Vicious – V E Schwab

SYNOPSIS

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. 

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

REVIEW

OMG I LOVED VICIOUS! 🖤

Eli makes me want to commit murder! I cannot stand him and I found Serena really annoying. She doesn’t redeem herself in my opinion in the end although some many argue differently.

The relationship between Victor and Sydney is adorable! I loved Victor and thought that he was an awesome character. He may do some bad things but he’s a good guy at heart.

Mitch and his chocolate milk just made me laugh. I love the idea of having someone who is described as big and intimidating but is actually really sweet. I love how V E Schwab portrays the fact that we shouldn’t judge people by their appearance because it’s such an important lesson to learn for everyday life!

Overall I thought this was brilliant and I can’t wait to finish Vengeful!

5/5 ⭐️

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Goodreads – Katerina Turner

A Torch Against The Night – Sabaa Tahir

SYNOPSIS

Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.

REVIEW

BETTER THAN THE FIRST BOOK!

I enjoyed reading An Ember in the Ashes but I wasn’t completely blown away by it and I didn’t crave the sequel. That being said… this book blew my mind! It was so fast paced as it start off exactly where An Ember in the Ashes ends. Laia and Elias are on the run and they are headed North to free Laia’s brother!

Throughout this we meet so many new amazing characters! We learn more about characters from the previous book! There are some horrific deaths throughout this book that really rattled me. The so called ‘villains’ throughout this book were not as extreme as the in the previous book, however Marcus is quite a horrific emperor (not a spoiler… it was too be expected).

If you are like me and you hate love triangles, you will love this book. I felt like the romance between Laia, Keenan and Elias was really annoying but it’s barely mentioned in these books (and there is a massive shocking plot twist) because the focus is on survival.

I loved learning more about Helene Aquilla – Blood Shrike. From coming across as very cold hearted to now being someone who loves her family, friends and the Empire. She is such a brave badass female character!

I love the supernatural element of this series and I hope to find out more about it in the next book! I want to know more about Laia, Elias, Cook and Helene Aquilla.

4,5/5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Goodreads – Katerina Turner

* I’m hosting a giveaway on my instagram! There is a chance to win a trilogy box set! This is an international giveaway that closes on the 1st September 🖤

An Ember in the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir

SYNOPSIS

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
 
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
 
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
 
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
 
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

REVIEW

This book sat on my TBR shelf for ages and for some reason I kept putting it off. I’m so glad I’ve finally read it because I truly enjoyed it and cannot wait to read the next book in the series!

I love the characters and the plot itself. The only thing that I did find a little irritating was the odd love triangles going on. One of them was understandable, but the other made no sense to me. It seemed awkward and forced.

The novel starts off straight by jumping into a really extreme and scary scenario which sets the pace of the book and the descriptions were great. The world building could have been a bit better but overall it was unique and interesting. I hope that throughout the series the authors goes into some of the characters backstories as it would be interesting to understand how certain characters became how they are in the book.

RATING – 4,5/5 STARS

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Goodreads – Katerina Turner

Insanity – Cameron Jace

SYNOPSIS

After accidentally killing everyone in her class, Alice Wonder is now a patient in the Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum. No one doubts her insanity. Only a hookah-smoking professor believes otherwise; that he can prove her sanity by decoding Lewis Carroll’s paintings, photographs, and find Wonderland’s real whereabouts. Professor Caterpillar persuades the asylum that Alice can save lives and catch the wonderland monsters now reincarnated in modern day criminals. In order to do so, Alice leads a double life: an Oxford university student by day, a mad girl in an asylum by night. The line between sanity and insanity thins when she meets Jack Diamond, an arrogant college student who believes that nonsense is an actual science.

REVIEW

Insanity by Cameron Jace is both an amazing book and also a confusing one. On one hand I thought that the plot was incredibly interesting and well crafted but on the other hand the characters confused me and seemed to be random.

The relationship between the Pillar and Alice was great and very comical. The history behind the Cheshire was great and I really enjoyed the twists in the book.

I can’t seem to understand Jack Diamonds role in this book. He honestly seemed like a really random character and completely useless. Perhaps he is spoken about more in the later book, but I don’t think I’ll be reading them to find out.

Alice’s backstory is still unclear which is interesting and I loved how all the Wonderland characters were human characters that reflected their true selves.

Overall I would give this book 3,5 stars!

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Goodreads – Katerina Turner

Asking For It – Louise O’Neill

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Synopsis 

It’s the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O’Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident. One night, there’s a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma.

