4.5 stars

ARC Review: All the Rage


All the Rage
By Courtney Summers

Source: Netgalley
Release date: 28th January 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery,

Kellan Turner is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. But when she speaks up, she is branded a liar. Telling the truth has cost her everything, because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town.

But when news of Kellan assaulting another girl gets out, the cost of staying silent might be more than Romy can bear. All The Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women in a culture that refuses to protect them.

**I received a free ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion**

When I began reading this book, I knew it was going to be a heavy read by reading the synopsis, but I never realised just how greatly this book was going to affect me. It covered so many important topics, and dealt with them so well. It’s a book I’d recommend to so many people, because it’s brutally honest, and I think so many people would really benefit from reading it.

This might be the hardest book I’ve ever read. I wasn’t addicted, and in places, I didn’t want to read on. Some of the themes horrified me, and it was a struggle to read on in places, because of how harshly it’s written. It’s relentlessly miserable, with shocks around every corner - there was never time for a breather, which is one of the reasons it was a really tough read. I’d recommend having a light, easy contemporary for after this one!

I didn’t like the writing style, but it didn’t bother me too much. I didn’t really like Romy as a lead - of course, I felt bad for her, but I felt she wasn’t shown as likeable. This might have been intentional, but I just wasn’t feeling it! I know she was going through a horrific time, but I had trouble connecting with her and some of the other characters.

So much happens in this book, so I don’t want too say much in case of spoilers! One thing I will say: you need to read this book. It is excellent, and I’d highly recommend - there’s so many important themes, and I think it’s so worth it. This is one of the rare books that I think have actually changed me, so it’s a must read! 

4 stars

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone


Daughter of Smoke and Bone
By Laini Taylor

Source: Personal purchase, paperback
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

"Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.

The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. 'He never says please', she sighed, but she gathered up her things. When Brimstone called, she always came."

In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in 'Elsewhere', she has never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole.

Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.

I have been saving this book for so long, because I knew that I would love it. I’m so glad I was right. It had me captivated from start to finish - the world and writing was beautiful, and I loved the story too.

Karou - the protagonist - was awesome, and I loved her so much. She was quirky and a bit different to lots of other main characters in YA, so at the start, I was a little bit unsure as to whether I was going to like her. Thankfully, in one of the earlier chapters, she pulled this amazing prank that had me laughing so much! I knew I was going to love her from then on. ☺

I was a little bit worried I was going to find this confusing, but that definitely wasn't the case at all. I thought that the author handled the complex world really well, because we were introduced gradually. Karou leads a human life as well as a magical/fantasy life, so it never got too complex. At the start, I wasn’t confused, and there was no info-dump. We were slowly introduced to the magical world, and it was written with such skill.

Another thing I really liked about this book is the romance. Usually - in fantasy books, especially - I don’t like the romance, and wish it would be left out, but that certainly wasn’t the case for this one! It was a real slow-burn, and was written so beautifully. It was heart-breaking, and done so well. It didn’t distract from the plot, but was just enough to keep me satisfied.

Overall, I really liked this book! It ticked all the boxes for me, and I’ve already bought the rest of the series, so I can carry on soon. I think it will only get better, and this seems like exactly my kind of thing - I’d highly recommend to everyone!

2.5 stars

Review: Bloodlines


By Richelle Mead

Source: Library, paperback
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Vampires

When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive--this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone's out for blood.

After reading really enjoying the Vampire Academy series last summer, I was really excited to carry on with the world, and dive into Bloodlines. VA became one of my favourite series, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I expected this to be great. Though sadly, I was so disappointed. It really wasn’t as good as I hoped it to be, and to be honest, I wish I didn’t expect so much, so I wouldn’t feel as let down as I do now.

My main problem was Sydney. We were introduced to her in Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4), and I didn’t really mind her then (she didn’t have a massive storyline) - in Bloodlines though, I could barely stand her. She really let the book down for me, because the thing about her ‘not having any social skills’ just became boring, really quickly. It was cringe-worthy, and I just didn’t want to read about a bland character embarrassing herself!

