Sunday, August 30, 2020

August Wrap-Up


This was the first month for a long time where I didn't set set myself a monthly TBR (excluding last month where I did the Totallyspiesathon and also didn't set myself a TBR).



 Shadow and Bone (Shadow and Bone, #1) by Leigh Bardugo - paperback - 2.5/5 stars.

The Black Hawks (Articles of Faith, #1) by David Wragg - ebook - DNF (1/5 stars) - read my DNF review here.

The Rearranged Life of Oona Lockhart by Margarita Monitmore - eARC - 3/5 stars - read my review here.


The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper - eARC - 2.5/5 stars - read my review here.
The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow, #1) by Kalyn Josephson - hardback - 2.5/5 stars.

Incendiary (Hollow Crown, #1) by Zoraida Cordova - eARC - 2.5/5 stars - read my review here.

All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth, #1) by Adalyn Grace - paperback from publisher - 3.5/5 stars - read my review here.

Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1) by Shelby Mahurin - hardback - 3/5 stars.


Powers of a Girl by Lorraine Cink and illustrated by Alice X. Zhang - hardback - 4/5 stars.



I really did not intend to buy so many books this month, but somehow I bought all of these (except All the Stars and Teeth which was sent to me by Titan Books).

The Wolf of Oren-Yaro is a Kindle copy that I picked up for £0.99 and the rest are physical copies.

I also got the August FairyLoot book but as the boxes are late going out I won't spoil that here.

I was also approved these on  NetGalley and am so grateful to the publishers as some of these are on my most anticipated books of 2020 list:

What books did you read or buy in August?

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Review - All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth, #1) by Adalyn Grace




Title: All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth, #1)

Author: Adalyn Grace

Pages: 416

Publisher: Titan Books

Release Date: 4th August 2020


 Blurb from Goodreads: 

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer - the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it's never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy's dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he'll help her prove she's fit to rule, if she'll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder - and more peril - than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she'll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected... or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

 Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US




 My Review:

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Titan Books*


Princess Amora Montara will one day replace her father as ruler of Visidia and High Animancer.

Each island in Visidia is home to a different kind of magic, but only the Montaras can perform soul magic, which is extremely dangerous.

Amora must prove herself ready to rule by giving a display of her magic, but when this goes terribly awry, Amora ends up fleeing her home with the aid of Bastien, a pirate. Bastien agrees to help Amora on the condition that she will aid him in his quest to get his stolen magic back.

As Amora travels the seas of the kingdom, she encounters danger, a terrible new kind of magic, and dark secrets that threaten to destroy the everything.

Can Amora save Visidia?

Can she prove that she is worthy of the crown?

All the Stars and Teeth was one of my most anticipated releases of 2020 and I was very excited when I heard that Titan Books would be publishing it in the UK.

Amora is one of the best YA fantasy protagonists I've encountered for a long while. She was relatable, likeable, and would do anything for her people. Amora wasn't afraid to get her hands dirty, and while she wasn't perfect (which I always appreciate when it comes to characters), Amora was definitely someone I would want to have on my side - I would not want her as my enemy, that's for sure!

Vataea was one of my favourite characters and I would love to find out more about her. I also liked Ferrick and Bastien, and while I didn't like Bastien quite as much as I thought I would, I still found him witty and charming at times.

The romance wasn't one of my favourites that I've read, but there were moments where it was quite sweet.

The magic was really interesting, especially the soul magic. I liked that Amora's magic was rather dark - it was different and refreshing as usually it's the baddies that have darker magic.

I really liked that there was period representation, which I haven't seen often in books I've read.

The plot was interesting and held my attention throughout. There were a few things that I didn't see coming, but I wasn't on the edge of my seat.

The writing was easy to follow and I would definitely read another book by this author.

Overall, this was an enjoyable, unique read that I would recommend.



Thursday, August 20, 2020

Review - Incendiary (Hollow Crown, #1) by Zoraida Córdova


 Title: Incendiary (Hollow Crown, #1)
Author: Zoraida Córdova
Pages: 464
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Release Date: 28th April 2020
Blurb from Goodreads:

I am Renata Convida.
I have lived a hundred stolen lives.
Now I live my own.

Renata Convida was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King's Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a Robari, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata's ability to steal memories from royal enemies enabled the King's Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people.

Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and helping the remaining Moria escape the kingdom bent on their destruction. The Whispers may have rescued Renata from the palace years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred--or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she turned "hollow" during her time in the palace.

When Dez, the commander of her unit, is taken captive by the notorious Sangrado Prince, Renata will do anything to save the boy whose love makes her place among the Whispers bearable. But a disastrous rescue attempt means Renata must return to the palace under cover and complete Dez's top secret mission. Can Renata convince her former captors that she remains loyal, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.

But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the entire fate of the kingdom--and end the war that has cost her everything.

