DANGEROUS REMEDY – Kat Dunn

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RELEASED: 06/08/2020
PUBLISHER: Head of Zeus
GENRE: Young Adult, Historical Fiction

The first in a dazzling, commercial, historical adventure series set in the extravagant and deadly world of the French Revolution. A whirlwind of action, science and magic reveals, with a diverse cast of fearless heroines, a band of rebels like no other.

Camille, a revolutionary’s daughter, leads a band of outcasts – a runaway girl, a deserter, an aristocrat in hiding. As the Battalion des Morts they cheat death, saving those about to meet a bloody end at the blade of Madame La Guillotine. But their latest rescue is not what she seems. The girl’s no aristocrat, but her dark and disturbing powers means both the Royalists and the Revolutionaries want her. But who and what is she?

In a fast and furious story full of the glamour and excesses, intrigue and deception of these dangerous days, no one can be trusted, everyone is to be feared. As Camille learns the truth, she’s forced to choose between loyalty to those she loves and the future.

Anyone who knows me will know that I’m a total sucker for a book set in Paris, so naturally this has been one of my most anticipated books this year! When I finally took the time to pick it up, I instantly regretted waiting so long because I just couldn’t put it down!

With Dangerous Remedy, Kat Dunn has created a whole host of characters that you instantly like and are intrigued about, and has really brought revolutionary Paris to life. The writing is fast-paced yet descriptive enough to keep you understanding what’s going on, and I love how you can just get lost in the story and let your imagination do the work.

The relationships between the characters are full of all the complexities of modern life, and that’s something that I really think will appeal to readers, especially as there are so many different aspects that are explored such as LGBT relationships and friendships. I actually really enjoyed how the characters interacted and how the romances are subtle yet important.

I’d highly recommend this book for anyone after something a little refreshing yet familiar – it reads very much like the best YA books out there, has a setting and some themes that are highly popular, yet makes its own mark on the genre. I for one can’t wait to see what comes next!


Thank you to Jade at Zephyr for my (signed!) proof of Dangerous Remedy and for having me on the blog tour!

READ WITH PRIDE – Lucy Powrie

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RELEASED: 28/5/2020
PUBLISHER: Hachette
GENRE: Young Adult, Teen, Contemporary, LGBT

The much anticipated second book in The Paper & Hearts Society series by Booktuber Lucy Powrie. Will you be the next recruit for The Paper & Hearts Society book club? For fans of Holly Smale and Super Awkward.

Olivia Santos is excited for her last year at secondary school. But when a parent complains about LGBTQ+ content in one of the books, the library implements a new policy for withdrawing books. Olivia is distraught – she’s demisexual and knows how important it is for all readers to see themselves represented.

Luckily, she’s the mastermind behind The Paper & Hearts Society book club, and she knows exactly what to do: start a new club, find ways of evading the system, and change the policy for good!

With two book clubs to run, exams to prepare for, and a girlfriend, just how long will it be before Olivia burns out? After all, creating a book club and trying to get the #ReadWithPride hashtag to get noticed is going to take a lot of energy.

Sometimes, when you’re in too deep, it’s up to your friends to look out for you…

One of my favourite debuts of all time was Lucy Powrie’s The Paper & Hearts Society, so naturally I was VERY excited to read Read With Pride on that basis. I’d connected so much to the characters in book one and really had “found my people”. That possibly was the one hesitation I had going into Read With Pride; I wasn’t sure how much I’d connect to how the characters were feeling; I’m not from the LGBT community. I definitely need not have worried however; this book was so inclusive and covered such a variety of characters and the issues raised were ones that I wholeheartedly agreed with the indignation that Olivia felt!

The key theme that the book starts with is the completely absurd rules brought in at her school that requires parental permission to read books that have LGBT themes – that kind of control and oppression is wrong! I’m fortunate that I’ve never had my reading limited by themes or age appropriateness – I’ve always been free to make my own choices about what I read and to assess their suitability for myself. I can’t even begin to imagine how it must feel to be told you can’t read something because it contains things that someone else has deemed inappropriate without good reason. I fully understood where Olivia was coming from.

