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Book Review: Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Published in 2017 by Hodder and Staughton

532 pages

5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Sypnosis:

Strange the Dreamer is the story of: 

the aftermath of a war between gods and men
a mysterious city stripped of its name
a mythic hero with blood on his hands
a young librarian with a singular dream
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.

Let’s talk about the plot:

For me, this plot had me constantly guessing, I was loving every minute and was amazed with what Laini Taylor has created, and what a unique story! I feel like it was more character orientated than plot, even though I was constantly kept guessing, I didn’t know what would happen next!

I’m going to keep this review exceptionally short, because everyone needs to read the living daylights out of this Book! I cannot express my love for this story and the characters!! 

So, author further ado…

Let’s talk about the characters:

Lazlo and Sarai – it only feels rignt to discuss them together, they are honestly for me what this book is all about! The book followed their journey and so much more, what a journey that was! Looking back to the start, Lazlo had come so far, he has so many amazing traits, he has got to be one of my favourite fictional characters ever! I love his dreamer nature and his love for stories, and his thirst for knowledge! I could definitely relate to all this and it was fun reading this book with one of my closest friends, I loved fangirling over it all with him 😊.

Sarai, such a precious character. My heart constantly ached for her, and I love how much she grew and what she went through. Her interactions with Lazlo are precious and gave me life. I couldn’t get enough, and there’s nothing about either of them I could fault. For so many reasons this book made me feel so much, it was so unique and I daresay it’s become a fast favourite. 

Let’s talk about the writing:

Laini Taylor has one of the most visual and magical I’ve ever read, she definitely awes me! Her world of Weep is endless and the magic is real! There was times when the writing stalled a bit, but honestly then things would get crazy and mysterious! Every emotion was coaptured here, I laughed, I cried (still not over what happened), and I was on the edge of my seat. 

Book 2 now please – this is something that’ll stay with me, and everyone, for time to come. 

Happy reading 🙂 

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Book Review: Molly and the Cat Cafe by Melissa Daley 

Book one in The Cat Cafe series

Published in 2015 by Macmillan

300 pages

5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

When two-year-old tabby, Molly, loses her beloved owner, her world falls apart. Re-homed with three cat-hating dogs, she decides to take matters into her own paws and embarks on a gruelling journey to the nearest town. As Molly walks the cobbled streets of Stourton, she begins to lose all hope of finding a home . . .
Until one day she is welcomed into the warmth by caring café owner, Debbie. Like Molly, Debbie is also an outsider and, with a daughter to care for, she is desperate to turn around the struggling café.
But a local battleaxe is on the warpath and she is determined to keep out newcomers, especially four-legged ones. It looks as if Debbie will have to choose between the café and Molly. Yet maybe the solution to their problems may not be as far away as they think.
Will Debbie and Molly be able to turn their fortunes around to launch the Cotswolds’ first Cat Café?
Let’s talk about the plot:

Okay, so I kind of knew what was going to happen in this book, having read its sequel first, but nonetheless I was so excited to read this! And it made me so emotional, seeing all these characters again, especially Molly. She’s definitely become one of my favourite fictional felines! It’s such a great read, easily something I would read over and over again. I can definitely say its more character orientated than plot, having been told from Molly’s perspective, but even as the story unfolded and I knew what would happen, I was still on the edge of my seat throughout: and there was never a dull moment! 

Let’s talk about the characters:

Molly, our narrator, is a tabby cat who goesthrough it all! I was feeling so much for her thtoughout, I loved reading about her life before she met Debbie, and how much she grew through the book, as well as her observations on everything. She was written so well! I wish the book was more than a duology, I need more Molly in my life 😂. Honestly, I can’t rave enough, Molly was just the perfect narrator, and I really love her character! I don’t want to spoil it, because I think everyone should read it, but Molly goes through so much and develops of course not only as a cat but as a character too! I definitely was left wanting more, but I know I’ll re read the sequel at Christmas 😂 I loved especially Molly’s intereactions with Debbie, I love how much Molly loved and cared and understood her! I felt like the loyalty of Molly really shone through the book, I could picture her every movements and hear all her purrs. There was one scene towards the end, she made me laugh so much, I could just picture her expression, it was brilliant! And at the very end I definitely felt so proud of her and how far she’s come, and nostslgic too, having come full circle with Molly. I definitely think there’s plenty of potential though for more books with these characters, and they’re definitely among my favourites for that reason. I haven’t read anything like this before and doubt I will again!

