Review: Enchantée by Gita Trelease

41577908Title: Enchantée 

Author: Gita Trelease

Genre: YA Historical Fantasy

Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia

Publication date: 26 February 2019

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Pan Macmillan Australia:

Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries – and magicians . . .

When smallpox kills her parents, seventeen-year-old Camille is left to provide for her frail sister and her volatile brother. In desperation, she survives by using the petty magic she learnt from her mother. But when her brother disappears Camille decides to pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

Using dark magic Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine‘ and presents herself at the court of Versaille, where she soon finds herself swept up in a dizzying life of riches, finery and suitors. But Camille’s resentment of the rich is at odds with the allure of their glamour and excess, and she soon discovers that she’s not the only one leading a double life . . .

Enchantée is a compelling historical fantasy and is Gita Trelease’s debut novel.


*Thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*Review2

I don’t tend to read or enjoy historical fiction very often. This is normally because I find the plots tend to be very slow and a bit of historical information overload. And I also find that authours tend to focus a lot on the positives of a time period while glossing over or not mentioning the negatives of that time. Having said this I believe Trelease has managed to write a story with Enchantée that runs into none of these problems. Overall I really enjoyed this read. 

For me, the fact that this story is an historical fantasy and not just a historical read, allowed for a more multifaceted and fast-paced plot. The magic system is more subtle than many found in the YA fantasy genre. However, it seems to fit so perfectly with the setting and time era. And the way Trelease describes the use and weaving of the magic is just superb. Essentially the magic system is just the magic of illusions, making one thing appear as another or in another way. However, the idea that one needs sorrow to make this magic work, I found unique and allowed the book to have a slightly darker tone. As we all know magic always comes with a price! 

I also think Trelease did a fantastic job of describing the state of Paris in 1789. The way she described and brought Versailles alive made me wish to travel to Paris right away. She managed to give the palace such a whimsical quality while still mentioning the filth and not so royal behaviours. Trelease also did not shy away from describing the darker, negative events and aspects of Paris at this time. The poverty, the civil unrest, the class issues and the beginnings of the revolution. These were all things that made the story seem more real despite being a work of fiction. 

The highlight of this book for me though was the characters. Trelease brought each different character to life so well that despite having issues remembering all the French names and noble titles I could easily distinguish between their personalities and traits. I also love the variety of characters from heroes to villains, nobles to the poor. This book has it all with a strong female heroine, a passionate romance without excessive physical contact, female friendships, scheming villains and monstrous human beings. 

Despite enjoying almost everything about this book I did find the relationship between the main character and her sister to be underdeveloped and at times annoying. I also struggled with the bits of French included. There is a glossary in the back of the book. However, I did not realise this until I was about 3 quarters through. Meaning until then I had to guess at the meaning of what was being said in French. Therefore, I am giving this book a rating of 4 out of 5 stars and would recommend to any lover of YA, fantasy or historical fiction. Let's Chat!Do you read a lot of historical fiction? What is your favourite time period to read about? Do you like reading about magic systems alongside true historical events? Let’s chat in the comments below! Until next time happy watching and reading! 

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Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi Blog Tour

EmergencyContact Banner

Hey, Hi, Hello! 🙂

Welcome to my blog tour stop for the amazing Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi. Thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia and AusYABloggers for allowing me to be a part of this tour and sending me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

If you would like to follow along with the rest of the tour stops, check out the other stops from today or yesterday’s stops, you can check out the tour schedule here. ❤divider 1

Emergency Contact Book CoverTitle: Emergency Contact

Author: Mary H. K. Choi

Genre: YA Contemporary

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia

Publication date: January 1st 2019

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis from Simon & Schuster Australia: 

From debut author Mary H.K. Choi comes a compulsively readable novel that shows young love in all its awkward glory—perfect for fans of Eleanor & Park and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him. 

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.Review2

First off can you just look at that cover! LOOK AT IT!!! It’s more beautiful than the crazies in Bird Box find the demons!!! Like the title is a rose gold foil in real life and it is so stunning! Not to mention the artist has done a fantastic job depicting Sam and Penny! I picture them almost exactly like this! Just look at the hair!!

