Monthly Archives: August 2017

Book Review: My Story, The Diary of a Tudor Lady (1547-1544) Lady Jane Grey by Sue Reid


Published: 2012

Pages: 229

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars 

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

The tragic story of Lady Jane Grey who was Queen of England for nine days in July 1553. Jane grew up watching her cousins in training as heirs to the throne, little imagining that by a twist of fate she would one day be crowned. But this is Tudor England where nobody plays fair, and even a queen isn’t safe from those who wsh her harm.
My thoughts:

Okay, it’s not that this book was bad, it had its moments that I really enjoyed, however, I found that it lagged in places and there were definitely some gaps, especially as I reached the ending. I was like, ‘oh, is that all?’ 

What I did like about the book was its structure, it was entirely presented in diary format, chronicling the brief life of Lady Jane Grey, nine day English Queen. 

I felt that the book connected the reader to Jane, we saw everything through her eyes and we were essentially reading her thoughts throughout; I liked how the author characterised Jane, I felt it made her relatable, and even though I don’t know how accurate this book was, I thought some of it was definitely plausible – she was definitely used as a pawn by her father and family in order to elevate their gain, as many young girls were used for that same purpose in the Tudor time; and although we’ll never really know if Jane loved Guildford, her betrothed and forced husband (in this book and in my own research I’ve done, I’m lead to think not), but this book painted their relationship to be forced, but through the tragic circumstances that both found themselves in, a part of me thinks that perhaps they might’ve grown fond of one another. 

I’ve read many a book, both fictional and non, on Lady Jane Grey, and I’ll keep reading more. I’m fascinated with her as a historical figure, and she makes for some brilliant reading. 

This book however, I’m not quite sure what my problem was with it. I liked the bookishness of her character, I liked that it was told in her diary format; I think it would be perfect for a child to read, it’s an ideal introduction to Tudor history. But as an older reader, I felt that perhaps the writing was slightly sugar coated, and it doesn’t properly explain the ending; Which for my fellow Tudor history fans, will know. 

All in all, it was the book that got me back into Tudor fiction, so I’m happy for that, even if it wasn’t the best read. 

And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading,

Brooklyn 🙂

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Book Review: The Assassin and the Desert by Sarah J Maas

The third novella in the Throne of Glass prequel short stories.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

The Silent Assassins of the Red Desert aren’t much for conversation, and Celaena Sardothien wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s not there to chatter, she’s there to hone her craft as the world’s most feared killer for hire. When the quiet is shattered by forces who want to destroy the Silent Assassins, Celaena must find a way to stop them, or she’ll be lucky to leave the desert alive. 

My thoughts:

SPOILERS

I always found Ansel’s betrayal to be incredibly harsh, and it just really goes to show how anger and grief can push some people to such passionate hate. Even though I know Ansel appears in Empire of Storms, which I read last year, I honestly don’t know if I fully like her. She’s definitely a puzzle, but I hope she’s given some page time in the last ToG book next year, I would like to see her interact more with Aelin. 

This novella really shows us Celaena’s character development, I’ve found; it jumps back to her thinking about Sam, and how she can’t quite not picture him, and she hopes he’s okay, and she has his screaming cemented in her head when their master attacked Celaena. I know I’ve mentioned it before  but I positively hate Arobynn. Hate him! 

I really like the concept of the mute masters, I found them gentle bit unnerving, and I like how we actually learnt about how one thinks in particular. 

There’s some scenes in here that I’ll never tire of, it honestly was so exciting when Celaena was riding the Aesterin horse, and her unwavering heart in terms of Ansel and Sam I just adored. All throughout this novella, Celaena remained determined, sassy and fierce. 

And that concludes my review, until next time; thanks for reading and happy reading,

Brooklyn 🙂 

Book Review: The Assassin and the Healer by Sarah J Maas

The second short story in the Throne of Glass prequel novella collection, The Assassin’s Blade.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

Meet the Assassin: beautiful, defiant, destined for greatness. Celaena Sardothien has challenged her master. Now she must pay the price. Her journey to the Red Desert will be an arduous one, but it may change the fate of her cursed world forever…

My thoughts:

This is now my fifth time reading these short stories and honestly I enjoy them more and more as I re read them. 

Slight spoilers for Tower of Dawn ahead, maybe. 

I was especially excited to re read this novella to see Yrene Towers, the aspiring healer that will reappear in Tower of Dawn, which is fast approaching. I really enjoyed her character in this book and I’m excited to see how Maas has developed her.

