Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The Witches of the Glass Castle by Gabriella Lepore

*I was sent an ecopy of this book from the publisher, OfTomes Publishing, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Series:The Witches of the Glass Castle, #1

Goodreads Description:
Mia’s life is thrown through a loop when she discovers her family secret — that she and her brother Dino are witches. After they are sent away to study their craft, they begin down a path that will change their lives forever.

Suddenly thrust into a world where handsome warriors command the power of nature and people’s thoughts and actions can be manipulated at will, Mia and Dino struggle to navigate their own allegiances and do what they know to be right when everything around them seems beyond their control. 

My thoughts:
The Witches of the Glass Castle is a fun quick easy read that is perfect to read at Halloween/autumn.

I liked the main character but they weren't anything special. They are both supposed to be main characters but to me it felt like it was all about Mia. I thought Dino was the more interesting of the two as I felt like he was a lot more complex and had a lot more going on and wished he had more page time as I think I'd have liked the book much more. Mia is a bit naive and she is like tones of other female YA protagonist out there, making stupid decision left right and centre and falling for a boy she just met.

Colt, the love interest, who is a hunter was a fun character. I like him even though he's such a YA cliche with his cocky confident attitude but I hadn't read a YA book in a while so I thought he was fun. I liked Mia and Colts relationship but didn't ship it a huge amount. Their interactions were always fun to read but nothing to obsess over. Their banter was good an I love how Colt called Mia out on her stupidity.

The plot was slow in the beginning but after a few chapters it picked up and I got into it and couldn't stop reading. Toward the end it got very predictable but I didn't mind. There was also a few tropes scattered throughout the story but I had came to terms that this wasn't going to be a hidden gem in YA lit so it didn't bother me. 

I felt like the world was very underdeveloped. These teens go to the Glass Castle to learn how to use their powers so I was expecting a school setting; well I was disappointed, there was no classes or teachers and the only adult there Wendolyn didn't play much of a role, she just let the kids live in her house, I expecting more or a mentor figure. Because of this 'school' setting is expected to learn a lot about the magic and history of the world but nope that didn't happened. There was no rules and no explanations as to why/how their powers work. There is no rhyme or reasons to their powers; there is a mix of elemental control and mind reading and conjuring things from nothing and raising the dead.

The side characters were also very underdeveloped which was sad, I really liked Mia and Dino's friends Kizzy and Blue and wish they could have had more page time.

The story is told from lots of POVs, too many I think. It wasn't really necessary to be swapping as much as it did especially with the book being so short.

Overall I enjoyed my time reading and would recommend it for this time of year, Hallowe'en and autumn if your looking for a quick light fun paranormal read.

My rating: 4 stars 

I just want to say a big thank you to OfTomes Publishing for sending me an ecopy of The Witches of the Glass Castle for free in exchange for this review!

Thanks for reading,

A :)

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

A Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab

Short review today guys! I'm on placement and am super busy!

*warning this review contains spoilers for the first two books in the Shades of Magic series, A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows.

Series: Shades of Magic, #3
Publication: February 21st 2017 by Tor Books
Goodreads Description:
Witness the fate of beloved heroes - and enemies.

The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.

Kell - once assumed to be the last surviving Antari - begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?

Lila Bard, once a commonplace - but never common - thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.

And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay. 

My thoughts:
A Conjuring of Light is the brilliant conclusion to a fanatic trilogy I was hoping for! This series has made it onto my favourite series shelf and will stay there for a long time! I had so much fun with this series especially this final book!

My favourite character is of course Lila but I love Alucard too but also Kell and Rhy. So basically everyone. Lila is her usual bad ass self; so witty and hilarious; I love her and Kell's relationship but really liked her and Alucard's friendship in this one! I loved how sassy Rhy was and how he had such a nice arc in this final book, he really steps up and becomes as selfless as his brother. 

There was lots of Holland in A Conjuring of Light and he even had a POV where we are given lots of his backstory which I wasn't a fan of. I just didn't care about him to be honest. He had a nice arc but I dreaded his chapters. I found them so boring; they were important to understanding him and his character growth but I just wanted to stay with Lila and the others. I found Holland's chapters to be so slow and they definitely affected my reading experience.

The plot was up and down and all over the place and I loved it! There was super intense crazy parts and then slower calmer more character driven parts and I loved it. A jean really got the balance just right. 

The writing was of course as elegant and beautiful as it always is with VE Schawb! It's so simple but so not at the same time. She's one of my favourite authors for sure.

A conjuring of Light was a lovely end to the trilogy, everything wrapped up nicely but there were a few tiny loose threads but it didn't bother me as it was nothing major. I really wish we could spend more time with these characters and see what adventures they go on next.
ACoL might be my favourite in the series, i haven't decided yet though because I loved book 1 so much! 

My rating: 4.5 stars
Thanks for reading,

A :)

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

When Dimple Met Rishi By sandhya Menon

Publication: May 30th 2017 by Simon Pulse

Goodreads Description:
Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways. 

My thoughts:
When Dimple Met Rishi is such a cute and funny read, I had a smile on my face the entire time while reading. This contemporary is nothing like I've read before and I loved it! It's definitely a new favourite of mine.

Both the main characters, Dimple and Rishi, were so well written. They felt very really and were really fleshed out and rounded. I loved how I could relate and see myself in both of them at times.

Dimple is such an inspiration; she's a go getter, independent, forward thinking young lady which I loved. She's so passionate about her education and going to Stanford and breaking traditions I loved it. She's headstrong and driven and a joy to read even if she comes off as a bit self righteous at times. Rishi on the other hand is a lot calmer. He's such a gentleman. I loved how sweet and thoughtful and kind he was. 

Dimple and Rishi complement each other so nicely it was easy for me to get behind their relationship. I loved how their personalities really balanced each other out and watching them grow and learn from each other.

