#BookReview: We are blood and thunder by Kesia Lupo | @BloomsburyBooks

Today I wanna talk about We are blood and thunder by Kesia Lupo which was sent by Bloomsbury to which I am very grateful. I swear that I am reading faster than I can write these reviews because I am having a huge backlog yet again and I thought I cleared out a lot of them. *sigh*

Genre: ya fantasy
Year Of Publication: April 2019
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 400
My rating: 3.5 – 4 stars

“She who spins the cloud weaves the storm.”

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IG: Jane_Kelsey

We are blood and thunder follows Constance and Lena, two female characters at opposite ends, both united by the terrifying storm cloud hovering over the dukedom which has already claimed the lives of many. As conflict climaxes and hidden enemies emerge, Constance and Lena need each other to uncover the secrets and save their people from this deadly spell.

When I saw this novel I knew I wanted to read it because it has all the ingredients that I like: fantasy + female characters + magic + world in peril + some romance. If you’re interested so far, keep on reading this…

The story follows Lena as she is trying to escape the dukedom after she was sentenced to death for being suspected of having magical powers, whilst Constance is trying to find a giphyway back into the city to set some wrongs right and finally become who she was meant to me, not holding back. Initially I enjoyed more of Lena’s perspective and was almost scared to read Constance’s story because political intrigues seem to give me some anxiety (I kid you not!), but I ended up loving the moments with Constance more, and her strong leadership rather than Lena’s who became a little bit too… self-doubting for a while. I’m a bit of a cut-to-the-chase kinda girl and accept-your-fate-damn-it, so these moments when Lena learns a thing or two at the temple I was a bit meh about. Things to pick up so not all is lost and I loved reading from their perspectives, following their stories.

The writing was the true strength of this novel. Kesia has a way with words and it sucked me right in. The descriptions are beautifully written, yet simple enough not to appear overdone and felt natural. This is an author that I will defo be keeping my eyes peeled to see what she will do next because there is great potential. All this being said, I had a few issues with the pacing, the beginning was a bit too slow for me; it picks up the pace midway. Maybe it’s my fault because I am a bit of an impatient reader… I want it and I want it now. Lol. The plot twists were twisty enough for me (obviously not gonna spoil and tell you, buy the book!), but the magical system was kinda confusing for me and I wasn’t very clear on what was going on sometimes and I feel like I wanted just a little bit more.

43181177Overall, I very much ended up enjoying it, as I said it picked up in pacing midway and more things started to happen so I was a lot more hooked in. I dropped a star or so because of the above mentioned, but that’s me and my opinion.

Let me know if this is something you guys are interested or if you’ve read it, what did you think?

Xoxo
Jane

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#BlogTour: The Silver Moon Storybook by Elaine Gunn, illustrated by Megan MacPhie | #LoveBooksGroupTours

Hello, again bookworms. I am delighted to be part of another book tour, albeit later than the date scheduled as I thought it was the 16th today and the 16th was yesterday… oh, donkey! I am not even surprised that I messed up the days again, but anyway, today I wanna talk to you about this gorgeous book, The Silver Moon Storybook by Elaine Gunn, illustrated by Megan MacPhie.

Genre: fantasy
Pages: 221
My rating: 4 stars

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IG: Jane_Kelsey

“What darkness lies in the past of a little witch, cursed into the shape of a giant? Who will save a magical unicorn, imprisoned for generations in the castle of a tyrant? As the silver moon rises in the sky, an enormous clown and a powerful siren join a humble weaver and other enchanting characters in these haunting tales of illusion, discovery and love.

An exquisitely illustrated bedtime story for the age of #MeToo, The Silver Moon Storybook transforms themes of modern feminism into touching fables full of the magic and shadows of traditional fairy tales.” [Goodreads blurb]

 

The silver moon storybook is a collection of seven short stories: The Little Witch; The Weaver; The Enormous Clown; The Changeling; The Unicorn; The Strong Man; The Sea Queen. Each of these stories has a feminist, modern twist on fairytales. They are unique, sweet and engaging for people of all ages. I really enjoyed that some of the stories were interlinked which gave it a nice sense of continuity. These tales are meant to empower women and girls and I really appreciated that.

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I was really impressed that the reader is able to colour in the book if they so wished. The illustrations from Megan MacPhie are beautiful and help the reader immerse in the story. The writing was also very beautiful and lyrical.

I recommend this for readers of all ages.

Author Info
Elaine Gunn has been writing more or less constantly since she first picked up a pencil in primary school. Years of unpublished literary genius languish in handwritten journals, high school English portfolios, corporate banking reports and various awful pitch documents full of impeccably-written digital marketing jargon. 

#BookReview: Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry, Tobias Iaconis

39939417Can you love someone who you cannot touch? Can you love someone when their touch can be death to you? Five feet apart explores the teenage romance when the odds are deadly.