I also really connected to Olivia in how she takes on too much! It was really important how Lucy highlighted that sometimes you don’t have to do everything yourself and that you can rely on others to help! Despite not featuring as much in the story, The Paper & Hearts Society really rallied round Olivia at her time of need and they showed how strong their friendship is – they really are a good bunch!

Overall, I really did enjoy Read With Pride! I did miss Tabby a lot as she’s really my favourite member of the society, but it was really interesting to see things from Olivia’s perspective and to see how actually I did have a fair bit in common with her! Yet again, Lucy’s writing was brilliant and made you want to keep reading, and was approachable to readers from the teen market upwards which is something I really love to find!

MELT MY HEART – Bethany Rutter

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RELEASED: 23/7/2020
PUBLISHER: Macmillan
GENRE: YA Fiction, Contemporary, LGBT

Melt My Heart is a hilarious and inspiring coming-of-age YA novel from Bethany Rutter: influencer, editor and a fierce UK voice in the debate around body positivity.

Lily Rose is used to people paying attention to her gorgeous twin sister, Daisy. But even though Lily loves her own fat body, she can’t shake the idea that no one would ever choose her over Daisy – not when they could have the thin twin.

That is, until she meets Cal, the gorgeous, sweet guy from New Zealand who can’t seem to stay away. The gorgeous, sweet guy who also happens to be Daisy’s summer crush.

Lily can’t seem to figure out why she isn’t as into him as she should be. She should be head-over-heels in love, not missing time at the ice-cream shack with her life-long best friend, Cassie. Not wondering what Cassie is getting up to with Cal’s friend Jack, or what she’s thinking about when they’re alone . . .

With University threatening to tear Cassie and Lily apart at the end of summer and Lily desperately trying to keep Cal a secret from Daisy, summer is set to be far from relaxing.

Last year, one of my favourite releases was No Big Deal by Bethany Rutter. So, I was very excited to see that there is a new book coming out from Bethany this year! Again, I requested it as soon as I saw it and, again, I wasn’t disappointed!

The thing that I absolutely love about Bethany’s books is how the sensitive topic of body image is discussed so positively and in a way that’s accessible and non-judgemental. In Melt My Heart, our narrator Lily clearly has some insecurities over being a bigger girl, but it’s not the sole focus of the story and it’s doesn’t define her and we also see how body insecurities affect everyone.

I also love in Melt My Heart that it’s set during that strange period between sixth form and university, and that it also challenges whether university is the right option for everyone. Just because someone’s seen as “university material” doesn’t mean that it’s the path they have to take, and that’s something I wish I’d known back when I was 18!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book; there were some really interesting storylines taking place and I loved getting to know the characters! They’re definitely ones that I’d love to revisit a few months later to see how they’re getting on!


Thank you to MyKindaBook via NetGalley for the ebook of this title!

VENOM – Bex Hogan

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RELEASED: 16/04/2020
PUBLISHER: Hachette
GENRE: YA Fiction, Fantasy

Marianne is now the Viper, but her hopes for peace in the Eastern Isles are being frustrated. The corrupt King remains on the throne, bandits are proving hard to stop and Marianne is not sure who among her crew she can truly trust.

For the islands to prosper, the invisible bond that once existed uniting land and sea must be reinstated. There’s only one way that can happen – the return of magic. To do that Marianne must put aside all her fears: she must return to her roots, the Western Isles, and call on the power that runs in her blood.

She must become a Mage.

Only then, can she possibly command the army needed to finally take down the King.

Bex Hogan is one of the loveliest authors I’ve ever met, spoken to online, and in general. So WHY DID SHE THINK IT WAS A GOOD IDEA TO END VENOM LIKE THIS?!