Debbie, I practially squealed when I saw her in this book for the first time, I loved her character in book 2, but even more so in book 1, it shows us how far she’s come! I was with her every step and cheering her on, she had been through so much in the past, we definitely learn to the extent of what, but despite all this she’s such a treasure! She’s kind and caring and only wants what’s best for her daughter and Molly. I loved Debbie’s interactions with Molly, and loved the awkward scenes with potential partner John. Molly intervened here for the better, and it was fabulous! I also loved how accepting Debbie is of Molly’s previous owner, something happens towards the end of this book which leaves a catalyst for the events of book 2. 

There’s plenty of other colourful characters, both human and feline: Sophie, Debbie’s teenage daughter, I loved her growth through the book, and also Jo, Debbie’s closest friend, she named one of Molly’s kittens, and knowing what happens in book 2 that is definitely such a precious moment!! And I loved meeting John again, he’s so lovely! I only lamented lack of Jasper, a tom cat of significant proportions to Molly, but again, I couldn’t worry too much because of what happens in book 2.

Let’s talk about the writing:

The writing was so addictive, I couldn’t put this book down. I already know I’m going to hopefully get my own copy of the book, it’s something I know I’ll revisit again and again! Melissa Daley combines laughs, love, feels and sometimes suspense in this beauty and it’s something I’ll always recommend to everyone!

Happy reading 😊

Book Review: Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp (Spoilers)

Published by SouceFire Books in 2018

348 pages 

1 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

Best friends Corey and Kyra were inseparable in their snow-covered town of Lost Creek, Alaska. When Corey moves away, she makes Kyra promise to stay strong during the long, dark winter, and wait for her return.

Just days before Corey is to return home to visit, Kyra dies. Corey is devastated―and confused. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones about the town’s lost daughter, saying her death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she’s a stranger.

Corey knows something is wrong. With every hour, her suspicion grows. Lost is keeping secrets―chilling secrets. But piecing together the truth about what happened to her best friend may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter.

Let’s talk about the plot:

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, this does not affect my thoughts on this book whatsoever.

I confess, I was intrigued by the plot, I was expecting to be haunted and chilled, and I felt this would be a good mystery, I mean don’t get me wrong, it had potential, but in its entirety, the plot felt like it was a never ending cycle of repetition.

It started with Cory finding out about her best friend’s death, and trying to get justice for her friend and have her remembered as she should be, not as the ridiculous town of Lost would remember her.

I say ridiculous, because it felt like Lost was a cult town, they all believed Kyra’s death had been something she prophesied through her art, and rather than help her, they accepted it. So we then have Cory being angry at the town, which is fair enough, but honestly…nothing came of it? And what did happen made no sense 🤔 like, when Kyra’s dad tried to kill Cory, because she took her best friend’s possessions that Kyra would’ve wanted her to have? 

Lets talk about the characters:

Kyra: I felt like she was misunderstood by the people of Lost, it was sad getting to read exceprts of unsent letters to Cory and their flashback scenes honestly had me feeling annoyed and pitiful, I wanted to knock some sense into the people of Lost for not seeing Kyra as she is, for glossing over her illness – I mean, her parents wouldn’t even let her take her medication! Both her mother and father angered me to the core, I mean they were so blind and clearly they didn’t care about Kyra, even if they claimed to love her. 