When Dimple Met Rishi is told in dual POV. I thought I'd be annoyed with it swapping POVs but they flowed really nicely together and it was fun reading their individual reactions and thoughts to the same stuff that's going on. Each POV is short and these short burst made the book so quick to read.

If you're looking for something with a big focus on the coding and tech side of things this one isn't for you. The main focus in Dimple and Rishi's relationship, I went in expecting there to be a big emphasises on the app and was a bit disappointed on that front.

I have to mention the diversity in this book because it was so refreshing. Both main characters are Indian American which is something I've never read before. This is an own voices novel so it is written in a very authentic manner.
I loved how the concept of arranged marriage was dealt with. Living in a very western society it could be considered by a lot of people very backwards and such but Rishi really challenges this by explaining the value in it. A lot of us have very western mind frames like Dimple so it was interesting to hear that perspective. I liked learning about all the Indian culture sprinkled throughout the book and you can definitely tell the author knows what she's talking about!

I had so much fun reading when Dimple Met Rishi I can't wait to pick up more by Sandhya Menon.

My rating: 4.5 stars.

Thanks for reading,
A :)

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFever

Series: His Fair Assassin, #1

Publication: April 3rd 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Goodreads Description:
Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart? 

My thoughts:
When I read the blurb for Grave Mercy I was so intrigued; a story about assassins raised by nuns? Sign me up! It sounded like such a cool concept. Unfortunately I was disappointed, I was miles by the blurb into think this was going to be an action packed story about an assassin and that's not what I got.

Let's start with the plot. I loved the beginning but it all went downhill pretty quickly when they said Ismae was going to court. I've read this narrative so many times but I held onto a tiny glimmer of hope that our main character would not fall into the trap of falling in love and forgetting about her job. I was expecting the plot to be action packed (because hello assassins!)but nope it was so slow! There was hardly any action scenes and I was here for blood and violence. I really struggled through most of the book. I was skimming at times because I just lost interest. I was expecting a group of badass girl assassins in a convent that's not what I got. 

The main character Ismae was so boring. She could have been so complex with her background but she wasn't. She was so flat and dull to read about.

The romance was way too instalovey. Sometimes instalove makes sense but this is not one of those times. The main character escapes an abuse arranged marriage in the beginning of the book and clearly has issues with men and yet she instantly starts going after the first guy she sees without even trying to get to know him first. As soon as she sees him she thinks he's gods gift. There was such a missed opportunity here for Ismae to go on journey of discovering how to build trust and stuff. 

This book is shelved as historical fiction right? Well it took me ages to figure out it was historical fiction; I only realised it was when they said Brittany and France and even then o couldn't fixture out what year it was set so I had to do my own research (late 1400s in case you're wondering). The political issues between Brittany and France that were going on at the time could have been executed much better. This is a time period that I have never seen in fiction before and could have been an excellent way to educate readers but it fell short, the political drama was there but was written in a way that seemed like it was just a sub plot to Ismae and Duval's romance. 

Blurb lied to me and because of that I didn't enjoy the book. It's a companion series so I don't know if I should continue; does anyone know if the next book is better? I can't stand Ismae but I might like the next main character...

My rating: 2.5 stars

Thanks for reading,

A :)

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride

Publication: September 20th 2016 by Hogarth

Goodreads Description:
The captivating new novel from Eimear McBride, critically acclaimed and Baileys Women’s Prize-winning author of A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing.

Upon her arrival in London, an 18-year-old Irish girl begins anew as a drama student, with all the hopes of any young actress searching for the fame she’s always dreamed of. She struggles to fit in—she’s young and unexotic, a naive new girl—but soon she forges friendships and finds a place for herself in the big city.

Then she meets an attractive older man. He’s an established actor, 20 years older, and the inevitable clamorous relationship that ensues is one that will change her forever.

A redemptive, captivating story of passion and innocence set across the bedsits of mid-1990s London, McBride holds new love under her fierce gaze, giving us all a chance to remember what it’s like to fall hard for another. 

My thoughts:
The Lesser Bohemians is not a book I'd typically pick up but my friend recommended it and asked me to go to an event the author was having so I decided to give it a go and turns out there's a reason I never pick up books like this; I really didn't like it. I don't think I'm ready for the world of literary fiction; I happy with YA and children's books and think I will be for a long long time.

I found the first half of The Lesser Bohemians super hard to get through. I got the hang of the writing style pretty quickly and liked it but found it so hard to stay interested and focused on the story, there was no plot, it's just the two main characters having sex the whole time and I hated it. I couldn't get behind their relationship, due to the age difference and I couldn't believe how quickly she would forgive him for some of his actions. There was some parts that were uncomfortable for me to read.

After the half way mark though it started to get better. The story starts to focus in on the characters themselves and their backstories not their relationship ship. I had no problems staying interested then. We start to get the whole back story to one of the main characters and I really liked that whole section of the book. I found the character to be really interesting and intriguing.

Stylistically I think The Lesser Bohemians is definitely interesting. The writing style is different from anything else I've ever read. It's written as a stream of consciousness and has no punctuation so it reads very easily once you get the hang of it. I also liked how we aren't given names until later in the book when we start to uncover who theses people are and how flashbacks were used in the second half to help readers slowly piece together the characters story.

I felt like the male main character was developed well but only in the second half. He starts out very flat and is eventually mounded into a very well rounded character. The female main character on the other hand was so underdeveloped. I felt like she was just used as a tool for us to get to know the guy.

Overall The Lesser Bohemians was very meh for me. If I hadn't been going to the event I probably wouldn't have pushed through the first half and DNFed it. I liked the prose but didn't think much of the story.

My rating: 2.5 stars

Thanks for reading,

A :)