“Stella Grant likes to be in control – even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.” [Goodreads blurb]

Genre: YA, Contemporary Romance
Year Of Publication: 20.11.2018
Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK
Pages: 228
My rating: 4 stars

Five feet apart was a sweet contemporary romance between two teens with terminal Cystic Fibrosis and their struggles, both physical and psychological, in dealing with their illness, but also the disease that literally keeps them 5 feet apart. Stella loves being in control, whilst Will is the typical bad boy and I could not stop loving him. Both their characters have a lot to learn and understand about themselves, but Will is my favourite. Will is sassy and challenging, and I really liked the influence he had on Stella.

I listened to this as an audiobook and I really enjoyed it, however it could not stop comparing it in my head with The fault in our stars by John Green and Everything, everything by Nicola Yoon even if this one stands on its own two feet (or five), but something in me did not connect the full way. I struggled to feel the emotions that I knew that I should feel, but I didn’t; perhaps it’s because the plot was quite predictable and the ending we got was the only one that made sense and I knew it.

I would definitely recommend you to read this novel; I have learned so much about CF and I am interested to read some more about it now that I’ve read this.

Have you read it? What did you think?

xoxo
Jane

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#BookReview: Why I didn’t like Everless by Sara Holland

I have decided in 2019 that if I am not invested in a story and just wishing it would end so I can read something else, I will not continue reading it, aka DNF-ing it. My time at the moment is so precious (sic!) that I do not have time to waste on stories which do not captivate me even remotely.

Genre: ya fantasy
Year Of Publication: January 2018
Publisher: Orchard Books
Pages: 361
My rating: DNF

And unfortunately for Everless, there was nothing anchoring me to the story. I found the premise quite interesting as there aren’t that many books dealing with the subject of time in such an interesting way however, I soon realised that the focus of the story was the main character and her boring internal monologue. I knew from the start that it would rely heavily on romance and the usual YA tropes, but I continued to read, hoping it would get better. I got to page 100 when I realised that I knew the ending, I knew that would happen from A to B to C because it was THAT predictable. And you know what? I was right! Skipped to the end of the book, backtracked a little and … surprise, surprise… I was right.

So why I did not like it:

  • bland, boring and predictable characters (could also add formulaic, basic, annoying)
  • miscommunication as a plot device – one of the only tropes that sends me raging
  • unnecessary drama which made it feel like there was a plot but in fact there was no plot
  • makes no sense most of the time and sent me raging (again)
  • don’t even get me started on the romance: “I did it to protect you”… Well, f*ck you!
  • 0 emotional investment in this story! ZERO! Can’t get behind a romance when as a reader I am not “courted”.

Although I did not enjoy it and DNF-ed it, I do not think it is a horrible book and that I hate it (although it looks suspiciously like so), but it just was not for me. Maybe 15 year old me would have enjoyed it, but I wanted something more. What I did enjoy, was the concept and it is a shame it was not executed at the standards that I was expecting/wanting/needing.

Have you read it? What did you think?

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#Bookreview: Crimson Bite by Ben Alderson and Danielle Rose

“In the sleepy town of Hillcrest, supernaturals need not hide in the shadows…”

Goodreads blurb

Savannah Danvers broke the rules by killing a human whilst feeding. As a natural born vampire, she has certain perks, however, things get tricky when she finds herself in werewolf territory during a full moon…

George Alcott is a witch and Savi’s best friends, but even best friends can hide dark secrets in their closet, and George is not the exception. So when the town’s Elders are looking to find the truth, they need to find a way to keep these secrets buries before it buries them!


Genre: Paranormal, Ya
Year Of Publication: 25.12.2018
Pages: 300
My rating: 2.5 – 3 stars (liked it)

Crimson Bites was kindly sent for review by the author.

I have mixed feelings about Crimson bite because although I loved the concept and certain aspects of the characters, I struggled to warm up to either of the main characters and the plot was a bit thin.

Savi is a born vampire and goes against the rules and kills humans whilst feeding, something that she seems to be struggling with, however, I have not felt her truly battling with her demons. Her attitude was vastly arrogant and superior and feels bad only when she is faced with the consequences of her actions. I did warm up to her towards the end a little, but I found her overall to uncaring towards others, including her best friend and even her brother. George was far more likeable, trying to cope with the unspeakable acts his mother is making him do in the name of “justice”. I would’ve liked him even more if he would’ve stood up to his mother a lot more from the beginning – I struggled to get behind him whilst he was doing all of these. I really liked the scenes between him and Chad, their relationship was my favourite bit.

The writing was good, although I was worried initially that I would “tell” who wrote what, but it flown seamlessly and blended together really well.

Although I have liked reading Crimson Bite, I did not feel that there was much going on in terms of plot movement and there were some pacing problems, especially to begin with. This might also be because I have certain expectations from urban/paranormal and not all have been met. All being said, I did enjoy the story!

The story ends on a cliffhanger, but the next instalment is out on the 8th of January 2019.