This book has two point of views both Penny and Sam. Now books with multiple POV’s can be really hit or miss for me. Really, they are only a hit if I like all the characters who have a POV. Luckily in this case I loved both characters so actually really enjoyed the deeper insights I got into both of their lives. Trying to pick a favourite main character out of Penny and Sam is hard! I just kind of love them both! Although it was frustrating watching them both make some of the decisions they did!

I loved the writing style of this book. This is a fantastic Debut novel! Great writing!! I loved that the book had both “real life” scenes and text conversations. I also think Choi’s writing style was fresh and unique. The story, but more importantly the way it is written is reliable and emotive. This book made me laugh, made me sad, made me feel like I’m not alone and made me think! This book is not just a light fluffy read, although it definitely has those moments! It manages to also cover some heavier or more serious subject matter such as mental health, substance abuse and rape. So, if any of these things are triggers for you please consider before reading.

On top of great characters, uniqueness and great writing. I also loved this book because of how diverse it is and how much is represented in this book! Obviously, I can not comment on how well everything was represented as I don’t fit into all that was. However, I simply love that this book has such a diverse range of main and side characters from appearance, race, personality, mental health and even socioeconomic standing. As someone who does suffer from anxiety, I will say I thought this was well represented even if I do not share all of the symptoms as the characters, I found I could relate. And one of my favourite things is when I feel I can relate to a book especially in terms of my anxiety! Makes me feel less alone and like its ok.

In conclusion, I found this book to be all around awesome! I 100% do recommend! Congratulations on a fantastic debut Mary H. K. Choi I will 100% be reading any future work! The fantastic writing, characters and unique story line along with some awesome diverse representation convinced me to rate this read 5/5 stars! divider 1About the Author:

Mary_H.K._Choi__credit_Aaron_Richter_.0Mary H.K. Choi is a writer for The New York Times, GQ, Wired, and The Atlantic. She has written comics for Marvel and DC, as well as a collection of essays called Oh, Never Mind. She is the host of Hey, Cool Job!, a podcast about jobs, and is a culture correspondent for VICE News Tonight on HBO. Emergency Contact is her first novel. Mary grew up in Hong Kong and Texas and now lives in New York.

Image credit © Aaron Richter

Twitter: @ChoitotheWorld / Instagram: @ChoitotheWorld / Website: http://www.choitotheworld.com/Let's Chat!Have you read this book? Did you love it as much as I did? What are some other books you feel have good anxiety rep? As always happy watching and reading! 

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Review: Time Crawlers By Varun Sayal

40540847Title: Time Crawlers

Author: Varun Sayal

Genre: Sci-fi Short stories

Publisher: Independently published

Publication date: June 15th 2018

Rating: 2.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

Alien Invasion, Dark Artificial Intelligence, Time-Travel, High-Tech Mythology, Djinn Folklore, Telekinetics, and life-consuming Cosmic Entities are some major themes in this book which has six tightly-knit, fast-paced Sci-Fi stories.

1. Nark-astra, The Hell Weapon
The weapons he possesses make him the destroyer of worlds, and he burns for revenge. A high-tech take on ancient Indian mythology.

2. Death by Crowd
The dark desires of the masses; darknet websites fueled by a crypto-currency. What lurks in the background – an advanced artificial intelligence?

3. Genie
He rubbed a lamp alright, but what he got was the shock of his life. An entirely sci-fi take on the djinn myth.

4. Time Crawlers
There are individuals who existing in multiple time periods at once, and there are those who know about them….

5. Eclipse
No attacks, no blood-shed, yet there was an invasion and a conquest. Who are these shapeshifter aliens being hounded by an eclipse?

6. The Cave
The fate of an advanced imperial race hangs in balance as a dark celestial entity meets a legendary protector.Review2

Thank you to the author Varun Sayal for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

As the synopsis depicts this is a collection of six sci-fi themed short stories. I generally am not a fan of short stories and short story collections. This is because I am a very character driven person and don’t feel short stories give me enough time to get to know and connect with the characters. This collection was no exception. Just as I started to learn the character names and get a feel for what their personality might be like BAM the story ended and it was time to move onto the next one!

