Saturday, 11 March 2017

Book Review: The One Memory of Flora Banks: Advance Proof by Emily Barr

The One Memory Of Flora Banks: Advance Proof – Emily Barr

*Warning – may contain spoilers*



Author: Emily Barr
Publisher: Penguin Books
First published: 2016
Edition: Advance proof; small paperback
Pages: 41

Blurb:    Darling,
You are Flora Banks. You are 17 years old. When you were ten, a tumour grew in your brain, and surgeons took it out. Part of your memory went with it.
When you are confused, you look at your hand, where you write your notes. These are the clues you leave to remind yourself of what is going on.
You remember us, and your best friend Paige, and other people you knew before you were ten. New people you forget.
You’ll never live anywhere but here, because this is the only place in which you’re safe. You will always live with us, and we will always look after you and you will be fine.
We will always make sure you have everything you need.
Love, mum xxx

Can I trust mum?

History of my copy: This little book came in the amazing November box for Illumicrate. I’ve been wanting a subscription box for a while, but couldn’t justify ~£30 a month. However, at £29.99 every three months (as it’s quarterly) with free postage, I decided to give it a go. November was my first box and it was worth every penny!

Plot: This little edition covers the event where Flora, the protagonist, kisses Paige’s (her best friend) sort of boyfriend, Drake. I say sort of boyfriend, because they kind of broke up because he’s moving away. It then covers the subsequent falling out, leaving us with Flora’s parent’s going away and Flora having no-one to look after her. Which makes no sense to me. You’d think that the parents of a girl who has a serious memory problem would make better arrangements for her, but apparently not.

Setting: So one thing that gives me the potential to fall in love with this book is the fact that it’s set in my home county, Cornwall! With such a beautiful setting, which isn’t really touched on in the excerpt, I hope Barr doesn’t use it as much as she can. However, I also hope it isn’t too cliché – Cornwall is not just beaches and seaside towns!

Characters: Of course an excerpt isn’t a lot to go on, but no character stands out at the moment. Flora is childish and repetitive, although I understand that that is because of her condition. Drake is a bit of a douche. Paige overreacts entirely. Flora’s parents appear to be incompetent imbeciles. But maybe that will change.

To read or not to read: Read. Okay, I know my review kinda just suggests that it is an awful book, but a part of me is hooked. In fact, I’ve actually bought the full copy and am kind of looking forward to reading it! Maybe it’s just because it’s so different to anything else I’ve read; maybe it’s because I do want to know what happens to Flora. I guess time will tell if the book itself is worth it.


Thursday, 2 March 2017

World Book Day 2017

I can't believe it's World Book Day already!! This year has just flown by.

As you can tell by both my blog and goodreads account, I've been reading less this year, which is a real shame. This is mainly down to university. A lot of my time is going to studying medicine and, when I'm not studying or working, I'm just too exhausted to read most of the time.

On top of this, I'm also really behind on my book reviews so I'm working my hardest to catch up with them! You may have also noticed that I've stopped partaking in book tours too. This, again, is due to my lack of free time. However, I have a long summer so I'm hoping to pick things back up again for those few months to thank you for sticking with me.

Now onto what I'm currently reading. As I've said before, I tend to have way too many books on the go at once, with one being my 'main' read. Currently, that main read is Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye by Alison Goodman and it is amazing!! I really wish I had the time to just sit and read it all in one go!

Yesterday I got my second Illumicrate box and it was so good! I really recommend subscribing to them, especially as they're quarterly rather than monthly, which I couldn't afford. It came with 1 book released in February, an ARC due to be released in April and a little sample of a soon to be released book.

What are you currently doing? And how are you celebrating world book day?

Friday, 17 February 2017

Ship It Or Rip It Part 3

Welcome to the third part of Ship It Or Rip It! Who shall get paired up today?

Kai (The Lunar Chronicles) and Caine (Gone)

100% nope. The Prince Charming of The Lunar Chronicles and the main enemy in the Gone series? That would never happen in a million years! 

Verdict: Rip it.

Tina (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) and Annabeth (Percy Jackson)

Ignoring the fact that Newt and Tina are OTP, I could actually see her and Annabeth getting along really well. They're both intellectual, brave, always saving the day. I don't think there's anything to dislike!

Verdict: Ship it.

