#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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#BookReview: The rest of us live here… by Patrick Ness | What if you aren’t the Chosen One?

26371624“What if you aren’t the Chosen One? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again. Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life. Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.”

I listened to the audiobook whilst driving for work and I loved it. I even laughed out loud, to myself, in the car… that good! It was really fun, loved the characters and the idea behind it. There were some moments when things lagged a bit or when a character pissed me off with an attitude that was left unchallenged, however overall it was really good. Loved the narrator too!

Characters
My favourite thing about this story was the characters; fully fleshed out, inherently flawed and definitely “not the chosen one”. For me, this story was all about the characters and their personal journey as they faced human hardships whilst the chosen ones battled another evil, the characters on the sideline that nobody thinks of. I really liked them all and how they challenged each other, however, there was a scene towards the end when Hannah played Mike a bit and she was not properly challenged for acting like that (saying one thing and doing another and vice versa). Headspin. Otherwise, Mike, Jared, Mel and Meredith were insanely fun to be around, and their relationships were complex and entirely human.

I liked how diverse the cast of characters was as well and dealing very realistically with issues such as anxiety, OCD, grief, alcoholism, traumatic events… It was also respectfully done in my opinion and challenged beliefs about OCD and anxiety, and that was brilliant!

World building
I loved it that the story happened in parallel to the story of the chosen one, and although they do cross paths occasionally, it is not part of the main plot whatsoever, and the characters actually do whatever they can, for the most part, to stay out of the way…

Writing style
I really liked the format of each chapter giving a brief summary of what the chosen ones were doing, then moving on the story that the rest of the people, the non-indie kids, were living.

Plot
I listened to it as an audiobook and I really enjoyed the format. On this occassion, I actually believe that the audiobook format helped with the enjoyment of the story!

Hook
The story hooked me right in because of the amazing cast of characters. I ended up looking forward to jumping in the car and going to another meeting because it meant that I could listen to the audiobook.

Enjoyment
I really enjoyed this story, and as I have already mentioned, I laughed out loud in my car whilst listening to it. The voice was really good and the narrator did a fabulous job with it. Funny enough, he reminded of the guy from Cinema Sins with his voice, and the way it poked fun at the chosen one, made it even more so.

I totally recommend this book, especially as an audiobook.

Xoxo
Jane

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#BookReview: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

IMG_20180603_175541_877.jpgThe Cruel Prince should’ve been the book that I’d pick up and be blown by it, however the characters, the plot and the execute let it down 80% of the time, and literally saved by the ending. I really, really wanted to love it. So let’s see why I couldn’t give it more love…

 

 

Genre:  Ya Fantasy
Year Of Publication: 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Pages: 370 pages
My rating: 2.5 stars

 

“Let’s have a toast. To the incompetence of our enemies.”
― Holly BlackThe Cruel Prince

THE CHARACTERS…

downloadJude is that type of female character that I want to bash in the head for doing stupid shit all the time and not seeing the bigger picture. Although she is being the victim of bullying and faerie intrigue, she does not do anything to actually better her situation instead, she stubbornly goes down this path of almost self-destruction and does not accomplish much. Although I can relate that she is a human in a world that hates her, her constant self-pity does not help her to see the traps laid out for her until the very end. I also did not believe that Jude was particularly skilled at spying and most of the time she had 0e8186a3aa4ca70a5b10b51c68037e0d--sandpaper-funny-shitsome dumb luck on her side. So I kinda hater her in the beginning however once the plot thickens towards the end, I started to like her as she finally stopped making dumb decisions. As a human, she has the power to lie, something which the fae do not possess and she finally manages to work with that.  I also really admired her for being able to live with the man that killed her parents and brought her into this world and actually love him because I do believe that deep down she does love him. She does have strengths, she is brave, kind and can be selfless, but for me, it was all overshadowed by her actions that for me did not make sense most of the time.

So for the most part of this novel, I was kinda siding with Prince Cardan (who I know is a tool) in most situations because Jude was making all of these dumb decisions. We don’t get to know much of him, but they want you to believe he is some sort of Kind Jeoffrey from Game of Thrones, but really he is not. *Face Palm* His characterisation is weak and his inner demons are revealed by dumb luck as we know that Jude sucks at spying and we needed a way for her to warm up to him. *smack me again* The internal working models of his characters would make sense if we would see more of him, but until 80% in, we don’t really meet him much. For me, he was a cardboard character for 80% of the time serving the plot. And just like Jude, towards the end, I get to know him and like him more. Improvement!

 

Once characters that I hated from start to finish was Jude’s twin sister. She is annoying as f*ck and her actions were outright disloyal and stupid. Can we please have a novel where girls don’t have each other because of boys or looks? PLEASEEEEEE! I just don’t get it why their sisterly relationships had to be that way. Can’t say that the other sister was a lot better, but she had a bit more depth and she was actually nice for a fae. We can see how much I cared about them as I cannot even remember their names… Yup.

