Currently Reading

Currently reading: Vulture by Bex Hogan.

Thursday 31 December 2015

Top 10 Reads of 2015

Is it really that time of year again? Already?! Really. Wow. 2015 has well and truly flown by. It's been a crazy one for me for a lot of real life reasons and it shall forevermore by known as The Year of the Reading Slump! I don't know what was the matter with me this year but I have suffered far more reading slumps than I ever have and I am hoping 2016 isn't like that and that I can read and review a lot lot more rather than sit there feeling pretty darn lost, which I have at times this year. Anyway, on with the post. These are my top 10 reads of 2015 and hot damn there are some STUNNING books that have been released this year. It was so hard to decide on these, especially the top 5, I struggled so hard! Let's go!


10) Billionaire Boy by David Walliams.
Although this wasn't published this year, I read it this month so I'm sticking it in. It was a fun read and only my second stab at Walliams and I really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to reading more of his work. It has a slightly Dahl-esque feel that makes me feel all warm when reading it.

9) The Crocodile Tomb by Michelle Paver.
Ah. This lady never fails to amaze me, and the penultimate edition of the Gods and Warriors series is no exception! I cannot wait for Warrior Bronze to come out in August 2016!

8) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
Again, a book not published this year but one I have wanted to read for so so long and finally did this year. And what a gem it is! Amazing. No other words are needed.

7) The Death Code by Lindsay Cummings.
Lindsay brings the amazing story that began with The Murder Complex to a somewhat brief (I WANT MORE PLEASE!!!!) but stunning conclusion in this book. Sublime!

6) All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven.
OH MY! What a book. One of the first I read in 2015 and it had me in floods of tears. Incredible, and with a movie in the pipe-line I hope it's popularity only continues to flourish!

5) The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury.
If you're looking for a book to take you by the hand and drag you into a world and so intoxicatingly amazing, look no further than this book. Honestly, it's beautiful from start to finish and Melinda is amazing. The sequel, The Sleeping Prince is out in February, so you have a bit of time to read this and get caught up!

4) Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.
I MEAN! Just amazing. If you haven't read it yet, you need to! Just go! I can't wait for the second book, Glass Sword, to come out in Feb!

3) Simon VS. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.
This book, guys, is a must read. It's beautifully written, touching and so relevant to so many people. Just absolute perfection.

2) Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas.
This year feels like a real Maas year for me. I read A Court of Thorns and Roses (which was STUNNING!!!) earlier in the year and then marathoned Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows when the latter title was published in September and oh boy is she incredible. She writes such amazing, three-dimensional characters and her worlds are incredible. I can't wait for book 5!

And finally we come to my top read of 2015. Like I said at the top of the post, the top 5 especially was INSANELY hard to choose. But I'm sticking with my choice and I've chosen a book that I think is so important and just so amazing, it can't not be number 1!





1) More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera.
Oh gosh, I do not know where to start with this book. It was just so beautiful, so real, so raw and so close to home that it took a hold of my heart right away and has cemented itself as a firm favourite book ever, let alone for just 2015. It's amazing and Adam is so talented and just gets it. It's amazing to read. I can't wait for his next book due in 2017, but for now, this is my favourite read of 2015!

It's been an amazing year with some amazing reads and I am excited to see what 2016 has in store. I'm also hoping for no reading slumps in 2016, at least as bad as the ones I've had this year so that I can get back to blogging more. Fingers crossed!

Thursday 10 December 2015

The Fever Code gets a cover!

I am so excited for James Dasner's The Fever Code! It serves as the second prequel to his hugely successful The Maze Runner trilogy, with the first prequel, The Kill Order, published a few years ago. Now, Dashner is set to show how the maze itself was built as that is what The Fever Code focuses on. Even the newly released cover shows that, looking eerily similar to the cover of the first book, only with the maze looking like a construction site. It looks great and I can't wait! It's out September 2016! Only 9 months to go!

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera [Review]

Written by: Adam Silvera.
Published by: Soho Teen.
Format: Hardback.
Released: 2nd June 2015.
Rating: 5/5.

Official synopsis: "The Leteo Institute's revolutionary memory-relief procedure seems too good to be true to Aaron Soto -- miracle cure-alls don't tend to pop up in the Bronx projects. But Aaron can't forget how he's grown up poor or how his friends aren't always there for him. Like after his father committed suicide in their one bedroom apartment. Aaron has the support of his patient girlfriend, if not necessarily his distant brother and overworked mother, but it's not enough.  Then Thomas shows up. He has a sweet movie-watching setup on his roof, and he doesn't mind Aaron's obsession with a popular fantasy series. There are nicknames, inside jokes. Most importantly, Thomas doesn't mind talking about Aaron's past. But Aaron's newfound happiness isn't welcome on his block. Since he can't stay away from Thomas or suddenly stop being gay, Aaron must turn to Leteo to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he is. Adam Silvera's extraordinary debut novel offers a unique confrontation of race, class and sexuality during one charged near-future summer in the Bronx."