Another thing that bothered me about this collection was the writing style itself. I tried not to think too critically about the writing style as I understand this is a debut collection and self-published, so may not have gone through as big of an editing process. With this being said however there were a number of grammatical errors/ misused words and or extra/ missing words. I also found it hard to determine what age group the author was writing these stories for. I actually personally felt that the writing style changed from story to story some seemed to be written in a middle grade type of way with basic description and wording where as others seemed to be adult fiction with more description, but more thinking required from the reader. For the most part though I felt the writing got better with each story.

As for the stories themselves they were a bit hit and miss for me. Some I found a little boring, confusing and not completely thought through. While others, especially the last few, I found the underling ideas, themes and concepts to be very interesting and unique. I liked how many of the stories had an underling theme of morals and the way they were written made me not only question the morals and actions of the characters but ask myself what I would do in these situations and what my own morals are like. A few of the stories also had some very effective plot twists that I did not always see coming and think could be used to an even bigger effect had the story been a full length novel.

In conclusion I enjoyed the premises of most of the stories and the underlying theme of humanity and morals. Many of the ideas, concepts and technologies had great potential and were unique. However, the inconsistency of the writing style throughout all the stories mixed with my dislike of short stories in general made this collection somewhat hard to read. Therefore, I have given this short story collection 2.5/5 stars. Let's Chat!Do you enjoy short stories? Or do you have similar issues with them like me? What are some of your favourite short story collections and or sci-fi reads? Until next time happy watching and reading! 

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Review: Lisette’s Paris Notebook by Catherine Bateson

31851963Title: Lisette’s Paris Notebook

Author: Catherine Bateson

Genre: YA Contemporary

Publisher: Allen & Unwin 

Publication date: January 2017

Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

What do you wear to Paris? Ami and I discussed it for hours but I still couldn’t think of anything suitable. Ami said a trench coat with nothing underneath but your best underwear. That was only if some boy was meeting you at the airport, I said.

Eighteen-year-old Lisette has just arrived in Paris (France!) – the city of haute couture and all things stylish – to practise her French and see great works of art. Her clairvoyant landlady Madame Christophe forces her to attend language lessons with a bunch of international students but soon Lise discovers she’s more interested in studying boys than art or verbs …

When the undeniably hot Anders jogs into her life it feels too good to be true. Things get even more complicated when she is pursued by Hugo, a charming English antiques dealer.

Can she take a chance and follow her own dreams? How far into the future can Madame Christophe see? And could Lise really be falling in love – in Paris?Review2

So, as you may already be getting from the bio this book is a YA contemporary romance, coming of age, finding yourself story. The main narrator Lise is an 18 year old Australian girl taking a gap year trip in Paris. It is a very cute quick read. Not only is the main character Australian but the author Catherine Bateson is an Australian making this particular read a #loveozya book. Which I think is fantastic! I love reading and supporting Aussie authors and their books. It’s something I have been thinking I need to consciously make an effort to read more of so this book was the perfect opportunity to do so! 

Quick mention to the cover of this book. I think this book is so cute and all the little pictures really give me young holiday in Paris vibes! Can I pack my suitcase already?? 

The first half of this book is frustrating to read. Not because the story is bad. It isn’t. But because after arriving in Paris and first experiencing the magic of the city the MC quickly starts to make some what I would consider pretty stupid choices. So, this is frustrating to watch unfold as I just know it will end badly. I had to constantly remind myself that the MC was only 18 and that if she didn’t make these mistakes this story wouldn’t be one of self-growth and discovery. Another negative for me was that although this book had many cute and whimsical travel abroad vibes. There were also a number of parts I found particularly cringe worthy instead of cute. For example, there is a part where the MC and a love interest are discussing her previous intimate experience and as she is shy to talk about it, he uses a doll like a ventriloquist to make her comfortable enough to tell him. I see the cute moment the author was trying to go for here. But I was cringing the whole time. 

On a more positive note after the first 100 pages I started to find Lise a lot less annoying. Even though she still didn’t always make the right decisions I found most interactions less cringey. I enjoyed seeing her grow and become more comfortable in Paris and the relationships she was building were really pulling me in. I also enjoyed reading about all the different activities and places she visited in Paris. The way the author described them had a magical, whimsical quality that made me want to book a flight straight away. I also adored the main love interest and once he came into the picture found myself wanting to just keep reading and hoping like hell it would all work out for them both! 

