Leigh Bardugo – Ruin and Rising

Given the explosive end to the second book in the series, I couldn’t wait to get started on this one. But unlike the first two which I devoured in days, this book took me weeks to get through. I just didn’t find the pace as quick as the first two and I wasn’t gripped like I thought I would be. The plot was great, full of twists that I didn’t see coming, full of bright moments despite the despair they were all feeling...

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Leigh Bardugo – Siege and Storm

It will be impossible to write this review without spoilers, so don’t read if you don’t want to risk it! After the ending of the first book in the series, I don’t think I even waited before picking up this one, I was so eager to know what happened to Alina and Mal. What I didn’t expect was for their time together to go bad so quickly – less than 20 pages in and things were going south pretty quickly. I was so...

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Leigh Bardugo – Shadow and Bone

Leigh Bardugo has been on my Waterstones wish list for ages, but has been one of those authors where I’ve always thought ‘maybe next time’…. That is, until I watched the first episode of the new Shadow and Bone series on Netflix and I immediately knew I was going to need to read them first so I could make the world my own before being shown what someone else thought it was like. I’m struggling to write...

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Rachel Morgan – The Memory Thief

I downloaded this book at the beginning of the year when apple books were giving away a lot of free audio-books, and I didn’t really know what to expect. I hadn’t read any blurbs or anything, just that it was a cinderella re-telling. I was a bit surprised when I realised it was Fae and Vampires, but this was one of my favourite genres about ten years ago, so I was excited to give it a go. Elle is a human girl, bound to her...

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Stephenie Meyer – Midnight Sun

Ahhhhhh nostalgia. This book felt like a hefty dose of comfort, taking me back to my teenage-self who read the Twilight series repeatedly for a few years. I loved those books so much, and although in hindsight they’re not the best books in the world, they’re what got me into reading fantasy, and for that I’m thankful. Midnight Sun is basically the first Twilight book (not all three, like I originally thought from the size...

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Alice Broadway – Scar

The blurb of this book calls this the ‘explosive finale’, but I have to admit, unfortunately I think this was my least favourite of the trilogy. The first two books were really fast paced and I felt compelled to keep reading, but I felt like this one was just slower and not quite as gripping. And to be honest, the ending left me feeling quite disappointed. I’m not sure if I just didn’t ‘get it’, but it...

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Alice Broadway – Spark

This review contains spoilers for the first book in the series – if you’ve not read it yet, look away now! At the end of book one (Ink), Leora’s world is turned completely upside down. Everything she thought she knew about her life is in question, she doesn’t even know who her parents are (literally and metaphorically). And now, she’s a pawn in Mayor Longsight’s game. Sent back to her blank...

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Alice Broadway – Ink

First book of 2021 and it was a good one! For some reason, despite going to bed at 1am, I woke up at 3.30 and couldn’t get back to sleep. I thought I’d read to make me sleepy, but this book was so gripping that I couldn’t put it down. Leora lives in a world with no secrets. Everything about you is inked on your body – your age, your occupation, things you’ve done wrong. Imagine living in a world where everyone...

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Frank Cottrell-Boyce – The Unforgotten Coat

The final audiobook I listened to while decorating my spare room (yes…it took a long time). I think this book like the previous one may have been better to read rather than listen to as it seems like I missed out on extras like photographs again, but even so, it was a fabulous book. Julie is a normal year six kid, but life changes for her when two new people start in her class – Chingis and Negrui. They’re immigrants from...

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Henry Louis Gates Jr – Dark Sky Rising

I picked up this book as something to listen to when I was decorating the spare room, and while this wasn’t an easy listen, I definitely learnt a lot. We never really learned about American history at school, so although this book was aimed at a younger age range, it was the perfect level for me. Starting with the civil war, the book takes you through the history of black America leading to the founding of the NAACP. Despite the...

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Malorie Blackman – Knife Edge

I’ve just finished reading this book and I’m seriously in shock. It’s not okay to finish a book like that! I’m only glad that I’m so late to the party that the next 3 books are already released and I don’t have to wait, because the waiting would be unbearable. This book was pretty much the polar opposite of Noughts and Crosses, which was basically the story of Callum and Sephy’s love. In contrast...

