Wednesday, August 24

Review: Paper Princess (The Royals #1)

Paper Princess (The Royals #1)
Erin Watt

Publication Date: April 4, 2016
Date Read: July 25, 2016
Genre: NA - Contemporary Romance
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
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From Goodreads:
From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.

These Royals will ruin you…

Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone.

Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.

Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.

He might be right.

Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.

"This place is like the Gardem of Eden. Beautiful but full of danger."

Paper Princess is a book that I honestly hadn't heard very much about. I'd seen the cover around a little but I didn't really look into it until I saw that Jennifer L Armentrout, like my favourite author of all time, had blurbed it and said how good it was. After that it was voted as one of the two books of the month in my online book club so I bought it and started it... and oh my gosh this book was so addictive I seriously loved it so much. And coming from someone who isn't a major fan of NA contemporary books, the fact that I couldn't stop reading really says a lot about this book.

Ella hasn't had the best life so far. Moving from place to place wherever her Mom's next boyfriend or job is and then Ella finds herself having to take jobs she doesn't want in order to help her Mom. After her Mom dies she is completely alone until Callum Royal, her apparent guardian comes and 'saves' her. Taking her in with his broken family, Ella is totally out of her league with these gorgeous yet intimidating Royal boys. Can Ella survive this world of money and deception?

I seriously loved Ella. I mean what an amazing character to read about and see the story through her eyes. You see the low points of her life and what she has been doing just to survive, and at the age of 17 she has faced things nobody should ever have to. I loved the development of Ella's character. She is totally kick-ass and fierce but with vulnerable sides and I really think that makes her so relatable to all readers. I really loved how she developed and adjusted to this new life and she is probably one of my all time favourite characters in NA.

The Royal Boys. Where should I start? Throughout the first 50% of the book I just couldn't stand any of them. They were complete dicks and bastards to Ella and I just wanted to sucker punch and drop kick each and every one of them. By the time I got to 45% I was just about sick to death of them. I wasn't going to stop reading because I was so invested in this awesome story and Ella but I hated those boys so much. A friend of mine told me how it'll get better and I will end up loving them but I couldn't see how. She was completely right of course and by the end I did love them. They are the epitome of bad boys and while in the first half of the book all you saw was the asshole-ness of them, in the second half you realise that they've also had a hard life and you really do start to like and sympathise with them.

Paper Princess kept me completely hooked from start to finish. I am not usually a big fan of NA Contemporary novels. A lot of them bore me as I feel like I've read the same story over and over again. Paper Princess definitely does not fit into this. It's different from all other NA contemporary novels I've read before. It's raw, powerful and real and I was completely swept away into this story. The ending completely and utterly broke me. I mean man, what a cliffhanger. I am so glad I waited until now to read this because as I write this review the second book in the series has just been released and is downloading to my kindle. I can't wait to see what happens next.

If you're a fan of NA contemporary you will adore this book... if you're not I urge you to read it anyway. This book is filled with drama, deception and hint of romance. I loved every moment of it and I can't wait to see what happens next.

"Your life is transformed, isn't it? Like some princess out of a fairytale. But fairytales aren't read. Girls like us, we'll always turn back into a pumpkin after the ball."

Wednesday, August 17

Review: Origins (Summoner #0.5)

Origins (Summoner #0.5)
Taran Matharu

Published By: Hodder Childrens Publishing
Publication Date: April 1, 2015
Date Read: July 18, 2016
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
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From Goodreads:

The prequel to the explosive new fantasy trilogy, Summoner. Set in a time before The Novice, this prequel is the perfect introduction to the world of the Summoner.

Arcturus is just an orphaned stableboy when he discovers he has the ability to summon demons from another world. He is sent to Vocans Military Academy where the lost arts of summoning, spellcraft and demonology are taught to the noble children of the Empire. As the first commoner gifted with this ability, his discovery challenges the nobility and the powers that be. At the Academy Arcturus quickly makes enemies. With no one but his demon Sacharissa by his side, Arcturus must prove himself as a worthy Summoner ...

Last year while at YALC I was sat in a talk about some of the books and the awesome Taran Matahru was there talking about his book The Novice. I knew right away that it was something I would love but at the time only the hardback was available. I finally got around to getting the kindle edition and decided as I am off to YALC in a couple of weeks I would finally read it. Before reading The Novice I decided to read the prequel novella, Origins, first and I am so glad I did. I really enjoyed Origins it's a nice introduction to the world of Summoners and Demons and some of the characters that I'm sure are going to pop up in the first novel in this series.