In conclusion, this book didn’t make it to my top favourite reads. Because of the cringe factor and my frustration with some of the MC’s actions. However, I did overall really enjoy it. Because of the cute romance and the travel lust it inspired. I think it really achieved an appropriate self-growth, young adult coming of age story. Which is why I am rating this book 3.5 stars. Let's Chat!What is a place you want to visit most in the world? Does Paris make your list? What are some of your favourite #loveozya titles and authors? Chat with me in the comments below! Until next time Happy watching and reading! 

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Review: It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

29626641Title: It Ends with Us

Author: Colleen Hoover

Genre: Adult Contemporary

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK

Publication date: August 2016

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter..

Firstly, I want to mention the blurb of this book and give credit to Goodreads for their synopsis. My version of the book does not include the line “This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.”  And I think it very smart and considerate of Goodreads for including it now. Going into this read as my book didn’t mention this I was expecting a love triangle with a little drama and a lot of romance! 

Let me tell you this book was so much more and really does cover some pretty heavy and sensitive subject matter! Through the first few chapters I thought this book was exactly what I expected a grown-up romance, love triangle with a touch on the serious topic of homelessness and domestic violence via the main characters parents. I found myself getting emotionally invested, picking a “team” and hoping they would be OTP.  This book is so well written in the way that you feel without meaning to the main characters emotions completely. Being an empath and an emotional person, this was great at first. I mean it was hard to read about the struggle of the MC’s childhood, but I was so happy and excited and feeling the love with the romance developing. I was falling hard as she was. So, I was very emotionally invested when things took a much darker turn then I was expecting. 

The MC experiences domestic violence of her own. And it is not glossed over, and it is graphic and intense. Because of the way the book is written I was already invested in her life and in the relationship. So, as I wasn’t expecting this it hit me hard in the feels. And because of the empathetic emotional person I am this meant I was in this for the long haul. I stayed up until 2 am reading trying to work through these feelings with the MC, struggling as she was going through emotional turmoil, I laughed, I stressed and I bawled my god damned eyes out, but I had to see how this story ended. 

For days after I felt emotionally raw and I could not stop thinking about the story and it definitely made me think and question things I had never thought about before. On the one hand I think this means the book was incredibly written. Anything that can make you feel so much is not a badly written piece. So, I knew I would rate this book highly. But I also knew I couldn’t give this book a full 5 star review. And not just for the handful of grammatical errors/ typos. But because my version of the book had no content and or trigger warnings at all. And sure, maybe with them this book may not have caused me to feel so much emotion. But the fact that it doesn’t have any warning and me as a person who has been fortunate enough not to experience any of these issues in her own life was this emotionally wrecked by it. I can only imagine what it might emote in someone who has if they were to read this unsuspectingly. And I do not think that is fair at all. At the very least all versions of this book should have the warning the Goodreads synopsis does, but it’s clearly a little late for that now. Therefore, I gave this read 4 out of 5 stars. 

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Do you think all books should have trigger and or content warnings? Until next time Happy watching and reading! 

Blog Tour/ review: Wind Rider By P. C. Cast

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Title: Wind Rider: Tales of a New World 3

Author: P. C. Cast

Genre: YA fantasy

Publisher: Pan Australia

Publication date: 30/10/18

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Pan Australia: 

The third novel in the compelling ‘Tales of a New World’ series by New York Times bestselling author P. C. Cast.

Mari, Nik, and their newly formed Pack are being hunted. Thaddeus and the God of Death will stop at nothing until they are obliterated from the earth. But Mari and Nik have one goal: to reach the plains of the Wind Riders in order to band together to stop Thaddeus from destroying all that Mari and Nik hold dear.

But will the mysterious Wind Riders accept the Pack, or will Mari and Nik and their people be rejected by the mighty Riders and be forced to flee for their lives? And what happens when a rogue Lead Stallion gets too close to the Pack, rejecting all Wind Riders and turning to a stranger for companionship instead?