Simon (The Mortal Instruments) and Iko (The Lunar Chronicles)

Okay, first I laughed. But now, I totally see it. With Simon being a super sci-fi geek and Iko being an actual robot... That would so work! And their sense of humour combined would be fantastic!

Verdict: Ship it.

Lana (Gone) and Quinn (Gone)

Oh my god yes! I shipped these two so hard for the entire series okay. They're complete OTP and there is no way you can disagree with that!

Verdict: Ship it.

Rhysand (A Court of Thorns and Roses) and Feyre (A Court of Thorns and Roses)

Hahaha. Random number generator is clearly having some fun here. OF COURSE I SHIP THEM. Have you read my review for A Court of Mist and Fury?? How can anyone not ship them, they're literally made for each other!

Verdict: Ship it.


Read part 1 & 2


Thanks for reading! Don't forget to comment your views on these ships, and list any characters you would like to see included below!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Book Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screnplay by J.K. Rowling

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay – J.K. Rowling

*Warning – may contain spoilers*

Author: J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Little, Brown
First published: 2016
Edition: Beautiful hardback, and when you take the dust cover off there’s a cute little niffler on the front!

Pages: 293
Blurb:    J.K. Rowling invites you to explore a new era of the Wizarding World…
Explorer and Magizoologist Newt Scamander has just completed a round-the-globe trip in search of the most rare and unusual magical creatures. Arriving in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when Newt’s case is misplaced and some of his fantastic beasts escape into the city, it spells trouble for everyone…

History of my copy: I picked this up on release day at Waterstones, having previously pre-ordered it. It came with a little bag of goodies, including some Fantastic Beasts bookmarks, a mini poster and a cute little ‘accio’ badge.

As I’m sure you’re well aware, this is the screenplay to the fantastic (no pun intended) film of the same name, which was adapted from the Hogwarts book by Newt Scamander. I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the film 3 days early in 3D at my local cinema as one of the premieres. And it was amazing. The story was fantastic, the acting (especially Redmayne’s flawless performance of the flawed (/perfect to me) Newt) and it was everything I wanted from a return to the magical world.
I then got the book on release day and read that, using the non-fiction book of Scamander’s as a little reference guide to some of the creatures encountered. Rowling has since announced a re-release of Scamander’s book which will include the new creatures from the film that aren’t featured in the original and I look forward to reading it.

Setting: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes us across the pond to New York where we encounter the same wizarding world seen in Harry Potter, with a large number of pivotal differences. America is a world in which witches and no-maj (muggles) are completely segregated. Alongside this, there is a clear fear of magic which underlies the whole story.
               As a screenplay, the book itself is, of course, lacking in description of the setting beyond basic scene setting but when accompanied with the film, the whole thing is breathtakingly beautiful. 1920s America definitely had a stunning feel.
               We also begin to discover a little about Ilvermorny, America’s wizarding school, through a great little scene in which the Goldstein’s and Newt argue over which is best, leaving Jacob both awed and a little confused.
               But perhaps the most magical setting of all is the inside of Newt’s suitcase, which is home to a vast variety of habitats in which all his creatures can comfortably live and I think it’s clear that Newt too regards his suitcase world as home, as he appears only ever entirely at ease when surrounded by animals.

Plot: We follow Newt as he arrives in America with a suitcase full of his ‘fantastic beasts’ which just so happen to get accidently set free by our lovable no-maj Jacob. Tangled up with the Goldstein sisters, the majority of the story focuses on Newt rescuing his creatures from the Erumpent to the cute Niffler and the invisible Demiguise, leading to some hilarious moments.
Underlying this, we have the threat of Grindelwald looming over the magical world, which our favourite four unintentionally get involved in, setting the scene for the next two planned films. Whilst the plot twist regarding Grindelwald was rather predictable, it was executed wonderfully both in the script and on-screen.