The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can’t remember what happened, she doesn’t know how she got there. She doesn’t know why she’s in pain. But everyone else does.

Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night. But sometimes people don’t want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town’s heroes…

Goodreads Rating –   4.09/5 stars

Review 

I reviewed Louise O’Neill’s Only Ever Yours in August and put Asking For It straight on the top of my TBR. I knew it was going to be difficult, powerful and much-needed even before I started. It’s the perfect choice for my book club because we’re all sure to have a lot to say.

Asking For It is about what happens to eighteen-year-old student Emma O’Donovan after she is raped at a party by a group of boys on the school football team. She doesn’t understand what’s happened to her, until photos of that night are shared on Facebook. I thought Asking For It was going to be straightforward, but Louise O’Neill makes Emma an unlikeable character. She’s vain, self-centred, hurtful and judgemental. She’s not someone you would want to know, let alone be friends with. Most – sadly, not all – people would be outraged to discover that a boy had attacked an ‘innocent’ young girl on her way home, especially if she was in a private school uniform; if she was covered up. But what if she was wearing a short dress? What if she was drunk? What if she was over 18? What if she made a move first? Would we say she was asking for it? This is what Louise O’Neill wants to fight against.

I knew Asking For It was going to be a difficult read, but I also knew that it was extremely important that I read it. Asking For It addresses so many aspects of our lives that are often left unquestioned. It tackles how awful and judgemental people can be towards each other, even when we as readers can see who’s in the right and feel it should be evident. How people struggle to understand consent and what exactly constitutes rape, especially as Emma herself doesn’t realise she’s been raped until the teacher suggests it. I thought it was interesting to see the portrayal of social media and traditional media, both shown as a tool for abuse and as a tool to give people a voice. Support for rape victims on social media seems wonderful and essential. But if you’re the victim, it can be intrusive having people tell your story for you, and this isn’t something that had ever occurred to me. Would Iwant everyone talking about me, even if what they were saying was supportive?

Asking For It will make you angry, and rightly so. Louise O’Neill doesn’t shy away from reality and, as with Only Ever Yours, doesn’t tie up Asking For Itwith a happily ever after. Perhaps, instead of arguing about which classics should be taught in schools, we should be arguing that Asking For It should be taught alongside them. Even after so many years of education – from school to college to university – I have never within education participated in a conversation about rape. This must change. Let’s talk.

Rating –  5/5 Stars 

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

Instagram – Globalbookmania 

Popular books I am yet to read…

1. Carry On – Rainbow Rowell

Everyone has been going on about how amazing this book is but I’ve put off reading because I didn’t enjoy Fangirl. That being said I did enjoy Elenor and Park. I don’t think I like her writing style but perhaps I’ll give it a go sometime.

2. An Ember In The Ashes – Sabaa Tahir

I honestly don’t know why I haven’t read this yet because it sounds amazing and everyone has told me to read it! It’s just always been put to the back of my bookshelf and forgotten about as new books have come out.

3. A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J. Maas

If any of you have read my reviews for the Throne of Glass series ( albeit I’ve only read the first 3), then you’ll know how much I loved the series! So I truly cannot answer or understand why I have not read this book yet… but hopefully I’ll get round to it soon enough!

Do any of you struggle with this? Do you buy books and then never get round to reading them even though they seem incredibly good!

Instagram – Globalbookmania

Goodreads – Katerina Turner

Hopeless – Colleen Hoover

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Synopsis – 

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

Goodreads Rating – 4,36/5 stars

My Review – * Contains Spoilers*

This is my third Colleen Hoover book and I must say that I am yet too be disappointed because each book seems to be better than the last. I known that many people believe that Colleen Hoover’s books are just cheesy, over dramatised romance novels and I must admit that that too was my initial reaction, however now I can honestly say that each novel has taken me by surprise. 

Yes, they are cheesy in terms of the romances and Hoover likes to go to extreme lengths to describe any sexual moments between the characters, in fact her writing reminds me a little of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s in that sense, however she builds incredible stories surrounding those characters and is able to make her audience see past the stereotypically attractive teens and their mundane lives. 

As some of you may know if you’ve read my previous reviews, I recently read ‘All the Rage’ by Courtney Summers and loved it because it was raw and real. I was not expecting this book to have a similar topic when I started it, I was simply expecting some romance between the broody mysterious guy and the ‘perfect’ girl. 

