Book Review – Cinder by Marissa Meyer

image

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the centre of an intergalactic struggle and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Author Hazel

Cinder is the first book in the Lunar Chronicles series. It is a young adult, sci-if romance/fairy tale retelling.

Cinder is based on the popular fairy tale of Cinderella, and has a similar basic plot. Cinder is treated like a slave by her stepmother and stepsister, there is a young, handsome Prince to fall in love with, an enchanting ball and then the pivotal plot point of Cinder losing her glass slipper. Now imagine this beloved story, but in Cinder, Cinderella is a cyborg! She lives in New Beijing, part of the Eastern Commonwealth, created after world war IV. She is a mechanic, and instead of animals as friends, she has androids.

New Beijing is an emergent new society rising from the destruction of world war IV. Earth is plagued by a lethal disease called letumosis. It is also teetering on the edge of another war with Luna. Luna is obviously the moon, but in this story, it is inhabited by Lunars. The leader of this race is the evil Queen Levana, who supposedly killed her own sister in order to take the throne. Lunars have special abilities known colloquially on Earth as magic but scientifically it is explained as manipulation of the bio-chemical electrical signatures within the brain or ‘glamouring’. The emperor of New Beijing has letumosis, so Prince Kaito (Kai) is desperately seeking a cure whilst trying to avoid a political marriage with the evil Queen Levana. He first meets Cinder when he brings his beloved android to be repaired and the fantastic plot and budding romance begins there.

I absolutely loved this book. Marissa Meyer has woven in such a fantastic and intricate plot within the basic story of Cinderella. I love the sci-if aspect of the story and the futuristic time the story is based in. I loved and hated the characters. Iko, Cinder’s android sidekick was brilliant. I loved how she had an almost human personality and her and Cinder’s friendship was lovely. Although Peony was one of Cinder’s stepsisters, they had a lovely sisterly relationship. Dr Erland was an eccentric and a little weird side character, who lends a scientifically heroic hand to Cinder. He was really interesting. Then of course there’s Cinder and Prince Kai. An almost opposites attract relationship, I loved his gentle persuing of Cinder, even when she kept turning him down.

Marissa Meyer wrote Adri and and Queen Levana so well, I hated them(almost as much as Joffrey from GoT lol). Adri was greedy and manipulative and used poor Cinder almost to her death. And Queen Levana is the epitome of evil, leading an entire people with brain washing and manipulation, only succeeding in getting what she wants through these methods.

The story is so gripping and imaginative even with it being a retelling. The story is plot and character driven, and I can’t wait to see where it goes. The characters were so well written, all with distinctive personalities and relationships with each other. It will be interesting to see who else we meet during the rest of the series.

Overall, I loved this book, so much I want to read the next one, Scarlet, straight away, and I rarely read a series back to back. I highly recommend this book and I gave it 5 🌟. Happy reading :mrgreen:📖

Advertisements

Book Review – Thoughtless by S.C Stephens

image

For almost two years now, Kiera’s boyfriend, Denny, has been everything she’s ever wanted: loving, tender and endlessly devoted to her. When they head off  to a new city to start their lives together, Denny at his dream job and Kiera at a top-notch university, everything seems perfect. Then an unforeseen obligation forces the happy couple apart.

Feeling lonely, confused, and in need of comfort, Kiera turns to an unexpected source – a local rock star named Kellan Kyle. At first, he’s purely a friend that she can lean on, but as her loneliness grows, so does their relationship. And then one night everything changes…and none of them will ever be the same.

Author-Hazel

Thoughtless is a New Adult romance novel set in Seattle. The story is told from Kiera’s perspective, the female protagonist. The story is about a young couple, Kiera and Denny, who move to Seattle, Denny for an internship and Kiera, for a college scholarship. They rent a room from Denny’s friend Kellan, and a slow but red-hot affair begins between Kiera and Kellan.

The writing of this book was gripping and addictive. I couldn’t put it down and when I had no other choice but to, I kept thinking about the story. It is a character driven novel with little world-building but the way S.C Stephens writes tension between characters was amazing. The tension between Kiera and Kellan was sizzling! I really felt it whilst reading.