Characters: Fantastic Beasts has a whole world of characters that are all so unique yet so interesting. From the magical Newt to Jacob the no-maj, the mysterious Graves to the vulnerable Credence and, of course, everyone’s favourite sisters Tina and Queenie who are both so similar yet so strikingly different, there is definitely a character for everyone. We even have a mention of the infamous Albus Dumbledore, whom Newt knows from his Hogwarts days.
Newt himself is an adorable character and definitely an all-time favourite and no, not just because he’s a Hufflepuff. He’s shy, but intelligent and his true character comes out when surrounded by his precious animals. Honestly, he’s so relatable. Plus you can see him open up to Tina and it’s such a beautiful budding romance!
That leads me on to the Goldstein sisters who I just can’t wait to find out more about! What’s the real story behind their parents? How come Queenie can read minds? How do they meet Newt again? What about Queenie and Jacob – that has to happen!
A character I haven’t mentioned yet is Credence who is the focal point of the story. How did he get tangled up with Graves in the first place? Why is his magic secret and oppressed? DID HE SURVIVE?

To read or not to read: Go read immediately. This is another Rowling masterpiece that everyone needs in their life. Whilst I recommend watching the film first, honestly the screenplay just adds to it all and Rowling has created such a fantastically woven plot as per usual.
I think the fact that this review is all over the place just emphasises how much I loved Fantastic Beasts. As I was writing it, all these small details came flooding back that helped link the whole story together and honestly, I’m really struggling to get my adoration for Fantastic Beasts and Newt Scamander down on paper. Just go read it right now and you’ll understand what I’m on about.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

2016 Reading Challenge

Now that we're well into the new year, I think it's about time I did a brief overview of all the wonderful books I read in 2016.

My Goodreads challenge was to read 25 books. Not only did I reach that, I nearly doubled it at a total of 48 books. I'm rather impressed by myself! This year I have upped my challenge a little to 35. I'm reading a lot less now due to medical school, but I hope to be able to reach my target.


All the books mentioned have reviews on this blog. The easiest way to find them is to follow the links on this page.


January


1. Eragon's Guide to Alagaesia; Christopher Paolini; 4*

2. The Lost Kodas; Myra King; 4*
3. Reasons to Stay Alive; Matt Haig; 5*
4. The Selection; Kiera Cass; 4*
5. Scarlet; Marissa Meyer; 5*

February


6. Red Queen; Victoria Aveyard; 4*

7. Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer; Rick Riordan; 5*
8. The Elite; Kiera Cass; 4*

March


9. Cress; Marissa Meyer; 5*

10. Me Before You; Jojo Moyes; 2*
11. Lady Midnight; Cassandra Clare; 5*
12. The One; Kiera Cass; 2*
13. Our Endless Numbered Days; Claire Fuller; 5*

April


14. Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth; Rick Riordan; 3*

15. The Poisoned Chalice; Simon Forward; 3*
16. The Paladin; J.M. Storin; 5*
17. Princess Adele's Dragon; Shirley McLain; 3* 

May


18. Crimes and Retributions; Shirley McLain; 4*

19. Winter; Marissa Meyer; 5*
20. Happily Ever After; Kiera Cass; 3*
21. These Shallow Graves; Jennifer Donnelly; 5*

June


22. A Court of Thorns and Roses; Sarah J. Maas; 4*

23. Stars Above: Marissa Meyer; 5*

July


24. Her Highland Rogue; Violetta Rand; 3*

25. Aftermath; Joe Reyes; 4*
26. Anomalies; Sadie Turner and Colette Freedman; 1*
27. Touched by the Moon; Lisa M. Airey; 4*
28. The Neverland Wars; Audrey Greathouse; 4*
29. Songs of Sovereign; J. D. Wright; 4*

August


30. Song of Sparrows; J. D. Wright; 4*

31. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; J.K. Rowling; 5*
32. The Duchess Quest; C.K. Brooke; 5*
33. Shadow; Michael Morpurgo; 4*
34. Rebel of the Sand; Alwyn Hamilton; 4*
35. Dispocalypse; Michael A. Rothman; 1*
36. Okehampton Castle; Alan Endacott; 3*
37. A Clearing in the Forest; Kim Love Stump; 3*
38. Glastonbury Abbey; John McIlwain; 2*

September


39. The Last Gatekeeper; Katy Haye; 3*

40. Red: The Untold Story; Angela M. Hudson; 5*
41. Rhodi's Light; Megan Linski; 3*
42. The Girl on the Train; Paula Hawkins; 4*
43. Rhodi Rising; Megan Linski; 3*

October


44. A Court of Mist and Fury; Sarah J. Maas; 5*

45. The Forgotten Fairytales; Angela Parkhurst; 2*

November


46. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; J.K. Rowling; 5*


December


47. The One Memory of Flora Banks Excerpt; Emily Barr; 3*

48. Legendary; L.H. Nicole; 1*


The overall ratings of the books I read came to 3 1*reads, 4 2* reads, 11 3* reads, 15 4* reads and 15 5* reads which is pretty good I think! It means I averaged out at 3.7*, which in hindsight does seem a little low, but I read some pretty good books over the year. 

