Friday, May 31, 2019

May Wrap-Up

Here are the books I planned to read in May:


 Firefly: Big Damn Hero (Firefly, #1) by James Lovegrove - hardback - 3.5/5 stars.
What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera - eARC - DNF (1/5 stars) - read my review here.
No Tomorrow (Killing Eve, #2) by Luke Jennings - eARC - 3/5 stars - read my review here.

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young - hardback - 3.5/5 stars.
Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1) by Robin LaFevers - eARC - 3.5/5 stars - read my review here.
White Rabbit, Red Wolf by Tom Pollock - paperback - 2.5/5 stars.

The Familiars by Stacey Halls - eARC - 3/5 stars - read my review here.
Dread Nation (Dread Nation, #1) by Justina Ireland - hardback - 3.5/5 stars.
 The Beholder (The Beholder, #1) by Anna Bright - eARC - 2/5 stars - review to come.

Sorcerer to the Crown (Sorcerer Royal, #1) by Zen Cho - paperback - DNF (1/5 stars).
Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich, Justin Paul, Steven Levenson and Benj Pasek - eARC - 3/5 stars - read my review here.


I hauled soooo many books this month!

Flatshare by Beth O'Leary
Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - this is a signed copy from Forbidden Planet
Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles, #2) by Mary E. Pearson
Thursday Next books 5-7 by Jasper Fforde
The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman
A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik - this is another signed edition from Forbidden Planet
Descendant of the Crane by Joan He - this is the Illuminate edition that I got in a trade. It has red sprayed edges!
The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal - this is a Waterstones special edition that's signed and has teal coloured sprayed edges

Soooo many books!


What did you read in May?


Thursday, May 30, 2019

Review - Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich, Justin Paul, Steven Levenson and Benj Pasek

Title: Dear Evan Hansen
Author: Val Emmich, Justin Paul, Steven Levenson and Benj Pasek
Pages: 368
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: 9th October 2018

Blurb from Goodreads:

Dear Evan Hansen,
Today's going to be an amazing day and here's why...
When a letter that was never meant to be seen draws high school senior Evan Hansen into the Murphy family's grief over the loss of their son, he is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong.
He just has to stick to a lie he never meant to tell. That the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend.

Suddenly, Evan isn't invisible anymore. And Connor's wealthy parents have taken him in like he was their own, desperate to know more about their enigmatic son from his 'closest friend'.
As Evan gets pulled deeper into their family, he knows that what he's doing may not be right, but if he's helping people, how wrong can it be? 
No longer tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, this new Evan has a purpose.
He's confident. He's a viral phenomenon. Every day is amazing. But when everything is in danger of unravelling, he comes face to face with his greatest obstacle: himself.

A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this big-hearted coming-of-age story of grief, authenticity and the struggle to belong in an age of instant connectivity and profound isolation.

My Review:

*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Penguin Random House UK Children's and NetGalley*

Evan Hansen doesn't fit in at school and he doesn't really have any friends. He takes pills to help with his anxiety and sees a therapist who asks Evan to write letters to himself.
When events lead to the parents of one of Evan's schoolmates thinking that one of Evan's letters is actually a suicide note from their son addressed to Evan, he can't bring himself to correct them. Things start spiralling out of control and Evan finds himself in the middle of a web of lies.
Can Evan keep living a lie?
Will the truth come out?

Dear Evan Hansen is based on the musical of the same name, which I didn't know much going into the book.
Evan was a likeable and relatable protagonist, but there were a few times when I wanted to reach into the pages and shake him for making the things worse.
The plot was interesting and I could easily believe how a lie could blow up to something so big.
I felt myself cringing as the lie progressed, because, inevitably, at some point the truth would come out and Evan would be in big trouble.
I liked the writing style but there were a couple of times where I had to re-read a sentence because I thought I'd missed something.
I'm interested in listening to the musical soundtrack.

Overall this was an enjoyable read.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Can't-Wait Wednesday - Spin the Dawn

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a feature hosted at Wishful Endings where people showcase an upcoming book they are looking forward to.

This week my choice is . . .

Title: Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1)
Author: Elizabeth Lim
Pages: 400
Publisher: Knopf
Release Date: 9th July 2019

Blurb from Goodreads:

Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she'll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There's just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia's task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor's reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.

Why I'm Anticipating This Book:

 Anything to do with Mulan is a must-read for me and I love the idea of tailors competing against each other and magical gowns.
Also, how gorgeous is that cover?!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Cover Reveal - The Hollow Queen (Stolen Empire, #5) by Sherry D. Ficklin

The Hollow Queen (Stolen Empire, #5) by Sherry D. Ficklin

Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: September 23rd 2019
Genres: Historical, Young Adult

As a princess of the Romanov Empire, Elizabeth has enjoyed a life of luxury and privilege. But the sudden deaths of her parents leaves her unprotected – awash in the dangerous tide of her family’s political rivals. When the supreme council crowns her half-nephew Peter II in her place, Elizabeth is left with no title, no power—and no allies. Now little more than a bastard in the eyes of the world, she is sent to serve in the palatial home of Prince Menshikov—the real power behind the boy king.

But Elizabeth won’t fade quietly into the background.

Determined to uncover the truth behind her mother’s murder and expose the men who mean to rule Russia in secret, she grows closer to the handsome young king, and swears to protect him and his rule at any cost. But the forces that oppose them are as dark as they are far-reaching–and this time, Elizabeth could lose more than just her title…

Author Bio

Sherry is the author of over a dozen novels for teens and young adults including the best selling Stolen Empire series. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she's on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.
Sherry also writes contemporary romance under the pen name SJ Noble. You can find her at her official website,, or stalk her on her Facebook page


Friday, May 24, 2019

My YALC 2019 TBR

YALC (Young Adult Literary Convention) is a convention held along with the Showmasters London Film and Comic Con at the Olympia Exhibition Centre.

This year will be the sixth YALC and my fifth year attending.
There are loads of authors going whose books I haven't read so as usual my YALC TBR list is waaaay too long, and I've had to choose which books I REALLY want to read before YALC and which ones I don't mind if I don't read.

Books that I REALLY want to read before YALC:

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Tilly and the Bookwanderers (Pages & Co., #1) by Anna James
A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson 

 The Paper & Hearts Society (The Paper & Hearts Society, #1) by Lucy Powrie
Smoke in the Sun (Flame in the Mist, #2) by Renee Ahdieh

Books I'm Hoping to Read Before YALC: 

Sorcerer to the Crown (Sorcerer Royal, #1) by Zen Cho
I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman
Viper (Isle of Storm and Sorrow, #1) by Bex Hogan

 The Devouring Gray (The Devouring Gray, #1) by  
Sweet Black Waves (Sweet Black Waves, #1) by Kristina Perez 
Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses, #1) by Malorie Blackman

The Tesla Legacy by K.K. Perez 
The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab
Rivers of London (Rivers of London, #1) by Ben Aaronovitch

Books I Don't Mind If I Don't Get To

Meat Market by Juno Dawnson
Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus
We Are Blood and Thunder by Kesia Lupo

 The Way Past Winter by Kieran Millwood Hargrave
The Burning by Laura Bates
The Darkest Bloom (Shadowscent, #1) by P.M. Freestone

 Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin
The Truth About Keeping Secrets by Savannah Brown

Are you going to YALC this year?
Have you read any of these books?