When a book turns up in the post that you have been dying to read for a very long time, like a year or more, there are always a mixture of feelings that run through you. Excitement that it is finally here. Admiration at that BEAUTIFUL cover art you are finally seeing on a lovely finished copy. But also a feeling of fear. What if the book you've been building yourself up for doesn't live up to your expectations? What if the book falls short of what you were hoping it would be and you wish you hadn't bothered? I had all of these feelings when my copy of More Happy Than Not FINALLY turned up! I'd been following Adam on Instagram and Twitter for a very long time, ever since the book was initially announced. I'm not sure how I found him, but he's amassed a very big following, way before publication and the more I heard and saw of the book the more I could not wait to get my grubby paws on a copy! 

I'm not going to lie, I was slightly worried to start this book. I wanted to like it so bad that I just hoped it was going to live up to what I was hoping it would be. I'd read reviews from some people in the US where they sent out review copies ahead of publication, and the pre-publication buzz was phenomenal for this book, surely all those people couldn't be wrong, could they? Well as it turns out, no they were not wrong, and I had nothing to worry about, because as soon as I started to read, Aaron's voice took me over completely and I was compelled to continue on his journey with him.

The book surprised me completely. Totally surprised me. It went in a completely and utterly different direction to the one I had been expecting and I am grateful for that. This is not your average "Oh I'm gay, I'm falling in love with a guy that doesn't love me because he's straight" LGBT kind of story. Anything but. This is a story about a boy who firmly believes he is straight until he meets Thomas who changes everything. And the TWIST!!!! Oh man the twist! I was sent reeling! I'm not even going to lie, once the twist kicked in, about 150 pages from the end I literally wanted to throw the book across the room and take a break because I could not handle it! I did not see that coming in a month of Sundays and I absolutely loved it. Honestly, guys, it will blow your mind!

The book reads like a contemporary  but there is a science fiction element that I really enjoyed and found intriguing. Memory alteration has been achieved. Revolutionary neuroscience has meant that the ever growing Leteo Institute can relieve you of unwanted and painful memories that are impeding your quality of life.

The writing is immaculate. It's almost lyrical and so captivating, Aaron's voice so clear and fresh and accessible. Aaron feels so relatable, especially I guess, coming from someone who has also struggled with their sexuality, I get where he's coming from and the things he thinks and feels. It meant that I really got into Aaron's head and he got into mine. His fears and feelings mirrored some of those I had years ago when I struggled and the book itself made me question how I would react if I were in Aaron's situation. Thankfully, I live in a part of the world where I'm not that likely to be beaten like Aaron because I'm gay. But that is the beauty of reading and it is something that Silvera has done so, so well. Any author who is worth their salt will totally transport you into this world, into the characters and make you think and feel and question. It was so easy for me to put myself into Aaron's world and wonder what it would be like to walk the streets and have to completely hide everything I am and ever will be. It was almost a terrifying experience as I don't think I'm as strong as Aaron and most definitely wouldn't be able to face it as bravely as he does at points in the novel.

There is a great cast of characters too. Some of the side characters, Aaron's friends, such as Me-Crazy, Brandon and the whole ensemble kind of blended into each other at times and I did find myself struggling to remember who was who and who had said what, but the main cast are all so well defined. Of course, there's Aaron. But Genevieve, Aaron's current girlfriend, Thomas, Aaron's new best friend who he finds himself falling for, and Aaron's mother and brother, Eric, all have their roles to play in pulling the story forward to a conclusion that actually made me feel pretty sad. I won't lie, it's kind of bleak but it's also kind of freeing and happy at the same time. You'll get what I mean if you read the book. Part of me really, really, REALLY, wants to demand a sequel. To see what happens next. To see if Leteo can put right their wrongs, but then part of me wonders how that will work as I feel the real message of the book has already been shown. You can hide, and pretend, and even go to extreme measures to try and change who you really are. But you can never hide well enough, you can never pretend without slipping up at some point, and extreme measures never seem to end so well. Trying to change who you are is impossible and you need to find the happiness in what you've got, rather than what you haven't got.

I also found the dynamic between Aaron and his recently deceased father incredible to read. My own father has never been anything other than supportive of me, but I know that that isn't the case for everyone and sometimes things are so bad that there is no way to repair it. But how would you cope, knowing that your father hated you so much that he'd rather be dead? It's something that is hard to think about but that's the beauty of this book. It is highly thought provoking and engaging.

