Category: reader

To Kill A Mockingbird Book Review

Author: Harper Lee

Rating: 5/5

Although it took me a while, this book is frickin worth it. I don’t think I will ever forget it.

All I knew about this book going into it was that it concerned racism, but it is so much more than that! The beginning of this novel centres around two kids and their father in the county of Maycomb, Alabama. The narrator, a young girl who by the end is still no older than 10, is so loveable and innocent, and because of this we get to see the serious themes through the eyes of a person who is a stranger to them. 

Even before we discover the seriousness of this novel, I adored the family dynamic of the Finch’s. Their father is so loving and the relationship between Scout and her brother, Jem, is relatable and raw. 

Throughout this story, I was constantly scared. Not because it was scary, at least not in the traditional sense, but because the plot was so unpredictable. These characters deserve the world and I was never sure what would happen to them!

On a serious note, as not only a white person but a person from the UK and not the middle of Alabama I’m not sure how qualified I am to be giving my opinion on this. However, I feel this novel highlights the massive importance of equality in the eyes of the law as well as everyday society. It’s terrifying how the characters of different races view each other as so separate, as if they don’t belong in the same society. It infuriates me that, even today, people aren’t equal. It’s bullshit, and there is no explanation!?

Anyway, everyone should read this book. My advice is to not judge it until you reach the 2/3s mark, when I got to that point I couldn’t put it down!

City Of Bones Book Review

Author: Cassandra Clare

Rating: 5/5

I’m taking part of emmmabooks’ year-long Shadowhunters Read-A-Long (all the info on her video here) and of course it all begins with City Of Bones. Not gonna lie, I was a little scared to re-read this book. I was never convinced that it was amazing literature but I didn’t let it bother me since the characters and plot were so fabulous. But no, it’s as good as ever! 

There are so many amazing moments that I’d forgot about in this book! The best example is the banter between the characters at the start – it reminded me of The Inner Circle from ACOMAF. It’s like looking through a photo album and being like “Aw look this is when she killed her first demon!” and “This is when they’re about to meet!”. Don’t judge me.

Apart from the nostalgia of re-reading, City Of Bones is still one of the best characterization in any book – ever. I don’t want to think what would happen if Cassie, Leigh Bardugo and Sarah J Maas teamed up… Anyway! Each character is so well rounded and individual and yet so flawed. Going back, you can see how dramatically each character develops.

If I’m being honest, The Dark Artifices definitely show more literary skill, but that won’t stop me loving The Mortal Instruments!

The Rosie Project Book Review

Author: Graeme Simsion

Rating: 5/5

As part of my goal to get Autism Spectrum Disorder seen in a more positive light, I’m trying to read as many books with ASD rep as possible (check out my On The Edge Of Gone review here). I’m so glad I came across The Rosie Project – it was so sweet and so quirky and exactly what I wanted. Don, the main character, is not shown as a anything like ‘disturbed’ or ‘pitiful’ which is one thing I despise about books with ASD rep. He was shown as a quirky guy with his own way of living that different, but worked for him. 

My favourite part is in the first quarter, where Don has to teach a lecture about Aspergers to kids who have it. Instead of insisting they had a ‘difficulty’ or an ‘illness’ he told them all the positives that came with it, and everything they should be proud of. As someone with ASD, I think it’s so important we let people (not only atypicals) know this! People with ASD can get seriously depressed if they are led to believe they are inferior to anyone, WE’RE NOT! And this book proves that so effectively.

Not only is this novel a fabulous representation, it’s such a funny, feel-good novel (I can imagine myself reading this in Summer). The characters are brilliant, the writing style is unique and colloquial, and the ending is beautiful and satisfying. It’s quite thought-provoking, but not to the point of being stressful. A real rom-com of a book! Loved it.

Because You Love To Hate Me Book Review

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Author: Various Authors (edited by Ameriie)

Rating: 4.25/5

I LOVED this story collection. Villainy is something that fascinates me greatly – anything from the psychology behind it to circumstances that bring it on. Really, there couldn’t be a better book for me. And, for the most part, that was true.

As much as a loved the short-stories themselves, I also loved the additions to each from the book-tubers who set the challenges. Studying literature has always interested me, and the fact that we get to pull apart the each character and storyline made me so happy. Not only this, but we also get fun and quirky articles and tit-bits on villainy including The Bad Girl’s Guide To Villainy and Keep The Darkness At Bay self help guide. However, my favourite was Jessethereader’s letter to death titled ‘Dear Death’. it honestly made me cry as I resonated with it so much.

Now, the stories themselves. My favourite was Victoria Schwab’s ‘Death Knell’. I have never read anything by Schwab before (but Monsters Of Verity is on my tbr), and I adored her writing style beyond measure! It was so poetic and whimsical and the story itself was darkly beautiful. Another one that stuck in my head was ‘Julian Breaks Every Rule’ by Andrew Smith, a story that centres around a modern, adolescent psychopath. The narration was so incredibly funny – like, laugh out loud funny! The difference in tone, story and moral in each tale is huge and it made for a very compelling read with lots of variety. Each story is also so relevant and relatable to real life, discussing important themes and bringing critical topics to the foreground.

