5 Points Reviews- Things Bright and Beautiful and Two Steps Forward

Welcome to this new feature where I mention five things I liked/disliked about a new release! I like to do this to give a short and snappy view of the book. It may not be a full review but the book might be something that piques your interest.

Click on the book image to get to the Goodreads page for the book!

Things Bright and Beautiful

Two Steps Forward

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The Oops Review- We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

We'll Always Have Summer (Summer, #3)

A confession. I read and intended to review this book a while back.  It was only when I got to linking up my reviews for my previously reviewed by the same author section of a Jenny Han review, that I realised I forgot to review this book!

I can still remember it though, so I thought I’d do a mini review so my Jenny Han section is complete for The Summer I Turned Pretty series!

image-2Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did the other two books in the series, it’s still a fun, cute read!

Mind Your Head- Mini Review

Mind Your Head

How did I get it?:
I was sent a copy from Hot Key Books, many thanks to them!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Hollow Pike
Cruel Summer
Say Her Name
This Book Is Gay
Under My Skin
All Of The Above

Synopsis:

We all have a mind, so we all need to take care of our mental health as much as we need to take care of our physical health. And the first step is being able to talk about our mental health. Juno Dawson leads the way with this frank, factual and funny book, with added information and support from clinical psychologist Dr Olivia Hewitt. Covering topics from anxiety and depression to addiction, self-harm and personality disorders, Juno and Olivia talk clearly and supportively about a range of issues facing young people’s mental health – whether fleeting or long-term – and how to manage them, with real-life stories from young people around the world.

With witty illustrations from Gemma Correll.

Thoughts:

Mind Your Head is an important book.  I think it’s imperative that mental health is openly discussed. Like Juno mentions, mental health is an illness that isn’t easily discussed within society. It should be. Especially as so many people suffer from mental health at some point in their lives. Mind Your Head is a piece of non fiction, but written in the frank and funny style that I have come to expect from Juno. It’s interesting to have the perspective of a psychologist as well. It’s written in a very balanced way-a good mix of factual information.

I thought that it was a great idea to have real life stories from young people. Mental illness is such a raw and real subject and it’s reassuring to read about others who have experienced it.

There are some moments in this book that didn’t quite sit right with me, but that did not affect my experience of reading this book. Mind Your Head is a book that I wish was around when I was younger, but I’m pleased is around for younger people now, to know that they are not alone.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

A frank yet funny read from Juno Dawson. Mind Your Head is both informative and reassuring. 

Mini Reviews-Valiant and I’d Walk With My Friends If I Could Find Them

Today I’m squeezing in two mini reviews for 2015 debut authors I have read recently with 4 points about it, be it positive or negative! Click on the book image to get to the Goodreads page for the book!

Valiant- Sarah McGuire

Valiant

  • fairy tale reimagining-always a win win in my eyes!
  • unpredictable!
  • fantastic writing
  • promising debut author!

I’d Walk With My Friends If I Could Find Them- Jesse Goolsby

I'd Walk with My Friends If I Could Find Them

  • powerful story
  • incredibly talented debut author
  • didn’t feel like the stories were overly resolved.
  • good characters!

Mini Reviews- When I Was Me and If You Wrong Us.

Today I’m squeezing in two mini reviews for books I have read recently with 4 points about it, be it positive or negative! Click on the book image to get to the Goodreads page for the book!

When I Was Me by Hilary Freeman

When I Was Me

  • Intriguing story line.
  • Good pacing.
  • Thought provoking.
  • The main character wasn’t overly likeable, but this didn’t spoil my enjoyment.

Book received from NetGalley- thanks to Bonnier Publishing/Hot Key Books.

If You Wrong Us by Dawn Klehr

If You Wrong Us

  • Gripping. I can see why it’s called a YA version of Gone Girl!
  • Dual narrative, but unfortunately the voices don’t feel distinct.
  • Characters you’ll love to hate.
  • Good pacing.

Book received from NetGalley, thanks to Flux!

Entwined: Mini Review

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How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Just when Azalea should feel that everything is before her—beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing—it’s taken away. All of it. And Azalea is trapped. The Keeper understands. He’s trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. So he extends an invitation.

Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest, but there is a cost. The Keeper likes to keep things. Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

Thoughts:

Can we just talk about how gorgeous this cover is? So beautiful.

