I’m very excited about potentially getting to live with one of my best friends again.


Monthly Recaps - Book Haul

A lot of books were released in May, so a lot of pre-orders were arriving on my doorstep. All I can say is it’s a good job I carefully budget each month.

May Recap (4)

Books

May Recap (8)


May Recap (5)

eBooks


May Recap (6)

Fairy Loot

May Recap (7)


Monthly Recaps - Last Month

In terms of what I’ll be reading in June I’m still going to be catching up with some of the May releases I haven’t gotten around to yet. One June release I am so excited to get my hands on though is My Plain Jane, and I expect a lot more YA contemporary will be moving over to my ‘read’ list next month. Now that summer’s here and the weather is reflecting that I’m in a very “YA contemporary” mood.

My Plain Jane

TTT Kasie West

I will also be taking a mini-break from blogging mid-June. I’m heading off the Dubai and Mauritius with my sister this month, so from June 20th I’ll be away from WordPress until July 5th when I get back home again and have recovered from the jet lag I’ll no doubt be stuck with.


I hope everyone else had a good May, and I hope you all have an even better June as well.

Does anyone else have any exciting summer holidays coming up, or do you plan to stay and enjoy the sun you have at home? Who else is really excited for the release of My Plain Jane, or is there another June release you can’t wait for? Let me know.

Happy reading!

State of Sorrow

State of Sorrow


Title: State of Sorrow

Author: Melinda Salisbury

Series: Sorrow, #1

Publisher: Scholastic Children’s Books

Release Date: March 1st 2018

Rating:

Three Stars

Sorrow—for that is all she brings us.

A people laid low by grief and darkness.

A cut-throat race for power and victory.

A girl with everything and nothing to lose…

By day, Sorrow governs the Court of Tears, covering for her grief-maddened father, who has turned their once celebrated land into a living monument for the brother who died before she was born.

By night, she seeks solace in the arms of the boy she’s loved since childhood. But one ghost won’t stop haunting her, and when enemies old and new close ranks against her, Sorrow must decide how far she’s willing to go to win…

Be swept away by the dark and dangerous new world from Melinda Salisbury, bestselling author of The Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

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