I cannot stress how important books like this actually are. They're real, and honest, and more often than not, they're life altering. If this book had been around when I was growing up and coming to terms with myself I would of devoured it and loved every second, only adding fuel to the flame that was inside of me just waiting for its time to shine. Books like More Happy Than Not help people and they shouldn't be shied away from or denied! I cannot recommend it enough, every time I see someone on twitter or goodreads say they've got it or they have started reading it I just get so excited and know they're about to read something truly wonderful. I cannot thank Adam enough for writing such a stunning book, and look forward to reading his next book History Is All You Left Me, which is due out in 2017! It's a long wait but I'm certain it will be worth it!

Monday 9 November 2015

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas [Review]



Written by: Sarah J. Maas.
Published by: Bloomsbury.
Format: Paperback.
Released: 1st September 2015.
Rating: 5/5.

Official synopsis: "Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . . She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return. Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world."


I am something of a latecomer to the world of Sarah J. Maas and the amazing Throne of Glass books. I only read Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight last year, before deciding in my wisdom, and with some people saying that book three had literally killed people with all the emotional goings on, to leave Heir of Fire for as long as I possibly could so that the wait between book three and the gargantuan (seriously, it's huge, you could hurt someone with it!!) Queen of Shadows, would be somewhat short and remotely bearable... So picture my face late August when I finished Heir of Fire and wanted to cry and shout because I had a whole week and a half to wait for Queen of Shadows. I was not a happy bunny! Thank god I decided to wait, I do not think I would of managed a year without having a breakdown!.. Any who... on to Queen of Shadows, which quite literally ripped by heart from my chest, threw it on the ground and stomp, stomp, stomped it into a pulpy, bloody mess. 

This book is seriously one of the best I have ever read, and I would go as far to say it is my favourite book I have read in 2015 so far! Yes, it is not perfect, but nothing ever truly is, is it? But this book was epic, it had scale, it had action, it had romance and it had friendship. There was blood, and guts, and revenge, and more sexual tension than you could wave a stick at! It had it all and then some!

The book opens with a very short chapter that had me holding in the tears from the very beginning. Poor Dorian has been taken over by a valg demon after his evil father placed a wyrdstone collar around his neck. I LOVED this chapter and the chapters from within his mind, showing what was actually going on inside him, the conflict, the fear, the complete loss of self, and thought this was a really cool way for Sarah to add a new element to the story. We knew from Heir of Fire and from people wishing to die once they had been possessed that it cannot be pleasant, but to actually see it and feel it through Dorian's eye was amazing, albeit it horrifying and very sad to witness. 

I loved that we got to see a lot more of Manon, who is really becoming one of my favourite characters in the city. I loved Celaena so hard in this book it's crazy. Especially when she became Aelin and really let go, really fought. Some of the fight scenes in this book were incredible, and the climax of the book. WHOA! Do not even go there! I am really confused as to where things will go next as the ending of the book seemed pretty final, despite throwing some new elements into the mix. Aelin's powers are incredible though and I am looking forward to seeing them develop, along with the characters. I think that is the true magic of Sarah's works. Her characters are all so relatable, and believable and they all develop so well, changing as you would expect them to with age and with experience in this weird and dangerous world.

As per the usual, the cover is absolutely stunning! The design department at Bloomsbury are incredible and despite the covers being relatively simple with just Celaena standing on the front, they are so stunning and visually exciting and they look so beautiful lined up on the shelf. I am a massive hardback nerd and decided to re-buy all the books in US hardback to go alongside my UK paperback and let me tell you, it is a stunning collection and as soon as I get my new bookcase up they will be the first to find a home there!

When I finished the book, I wrote a very short review and I mean very. It was two sentences, and I am going to close my review with them because I stand by them and they sum up my reading experience perfectly. Thank you Sarah for another amazing read, for Bloomsbury for bringing into the forefront and to Celaena for being so bad ass! Bring on book 5!

Forget rattling the stars! Queen of Shadow tears them from the sky and scatters them to the wind. Stunning from start to finish, and it has left me gasping for the next instalment! 

Zom-B Goddess cover revealed!

FINALLY! We're nearly at the end and we will finally get all the answers to our zombie related questions... I hope!

Zom-B Goddess is the twelfth and final book in Darren Shan's incredible Zom-B series. It's been 3 years since the first book was published, and now, in April 2016 the grand finale will be making an appearance and what an appearance it is... FEAST YOUR EYES!!

WHAT!!! WHAT!!! What is life? That cover? Wow. It's the best of the series by far. It's epic, it's stunning to look at and after the quieter looking cover for Book 11, Zom-B Fugitive, it's exciting too. I love the colour of it, the armour B is wearing. Her expression - you better know she means business!

I for one am incredibly excited to see how it is all going to unravel and cannot wait for the book to get here!

Bravo Cliff Nielson for creating such a stunning looking series. All twelve books are great and really stand out.

Sunday 25 October 2015

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and why I'm not that fussed...

So... Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Ugh... Okay then...