I’m a big fan of fairy-tales. I just love reading a story that is so fairy-tale esque. Entwined was picked by my friend Luna from Luna’s Little Library for me to read. It’s a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, which I’m not actually that familiar with. (I may need to change that!) I guess it was a different reading experience for me going into it not knowing that much about it!

Entwined is a story of Azalea and her sisters who are suffering after their mother’s death. As the sisters are mourning their mother, they are forbidden to dance by their father. As with every fairy-tale, nothing is quite that simple. The reader is introduced to a character called the Keeper, who provides Azalea and her sisters chance to escape their everyday family life.

Entwined is a magical, fun read, although sometimes I wish it had a bit of a quicker pace! I still think it’s worth devouring if you like a well written fairy-tale read!

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

A beautiful fairy-tale that is well worth reading!

Train Travel: A great opportunity to catch up with reading!: 2 Indie Reviews

I have a little list (Coming Up) that shows my reading schedule One that I try and stick to. On this list, I add books I’m reading for collaborations, review copies and books I occasionally slot in that I’ve wanted to read for a while. This month I’m trying to read more Author Review Requests, so when I found myself on several train trips the past weekend I decided to read the first two recent author review requests I had. I try to review indie books when I can. I’m always open to reading new things. However, I always tell the author that I can’t promise to read it ASAP. I try and fit it in with my already busy reading schedule.

I thought I’d do a mini-review of the two books I read this weekend.

The Traveller by Garrett Addison:

Click on the book image to get to the Goodreads page.

Click on the book image to get to the Goodreads page.

Synopsis:

Sometimes to get the measure of your life you just need a break from being yourself.

A family man struggling in his pursuit of a work/life balance embarks on yet another trip at the whims of his tyrannical bitch of a boss. But on this trip he is a world apart from his usual self. Suddenly confident, capable and unafraid of his manager, reclaiming his life becomes less about corporate advancement and satisfying his ego than outright revenge on his boss. With nothing but success in his wake and seemingly limitless potential at his disposal, being coerced to work with his nemesis in a remote corner of the world provides the opportunity for not just a confrontation, but a final solution to what he sees as the bane of his life. Succeed or fail, either way this trip will be the making of him or the end of him.

Sometimes to get the measure of your life you just need a break from being yourself… because nothing lasts forever.

Thoughts:

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this book. Especially as in my correspondence with the author, he mentioned that it’s a book that can’t be pigeon holed into one genre. Having read the book, I completely agree. It would be hard to categorise it, as it has elements of several genres within its pages.  I have to admit, I found it incredibly dry to begin with, which I’m sure some people might struggle with, but it’s worth persevering with.

The Traveller is a book that is character driven. I think Garrett Addison has created an intriguing character. At first, I thought I was just going to be reading about an average man with nothing really happening, but the character grows as the book progresses. The story becomes eventful. Despite the shortness of the book, the story isn’t fast paced. It builds slowly.  The Traveller is certainly a different read, but it’s light, interesting and has a good amount of character development.

Venice by Moonlight- Elizabeth McKenna

Click on the book image to get to the Goodreads page

Click on the book image to get to the Goodreads page

Synopsis:

After her husband’s untimely demise, Marietta Gatti is banished from the family’s villa by her spiteful mother-in-law. She returns to her hometown of Venice and her only kin—a father she hasn’t spoken to since her forced marriage. Her hope of making amends is crushed when she learns she is too late, for he recently has died under suspicious circumstances. Grief-stricken, Marietta retraces her father’s last night only to discover someone may have wanted him dead—and she may be next. When the prime suspect turns out to be the father of the man she is falling in love with, Marietta risks her future happiness and her life to avenge the death of a man she once hated.

Elizabeth McKenna’s latest novel takes you back to the days of eighteenth century Carnival, where lovers meet discreetly, and masks make everyone equal.

Thoughts:

It didn’t take me long to become absorbed in this story by Elizabeth McKenna.  I thought it started off incredibly well, and I found myself engaged with the story. I really liked Marietta and felt for her, having to deal with her husband Dario, who doesn’t come across very well at all. Marietta is married off against her will to a man that’s a drunk, that beats her and beds the younger servants without being discreet about it at all. His mother isn’t very nice to Marietta either. When Marietta’s husband dies, she intends to go back to Venice and live with her father. She meets Nico along the way and a new adventure begins.

I did enjoy reading Venice In The Moonlight but I felt like the ending came quite quickly. I would’ve liked to have a much more rounded ending. I really liked the writing style of the book and I think historical fiction fans would enjoy this book.

For both of these books I was provided with a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the books.