#contemporary, author, blog, blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, fiction, review, Uncategorised

ARC Book Review: The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent

Title: The Summer Job

Author: Lizzy Dent

Publisher: Viking Books Uk

Length: 320 pages

Synopsis: Have you ever imagined running away from your life? Well Birdy Finch didn’t just imagine it. She did it. Which might’ve been an error. And the life she’s run into? Her best friend, Heather’s. The only problem is, she hasn’t told Heather. Actually there are a few other problems… Can Birdy carry off a summer at a luxury Scottish hotel pretending to be her best friend (who incidentally is a world-class wine expert)? And can she herself from falling for the first man she’s ever actually liked (but who thinks she’s someone else)?

So excited to be on the blog tour for this book. Make sure you check out all the other bloggers to see what they’ve got to say.

Listen, if you’ve read my blog before you know I’m a slow reader, but let me tell you I read this book in a day. That never happens to me. Ever. I just couldn’t put the book down.

Birdy was such a great character to follow. She was funny, relatable and you could tell she was sad and had a heart of gold. I just warmed to her instantly. She was honest. You also meet a lot of other great characters that were fantastic. Irene, James and Roxy. I really just loved them all. I loved the connection that Birdy had with them all.

Here was my favourite thing about the book, I loved the how the characters all came together to try and make the hotel a success. I loved reading it. I was desperately wanted Birdy to help them make it succeed, thats why I couldn’t put the book down because I wanted to know what was going to happen. I also loved that Birdy trained secretly to help. It was so endearing.

Now, I have to be honest and say that I don’t usually enjoy books when the main character is lying to everyone around them. It actually really annoys me. But in The Summer Job, it didn’t annoy me at all. I think it was because Birdy was such a great character. And it was obvious that she really cared about the people around her and the hotel.

There’s a romance, that I’m not going to say who its between because no spoilers, but I was totally into it. It was believable, romantic and well developed and I was excited to see how it was going to end. That’s all I’ll say, you’ll find out more when you read it.

I can’t recommend The Summer Job enough, its a funny, charming and endearing book thats a great read. I’ll look forward to reading whatever Lizzy Dent writes next.

Thanks to Viking Books UK for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out April 15th.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#fiction, #literature, author, blog, blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, historical fiction, review, Uncategorised, ya

Book Review: Sistersong by Lucy Holland

Title: Sistersong

Author: Lucy Holland

Publisher: Panmacmillan

Length: 416 pages

I’m super excited to be on the Blog Tour for this wonderful book! Make sure you check out these other brilliant book bloggers.

Synopsis: King Cador’s children inherit a war-torn land, abandoned by the Romans. Riva can cure others, but can’t heal her own scars. Keyne battles to be seen as the king’s son, although born a daughter. Since dreams of love and longs for adventure. All three will become entangled in a web of treachery and heartbreak, and must fight to forge their own paths. It’s a story that will shape the destiny of Britain.

I absolutely loved this book. Sistersong is the kind of historical fiction that reminds me why I love this genre. The story is gripping and engaging right away. Usually it takes me a while to get into the story but with Sistersong I was immersed instantly. The whole book had such a charm to it.

I really enjoyed all the characters in this book. I loved all of the sisters, Riva, Kenye and Sinne. I’m sitting trying to decide which was my favourite but I loved them all. Each perspective was incredibly interesting, and the characters all so different and well written that I always knew which perspective I was reading. I loved all the individual journeys they went on. It was brilliant.

Kenye also goes on a really personal journey, that I won’t go into to much detail, because you’ll discover it when you read the book but I thought it was really well done. I found it emotional, especially when their sisters accepted them. And I loved it was tied into the old folklore. It was brilliantly done. And I loved to see this topic in a historical fiction book. I know that was vague, read the book you’ll get it.

There was a couple of romances in this book that I’m going to try and take about without spoiling it for you. I’m not going to say who the character of Tristan has romance with, but damn I was invested. But I also couldn’t decide if I could trust him and it kept me so intrigued. The other romance in the book was sweeter and much more subtle but no less enjoyable. They were both so well written, neither were really the main focus of the book, but they were so believable. Super enjoyable.

I loved the magical element to the book, and again I thought it was really well done. I loved how it didn’t over power the whole novel, because the other elements of the novel were so well done.

I think you’ve got the message that I thought this book was really well done and the ending didn’t disappoint. Lucy Holland had built such moment that I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. It felt like a very cinematic ending. I can’t help but think this book would make a brilliant mini-series. I mean, it would be amazing!!