I really enjoyed classic Celaena in this book too, without being too spoilery I adored her sass and fury, like Yrene notices “she is Wildfire.” But in saying that, she’s got a tender side, Celaena does, as we see with the character’s actions at the end of this book; and from what I’ve heard, Celaena’s lessons really stick with Yrene. 

Definitely one of my favourite stories in this novella collection, such a delight to read once again. 

And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading,

Brooklyn 🙂 

Book Review: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Book 2 in the Infernal Devices series

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Pages: 498

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, but her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.
My thoughts:

I don’t even know where to begin, honestly. This book is perfection, as is this series. The characters, the romance, the setting, the writing is nothing short of perfection. 

I was on the edge of my seat throughout this book, honestly, I couldn’t even anticipate what would come next and my heart was torn throughout. Jem, Tessa and Will are my favourite bookish trio ever, and I love their bond. Nothing compares to Jem and Will’s parabatai bond but then there’s Tessa and honestly I felt for her throughout, being so torn for many reasons. 

The characterisation for every character developed so much from book one! It was amazing, coming back to them after a short break, it felt like being with friends again! I can’t even process the beauty that is this book! Definitely remarkable, I love how Cassandra Clare makes the reader think one thing and then spins it all on its head and the outcome, oh my gosh! What I thought I knew was one thing but as I read this book I was stunned at all the revelations! Absolutely chilling and devastating and perfection! 

The word building was superb! And the setting as always is perfection, whilst I adore The Mortal Instruments, there’s something about the setting of Victorian London that just compliments the Shadowhunter world perfectly, it’s just amazing. I cannot fault this book, I even loved getting to know more about Gabriel and Gideon Lightwood, and I love how Sophie and Tessa’s friendship grew, it was super precious. Another friendship that I loved in this book was the appearances of Magnus Bane, he was crucial to a specific revelation about one of the characters, who I don’t think I’ll name, but for those who’ve read the book, you know who I mean and my gosh my heart ached for them after I read what I did and imagined how I’d feel about my life if I had been through and told what this character had. 

Just a side note, usually I’m not a huge fan of love triangles, but the one in this book is one of the most heartbreakingly exquisite ones in existence. I want more! It pains me that there’s only one book left in this trilogy! 

I’ll always sing praises about everything in this book, it made me feel every possible feel in existence! And it left on a fabulous cliffhanger, I cannot wait to read Clockwork Princess and get to know a certain character more, as well as indulge in the feelings that I can only imagine will ensue! 

And that concludes my review, as usual, thank you for reading, until next time, happy reading,

Brooklyn 🙂 

Book Review: Unfiltered, No Shame, No Regrets, just me by Lily Collins

Published in 2017

Pages: 221

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

In this groundbreaking debut essay collection, featuring never-before-seen photos, actress Lily Collins—star of Mortal Instruments and the upcoming Rules Don’t Apply—is opening a poignant, honest conversation about the things young women struggle with: body image, self-confidence, relationships, family, dating, and so much more.

For the first time ever, Lily shares her life and her own deepest secrets, underlining that every single one of us experiences pain and heartbreak. We all understand what it’s like to live in the light and in the dark. For Lily, it’s about making it through to the other side, where you love what you see in the mirror and where you embrace yourself just as you are. She’s learned that all it takes is one person standing up and saying something for everyone else to realize they’re not alone.
By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Lily’s honest voice will inspire you to be who you are and say what you feel. It’s time to claim your voice! It’s time to live your life unfiltered. 
My thoughts: 

This was such an enlightening read, I have liked Lily Collins ever since I saw her perform as Clary Fray in The Mortal Instruments; City of Bones film, and I always liked her personality and how she delivered herself when being interviewed.

Truthfully I didn’t know what to expect from this book, but as soon as I started reading it, I was instantly drawn in, honestly it felt like I had been invited to tea with her and she was talking to me about her life, broken down into different headings. 

Each topic was so heartfeltly written, it was fabulous, she talks about her eating disorders, to her absent father, to her heartbreaks, but nothing at all was like “oh, woe is me.” Lily Collins is engaging with the reader and invites them to learn from her experiences, and what she’s taken from them and how she’s grown for the better. 

A highlight for me throughout this book was just how her radiance and unique personality shone through, she encourages the reader to own their quirkyness and to stand out from the crowd. Lily was never one to conform, I mean sure there’s a point in this book where she explains her insecurities, having come to the States from the UK, but she then explains how she started to own her accent and be proud of it. 

Each essay component is marked with an uplifting quote, I think my favourites are:

‘I will never need anyone to complete me, I am enough on my own.’

‘Standing out in a crowd is much more rewarding then blending in.’

And 

Sources of weakness can transform into your most important and influential sources of inner strength.’