I really don't know where to start this, I really don't! I should probably be of using my energy into writing some reviews! You should see my draft section on blogger, it isn't pretty! Ha. But I felt like I had something to say and I needed to get it off my chest. I've been talking to several other bloggers on Twitter about this the last few days, but Twitter is such a limiting platform and 140 characters just is not enough space to rant like I feel I am about to...

Let me start properly saying that I adore Harry Potter. It's one of my all time favourites, it's probably the reason I got into reading in the first place and it is most definitely the reason why I got into writing (there is a story behind this, but that's for another day...) and I love JK Rowling. She's a major inspiration to me in so many ways, it's unreal. I think she is an insanely creative and clever individual and cannot thank her enough for this wonderful universe she's crested and the cacophony of characters she has birthed into the world for us to enjoy and love and hate and in some cases, love to hate. I love everything that has expanded from the books. The Tales of Beedle the Bard. The Hogwarts Library containing Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch through the Ages. The movies. I want to go to the studio tour in London, I want to go to the theme park. I even have a Deathly Hallows tattoo (soon to be, hopefully, followed by another HP themed tattoo, but again that is for another day...) so it is safe to say I LOVE Harry Potter.

What I am not such a big fan of however is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Or rather how this story is going to be delivered to us. I have never been the biggest fan of plays. Even as a child I wasn't a big fan of going to see a pantomime at Christmas just because it never really captured my attention in the desired way. I would always rather go and read a book. Reading is my favourite way of interacting with a story. Being able to imagine things the way I want, the way my brain interprets the authors ideas and characters and world. It is so liberating, so exciting and so damn cool! I do like watching movies, but plays, there's just something I find so claustrophobic about them and I do not know why. I don't like the way how you cannot immerse yourself in the story again and again, should you so wish, without having to shell out a heck of a lot of money. 

You see, I don't live in London, nowhere near really, I am in a completely different part of the country, so this whole thing could become a really expensive affair. Train tickets alone will be in the region of £40-£50 depending on what day I go. The tickets themselves have a tiered system, so no doubt the cheaper ones will go pretty damn quick leaving just the expensive tickets. And then there is the fact that this is in 2 parts and that makes me pretty damn annoyed! The timings are ridiculous. Some days both parts are being performed. Part One seemingly in at 2pm, and Part Two at 7pm, which would mean you'd have to spend all day in the city and work out something to do in-between parts. Then there is the fact that depending on running time it's going to be pretty late when you come out and for people who have the worry of the last train home that would detract from any enjoyment you could get when watching the play. But some days they are only showing Part One, with Part Two the following day... I mean... WHAT?!!??! Some people will travel a long way for this and to come all that way only to get half of the story? Well it seems pointless in my opinion. 

I know if I wanted to see it I would want to see the whole thing regardless.

I just feel like there would be way better ways of sharing this story with the world than a bloody play. A play where special effects are incredibly limited and it worries me that when we've had such visually stunning movies in the series it will look so mediocre next to them. And then there's the international aspect. Fans from overseas may well travel to London to see the play, but at the same time there will be so many Harry fans that would never be able to afford to come, or for various other reasons might not be able to travel. What about them? Don't they deserve to enjoy the story just as much as everyone else? Yes, they do! 

When talking to various blogger friends on twitter we all said that it would be so much better if it was adapted into a proper book, and this seems to be echoed among a lot of fans as some have even made graphics, turning the picture above at the top of this post into an image of a book which looks amazing, I have to say. Even if JK isn't going to write it, there are more people involved in this story, the people writing the play. It's just so frustrating as a long term Harry fan who has been there since Book 4 came out I might not get to experience this story because it is in a medium that I really do not like - I dare say I might go, but I am worried by the fact that I probably won't enjoy myself as I cannot recall ever really enjoying a play if I am honest... I don't know... We'll see...

What are your thoughts on this? The play. The fact that it has been split into two parts, the cost of that. Do you think it would be better as a book, or film... It intrigues me as there are a lot of people excited for this new story, and rightfully so, it's just the medium!

Thursday 27 August 2015

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness [Review]

Written by: Patrick Ness.
Published by: Walker.
Format: Hardback.
Released: 27th August 2015 (UK) / 6th October 2015 (US).
Rating: 5/5.

Official synopsis: "Award-winning writer Patrick Ness's bold and irreverent novel powerfully asks what if you weren't the Chosen One? The one who's supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? What if you were 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 might just be the God of mountain lions... "


I am going to start this review with a confirmation. A confirmation that things are about to get real gushy around here, because my love for this book... UGH! I cannot contain it and I cannot even begin to explain it! Just... This book!!! Ugh! Life affirming! Just bear with me, we'll get there, I promise!

Longterm readers of my blog, or followers on my twitter, will probably know that I am a bit of a latecomer when it comes to Mr. Ness. I have only read his last few releases (from 2013's The Crane Wife onwards...) but what I have read I have loved and so I had high hopes for The Rest of Us Just Live Here. I mean the title alone had me hooked and demanding to read on, before I'd even read a single sentence of the book itself. And once I got into the real meat of the story I was not disappointed! I was surprised! I had formed an idea of what I thought the book would be just from the blurb and I was so wrong and I am so glad that I was because the book is way better than what I thought it would be!

