Sunday, 23 October 2016

Review!: The Graces by Laure Eve

The Graces by Laure Eve is a witch story set in a small seaside town, where The Graces are a rich, successful, beautiful family rumoured to be witches. Siblings Fenrin, Thalia, and Summer Grace have a magnetism to them that keeps most of the high school population fascinated and enthralled. Our protagonist River is obsessed possibly more than anyone else, and being relatively new to the school and town has been learning all she can about the family and their rumoured magic. River has had a troubled past and when she finds herself welcomed in to their inner circle she is desperate to discover the secret of their magic to find out if it can help her fix past mistakes.

There is very little actual magic, which I think has disappointed a lot of people, but I found it to all the more enthralling to spend the book trying to figure out whether magic is even real in this world. There are loads of moments where you wonder if they really are witches at all. River is fairly unlikeable at times but also sympathetic; she's obviously very messed up by her past and her own relationship with the idea of magic. I very quickly found the beautiful Graces siblings to have the same sort of mystique that the beautiful Cullen siblings have, especially in their simultaneous transcendence and compliance in the high school popularity hierarchy. This is not Twilight though, it's much darker, the stakes feel much higher, and River may be much more mysterious and dangerous than all the Graces put together.

Don't go in expecting full blown magic and fantasy- think garden variety high school wiccans and then prepare to be surprised.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Review!: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Following on from the awesome Everything Everything I was incredibly keen to read Nicola Yoon's next novel The Sun is Also a Star. Set on one day in New York City, this love story is about fate, destiny, the Universe and all those sickly sweet things. However this story is so powerful and unexpected that even the insta-love didn't bother and usually that REALLY bothers me. Natasha believes in science and facts and is definitely not sold on love and fate. On this particular day she is half a day away from being deported with her family to Jamaica. Having come to the United States as a child and with college less than a year away, Natasha is spending the day fighting for one last appeal to remain in New York. Daniel is a poet at heart but as the son of Korean immigrant parents he is expected to follow a very specific path to Yale and med school. In the city for an alumni admission interview for Yale later that day, Daniel is on his way to get his pony tail hair cut when he comes across Natasha deep in a headphone moment.

The love story that follows takes place across the next twelve hours, with point of view switching between Natasha and Daniel, with extra chapters of backstory on seemingly non important characters they encounter through the day. It's a testament to Nicola Yoon's writing that reading about two 18-year-olds falling in love over the course of half a day was not cringey, or eye-roll-inducing. The stakes felt real and high with Natasha's deportation looming and with it all her visions of her future. With Daniel thrown in the mix this felt like an even more cruel twist of fate.

If you loved Everything Everything I think you'll love this too. Don't be put off by the one-day-love-story premise, this is a clever, thoughtful, emotive book that was such a joy to read.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Review!: Desolation (The Demon Road Trilogy Book 2) by Derek Landy

Desolation is the second book of The Demon Road trilogy. Sooo spoilers ahead if you haven't read part one yet! We pick up where we left off with Amber and Milo on the run from the Shining Demon Astaroth who has the Hounds of Hell hot on their tails, and also her parents who are not pleased with how things went down in New York. They head to Desolation Hill, which is a tiny isolated town full of very unwelcoming people, but has the bonus of being out with Astaroth's reaches. Safe within the town's borders, with the hell hounds waiting just outside, they soon learn that something called Hell Night is only a few days away and they have been asked not so kindly to leave before then.

I thought this was a great follow up to Demon Road, less of a road trip this time, with most of the story's action taking place at Desolation Hill. We see Amber still battling with and coming to terms with her demon self, with some moments of genuine friendship forming between her and Milo. The introduction of the van full of young people, a Scooby gang homage complete with a dog, who travel the demon road as do-gooders battling all manner of demons, is brilliant. Kelly, Warrick, Linda, Ronnie provide a moral compass for being 'good' while Amber's parents and other demons are of course on the side of giving in to the 'bad'. The story is told from multiple points of view this time, with retired actors Virgil and Javier providing some comic relief and insider knowledge of the town.

The book culminates in an epic and quite frankly gruesome battle with so many moving parts it was almost too hard to keep up. There's quite the twisty ending so I am very much looking forward to reading the final part of the trilogy, which is out now!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Books I Read in September: Desolation, The Sun is Also a Star, The Graces, With Malice, Lucky Penny

Here be the books I read in September! I've decided to shake things up a bit in my blogging format to give each review I do its own post to make it feel extra special. I started this blog to keep track of what I was reading, keep a record of my thoughts after reading, and to encourage me to read more. Now I get a lot of books to review, which is fun, and I feel I should give those reviews their own posts because that's more helpful for everyone I think. Also the books I read within a month don't always go together as a nice curated set so they can be a little weird reviewed next to each other. I mean I'm just making myself more work but oh well!

So from now on the monthly round up will still exist as a nice list of the stuff I've read each month. Maybe I should put book hauls here too? Do people like book haul posts? Hmm who knows.

Anyway! This month I read:

Desolation (The Demon Road book 2) by Derek Landy

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Graces by Laure Eve

With Malice by Eileen Cook

Lucky Penny by Ananth Hirsh