There was only one story I wasn’t a fan of…the first one. Now, I love Renee Adhieh and The Wrath And The Dawn, but I didn’t like the concept! The story was dull and did nothing for me. 

On average, 4.25. Would highly highly recommend!

Empire Of Storms Book Review

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Author: Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 4.25/5

There’s not much more I can say about this series that I haven’t said in my Heir Of Fire, Queen Of Shadows and The Assassin’s Blade reviews – another intense instalment! This one took me so much longer to read though, it was a lot to swallow and it took a lot of thinking. Check out the reviews linked above for all my spoiler-free stuff, but this review is going to be entirely spoiler-y. So BEWARE! Spoilers ahead.

As I said, Empire Of Storms took me AGES to read because it was so much to take in – but I was never actually bored. There was always something going on or something I had to think about or something to be emotional about (damn you SJM). 

My first thing that comes to mind when I think about reading this book is how much I enjoyed Lorcan’s presence in the story. Personally, he was never a character who stood out to me, but now I consider him such a well-formed character who I am SO thankful for. He and Elide’s relationship was so complex and beautiful – y’all know I’m a sucker for Enemies To Lovers™ trope. There are so different yet so perfect – and the fact that Lorcan summoned Maeve to save Elide shows how much he is willing to sacrifice for her. AND WHEN LORCAN WAS WEEPING AFTERWARDS WHEN AELIN WAS TAKEN… I lost it. I don’t think I have ever been so emotional about a book. I also cried when Elide told Aelin about the wyrdkey and Kaltain… my heart.

I love Aedion and Lysandra so much. The whole ‘I’m going to marry you Lysandra Ashryver’ thing was so adorable, and when Lysandra said she would understand if he was disgusted by the fact she had been a courtesan and then Aedion came out and they both are happy with each other.

ANSEL IS BACK BITCHES. My favourite character from the whole flipping series is back. So that’s something to be excited about.

I don’t know how I feel about the whole secrecy business with Aelin. I think it made for a good plot twist, but I was quite confused and it took me some time to get it. Also, I don’t know how okay I was about the book becoming very erotic. I mean, getting rid of the sex stigma in YA is good, but it was a lot.

But I know we hardly know of Rowan’s cousins, I want to know more about every single one. I don’t care much for Rowan as I used to be Team Dorian (used to) but I want to know about his childhood.

Lastly, Asterin my loyal child I will protect you with my life no one will hurt you I promise.

Beth Holland’s review of The Lost Hero (The He…

Beth Holland’s review of The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1):

Lil’ review of The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan!

Dynasty: Secret Heir Book Review

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Author: M.J. Prince

Rating: 4/5

*goodreads link*

I generously received an advanced copy from the author in exchange for an honest review, and I’m so glad! The more I think about this book, the more interesting it becomes. Secret Heir follows Jazmine as she is thrown into a world of elemental magic called Eden, where Seraphs reign. Seraphs are like Gods, controlling the oceans, the winds, the earth and most importantly – day and night. However, as magical as this book is, there is a essence of teenage colloquialism similar to YA contemporary novels and I LOVED it.

A lot of this story takes place in a magical high school and I don’t think I’ve ever read a high school story so classic and yet so unique. Of course, the students have elemental powers, but besides that the characters create quite a relatable setting. Another thing so rarely seen in fantasy is representation of mental illness. The inclusion of mental illness played a large part in the story-building, especially when it came to revealing the backstories, and I really appreciate that. In addition, the fact that the main character is just in complete denial of her magical heritage is so funny because of the fact that it’s so accurate compared to most reactions from characters in similar situations. She just refused the possibility for as long as she could and, to be honest, that would be a more human reaction. All of these points make for a much more relatable story than most fantasies, and makes for a much more interesting read.

Also, PLOT TWISTS. I didn’t see the final plot twist coming from a mile away! And I was so mad that the book ended and I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS.

However, I did have a couple of problems with this book, but all of them are more about the characters than anything else. I couldn’t stand the main love interest, he was over-possessive, stuck-up and infuriating (and not in a Jace Herondale way). This is completely a personal preference, but I feel like their relationship was quite unhealthy, or at least not what I would want in a relationship (again, this might just be me). As well as this, the narrator won’t stop telling us how attractive he is, and in the end I got a little fed up of her eyeing him so obsessively. However, I am excited to see where their relationship leads in the future.

Leading on from that, it is always said in this novel how beautiful and ethereal everyone is in Eden – and I understand that this is because they’re magical beings and all. But there was no diversity and I was a little put-out by how beautiful everyone was in the end! xD

Overall, I did really like this book. It was a very indulgent and luxurious – a fabulous read for after Christmas!

Defy The Stars Book Review

Author: Claudia Gray

Rating: 4.75/5

I did not expect to like this book anywhere near as much as I did. It had so much more depth than I thought it would, and I actually really loved it! 

