Review: Sky Thieves by Dan Walker

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

  Sky Thieves | Dan Walker | Published March 2017
Rating:
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Goodreads | Book Depository

Zoya Delarose has spent her childhood in an orphanage and dreams of one day getting off land and working on an airship. When the unexpected happens and she is smuggled onto a pirate airship, she learns that there are different types of pirates (good as well as bad!) and discovers secrets about her hidden past.

Sky Thieves is full to the brim with adventure and the added twist of making a pirate story take place in the sky really adds to the excitement. Zoya is rebellious, loyal and incredibly courageous. She learns how to sword-fight and doesn't hold back when fighting against the evil Kane. She learns a lot from the other crew members and teaches them a thing or two along the way too!

We are taken on a thrilling journey incorporating islands in the sky, treasure hunting, meteor storms, epic battles and friendship. The characters are all well-written and I really enjoyed their interactions with one another. An exciting adventure for younger readers that adults can (and will!) enjoy just as much.



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Review: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Thursday, 6 April 2017


  The Upside of Unrequited | Becky Albertalli | Published April 11, 2017
Rating:
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Goodreads | Book Depository


I loved this book SO much. I don't read a lot of contemporaries these days but if they were all written like this then I would never stop.

The diversity in this book is unreal. There are so many different types of people and none of them feel like they are there for the sake of it. They all have their own story and are fleshed out so well. This is what we need more of in books! It reflects real life so well. The main character, Molly, is fat and negotiating her way through teenage life wondering if she'll ever have a boyfriend. Her twin sister is gay and starts a new relationship at the beginning of the book with Mina, a pansexual Korean-American. They have two mothers and are sperm-donor babies. There are other gay characters, Jewish characters, black characters, bisexuality and anxiety controlled with medication. The representation of all of these things was just so well done and it's exactly what I want to see being incorporated more.

The romance brought me so much joy. Reid is utterly cute and I was rooting for him throughout the entire book. I love all of his interactions with Molly and looked forward to their conversations the most. I also found the sibling relationship between Molly and Cassie really interesting. I like that the romances weren't always the main focus of the story. Their relationship as sisters was very important to both of them and I appreciated their struggle to keep that alive whilst also manoeuvring the changes in other parts of their lives.

I spent the entirety of this book either smiling or nodding along to Molly's comments about the doubts and feelings she was experiencing. It was completely relatable. I related and connected to Molly the way I always connect with Rainbow Rowell's characters. Becky Albertalli is firmly at the top of my contemporary go-to list alongside Rowell and I honesty can't wait to see what she writes next.

This book is special and deserves the hype. I loved it even more than Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. It's real, funny, highly relatable and you need to read it immediately.


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Review: Perfect by Cecelia Ahern

Tuesday, 4 April 2017


  Perfect (Flawed #2) | Cecelia Ahern | Published April 6th, 2017
Rating:
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Goodreads | Book Depository


I've been looking forward to this sequel for a long time and it certainly didn't disappoint!

I was really impressed with Celestine’s character development. I found her to be very naive in Flawed and quite dumb at times. Her inability to see certain things in front of her was tiring at times. In Perfect, however, she is a lot smarter. She's not as oblivious to what is happening around her and is constantly making smart decisions and plans. It doesn't always run smoothly, of course, but it's not down to her own misjudgements or naivety. I really enjoyed reading Celestine this time around and loved that she came to fully embrace her actions and the consequences.

The story follows on from where Flawed leaves us and it was really easy to fall back into the story. One of the strongest parts of this society, for me, is the fact it's not so different from our own. It's easy to imagine a system like the Guild being implemented into today’s society (especially given recent politics). I also found the comparisons to concentration camps a great inclusion. I mean.. not great, obviously, but it makes for uncomfortable reading as you ponder if society could really return to a time like that.

I didn't realise that this series was only going to be a duology and for the world to be so immersive, and for so much action to be packed in without feeling rushed, is really impressive. It certainly didn't feel like a 400+ pages book as I was racing through it.

Perfect is full of twists, action and suspense. The pace never slows and there's always something happening to keep you on your toes. I enjoyed this sequel so much more than its predecessor, Flawed, and I only wish the series was longer! If you liked The Hunger Games and Divergent then you definitely need this duology on your TBR.