‘While many fantasy series style themselves as epic, this one may actually be worthy of the description.’ School Library Journal

‘Cast … easily engages the readers and keeps them wanting more … a wild journey of power, unlikely relationships, betrayal and acceptance.’ Gold Coast Bulletindivider 1Thank you to Pan Australia in conjunction with Aus YA Bloggers for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

Happy Australian release day to the third  instalment in the Tales of a New World series Wind Rider by P. C. Cast. And welcome to my blog tour stop for this exciting book. Be sure to check out the other blog stops by searching the tags #macmillanaus and #AusYABloggers. Review2

If you missed my reviews of the first two books in this unique series you can read them here: Moon Chosen and Sun Warrior.

Being the third book in the series this review will be spoiler free and possibly a little shorter than my normal ones as I do not want to ruin anything for anyone! Once again, I absolutely loved the cover of this book in fact I think they have gotten better as the series has gone on! I just love the colours in this third cover. I again really enjoyed the sketches at the start of each chapter and really do feel they help the story to come alive even more!

This series is one with a big cast of characters and many points of view. In this instalment that list grows even bigger and there are new POV’s introduced. This can be a little overwhelming at times remembering all the names and their role in the story. However, I also love so many of the characters and feel I get to know them so much better this way.

Much like the second book in the series I found this book much more fast paced and exciting than the first one. Given the hopeful yet ominous way the second book ended I had a feeling the characters were in for one giant adventure! And I felt while reading that this did not disappoint.

I enjoyed finally getting to know more about the Wind Riders after hearing of them vaguely in the previous two books. It was great to get to read about their way of life and powers etc in more detail! Every time a new type of animal companion or group of people in this series is introduced I think they are my new favourites (except for the Skin stealers that is!). I just think they are all so unique and interesting, and each bring something special to the story. It is hard to explain but if you read the series you would understand. I just don’t think it would be the same without the many different groups.

In conclusion, I rather enjoyed this read! It was more action packed then the first one with fewer slow “filler” parts. It is a very character driven book, but I found I enjoy this as I love many of the characters. I also still enjoyed reading about this world and magic system and thought this was a good continuation of this epic tale. Therefore, I am rating this story 4 out of 5 stars.

Wind Rider released today in Australia so make sure you go and get your copy to continue this magical series!

Let's Chat!Have you read this series? Are you keen to discover what happens next in this tale? Who are your favourite characters? Come chat with me in the comments below! As always happy watching and reading! 

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Review: Sun Warrior by P. C. Cast

35890206Title: Sun Warrior: Tales of a New World 2

Author: P. C. Cast

Genre: YA fantasy

Publisher: Pan Australia

Publication date: 31/10/17

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Pan Australia: 

The second novel in the epic ‘Tales of a New World’ series by New York Times bestselling author P.C. Cast. 

The battle lines have been drawn.

Once from rival clans, Mari, an Earth Walker, and Nik, a Companion, now find themselves fighting to save each other and their people from destruction.

Thaddeus has betrayed his own people, killing Nik’s father and destroying their entire clan. But he wants more. He wants the power he believes Mari has stolen from him and his people, and he will do anything to get it back, even if it means destroying everything in his path. There is only one way to stop Thaddeus, and it means a harrowing journey for Mari and Nik into the heart of darkness.

“P.C. Cast builds an engaging world and cleverly smudges the line between fantasy and speculative fiction . . . the world and the slowly rising tension of the story are spooky, compelling and fun.” Good Reading


Thank you to Pan Australia for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Review2

If you missed my review of the first book in this series Moon Chosen you can find it here. During my read of this second book, I had some similar thoughts to the first book. I again think the cover and the sketches at the start of each chapter are absolutely stunning and give a little something extra to the reading experience. I also still believe that the story should be aimed towards an older audience at least new adults and not the YA audience. This is because there are many themes such as rape, murder, violence and racism that may not be processed or interpreted in an ok manner by people of a younger mindset.

Having said that I do believe that some of the messages that P. C. Cast appears to be trying to get across in this story are good for people of any age. Including that women are strong and capable and great leaders just like men. And more importantly that no matter someone’s culture, upbringing and skin colour we are all human beings capable of great things.

