Tag Archives: #bookreview

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: 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. 🙂

Book Review: Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde


Published in 2017

Pages: 263

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever.

Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Reese Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.
While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own.
Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.
My thoughts:

This was such a cute read, I loved how passionate each character is about their fandoms, and fandom life in general so that’s definitely something I could relate to on all the levels. And I love that both Charlie and Taylor learn to speak up for themselves too, both female characters went on a great growth journey through the book. 

It was told in split points of views, from both Taylor and Charlie’s perspectives, and that was great because I felt like I was feeling all their emotions and thinking what they were thinking. On a personal level, Taylor is one of the most relatable characters ever, not just for her geekiness, but for her social anxiety and her constant overthinking. Throughout her chapters, she internally vocalises her thoughts, fears and feels, and that’s something I definitely understand. I was so proud of her as she learnt to accept herself and see herself ad the amazing girl she is, and she once posted the most uplifting messages to everyone on Tumblr after she was bullied. 

Charlie herself was a great character too! It was amazing to have a diverse character that is just so open and comfortable in herself. Whilst trying to escape her ex boyfriend, Charlie runs into her vlogger idol and it was amazing to see what happened next. 

There were two sets of romance in this book, and it was so cute seeing both develop. There’s something in this book for everyone, and it is something I’d definitely read again! It was definitely refreshing and will become a bit of a comfort read! I found Alyssa and Charlie’s conversations to be empowering, and these characters felt like friends! I also loved the banter between the trio of Charlie, Jamie and Taylor, they have such a beautiful friendship and they’re definitely there for one another through it all. 

A fantastic book that I recommend to all! And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading,

Brooklyn 🙂 

Book Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare


Book 1 in the Infernal Devices series

A Shadowhunters Novel

Published: 2010

Pages: 480

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them.
My thoughts:

Definitely my favourite Cassandra Clare book so far! Which is amazing because I didn’t think anything could top the adrenaline pumping ride that was the first 3 books in The Mortal Instruments, and while I love that series and even missed some of the characters, I fell in love with these characters! Tessa is honestly so relatable in her bookishness, and I love how fierce she is! She really steps into Victorian London and is faced with all sorts of action right away! I instantly felt for her and was excited to accompany her on her journey! 

Will and Jem are so precious! Will, albeit kind of elusive at times, he was such a curious character. There were times when he was such a puzzle, open but closed at the same time but from their first meeting I loved how Tessa and he were pretty much outsassing one another, their interactions were such a delight! Jem is probably my favourite character though, he’s such a (Wait for the pun) gem! (Yes, I went there). No but in all earnest he is so precious and my heart was feeling for him all the way through, and I had lots of questions about his character and definitely found his character background very feely. And Will’s too, and Tessa’s, I think it was her back story that really set the course for the novel, there was instant mystery surrounding the whereabouts of her brother and really from there things were never going to be the same. 

I loved all the supporting characters, well all of the Shadowhunters and Sophie. Charlotte Branwell (named after Charlotte and Branwell Bronte, speaking of which Cassie Clare gives us an amazing introduction here to her reasoning behind said character) and I thought Sophie was such a dear, her character definitely grew throughout the book and she had some adorable moments, I’m looking forward to more of her in the other books. I liked Jessamine enough, she didn’t want to be where she was, but she gave us reasoning for that and she’s really well and truly Victorian at heart. 

Which brings me to the setting! I love Victorian London, it’s one of my favourite eras to read about, and Clare portrays it so vividly! I felt like I was there throughout this book, and I was constantly engaged. Though some of the chapters stretched out, I enjoyed that because we got a real feel for the world! I loved knowing bits and pieces about the Shadowhunter world, and I enjoyed the parallels of Tessa being introduced to it as per Clary being introduced to it! And when there was one character that came into this book, from The Mortal Instruments, I was so happy! 

I love the notion of automatons and shape shifters too, so it was great to see them incorporated into the story! I love what Cassandra Clare has done with everything and everyone in this book! It’s perfection! Definitely an instant favourite! 

And I’ll leave it there but gosh this book is just every bit as magical as I thought it would be! I can’t wait to read more! 

