RoseBlood

RoseBlood

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Synopsis:

In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera. 

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.

Thoughts:

Hmm.. this is going to be an interesting review to write because I have very mixed feelings about it. I had read a few mixed reviews so I had prepared myself that I might not like this story. I always like to give a book a go though, so I did. I wasn’t sure about a Phantom Of The Opera reimagining. However, I thought it was something unique and A.G Howard’s story was definitely that.

In A.G. Howard’s reimagining, The Phantom is very much live and kicking. There are references to the original story, but RoseBlood definitely doesn’t read like a retelling. It’s A.G. Howard imagining what could happen next. There are some very ‘interesting’ plot twists which I don’t want to mention, as I don’t want to spoil the story for those that do want to give it a go. There are also some very heavy issues included in the story, making me think that this story would be best for the higher age range of YA.

Rune is the main character and I can imagine she’s going to grate on some readers. I didn’t mind her though. I enjoyed her interactions with her new friends and I felt like she grew throughout the story. I actually preferred reading from the point of view of the Phantom’s adopted son. I wonder if the narrative had followed him alone, whether I would have enjoyed this book more?

I think this book is far too long. I felt like if it was 100 pages lighter, then my rating might have been higher. I just felt like some of the events were dragged out and unnecessary which is a shame. It affected the pace and I think if it had been shorter, the pace would have picked up, for sure!. I think RoseBlood is worth a try, especially if you’re a fan of the author’s writing.

Would I recommend it?:
It’s not for me!- 2.5 stars- I found it a bit slow and strange in places…

Sadly, this book didn’t work for me!

Advertisements

How To Hang A Witch

How to Hang a Witch

How did I get it?:
Received from Walker Books, in exchange for an honest review!

Synopsis:

After Sam’s father is hospitalised, she has to move from New York to Salem with her stepmother, Vivian. Unfortunately, Sam is related to Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for the Salem Witch Trials, and to say she feels unwelcome in Salem is an understatement… She is particularly unnerved by The Descendants, a mysterious and tight-knit group of girls related to those persecuted in the Trials. At the same time, she must deal with Elijah, the handsome but angry ghost who has appeared in her house, and her new neighbour Jaxon only complicates things further.

Thoughts:

I’m not going to lie, I do love a good witch-y read. Quite often though, they make me cringe. I had heard good things about How To Hang A Witch so when I had the opportunity to read it, I quickly snapped it up. I really enjoyed reading this book. It didn’t take me long to read it at all. I thought Adriana Mather had a very addictive writing style. Her writing is incredibly easy to read. I loved how it was a little bit paranormal but also had element of historical fiction.

How To Hang A Witch is set in Salem. We all know Salem as the place where the infamous witch trials took place. Our main character is Sam who is related to Cotton Mather, a man who practically encouraged witch-fearing. Salem is pretty proud of its history. The town is not happy about Sam’s arrival. Right from her first day she suffers bullying and harassment, especially from a group of girls called The Descendants who are descendants of the convicted witches. Sam also had to deal with a spirit who has appeared in her house and then there’s Jaxon, another complication.

I absolutely adore historical fiction, so the element of the story that involved the witch trials really captured my attention. I loved the descriptions of Salem. A place that fascinates me. It came across as so eerie which I adored! I also loved that the author was a Mather. It gave a personal feel to the story for me that I really enjoyed.

I liked Sam as a character. I didn’t enjoy the relationship with her stepmother though. I found their arguments a little tedious to read. I found Sam’s attitude quite frustrating at times but I liked her determination. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the romance element of this book. It felt to me like the author was trying to make a love triangle happen. I’m not a fan of love triangles at all. It actually turned me off the story a little.

I’m interested to read the next book in the series. Adriana Mather has me intrigued!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

I’m intrigued to see where this series goes next!

Coraline (Graphic Novel Review)

Coraline (Illustrated/Graphic Novel Edition)

How did I get it?:
I borrowed it from Beth!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Synopsis:

When Coraline steps through a door in her family’s new house, she finds another house, strangely similar to her own (only better). At first, things seem marvelous. The food is better than at home, and the toy box is filled with fluttering wind-up angels and dinosaur skulls that crawl and rattle their teeth.