Another thing I disliked about this book was that it seemed very similar to VA. It was set in a high school, though this time it was a normal, human high school. I felt like this could have been avoided (the reason for this setting was questionable anyway), and it just set the book up to be something that’s not a series in its own. I liked the vampire highschool, but a human highschool got a bit boring for me, because that's not what I came to read!

Though as the book progressed, I began to realise that I was enjoying it a lot more. After my original skepticism on the direction of the book (and this series), I was really happy to find that it was very different to what I expected. I didn’t like the continual focus on Sydney’s life at school, but I liked the mystery plot lines, and I enjoyed the way Sydney took things into her own hands. She showed her strengths in these bits, and although she is no Rose, I liked how she was independent and actually got stuff done!

I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series, because I’m excited to see the direction it will go in. I don’t think I will enjoy it as much as VA, but I’d like to get into this world even more. I think it would be really interesting to find out more about the alchemists, so I look forward to reading more of it!

5 Stars

Why TROUBLE Will Be Your Next Favourite Book


By Non Pratt

Source: Second hand, paperback
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary,

In this dazzling debut novel, a pregnant teen learns the meaning of friendship—from the boy who pretends to be her baby’s father.

When the entire high school finds out that Hannah Shepard is pregnant via her ex-best friend, she has a full-on meltdown in her backyard. The one witness (besides the rest of the world): Aaron Tyler, a transfer student and the only boy who doesn’t seem to want to get into Hannah’s pants. Confused and scared, Hannah needs someone to be on her side. Wishing to make up for his own past mistakes, Aaron does the unthinkable and offers to pretend to be the father of Hannah’s unborn baby. Even more unbelievable, Hannah hears herself saying “yes.”

Told in alternating perspectives between Hannah and Aaron, Trouble is the story of two teenagers helping each other to move forward in the wake of tragedy and devastating choices. As you read about their year of loss, regret, and hope, you’ll remember your first, real best friend—and how they were like a first love.

Why TROUBLE Will Be Your Next Favourite Book:

1. It explores family themes like no other book. When you start this book, it’s pretty obvious this will explore families (I mean, there’s fucking sperms on the cover, what do you really expect?), but I never knew it would do it just so well. I loved the dynamics between everyone because they were so realistic, and family life was captured so well. Hannah’s family really became my own while I was reading this. 

2. I adored all the characters! Trouble is told with 2 POVs, and I cared about each of the characters completely equally. I was really rooting for them all the way, and I found their story so captivating. I was hooked throughout the whole book, and found it really hard to put down, because of how much I just wanted everything to be okay! They had so much depth, and were so complex. Everything became too real, so I just didn't want the book to end!

3. SO. MUCH. FRIENDSHIP. This might have been one of the biggest ideas, and I loved it! It showed how much a true best friend can mean to us, and this was the aspect that really helped me. The platonic relationship between Hannah and Aaron made me realise so much about my own life, which was one fo the reasons I found this book so touching. It hit really close to home, and although this won't make it everyone's favourite book, I think it was really moving, and important for everyone. 

4. It’s feminist. If you’ve read this, you might be thinking: “What on Earth is she talking about?!”, but hear me out. It doesn't explicitly deal with gender politics. But I found that the way this dealt with issues like slut-shaming, and misogyny in sex, really opened my eyes (and will do to so many other people). Let me explain further:

Hannah is known for being ‘easy’ in her school. Everyone has the idea that she’s slept with loads of guys, so she’s worth less. (Bear with me for this bit). The other protagonist, Aaron, doesn’t believe in any of this. He doesn’t think of Hannah any differently, even though his ‘friends’ are miming her giving them a blow job, and being really horrible about her behind her back.

I liked the way this was shown to be not true. It’s a really big issue for teenage girls today, and it was explored so well, if you want to look for the themes. It's another really important message that I took away from this book, and I think if you're willing to think about it a bit, it's really educational. Also, Hannah's self esteem and self worth is not dictated by these disgusting men. She knows it isn’t true, and that’s one of the reasons why I love this book so much.