Arcturus is just a normal stableboy... a commoner. The he discovers that he has the ability to summon demons, a gift that is only bestowed on the noble. Suddenly he is sent off to the prestigious Vocans Academy where he must learn how to become a Summoner. But the other students, and teachers, are less than thrilled by his appearance. A commoner who can summon demons... it's unheard of. An outrage. Arcturus soon finds himself surrounded by enemies and Vocans Academy is suddenly a very dangerous place.

I really enjoyed this novella. Right from the start I was sucked into this world of summoners and demons. I really liked the idea of demons like pets or familiars. I thought that was so unique and I found myself very quickly devouring this novella. Origins was like Harry Potter, with the school and classes to learn magic with a flair of How to Train Your Dragon with the demon familiars. If the series is going to continue with this I am really looking forward to them and it's bound to be an awesome series. I can't wait to read more.



Wednesday, August 10

Early Review: Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1)

Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1)
Kendare Blake

Published By: Pan Macmillan
Publication Date: September 22, 2016
Date Read: August 9, 2016
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: ARC from My Kinda Book/Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback
Pages: 405
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From Goodreads:
Three sisters. One crown. A fight to the death.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn't solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it's not just a game of win or lose . . . it's life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

Three Dark Crowns was a book that I couldn't wait to get my hands on. I am a massive fan of YA Fantasy books and this one just sounded amazing. Three magic queens? A fight to the death? This just sounded all kinds of awesome. And it was. I really enjoyed this book and I can't wait to read the second book and see what's going to happen.

In every generation there is a set of triplets born to the Queen. Each of the triplets is born with a magical gift. An Elemental who can control the elements, a Poisoner who can stomach the strongest poisons and never get ill or a Naturalist who can control the plants and animals. Each of these queens must be pitted against each and the one left standing will be Queen. But are they strong enough to kill their sisters, and do they feel anything for each other at all?

I really enjoyed this book. It is completely my kind of book and right from the start I was captured in with this incredible storyline. Usually it takes me a while to get into a book but right from the start I was completely on board with this story and loving finding out about the island of Fennbirn, the politics of this world and the magic of the three sisters. I really loved all 3 of the sisters but I think my favourite has to be Mirabella. She is the strongest of the three and the one everyone is backing to be queen but she remembers her sisters and doesn't want to hurt them. She is merciful and I loved the friends that she has around her as well. I found myself really looking forward to reading her parts the most as I found her to be the one I identified with the most. I also really liked Arsinoe and Katherine, Katherine probably being my least favourite. I couldn't really connect with her as I did the other two and I can't put my finger on why. I liked her story just like the others but I just couldn't get involved as I did with the others.

One thing that let this book down a little bit for me is it's pretty slow going and I found myself getting a little bored in the middle. This is a really strange thing for me. I usually get a little bored at the beginning but once I get into the book I love it from them on. With Three Dark Crowns I got into it right from the start and then it slowed down a lot in the middle and I really had to force myself to keep reading. I always accept that the first book in a fantasy series is quite slow due to the building up of the world and the characters and the politics but I felt like this one could have done with a little bit less. I didn't feel like we needed the first part to be as long as it was. To me we seemed to have around 300 pages of building up the world, politics and getting to know the girls and their stories and then we had about 100 pages of the action right at the end and the ending seemed really rushed and I was left feeling a little stunned.

Overall Three Dark Crowns is definitely my kind of book. I really enjoyed it and I can't wait to see what is going to happen. I have no doubt that I am going to love the second book even more that this one and I can't wait to see what will happen to the three sisters. If you like slow-burning books filled with magic, intrigue and political power-play then this is the perfect book for you. It was full to the brim of magic, politics, deviance and a small dash of romance. I can't wait to see what happens next.







GIVEAWAYS:

Giveaway 1: Open to UK Residents Only

Win my print ARC of Three Dark Crowns. 
 
 


Giveaway 2: Open Internationally

The awesome UK publisher, Macmillan, have created not 1 but 3 stunning covers of Three Dark Crowns. One for each of the sisters. Enter the giveaway to win the cover of your choice. Book will be ordered when it releases via The Book Depository so please check that they ship to you before entering.