My Review:
 *I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley*

Renata Convida is a Robari - she has the ability to take people's memories. This power means that she is feared by everyone, even the other magical Moria.

When she was a child, Renata was stolen from her parents and taken to the royal palace. The King's Justice used Renata to take memories from the king's enemies in the war against the Moria.

Then Renata was rescued from the palace by the Whispers, who are a group of Moria working against the king.

Except for Dez, the commander of Renata's unit, most of the Whispers don't trust her. When Dez is captured by the prince, Renata tries to save him, but fails. Vowing to complete Dez's mission and protect the Moria, Renata finds herself back in the palace in the grasp of the Justice.

Can Renata complete her mission without anyone uncovering the real reason for being at the palace?

Can Renata save the Moria?

Having heard lots of praise for the author, and being intrigued by the Spanish Inquisition vibes of the book, I was very much looking forward to reading this. However, I ended up being disappointed, unfortunately.

Renata was a good protagonist, and I felt sorry for her at times with how mistrusted she was and how she was taken away from her family. However, I did struggle to connect with Renata at times.

Leo was probably my favourite character and his scenes were enjoyable to read. I liked his relationship with Renata and how she wasn't sure whether or not to trust him.

The setting and concept of the Moria was interesting. I would like to read more about the Moria and their powers.

The plot was mixed for me, but I did like it at the beginning. However, after a while I did find myself losing interest once Renata was at the palace. I wasn't as invested in what happened as I should have been, which may be due to me predicting most of the plot twists, which was very disappointing.

The writing style was easy to follow most of the time, but there were a few occasions where I felt that something was rushed or scenes jumped unexpectedly. However, as I read an eARC version of this book that may have changed in the final version.

I'm really disappointed that I didn't enjoy this more as I feel it had a lot of potential, but this doesn't stand out from other YA fantasy books for me.

Overall, this was a mixed read for me.


Monday, August 17, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday - Books That Should be Adapted into Netflix Shows/Movies


Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week the topic is
Books That Should be Adapted into Netflix Shows/Movies
Here are my choices . . .
1. Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

This is such an epic sci-fi read and I could definitely see it as a TV show.
2. The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next, #1) by Jasper Fforde

 This witty, imaginative book (and series) could be such a fun TV show.
I can totally see Claire Foy as Thursday.

3. Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
This was one of my favourite reads of 2019 and I can definitely see it as a film or TV show. The setting would be really cinematic and Casiopea is a fantastic protagonist.
 4. Seven Devils (Seven Devils, #1) by Elizabeth May and Laura Lam

I can definitely see Seven Devils being made into a TV show. 
With a kick-ass cast of women, and lots of twists, this could be a really epic sci-fi show.

5. The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry
This would be such a fun TV show with the characters from famous literary works.
 6. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

I think I can see this more as a TV show than a film. It would be so fun seeing the libraries and the grimoires which come to life and spit ink at people.
7. A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood
This would make a lovely feel-good film and the Gatsby-esqueness would make for a fun setting.

8. Uprooted by Naomi Novik

This magical, fantasy book would make a fun and enchanting TV series.

9. The Bone Season (The Bone Season, #1) by Samantha Shannon

This would make an awesome TV show. The world is so immersive and detailed and I would love to see Paige and Warden brought to life.

10. The Rebel of the Sands (The Rebel of the Sands, #1) by Alwyn Hamilton

This would make a great TV show with the magic and sprawling scenery. There are some great characters in this series as well and some good action scenes.

What books would you like to see made into Netflix TV shows or films?


Sunday, August 16, 2020

Review - The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper




 Title: The Gravity of Us

Author: Phil Stamper

Pages: 320

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Release Date: 4th February 2020


Blurb from Goodreads: 

Cal wants to be a journalist, and he's already well underway with almost half a million followers on his FlashFame app and an upcoming internship at Buzzfeed. But his plans are derailed when his pilot father is selected for a highly-publicized NASA mission to Mars. Within days, Cal and his parents leave Brooklyn for hot and humid Houston.

With the entire nation desperate for any new information about the astronauts, Cal finds himself thrust in the middle of a media circus. Suddenly his life is more like a reality TV show, with his constantly bickering parents struggling with their roles as the "perfect American family."

And then Cal meets Leon, whose mother is another astronaut on the mission, and he finds himself falling head over heels--and fast. They become an oasis for each other amid the craziness of this whole experience. As their relationship grows, so does the frenzy surrounding the Mars mission, and when secrets are revealed about ulterior motives of the program, Cal must find a way to get to the truth without hurting the people who have become most important to him.

Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US

My Review:

*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ) and NetGalley*

When Cal's pilot father is placed on the shortlist for NASA's upcoming Mars mission, Cal's life is turned upside down.

Uprooted from his life in Brooklyn, Cal and his family move to Texas, disrupting Cal's plans to intern at Buzzfeed and the Brooklyn videos he films on the app FlashFame.

Now one of the families in the NASA reality show, Cal and his parents try to settle into their new lives.

