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

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

The Seduction Expert – Saya Lopez Ortega

SYNOPSIS

She’s cold, narcissistic, conceited and she has no redeeming qualities. 

She doesn’t care, she’s gifted. 

She doesn’t care, she’s the seduction expert.

Women contact her to take over their love lives. She steps in when they’re lost, she’s supposed to succeed where they failed. She handles their single status, their relationships, their breakups, and very often their partners’ affairs. Her job is a life priority, she spends most of her time at the office or between two flights in business class and the fact of having a sports car that can reach one hundred kilometers in less than six seconds often make her feel like a superheroine in service to women.

Anyway, take her card.

You’ll see, it’s much better than spending holidays in St Barts.

REVIEW

***I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review***

I did not know what to expect with this book. I scoured a few reviews that mentioned ‘ A Devil Wears Prada’ so I thought The Seduction Expert would have a bit of lighthearted humour and some uptight female characters.

However whilst reading it I realised that the main character, Baroness, was just simply rude, arrogant, selfish and frankly incredibly annoying to read about. The dialogue made me cringe because it was so cliché and rude. This book just irritated me and I could not understand the purpose of it.

The next thing that irritated me was the amount of spelling and grammar mistakes within this book. For example:

“That’s why I meet our wedding planner today”.

The book just seemed unprofessional. The only good thing I can say about it is that the author seems to have truly researched into different tactics of stalking people. It was a good way to create tension throughout the plot, however it did not make up for all the flaws.

2/5 ⭐️’s

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Goodreads – Katerina Turner

Only Ever Yours – Evie O’Neilll

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Synopsis 

In a world in which baby girls are no longer born naturally, women are bred in schools, trained in the arts of pleasing men until they are ready for the outside world. At graduation, the most highly rated girls become “companions”, permitted to live with their husbands and breed sons until they are no longer useful.

For the girls left behind, the future – as a concubine or a teacher – is grim.

Best friends Freida and Isabel are sure they’ll be chosen as companions – they are among the most highly rated girls in their year.

But as the intensity of final year takes hold, Isabel does the unthinkable and starts to put on weight. ..
And then, into this sealed female environment, the boys arrive, eager to choose a bride.

Freida must fight for her future – even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known. . .

Goodreads Rating 3.84/5 Stars

Review

A friend of mine recommended this book to me, so I just jumped straight into it without much thought only to go through an extreme emotional roller coaster and heartbreak. Even though this dystopian novel in set in another lifetime, there are many aspects and character traits that relate to our own, which make this novel that much more painful and horrific. 

Freida and Isabel are our two main characters. They are waiting to see whether they will be selected to be wives (companions) and bear sons or whether they will become concubines or chastities. The school teaches them that appearance is the most important thing in the world and that girls that cry or are fat, are worthless.  

Like in many schools across the world (sadly) popularity comes with being the most pretty and skinny girl. Eating disorders are encouraged at the school and the girls are given pills and other medication to make them throw up their food in order to main a ‘perfect weight’. The girls constantly judge each other and themselves which at times was absolutely heartbreaking. There was class ‘comparisons’, where two girls would strip and get into glass tubes so that there classmates could critique them. 

‘Only Ever Yours’ is beautifully written. The plot unfolds when Isabel can no longer live up to what society wants her to be – a skinny mini barbie doll. We watch as her best friend and sister of many years –  Frieda, struggles to deal Isabel’s disobedience and depression.She battles between staying a good friend to Isabel who is rapidly spiralling into oblivion and getting ahead of the game in order to score the perfect husband. 

All of the Eves are created the same, so when you see personality differences between them, it’s refreshing and gives you hope that things are going to get better. Isabel is presented as someone unique from the very start, however we are kept in the dark about why she is so special until the end of the book.  The ending broke my heart and in a way I can say that it was predictable, but it made me incredibly angry. 

Overall, I thought that this book was absolutely incredible! I certainly surprised me and at times I wanted to throw it across the room and cry at how horrible some of characters were, but I’m glad I read it. It is an absolute must read for all teen girls and women, but also for men, because it doesn’t exactly portray them well. It portrays domestic abuse and rape as being a acceptable, which it isn’t. 

Amazing book!!! GO READ IT!!!

Rating  – 5/5vStars

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

Instagram – Globalbookmania

Wyntier’s Rise – Natalie Erin

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Synopsis 

The new generation begins…

It has been over a decade since Wyntier kidnapped Kennu and his friends. Nearly sixteen, Kennu and his griffin Allie live within the safety of the Verinian Forest, guarded by dragons and unicorns at all times. Desperate for freedom, Kennu and Allie attempt to be normal teenagers while Allie deals with the repercussions of her powers as a prophetess, and Kennu an ever worsening, terminal illness. Yet Wynter is on the move, and he will stop at nothing to obtain power, targeting the only ones who stand in his way…Kennu’s family.

Meanwhile, across the ocean, Kennu’s cousin Soran deals with a string of strange disappearances. The once-democratic government in the city of Nesting’s Haven has transformed into a dictatorship, his university changed from a school of magic into a brainwashing facility.

No one who stands against the new regime is allowed to live. Teenagers build new friendships, battle bullies and fall in love as the world collapses around them into an all-out war. But how can a bunch of kids stop the most ruthless villain the Lands have ever known? Is it really worth losing everything to stand up for what you believe?

A story of grief, hope, and faith, Wyntier’s Rise is a young adult epic fantasy full of witches, vampires, shifters, and fae. Readers will stay up all night to complete Natalie Erin’s newest edition to the Creatures of the Lands series.