Cory was the main narrator of the story, I felt sad for her, having lost her dearest friend’s, but honestly her narration was so repetitive! The whole book felt like it was her fury at Lost, which I could understand, but honestly. 

Let’s talk about the writing:

I wasn’t a fan of the writing at all, it was so choppy, the sentences were short and there was no realism. It just felt like things were there and happening, and aside from Kyra’s bipolar, which I felt was hardly conveyed, and Cory describing herself as asexual, I felt like I couldn’t get attatched to the characters.

I’ll leave it there. Thanks again to Harriet McInerney for the review copy.

Happy reading 😀

Book Review: Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

Published in 2017

286 pages

5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Sypnosis:

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

Let’s Talk about the Plot:

I actually really enjoyed this book, which frankly, sounds odd, because there were some parts that I found completely agonising (like when Aza constantly fed herself hand sanitizer, because she thought it was helping her). But honestly, the plot constantly kept me intrigued. There was quite a bit of mystery to it, and I honestly didn’t know what would happen next, and the writing didn’t feel too forced, everything flowed perfectly and the characters felt really real and relatable. Definitely my new favourite John Green, I didn’t actually think I’d enjoy this, the only book of his I wholly enjoyed was The Fault in Our Stars, but this one had me wholly invested in Aza and her journey. I really liked the mystery aspect too, I had no idea what might’ve happened to Davis’s dad, but I knew I needed to find out.

Let’s talk about the characters:

Aza definitely was a character I related to; I admit, when I was younger I used to be a hypochondriac, forever obsessing about germs and illness. To this day, part of me still thinks about this and once that switch is triggered, it’s hard to turn off. Now, although Aza wasn’t exactly that, she definitely, I would say, was worried about germs in her body and for that, I could definitely relate. Even to the extent where she wouldn’t kiss someone, I have been there. I was once (and perhaps still am) terrified of too many germs entering my system. Anyway, I know I’m stalling, but I will say Aza was a loving daughter and a loyal friend, even though she wasn’t always mentally there for Daisy. I actually enjoyed, in fact I found it refreshing, because she was written so human. Her thoughts summed up how I’ve felt about things in the past, and honestly my heart ached for her mental pain. I just wanted her to realise that she is an amazing human that’s doing her best.

I’ll also never not think of her when I see or use hand sanitizer again, truthfully. The parts where she drank it chilled me, honestly I ached that she had to go to that extreme and how she thought she was so insufficient. Even though I couldn’t exactly relate to these aspects of her personality, I definitely found Aza to be one of the most relatable characters, and it’s a total surprise that this book is a new favourite. I need more characters like Aza in my life.

I loved Daisy too! I absolutely adored her friendship with Aza, and I’m glad Daisy sort of pushed Aza in to realising certain things, even if it lead to a nail biting scene. Both characters complimented each other perfectly, to be honest: and Daisy really loved Aza; they were always there for one another, just in different ways. And I thought Daisy’s Star Wars obsession was fun, definitely a quirky aspect to the story, with her passion for Chewbacca and Rey and writing Star Wars fic. Some of the scenes mentioning this really made me laugh, and actually the same can be said for Daisy. At times she was a really funny character, and at times she was definitely what Aza needed, I think.

Davis was great too, he was constantly going through his own grief, his father’s disappearance being the context of the mystery in the book, and I definitely felt for him. I loved reading his blog entries, with quotes from people such as Shakespeare and Terry Pratchett, which echoed Davis’s thoughts. I really liked his scenes with Aza too, I feel like both characters went really well together, and he was really understanding of her nature. Their scenes were written so simply, it was utterly wonderful and refreshing; and I love how much he cared for Noah, his younger brother. It was so precious reading the parts where Davis was talking about Noah, I really felt for those two.

Let’s Talk About the Writing:

I was addicted. This book has reawakened my faith in John Green. The Fault in Our Stars has always been a long time favourite book of mine, and this beauty is definitely standing proud next to it. I’ll read this again, easily. It was such a unique story and the writing was packed full of everything, it made me laugh, cry and flail with sad frustration at times, and Aza has definitely helped how I see things in life, so I’m definitely grateful for this book.