Also can we talk about how stunning the cover is!?

I can’t recommend this book. It’s a fantastical historical fiction that is brilliantly written and fully immersive that you won’t be able to pit down. It’s out now.

Thanks to Stephen at Panmacillan for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. Thanks for having me on the Blog Tour.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#contemporary, #fantasy, #fiction, #literature, #yafantasy, author, blog, blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

March Wrap Up

March has come and gone. It once again flew by, and it was my last full month being furloughed as restaurants can open again in April if they have outdoor space, so I’m going back to work. Which will mean less reading time, but I’m excited to go back. Who knew I’d miss baking cakes and scones!

I did manage to read eleven books this month. Which I believe is a record for me. I would’ve read more but I got a stomach bug just after my birthday and it slowed me down. But I’m still proud of eleven. Let’s see if I can achieve the same in April!

So lets talk about the books shall we?

First up was Common Ground by Naomi Ishiguro. You know, this book just wasn’t for me. I found it dull, and I never wanted to pick it up. Also, the whole point if this book is the friendship between the main characters and I didn’t believe. I felt absolutely no connection between them, so for me the book ultimately failed. But who knows, you might love this one. It’s out now. Thanks to the publishers for my copy.

Then I read Sistersong by Lucy Holland. I absolutely loved this one, much more than I expected to. It was a brilliant historical fiction novel, with great magic and fantastic characters. I flew through it and I’ll kook forward to whatever Lucy writes next. Thank to the publishers for my copy if this book. It’s out now.

Next up I read A Lonely Man by Chris Power. This was a subtly intense thriller that I really enjoyed. It’s detailed, it keeps you guessing as to whether the character is telling the truth. And I loved the ending. The book was so good you wanted it to carry on, but the ending was taught and open. It was fantastic. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out now.

Fourth up I read The Outlaws Scarlett & Browne by Jonathan Stroud. This is the beginning of a brilliant new teen series that I think everyone can enjoy. It was action packed, the world was interning and epic and the characters were fantastic to follow. I am looking forward to reading this series. It’s out now. Thanks to the publishers for my copy.

Up next was Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley. I absolutely loved this book. From beginning to end. It was intriguing, I loved the main character and I thought the ending was epic. Thanks to the publisher for my copy. It’s out now.

Then I read An Ordinary Wonder by Buki Papillon. There were definitely parts that I liked, and I loved the epilogue but for some reasons, I just couldn’t totally emotionally invest in the book. I really don’t know why. It’s usually kind of book I adore. I found the writing slightly jarring at times, it didn’t quite flow. I wonder if I reread this book if I’d love it. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out now.

Seventh up this month I read In The Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado. What an incredible book. It’s exquisite. This queer nonfiction memoir is a work of art. Carmen writes from her soul. I’m so glad I picked this one up. It blew me away. A new favourite. It’s out now.

Next I read The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni. You know when you’re into a book from the first page. That was this book for me. I loved the concept. I loved the story. Loved the characters and all the twists and turns. And that ending? It can’t leave me waiting like that. This was just how I like my young adult books. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. Out in April.

Then I read Lean, Fall, Stand by Jon McGregor. This one started off so strong. Incredibly strong. It’s intense, it’s exciting, its dangerous and I was loving it. Then there was a shift in the plot, and I was still really enjoying it and I was thinking it was going to be a five star book, but towards the end it just lost it for me. I found myself skimming the pages. It just lost my interest, I could see what the author was trying to do but it didn’t work for me. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out April 13th.

For my ninth book I read Fragile Monsters by Catherine Menon. This book just unfortunately wasn’t for me. There was to much going on in the plot, with not enough of it being dealt with in detail. It didn’t care for any of the characters at all. And the writing felt off to me, it felt clunky. Nope, this book wasn’t it for me. Thanks to the publisher for my gifted copy. It’s out April 8th.

Lastly I read Witches Steeped In Gold by Ciannon Smart. This was my third time trying to read this book, I’d put it down twice as I couldn’t get into it, but this time I managed to finish it. For me, it wasn’t worth it. It was long and dense. The first 150 pages were just explaining the complex magic system. I did start to get into it more once we’d passed this but I never felt engaged or attached to the characters. I’m not saying this is a terrible book by any means, and I know many people love it. For me, there’s better fantasy books out there. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out April 20th.

That was it! That was my reading month. I can’t tell you how much I adored In The Dream House.

Have you read any of these, or do you plan to? Let me know.

Until the next review.