Goodreads Rating – 4.29/5 Stars 

Review 

**Disclaimer: I received this ARC from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review**

This is the third book of the Creatures of the Land series and I must say that even though this series started poorly, it seems to be getting better with each book. This book has more character development and I feel like I can finally start relating to the characters… and telling them apart. 

I was relieved that there wasn’t an abundance of new characters introduced and that the ones that were didn’t play huge roles, except Angel. All of the awkward and choppy plot lines of the individual characters are starting to make sense as the authors have stopped chucking information at their readers and started writing a story of how they all intertwine in each others lives. 

The romances seem less rushed and awkward. Ionan seems to be moving on from Vera but slowly, which is nice since she deserves a high level of respect. Ionan happens to be my favourite character from the very first book, whereas all of the other annoyed me. The constant family drama in this book was strange and felt out of tune at times. On the other hand I never liked Kia and Keota so I didn’t care at all about what happened to them. 

I enjoyed this book because it was fast paced and entertaining. It focused on the new generation, which meant new characters. The authors writing has gotten a little bit better with each book, so the new chracters had real personalities that actually made me want to care about what happened to them. 

Lastly, I think that the title doesn’t quite fit the book, since 75% of it was about the family drama and how all of their friends got involved. Wyntier’s rise to power occurred within 10 pages at the end. Overall it was a good book and I look forward to reading the next 3 books in the series. 

Rating 4/5 Stars

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

Instagram – Globalbookmania 

These Broken Stars – Aimee Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

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Synopsis – 

Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive – alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.

The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

Goodreads Ratings – 3.94/5 Stars 

Review – 

This book is like the Titanic set in space. Two star-crossed lovers, a wealthy and powerful young women that falls in love with a poor commoner. However, in this book, everything begins with a tragedy and goes on to focus on survival. There are however still many events that occur throughout the book that strongly reminded me of the Titanic. 

The chapters move between being Tarver’s POV & Lilac’s POV which sets us up with the idea that these two will be connected in some way through the entire novel.  Lilac LaRoux is a wealthy and powerful young woman and Tarver Merendsen is the youngest war hero of the galaxy. They are introduced to each at first in an awkward manner which initially throws us off course. It takes them a long time to form a good relationship that it realistic, which is lacking in so many YA novels nowadays. It was so refreshing to see two people get to know each other at a realistic pace, first becoming friends and then developing romantic feelings for one another. 

 Lilac and Tarver are both stubborn and condescending but they are both able to show compassion, even if they sometimes struggle with it. They come from different backgrounds, have different skills and different goals, however, due to the tough circumstances and human nature, they develop an understanding of each other. We are presented with two very strong but not unrealistic characters, that towards the end of the book are able to put their differences aside and merge into one. 

The plot was incredibly interesting and had me turning the pages at a rapid pace. I did get slightly confused at times but that was just because some of the events were so unique and out of the blue that it took me a minute to wrap my head around it.  

Aside from having characterized POVs, the start of each chapter began with an extract from an interview with Tarver that took place at the end of the book. It kept giving little clues as to what would happen in the upcoming chapter, as well remind me that Tarver and Lilac had survived and somehow returned to their civilization. 

My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

Instagram – Globalbookmania 

 

Zenith ( The Androma Saga) – Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings

29569157 Synopsis

There is darkness sweeping across the stars. Most know Androma Racella as the Bloody Baroness: a powerful mercenary whose reign of terror stretches across the Mirabel Galaxy. To those aboard her fearsome glass starship the Maurader, she’s just Andi, their captain and protector.

When a routine mission goes awry, the all-girl crew’s resilience is tested as they find themselves in a most unfamiliar place: at the mercy of a sadistic bounty hunter connected to Andi’s past and a harrowing betrayal.

Meanwhile, on the far side of the galaxy, a ruthless ruler waits in the shadows of the planet Xen Ptera, biding her time to exact revenge for the destruction of her people. The final pieces of her deadly plan are about to fall into place, unleashing a plot that will tear Mirabel in two.

Andi and her crew embark on a dangerous, soul-testing journey that could restore order to their ship—or just as easily start a war that will devour worlds. As the Marauder hurtles towards the unknown, and Mirabel hangs in the balance, the only thing certain is that in a galaxy run on lies and illusion, no one can be trusted.

Goodreads Rating – 3.72/5 Stars

Review 
I didn’t have any expectations heading into this. I didn’t even read the blurb since it was written by Sasha and that seemed a good enough reason to read this. Right from the start, I found the plot confusing and it didn’t get much clearer as I read on. It may sound bad, but it felt like was a reading a well-written fanfiction rather than an original novel.  It was only 62 pages so it was obvious from the start that it would end on a cliffhanger and that there wouldn’t be room for character development and a lot of world building but somehow the authors managed to jam as much detail into 62 pages as possible. 

Going on from what I said about this being more fanfiction that fiction, the authors did create some unique aspects, however, they just made the book childish and irritating.  I mean it’s annoying when people say shiitake instead of shit, but at least that’s better than  Fick as a replacement for Fuck. But it really disrupted the flow of the story and it just didn’t make any sense. With YA novels you either swear properly or you don’t. That will all depend on the target audience and the plot that the authors have in mind. 

Androma, the main protagonist, was supposed to be a badass pirate that floats through space causing havoc and destruction. Yet again we are met by a little girl with a big mouth but not much else. Her nickname is ‘The Bloody Baroness’ which just reminds me of Harry Potter, as does not the name Androma… just saying. My point is that Androma (Andi) doesn’t seem like a badass character, just someone who pretends to be badass. 

The plot was fairly interesting and once Sasha and Lindsay produce the full novel I will definitely read it. This has a lot of potential and I hope Sasha and Lindsay start coming up with something more original. 

Rating – 3/5 Stars

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

Instagram – Globalbookmania