Kellan was my favourite character. Drop dead gorgeous, good with his hands, cheeky, charming and funny. Some of his dialogue had me laughing out loud. He was a very swoon worthy character whom I couldn’t get enough of.

Kiera, what can I say! OK, the affair started innocently enough, but the fact that she allowed herself to get into that situation and still think that she was innocent, is beyond me. She was insanely naive and selfish, essentially bed-hopping between two men who loved her and whom she claimed she loved. Her indecisiveness was shocking and about 75% in, it started to get annoying. Kellan was what kept me reading. I just wanted to slap her. I don’t believe anyone, experienced in love and relationships or not, could lead two men on that they love, continuing to hurt them profoundly because of her indecision. It started off feeling like nativity but ended up being just downright selfish.

Eventually there was a happy ending but, I don’t feel like Kiera deserved it. The story is though provoking and made me think about what I would do in her situation, but I could not relate to her because I believe my decisions would have been different. Did I mention she was crazy clingy too?

Overall the story was good, I really enjoyed reading it and would recommend it if you don’t mind reading about infidelity.

Book Review – The Prince of Mist

Prince of Mist Cover

Author – Laura

The Prince of Mist is a young adult novel by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, written in 1993 and translated from Spanish into English in 2010.

The main character is a young boy called Max Carver. In 1943, along with his two sisters, his mother and watchmaker father, he moves to a little town by the sea to get away from the war. As soon as they reach the new place Max realises things aren’t quite as they should be.

Max discovers that the new house was formerly owned by the Fleischmans, whose family is surrounded by tragedy after the death of their son, Jacob. The house is pretty normal; big, old and full of strange noises, but nothing out of the ordinary until Max finds the sculpture garden near his house.

Strange things start happening, and get even stranger once Max makes a friend. Roland takes Max diving near a wreck, where a six pointed star on a flag is a reminder of something similar Max has seen in the sculpture garden. Max starts asking questions and learns that the boat sank leaving only one survivor, but no bodies. The boat was carrying a circus crew led by a man known as The Prince of Mist…

I loved this book. It’s so atmospheric, and unless you have zero imagination it’s very easy to visualise every scene, right down to smells and subtle changes in the light and temperature. Considering this book is a teeny tiny 200 pages, it feels epic – there is a real sense of something much bigger; like this is a little snapshot in time in a story that spans generations.

With that in mind, it was a little difficult to appreciate the immediate depth of the relationship between Roland and Alicia, who seemed to fall in love in one afternoon. But at 15 you fall in love at the drop of a hat so it’s not totally unbelievable.

The Prince of Mist is a creepy baddy. This is essentially a children’s book but I had to take a little break near the end – it gets scary and I was totally there, living it with them. I think above all this is a story about bravery and loss, and it feels very pure. It’s beautifully written even if it’s completely chilling and frankly sinister in places.

 Buy it on Amazon

Book Club Review – Stray by Rachel Vincent

stray

There are only eight breeding female werecats left . . .
And I’m one of them.

I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.

Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.

I’d been warned about Strays — werecats without a Pride, constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female, and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.

This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back . . . for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I’m no meek kitty. I’ll take on whatever — and whoever — I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays — ’cause I got claws, and I’m not afraid to use them . . .

Author – Kiera

This was Yasmin’s pick for March, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it! There is a sort of formula for these types of supernatural/urban fantasy stories which generally creates a similar outcome each time (alpha male + strong willed female × bad guy kidnapping her = lots of drama and a few steamy scenes) but if you like the formula then you will enjoy Stray. It is easy to read, and although the first portion of the book is a lot of information about werecats and their family histories – which wasn’t to everyone’s tastes, I personally loved it. Probably because I’m nosey!

I liked Faythe, she is a typical spoiled only girl in the family and she wants to do things her own way. As well as being head strong she is also smart and capable of looking after herself, which makes a nice change.
There are a lot of peripheral characters in this story, which can get quite confusing at times, but I quickly found my favourites and hope to read more about them later on in the series. Especially Jace and Parker. Swoon.
I really enjoyed the character development that happened with Faythe, she went through a lot in quite a short space of time and you could see her becoming unsure of her choices and questioning her actions. It was definitely important to the story that she get knocked down a peg or two so that she could start to see things from her Pride’s point of view.