Jthbooks

#contemporary, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, fiction, review, thriller, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

ARC book review: Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Title: Firekeeper’s Daughter

Author: Angeline Boulley

Publisher: Rock The Boat

Length: 469 pages

Synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Daunis’s mixed heritage has always made her feel like an outsider, both in her hometown and in the nearby Ojibwe reservation. When she witnesses a shocking murder, she reluctantly agrees to be part of a covert FBI operation into a series of drug-related deaths. In secret, she pursues her own investigation using her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the criminals. However, the deceptions – and deaths – keep piling up and soon the threat strikes to close to home. Now Daunis must decide what it means to a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe women), and how far she’ll go to protect her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.

As you’re going to read in the rest of this review, I absolutely adored this book. I thought it was just brilliant. From beginning to end. I will say this book definitely deals with some difficult things so definitely check the trigger warnings for sexual assaults, drugs, grief, death. But I will say they are all dealt with honestly and lots of integrity.

The story right from the beginning was extremely intriguing. There were so many ways I could see the story going and it made it exciting to read. And it was all so detailed. Angeline really has written the perfect balance of character development, romance (yes there’s a romance that I thought was totally believable and sweet), mystery and action.

We follow the main character Daunis as she agrees to help the FBI in an an operation of drug related deaths, and she’s a brilliant character. She’s so complex and has such depth. It makes her so interesting to read. I love how smart she is and I love her how proud she was of her tribe and to an Ojibwe women. So great to see this in a YA book and In such a positive way.

Loved learning about Native American culture. Obviously it wasn’t this books job it educate me, but it did. But it never felt like an information dump, it showed us what we needed to know, then it showed us profound things. I loved learning about the traditions and some of them are absolutely beautiful. It was just detailed in the best way. It was brilliant own voices representation that we need more of.

I absolutely loved the ending to Firekeeper’s Daughter. The momentum and story had been building and the intensity had been growing so I just couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. It was also action packed! It had me on the edge of my seat. I also personally didn’t figure out the mystery. It was just so epic.

Listen, if it’s done right, this will make the perfect mini-series. I can see it in my head so clearly. It’s begging to be made. It felt cinematic. Netflix, you need to get on this, but don’t mess it up. This book deserves only the best.

I can’t wait for you to read this book and see all the intricacies of it. You won’t regret reading this brilliant young adult book. I’ll look forward to whatever Angeline Boulley writes next.

Thank you to Rock The Boat for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out April 1st.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#fantasy, #fiction, #yafantasy, author, blog, blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, fiction, interview, middlegrade, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

The Outlaws Scarlett & Browne – Jonathan Stroud

I’m very excited to be a part of the Blog Tour The Outlaws Scarlett & Browne by Jonathan Stroud. And I’m very lucky that Jonathan has written a blog post about his experience writing this book.

Jonathan talks about the writing process, drafting, editing and much more and it’s incredibly interesting to read. There’s some great advice here for writers so this is a great read. So, lets go.

Jonathan Stroud       Writing The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne

Hello. I’ve recently finished writing my novel, The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne. When I get to the end of a big project like this, my office is always festooned with papery debris that’s built up over weeks and months as I wrestled the book into shape. Sooner or later, I’ll summon the energy to roll up my sleeves, fortify myself with a stiff drink, and get rid of a lot of it, before filing the key bits away in the loft. But I haven’t done this for Outlaws yet, which gives me the chance to look here at some of the stages the book went through over the last three years…

1. First Notes

I began thinking about the new project at the start of 2018, a few months after my last Lockwood & Co. book had been published. I knew straight away that I wanted it to be set in a post-apocalyptic future Britain, where events had made the country much more dangerous and strange. I also knew that it would feature a river journey along the Thames, probably with a raft involved, and that there would be bit of a Western vibe. These elements survived to the final book, but other things were very different – for example, at the outset the main character was a middle-aged man, who met a couple of children on a wrecked bus in the wilderness. These pages of early notes show a diagram of one of the fortified ‘Surviving Towns’ and also a sketch of the crashed bus – both these ideas are still in the finished book, three years later.

2. Early Structure

After a couple of months making notes and writing fragmentary scenes, I tried figuring out the book’s structure – you can see the attempt here. It’s always good to do this, because it helps throw up problems, of which, in this case, there were many. My main issue was that the main character (here known as Bob Choi) didn’t work, but I didn’t realise this yet. He rescues a couple of children from a bus (chapter 3), takes them across the wilds, discovers they are being pursued by bad guys (ch 5), and escapes with them along the Thames (ch 7). All these elements make it (in a different form) into the eventual book, as does the climax in some half-submerged ruins in the London Lagoon (ch 17). But Bob Choi would have to go.