XOXO
Jane

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#Bookreview: A curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Hello, bookworms! How are you doing? What are you reading that’s interesting? I just finished reading A curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer and I cannot wait to tell you more about it!

Genre: YA fantasy
Year Of Publication: 29 Jan 2019
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 496
My rating: stars

*Thank you Netgalley and Bloomsbury for giving my an e-ARC*

“Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall, is cursed. Forced to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he can only be freed by love. But at the end of each autumn he is transformed into a beast hell-bent on destruction, and after so many failed attempts, his kingdom and its people are barely holding on.
Harper’s life has never been easy, but she’s learned to be tough enough to survive. She won’t let anything hold her back, not her cerebral palsy or her mother’s deteriorating health. But when she is sucked into Rhen’s world, nothing is as it seems. Powerful forces are standing against Emberfalll … and it will take more than a broken curse to save it from utter ruin.”

a curseA curse so Dark and Lonely follows the story of Rhen, the prince of Emberfall who is cursed to repeat the same season over and over again trying to break the curse which fell upon him. Harper herself was struggling to cope with her mother’s illness and the debts collected by her father when she is taken to Emberfall against her will by commander Grey.

Harper is one of those characters that you don’t have a choice but love them. She fights for what she believes in and is not afraid to stand up to anyone. She is not afraid to wear a dress and play the part of a true lady either and embracing her feminine side. It really stood out to me this scene when she turned around and said that she was born with her injuries and she will die with her injuries, so they need to teach her how to work with that and for me that was so empowering. She is not flawless either; with the best intentions she makes mistakes and is not afraid to own up to that.VictoriousDependableHoneybee-small

Rhen, the Crown Prince of Emberfall, seems to be the typical brooding ya hero at first glance, however, as the story progresses, we get to learn a lot more about him and I cannot begin to say how much I love him. His interactions with Harper were refreshing and made me very happy inside. He might seem uncaring, cold and aloof, but he actually has the ability to empathise and see things from a completely different perspective and I found myself many times agreeing with this opinions. He and commander Grey have a brilliant relationship and I loved their banter and camaraderie. All the supporting characters I felt they were fleshed out enough for their roles.

b442882793bbdbf917b845e91607677dThe plot was faced paced and kept me turning the pages; I read this book in two days. The writing was very rich and easy to read. The characters had unique voices and I really appreciated the relationships following a natural, realistic progression. The ending also made my heart skip a bit and I am really excited to see what the author will come up with next.

I enjoyed this book very much, I basically devoured it on two days. I totally recommend it if you like ya fantasy and especially Beauty and the Beast retellings; this is one of the good ones!

Xoxo
Jane.

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#BookReview: Cloaked in Shadow by Ben Alderson.

PSX_20181001_183421.jpgDo you like books filled with magical beings and court intrigues? Would you like to read a great LGBTQ+ ya fantasy with elemental magic and sassy elves? Swoony princes? If you answered yes to any of these… then I have just the thing for you: Cloaked in Shadow by Ben Alderson!

Genre: YA fantasy, LGBTQ+
Year Of Publication: December 2017
Publisher: Oftomes Publishing
Pages: 350
My rating: 4-4.5 stars

First of all, I am going to put my hands up and say that it was my first LGBTQ+ novel with a male to male romance and I did not know what to expect which made me anxious just because I hadn’t experienced that before. It was incredible. I absolutely loved it and I cannot believe that I have not read anything like that before.

THE CHARACTERS

I am incredibly happy that I picked Ben’s book because it was so well written and the relationship between the main characters is so damn cute I couldn’t believe it. I loved them so much, I cannot wait to read the sequel! Zacriah is a well-rounded character that I was able to relate with and I felt his pain like it was my own. I generally have problems in connecting with male POV’s, but I absolutely loved being in Zacriah’s head. Hadrian was an absolute darling and I loved him so much! His attitudes and reactions to what was going on was so on point! Plus, he’s super-hot, so… These characters felt like people that I would know, people that would exist in real life and have a pint with. If I would have something to say is that I would’ve liked to know more about the other supporting characters, I felt that we only skimmed the surface with those.

THE PLOT

The plot was well done and although there were obvious tropes, the writing was well executed so I enjoyed my journey with these characters from start to finish. I enjoyed the twists and turns, the political intrigue and machinations of the royal court. I am not a huge fan of royal intrigue, but this story was so full of action and swoony romance that I didn’t care!

THE WRITING

Ben’s writing is lyrical and captivating. I struggled to remove my nose from the book because I kept on saying… ONE MORE CHAPTER! And then it was midnight and I was still reading, but I was hooked.

THE ENTERTAINMENT

It’s by no means a perfect story or perfectly well written or with perfect characters, but it entertained and hooked me to the pages! It held my hand like a very good friend and I can only love it for this, so thank you Ben for writing this story! Thank you for introducing me to the awesome world of LGBTQ+ and I can only feel ashamed with myself for not trying to read them any sooner…

Xoxo
Jane

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