5. It’s emotional af, but in a good way. There were sad points (yes, I did well up in the school library. I was having a tough day, ok?! *sniffs*), but there were also times when this book was so uplifting. I loved how happy it made me feel (the ending... it was perfect!). SO MANY FEELS HERE. It was sad and happy all at once, but overall, it was light-hearted (even if it dealt with some really hard topics), and such an enjoyable read.

6. It’s super meaningful, and has so many brilliant messages for you to take away. There’s some pretty heavy themes in the second half of the book, but they were dealt with so well, and the book was still kept light and enjoyable. These dark feelings a character had were really important, and weren’t glorified in any way. It was real, dark, yet uplifting because of how well they were dealt with.

7. It’s a sex positive YA, and deals with it really well. Although this won’t appeal to everyone, I think if you’ve made it this far, you’ve seen the cover, and you’ve seen the sperms! I think you’ve probably twigged that this book is (to some extent) about sex. I liked how it was shown, as it wasn’t the typical fade to black scenes. There certainly wasn’t any “and then I didn’t know where he ended, and I begun” crap that seems to be in 50% of the sex scenes I’ve read. It was so honest, which I think is so important in YA fiction.

As you can tell, I adored Trouble! I didn't expect for it to be one of my new favourite books right until I finished it. It's UKYA, so it very British, but I'd highly recommend it to everyone, from every country, because it was absolutely fantastic! Also, this is a new format of review for me, so let me know what you think! 


My 2016 Bookish Resolutions


First of all, I'd like to say happy new year! Many do believe that new year's resolutions are stupid and these people have got it pretty correct because time is an illusion created by a capitalist society and we are under no obligation to define our lives around the calendar made by mere mortals , but today I'm going to start off this year with things I hope to achieve.


1. Write more discussion posts
For the majority of the year, I think most of my posts have been reviews. This has been great for me, because I adore writing reviews, and my style has improved loads. But, I think discussion posts are much more interesting to read, especially to non-bloggers,  so I’d really like to write more. They’re much more time consuming to write and edit, but I’d love to share my own opinions and views more on the blogosphere!

2. Be more open
I’m naturally a really private person in real life, but on here, on my blog, I want to share a little bit more about myself to you! Blogging is the place where I want to be different to how I am in person, so being more open with my emotions is very important for me.

3. Make more friends
I have made some wonderful friends through blogging over the past year, but I want to make even more! I’ve met so many lovely people, so it would be awesome to make even more friends. On this note: feel free to come say hi! I’m trying to expand, and talk to people a bit more too, because I get a bit shy. I really love meeting new people though, so this is a very important goal for me

4. Be more daring
Because 2015 was my first year of blogging, I’ve definitely tried to stay in my comfort zone. This blog has been my little safe haven, so I’ve only done things that I’m completely sure I can carry out, and that I’m completely sure will be a hit. I’ve only stuck to what I’ve known - in 2016, I want to expand my blog, and the only way to do this would be to step out of my comfort zone slightly!

5. Be consistent
This may seem like a bit of an odd one, but for me, this is really important. In 2015, I feel like I might have said things yet not followed through with them, or I might have not done things I said I would have done. In the new year, I want to make sure I stick by what I say, and do the things that I want.

This one also works for the reading challenges - this will be my first year taking part in reading challenges other than Goodreads, and I’m really excited to get started! But, I’m a little bit worried that I’m not going to be able to finish, so I’m aiming to actually not forget about them! I’m hoping to be consistent in reading the right genres of books (I’m doing horror and diverse reads) over the course of the year so I might actually be able to complete them ☺

6. Schedule more posts in advance!
Literally every blogger tells us to do this, but I’m just so bad! I always aim so, but I’m so busy, so it never goes to plan. I’m hoping I’ll be able to get organised over Christmas, but I’d like to keep this up over 2016, because I’d be able to publish much more posts. This will probably the biggest challenge for me out of this list, but I really hope I will be able to keep up with this.

What do you hope to achieve in 2016? Do you have any personal goals or reading goals? Or maybe you don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions, and you’re just going to see how the new year goes!