3. Still Struggling

Incredibly, though, he was still there eight months later, at the end of 2018, when these particular notes were done. I was having real problems making the book work, and you can see me here still trying to figure out the structure and rhythm of the book – how the plot would string together in a kind of necklace of ‘crises’ and ‘phases’. I was missing the point: the dynamic between my characters wasn’t working, and that’s the engine that ultimately powers a successful book. It took till early 2019, a full year after starting, that Bob Choi was booted out, and Scarlett McCain took over his role as the dangerous but reluctantly compassionate hero. At least in these notes here, I was having fun sketching toothed birds and giant mud-rats, and was profitably employed thinking about the accelerated evolution of the fauna of my future England.

4. Map Sketch

One thing that never altered, through the whole two and a half years of writing, was the idea of the river journey, from source to outflow, down the Thames. Towards the end of the project, when I knew pretty well how the story worked, I drew up this sketch map of the river and the London Lagoon (our London has vanished within it). It mostly follows the real course of the Thames, with a few tweaks and changes, such as the kingdoms (Mercia, Wessex, Anglia) that it passes through, the absence of most towns, and the promotion of a few real towns and villages to a more important status. I always like drawing maps: it has the same effect for me as it does for the reader, and helps anchor my characters’ travels securely in the mind.

5. Note Files

By the time a book like this is finished, I usually have a couple of ring-binders like these, filled with all the notes I made at every stage of the composition. I file them chronologically, so I can look back and check stuff, and also roll my eyes at all the false starts and appalling cul-de-sacs I explored along the way.

6. Drafts

I’ve lost track of how many drafts The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne went through, but you can see from this pile that it’s quite a lot. Early on there were two or three ‘unfinished’ drafts, where I got to a certain point, realised that it wasn’t working, and stopped to recalibrate, before starting again. Certain scenes that worked, however, were transposed almost word-for-word between them. There were probably at least four complete drafts after that, inching ever closer to the desired result. At each point I thought I’d cracked it, only for a re-read to show me that I needed to try again. Phew, just looking at this pile makes me feel a bit tired! Forget raft trips down the Thames – writing a novel is an epic journey in itself, but it’s all worth it in the end.

How amazing was that? Thank you so much Jonathan for doing this and for all the great information.

I was also lucky enough to read an early copy of this book, and it’s fantastic. It’s a brilliant start to a new teen series, its action packed, its got great world building and was full of intrigue. My favourite thing were the characters. They were brilliant. I enjoyed Scarlett & Browne so much. They made me laugh out loud, and I loved the connection Jonathan creates between them. I really believed their friendship. Now I’ve got to wait for book two, that I am definitely looking forward to.

Thanks again to Jonathan and make sure you check out all the other bloggers taking part. You can even read the first two chapters of this book. The Outlaws Scarlett & Browne is out April 1st.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#fiction, #literature, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, historical fiction, review, Uncategorised, ya

ARC Book Review: The Drowned City by K. J. Maitland

Title: The Drowned City

Author: K. J. Maitland

Publisher: Headline

Length: 418 pages

Synopsis: 1606. A year to the day that men were executed for conspiring to blow up Parliament, a towering wave devastates the Bristol Channel. Some proclaim God’s vengeance. Others seek to take advantage. In London, Daniel Pursglove lies in prison waiting to die. But Charles FitzAlan, close adviser to King James I, has a job in mind that will free a man of Daniel’s skill from the horrors of Newgate. If he succeeds. For Bristol is a hotbed of Catholic spies, and where better for the lone conspirator who evaded arrest, one Spero Pettingar, to gather allies than in the chaos of a drowned city? Daniel journeys there to investigate FitzAlan’s lead, but soon finds himself at the heart of the dark Jesuit conspiracy – and in pursuit of a killer.

The Drowned City promises to be the start to an exciting new series. A new series that I will look forward to continue reading as the first book is such a wonderful read.

I absolutely loved the period of history this book was set in and the author manages to create such wonderful imagery of the place. She also creates so much atmosphere. You can really tell The Drowned City was meticulously researched. I loved the use of all the old words and the glossy at the back. It made the book so immersive.

Now, this is a book that has a lot of characters but the main ones we follow in the novel are great. Daniel, the main character, was a complex and intriguing character and it was good to get to know the other characters, and the story, through his eyes. I also really enjoyed when we had a few chapters from the kings perspective. They were really interesting. It really did have some many interesting characters.

