Review: The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

The Smoke Thieves | Sally Green | Published May 3rd, 2018
Source: I recieved a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Goodreads | Book Depository

I mostly enjoyed The Smoke Thieves and the new world that Sally Green has created.

Look, it’s no secret that I’m a sucker for a royal setting in a fantasy. Add in a forbidden romance and I’m pretty much hooked. It’s for this reason that Catherine and Ambrose’s perspectives were my favourite. Becoming accustomed to a new court, evil family members, going on the run, royal politics and war. It’s my crack. I loved it.

The other perspectives, however... some were better than others. The story opens with a young girl, Tash, chasing demons with her partner Gravell to catch their smoke. It was a very slow beginning and I did contemplate giving up at one point. I really struggled to connect with the story and I think there may have been a stronger viewpoint to open with. I get that the idea was probably to introduce us to who and what “Smoke Thieves” relates to though.

March is a servant who serves the king responsible for destroying his home kingdom and the people in it. He comes across an opportunity for revenge and goes in search of the king’s bastard son Eydon. I didn’t really care for March either way but I did like Eydon and the fact he was a little naive. I also liked the growing relationship between March and Eydon as their journey progressed.

Overall, I think parts of this book were great and paced well. Other parts were really slow and I think there were probably too many different view points. After being really disappointed with the ending of the Half Bad trilogy (sorry to bring it up!) I was hoping to love this and while I didn’t quite reach that level, I did enjoy most of it and I’ll be picking up the sequel.

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Review: How Do You Like Me Now? By Holly Bourne

Monday, 18 June 2018

  How Do You Like Me Now? | Holly Bourne | Published June 14th, 2018
Source: I recieved a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Goodreads | Book Depository

How Do You Like Me Now
is a must-read for any woman in their mid twenties and above. Tori seems to have it all - a long-term relationship, a publishing deal with a hugely successful self-help book and thousands of social media followers who shower her in likes and adoration. Pretty perfect life, right?

But life outside of Instagram isn’t as perfect. Tori’s relationship with Tom has hit a stalemate and he’s actually a bit of an arse (a big arse, really). I think their relationship is really going to resonate with a lot of people who are maybe still in a relationship that they know isn’t working. Some difficult issues are tackled within this relationship and it was really refreshing to read that side of things. A side that isn’t necessarily explored all that often.

Tori’s friends all seem to be “growing up” with engagements, weddings and babies. She proclaims in her self-help book that these things aren’t needed for you to be successful. You’re not a failure for not having those things. But she begins to have doubts and questions what she really wants. As women everywhere do at some point.

The biggest message I took from this book is that it’s OK to be yourself. It’s OK to want babies and marriages and it’s equally OK to not to. It felt like a more socially relevant, darker, Bridget Jones and I’ll be recommending it to everyone.

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Back To Blogging & 20 Questions Book Tag

Saturday, 16 June 2018

I haven't blogged recently as I've been quite busy and also had a reading slump on top of that. Not a good combination! I'm getting back into the swing of things now though. I'm excited to read aaaalll the books and I've even managed to write a couple of (really overdue) reviews. So I thought I would start things off with a bookish tag! I saw this one over at Jenny in Neverland and thought it looked fun so here we go!

How many books is too many books in a series? 
I think it really depends on the quality of the story. I love to read the occasional series that spans for multiple books (like the Throne of Glass series) but I wouldn't want every series to end up being that long as it really does become difficult to remember what's going on when there's a year between books. I think three or four is the perfect amount.

How do you feel about cliffhangers?
I actually really like cliffhangers! As long as they happen in a series so you know there's another book to come. I don't like standalones that end with a cliffhanger or are vague.

Hard copy or paperback?
I love hardbacks but I own more paperbacks as they are much cheaper and easier to carry around.

Favourite book?
This is such a hard question! How can I choose just one?! I love the Harry Potter series. I also really love A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas.

Least favourite book?
This is difficult as I don't really remember the books that I don't like. I've read quite a few over the years that I didn't enjoy but there is no one book which holds this title.

Love triangles, yes or no?
Yes! I know I'm in the minority but I'm a bit of a sucker for them. As long as they are written well and there is still a decent plot too.

The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?
Godblind by Anna Stephens. I just couldn't get into it.

A book you’re currently reading?
I haven't started another one yet but I have been rereading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for a couple of months now (I just dip into it now and again!)

Last book you recommended to someone?
How Do You Like Me Now? By Holly Bourne. A must-read for anyone in their mid twenties and above!

Oldest book you’ve read?
Oohh good question! I don't know for definite but probably something by Jane Austen so I'll say Pride and Prejudice.

The newest book you’ve read?
How Do You Like Me Now? By Holly Bourne - again - based on publication date.

Favourite author?
J.K. Rowling and Sarah J. Maas.

