Bone Gap

Bone Gap

How did I get it?:
A copy was sent to me by Faber in exchange for an honest review!

Synopsis:

Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps—gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame?

Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.

As we follow the stories of Finn, Roza, and the people of Bone Gap—their melancholy pasts, their terrifying presents, their uncertain futures—acclaimed author Laura Ruby weaves a heartbreaking tale of love and loss, magic and mystery, regret and forgiveness—a story about how the face the world sees is never the sum of who we are.

Thoughts:

I had heard so much about Bone Gap so when I was given the opportunity to read it recently, I jumped at the chance. I absolutely love magical realism and this book is perfect for that. Laura Ruby is a phenomenal writer. Bone Gap is beautifully written and really should be read.

The premise is interesting. It centres around a woman named Roza who is taken away by a rich and powerful man. He falls in love with her and takes her into a world where everything she needs is available to her. All the man wants is for her to fall in love with him. However, she really doesn’t feel the same way. When Roza goes missing from Bone Gap, her friend Finn is determined to find her. He believes that she wouldn’t go anywhere without her consent and he feels very suspicious about it all since he witnessed Roza disappearing with the man. However, no-one really believes Finn as he is known for being a little bit odd and dreamy. (There’s a reason why, but I don’t want to ruin it!) Finn is incredibly troubled by her disappearance, especially because he seems to be the only one that’s looking for her. He is surprised that his brother Sean, who he thought loved Roza is not searching for her.

Bone Gap is told from mainly Finn’s point of view, but we also read from Roza’s point of view and experience the world in which she is in. Both perspectives are fascinating and really add something unique to the narration. Another character that we hear from is Petey- Finn’s strange bee obsessed love interest. The story really focuses around Roza’s experience in Bone Gap and how her disappearance made an impact on the inhabitants of Bone Gap.

It’s so hard to review this book because I don’t want to spoil the story, it’s really one you’ve got to get into to enjoy and experience the vivid world as you turn the pages. It really is quite fairy tale-esque which of course is what I LOVE in a story.

There are such intriguing characters in this story. I really enjoyed the connection between Finn and Petey. Both Petey and Roza are such strong female characters and really make you think about the world which places such an emphasis on outer beauty. Both characters have been affected by the perception of beauty and I love the way Laura Ruby explores this in Bone Gap. 

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Bone Gap is a book about perception. It’s fairy tale-eque and SO beautifully written!

The Edge of Everything

The Edge of Everything

How did I get it?:
Netgalley- thanks to Bloomsbury!

Synopsis:

It’s been a shattering year for seventeen-year-old Zoe, who’s still reeling from her father’s shockingly sudden death in a caving accident and her neighbors’ mysterious disappearance from their own home. Then on a terrifying sub-zero, blizzardy night in Montana, she and her brother are brutally attacked in a cabin in the woods—only to be rescued by a mysterious bounty hunter they call X.

X is no ordinary bounty hunter. He is from a hell called the Lowlands, sent to claim the soul of Zoe’s evil attacker and others like him. X is forbidden from revealing himself to anyone other than his prey, but he casts aside the Lowlands’ rules for Zoe. As they learn more about their colliding worlds, they begin to question the past, their fate, and their future.

Thoughts:

You might look at this book and think it’s going to be a contemporary YA novel, but it really isn’t. The Edge Of Everything is an action-packed YA fantasy read.  It has a lot of darker moments which you don’t anticipate with such a light and fresh book cover. It definitely captured my attention and kept me turning the pages.

The Edge of Everything is about Zoe and X who are desperate to be with one another. However, X is different from normal guys. He comes from the Lowlands and his job is to collect criminal’s souls who have been unpunished. X was totally okay with doing his job until he met Zoe and fell in love with her. The two really shouldn’t be together and there are so many obstacles and repercussions in the way. I thought this book had such a unique plot, it certainly engrossed me right from the get go.

I really enjoyed Zoe as a character and her relationship with her brother Jonah was adorable. I loved that Zoe was quite the strong female lead. She would give everything a go and not rely on the male characters which is always a bonus in my eyes. I loved so many characters in this story. The reader does get to see the characters develop so much throughout the course of the story. The relationship between Zoe and X does happen rather quickly, but I could see past that.

I can imagine that so many people will enjoy The Edge of Everything. Its plot is different to anything I’ve recently read in the YA genre.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

This book is well worth reading despite the instalove!

The Lie Tree

The Lie Tree

How did I get it?:
I bought it from Mr B’s Emporium

Synopsis:

It was not enough. All knowledge- any knowledge – called to Faith, and there was a delicious, poisonous pleasure in stealing it unseen.

Faith has a thirst for science and secrets that the rigid confines of her class cannot supress. And so it is that she discovers her disgraced father’s journals, filled with the scribbled notes and theories of a man driven close to madness. Tales of a strange tree which, when told a lie, will uncover a truth: the greater the lie, the greater the truth revealed to the liar. Faith’s search for the tree leads her into great danger – for where lies seduce, truths shatter . . .