Until next time, happy reading.

Brooklyn 🙂

December 2017 reading wrap up

Hi bookworms!

It’s been a while since I posted a wrap up blog post, but I really want to get back into doing them! So what better time to start!

I read 17 books last month, and they are as follows:

– An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson – 5 out of 5 stars

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia – 4 out of 5 stars

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo – 5 out of 5 stars

Christmas at the Cat Cafe by Melissa Daley – 5 out of 5 stars

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken – 5 out of 5 stars

The Loneliest Girl in The Universe – by Lauren James – 4 out of 5 stars

A Familiar Tale by Delia James – 4 out of 5 stars

Phoenix Rising – by Hunter S Jones – 5 out of 5 stars

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – by CS Lewis – 5 out of 5 stars

Sputnik Sweetheart – by Haruki Murakami- 2 out of 5 stars

– Hexes for the Modern Age – by Val Brains – 3 out of 5 stars

– Carry On by Rainbow Rowell – 5 out of 5 stars

– Toby by Margaret Wild – 4 out of 5 stars

– You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan- 5 out of 5 stars

– The Autobiography of Henry VIII by Margaret George – 5 out of 5 stars

– Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – 5 out of 5 stars

– Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan- 4 out of 5 stars.

So there you have it, an eclectic selection of books, I enjoyed most of them, as you can see, and reviews for all of them except Language of Thorns (it’ll come), can be found on my blog too. Comment below if you’ve read any of these, and your thoughts?

See you soon and happy reading 🙂

Brooklyn 🙂

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Book 1 in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy

Published in 2011

418 pages

5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Sypnosis:

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Note: I’ll be keeping this one exceptionally brief, honestly, if you haven’t read this already, do. It’s perfection.

Let’s talk about the plot:

So unique! I have never read anything like this before! It was honestly such an intriguing and complex and magical plot, and not once overwhelming. I could honestly feel the magic in this story seeping through the pages, and I couldn’t get enough!

Let’s talk about the characters:

Karou is honestly a new favourite of mine, she is amazing! Full of hope, curiosity, art and wander, I love everything about her, and her blue hair is fabulous, might I add! There’s a lot about Karou that had me asking questions though, and honestly I couldn’t predict the twists and turns that she’d come into contact with!

Suzana and Karou have one of my new favourite friendships, like ever. I love how the former isn’t at all sceptical of the latter, and she’s always there for her. I feel like the two friends compliment each other perfectly, and Zuzana is full of so much sass and attitude, she’s just amazing!

Brimstone was such a great character too! I love his bond with Karou and how protective he was of her!

Akiva, oh gosh. Such a precious cinnamon roll, a soldier, with such a heart full of love. Except…I can’t say too much but a revelation came and I was then all of the conflicted. Angst and feels aplenty, but oh, it was beautiful. All of it! I’m still thinking about it as I type.

Let’s talk about the writing:

Magical, full of wishes and hope and beauty. As I said, I haven’t read anything like this before, and can’t wait to continue the series! This one is definitely being added to my favourites, I mean it had me dreaming, laughing and feeling! And more! There was not one boring moment, and I couldn’t predict what would happen next! I definitely think there’s something in this book for everyone! I can’t wait to see what happens next!!

Until next time, happy reading,

Brooklyn 🙂

Book Review: Words on Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton

Published in 2017

294 pages

5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Sypnosis:

Adam has just been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He sees and hears people who aren’t there: Rebecca, a beautiful girl who understands him; the Mob Boss, who harasses him; and Jason, the naked guy who’s unfailingly polite. It should be easy to separate the real from the not real, but Adam can’t.