Until next time,

Happy reading,

Brooklyn. 

Book Review: City of Glass by Cassandra Clare 


Book 3 in the Mortal Instruments series

Published: 2009

Pages: 492

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters – never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City – whatever the cost?
Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the third installment of the New York Times bestselling series The Mortal Instruments.
My thoughts:

Once again I’m amazed with the characters and the plot of this bookworld! Cassandra Clare has well and truly cemented her place as one of my all time favourite authors and the Shadowhunter world is one of my favourite fandoms! 

This book was definitely my favourite of the series! The intensity, actions and feels were just so many steps above the rest! From the first page I was hooked, and I was loving every moment! I instantly knew this book would be thegame changer of the series, we met some new characters and I knew they’d defence set the foundation of what was to come in the book. 

And what was to come?

Pain. Fear. Anticipation. Feels. 

Oh my gosh the feels. This book was full of angst as far as Jace and Clary are concerned but oh gosh it was exquisite. And there were some super feely Malec moments too! 

Shipping feelings aside, there was one scene in this book, a characters’ death, that had my heart in pieces. Now a fair bit of this was anticipation and agony, we don’t actually read about said death, but I wondered what had happened and it was heartbreaking to find out. 

Clare’s characters ALL feel so real, they leap off the page, in fact, the reader is transported into this bookworld. It just develops so much and it’s amazing learning more about the world of the Shadowhunters and everything to do with it! 

This book and its characters made me feel so many emotions! It was just perfection all the way through and there were times throughout when I was internally shrieking in both anger and happiness throughout various scenes. Throughout this book I was kept on the edge of my seat, I had no idea what would come next but I couldn’t wait to find out! 

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

Brooklyn.

Book Review: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan


Book 3 of the Heroes of Olympus 

Pages: 574

Published: 2012

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

Annabeth returns in the third installment of the biggest series yet from Rick Riordan, author of the #1 New York Times best-selling Heroes of Olympus, Kane Chronicles, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.

In The Son of Neptune, Percy, Hazel, and Frank met in Camp Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of Camp Half-blood, and traveled to the land beyond the gods to complete a dangerous quest. The third book in the Heroes of Olympus series will unite them with Jason, Piper, and Leo. But they number only six—who will complete the Prophecy of Seven?

The Greek and Roman demigods will have to cooperate in order to defeat the giants released by the Earth Mother, Gaea. Then they will have to sail together to the ancient land—Greece itself—to find the Doors of Death. What exactly are the Doors of Death? Much of the prophecy remains a mystery…

With old friends and new friends joining forces, a marvelous ship, fearsome foes, and an exotic setting, The Mark of Athena promises to be another unforgettable adventure by master storyteller Rick Riordan.

My thoughts:

Firstly. Let’s start at the end:

How do I explain that??? Like honestly, my feelings are a wreck right now! I didn’t expect that! Utterly beautifully brilliant! Wicked! Insane! Chilling!


Annabeth definitely had a few burdens to carry in this novel! The title suggests she would play a major role, and that’s true! I for one was definitely happy to see her back! She’s my favourite character in the Percy Jackson series and I was excited to read chapters from her perspective! I didn’t know what to expect from this, only that the prophecy, “wisdoms’ daughter walks alone, the Mark of Athena burns through Rome” would be coming to fruition. Reading Annabeth’s chapters gave me an insight into how that prophecy came to light, reading about her flashbacks to her ‘fight’ with Athena, her godly mother, was proper insane! And having Annabeth with Percy once again pretty much cemented my shipper heart in happiness! I love them together and while I adored seeing previous relationships with characters come to light, there’s just something so special about Percy and Annabeth together!! 
This book is also narrated by Percy himself, Leo and Piper. Each character narrations were mostly presented in three chapter per characters, which once again was brilliant because it allowed the reader to see and feel how the characters do, after all this time. 

Which brings me to the point, each character has matured so much across these books! It’s been amazing because I feel like I have been there right as each character goes through everything! 