I found this second instalment more enjoyable than the first. Because we know about the world and magik systems there was less to learn. But still enough to learn to keep things interesting.  Also without spoiling anything, this book is much more fast-paced than the first, given where the first book ended and the plotlines that ending opened up. I also really enjoyed getting to know some of the lesser known characters in this book! Danita, as well as the Lynx Bast and her companion, were some of my favourites! I also loved the action-packed ending of this book and am excited to see which direction the story will go in the final instalment of this series.

The only thing that I really didn’t like when reading this was that the magic system in regards to the animal companions seemed to drastically change in this book and although it made sense sometimes other times it didn’t. However, this didn’t drastically affect my reading experience and certain things may make more sense in the next book. At least I hope they do!

In conclusion, I again loved the set up of the book and the fast-paced but still character driven nature of the story. I thought some of the themes were a little mature but overall love what P. C. Cast is trying to express. Therefore, I am rating this book 4 out of five stars! Let's Chat!Would you rather be magically linked with a dog, lynx or horse? Have you read this series what did you think? Let’s chat below! Happy watching and reading! 

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Review: Moon Chosen by P. C. Cast

32184253Title: Moon Chosen: Tales of a New World 1

Author: P. C. Cast

Genre: YA fantasy

Publisher: Pan Australia

Publication date: 25/10/16

Rating: 3/5

Synopsis from Pan Australia: 

New York Times bestselling author P.C. Cast brings us a new epic fantasy set in a world where humans, their animal allies, and the earth itself has been drastically changed. A world filled with beauty and danger and cruelty…

Mari is an Earth Walker, heir to the unique healing powers of her Clan; but she has cast her duties aside, until she is chosen by a special animal ally, altering her destiny forever. When a deadly attack tears her world apart, Mari reveals the strength of her powers and the forbidden secret of her dual nature as she embarks on a mission to save her people. It is not until Nik, the son of the leader from a rival clan, strays across her path, that Mari experiences something she has never felt before.

Now, darkness is coming, and with it, a force, more terrible and destructive than the world has ever seen, leaving Mari to cast the shadows from the earth. By forming a tumultuous alliance with Nik, she must make herself ready. Ready to save her people. Ready to save herself and Nik.


Thank you to Pan Australia for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Review2

I think for this review I will start with the things I loved and then move onto the things that were OK or that I am not so sure about.

I absolutely love this cover! It gives such a magical/ mystical vibe and uses all of my favourite cool tone colours! However, you would be forgiven for thinking this book had anything to do with werewolf’s! This is what I expected going in and it was not the case! That is in fact a German Shepard on the cover, not a wolf. Similarly, to do with the composition of the book, I loved the full-page sketches at the start of each chapter. These gave a little something extra to the story and linked in with the main character being an artist/ having a love for drawing.

I really love the concept of this world and the “magic” system and just the overall idea. It is very unique, and I haven’t personally read anything similar. The story is set in the future many years after a apocalyptic event. From what I can work out, the earth was scorched because humans were too interested in technology and stopped caring for and paying attention to the earth and nature. After these events those who survived went different ways and eventually turned into the groups we read about in the story.

The main groups the story revolves around are the Earth walkers who rely on the moon for healing and other magical gifts. The Tree tribe or Companions which have the power of the sun, and this is where the Shepard’s come in as this tribe has magical links with dogs. And lastly the Skin Stealers, those who stayed in the city after the destruction of earth and suffer from a pretty bad skin condition haha. We also hear mention of cat people and wind riders/ horse people which I believe we will hear more about in books two and three.

I really like how each group and magical aspect was introduced. There was a lot of information and although it felt a little overwhelming at times it didn’t feel info dumpy. everything was very descriptive, and I could easily picture what was going on in my head. P C Cast also seemed to try to address/ include some pretty serious issues and themes. Which I personally thought gave the story more meaning.

Now this book is advertised and a YA series however I think that it is more of an NA series. As most of the main characters are 18 years of age or older with only a few younger side characters. This along with the themes that include: depression, suicide, rape, racism and violence. Make for a more mature story in my opinion. If any of these topics are triggers for you I would suggest thinking carefully before picking this book up as some of them are very prevalent throughout the whole story.