My favourite thing in the book was how K. J. Maitland built momentum. Every character Daniel met had information and was guiding him to the next person and the information got more vital. It made the book so exciting and intriguing. Which meant I couldn’t put this book down.

There was a mystery throughout This Drowned City that I couldn’t figure out and I was desperate to know how it would end. All the clues that had led me to the end of the book and let me tell you I never would’ve figured it out, it was so surprising and I loved it. I loved how we were kept guessing. Such a brilliant ending,

Like I said, I shall look forward to more adventures from Daniel Pursglove. If you love historical fiction, then you’ll love this book. Filled with mystery and intrigue that makes for a book you can’t put down.

Thanks to Headline books for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out April 1st.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#fiction, #literature, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, gothic, gothic horror, thriller, Uncategorised, ya

Book Review. Girl in the Walls by A. J. Gnuse

Title: Girl In The Walls

Author: A. J. Gnuse

Length: 384 pages

Publisher: 4thEstate Books

Synopsis: Elise knows every inch of the house. She knows which boards will creak. She knows where the gaps are in the Walls. She knows which parts can take her in, hide her away. It’s home, after all. The home her parents made for her. And home is where you stay, no matter what. Eddie is a teenager now, almost a grown-up. He must no longer believe in the girl he sometimes sees from the corner of his eye. He needs her to disappear. But when his fierce older brother senses her, too, they are faced with the question of how to get rid of someone they aren’t sure even exists. And, if they cast her out, what other threats might they invite into their home?

I was lucky to receive a very early proof of this book from 4thestate and now that I’ve read it I feel even more lucky because it was so incredible. It’s not out till March 4th 2021 but I couldn’t wait to read it.

What an interesting premise. I was so intrigued by the synopsis and it didn’t disappoint. I’ve always said there’s someone living in out loft called Harrison but that’s a different story. The author has crafted the story so it’s totally believable. It’s the little details of house Elise moves through the walls, how she lives while the family are out that I loved. I was genuinely intrigued from the first page until the last. It was brilliant.

At the heart of this novel is grief, and A. J. Gnuse has dealt with it brilliantly. It’s subtly heartbreaking. A girl so lost by her parents death that she has to return to the only home she knows to feel close to them. As story goes on and you learn a little more about Elises life before she became the Girl in the Walls, it becomes even more heartbreaking.

Elise is a brilliant character, In fact it’s full of brilliant characters. Marshall and Eddie are fantastic. The tension and connection that’s between Elise and Eddie is genius, the way he knows she’s there but won’t admit it. He’s terrified of her but also protects her. I love it. I didn’t expect the story of the family in the house but I’m so glad it was included. It made this book even better.

I’m not going to lie to you, at times I was scared. When a certain character is introduced (no spoilers) there were times I was holding my breath. This is by far the best gothic novel I’ve ever read. It’s just written so brilliantly, it’s got moments of real tension and fear.

The ending. Oh my god. It was brilliant. Those last few pages had my heart pounding. Literally pounding. I couldn’t turn those pages fast enough. I just had to do find out what happened. And it didn’t disappoint. At all. My stomach was literally in knots. I haven’t been like this about a book in a while. But Girl in the Walls was so brilliant I couldn’t help it.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s a grippy gothic tale that doesn’t disappoint. I can’t stop thinking about this book. It will stay with you a long time after you’ve finished it.

Thank you to Liv at 4thestate for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out April 1st.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#contemporary, #fiction, #literature, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, fiction, gay, lgbt, literary ficton, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya

ARC Book Review: The Split by Laura Kay

Title: The Split

Author: Laura Kay

Publisher: Quercus

Length: 352 pages

Synopsis: Brutally dumped by her girlfriend, Ally is homeless, friendless and jobless… but at least she has Malcolm. Wounded and betrayed, Ally has made off with the one thing she thinks might soothe the pain: Emily’s cat. After a long train journey she arrives home to her dad in Sheffield, read to fold herself up in her duvet and remain in the sofa for the foreseeable. Her dad has other ideas. A phone call later, and Ally is reunited with her first ever beats, and friend of old, Jeremy. He too is broken-hearted and living at home again. In an inspired effort to hold each other up, the pair decide to sign up for the local half marathon in a bid to impress their exes with their commitment and athleticism. Given neither of them can run, they enlist the support of athletic, not to mention beautiful, Jo. But will she have them running for the hills… or will their ridiculous plan play off…?