But there’s another mother there and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go. Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and all the tools she can find if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

Thoughts:

Perhaps I’m not the best person to review this graphic novel or the original book. I haven’t seen the movie yet either. But do you know what? Based on this graphic novel, I’m going to read the original and watch the movie. I liked the graphic novel that much!

It centres around Coraline who steps through a door in her family’s house to find another house which is incredibly similar to hers… only slightly better. Every single thing seems better in the other house. The toys, the food… Coraline thinks she’s got it good! There’s another mother and another father there though. They look like her actual parents, but they aren’t. They want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They’re determined to change her, but Coraline is fighting back. She wants to be with her true family and return to her normal life.

I enjoyed the illustrations from P. Craig Russell. I thought it was beautifully drawn. The other mother in particular really freaked me out. She really was an unforgettable character. I can still see those black button eyes when I close my eyes!

I thought this graphic novel was super creepy. I hear that the original is too, so I’m excited to read that as soon as I can fit it in.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

I thoroughly enjoyed this graphic novel and will be checking out the original for sure!

The Scarecrow Queen (The Sin Eater’s Daughter #3)

The Scarecrow Queen (The Sin Eater’s Daughter, #3)

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Synopsis:

As the Sleeping Prince tightens his hold on Lormere and Tregellan, the net closes in on the ragged band of rebels trying desperately to defeat him. Twylla and Errin are separated, isolated, and running out of time. The final battle is coming, and Aurek will stop at nothing to keep the throne forever . . .

Explosive, rich and darkly addictive, this is the stunning conclusion to Mel Salisbury’s internationally best-selling trilogy that began with The Sin Eater’s Daughter.

Thoughts:

I went into reading The Scarecrow Queen with very high expectations. I absolutely loved the first two books in this series. I did enjoy The Scarecrow Queen but it wasn’t quite what I wanted it to be. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s so tricky to review a final book in a series as you don’t want to spoil it for anyone that hasn’t got so far. So, I’ll attempt to keep this review brief and as spoiler free as possible!

This instalment follows the story in three parts. In the first part, Twylla is travelling through villages looking for a way to stop Aurek. Twylla’s journey isn’t an easy one. She’s met with lots of obstacles in her way but she persists, eager although not confident to fight Aurek and win. In the second part, we follow Errin who is being held captive by Aurek. Aurek is forcing her to do anything he wants. Errin has an ally though and is planning her escape. In the third part the stories come together and the reader discovers whether Aurek can truly be defeated.

The Scarecrow Queen has a lot going for it. The plot certainly kept me turning the pages and I thought the pacing of the story was spot on. Every time I picked it up, I had some problems putting it down. I really enjoy Melinda Salisbury’s writing style. She is fantastic at capturing your attention and your imagination.

I absolutely love how there are two kick-ass female characters at the heart of this story. I loved reading about their experiences in building an army against Aurek. I was desperate for him to be beaten. I think my problem with this instalment in the trilogy is that I felt that some of the characters seemed to blend into the background. I wanted more from some of the other characters (like Silas) who were so prominent in the prior books.

My little niggles aside, I would totally recommend this series because I think it stands out in the YA fantasy genre. I’m glad that I’ve read it!

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Although I wasn’t blown away by the ending of this trilogy, I have really enjoyed reading this series! Worth checking out if you’re into YA Fantasy!

Heartless

Heartless

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Synopsis:

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

Thoughts:

I am a big fan of the Lunar Chronicles series, so I was super excited when I heard that Marissa Meyer was bringing out a book that centred around Alice In Wonderland. I love a reimagining. Then reviews started to come out and I was feeling a little anxious about reading it! They were so mixed. So, I stepped back from the hype for a while and decided to read it when the hype died down.

Heartless is inspired by the Queen of Hearts made famous by Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland. It centres around Catherine, who is the daughter of a Marquess. She is expected to marry well and live the life of a lady. Catherine is a dreamer and wants to own a bakery and create delicious recipes for the people of Hearts. Catherine has been dreaming about a man and finds herself meeting him… he’s the new court Joker, Jest. Catherine is completely drawn to him even though he’s not what her family want more for her. Catherine is being courted by the King. He wants to marry her. Her family don’t give Catherine a choice. She must marry the king or lose her place in the family.