I know that I am not alone in my desperation for book three in this series, Vulture, to come out next year; the cliffhanger that Venom finishes on…oh gosh! Obviously, with this review, I do not want to spoil anything. But as you start to near the end, you just know things aren’t going to tie up nicely ready for the wait for book three. It’s inevitable that you will be left hungry for more.

The Isles of Storm and Sorrow series started off with the incredible Viper, which was one of the best YA fantasy books I’ve ever read, and it continues with Venom, one of the best YA fantasy sequels I’ve ever read. Even if it did destroy me, and a lot of other readers.

The thing I loved about Venom was how the characters and story really developed, and how you can see the excellent world building is. I really began to get a feel for the twelve isles and understand more about the story and what’s going on. Like Viper, it’s one of those books that you can read 50 pages without even realising – it’s just so addictive and brilliant!

I can’t recommend this series enough, and Venom was a fantastic sequel that’s left me hungry for even more!

Six for Sunday – 3rd May 2020

Good afternoon! I’m looking forward to this month’s theme – I do love a good series of books! Six for Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by A Little But A Lot! Today’s theme is:

Showing some series love: favourite book one in series

  1. Midnight for Charlie Bone – Jenny Nimmo
  2. Viper – Bex Hogan
  3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – JK Rowling
  4. Murder Most Unladylike – Robin Stevens
  5. The Doomspell – Cliff McNish
  6. Inkheart – Cornelia Funke

This was actually tricky – I LOVE so so many book ones in series! I could’ve gone on and on, so narrowing it down to six was hard!

kayleigh

 

VIPER – Bex Hogan

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RELEASED: 18/04/2019
PUBLISHER: Hachette
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy

Marianne has been training to be the Viper for her entire life – to serve and protect the King and the citizens of The Twelve Isles – but to become the Viper and protect the islands she loves she must find the strength to defeat her father.

An immersive and swashbuckling new fantasy trilogy perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas and Leigh Bardugo.

He will make me a killer.
Or he will have me killed.
That is my destiny.

Seventeen-year-old Marianne is fated to one day become the Viper, defender of the Twelve Isles.

But the reigning Viper stands in her way. Corrupt and merciless, he prowls the seas in his warship, killing with impunity, leaving only pain and suffering in his wake.

He’s the most dangerous man on the ocean . . . and he is Marianne’s father.

She was born to protect the islands. But can she fight for them if it means losing her family, her home, the boy she loves – and perhaps even her life?

A brave heroine. An impossible dilemma. An epic new fantasy trilogy set on the high seas.

I am writing this review as I sit here with a massive book hangover thanks to Viper! I can’t believe that, despite owning this book for a year, I hadn’t read it up until now, but seeing as book two has recently come out and other bloggers have been raving about this series I thought I really ought to make the time to read it. And my god am I glad that I did!

I’ve discovered a new favourite YA fantasy series and I am hungry for more!

I’ll start by saying the two words that persuaded me to push this to the top of my reading list – Pirates and Assassins. The two types of characters in a good YA fantasy that tend to make for good reading. And Viper didn’t disappoint. Full of a vast array of characters from all walks of life, the good, the bad and everything in between, there’s so much to make you want to keep reading, and you want to know how the characters are going to turn out because this book is full of intrigue and twists and you just don’t know how things are going to end up!

The plot is gripping and makes you want to turn every page, right up until the end. Bex’s writing is just so easy to get lost in and the world really comes to life without it being overly descriptive. I was very impressed with how the world and story was built up despite it not being a massively long book and this is what makes it so much more engaging! I just loved everything about it!

I can’t recommend this book highly enough, and am so so glad that I finally picked it up! Perfect for fans of To Kill a Kingdom and Throne of Glass, Viper is the start of a fantastic trilogy and I can’t wait to voyage on!