Still, there’s hope. As Adam starts fresh at a new school, he begins a drug trial that helps him ignore his visions. Suddenly everything seems possible, even love. When he meets Maya, a fiercely intelligent girl, he desperately wants to be the great guy that she thinks he is. But then the miracle drug begins to fail, and Adam will do anything to keep Maya from discovering his secret.

Let’s Talk About The Plot:

This was definitely more character orientated than plot orientated, so to keep this spoiler free I’ll keep it short. The reader is taken into the life of Adam, who had recently been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and it really just gives us an insight into his everyday life, as he navigates through school and life in general.

Let’s talk about the characters:

Adam is our narrator, as I mentioned, I honestly thought that he was an amazing male narrator. I felt like I was seeing everything through his eyes, and I felt his torment and intensity when he was having his delusions. He was so smart, and witty, and having the book written as a journal format, in his thoughts, worked so well, because I felt like it was bringing me closer to Adam, seeing other characters as he did, as well as thinking his thoughts about everything and every one.

Maya was a great character too, I felt like she complimented Adam really well, and the two had some great interactions! I also adored Adam’s mum, she was so loyal and protective of her son, and unafraid of him. Hats off to Paul too, Adam’s stepdad, who was such a great male father figure. Every character worked so brilliantly, I felt like they were brought to life in this book so much!

Let’s talk about the writing:

I finished this book in the space of an evening, I couldn’t put it down! The writing felt so natural, it honestly felt like someone’s journal! The pacing was quick, I couldn’t guess what would come next, I was even second guessing what was real in the book and what wasn’t.

Schizophrenia is portrayed so vividly in this book, the illness is something I’ve seen close hand, and the book captures it well! I was actually addicted to reading this book, I tried to pause in between but it wasn’t happening. It was all so vivid! I felt like I was adam, I felt like I could literally see what he saw, literally.

Everyone needs to read this book! I feel like it should be compulsory reading in late high school stages too, honestly. I felt like I learnt a lot from this book, and I hope people that feel like they’re suffering from any mental illness know that they’re not alone.

Also, the quote from Dumbledore, the Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince reference:

“Of course it’s inside your head, Harry. But why does that mean it’s not real?”

Couldn’t be more accurate, period.

And that concludes my review, until next time, Happy Reading 🙂

Brooklyn ~~

Book Review: Shattered Memories by VC Andrews (spoilers)

Book 3 in the Mirror Sisters trilogy

Published in 2017

421 pages

3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Sypnosis:

In this finale of the darkly gothic Mirror Sisters trilogy, one twin fears her reunion with sister dearest—from the legendary New York Times bestselling author of Flowers in the Attic and My Sweet Audrina (now Lifetime movies). For fans of Ruth Ware (The Woman in Cabin 10) and Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies).

They share an unbreakable bond…

An inescapable bond.

As identical twins, Haylee and Kaylee Fitzgerald have always done things in exactly the same way. Under their mother’s guidance their every outfit, every meal, and every thought was identical.

But now things are different.

With Kaylee back at home after her sister’s betrayal, her life has been turned inside out. Both her mother and Haylee are away and Kaylee’s alone and more lost than ever. Her father suggests going to a new school where she can have a fresh start, and where no one will know about her dark past. But if Kaylee knows her sister at all, she knows that her twin isn’t through with her yet.

Let’s talk about the plot:

Okay, so this book picks up soon after the events of book 2. Kaylee is in therapy and getting ready to attend a new school, and starting to realise she needs to separate herself from Haylee.

Except she can’t. Haylee is constantly ‘with’ her everywhere. In her thoughts, and her speaking. A reminder of what Kaylee was put through, and her demons from that experience constantly came back to hurt her. At her new school, she finds herself meeting some colourful characters, and all the while is trying to shake a feeling of uneasiness and wondering what truly will become of Haylee, the sister she adores (I feel bad using present tense seeing as to what happened, but alas).