Buying books or borrowing books?
A little bit of both. I like owning books but I also really love going to the library. They are so important to society!

A book you dislike that everyone seems to like?
Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard. I liked Red Queen but hated the sequel and haven't read any of the others.

Bookmarks or dogears?
Bookmarks! I love collecting them.

A book you can always re-read
The Harry Potter series and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

Can you read whilst hearing music?
I don't mind a little background music as long as it isn't too loud.

One POV or multiple POV’s?
I like multiple POV's just not loads of them as it quickly becomes confusing. I like it when there are two or three.

Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?
Usually over multiple days. I occasionally read a book in one sitting if it's a quick read and I have the time. I find I can read contempories like this a lot more than fantasies.

One book you read because of the cover?
I'm not sure that I've ever done this as I always decide based on the blurb. I'm obviously drawn in by covers but I haven't read a book based on that alone.

I won't tag anyone individually but if you do the tag I would love to read your answers so feel free to leave a link in the comments!

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The Goodreads Tag

Monday, 26 February 2018

I don't do many tags but I've seen this one around a little and I'm a big fan of Goodreads so I thought it would be a good one to do. Credit goes to the original tag creator (unfortunately I don't know who that is, sorry!)

What was the last book you marked as 'read'?
Lost For Words by Stephanie Butland. I loved this book! It's a mystery set in a bookshop and the main character, Loveday, is someone who prefers books to people and spends her time working in a secondhand bookshop. I loved the setting (what bookworm wouldn't?!) and highly recommend it.

What are you currently reading?
I'm currently reading The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney which is a psychological thriller. I really love a good thriller so I'm hoping for this to be a fast paced full-of-twists kind of book. I can't say much yet as I've only just started but fingers crossed.

What was the last book you marked as 'to-read'?
The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black. This is the third book in the The Cruel Prince series (I added the second book too) and I didn't actually realise until now that there were titles already! I loved The Cruel Prince though and can't wait to read the next one.

What book do you plan to read next?
I usually don't decide on what to read next until I'm finished my current read (unless it's a series and I already have the next one). I have a few on my immediate TBR though including How to Stop Time by Matt Haig and The Fandom by Anna Day so it may be one of those.

Do you use the star rating system?
I do use the star ratings and I (along with many others) wish they would introduce half stars.

Are you doing a 2018 reading challenge?
Yes! I'm aiming to read 50 books in 2018. I have currently read 6 so I need to get a move on!

Do you have a wishlist?
I don't have a wishlist, actually. I've thought about making one but to be honest I find it easier just to ask for specific books when it's my birthday etc.

What book do you plan to buy next?
A lot of my book purchases are impulse buys but I will definitely be buying A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas.

Do you have any favourite quotes, would you like to share a few?
I love "It is likely I will die next to a pile of things I was meaning to read." (Lemony Snicket) because it is just so true.

I also love "After all this time? Always." which is a Harry Potter classic.

Who are your favourite authors?
I love Sarah J. Maas, Rainbow Rowell and J. K. Rowling.

Have you joined any groups?
I am a member of a few groups but I am terrible at keeping up with them. I would like to participate in more bookish chats though so I should really make more of an effort.

How many shelves do you have on Goodreads?
I like simplicity and just have four shelves: Read, Currently Reading, Want to Read and Did Not Finish.

I won't tag anyone specific so if you fancy doing it, go ahead!

Do you use Goodreads? It really helps me to stay organised and I find it so useful for discovering new books too. Feel free to add me as a friend over there and we can chat books. :)

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Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Saturday, 6 January 2018

The Cruel Prince | Holly Black | Published January 2nd, 2018
Source: I received a copy from Readers First in exchange for an honest review.
Goodreads | Book Depository

This was just fantastic.

There is nothing I love more than a fantasy that completely enraptures me from beginning to end. The Cruel Prince has a perfect balance of drama, twists, cruel yet charming characters and a plot that surprises. I loved every bit of it.

The world is vivid and intriguing. The characters are flawed and complex and the twisty, evil politics will keep you turning page after page. Our main character, Jude, is a mortal who has been raised in Faerie. She battles her desire to want to belong in a kingdom she has grown to love when her parents were ruthlessly murdered by the man who raised her and her sisters. She isn’t always likeable and it’s not easy to always get on board with her decisions but that’s what makes her all the more compelling.

As for the Cruel Prince himself, Cardan... he definitely lives up to the title. But if you have a fondness for charming villains (and who doesn’t?) then you’re going to want to pick this up.

This is my first read of 2018 and, honestly, it’s going to be a hard act to follow. The ending is sufficiently wrapped up after some surprises but has still left me begging for the follow up. I cannot wait for that release and in the meantime I’ll be devouring everything else Holly Black has written.

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