Cal becomes fast friends with Leon, whose mother is an astronaut. The two grow closer and Cal finds himself getting deeper into the social media surrounding the Mars missions.

Will Cal have to give up his dream of being a journalist?


I'll admit that contemporary YA novels aren't my favourites, but the NASA element of this book really intrigued me, so I thought I'd give it a go.

Cal was a mixed character for me, and there were times when I found him quite frustrating and annoying, but I appreciated that he wasn't perfect and there were moments when I did feel sorry for him.

My favourite character was probably Deb and I would have liked to have seen more of her.

I wasn't a big fan of the romance as it was too fast for me - I prefer a slow-burn - but I really liked that it was a M/M romance.

The plot was OK, but I wasn't gripped. I definitely found the NASA elements to be the most interesting thing about the book.

The writing style was easy to follow and I liked that there were some interviews included at the end of the chapters.

I am disappointed that I didn't enjoy this more.


Overall, this was an OK read.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Review - The Rearranged Life of Oona Lockhart by Margarita Montimore


Title: The Rearranged Life of Oona Lockhart

Author: Margarita Montimore

Pages: 336

Publisher: Gollancz

Release Date: 27th February 2020



Blurb from Goodreads: 


If you knew your future, would you change your past?

Brooklyn, 1982. Oona Lockhart is about to celebrate her 19th birthday and ring in the New Year. But at the stroke of midnight, she is torn from her friends and boyfriend, finding herself in her fifty-one-year-old body, thirty-two years into the future.

Greeted by a friendly stranger, Oona learns that on every birthday she will enter a different year of her adult life at random. Still a young woman on the inside, but ever changing on the outside, who will she be next year? Wealthy philanthropist? Nineties Club Kid? World traveller? Wife to a man she's never met?

While Oona gets glimpses of the future and thinks she knows what's to come, living a normal life is challenging. As she struggles between fighting her fate and accepting it, Oona must learn to navigate a life that's out of order - but is it broken?

Margarita Montimore's whip-smart debut is an uplifting joyride through an ever-changing world that shows us the endurance of love, the timelessness of family and what it means to truly live in the moment.

 Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US

My Review:

*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Orion Publishing Group and NetGalley*

On New Year's Eve 1982, Oona Lockhart is at a party counting down to the New Year and her birthday the next day.

But when the clock strikes twelve, Oona is no longer at the party with her boyfriend and friends - instead Oona is somehow in the future in a version of her body that is fifty-one-years-old.

A stranger is with Oona and she discovers that she will live her life out of order - one year she could be in her twenties and the next year in her forties.

Young on the inside but decades older on the outside, Oona struggles to accept her unpredictable and unstable life.

Will Oona try to change her timeline with what she learns throughout the years?

Can she be happy knowing what is to come?

When I heard about this book it was the time travel aspect that intrigued me, and while I didn't end up loving this, I did enjoy it.

Oona was a relatable protagonist and it was interesting to see how she reacted to the situations she was put in. I thought that Oona coped rather well all things considered.

Kenzie was a character I really liked and I also liked Oona's mum.

The plot was enjoyable and held my attention, but I wasn't gripped and did find myself starting to lose interest a little at the end, so I was happy with the length of the book. There was a plot twist that I didn't guess and I did find the different leaps interesting. However, because each chapter was a year in Oona's life it sometimes felt like Oona didn't really do much and we were told what she did instead. I can understand why this was the case though, as a year is a long time.

The writing style was easy to follow and I read the book pretty quickly.

I am a bit disappointed that I didn't enjoy this more, and I'm not sure it quite reached its potential for me, but it was still an enjoyable read.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read.


Sunday, August 9, 2020

FairyLoot Unboxing - A Different Kind of Magic (June Box)

FairyLoot is a UK YA subscription box.
Each box contains a variety of objects and a book with an exclusive cover.  

 The June theme was
A Different Kind of Magic
 Here's what was inside . . .

Elemental coasters inspired by Avatar: The Last Airbender. These were designed by @noverantale.

Bookish socks inspired by The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. These were designed by Team FairyLoot.
Two tarot cards inspired by A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. 
A tea strainer inspired by Alice in Wonderland.

An iron-on patch inspired by The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. This was designed by @dustandpages.
A pin inspired by The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller. This was designed by @jezhawk.
An art print inspired by Blood Heir by Amelie Zhao. This was illustrated by @arz28.

An exclusive edition of The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna. This has gorgeous sprayed edges and foiling on the cover.
This will be published in early 2021.

An exclusive FairyLoot edition of Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee which has an exclusive cover, is signed and has artwork on the inside of the dust jacket by @arz28.
This came with a character print by @arz28 that has a letter from the author on the reverse.

Here's everything all together:

I was really happy with this box - I LOVE the socks and the books are both ones that are high on my to-read list.

Did you get this box?
What's your favourite item?