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Blog Tour - The Jungle by Pooja Puri | Review

Friday, 17 March 2017


The Jungle by Pooja Puri
Published March 16th by Black and White Publishing
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Goodreads | Book Depository

SYNOPSIS
There was a story Jahir used to tell me. About how the first humans were born with wings. Can you imagine what that would be like? To fly anywhere in the world without worrying about having the right papers?

Mico has left his family, his home, his future. Setting out in search of a better life, he instead finds himself navigating one of the world's most inhospitable environments the Jungle. For Mico, just one of many 'unaccompanied children', the Calais refugee camp has a wildness, a brutality all of its own.

A melting pot of characters, cultures, and stories, the Jungle often seems like its own strange world. But despite his ambitions to escape, Mico is unable to buy his way out from the 'Ghost Men' the dangerous men with magic who can cross borders unnoticed. Alone, desperate, and running out of options, the idea of jumping onto a speeding train to the UK begins to feel worryingly appealing.

But when Leila arrives at the camp one day, everything starts to change. Outspoken, gutsy, and fearless, she shows Mico that hope and friendship can grow in the most unusual places, and maybe, just maybe, they'll show you the way out as well.

REVIEW
Welcome to my stop on The Jungle blog tour! Can we take a moment to appreciate that gorgeous cover?! It's so beautiful.

The Jungle is the story of Mico, a young refugee who leaves his country and everything and everyone he knows, to try and find a better life. The title refers to the Calais refugee camp where Mico is now doing his best to survive and find a way out.

One of the things I liked most is the exploration of how someone’s actions and thoughts can drastically change over time. As the story develops, Mico becomes more and more desperate and this results in some surprising actions. Things that he (and you) didn't think he would be capable of. It was a good way of highlighting the psychological effects of being in such a place.

I liked Laila and the friendship between she and Mico. I feel like the story became a lot more engrossing when she came along and I was rooting for the both of them throughout. I would have liked more background information on both of them though. We know a little of where they come from but I think if we knew even more of their previous life then it would create more of an emotional connection to them both.

The story ends in quite a surprising place but on reflection I think this aids the idea that the life of a refugee in The Jungle is uncertain and doesn't necessarily have a clear end in sight.

This is a story that is highly relevant given recent political events such as Brexit and I think it's an important book to have in the YA market. I feel like it could be a great tool to generate discussion and awareness of the situation. An extremely well-written and thought-provoking story highlighting such an important theme.


Make sure you check out the other stops on the tour:


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Review: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Thursday, 9 February 2017

 

 Wintersong | S. Jae-Jones | Published February 7th.
Rating:
Source: I received a copy from the publisher.
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Wintersong is essentially a retelling of the film Labyrinth but it does deviate from the original plot. There are familiar characters and scenes, and the Goblin King is a major character, but I think it's probably best not to go into this with an expectation of it being the same as the film as it does take a turn to make it a more original story.


I really enjoyed the writing, especially in the first half. Liesl used to spend her childhood playing with the Goblin King but has forgotten him as she has gotten older. She has lost that carefree spirit she had as a child and spends her time looking after her family. The Goblin King soon returns, steals Liesl’s sister and makes it so that only Liesl remembers she exists. And so begins the journey into the mysterious and magical Underworld.


The pace in this first half where we are introduced to the family and enter the Underworld was so strong. I loved the magic of it all and the mysteriousness of the Goblin King. The writing is also gorgeous. I have seen the writing compared to The Star-Touched Queen a lot but I personally wasn't a fan of that book and found Wintersong much more readable.


The second half is weaker in my opinion. There is a lot more focus on the romance and I don't know what it was exactly but something felt a bit lacking there for me. It's kind of sexy and romantic but I think I maybe needed more chemistry. However, I do think the romance aspect improved by the end and I was feeling it more. I also would have liked more involvement with Liesl’s brother Josef as there is a lot going on there that has only just been touched on.


I really liked this book. The writing is so engaging but being unable to completely connect with the romance means I didn't love it as much as I thought I would.



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