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Giovanna & Tom Fletcher – The Eve Illusion

Following the cliffhanger at the end of Eve of Man, I’ve been waiting with baited breath for this to be released as I really needed to know what happened to Eve and Bram. I was not disappointed, devouring this book in 2 sittings, unable to put it down as I was pulled into the dramatically unfolding story of Eve’s escape. So Eve is free, but what is she going to do with her freedom? And what about all the people still looking...

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Malorie Blackman – Noughts and Crosses

It’s not often a book leaves you heartbroken – most books I read tend to have a fluffy ending where everyone lives happily ever after, but hopefully it’s not too much of a spoiler to say that I wanted to throw this book across the room and cry when I finished reading. I’ve obviously heard of this book a lot in the past, but never really looked into what it’s about, I think I found this copy in a charity shop...

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Ewa Jozefkowicz – Girl 38

At the start of this book, we’re introduced to Kat, a young girl who loves nothing more than to draw her comic books. Her parents work long hours and she’s often alone, and she’s feeling out of touch with her childhood best friend Gem, who is becoming more and more like a tyrant than a friend. So when Kat gets talking to the old lady next door, it seems like a world will be opened to her that will make her feel less lonely...

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Kevin Murphy & Laurence O’Keefe – Heathers: The Musical

I went to see Heathers last year when it was in the west end – mainly because one of my favourite actresses (Carrie Hope Fletcher) was in it, but it turned out to be one of the best musicals I’ve seen – and completely not what I expected. While I was there, I picked up this script as a memento of what I’d seen, and today I spent a fabulous couple of hours reading through the script while listening to the soundtrack. It...

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Ele Fountain – Boy 87

Oh. Em. Gee. This book was filed in the children’s book section of my library app, so I didn’t quite expect what was coming. Not an easy read, for sure, but definitely one that was worth reading. I started this when I got into bed at 10.30pm on boxing day and basically stayed awake til after 2pm because I simply couldn’t put it down. We start the book with a ship capsizing in the middle of the ocean and a boy struggling to...

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Julie Murphy – Dumplin’

Before I read this, I’d watched it on Netflix, not realising it was based on a book. I thought the Netflix show was great, the cast was fantastic and the story was captivating. I’m happy (but not surprised) to say the book was even better – I read it in one sitting! Willowdean Dickson is the daughter of a former small-town pageant queen. Despite never quite living up to the daughter that her mother had in mind (her mother...

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Onjali Q. Rauf – The Boy at the Back of the Class

A warm, engaging and inspiring look at an all too relevant topic, I would recommend this book to everyone, but particularly as a very engaging and relatable way to introduce the topic of the refugee crisis to young children. I first heard of this book when it started winning awards, namely the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2019, and although it’s a children’s book, it hits with a big punch. Written from the...

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Rainbow Rowell – Fangirl

It would be really easy to judge this book by the title and assume it’s ‘just’ young adult fiction and doesn’t have a serious point. But although this might be young adult fiction, it showed that the only way to get through social-anxiety and other mental health problems is to open up to people and let them help you. As you might tell from the title, Cath is a fangirl, introverted and in love with the Simon Snow...

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Vanessa Curtis – The Earth is Singing

Every once in a while, you read a book that completely breaks you. And this was it for me. I read this book in one train journey from London to Leeds, and I was full out crying on the train from the horrors that were written inside. I cried because these horrors were real. Things that actually happened less than 2 generations ago. Things that should not be forgotten, lest we repeat them. The book follows a young girl called Hanna, who...

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Charlie N. Holmberg – Smoke & Summons

Holmberg has been one of my favourite authors since I read The Paper Magician, and when this book was released a month early as part of the Amazon Prime First Reads programme, I was really excited! I immediately fell in love with Sandis, the main character. She’s a young woman who was kidnapped at a young age and is now kept as a vessel for a fiery power called Ireth, at the bidding of her master. She only sees daylight when she’s...

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