Although I loved the uniqueness of this story and it wasn’t info dumpy, it was fairly slow or a slow burn/build. This story likely could have been 50 to 100 pages shorter. For the first 350 pages or so nothing really action packed occurs. There are some little incidences where things occur, and you think it might ramp up but then the story moves along again. This story is very character driven. This didn’t bother me too much as it felt like I was still learning and uncovering interesting things about the world. But it is different to what I am used to and was a struggle at times. Don’t worry though the last part of the book really amps up and builds to some interesting plot twists/ occurrences which I think will take the next book in a more fast paced direction.

The only other thing I was unsure about is the way Cast tackles the idea of racism in this book. Personally, I think she was trying to represent how people are not born racist they are raised and taught those ways by others. And how it is important not to judge people by the colour of their skin/ culture especially when you do not have the whole story. However, I can see that some things such as the MC darkening her skin with clay to fit in could been taken in a bad way.

In conclusion, I found this world and concept for the story very interesting and unique. I loved learning about the different groups of people and the “magic’ system. And despite this book not being very action packed and pretty slow for the most part. I did enjoy it and am excited to see where in goes next! Which is why I rated this story a solid 3 stars! Let's Chat!

Have you read this book or series? Did you enjoy it or not? Have you read anything else by P C Cast and did you enjoy her writing? As always happy watching and reading! 

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Review: Sea Breeze Academy by Bryant A. Loney

thumbnail_Sea Breeze AcademyTitle: Sea Breeze Academy

Author: Bryant A. Loney

Genre: YA Contemporary/ mystery

Publisher: Verona Booksellers

Publication date: June 2018

Rating: 2/5

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

A group of boarding school teens in season five of a Cali-based sitcom begin to realize they are in a TV show.

A missing student, or maybe several.
Embedded marketing, sushi, token friends, and cacti.
The sound of the Pacific waves in the background.
Smothering darkness. The threat of Alaska.
Another perfect, perfect day.
Happiness lives here.

Brooklyn, Matthew, and the gang are ready to rock their last few weeks of junior year at their elite boarding school on the California coast. But something is amiss. In the fifth and potentially last season of this award-winning television series, the struggle between truth and network censorship just might destroy their bond once and for all. Can they survive another season of love, mystery, and adolescent angst on the sunny West Coast? Will life ever be normal again?

Experimental and subversive, Sea Breeze Academy is a smart love letter to the Nickelodeon and Disney Channel sitcoms you grew up with. Are you ready?

Thank you to Verona book sellers for providing me with an e-copy of this book along with promotional pictures in exchange for my honest review. Review2

I do not even know where to start with this review. I apologize in advance if this review does not flow or is confusing. But my brain is just a little confused by this book right now.

So, this book was pitched to me and is depicted in the synopsis has a love letter and or spoof of the teen TV shows we all know and probably loved at some point growing up. This and the stunning cover were enough to pique my interest! The first couple of chapters seemed to be exactly what I was expecting and reminded me of a mix of shows like Hanna Montanan and The OC. The book being written in mostly script format also helped set this feeling and scene up. E.g. I felt like I was reading the TV show instead of watching it. Even though the script format took a little getting used to, it also made it possible to read this book very quickly! Which was a great change for a usually slow reader like me. There was drama, romance, elite California school, fashion…all that juicy teen stuff. I was beginning to think this was going to be a light, cheesy read, making fun of the TV shows I grew up with.

thumbnail_Sea Breeze Kids

Boy was I wrong! After the first few chapters things took a really weird turn! At first, I thought it was just the “something is amiss” part of the synopsis starting to play out. And I guess in a way it was? However, it was done in such a way that for the majority of the book I was sat thinking to myself what is going on??!! So, instead of really enjoying the story I was stuck wondering what the premises of the story actually was. Was I not just reading a TV Show occurring? Was it more a Spoof of reality shows like The Hills and trying to hint they are scripted? Or was it supposed to be some hidden camera thing like Big Brother? Or were the characters of the TV show becoming self-aware? I really could not work it out and I am still not 100% sure! This made me struggle to get through most of the story and I was frustrated that I couldn’t work out what was going on.