All in all it was a 616 page book that I read within a few hours. Which is normally a good sign!

Author – Laura

*** 3 Stars

Overall I enjoyed Stray. I did feel that it was unnecessarily long, and as Kiera said its quite formulaic, but if it ain’t broke…

I really liked the various supporting characters, and how each of them contributed to the story. Ethan and Jace stood out for me, and secretly I think Faythe might have made the wrong choice with Marc.

As the main character I found Faythe difficult to like; I’m not sure why, but I just didn’t warm to her. She was massively over-confident to begin with, and appeared quite selfish. The character development was great and she was a different person by the end of the book.

Sometimes you just want something familiar and easy to read. Stray totally delivers on both counts.

Author – Antonia

When Yasmin first told us of the book for this month I was a bit apprehensive with 600 pages. However i managed to complete with a day to spare. Anyway so moving on to the review. I did enjoy this book and the action involved. I found Faythe to be rather needy and always wanting her own way. She was very head strong and knew what she wanted. This helped her in a few situations. I loved the way her character progressed throughout the book and the fight in her. The pride went through a lot together and it was good to see them help one another. Definitely worth a read 🙂

Book Review-The Ice Twins by S.K Tremayne

image

A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcraft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives.

But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity – that she, in fact, is Lydia – their world comes crashing down once again.

As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, Sarah finds herself tortured by the past – what really happened on that fateful day one of her daughters died?

Author – Hazel.

The Ice Twins is a psychological thriller told from two perspectives, Angus and Sarah. Angus and Sarah are married and have twin daughters Kirstie and Lydia, who are identical. With white blonde hair and icy blue eyes the family nick-name them The Ice Twins.

One summer evening one of the twins falls tragically to her death and the family are thrown into despair. They try to make a new start and move to a cottage on a secluded island in the Scottish Hebrides, which is where this creepy story really kicks off.

The setting of the story is perfect. A cold winter on an island in Scotland. It’s grey, bitterly cold, windy and rainy but picturesque in an eerie kind of way. It adds to the eerie atmosphere of this story.

The book is a psychological thriller but with a bit of a supernatural twist (you’ll have to read it to find out why!). I was really creeped out and scared by this story, there were parts where I had to stop reading. The kids were in bed asleep and my fiancé was out and I’ll admit, I got scared! But although it was scary, it was also a gripping read and I needed to know what was going to happen next. The writing was descriptive enough for me to imagine myself on that cold, chilling island. Throughout the story I sympathised with Sarah as a mum. I often wondered what I would do in her situation.

The story builds throughout, giving us a bit of information towards solving the mystery but at the same time it opens up more questions. I wouldn’t say the story has a twist but it does give you a brilliant thought provoking ending. A fantastic read.

Book Review – The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

 TSED

Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.

She’s the executioner.

As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.

However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

 

Author – Kiera.

Before we get going I just have to take a moment and appreciate the beauty that is this book’s cover! Having read the book I like to think it has a meaning all of it’s own. Something along the lines of being your own poison. The story about the two wolves comes to mind, the stronger one being the one you feed.

Anyway, I digress!

So, you may have read the synopsis and thought – hang on a minute, that sounds a lot like Shatter Me. While on the very surface it may seem that way and I know the whole death by touch concept isn’t new, but let me assure you it is nothing like it.
This is an amazing fantasy tale filled with religion and lore and antiquity.

We follow our main character Twylla who is (as you may have guessed) the Sin Eater’s Daughter. When a person dies food is laid out on their coffin, each item represents a sin they have committed. When all the food is eaten they are relived of these sins and can go on to the afterlife. Twylla is in training to become the next Sin Eater, but one day the queen arrives at her house and tells her that she is actually the embodiment of Daunen, who is the child of the gods. She goes to the castle and is betrothed to the prince and that’s when things start to go wrong.
Don’t you just hate it when that happens.

Religion plays a massive part in the book, though not in a conventional way, and I really enjoyed learning about the practice of Sin Eating and what it entailed. The way religion is portrayed in the book is as a tool. It is used to control the masses and is very effective in that way. Twylla is a part of it, but as an outsider I think she is always aware of the consequences of having so much power. At the same time she is young and not completely immune to the calling it has.