We are all too used to reading the story of the hero, the chosen one, the one slayer in every generation, the boy wizard who alone has to power to stand up to the darkness, the blah blah blah. Yes, these make for exciting, high octane stories. But what about the bystanders? Your general citizen who isn't the chosen one? Who doesn't have any extraordinary power to help them save the day. What about them? Their lives are just as important, aren't they? Their stories. Sometimes the most important thing in the world isn't that there is a zombie invasion about to break, or a group of vampires ready and waiting to decimate your entire town. Maybe the biggest problem in the world is that you want to go to prom and that you're scared to ask the girl you want to go with. And it doesn't help when your mum is a politician, running for some office you couldn't care less about, neglecting you and your siblings more and more with every passing day. Isn't it that simple to understand? The world is so much more than disaster waiting to happen. There are far harder things to face than the big bad itself.

I really do not know what I can say that hasn't been said by countless others. Patrick Ness is a total genius. His characters are so real and relatable. Especially Mikey. OH GOSH MIKEY! I cannot begin to explain just how much I related to Mikey. I don't think I have ever in my life connected and related to a character like I did Mikey. His thought processes, and the horrible, gut-wrenching feeling that I know all too well. That you're the least wanted person around! I think it's such a fundamental human feeling to have. We all get it at times, I know, but some more than others. I've had my fair share of crap over the years and one thing I've always dealt with is feeling like an outsider. At school. At work. At home. Even in my own mind sometimes. So the moment I read that section of the book, and got deeper into Mikey's mind, I'm not going to lie there might of been a few tears. Just a few, but tears nonetheless.

The portrayal of mental illness, in the form of OCD in this book, was phenomenal. It felt real, at times shocking and most of all thought-provoking. I think it's all too easy these days for people to be so flippant about it. "Ooh, I've got a touch of OCD... My desk has to be immaculate, I hoover my floors every day." But for some people it isn't flippant. It's real, it's dark and it's scary and the way this book opens your eyes to it is amazing, and for that alone Patrick should be proud of himself for writing such an incredible piece of work. I also feel it is so easy for people to be dismissive to people with mental illness. Some people brush it off, don't believe in it so to speak, claim that it is put on. But the message in this book that it isn't your fault, that you do need help and can get it is a wonderful, beautiful thing. BRAVO!

The subplot running through the book at the start of every chapter was also an awesome addition, and one that I think works very well. The characters we are dealing with have no idea that the end of the world might happen tomorrow. They are just going about their everyday life, but the indie kids fighting the end of the world know all too well what is going on. Some of the chapter openers had me howling, they had me concerned for the safety of Mikey and his friends, and they kept me wanting to read on because it showed a great contrast between the two sides. Mikey and his ordinary life, just trying to get on, and the lives of the superheroes trying to save the town and the world.

Overall, The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a fantastic, life affirming and important read. As is becoming expected from Patrick, it is beautifully written. Funny. Emotional. Highly addictive - you just cannot stop at one chapter before bed! It's impossible! I cannot recommend this book enough - whatever you are doing just get it and read it. It really is a marvel!

Thank you for such a wonderful book, Mr. Ness, and thank you to Walker for allowing me to read it so early ahead of publication. I am so honoured!

Wednesday 8 July 2015

The Death Code by Linsday Cummings [Review]

Written by: Lindsay Cummings.
Published by: Greenwillow.
Format: Hardback.
Released: 26th May 2015.
Rating: 4.5/5.

Official synopsis: "With short, fast-paced, alternating point-of-view chapters, The Death Code starts several weeks after The Murder Complex ended. Zephyr keeps the secret about Meadow close—that if she dies, The Murder Complex will be destroyed, too. Meadow, desperate to find her brother, father, and little sister, is determined to fearlessly fight to the end, even if it means sacrificing herself and her friends, new and old. The Death Codeintroduces a memorable cast of secondary characters and delivers a vivid and scary thrill ride read."


Oh lordy! Oh lordy lordy lordy lordy LORDY!!! This book! Oh gosh I do not know where to start. Really, honestly and truthfully I don't! This book has been like something of a myth to me for so long. It was supposed to be coming but it felt like the wait just got longer and longer and longer, to the point where I wondered if it would ever come. That was how much I wanted, no... NEEDED this book in my life! I first read the first book in this two-parter, The Murder Complex, over Christmas 2013 and having to wait 18 months to see what would happen next and how it would all wrap up was so painful! But it came! It finally came and the book was everything I hoped and dreamed it would be.