I imagined this novel would be a cheesy romance with the sci-fi setting used as a bit of a background detail. However, I WAS WRONG. There were so many moral, economical and social events that were incredibly compelling and relevant to the future of our world. As someone who is very interested in the ethics behind artificial intelligence, it was fascinating to read about the author’s perspective of how AI will shape our lifestyle. However, the most intriguing theme in this book was religion. Faith plays a huge role in the life of the main character, Noemi, but is doubted by the ‘mech’ (robot) in the story. The two views are so contrasting yet they compliment each other so well as you read into them. Self-discovery was also a major theme, and one that I’d never seen tackled so literally!

Another fabulous aspect of this book is the rare and great slow-burning romance. It is so uncommon that two characters have such a complex and beautifully written relationship, and I adored it. And although the writing was basic at times, there were many amazing quotes (one that you can find on my main blog here ) that gave it an almost lyrical touch.

If you decide to read this book, which I highly recommend you do, a piece of advice: Don’t ignore the fact that Abel is a ‘mech’, but don’t let it ruin the romance for you. For a while, I was really really weirded out by it, but I let it slide and the book became hugely enjoyable.

Truth Or Dare Book Review

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Author: Non Pratt

Rating: 4.25/5 (idk I’m really conflicted)

Right y’all – I have some opinions I need to share. Just so you know, Truth Or Dare is a YA contemporary told in two perspectives: you read the first one and flip the book to read the second one. There’s no confusion over perspectives or chronology BUT the chronology is disconnected. But we’ll get onto that.

I enjoyed the story told in this book. It was heart-warming and even a little harrowing at times – and I can’t get over how honest it is. Non Pratt writes about a lot of sensitive/important subjects faced in the lives of the population (e.g. disability, mental health, sexuality, financial issues, rape, family etc.) and, in my opinion, she tackled these topics incredibly effectively. As a survivor of disability and mental health issues, I was quite overwhelmed with the honesty the narrator portrays. It is rare to see these subjects dealt with in such a raw, true and un-romanticized way – and I really respect that. It’s also highlights the absolute importance that is recognizing sexual assault. There is no graphic or traumatizing moments, but it does showcase the kind of sexual assault that is happening all the damn time with people of all ages – and the ‘casual’ attitude that many people have of consent. One quote in this book which crushed my heart was when the girl narrator says something along the lines of ‘I don’t just hate him, I hate the way he makes me hate myself’ which I thought opened my eyes even more to the awful confliction of the victim’s of this horrible crime.

Also, ARO-ACE REPRESENTATION Y’ALL! I’m neither asexual or aromantic but I so deeply need more rep for this group of people who get so looked over or misunderstood. My ace pal said the rep was fab, but I have no aromantic’s opinions yet and I’d love to hear what you think about it (I don’t want to say anything about this book without having all the info from the own voices, so if you weren’t happy with it, please let me know and I would be happy to add your opinion to this review.)

Besides that, the pacing in each section was good, the writing seemed very real and colloquial and generally I really enjoyed it. However, at the point where you spin the book round to read the second section, the pace changes so dramatically and I HATED IT. The end of Claire’s section was so action packed and full of adrenaline and ended on a cliff-hanger… but then I got to Sef’s section and it starts from the beginning again! I was so mad about having to read the whole story again to find out what happened next.

I soon got over that and now, having finished the book, I deeply understand why the author chose to go about the story the way they did – learning the other side of the story is so so important. But I had to knock off 0.75 stars for the aggravation it caused me at the time.

Cell 7 Book Review

Author: Kerry Drewery

Rating: 2/5

Okay, I did not like this book. It centres around a girl who is on Death Row for the murder of a famous celebrity – but the catch is that her case is a reality TV show and the public decide if she lives and goes free, or dies. The premise sounds captivating, and I had high hopes that weren’t really reached.

First of all, the format wasn’t my thing. Some of the writing was in a script-like fashion for the reality show, and the writing in those sections was so lazy. I never got to see the author‘s style since she wrote mostly in stage directions and plain dialogue. And the show was called ‘Death Is Justice’… Come on.

This leads me on to my second point: the whole criminal case-reality TV concept was dealt with so trivially. I know it’s a YA dystopia and not an adult thriller, but I think I would have preferred a bit more deathly realism suitable to the world this book is set in. Small things, like the voting numbers being mentioned every chapter and the presenters being so happy-go-lucky when talking about executing people, made the story seem belittled – as if it was attempting to make Death Row cases amusing. It needed to be more sinister to be believable.

However, there were a couple of points which I enjoyed. Martha describing each of the cells she was kept in required not only creativity from the author, but also emotion. Here, she exceeded in both those things. The flashbacks were expertly placed: enough information for us to understand the following events, but not too much to stop us speculating what may have happened. 

I probably will end up reading the rest of the trilogy for completion’s sake – but it wasn’t that impressive for me and I would be hesitant to recommend.