Now I will warn you; there is a love triangle. However I think this is one I can actually understand. Twylla is torn between what she wants and what she thinks is right, and this seemed to cause her to develop as a character throughout the story.
There is a lot of information to take in throughout the story, but this is somewhat balanced out by the minimal world building. It almost wasn’t important that there was no world building as the driving forces of the book were the religion/politics and the characters.

I won’t say too much more, as there are lots of things to uncover as you read,  but I have to say all my predictions for how it would all play out were completely wrong!

I need someone else to have read this book so I can talk to them about it! Anybody..?

Book Review – The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse, #1)

Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to another pirate clan. But that only prompts the scorned clan to send an assassin after her. When Ananna faces him down one night, armed with magic she doesn’t really know how to use, she accidentally activates a curse binding them together.

To break the spell, Ananna and the assassin must complete three impossible tasks–all while grappling with evil wizards, floating islands, haughty manticores, runaway nobility, strange magic…and the growing romantic tension between them.

Pirates and Assassins. Do I need to say more? Well alright then, you’ve twisted my arm!

As you might have noticed, this book is about pirates and assassins! How cool is that! This book had me from page one, and I finished it in a day. The first line is ‘I ain’t never been one to trust beautiful people, and Tarrin of the Hariri was the most beautiful man I ever saw.‘ I love the writing style, it makes me feel like I’m a pirate, and who doesn’t want to be a pirate! We follow two main characters through the story, Ananna (the Pirate) and Naji (the assassin) and it’s written from Ananna’s point of view. I really love both of these characters. They are completely different from one another, but then almost exactly the same too. They both have been brought up in environments in which each day is a fight for survival,  but they deal with things in their own unique ways.
Ananna is very forward with her feelings and quick to throw a punch, where as Naji is used to appraising the situation and hiding in shadows. So when they are forced together by the curse it’s interesting to see how they work as a team. Their relationship is tentative but you can feel the bond between them slowly growing and it’s wonderful.

The magic system was so fun to read about. I loved how different people in the book could draw power from different places depending on the magic they use. The fight scenes in this book were awesome! Nothing like some swashbuckling pirates with their swords and muskets battling it out on deck.
The only thing I would have changed with this book would have been the addition on a map. There is a lot of traveling around by land and sea, and I think a map would have helped me get my bearings in the world a bit better.

I don’t want to say too much more about this book, because it’s not a very long and I don’t want to ruin it for you. I really hope that you give it a read though. It is brilliant fantasy and definitely worth the read.

commission,The Assassin's Curse by may12324

I found this picture on pinterest and it is the perfect image I had for the characters. The link to the original image is – http://may12324.deviantart.com/art/commission-The-Assassin-s-Curse-480759309

Book Club Review – Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys.

11178225

It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer.

She devises a plan to get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

 

Author – Kiera.

It was my choice of book this month, and I have had my eye on this book for a while. At first I was a bit hesitant to pick it, as there are mixed opinions on Historical Fiction throughout our group. I had even decided on a different book. After a few firm words from Laura I decided that I was going with this one, and that was that! I’m glad I did, because part of the reason we all wanted to be part of a book club was to discover things we may not have found on our own.

It is a very character driven story, and that was fine by me as each and every character stirred up some kind of emotion. Josie Moraine is our main protagonist, and she is clever, independent, street smart and bookish. She hasn’t had the easiest childhood being the daughter of a prostitute, but because of this she is determined to make a better life for herself.  I loved the relationship between Jo and Willie. You could tell that no matter how frosty she may seem she really loves Jo, and there is something very heart warming about their interactions. Willie was probably my favourite character in the book, she gave her respect to everyone and demanded respect from everyone in return. Her story really was one of making the best out of what you have, and she passed that lesson on to Jo. Along with the loveable characters there are a good few to hate in this book too.

I liked the murder mystery aspect of the story. It was a good old fashion ‘who done it’ type of affair, and 1950’s New Orleans was the perfect setting for it! I found this book to be so atmospheric it was almost like I wasn’t just reading it, but I was there watching everything happen, and that is because of Ruta Sepetys’ amazing writing.