Just as explosive and bloody as it's predecessor, The Death Code sees our heroine, Meadow, on the run from the Initiative again, but now, things are worse. Way worse. They have installed a metal box on the back of her skull - they call it a regulator, and torture Meadow in ways she never thought possible. But she is just a determined as ever, if not more so, to find and rescue her family, and her search will take her beyond the Shallows and deeper into a country in complete and utter turmoil.

Personally I enjoyed the book. There were however some aspects I didn't like, just as much as I loved. The ending did seem pretty damned rushed. The book, while fast paced by most books standards, felt slower than its predecessor, and it wasn't really until the last 100 to 150 pages that the pace really amped up and started to get exciting. But then BAMN. It was over. I was left begging for more, I tell you. Absolutely begging. There had to be more! There had to had to had to! Alas, there is not. My hopes for this becoming a trilogy have been dashed, as while the ending is open, it is clear that Meadow and Zephyr's story is finished the time being, and the fact that the acknowledgements confirm this saddens me greatly.

I just wish this series never had to end. I have fallen head over heels for these characters and their ways. Meadow is really pushed to her limits in The Death Code. Her health is failing but she still goes on, fighting harder and harder, pushing on harder than she has the rest of her life, knowing that she is running out of time to do what she has to do before it is too late. Her fearlessness really shines in this book and proves just how much of an influential character she is. And Zephyr is struggling to be honest with Meadow and feels like he is losing her. This aspect of their relationship was fun to read, to see how their dynamic has been changed by the events they have faced together and the things they need to do in order not just to save their lives but the lives of everyone they love.

This book, obviously being a closing chapter, has some very sad moments that made me want to put the book down so I didn't have to accept what was going on, and there is a twist near the end that made me reel before I forced myself to pick my copy up again and continue and thank god I did because that ending happened and I liked it, although it is very very open, WIDE OPEN, and it leaves me with hope that Lindsey might one day pick the characters up again. I beg you Lindsey... PRETTY PLEASE!! More Meadow and Zephyr please! More Koi! More Peri. Even Sketch... More Sketch, please!

The writing, as ever with Lindsey, is top notch. So fluid and fast and immersive and totally faultless. It draws you in so deep that you cannot get enough, falling deeper into the world of the Shallows and the secrets of the Murder Complex and what Meadow's connection to the system means and the consequences it brings. Overall the book is a satisfying conclusion to what has been an, albeit too brief, fantastic series. I cannot praise Lindsey enough, or thank her for such an amazing reading experience over the last few years - I cannot wait to see what the future holds and finally get around to reading the Balance Keepers books too! I also cannot recommend these books enough. If you want a fast paced, high-octane read that you'll speed through and fall totally in love with, then The Murder Complex, and The Death Code are for you!

Tuesday 7 July 2015

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard [Reviews]

(NOTE: I don't know why this wasn't posted earlier, it's been sat in my drafts section for god knows how long?! I honestly thought I had posted this! Oops! Oh well, here it is now and I've updated it with the title of Book 2.)


Written by: Victoria Aveyard.
Published by: HarperTeen (US) / Indigo (UK).
Format: Hardback.
Released: 12th February 2015.
Rating: 5/5.

Official synopsis: "This is a world divided by blood – red or silver. The poverty-stricken Reds are commoners, living in the shadow of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers. To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from the Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change. Then Mare finds herself working at the Silver palace, in the midst of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control."


You know that feeling you get sometimes when you've finished a book, almost like you're in a coma? You just can't pick anything else up. You can't do anything else. Think about anything else. You just want to lie there and weep or think about the wonder you have just read. Well, Red Queen is that sort of read folks. You definitely need to buckle your seat belts because once you start reading this book you are in for one hell of a bumpy ride, let me tell you!

From the very beginning Red Queen is bloody, feisty and heart-racingly addictive. It'll have you gasping at every twist and turn and racing through it at break-kneck speed! It is literally non stop. Every page, and I mean every page, will have you desperate to read on. I just could not get enough!

The world of Red Queen is so utterly unique and high-octane that you cannot help but fall in love and wonder what life would be like if you lived in it. There are the Reds. Lowlife. Dirty. Disposable - only there for the pleasure and enjoyment of the Silvers. And of course the are the Silvers. The elite. The powerful. The desirable. There's no love lost between both bloods, the Reds suppressed by the Silvers for centuries, treat as slaves and nothing more. I found this so interesting as it was another way of looking at race and the way people are towards one another, just because they are different. The world itself, the palace in particular is so beautifully described and conceived. I almost wanted to be a Silver for a day, just to get to see it for myself!