THE PLOT…

I’m not gonna say a lot about the plot because there isn’t much and whatever plot it was can be described as CONVENIENT. Like honestly, Jude has so much fucking dumb luck it’s unbelievable. The whole story is centred around her and since she is 80% annoying and acting stupid, then that’s what we get. The pacing is also all over the place and I struggled to read most of it, then couldn’t put it The other 20% was a lot better, with twists and turns… It was also predictable as fuck as I saw them a mile away and as I was reading I was wondering when will I be proving correct.  down. *Sigh* Not the greatest then was it?!

THE WRITING…

The writing felt so juvenile and tropey I struggled not to gag; again, this improves at about 80% in which makes me wonder if there was some split personality issue there because it felt like a great divide between the two. Anyway, I struggled with the writing4395ee0d213df6c0b0a74d14de51dafe.png as it felt forced to me, it felt like shiny quotes were scattered through to catch your magpie eyes and give you the illusion of something good, something lyrical. It was all smoke and mirrors because once you break it down and you look at it for what it is. Maybe this is why I didn’t like it:

“Nice things don’t happen in storybooks. Or when they do happen, something bad happens next. Because otherwise the story would be boring, and no one would read it.”
― Holly BlackThe Cruel Prince 

THE ENJOYMENT…

Unputdownable once the plot picked up but overall struggled to read it and forced myself to continue until things picked up. Would I recommend it? No. I initially gave it 3.5 stars as I was buzzing after that good finale, but since reading it I believe it’s more of a 2.5 stars as the bad does outweigh the good.

2.5 out of 5

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Xoxo

Jane

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Read 16 books in 30 days… A very late April wrap-up

Hello, fellow bookworms! Since the sun has been shining in good old England, I kept myself busy reading and writing on projects, so I’ve been neglecting you here for a little. I guess I also dreaded to do this wrap-up due to the sheer amount of books I’ve read in April. This also means that there’s a huge list of reviews that I need to write… *sigh*

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So without more faffing, the list of 16 books I read in April:

– I read a total of 16 books… including 2 audiobooks, 6 ebooks, and 8 physical copies.
– I read a total of 4909 pages.
– Average month rating: 4 🌟

5 Star books:

4-5 stars books:

3-4 stars books:

2-3 stars books:

Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think? Also, do you like to my wrap-ups like this, or would you like some brief thoughts on the books I’ve read as well?
xoxo
Jane
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#AceofShades #Doves Book Tag

Kathryn from Nose Stuck in a Book did this book tag and I thought it would be a fun tag to do!

1. Ace of Shades takes place in the very mysterious, very dangerous City of Sin. Name a fictional city with a personality of its own!

The Londons in the Shades of Magic Trilogy. These worlds have a personality of their own… White London, Grey London, Red London…

234371562. The City of Sin is home to three ruthless gangs: the Irons, the Scarhands, and the Doves. Tell us about your favorite fictional criminal character/family/group!

The Six of Crows duology has, in my opinion, some of the best criminal characters. They run their business in Ketterdam and Kaz Brekker is THE criminal mastermind. He is clever, sassy and merciless. Love him!

3. Enne and Levi are about to be thrown into a deadly game… Name your favorite book in which the characters must play with, and for, their lives.

One of the recent reads where the characters had to play with their lives with potentially deadly consequences is Caraval. You never know what is real and what is not, or where the lines are drawn. Could also think of The Maze Runner as they literally had to run for their lives. Have you seen the latest movie instalment?

4. The Doves are a gang of assassins… What book you’d kill to have in your hands right now?

Right now? Obsidio by Amy Kaufmann and Jay Kristoff. I am not sure how I can pace myself until March!

5. The City of Sin is full of people with dark and complicated pasts. Name one book or book series you used to like, but don’t anymore.

Can’t really think of anything as I used to read classics in highschool, only recently started reading YA fantasy so quite difficult to say that with passage of time, I stopped liking certain books.

6. With complicated pasts abound, we can find many… burnt cinnamon rolls, so to Screenshot_20180131-205917.pngspeak. Name a character that has prickly and tough exterior, but is actually a sweetheart deep down!

I would go for Rose Hathaway from the Vampire Academy series. She always acts really tough as tried to be strong for Lissa, but often she is suffering on the inside. Going back to the Six of Crows, I’d add Kaz on this as well, because although he is a criminal mastermind, he does care about his crew!

7. Not only anti-heroes live in the Ace of Shades world! In New Reynes, one can find plenty of villains as well. Which bookish character do you just love to hate?

My favourite villain is and forever will be Harley Quinn from the comic books. Nobody will be on par with her! Ever!

8. You, much like our main character Enne’s mother, went missing in the City of Sin.IMG_20180119_172817_783.jpg The main character from the last book you read is the one looking for you… How screwed are you?

Not screwed as I’ll have have Merry and Leo from The Witch’s Kiss trilogy to kick ass and save the day! They would seriously turn the world upside down to either save me or kill me (depending on why they were looking for me).

I invite you to do this tag if you want. I’d love it if you’d let me know so I can see your answers! Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

Xoxo

Jane.