What about you? How good were your 2016 books and did you meet your challenge?

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Book Review: The Forgotten Fairytales by Angela Parkhurst

The Forgotten Fairytales – Angela Parkhurst

*Warning – may contain spoilers*

Author: Angela Parkhurst
Publisher: Smashwords Edition
First published: 2014
Edition: ePub
Pages: 360
Blurb:    (Taken from goodreads)
               A psychotic, shoe obsessed Princess.
               A not-so-charming, alcoholic Prince.
               A hot Big Bad Wolf she absolutely cannot fall for – no matter how well he kisses.
               If seventeen-year-old Norah Hart had known she’d be attending a boarding school for the nut job reincarnations of fairy tale characters, she would have insisted on going to Moscow with her father. But getting out isn’t as easy as she thought. Especially once Norah realizes she, too, is a storybook character. An Unknown. The first one in one hundred years.
Soon Norah learns she can help others break free form the story binding them. But in doing so puts everyone’s Happily Ever After in jeopardy. Some princesses will do whatever it takes to protect their endings. Even if it means betraying the one closest to you.

History of my copy: I received a copy of The Forgotten Fairytales through YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

In all honesty, this is the kind of book I should adore. I am a huge fan of fairy-tale retellings, especially those with a twist. To me, it sounded like a high school version of the hit TV show Once Upon A Time, of which I am a huge fan of. Although The Forgotten Fairytales wasn’t a bad book, I think that my high expectations kind of ruined it for me when it turned out to not live up to them.

Plot: We follow Norah Hart and her sister as she enters boarding school whilst her dad moves to Moscow. However, this isn’t an ordinary school – it’s a school where all the students are an ‘alternative’ version of fairy-tale characters. It is also very cliquey where the princesses stick together, as do the heroes, villains, sidekicks, etc. It turns out that Cinderella, of all people, is evil and so Norah and her best friend turned boyfriend Wolf have to stop her whilst not getting killed.

Setting: One thing I did enjoy about The Forgotten Fairytales is the setting. The castle-turned school may feel a little Hogwarts-y, but it certainly suited the fairy-tale nature of the book. I do wish Pankhurst had given it a little more character and description though as it had the potential to be a fantastic setting.

Characters: Whilst the main characters of the book were all individual, none of them really connected with me. The protagonist, Norah, was sometimes a bit if a bad-ass, but became a complete wuss when it came to her sister. She just felt a little two-dimensional and flat, and had no outstanding personality.
               Wolf was another conundrum. Starting off as a broody, humorous person, he became all soft and sweet as soon as he and Norah became a thing. That just felt too fake. In fact, their whole relationship was just a little too cliché and fake if I’m honest.
               Then there is Cinderella because, of course, the innocent, kind, angel of a girl definitely is evil.. right? Pankhurst did explain it well and did it justice but it just felt a little too far gone. It felt very much ‘let’s take the kindest person and make them evil!’


To read or not to read: Not read. Whilst The Forgotten Fairytales was far from a terrible book, it just really didn’t live up to my expectation. It was such a brilliant idea but I think it fell a little flat, with perhaps too much effort going into making the characters ‘different’ from the traditional tales. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an alright book, but I wouldn’t go recommending it to anyone in a hurry.


Christmas Book Haul 2

It's that time of year again folks! I hope you have all had an amazing festive period whether you celebrate Christmas, any other holidays, or nothing at all. 

As per usual, it isn't really Christmas without family, gifts and, of course, books! I thought for this post I would do a quick update on the state of the books I got last Christmas (blog post can be found here) and then dive into the literary wonders I received this time round.


Last year's books:


Eragon's Guide to Alagaesia by Christopher Paolini

This was the first book I completed in 2016 and I gave it a 4* review.

Illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling

I'm still yet to finish this one, but the images are just beautiful!

Wars of the Roses: Bloodline by Conn Iggulden


Oops I haven't even started this one yet.


Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan


Ahh yes this one was so good! I gave it a 5* review.

The Company of the Dead by David Kowalksi


Don't think I've even started this one either.


The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan


I haven't even touched the first of this trilogy. Maybe this year?


The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare


I loved this one so much I actually finished it back in 2015, just after Christmas! It got a 4* review.

The Enchanted Forest Postcards by Joanna Basford


I've done a few of these now and I'm still super obsessed with how pretty they are. Check out my adult colouring page here.

And now onto this years books!!!

The Bronze Key by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Already read this one and I am so in love with it! It had a great twist and I'm heartbroken and I just need the next one like right now. Review shall be up soon.


Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare


I read this back when it came out and gave it a glorious 5* review which you can read here. This was the edition I really wanted because it's so beautiful and is stamped by Cassie, but it was sold out when I wanted to get it. You should've seen the look on my face when I found some in my local Waterstones just before Christmas! I practically ran across the store crying! So yes, I am very glad to finally add this to my collection.


Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare


In case you haven't noticed, I'm a pretty big Clare fan. I've wanted to read these short stories about Simon for a while now, but, as I did with The Bane Chronicles, I patiently waited until they were released as a full collection. Can't wait to get stuck in!


Wars of the Roses: Ravenspur by Conn Iggulden


Still haven't read Bloodline, but I needed this beautiful hard back edition to add to my collection.


Heartless by Marissa Meyer


I am a h.u.g.e. Meyer fan. The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favourite series ever and I've been dying to get my hands on Heartless since its release. This edition is gorgeous and I can't wait to get started! Find my review for Stars Above here, including links to the 4 main books of The Lunar Chronicles.

Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan


As you can see above, I loved the first book in the Magnus Chase series and can't wait to get stuck into this one.

Illustrated Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Seriously, you can never read Harry Potter enough times. These illustrated editions are just a gorgeous collection to any Potter collection. They're almost too pretty to read!

Taylor Swift - This Is Our Song by Tyler Conroy

I have been a dedicated Swiftie for over a decade now so as soon as I saw this book, I knew I needed it. I'll probably get super jealous of all the fans when I read it (I still haven't seen her live - she always plays too far away for me to affordably go see) but I'll live with it because I just need more Swift in my life.


So there we have it! These are all the books I got for Christmas. Leave a comment with the ones you received!

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Magical Creatures Colouring Book Part 1

Although it has been a while since I last uploaded any colouring pictures, I am definitely still a fan. However, I struggle to find time to do much to be honest.

I recently picked up the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Magical Creatures colouring book as I loved the film! Plus the pictures in this book are amazing.

Although just the title page, this was a nice one to colour in, especially the Mooncalf in the corner. It was a simple yet fun way to get stuck in to the book.

I used some of my metallic colouring pencils and my Faber Castells.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Spotlight: Highway Thirteen to Manhattan by Kourtney Heintz


Highway Thirteen to Manhattan
The Six Train to Wisconsin Series
Book Two
Kourtney Heintz

Genre: Paranormal and Suspense

Publisher: Aurea Blue Press

Date of Publication: 11/1/2016

ISBN: 978-0989132688
ASIN: TBA

Number of pages: 420
Word Count: 94,000

Cover Artist: Creative Paramita

Book Description:

His secrets almost killed her. Her secrets may destroy them both.

Kai is recovering from a near-death experience when she realizes something isn’t right. Her body is healing, but her mind no longer feels quite like her own. Her telepathic powers are changing, too. She can’t trust herself. The darkness growing inside of her pushes her to use her telepathy as a weapon.

Oliver clings to the hope that he can save their marriage, even though he was the one who put her life in jeopardy. As his wife slips further and further away from him, he becomes increasingly obsessed with bringing the man who ruined his life to justice.

The sequel to The Six Train to Wisconsin is a genre-defying tale of love and consequences. Once again, award-winning author Kourtney Heintz seamlessly weaves suspense and paranormal intrigue into a real-world setting, creating characters rich in emotional and psychological complexity.