Collins also talks about the importance of relationships, and I really admired how she handled the toxic ones in her life, and how she learnt to grow from them. Throughout the book, there’s a constant female empowerment, how girls can learn from one another and everything. 

Hands down, an amazing memoir, and I definitely recommend. 

And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading,

Brooklyn 🙂 

Goodreads Monday

Hi all! And welcome to another Goodreads Monday post! I missed last week’s purely because time got away from me, but I’m definitely being more organised now and getting them put together! 

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme where one picks a book off their TBR and shows it off, so without further ado, here’s today’s Goodreads Monday choice: 


The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson! 

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

Jack the Ripper is back, and he’s coming for Rory next….

Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school just as a series of brutal murders mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper killing spree of more than a century ago has broken out across the city. The police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man believed to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him – the only one who can see him. And now Rory has become his next target…unless she can tap her previously unknown abilities to turn the tables.

This is one of those books that I picked up at a second hand store, the sypnosis definitely appealed to me, I love Jack the Ripper inspired stories so I’m definitely interested to see where this goes! 

And that concludes this week’s Goodreads Monday! Happy reading, bookworms! 

Brooklyn 🙂 

Book Review: The Genesi Code by Tristen Willis


Book one of The Genesi Series

Published in 2017

Pages: 225

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

Luka was only eight years old when her father, Christopher Foster, was murdered.

Christopher had been working on a cure for the Genesi Code, which has plagued the human race since the government began experimenting on human DNA in an attempt to create a genetically-advanced army.
Luka has spent the last ten years training for the military’s elite taskforce, known as Delta Force, so she can uncover the truth surrounding her father’s murder. But along the way, she uncovers a truth about herself that she is not yet ready to face. 
Could the truth surrounding Luka’s past be the key to curing the Genesi and ending the war? In the end, is revenge all that matters?

My thoughts:

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, please note this does not affect my thoughts on this book. 

This book was such a fabulous read! From the first page I was instantly engaged and I could picture everything as I read it. I don’t often read dystopian but the sypnosis instantly appealed to me and I knew I’d have lots of questions about this book and it’s characters. I instantly adored Luka, and I was cheering for her all the way! I so was hoping she’d get the answers she was seeking, we’re given an insight into her childhood, and the horror she witnessed, and Tristen’s writing I feel really echoes Luka’s feelings, so much so that I felt like I was feeling her emotions too. 

We meet an array of friends and foes along the way, my favourite of them being Harvey, Luka’s dearest friend. I thought him to be such a dear, he has such great qualities and aside from Luka, he was my other favourite character. Each of the other characters brought something unique to the story, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how the evolve even more in the next book. 

There were such a pulsing rush through this book, I felt like it was definitely leading up to something brilliant and when I reached the climax I was proper amazed, even though as I think back it definitely makes a lot of sense. But the way it was written, I felt like I hit the realisation when Luka did. And I was definitely cheering for her at the last page, the book has a wicked ending and it definitely made me admire Luka all the more. Even from the start, she struck me as a character that wouldn’t quit and she is honestly so kick ass it’s awesome! 

This book was definitely unique and refreshing, there’s something in it for everyone, I was laughing and gasping on edge throughout; and mark your calendars for a September 1st release date! 

And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading,

Brooklyn 🙂 

Book Review: Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley 

Published in 2016

Pages: 352

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

Love lives between the lines.

Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came. 
Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction, and the escape. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore. She can’t see her future.

Henry’s future isn’t looking too promising, either. His girlfriend dumped him. The bookstore is slipping away. And his family is breaking apart.

As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough. 


My thoughts:

I was given a selection of books to review for work and told to pick one. Instantly, the cover to this book jumped out at me and I was instantly moved by the blurb on the back, so I chose this. 

I started it the next day and was instantly in  awe. The layout was and is absolutely beautiful, the writing captivating. It jumps between Henry and Rachel’s perspectives, as well as letters which are found in various books in the bookstore. The setting to this book was perfection, the bookstore and the stories inside held so much symbolism for the plot, what had happened, what was to come, and what the characters had gone through. 

Both Henry and Rachel went through their own angst through the story, and from the narrative the reader definitely got a tragic feel and I felt so sad for Rachel throughout, she was missing her brother greatly and his death impacted her so much, she had definitely changed, Henry hadn’t heard from her in some time, but when their paths cross, he knows how absent she is, there’s very little of the Rachel that was his best friend and she doesn’t tell anyone about her brother, she hardly talks to him.