I love how the friendships grew and developed even more in this book! Leo, Jason, Percy, Frank, Hazel, Piper and of course Annabeth are essentially squad goals and they’re all on my favourite character list! Each character is freaking amazing and had some wild and epic scenes in this book, but I must take a moment to appreciate Leo and those fabulous one liners of his! 

For all these reasons and many more, The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan is by far my favourite book in this series, the characters massively stepped up and worked together and Rick’s writing blended so well with everything! He covers so many emotions and adventures wound into 574 pages and I didn’t want it to end! And only he could create villains that take on the appearance of Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn! This is just one example of how cleverly wicked his writing is! Only he could pull this off with such brilliance! 

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

Brooklyn. 

Book Review: Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer


Charlotte Sometimes is a children’s novel which was published in 1969, by the English author Penelope Farmer. It was recommended to me by one of my work mates, and when I started reading it, I knew I was in for a unique reading experience. 
It’s initially set in a boarding school, we have various students and objects described to us in detail, it’s fantastic, I felt like I was there, everything was as new to me as it was to Charlotte; who finds when she wakes up, things are different again!
What I mean to say is, she’s travelled back in time, but we don’t know how or why! Was she sent back with a purpose? And who is this Clare character she can mysteriously communicate with? Even though her fellow students, who closely resemble her new friends at her original boarding school, are calling her Clare!
Sufficed it to say, this book was definitely refreshing in its characters and setting, but also it had a big historical inspiration, it’s a novel of the First World War. Pen
elope Farmer researched this well, to weave factual information not only about the war itself but the lifestyle people would’ve had, from the rations of food and drink to the fact that anyone, including fathers and brothers, would’ve met their fate in the war. 

The book surprisingly took a very emotive turn at the end, I found it really sad and bittersweet for various reasons, one being even though this book was short, I felt like each character in the past and present, definitely grew up fast and therefore were older than their years!
For the reasons above I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
Thank you for reading, until next time,

Brooklyn 🙂

Book Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Book 2 in the Mortal Instruments series
Published in 2008
Rating: 5 stars

Sypnosis:

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go—especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil—and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings—and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City’s Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

Let’s talk about the plot:

I loved book twi even more than book one! I was constantly on the edge of my seat through the 411 pages! I knew after reading book 1 that I finally was happy to be reading these books, but I didn’t know I’d become so obsessed with the characters and the Shadowhunter world! 

I didn’t want this book to end, so much happened and even though I tried to draw out the suspense, I couldn’t put the book down. Cassandra Clare has definitely become one of my a time favourite authors and I’m so grateful for what she has created. The book was non stop excitement, ‘BAM’ all the way through.

Let’s talk about the characters:

Clary is honestly so relatable and frankly I’m proud of how she handled everything! She’s awesome and loyal and fierce but she sure does have a stubborn streak which I love! 

Izzy is another favourite of mine, as she was in book 1. So fierce and loyal and protective, I love her bond with her brothers Alec and Max who I also adore!

I love how much Alec developed! I had lots of questions regarding him in book 1, and I definitely love him even more in book 2! Same with Magnus, who could honestly give Izzy a run for her sass. 

An honourable mention to Luke, who remains amazing as ever, and Valentine the ruthless scum. He’s one villain!

Oh Jace you precious bean, you went through so much and I really felt for you throughout. He’s amazing! And I was cheering and feeling for him throughout! And Simon too! Simon is one of my favourite characters throughout.

Let’s talk about the writing:

Cassie Clare writes so beautifully, she pulls you in from the first page and her writing is so atmospheric and magical! Can’t wait to read book 3! 

And that concludes my review, thanks for reading:

Brooklyn 😀

Goodreads Monday

I can never stay away from book blogging, I swear, so it’s sufficed to say I’m back after what I thought was an indefinite hiatus. 

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme where one picks a book off their TBR to showcase it, today’s choice is…

*drum roll*


After Dark by Haruki Murakami.

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

A short, sleek novel of encounters set in Tokyo during the witching hours between midnight and dawn, and every bit as gripping as Haruki Murakami’s masterworks The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore.