Amazon    BN    Kobo    iTunes

"Family secrets, paranormal suspense, and romance collide in Heintz's fascinatingly original tale. A compelling read that will keep you guessing and haunt you long after the last page is turned." -Gretchen Archer, USA Today Bestselling author of the Davis Way Crime Capers


Grab Book One for Free October 1- December 1

The Six Train to Wisconsin



Amazon     BN    Kobo    iTunes


Excerpt - Chapter One

Kai

Like most daughters, I loved my parents, but right now, I wanted them anywhere but here. Hospitals are always hard, but my parents managed to make it harder. My head was already pounding from all the thoughts and emotions coming at me. Not just from the patients and their families and the doctors and the nurses, but also from my mother and father. Instead of shielding their thoughts and trying to make it better for me, they let their emotions crash into me.
My mind wasn’t strong enough for all this. Neither was my body. Tubes eviscerated my right hand. A giant bruise blossomed beside the newest IV line. A cast wrapped around my left wrist. My broken pinky finger had been set and taped to my ring finger. The back of my head was held together with stitches. Beneath the blanket, my body was covered in bruises.
I didn’t feel any physical pain because of the medications the doctors pumped into me. They said I needed it to recover, but it made my body feel like it wasn’t mine. And the steady drip of opiates didn’t just steal my physical pain; it left me unable to form the psychic shield I needed to protect myself from the misery swirling around me.
Mom sat in the chair closest to my bed. She wore one of her flowing peasant blouses and faded jeans. Her hair was pulled back in a messy bun, and light brown strands slipped loose to hang around her face. The corners of her hazel eyes were pinched with worry.
Her hand hovered over my arm, unsure where to touch me—if she should touch me. Finally, she laid her hand gently on my thigh. “You just need to rest here for a few more days.”
She was wrong. I needed to get out of here. Away from all these thoughts as soon as possible. “I want to go home.”
Mom shook her head. “You need to let the doctors help you.” Like they did last time.
Her thoughts slammed into my brain. She thought hospitalization was the solution to everything.
“Please. Look at what’s happened to you. You can’t go home until you’re better,” she said. I can’t lose you. I won’t let that happen.
I didn’t know how to reassure her. Yes, I’d almost died, but being here was hurting me more than it was healing me. I swallowed all the words I wanted to say and hoped for Caleb to come back soon. My brother would know how to talk to Mom, how to make her understand.
The doctor came in to check on me and Mom’s agonizing fear rose up. Don’t let her have brain damage.
Dad patted Mom’s shoulder. He looked like an older, surfer version of Caleb. Both were tall and muscular with curly blond hair. Dad’s hair was a darker blond streaked with platinum from decades in the sun and salt water. His eyes were greener than Caleb’s, but like Caleb’s, they were rimmed with purple bruises. When Dad smiled, sun lines radiated from his eyes and cut across his cheeks. But I hadn’t seen them since he’d arrived at my bedside. Instead, waves of exhaustion rolled off him and rippled over me, right before I heard his thoughts. I can’t go through this again, watching you slip away.
My younger sister Naomi lounged in the chair in the corner as far from me as she could get. She had Mom’s light brown hair and thin frame and Dad’s green eyes and height. She looked nothing like me and only distantly related to Caleb. Her long legs looped over the armrest as she flipped through a magazine. Thanks for ruining Christmas break. I’d rather be anywhere but here.
I felt the same way.
At least Oliver was gone for the moment. Mom had convinced him to go home, take a shower, maybe even sleep. I couldn’t bear his guilt; it was so thick it choked me.
Oliver. My husband. God. I’d never loved and hated someone so much at the same time. I still couldn’t believe he’d called my parents. He knew how bad they were at handling me. How could he have thought that having my family here would be good for me?
Bitterness frosted my thoughts. I was in a hospital, bruised and battered. I’d almost died. That’s what Caleb had said. He was the only one willing to tell me the truth. Oliver had said it was bad, but he wouldn’t say how bad. He couldn’t bear to admit what happened to me.

About the Author:
Kourtney Heintz is the award-winning and bestselling author of The Six Train to Wisconsin (2013), the first book in The Six Train to Wisconsin series. She also writes bestselling young adult novels under the pseudonym K.C. Tansley. Heintz is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America, and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Heintz has given writing workshops and author talks at libraries, museums, universities, high schools, conventions, wineries, non-profits organizations, and writing conferences. She has been featured in the Republican American of Waterbury, Connecticut; on WTNH’s CT Style; and on the radio show, Everything Internet.