 

Sundays In Bed With…Viper

I’ve had a very productive Sunday morning reading and finishing an AMAZING book that I started yesterday, so I couldn’t resist doing this tag today! Sundays In Bed With… is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

This week, I attended the Twitter launch party for Venom by Bex Hogan. Her first book, Viper, came out last year and received a lot of very good reviews, I bought a copy when it first came out, went to an event where I got it signed and got to meet Bex…then I just never got round to actually reading it. However, I wanted to join in with the Twitter launch for book two and see whether I really ought to read it soon, and it was without hesitation that many book bloggers persuaded me to give it a go!

Marianne has been training to be the Viper for her entire life – to serve and protect the King and the citizens of The Twelve Isles – but to become the Viper and protect the islands she loves she must find the strength to defeat her father.

An immersive and swashbuckling new fantasy trilogy perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas and Leigh Bardugo.

He will make me a killer.
Or he will have me killed.
That is my destiny.

Seventeen-year-old Marianne is fated to one day become the Viper, defender of the Twelve Isles.

But the reigning Viper stands in her way. Corrupt and merciless, he prowls the seas in his warship, killing with impunity, leaving only pain and suffering in his wake.

He’s the most dangerous man on the ocean . . . and he is Marianne’s father.

She was born to protect the islands. But can she fight for them if it means losing her family, her home, the boy she loves – and perhaps even her life?

A brave heroine. An impossible dilemma. An epic new fantasy trilogy set on the high seas.

So yeah, this sounds like my kinda book. As Steph said, Pirates and Assassins.

WHY HAVEN’T I PICKED THIS UP SOONER?!

I flew through Viper, and this morning I devoured the second half. The only downside is that I now have to find a way to get a copy of Venom and it’s not in my possession right now D:

Marianne is an incredible main character; at first I wasn’t too sure of her but as the story progressed I grew to really like her! There’s such a variety of characters, the story moves at the perfect pace and it’s just AHHHH!

If you loved To Kill a Kingdom, Throne of Glass…anything like that, you will ADORE this book!

Have you read Viper yet? If not, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO!

kayleigh

ALL THE THINGS WE NEVER SAID – Yasmin Rahman

all the things we never said4.5/5

RELEASED: 11/07/2019
PUBLISHER: Hot Key
GENRE: Young Adult, Contemporary

16-year-old Mehreen Miah’s anxiety and depression, or ‘Chaos’, as she calls it, has taken over her life, to the point where she can’t bear it any more. So she joins MementoMori, a website that matches people with partners and allocates them a date and method of death, ‘the pact’.

Mehreen is paired with Cara Saunders and Olivia Castleton, two strangers dealing with their own serious issues. As they secretly meet over the coming days, Mehreen develops a strong bond with Cara and Olivia, the only people who seem to understand what she’s going through. But ironically, the thing that brought them together to commit suicide has also created a mutually supportive friendship that makes them realise that, with the right help, life is worth living.

It’s not long before all three want out of the pact. But in a terrifying twist of fate, the website won’t let them stop, and an increasingly sinister game begins, with MementoMori playing the girls off against each other.

A pact is a pact, after all. In this powerful debut written in three points of view, Yasmin Rahman has created a moving, poignant novel celebrating life. All the Things We Never Said is about friendship, strength and survival.

As soon as I saw a table of this book in a bookshop, I was drawn to it. With a bold cover, I couldn’t resist picking it up, and, when I saw the subject matter, I decided immediately that it was something that I’d be interested in reading. My favourite YA contemporaries are UKYA, based on mental health and very much character driven. All The Things We Never Said screamed all of those.

I was not disappointed at all when I started reading as I found myself drawn in to the stories of the three girls. I loved the author’s note at the beginning which really set the tone for the book, and then as I learnt more about why Mehreen, Olivia and Cara had joined MementoMori I really began to connect and empathise with the characters.

One thing that I did love was how the characters were diverse but it wasn’t the sole focus of the story and it didn’t define the character entirely. Yes, Mehreen’s religion was an important factor, but she was so much more than just that and was such a real character that, despite me being from a totally different background, I could really relate to her. I found it to be the same with all the characters and that was something that I think Yasmin really hit the nail on the head with. (I do hope I’ve phrased all of that correctly!)