Thoughts:

My sister Beth and I picked up this book at our reading spa at Mr B’s Emporium. Our bibliotherapist sold it to us incredibly well. The Lie Tree was Costa Book of the Year in 2015. It’s easy to see why it won the award as I thought The Lie Tree was beautifully written by Frances Hardinge.  Although this book is aimed towards the YA genre, I truly believe that anyone can and will appreciate the story.

The Lie Tree is set in Victorian England. Faith and her family have recently moved to a small island. Faith’s father is a naturalist. Faith herself has a thirst for science and yearns for more knowledge despite her class confining her. Faith and her family think that they have accompanied her father for work reasons, but Faith finds out that her father’s reputatipn is under fire, meaning that the family’s reputation is declining. Faith’s thirst for knowledge doesn’t fit into what her family and wider society want for her. Faith realises that she’s going to have to learn to use her own initiative. Faith desperately wants to impress her father and be loved by him, but he is stuck in his ways of what a young girl should be doing. Faith remains loyal to her father and when he asks for help (and secrecy) Faith easily agrees. As the truth unravels, Faith learns some truth about her family that she never expected.

I did really enjoy this book, but I felt it was a little slow to start. It took me a while to get engrossed with the story. However, as soon as I was, I loved turning the pages and finding out more. Faith is a strong protagonist and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her journey. This book has certainly piqued my interest in Frances Hardinge’s other books.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

Absolutely beautiful writing!

Stealing Snow (Stealing Snow #1)

Stealing Snow (Stealing Snow, #1)

How did I get it?:
I received a copy, unsolicited from the publisher.

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Dorothy Must Die

Synopsis:

First kisses sometimes wake slumbering princesses, undo spells, and spark happily ever afters.

Mine broke Bale.

Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent her life locked in Whittaker Psychiatric—but she isn’t crazy. And that’s not the worst of it. Her very first kiss proves anything but innocent…when Bale, her only love, turns violent.

Despite Snow knowing that Bale would never truly hurt her, he is taken away—dashing her last hope for any sort of future in the mental ward she calls home. With nowhere else to turn, Snow finds herself drawn to a strange new orderly who whispers secrets in the night about a mysterious past and a kingdom that’s hers for the taking—if only she can find her way past the iron gates to the Tree that has been haunting her dreams.

Beyond the Tree lies Algid, a land far away from the real world, frozen by a ruthless king. And there too await the River Witch, a village boy named Kai, the charming thief Jagger, and a prophecy that Snow will save them all.

Thoughts:

When I added this book to Goodreads, I noticed its low rating and have to admit, I went into the book with low expectations. I wasn’t a big fan of Dorothy Must Die. I thought it was okay, but it didn’t blow me away like I wanted it to. However, I did enjoy reading Stealing Snow. I’m pleased it was sent to me, as I don’t think I would have considered it after being slightly underwhelmed by the slower elements of Dorothy Must Die. 

Stealing Snow centres around Snow who has spent a huge part of her life in a psychiatric home named Whittaker. She is treated as if she is crazy and is on a cocktail of medication. Snow has a developing relationship with Bale, but during their first kiss, Bale hurt Snow and hasn’t talked since. Snow knows that Bale would never intend to hurt her, but before she can sort things through Bale is taken away. Snow manages to leave the psychiatric home and finds herself drawn into a strange world which is far from the real world. Snow learns things about herself that she would have never expected. There’s witchcraft and a prophecy, as Snow begins her quest to find Bale.

I do have mixed feelings about this book, so I can certainly see where some of the low ratings are coming from. I thought it was so intriguing to begin with. I really liked the fact that it was set in a psychiatric ward. It was unique. I did really enjoy the magical element of this story and think that this was one of the most powerful elements. I didn’t feel like the story was as fleshed out as it could be and I would have loved to have known more background on Snow. I don’t feel like I connected with her right from the start. She wasn’t a bad character, there just wasn’t much about her, in my opinion.

I’m a massive fairy tale retelling/imagining fan and whilst this book isn’t perfect, I think it’s worth giving a go to see if you can connect with it.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Not the strongest reimagining out there, but a decent world to explore nonetheless!

Down With The Shine

Down with the Shine

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Another Little Piece
(Don’t You) Forget About Me

Synopsis:

Make a wish…

Lennie always thought her uncles’ “important family legacy” was good old-fashioned bootlegging. Then she takes some of her uncles’ moonshine to Michaela Gordon’s annual house party, and finds out just how wrong she was.

At the party, Lennie has everyone make a wish before drinking the shine—it’s tradition. She toasts to wishes for bat wings, for balls of steel, for the party to go on forever. Lennie even makes a wish of her own: to bring back her best friend, Dylan, who was murdered six months ago.

The next morning gives Lennie a whole new understanding of the phrase be careful what you wish for—or in her case, be careful what wishes you grant. Because all those wishes Lennie raised a jar of shine to last night? They came true. Most of them came out bad. And once granted, a wish can’t be unmade…

Thoughts:

I really enjoy Kate Karyus Quinn’s writing. I can imagine that she’s an author you really get on with or you don’t really ‘get’ her books. Kate’s books are highly original and quirky. I absolutely love that about her books, so when I saw that she had a new book out, I immediately bought it without reading the synopsis. I thought that Down With The Shine was a good book. It had me gripped and although I felt it started to slow pace midway through, I was still highly engaged in the story and wanted to know what was going to happen next!