We meet Mare. She's going to be conscripted, she knows it. She doesn't have a job or a trade like her sister, and she knows that like her brothers before her she will have to go and fight in a war that the reds shouldn't even be involved in, but then she meets a mysterious man who she tries to pick-pocket before he realises what she is doing and catches her in the act. The next thing she knows she's being whisked away to serve the Silver royal family, the people she despises most in the world. But things do not go smoothly and soon it turns out that Mare is a special type of Red. A unique Red. She exhibits Silver powers which she should not and soon she finds herself wrapped up in more danger than she knows how to handle and to hide herself from her enemies she must masquerade as a Silver. The Queen loathes Mare but tolerates her as she is taken in to become a consort to the prince, Mavern, but it isn't Mavern she is interested in. It's his older brother, Cal, their heir to the throne and the very same person she tried to pickpocket in the first place.

Danger is aplenty as Mare tries to fit into a world with which she doesn't want to be a part of. She must play the game carefully, but she cannot help but make enemies in the process, it just happens. But not only is she making enemies, she's making powerful allies to, and with a rebel group, the Scarlet Guard, growing in power and profile Mare is putting more than just her life on the line as she helps them get an establishment inside of the palace.

The book builds to an electrifying crescendo with a twist that will leave you reeling and absolutely gagging for book two, which we now know is titled Glass Sword and has an absolutely stunning cover, just like Red Queen! The book is beautifully written and the prose just draws you in so completely that the book has this major cinematic feel, no wonder there are whispers of it being made into a movie and not that far away! I honestly cannot get over just how much this book captured me and took me over completely. I just could not get enough of Mare, and Maven and Cal, and of Reds and Silvers. It was just so wonderful and something I think everyone needs to experience. When it was released, Red Queen went straight in at number 1 on the New York Times bestsellers list and it is clear to see why and to say that it is totally deserved! I cannot wait to see what Glass Sword, and indeed Book 3 have in store for us, and with some novella's due in September 2015 and January 2016, it looks like there is plenty more to enjoy within the world of the Red Queen. I cannot wait!

Saturday 25 April 2015

The Crocodile Tomb cover and synopsis!

Now if you've been around the last few years you will know that I am OBSESSED with Michelle Paver. I adored her Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series! So much so that I got a tattoo inspired by the books! And I am equally loving her current series, Gods and Warriors, and it hardly seems real to say this, but the fourth and penultimate instalment comes out in August and I cannot wait to read it!

Well, now we have the cover art and the synopsis to whet our appetites and boy oh boy does this sound like a corker!

"A country at the edge of the world. A hidden tomb. A buried secret. Hylas and Pirra have found their way to the mysterious land of Egypt in pursuit of the dagger of Koronos, only to find that the Crows have got there first. Led by Hylas's deadly enemy, Telamon, they are determined to recover the legendary blade, by any means necessary. But the dagger now lies buried beyond the reach of mortals. If Hylas and Pirra want it back, they will have to make the most dangerous journey of all - into the realms of death itself . . ."
Wow! I am so excited to see how Hylas and Pirra react to Ancient Egypt and how things continue! With only 1 more book after The Crocodile Tomb it's an exciting time to be a Michelle Paver fan as she knows how to wrap a series up incredibly well and I cannot wait to see how this one fares! Roll on 6th August!

Saturday 18 April 2015

My Bookish Tattoos

Why hello there! 

So, yesterday I finally overcame my fears! After years and years of planning, thinking about it, worrying about pain, blood and needles, and finally biting the bullet, I got not 1, but 2 new tattoos! Yay! I have wanted both of them for an incredibly long time, and being the mega nerd I am, they are both book related, so I wanted to take the time to make this post just to explain the reasons behind them and the meanings too!

So first off, here they are! I freaking love them! They are still a bit red and swollen here as this was about 2 or 3 hours after they had just been done. There are still some ink smudges around that will be cleaned off, of course, but I LOVE THEM!

So, some explanations... The first one I had done, the one on the left is obviously the most recognisable. It's iconic and unique to the wonderful Harry Potter series by the incomparable J.K. Rowling. And it is of course the mark of the Deathly Hallows! I was obsessed with the books as a kid, reading the first 3 back to back when Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban came out because my Nan saw the books and thought me and my sisters would like them... She was right of course, and my obsession has never really died down. Through the rest of the series, to the films, to now, I am still as obsessed as ever and as soon as I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I knew I wanted one day to have some way of remembering my obsession and the mark of the Hallows seemed like a great place to start! 

Not only is it symbolic of my love for this series, but also for something it kickstarted in me. I remember being 11 years old, on holiday at Haven Caravan Park in Hastings (somewhere in the south of England) and getting Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix. I had been waiting so long! I couldn't get it the day it came out because it was a family friends wedding. Gosh I remember that day so well! We even walked past a WH Smith with a massive banner outside saying that the book was on sale that day. I was so mad. My mum said I couldn't have it, so I went to my Nan who was also there, the same one who introduced me to the series, and she said no too. Man, I was GUTTED! But I waited, and after 2 weeks, I finally got a copy when we were on holiday and I spent the rest of the time in the caravan reading and falling in love again. I remember thinking how people were getting so excited about this book, how everyone was clamouring for it and dying to know what happened next, and I wanted to give people that same feeling! It was around this time that I decided I wanted to be a writer and ever since I have been crafting and honing my writing. I dream of being published one day, but until such a day comes, I still know that it is J.K. Rowling and her world, her characters, her words and her incredible imagination that inspired me to start writing in the first place, and for that passion I have found I will never be able to thank her enough!