Kourtney resides in Connecticut with her warrior lapdog, Emerson, and three quirky golden retrievers. Years of working on Wall Street provided the perfect backdrop for her imagination to run amok at night, envisioning a world where out-of-control telepathy and buried secrets collide.

You can find out more about Kourtney and her books at:






Tour Giveaway:

5 signed copies shipping to anywhere in the world

And

Kourtney’s Giveaway open from October 1-December 1 - prizes include naming a character in her next book, Butternut gift basket, and a $50 Amazon gift card. Enter on her Facebook page: http://gvwy.io/bwh02f9



Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Book Review: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J. Maas

*Warning – may contain spoilers*


Author: Sara J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
First published: 2016
Edition: Paperback, signed
Pages: 264
Blurb:    Feyre is immortal.
After rescuing her lover Tamlin form a wicked Faerie Queen, she returns to the Spring Court possessing the powers of the High Fae. But Feyre cannot forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people – nor the bargain she made with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court.
As Feyre is drawn ever deeper into Rhysand’s dark web of politics and passion, war is looming and an evil far greater than any queen threatens to destroy everything Feyre has fought for. She must confront her past, embrace her gifts and decide her fate.
She must surrender her heart to heal a world torn in two.

History of my copy: ACOMAF was one of the many books I picked up in my book haul last May. It was a bit of a gamble as I hadn’t read ACOTAR at that point and didn’t like Maas’ Throne of Glass much but as it was a signed copy, I couldn’t resist. And I’m so glad I got it!

I’ve said before that the time it takes me to read a book and how much I like it are in no way linked, and ACOMAF is a perfect example of that. It has taken me nearly 2 months to read (and now over a month to review), but is hands down one of my all-time favourite books.

Plot: ACOMAF starts pretty much where ACOTAR ends, with Feyre trying to settle to some kind of normalcy now that she is immortal. She thinks Tamlin and the Spring Court are all she needs when, in reality, it starts to suffocate her, leading her down a path she doesn’t want, right up to her wedding which Rhysand interrupts under the pretence of carrying out the contract he had made with Feyre to save her life – she was to stay with him for one week a month.
         Although not an ideal escape, it is clear that Feyre is glad that she is now in the Night Court and as the two get closer, she is let in to all the wonderful secrets that the rest of Prythian don’t know. However, as her relationship with Rhys and his closest friends grows, so does the looming danger and thus they work together to try and save Prythian and the Mortal Lands from King Hybern.
         In the end, though, there is a plot twist that turns Feyre’s life upside down and sets the perfect scene for book 3.

Setting: Although featuring many settings all over Prythian, it is the Night Court that truly takes the lead in the second book of the series, with the reader being introduced not only to Rhys’ home in the mountains, but to his secret city, Velaris, polar opposite to the Court of Nightmares hidden inside a mountain. This is a hidden paradise in what is perceived as the darkest of the courts, and Maas describes it perfectly, to the point where it is entirely understandable why Rhys did everything to keep it safe.
               We also get a chance to visit the Summer Court, a paradise in its own right, but as Feyre gets accustomed to Rhys’ home, as does the reader to the extent that nowhere but Velaris feels like home anymore. Creating a beautiful setting is definitely one of Maas strong points, and this really shines in ACOMAF with each setting being fully distinguishable from the next.

Characters: You may remember that I left my review of ACOTAR with adoration for Tamlin and a complete lack of understanding of the love of Rhys. Well, now I get it. After ACOMAF, there is no way I can adore Tamlin and with everything we learn about Rhys, it all becomes clear! Although I’m still not sure whether the twists truly suit the characters, Maas has done it well and I think I can go along with it.
                        You may also remember that I didn’t like the ending given to Feyre. However, Maas has brilliantly portrayed our heroine’s development from human to immortal, detailing how she gets used to the physical powers she now has, along with a fantastic sub story of her dealing with the emotions and PTSD she has from Under the Mountain. I really must praise Maas for furthering Feyre’s story in a beautifully believable way as it is something that really adds to ACOMAF.

To read or not to read: Read. Hands down read. Somehow even better than ACOTAR, ACOMAF has deepened the story and taken it away from the Beauty and the Beast backbone and allowed it to develop into its own fantastically unique tale. I am just dying to get my hands on the next book, recently revealed to be titled A Court of Wings and Ruin, and I need it right now!

Find my review for A Court of Thorns and Roses here!