I feel this book was definitely about both characters’ journies, but there were some great side characters that featured in this book too. Henry’s family, especially, they all had their things to deal with, and there was definitely a great amount of mystery as George (Henry’s sister) tried to figure out who was writing the secret letters under the mysterious pen name. I honestly didn’t know who it could’ve been but there was a tiny clue offered to the reader, and it clicked and the tragic irony was unlike anything I’d read in a YA contemporary fiction book before. 

There were so many bookish moments a book lover can appreciate, whether it’s the letters being shown that are found in the Howling Library section, and from what books and pages they were from, to the open book discussions that were in this book. Henry’s family had regular book group meetings and I thought that was so sweet. 

Definitely a book that will stay with me for some time, it had lots of light moments too, it washonestly a unique, precious read, and I recommend it to all! 

And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading 🙂

Brooklyn.

Book Review: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare


Book 4 in the Mortal Instruments series

Published: 2012

Pages: 435

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace. 

My thoughts:


So much darkness in this book, I felt like everything was leading up to something so foreboding. This book felt so different to the previous 3 that made up the first volume of the Mortal Instruments, and it was definitely exciting coming back to this book world after jumping into the past with Clockwork Angel! I chose intentionally to follow Clare’s publication order, and reading both series together is amazing! This book definitely had me feeling and in fact it gave me nightmares, especially as I reached the last three chapters. 

For many reasons, this book felt different to its predecessors; there was so much angst and anguish, I could feel Jace’s torment throughout the book, and I felt so sad for him, considering what he’d been through in City of Glass, I felt sad for Clary because of how he was treating her; their love is so powerful but honestly I’m scared for what will come next. I had a feeling what might happen with Jace in this book, yet it didn’t make it any less terrifying. 

I loved also the reference to The Infernal Devices, and how those characters, well one in particular, is connected to Magnus and how said character (Will), definitely impacted the warlock. This made for some Magnus and Alec angst, which I loved, I adore Malec, and I was swooning when they had their scenes. They’re so precious! 

Another thing I really enjoyed about this book is how it was quite Simon focused, from the start, Simon had become one of my favourite characters and I loved seeing things from his perspective, albeit he definitely had a fair share of torment too. Though there was one thing about him in this book that initially annoyed me, but it was okay when Maia and Izzy sort of banded together for a bit. I ship Simon and Izzy, they had some close scenes at the end that I really enjoyed. 

Surrounding new characters and old, this book definitely had a lot of mystery and suspense to it, I definitely didn’t want it to end! Cassandra Clare has definitely cemented her place as one of my favourite authors, ever, and this book and it’s events will definitely stay in my mind for some time! 

And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading 🙂

Brooklyn.

Book Review: The Assassin and the Pirate Lord by Sarah J Maas

The first short story in the novella “The Assassin’s Blade”, a prequel novella to the Throne of Glass series. 

Pages: 77

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

A Throne of Glass novella.

On a remote island in a tropical sea, Celaena Sardothien, feared assassin, has come for retribution. She’s been sent by the Assassin’s Guild to collect on a debt they are owed by the Lord of the Pirates. But when Celaena learns that the agreed payment is not in money, but in slaves, her mission suddenly changes—and she will risk everything to right the wrong she’s been sent to bring about.

My thoughts:

For me, this was the start of something amazing. I love the Throne of Glass books, and Celaena and Sam are two of my favourite characters, ever. I have read this novella 3 times (I think, maybe 4), and I never tire of Sam and Celaena’s scenes. Their banter is the stuff of life, even though I know what happens in the last novella, I still think Sam is her equal in every way. 

It’s funny, re reading a first novella after reading all other books in this series (I’m re reading them in anticipation for Tower of Dawn, I can’t believe it’s less than a month away!) and knowing what happens in each book. 

One of my favourite things in this book, aside from Sam and Celaena’s scenes, is the dramatic irony of Celaena freeing the slaves that Arobbyn (I loathe him) sent her and Sam to deal with. The co-conspirator in this slave game is one Pirate Lord, Rolfe (where we get the title). I never actually cared for Rolfe to be honest, I found him a callous, arrogant guy, and even though I enjoy pirate type stories (and I guess Rolfe is a bit above your typical pirate), I didn’t like his selfishness in regards to the slaves. 

What I did love also was Celaena’s sass and bravery! She’s 16 and an assassin who literally, even though she and Sam kill people for a living, (slight spoiler ahead) she chooses not to agree with the slave bargain and does her darndest to fight for their freedom. There’s lots of wit in her narration, I love the audacity of everything in this novella, and that there’s definitely early hints of her chemistry with Sam.

Definitely one of my favourite novellas in this collection, and I’m excited to read the rest once more. 

And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading.

Brooklyn. 🙂