It also symbolises some things personally for me. Around the time the series was coming out, we lost all four of our surviving grandparents (we had been raised with 6 technically, as my mums mother and father both remarried) from 2004-2008 in very quick succession and this took a massive toll on us. Around this time, my reading and writing really helped me through some tough times and was a real form of escapism that I just could not get enough of. The symbol in the book obviously related to death and how if you have all three Hallows you will become the Master of Death, and this spoke to me. Kind of a reminder that we can't fight death and just to enjoy my life as much as I can while I am here!

The mark comes from the Tale of the Three Brothers, taken from The Tales of Beedle the Bard. I ADORE my collectors edition copy, which I only got last year. It is stunning and I love this picture I took of my tattoo and the book! I'm so happy I have had it done at last!

And on to the second tattoo, then! This one is a wee-little dinky one, and it literally took 30 seconds but it's one I love and have wanted even longer than I have wanted the Deathly Hallows mark. 

People that know me will know that I am freaking obsessed with Michelle Paver. I think she is an incredibly talented individual with a stunning mind and her books feel so real and yet so magical, so fantastical, that I only have to turn the page and I am drawn into the world of the Forest with its hunter gatherer society, or the world of Ancient Greece with their bronze daggers and erupting volcanoes. This tattoo comes from her first series, Chronicles of Acient Darkness which started with Wolf Brother, and continued on through Spirit Walker, Soul Eater, Outcast, Oath Breaker and finally, Ghost Hunter. This series literally blew my mind. I would get the newest addition, read it in several hours and already begin lamenting the fact that I had a whole year to wait for the next one. My love knew no ends. I have met Michelle several times, and used to write to her all the time (which reminds me, I should really write to her again as it has been a while!) and she is so kind, so sweet and so brilliant to be around. She gives off this energy that is so intoxicating and makes you want to go on adventure like her characters. It's amazing. Again, she has been a MASSIVE inspiration for my writing, and has given me a lot of advice and encouragement which I cannot thank her for enough. I attended a writing course she did back when Outcast came out in 2007 and it was so much fun and she was such a great teacher in that respect. 

This particular series follows Torak and his friends as they try to rid the Forest of the dreaded Soul-Eaters. A group of rogue Mage's who are hell bent on destroying everything and unleashing demons upon the world. It takes you from the open forest, to the sea, to the far north, to the east, deep into the darkest depths of the Forest and into the high mountains and never stops for a second. It also has a lot of great, heart-felt moments too. And one such moment is when Fin-Kedinn, leader of the Raven Clan and Torak's kind of father figure after his birth father dies in the first pages of Wolf Brother, is talking to Torak about good, and evil, and the choices you can make. He says:

“Evil exists in us all, Torak. Some fight it. Some feed it. That's how it's always been.” 

And it is so true! We all have good and bad sides, and it is up to us how we choose to utilise them. Whether we act upon our good intentions or our bad ones, what sort of person we really are. The symbol I have had tattooed is the mark of the Soul-Eaters. In the books, they have it on their chest, directly over their heart, but I didn't want it there. I wanted it as a reminder of the above quote, that I can be good and I can be bad, it's up to me who I am and who I want to be, as well as the fact I just think it is cool and for Michelle's inspiration. The design itself is probably different from the one they actually had in the book, it isn't actually specified as far as I can remember. However in the books, they use little symbols in the place of asterisks to mark breaks in the story whilst still in the same chapter. At times in the series there are reeds, mountains, waves, a small oak tree, and this symbol, which I took directly from the text for my tattoo!

We first encounter the Soul-Eaters properly in the third book, Soul Eater, so I took a picture with the book just because! Who needs a reason? Ha!

Yes it is small, it's the exact size as it appears in the book, but I am not a fan of massive tattoos and wanted little ones to start off with so if I do decide I want a bigger one at some point in the future I know I can handle it and what to expect pain-wise, because it was literally painless. I didn't feel much of the Hallows tattoo, but when he did the Soul-Eater tattoo, it felt a bit like the needle was pretty deep in my skin and tickled a fair bit but like I said, that was 30 seconds of my life and now I have 2 tattoos I love and am proud of. They have true meaning for me, my life and I have thought about them for a very, very long time so cannot see myself ever regretting getting them!

So there you go. My bookish tattoos. Maybe I'll get more, may I won't. Who knows? 

Do you have any bookish related tattoos? Please comment below, share, tweet, whatever. I love being part of the bookish community and am interested in what tattoos others have! :)