 

Author – Hazel

Historical fiction was one of the few genres that just didn’t appeal to me. I think that because of my poor history GCSE class at secondary school, whenever someone uttered the words ‘Historical Fiction’, I immediately thought of war stories, most predominantly author World War I and II. That class burned away any type of interest or passion I could have had or developed and ever since then I’ve steered clear of anything historical. That being said I absolutely loved this book and it has re-ignited some interest in the genre. This story gave me lots of feels. Sadness, frustration, anger, love! It had some really lovely heartwarming moments that made me feel all warm and smiley and it had some laugh out loud moments; Willie was very funny. It had some moments where I felt so frustrated and angry, not at the story but at some of the characters – I wanted to beat poor Josie’s mother with a stick and chop off John Lockwell’s dirty hands!

The story was beautifully written and paced; there was a mystery and a romance – two of my favourite things in a novel. The characters were all well developed, whether they were prominent in the story or just background ones. My favourites were Willie – she had a sharp tongue and she was tough but she really loved and cared for Josie; Cokie – he sort of adopted Josie as a big brother type, he took care of her and was just a genuinely nice guy; and of course there’s Jesse. I’m always drawn to the bad boy or the loveable rogue, and Jessie was that guy, stunningly handsome, charismatic and good with his hands, what more could you ask for 😉

 

Author – Antonia

I could not put this book down. From start to finish I was really intrigued and drawn in. Each character had lots to bring to the story. Some of them extremely loveable whilst others not so. I really enjoyed watching Josie fight for something she never thought possible and the determination she had. I also loved the bond between Josie and Willie. Willie very much cared for Josie and took her under her wing when her useless mother couldn’t. Cokie was very loyal and caring also – I think he was my favourite character. Then you had John Lockwell, Louise (Josie’s mother) and Cincinnati. I disliked these for different reasons.

I found the book was beautifully written and easy to read. As I’m new to the reading scene I’m open to reading different genres and I enjoyed this one. Good pick Kiera 🙂

 

Author – Laura

I’d like to take a teeny bit of credit for this choice. Mostly because it was brilliant. (If it had been awful I’d have denied all knowledge).

Some books have a really distinct ‘feel’, and this one was warm, sultry and almost comforting. There was so much love, in various forms, that reading it felt like snuggling in your favourite blanket. It was lovely to read a straightforward, standalone story with a clear plot (although the mystery keeps you guessing all the way through).

New Orleans is a vibrant city and the difference between the Quarter and Uptown was really well written. Its like I was there; the smells, the heat, the … all of it. The characters were all well developed, and it was easy to see why Josie felt the way she did about her awful mother. The relationships between Josie and the girls who work for Willie were really touching at times, but my favourite character was Cokie. He is so constant and true, and he loves Josie unconditionally. I loved his unfailing hope and honesty.

Above all this book is about achieving your dreams no matter what your start in life, and I thought it was wonderful.

 

Author – Yasmin

I very much enjoyed reading, Out of the Easy. Right at the start I was pulled in and became interested in Josie’s story.

She doesn’t have the best start in life and with her mother being a selfish and uncaring prostitute, Josie grows up around all sorts of people. Criminals, kleptomaniacs, caring bookshop owners and a tough madam of a brothel. Josie doesn’t let her sad situation stop her from trying to make a better life for herself though and fights for what she wants. I loved her strong personality.

All the trouble starts after a man she meets while working at the bookstore is found dead later that night. And with Josie’s mum back with her old criminal lover tensions and suspicions run high.

The book is very well written and flows nicely. There are plenty of characters to love and have a laugh with, others you’ll hate, and even a sweet pinch of romance. Trust me this story won’t disappoint.

Book Review/Buddy Read – The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

 There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed . . .

On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways . . .

Nella is at first mystified by the closed world of the Brandt household, but as she uncovers its secrets she realizes the escalating dangers that await them all. Does the miniaturist hold their fate in her hands? And will she be the key to their salvation or the architect of their downfall?

Kiera

This book was a bit stop/start for me. Some chapters flew by and others moved at a snail’s pace. I think it is important to say from the start that I really enjoyed reading this, especially as a buddy read. There were lots of mysteries to uncover and it was a lot of fun trying to figure out what they were with Laura as we read.