A short, sleek novel of encounters set in Tokyo during the witching hours between midnight and dawn, and every bit as gripping as Haruki Murakami’s masterworks The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore.

At its center are two sisters—Eri, a fashion model slumbering her way into oblivion, and Mari, a young student soon led from solitary reading at an anonymous Denny’s toward people whose lives are radically alien to her own: a jazz trombonist who claims they’ve met before, a burly female “love hotel” manager and her maid staff, and a Chinese prostitute savagely brutalized by a businessman. These “night people” are haunted by secrets and needs that draw them together more powerfully than the differing circumstances that might keep them apart, and it soon becomes clear that Eri’s slumber—mysteriously tied to the businessman plagued by the mark of his crime—will either restore or annihilate her.

After Dark moves from mesmerizing drama to metaphysical speculation, interweaving time and space as well as memory and perspective into a seamless exploration of human agency—the interplay between self-expression and empathy, between the power of observation and the scope of compassion and love. Murakami’s trademark humor, psychological insight, and grasp of spirit and morality are here distilled with an extraordinary, harmonious mastery.
Note:

I was introduced to Murakami’s books recently by a friend, I’ve read his Kafka on the Shore and The Strange Library. Both are absolutely wicked and brilliant and I can’t wait to read more of his books. 

And that concludes another Goodreads Monday, happy reading all,

Brooklyn 🙂 

Book Review: Charity’s Heart by Sofia Diana Gabel 

Published in 2014 by Astraea Press

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars 

Note:

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not impact my thoughts on the book.

Setting:

1800s England, we definitely get a taste of the lives of the upper class compared to the lowly born, the author has done a great job conveying that image across, and as a history enthusiast, I definitely think she did an accurate job. 

Plot:

Charity, a young highborn girl, feels trapped, she doesn’t want to marry her intended betrothed, Mathias. She loathes him to the bone, why shouldn’t she marry for love? Her mother tells her it is her role as a young lady in society to marry for title and status, as it definitely was back then. In comes Alexander Sutton, a fiend, or not? 

Lets talk about the characters:

Charity- I liked her, and definitely felt sorry for her in the beginning. I definitely wouldn’t have wanted to marry Matthias, and her parents couldn’t see how desperate Charity is to get out of the situation. She even feels trapped in her own home, so she runs away briefly to London. Charity is a good character, exceptionally kind hearted and giving, she tips a young shop assistant generously, and then she helps ‘lower’ characters when needed. I enjoyed reading as her character grew throughout the book.

Lillian- Charity’s best friend, annoyed me: I get that she was hopelessly jn love with her family’s butcher son, but she was unsupportive of Charity at times and wouldn’t hear her out when Charity was trying to talk sense into her about Rowan, her family’s dodgy footman. There were times when Lillian was reasonable, but her character just frustrated me.

Mathias – a swine. Reading about him made my blood boil, he honestly thought he could force Charity to marry him and he was abusive to her every time she protested. He made me feel ill, how dare he think he could get away with how he treated her? Thankfully he got what he deserved in the end, to a degree.

Alexander – at first I didn’t really know what his game was, but once his true intentions were revealed he fast became my favorite character. I enjoyed his back story, it was rather poignant, he’s seeking justice for his father, but also carrying along with his father’s constibulary work. He is a kind hearted, tender man who met several close fates throughout the book, I honestly didn’t know where he would end up.

Lets talk about the writing:

Gabel was good, yes, but perhaps I’m spoilt because I’ve read better, I don’t know: I think I would’ve appreciated this book more as a young teen, but now I just found that the writing lagged massively. The characterisation was so fickle, Charity jumping to conclusions and saying she hated Alexander but then loving him? Like really, you don’t properly know him! 

Perhaps if the plot was less drawn out, the book might have been more enjoyable too. I mean it was 280 pages and at first I felt I’d love it but then the story got so repetitive. I feel like some of the scenes didn’t need to be there, it was just a matter of filling pages until the end.

Nonetheless, these are of course all my own views, and once again I thank Mallory McCartney over at CleanReads for the review copy of the book. 

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

Brooklyn.