I liked so many things about this book, especially the characters. I really enjoyed Catherine as a character and loved that she wanted to do her own thing. I also loved reading the descriptions about the yummy goodness that she was baking. I adored her friendship with her maid Mary Ann and I was rooting for them to open their bakery together. I also really liked the character of Jest. I thought he was fabulous, although I didn’t really get on board with their romance. It was a little too instalove for my liking. I thought Cheshire was amazing too. The setting was fantastic and I could picture it easily in my mind.

I do think that this book suffered from being a little slow paced. I wanted a bit more action, much like the Lunar Chronicles. It being a standalone, I expected it to be incredibly action packed but it wasn’t. I was disappointed by the instalove too. Cath and Jest instantly connected and were infatuated and I couldn’t really understand why!

I’m glad that I gave this book a go! It didn’t blow me away but it was still a decent read.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

This book is a good example of why you shouldn’t let mixed review sway you!

The Graces (The Graces #1)

The Graces (The Graces, #1)

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Everyone said the Graces were witches.

They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair.

They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different.

All I had to do was show them that person was me.

Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on?

Thoughts:

I had heard so much about this book including hearing Laure Eve reading from it at a Faber event. Goodness knows why I’ve only just got around to it. It immediately gripped me and I finished it within a day!

It centres around three siblings (The Graces) who are incredibly intriguing to the rest of their peers and their town. Every single person wants to be seen with them. However, people are scared of them. There’s a rumour going around that they are a family of witches. River, our main protagonist, is really intrigued by The Graces. She’s determined to find out everything about them and become part of their gang, no matter what it takes…

I was immediately intrigued by this book. I found River to be an utterly fascinating character. I didn’t know what she was going to do next! I began to develop some mixed feelings about River, and I’m still not entirely sure what I make of her. I felt for her in the beginning and then she turned a little bit obsessive. I’m intrigued to see how River’s story continues… I liked getting to know The Graces through River’s eyes. They had their secrets and River got close enough to know more about them. The Graces were so interesting. I liked them more as the story progressed.

The Graces is about obsession. It’s got a slice of magic and witchcraft and even a little bit of romance. It’s not a flawless read and I found it a little slow at points, but I was still intrigued to see what was going to happen next. I’d definitely pick up the sequel too!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A wonderful page-turner. Super intriguing and well worth a read!

As I Descended

As I Descended

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

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Lies We Tell Ourselves
What We Left Behind

Synopsis:

Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school’s ultimate power couple—even if no one knows it but them.

Only one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey.

Golden child Delilah is a legend at the exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. She runs the school, and if she chose, she could blow up Maria and Lily’s whole world with a pointed look, or a carefully placed word.

But what Delilah doesn’t know is that Lily and Maria are willing to do anything—absolutely anything—to make their dreams come true. And the first step is unseating Delilah for the Kingsley Prize. The full scholarship, awarded to Maria, will lock in her attendance at Stanford―and four more years in a shared dorm room with Lily.

Maria and Lily will stop at nothing to ensure their victory—including harnessing the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school.

But when feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what’s real and what is imagined, the girls must decide where they draw the line.

Thoughts:

I absolutely loved Robin Talley’s debut novel, but was a little disappointed by her second release. However, the synopsis of this book had me easily gripped and I knew I had to read it. I also really enjoy retellings and I was intrigued by the modern take on Macbeth.

As I Descended takes place at a boarding school. Our main characters use a Ouija board and that is the catalyst to the madness…Although this story is told from multiple points of view, Maria is the main focus of this story. She is determined to take down Delilah, who is the front runner for the Kingsley Prize, a scholarship for college. It will give her more time with Lily, her girlfriend. Maria and Lily work hard to make sure Maria gets that prize, no matter what it takes. The story definitely takes a turn for the worse when creepy things begin to happen….

I really enjoy Robin Talley’s writing style, she created such a wonderfully chilling atmosphere, I just had to keep turning the pages. I absolutely loved the diversity in the characters. As a reader, you can find LGBT characters and also a character with a physical disability.

If you don’t know much about Macbeth then it really doesn’t matter. I know the plot of Macbeth, but I’ve never read it and it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

I was pleasantly surprised by this book! It’s not quite Lies We Tell Ourselves, but it’s a creepy, intriguing read!