This book is beautifully written and Jessie Burton is a magician with words! Even when we had things figured out she would switch things up and leave me convinced we were wrong. It almost felt like slight of hand. She had me looking right while things were happening over on the left. While I was reading I did find it a bit confusing, and found myself reading the same paragraph a few times, just to make sure I was aware of what was going on. You do see through the smoke and mirrors by the end though, and it’s really quite clever.

I really liked the characters on the whole. They all had their flaws (by the time periods standards) and unfortunately for them they were exploited by those trying to gain from them.

I was slightly disappointed by one of the threads of the storyline. It really felt unfinished and I find that frustrating. I would be really interested to hear what you thought about it. If you’ve read it let us know!

 

Laura

First of all, how gorgeous is this book? I have the hardback version, and from the sleeve to the blue edges to the pages it’s absolutely beautiful.

The story almost reads like poetry; each sentence is a tiny little masterpiece and it all comes together in an emotive and, at times, very creepy tale. The time period and landscape was unfamiliar to me (my knowledge of Dutch history is rather lacking), but the writing is so descriptive I was right there with Nella and Marin in the freezing cold house in Amsterdam.

As Kiera said, the plot twists and turns, and there were more than a couple of *gasp* moments. You’re never quite sure where the story is going to take you, and it keeps you gripped until the last couple of chapters, where it all feels a tiny bit rushed. There are a number of individual character story lines running through the book, and most are tied up quite neatly – no unnecessary cliffhangers here people – but there is one (that arguably might be the most significant) which seems to come to a dead end. Unless we both missed an important plot twist somewhere.

Reading a book with Kiera has been really interesting. We chatted about it every 100 pages or so, and drew some similar and some very different conclusions. I think a Buddy Read is a great idea – it’s amazing how two people can read the same book and pick up on different things.

I’d totally recommend this book, it covers a host of genres – historical fiction, crime and even a hint of the supernatural, so there is something for everyone. Considering this is Jessie Burton’s debut, I think it could quite easily become a modern classic.

 

Book Review – Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst.

Drink, Slay, Love

‘Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire… fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil… until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops.

Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don’t exist), and they’re shocked she survived. They’re even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl’s family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King’s feast — as the entrees.

The only problem? Pearl’s starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she’s definitely dead if she lets down her family. What’s a sunlight-loving vamp to do?’

 

Author – Kiera.

This book is so much fun! I love that books have the ability to stir up so many different emotions and broach topics that can be sensitive. People can be comforted, reassured and feel like they are part of something because of reading, and that is a wonderful thing. There are times when you just want a bit of escapism, nothing too heavy or hard hitting, and this book provided that in spades.

The characters are awesome! Pearl is a strong female vampire who kicks ass and takes names regularly. She is ruthless, enjoys the hunt and she is ready to take her place in the vampire world. Until she gets stabbed through the heart by a unicorn horn. I really enjoyed the development of Pearl’s character! The inner battle between doing what’s expected and doing what’s right was so interesting. Especially when you throw The Family into the mix! They are her relations by both human turning and blood (no pun intended) and they expect nothing less than perfection. If you make mistakes, you are brutally punished if you are lucky, and killed if you are not. Plus they are crazier than a bag of cats. Bethany is Pearl’s first friend, and she is her counter balance in every way. I liked how pure of heart Bethany is. She does things for all the right reasons, and I think that is why her and Pearl have such a strong connection. Evan is funny, charming, supportive and completely dreamy. Matt and Zeke insert a lot of humour into the book, and make what could be quite a dreary subject, seem just that bit lighter. They are best friends and wannabe vampire hunters that can’t ever seem to get it right.

The story line is pretty simple. The King is coming to town to perform a ceremony that initiates young vampires into adulthood. Of course being King and all he is expecting a feast bigger than any feast seen before. So when The Family find out that their daughter can now walk in sunlight, they don’t believe that she has been stabbed by a unicorn but they do see a solution to all their problems. So Pearl is sent out to heard the humans. Nothing could possibly go wrong, right?

One of my favourite aspects of the book are the vampires themselves. They are good old burn in the sun, killed with a stake, garlic hating vamps. I like sparkly vampires as much as the next person, but there is something satisfying about the old fashioned, throw holy water at them, vampires.

Overall, if you like vampires and mythical creatures and are in the mood for something fast paced and a ridiculously good time, I would recommend this book to you!