Review: This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1)

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1)
VE Schwab

Published By: Titan Books
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Date Read: July 15, 2016
Genre: YA - Urban Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 407
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From Goodreads:
There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

"August felt like he was standing in a precipice, the end of one world and the beginning of another, a whisper and a bang."

VE Schwab is a relatively new author to me. I'd heard of her stuff in the past but never really bothered to pick it up. When I heard she was attending YALC in London this summer I decided to finally pick up on of her books. That book was Vicious and I fell head over heels in love with her characters, writing style and story. After Vicious I decided to pick up her newest release and it completely and utterly blew me away. I couldn't put it down and now I am definitely kicking myself for not reading her stuff before now.

V-City is divided. A war separated them years ago. One side rules with horror, embracing the monsters that have inhabited the city; one side with generosity trying to fight back the evil. Kate and August are the heirs to the two city rulers. They have always see the other side of their city as the bad guy but when their paths cross and the secrets come out they are thrown together and with no protection they must lean on each other in order to survive. But can they truly trust each other? And what of the other monsters after them? Soon them trusting each other isn't the issue... the issue is how will they survive?

I loved This Savage Song and when I say loved I mean LOVED!!! Holy crap this book is phenomenal. Right from the start I was interested in this world where there are three types of monsters. The Corsai, the Malchi and the Sunai. Each type of monster reminds me of other monsters from other books and mythology which I loved. No I'm not telling you what each of them are... that would spoil it for you. Seriously just read this damn book. Right from the start I couldn't put this book down. I was completely and utterly hooked.

This Savage Song is told from two points of view: Kate and August. They are awesome. Kate is a total badass. Coming from the side of the city that embraces the monsters and tries to control them all she wants is to show her father that she belongs with him... that she is as ruthless as he is. She goes through a major journey throughout this book. From worshipping her father to finding out secrets and realising all is not as she thought.

Then we have August. I adore August. Like he is now one of my favourite characters of all time. He is a monster and all he wants is to protect people and to be human. That's all he's ever wanted. I really loved seeing August's point of view. To me this is one of the major strengths of this book, that we see part of it from the point of view of one of the monsters. It was refreshing and it really pushes the boundaries of what is a hero and what is a villain. Before reading this book I would have automatically said that the humans are the heroes and the monsters are the villains but through reading from August's point of view it really challenges that view.

This Savage Song is one of the most powerful and amazing books I've ever read. I loved every single second of it and I cannot wait for book 2 to come out. I'm so excited to see what is going to happen with the characters next and the ending had me left mouth agape going 'omg I need book 2 now.' If you're looking for a new fantasy book that will completely enamour you from the start and leave you dying to see what's going to happen this is definitely the book for you. I cannot recommend VE Schwab's books enough. They are absolutely incredible.

"It doesn't matter if you're monster or human. Living hurts."



Sunday, August 7

K-Books Time at #YALC Day 3 - Sunday






Sunday saw the third and final day of #YALC - *sad face*

Anyway check out what was on.





There wasn't a whole lot of stuff on on this day that I wanted to go to so I basically had a chill out day with a couple of signings waiting for the Potter Party on the afternoon.

First thing I did was go to see two authors. I saw Harriet Reuter Hapgood, author of The Square Root of Summer who was super awesome and asked me where I was from as she went to university up north. Then I went and saw Catherin Doyle, who had the best cosplay of Lucius Malfoy going on. She was super awesome.




After that I went down to Comic Con for a little while. Had a look on someof the stalls and got my picture took on the Iron Throne :D






I also bought these gorgeous Spineless Classics for so cheap. I can't wait to get them framed and up on the wall in my house.





Then it was finally time for the Potter Party. It kicked off with a cosplay competition. And some of the costumes were great but none quite as great as the person dressed up as Gilderoy Lockheart. They weren't dressed as Lockheart... they WERE lockheart. With comments such as 'I see none of my books are in the bookshop, good that means you've all bought them' and 'I will be signing later' of course they won. And who rocked up to give them their prize? Non other than Natalia Tena... yes Tonks actually showed up I was so gobsmacked.

After that we did some games and Slytherin burst our Ravenclaw baloon... evil Slytherin. In the end Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff drew for the house cup!!!! WOOP!