Down With The Shine is a magical realism story aimed at the YA genre- I do think other readers would enjoy this book too. I certainly did. It started off incredibly dark, but it seemed to get lighter along the way despite some terrible things happening. It centres around Lennie, who finds out she can grant wishes using her Uncles’ moonshine. Prior to Lennie finding out she could grant wishes with the moonshine, she goes to a party and grants some wishes…some very dark and some very strange wishes. Lennie then has to deal with the consequences of those wishes and tries hard to rectify the utter chaos that she has made.  If I’m being entirely honest, I would have liked to read more about Dylan, Lennie’s friend who had been murdered. Despite that, I found myself racing through the story, eager to find out if Lennie was going to sort things out.

I really enjoyed Lennie as a character. I think sometimes ‘outcasts’ in YA are so overdone, but Lennie was an exception to this. She’s a fun character with some sass. I also really enjoyed reading about many of the side characters. The only thing I didn’t really get on board with is the relationship between Lennie and Smith. I didn’t like the way Lennie acted around Smith and didn’t really ‘get’ the attraction to him.

As I mentioned, Down With The Shine, is highly original, much like Kate’s other books. It’s such a strange but fun story which I think is worth giving a go.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Another wonderful original story from Kate Karyus Quinn!

The Rest Of Us Just Live Here

The Rest of Us Just Live Here

How did I get it?:
It was a gift!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
The Knife Of Never Letting Go
The Ask and The Answer
Monsters Of Men
A Monster Calls
More Than This

Synopsis:

What if you aren’t the Chosen One?

The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

Thoughts:

I’m not going to beat about the bush here. Patrick Ness is one of my favourite writers. EVER. Which makes it incredibly hard when he comes out with a new book, because my expectations for his books are exceptionally high. I needn’t have been worried about The Rest Of Us Just Live Here as it was exceptional. I was pulled into the story right from the get go. There were moments that I was a little confused…I have to admit. However, I’ve come to expect a little bit of confusion in Patrick’s stories.

The Rest Of Us Just Live Here is a pretty hard book to try and describe. The reader starts off the chapter with a summary of what would have happened if it was told from the point of view of the chosen one. That was a little odd, but promise me, go with it! The main story follows a boy and his friends who are experiencing some incredibly weird events. It really focuses on the weird paranormal activities that keep following everyone around and Indie kids that keep dying. It’s all VERY odd but utterly readable at the same time. Patrick Ness is an incredible writer, so just stick with the weirdness, embrace it and let that beautiful writing sink in…

Another aspect of this book that I adored was the focus on mental illnesses. Patrick Ness created characters that were suffering with their mental health. As someone who struggles with anxiety on a day to day basis, I really appreciated his representation and to be honest, it’s not often that I can say that. I’m incredibly picky with how anxiety is portrayed in literature. There is a scene where Mikey speaks to his therapist that really, really resonated with me. *sigh*

The family (aside the parents) are wonderful. They care about each other so much that it makes me all warm and fuzzy. I love a family that get on, even if they have crappy parents. I ADORE the characters that Patrick Ness creates. I love how they’re often searching for their place in the world. It’s so relatable to many readers. I also love it when he slips in a LGBTQ character, because why shouldn’t they have a lot of representation?

Would I recommend it?:
Without a doubt!

If you haven’t read Patrick Ness then you’re missing out! The Rest Of Us Just Live Here is incredible!

Tell The Wind and Fire

Tell the Wind and Fire

How did I get it?
NetGalley- thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Unspoken
Untold
Unmade

Synopsis:

In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets.

Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised. Lucie alone knows the young men’s deadly connection, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.

Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?

Thoughts

I was really excited to get approved for this book as I absolutely adored The Lynburn Legacy that I have previously read by Sarah Rees Brennan. I was intrigued by the synopsis and how it was based on A Tale Of Two Cities. I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of A Tale Of Two Cities, but I was interested nonetheless!

I enjoyed Tell The Wind And Fire. It’s a story of two cities, one of light and one of dark. It is centred in New York, so think Light New York and Dark New York. I’m always intrigued by books that involve magic. I really think this book has a great mixture of magic, romance and adventure.

Tell The Wind and Fire opens with our main characters Lucie and Ethan. They are stopped on their way home one night. Ethan is accused of helping the rebels. Ethan’s doppelgänger, named Carwyn, appears in order to save Ethan’s life. After all, in this world doppelgängers are created in order to save another person. They are supposed to be killed, but Ethan’s mum decided to save Carwyn. Doppelgängers are illegal and if Ethan’s popular family are found to have a doppelgänger it could affect their ‘celebrity’ reputation.

Once again, Sarah Rees Brennan has created some amazing characters. I thought Ethan and Lucie were interesting characters, but for me, Carwyn really stole the story for me. I think without him this story might have suffered. He really was a stand out character.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

An intriguing storyline with a great character involved!