Let’s talk about the writing:

Can I just say that I was ridiculously excited about this final instalment? Whilst book 1 had be so angry with rage, book 2 kind of lulled a bit, whereas book 3 had such an intense start I was nervous for what was to come. The writing itself initially was great! Fast paced, nail biting, you couldn’t guess what would happen next. But then, about a quarter of the way through, it took a lull and I felt like I was mostly reading filler chapters. I was hoping that Kaylee’s roommates would be darker, and that there would be many a twist, and then about 3/4 of the way through, once Haylee was mentioned again, things rapidly picked up, and I was hoping for an epic finale. Because in the past I have freaking loved VC Andrews’ books, book 1 was freaking brilliant, and I love the authors Dollangager book series. The Mirror Sisters was fast on the track to becoming my next favourite series from the author, now, I can’t say that’s the case. I honestly feel like where it was dull, repetitive and not as exciting, so much more could’ve been happening! And I’m annoyed because the writing in book 1, and even in some parts of book 2, was so emotional!! This definitely didn’t deliver in the end! I mean, why write Haylee the way she did?! And have her come in and make what was possibly the most stupid exit, like ever?

Let’s talk about the characters:

Let’s not talk about Haylee. I don’t like her. Never have. Who arranges their own freaking twin sister’s bloody abduction?

Kaylee is honestly the definition of a sweet summer flower. That’s the best term I could think of. I was admiring her at first, excited to see her start fresh, but then she just became too repetitive, I mean okay I get she was reluctant to open up to people but then to turn to drugs because of this?! No honey!

And why the bloody hell (excuse me) did she forgive Haylee for putting her through everything? I mean, girl! You were TORTURED! And okay sure she was scared of her at first, as you bloody (excuse me) would be, and good on you love, for standing your ground. And I admire your forgiveness; but, and I guess denial was a prominent feature here, but to think that Haylee wanted to be ‘The Mirror Sisters’ as they were originally meant that theoretically, it all would’ve been for nothing!

I thank you for reading. I think this’ll be the last VC Andrews book I read for a good while. *shakes head sadly*.

Happy reading!!

– Brooklyn.

Book Review: The Beast Within by Serena Valentino

Published in 2016

218 pages

2 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Sypnosis:

A cursed prince sits alone in a secluded castle. Few have seen him, but those who claim they have say his hair is wild and nails are sharp–like a beast’s! But how did this prince, once jovial and beloved by the people, come to be a reclusive and bitter monster? And is it possible that he can ever find true love and break the curse that has been placed upon him?

Let’s Talk about the Plot:

Okay, I’m going to keep this one brief, and spoiler free as much as I can. I was interested in this one for some time, being a massive fan of Beauty and the Beast, I was looking forward to hearing from said ‘Beast’, and I liked the whole past to present structure of the story, but I felt like the plot didn’t make sense? Well, it did, but it didn’t seem to contribute anything to the Tale we all know so much and love. I will give the author points thought, it surprised me how she bright Gaston into it as a positive figure. I was hoping for angst, seen as it’s suggested and shown that he was friendly with young Prince Adam, but sadly that didn’t happen.

Let’s talk about the writing:

The writing, as I mentioned, I liked, because it jumped from present to past and then back and forth, and I liked how the author wrote Cogsworth, Lumiere and Mrs Potts, I just feel like perhaps if the book was longer, then the story would’ve made more sense? The ending and the lead up to the ending definitely felt a bit abrupt. Usually I get teary and emotional at the climax of Beauty and the Beast, but I was definitely feeling indifferent when I finished this.

Let’s talk about the characters:

Belle, The Beast, Gaston, Lumiere and Cogsworth were all written well, I liked that very much because I freaking love all those characters (except Gaston). The new characters, Princess Tulip and her Nanny, both just seemed pointless, the former was just a simpering princess in love with the Beast at times, back when he was Prince Adam and not the beast. And the sister group of witches annoyed me to no end. The way they acted was so immature and spiteful! Like, hell bent on getting revenge on The Beast, but then..ahh it all seemed like a loop.