After that I left to go and get my train home. It was such a wonderful weekend and I can't wait to do it all again next year.


Saturday, August 6

K-Books Time at #YALC Day 2 - Saturday






Saturday saw Day 2 of #YALC and I was super excited. Check out the schedule.






First things first when I got into YALC on Saturday I went for a wander around the stalls and met up with some super awesome blogger.



 I went to the very first panel which was 'Join the Rebellion! Resistance and Protest in YA' which included Alwyn Hamilton, Julie Mayhew, Simon Mayo and Kass Morgan talking about their fantasy and dystopia books and all about the rebellion in them. Following the panel I went to 4 signings.



Alwyn Hamilton, author of Rebel of the Sands, was so awesome. We chatted about so many things and she seemed to excited when I told her how much I loved her book.





Following that I went to meet Kass Morgan, author of The 100 and we were chatting about her books and other books and we fangirled together over how awesome Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige is.





After that I went to see Sara Barnard who was so sweet. I am really looking forward to reading her book.





Following that I went and saw Holly Bourne. I absolutely love Holly and every year I bring her sweets that you can only get up north. She was super happy to get them and even called me her 'drug dealer for northern sweets' which was just hilarious.





After all of that queuing I went to see Non Pratt. For those who don't know I absolutely adore Non Pratt. I am such a fangirl over her books and I always get crazy excited to see her again. She recognised me, gave me a hug and we chatted for so long. She is so awesome.




I went to a couple of other panels and bought a couple of more books and then me and Laura from Bookish Treasures went for dinner afterwards.

Check the blog tomorrow for my wrap up of the final day of #YALC


Friday, August 5

K-Books Time at #YALC Day 1 - Friday



Friday 28th July 2016 saw the start of the third Young Adult Literature Convention and I was so beyong excited. This is the event that I look forward to every single summer and Friday sounded super awesome.

Check out the schedule for Friday. 

As soon as I got into YALC on Friday morning I immediately went to the Waterstones stand to but Unboxed by Non Pratt. The book releases on August 15th but it was being sold early at YALC and Non Pratt is one of my all time favourite authors so I knew I just HAD to go and get it.

After that I went and sat in the first panel of the day which was The YA Book Prize which included Sarah Crossan, Jenny Downham, Catherine Johnson and Lisa Williamson talking about their award winning books. Following that I went and got books signed by Sarah Crossan and Lisa Williamson. There's no pictures of me with these as I saw them last year.

Following that I went to the next panel which I was so so excited for. It was 'Behind the Magic: Magical Systems in YA'. This is without a doubt one of my very favourite panels of the entire weekend as I am such a huge huge fan of YA fantasy novels. Sally Green, Taran Matharu, Melinda Salisbury and VE Schwab talked about the magical systems in all of their series.



Following that I went and got my copy of The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury signed. I absolutely love Melinda, she is utterly hilarious and brilliant.

After that I went and checked out some of the publisher stalls and the best thing ever happened. The very awesome people at My Kinda Book gave me an ARC of Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. I am seriously dying for this book sooooo much and I am so excited to have it. Thank you My Kinda Book and especially George Lester who got me the ARC <3 nbsp="" p="">.
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I had a bit of break until 3pm when the next panel I wanted to go to was on so I wandered around looked and spoke to the publishers at the publisher stalls and spoke to some of my very favourite bloggers.

Then it was time for the second fantasy panel of the day 'Fantasy London' which included Ben Aaronovitch, Samantha Shannon and VE Schwab talking to Katherine Webber about their series. I left the talk a little bit early in order to join VE Schwab's signing queue which turned out to be a great thing as I was fifth from the front and her queue got humongous!!!!! She is so super awesome. She signed my Vicious bag and we chatted for a while about how much I love her books and she said how excited she was for me as I have yet to read A Darker Shade of Magic series. She even said she hopes to see me again at one of her future events. *squeal*


After I saw VE Schwab, which was one of my favourite parts of the weekend. I love her and her books. She is so great! I went to see Samantha Shannon. She was super awesome!


And finally my last stop was to go and see LA Weatherly, who is super super awesome. Again I have no pictures as I saw her last year. After that me and Faye went for dinner and I crashed out in my hotel room because I was freaking exhausted.

Check out the blog tomorrow for what happened on Day 2 of YALC.