Things also seemed to take on a much more serious note in the second half and end of the book. With loads of life lessons and messages being woven into the story. About the pressure of trying to be perfect and losing oneself in the attempt of trying to please everyone. Depression, anxiety and eating disorders are all mentioned. Media propagation, political correctness and in your face advertising are all part of the story as well. And While I know and understand that these lessons and topics etc are important and should be represent in YA fiction. I just thought it was too much all at once. And with the confusing nature of the trajectory of the plot line I just don’t think it had the desired effect.

The ending of the book was one of the most confusing aspects for me. I just feel like there was no real resolution. I have no clue what happened to one of the MC’s and what was going to happen to the others. Half of the character interactions just made no sense to me! I just was left feeling like “what? That is what all the strangeness was building to? I don’t get it!!”

In conclusion although I was hoping to really like this book in the end it just left me a confused mess. I love the cover and the uniqueness of the script format. I even really enjoyed the first few “chapters’. However, I thought majority of the story was simply confusing. Too many life lessons/ concepts were trying to be displayed and it all seemed to amount to nothing. Or at least I myself did not really feel that wow it all makes sense now moment. Therefore, I have given this book 2/5 stars. Let's Chat!Have you read this book? Have you ever read a book in script format and did you enjoy it? What was your favourite teen TV show? Chat with me in the comments below! As always happy watching and reading! 

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Review: The Crowns of Croswald by D. E. Night

34775591Title: Crowns of Croswald

Author: D. E. Night

Genre: MG/YA fantasy

Publisher: Stories Untold

Publication date: July 2017

Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald’s mysterious gems. When Ivy’s magic—and her life—is threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever.Review2

I was provided with a copy of The Crowns of Croswald from the publisher (Stories Untold) and authour D. E. Night in exchange for my honest review.

This book comes across as middle grade to very early YA literature. I do not normally delve into middle-grade books and I think this sometimes made it harder for me to read/ get into especially to start with. However, the premises of this story and the very Harry Potter-ish vibes that I got from the get go was enough to intrigue me.

First off, I want to take a moment to talk about this book visually. I am in love with the cover of this book. Now as some as you regular lovelies may know I have an obsession with the Fae and fairy’s, so I could be biased! But just look at it, so cute and pretty and magical! The inside of the book also has cute chapter header art that looks like little hand sketch drawings. The book also included some mix media presentation in the form of some letters etc. I think all of this really makes the reading process just a little more special and interesting.

The story has a very magical feel from the get go with a whole new world and magic system being presented. With this comes many new names of places and objects and many definitions of these things. As well as many things being given similar names. At the start of the book as in the first five or so chapters this feels kind of like a big info dump and it at times was quite confusing even to me an adult trying to read this middle grade book. However, I think the author may have been aware of this issue as even the MC comments on the overwhelming nature of all she (and in turn the reader) is learning.

“You all really should start coming up with new names for things”, She told the Selector. “It’s all very confusing.” 

Having said this though once I did start to remember the names and meanings of certain new magical things I was able to get into the story a little better and even fell in love with some of the things D E Night has invented. My favourite would have to be the Hairies, tiny little fairies with glowing hair that they use as lights! How cute and magical is that! I want one!! In green and silver please!

I also found that the time flow of the story felt very jumpy at times and some of the interactions between characters did not always seem natural. However, this was minor and did not stop me from enjoying the magical journey as despite my little issues that aspect was still strongly there. This book was a mysterious, magical, fast paced adventure. And those feelings and that Harry Potter like nostalgia had me wanting to go along this journey with Ivy and find out what happens despite any issues I may have had. The ending was also very dramatic and enlightening but left many leading plot lines. Which leave me intrigued to know what happens next!

In conclusion, as I do not read middle grade often I do not have much to compare to what they are like. And I did have a few issues with the writing such as info dumping and character interactions. However, this may be a common occurrence in MG books, I am not sure. So, for me personally, these issues were a little off putting from the story. However, I overall enjoyed the book and the magical adventure vibes. I loved learning about the magic system and creatures and would continue on with the series when future books are released. Therefore, this book was a 3.5 star read for me!   Let's Chat!Have you read this book? If so what did you think? Do you read much middle grade or early young adult fiction? As always happy watching and reading! 

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