Until next time, happy reading! Oh, and feel free to drop any ‘Beauty and the Beast’ retelling recommendations below!

Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Note: New Year, new Review structure! Enjoy, and happy reading 🙂

Book 1 in the Shades of Magic Trilogy

400 pages

5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Sypnosis:

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

Let’s talk about the plot:

It was so exciting and fast paced! I knew, as soon as I started reading, that I discovered something awesome; and the series, I can tell, is going to be a long time favourite! One book in and I’m already hooked and obsessed with the world Schwab created. It was constant edge of your seat excitement, and I couldn’t get enough of Kell and Lila! The plot just got more and more detailed and wild too, I could have never predicted what was coming next! The book, and the story, and the plot was so unique! I have never read anything like this before! Pure perfection!

Let’s talk about the writing:

The writing was so pleasurable and vast! And detailed, I mean, even the concepts had me in awe! Schwab has created so much vastness, from Red London, which was my favourite of the settings (I mean, can I go there?!), to Grey London, and everything in between. It was so fascinating learning about all of the London’s, and what separates each of them. I could clearly picture each seperate environment, and I love how we saw everything from Kell and Lila’s eyes. It was honestly all perfection! The writing had be gasping in both shock, surprise and pleasure! I’d only read one of the authors books in the past, The Archived, but her writing had definitely matured since then! I mean, the wealth of magic in this novel is flawless! I loved every minute, as I said, and I didn’t want this book to end! Yet, I couldn’t put it down, I was dying to know what would come next! And the ending definitely didn’t disappoint! It was all flawless, and the pacing was freaking amazing. There was never a dull moment, and plenty of wit throughout.

Let’s talk about the characters:

I loved most of the characters! Lila Bard is one new favourite heroine of mine! She’s full of sass and she’s utterly fierce! I loved her introduction to the book, and I loved her dynamic with Kell! I was cheering for Lila all throughout, honestly! I loved her longing for adventure, and I love how she got to see so much of the other London’s! I felt like I was Lila, throughout the book, I felt like her thoughts and reactions mirrored my own, and I definitely shared her emotions! I definitely became proud of her too, she never backed down from anything and she constantly stood her ground. Her scenes had me terrified and delighted in equal measures! Given her last scene in this book, I can’t wait to discover the action that will be in store for her in the next one!

Kell, what an amazing character! I loved learning about him, his life, and how he came to be who and where he is now, throughout the book, it was absolutely wicked! He was definitely my portal into the book world, and I loved learning about the language, and the importance of magic and being an antari. Kell is definitely admirable too, I was cheering for him throughout, and I couldn’t get enough of him and Lila! Their friendship is so freaking fabulous, and I can’t wait to see how it grows, especially given it grew so much in the first book itself! I love Kell’s values, and loved his reactions to everything!

I also really love Rhy, I think he and Kell have the most precious bond, I love how they both hold the other in the highest regard and would do anything for one another, and I love their banter! Throw Lila into the mix, and that’s a brilliant trio! I hope there’s scenes with the two of them to come!

I’m not really sure how I feel about Holland, truthfully, I hope we somehow learn more about him (but I’m not sure if we will?!) but, honestly, I’m still conflicted! I want to learn more about his early years, I think, but I think I can safely say that he and Kell are two sides of the same coin. Their scenes definitely had be nervous, and their last one in this book had me biting my teeth.

Overall:

What a freaking epic start to the year of reading! (This year is the year where I will read all the books!) and I have another favourite series! Utterly flawless and if I had to fault it in a small way? I couldn’t! Thank you Victoria Schwab, for creating this world! I can already see it as something I’d re read over and over! I already can’t get enough! So for that reason, I’ll try and break up the other two books! I don’t want to leave this world!

Happy new year, everyone, I hope you all have a fantastic bookish year! This was my first read of the year, and I hope everyone has an amazing 2018!