Sky and Holder were very real and perhaps some may think that they were over dramatised but unless someone has gone through something that traumatic how are we too know what is classed as being overdramatic snd what isn’t… This book was refreshing because it wasn’t simply about the teen romance but the long lost friendship, the harsh reality of ones past, the secrets, the lies and most importantly the fact that whether you are an adult or child, you are still responsible for your actions and it takes great courage to face the people you have wronged and yourself. 

I am excited to read more of Colleen Hoover’s work and see if there are any novels that of hers that I don’t like or whether she is guaranteed a spot on my list of top 10 Authors. 

My Rating – 5/5 Stars

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Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

Alien Love Story – A.K.Dawson

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Synopsis – 

Life is a headache for 15-year-old Dan. This isn’t some kind of metaphor. Dan suffers from migraines that make just about everything he does unbearable. Added to that he’s lost almost everyone he cares about. So he feels lonelier than the last puppy in a pet shop.

But one day he sees a mysterious girl digging in the rubbish bins behind his house. Just by being near her, he finds that all his pain goes away. So he wants to see her again, of course. And get to know her. But she’s a bit strange. And her big eyes make her look, well, like an alien.

Does she really exist? Or is she just a figment of an overactive, under-loved imagination?

Goodreads Rating –  3,64/5 Stars

My Review – 

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

I want to start of with the fact that I was expecting this book to be for a younger audience based on the cheesy title and the childish cover, however once I started reading it, I realised that it is certainly intended for a teen audience primarily due to the large amount of sexual references (non graphic). I have to admit that I found this rather refreshing, as many authors try to downplay the heightened hormones of teenagers, however I think that it was a useful tool in creating the confused and traumatized character of Dan. 

I thought that the romance was out of the blue, and not really all that romantic but simply awkward which is why it took me a while to get through this book because I just couldn’t connect with the characters as their relationship was so unnatural, but then again we are talking about a human and an alien so perhaps that is too be expected. 

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the book and found it amusing and entertaining, however the second half was a tad confusing and it seemed like this novel has a lot of potential to be excellent but that it has just been a little rushed. I adored the secondary characters of Gran and Tony and thought they added a sense of reality to the story. 

Of Course this book also deals with the topic matter of death and as an audience we feel sorry for Dan, however I think that the theme of loss could have been explored in more detail however I did enjoy the fact that as an audience we were forced to question Dan’s sanity. Overall, this was a quick and entertaining read. 

My Rating – 3/5 stars 

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Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

The Iron Trial – Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

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Goodreads Synopsis –

Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.

Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.

All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.

So he tries his best to do his worst – and fails at failing.

Now the Magisterium awaits him. It’s a place that’s both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.

The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .

Goodreads Rating – 3,93/5 stars

My Review –

I must admit that I went into this book thinking that it would be childish and boring, however I was pleasantly surprised. In my opinion the cover isn’t great and makes the book seem very juvenile, however upon reading it I believe that it is a good YA novel. Cassandra Clare and Holly Black are yet to disappoint me.

Call, the main character was unique which made him interesting and likeable, which seems rare nowadays with YA as the male protagonist are always “perfect” and frankly quite annoying, but our protagonist is complex and weird which makes him intriguing.

The book was fast paced and contrary to what some may say I was surprised by the ending and the little twist in the plot. Some may say that the entire book was very predictable, however I didn’t see it that way and really enjoyed it.

In terms of friendships, I was pleased that there were no love triangles (yay!), and that romance wasn’t a key part of the book at all, but it looked more at friendship and how characters with very different personalities were able to put their differences and parents beliefs aside and become friends. It some small way the book did remind me of the Percy Jackson series, just because of the awesome friendships within that series and the well paced character development throughout the series.

My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Gooreads – Katerina Turner 

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Paranomalcy – Kiersten White

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Goodreads Synopsis – 

Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

Goodreads Rating – 3,92/5 Stars

My Review – 

When I first picked up this book I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised. Usually when I read books with teen protagonists they are always incredibly whiny and cocky, but Evie was actually a decent and realistic sixteen year old.

It was an incredibly fact paced and entertaining book that didn’t take much thought or concentration and is probably targeted at a middle grade audience. The plot line was interesting as was the world building as it was unique but not overly complex however I do think that some things could have been better explained ( for example the faeries), but overall It was well written. 

Of course there is a love triangle but that is too be expected of most YA books, however I must say that it was a weak triangle… in the sense that from the start you know exactly who the Evie will end up with, which makes the other guy a nuisance. 

My Rating – 3,5/5 Stars 

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

Instagram – Globalbookmania