The only thing that I personally wasn’t too keen on was the typeface for Olivia’s chapters. I found myself skipping ahead and I didn’t really understand why it was written in such a way! That was the only thing that really hindered my total enjoyment of the book. Nevertheless, I would still highly recommend this book, and I’ve also got the audiobook to love and enjoy as much!

Before I sign off this review, I would just like to highlight that there are a lot of triggers in this book which people who are a bit more vulnerable to those kinds of books may struggle with. Topics touched upon, besides suicide, include self-harm, rape and severe anxiety and depression. I personally was okay with all of these and found that they were handled very sensitively and not in a way that made for uncomfortable reading – I have found books on these topics triggering before but All The Things We Never Said was so well written that I still found enjoyment in the reading experience of this one.

Overall, I would definitely say that it’s worth getting a copy of this book, and of the audiobook, and I can’t wait to see what Yasmin writes next!

WWW Wednesday: 5th February 2020

Hello and happy Wednesday! Half way through the week already…just two days to go!

What are you currently reading? 

I’ve just started the second Kissing Booth book by Beth Reekles. I loved the first (and the Netflix adaptation) so can’t wait to see what’s in store!

heartstopper volume 3

 

 

 


What did you recently finish reading?

I’ve read a few books over the past week or so – All The Things We Never Said by Yasmin Rahman, The Sky Is Mine by Amy Beashel and volume three of Heartstopper! I loved all three, but am desperately awaiting volume four of Heartstopper now!

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m not too sure; I’m kind of feeling in a YA contemporary mood at the minute, so we shall see!

kayleigh

THE SKY IS MINE – Amy Beashel

the sky is mine

RELEASED: 6/2/2020
PUBLISHER: Rock the Boat
GENRE: Young Adult, Contemporary

Izzy feels invisible. Trapped under the weight of expectation and censored by shame.

Her mum Steph and best friend Grace have always been there to save her. But with one under the control of her stepfather and the other caught in the throes of new love, Izzy is falling between the cracks.

As threats to her safety grow, Izzy wants to scream. But first she must find her voice.

And if the sky is the limit, then the sky is hers.

[This book contains material which some readers may find distressing, including discussions of rape, coercive behaviour, domestic violence and abuse.]

I heard about this book quite a long time ago and loved the sound of it! However, when I went to pick it up I realised that it had themes of domestic violence which is an automatic no for me usually. That said, I knew there must’ve been a reason that I requested a copy of The Sky is Mine in the first place so I decided to give it a go, and I’m so so glad that I did!

It’s been a loooong time since I read a book in one sitting, and this was surprisingly one of those books! I simply couldn’t put it down; I just had to know what happened as I turned every page and I was completely hooked. I’ve read books that cover similar themes before, and I’ve kept reading despite feeling incredibly uncomfortably purely because I wanted to know that everything worked out okay. With The Sky is Mine, I kept reading because I wanted to know how everything worked out, of course, but I also cared about the characters and felt that, although it was an accurate portrayal, it didn’t leave me feeling awful as I read it. There were some lighter moments and that made all the difference which is what I loved about The Sky is Mine; despite having some pretty heavy themes, it didn’t feel like a heavy book to read and the topics were handled sensitively and very well. I did like the fact that it was focused on coercive control too; whilst that’ll hit home with a lot of readers, it, again, was handled in a way that made it informative and realistic without being horrid to read about.

I don’t want you to go away thinking that this is solely a book focused on domestic violence, however; there are themes of friendship, romance and just the general difficulties of being a teenager! Izzy was such a good main character; she was very realistic and relatable, and many of the difficulties she faces throughout the book are the kinds of emotions and feelings that so many young people face. 

The Sky is Mine is a brilliant example of what makes for a deep yet enjoyable UKYA read, and I’m very excited to see what Amy writes next!


Thank you to Rock the Boat for sending me a proof of this title.