When I first heard about this book, I knew immediately I wanted to read it. I love seeing queer stories in commercial fiction like this (something we need more of) so I was so grateful to Quercus for sending me a copy.

As we follow, Ally, who has been dumped and heads back to her hometown you can’t help but grow to love her. Actually you don’t grow to love her, its pretty instant. She’s witty and relatable and you can feel her heartbreak. There’s just an instant connection between the character and the reader and it’s all down to Lauras grey writing. The Split is full of many other fantastic characters like, Jeremy and Jo. They are both so likeable. And they also worm their way into your heart. So do Sophie and Charlie. Honestly, its full of great characters and they feel like the become your friends.

My favourite thing to read in this book was Ally’s growth, it was brilliant to read, especially because Laura has written it so well. I loved reading about ally finding herself and her passion. And you love Ally so much that you want her to succeed. Reading Ally’s growth is great and makes the book so enjoyable. I love how The Split also shows the importance of friendship, which are so important. Especially for queer people.

I also loved the queer representation in this book. Ally and Jeremy are my age, so their queer journey really resonates with me (also how can you not love any book that reference C’est la Vie by B*Witched). There was a moment in the book where Ally and Jeremy talk about being a queer kid at the school disco and that really hit me in the feels. That kid was me, and I’ve never read that in a book before. It also has fantastic queer friendships and found family and it made my little gay heart happy. This book is proof that we need more books in commercial fiction, especially when they are this goose.

Listen, books never make me laugh but The Split had me laughing out loud in the first twenty pages. I never do that. Ally has written a book that is sweet and uplifting that will warm your heart but it definitely has an edge to it that makes it hilarious and relatable.

I can’t recommend this book enough to you. I enjoyed it from beginning to end. Also, it’s a super quick read because you can’t put it down.

Thanks to Quercus for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out March 18th but it’s out in ebook and audiobook now.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#fantasy, #fiction, #literature, adult fantasy, author, blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, fiction, review, Uncategorised, ya

ARC Book Review: Skyward Inn by Aliya Whiteley

Title: Skyward Inn

Author: Aliya Whiteley

Length: 251 pages

Publisher: Rebellion

Synopsis: Skyward Inn, within the high wall of Western Protectorate, is a place of safety, where people come together to tell stories of the mire before the war with Qita. But safety from what? Qita surrendered without complaint when Earth invaded; Inkeepers Jen and Isley, veterans from either side, have regrets but few scars. Their peace is disturbed when a visitor know to Isley comes to the Inn asking for help, bringing reminders of an unnerving past and triggering an uncertain future. Did humanity really win the war?

I can honestly say I’ve never read anything like this book before. It was one of those books that when I finished reading it, it took me a while to decide how to feel about it. I just had to sit and think about it. But I’ve come to the conclusion that I loved it.

Skyward Inn is so other worldly, its got another planet, a kissing gate and another species. And the author manages to pack in a lot of details about this everything to do with this because the book is only 251 pages. So imaginative, especially the other species. I loved how the author connected Western Protectorate and Qita, especially when you realise how the book ends. I also loved what Aliya did with the illness that people think is spreading on Western Protectorate, and then you see it from the Qitan perspective. It almost felt ethereal by the end.

With this book being so other worldly, it is innately human. At the centre of this book its a relationship between a mother and son. Their relationship is so intricate and fragile and it’s fantastic to read. It shows that the two characters are flawed and how it affects there nonexistent relationship and I just found it to be really realistic.

My favourite section of Skyward Inn, is when Fosse arrives on the planet Qita and he goes on a journey with his Qitan ‘tour guide’. I felt a real connection between the two and its also where we see Fosse become the character I loved. But there’s a part of the journey where Fosse has to make a decision as it comes to an end and I have to say i found it really emotional. I didn’t know what he was going to do or I didn’t know what I wanted him to do. This section was perfectly written. It was subtle but really emotive. I loved it.

At the heart of this novel is Fosse, who is a character I don’t think I’ll ever forget. He’s a character you’re not sure if you’ll like at first, but you seem grow and change and you really grow to care for him. He became so gentle. In fact the whole novel has a gentleness to it. He is just so well written and Aliya has created a character with real depth.

I will say I had no idea where this book was going. It became such a character driven story that I found the ending to quite emotional. Some things happen (no spoilers) and because of the connection between characters it felt so personal. As I said before its like nothing I’ve read before and I’m so glad I’ve read it.

I would definitely recommend this book. It’s a book that’ll make you think, make you care for the characters and will keep you intrigued till the very last page. The more I think about this book, the more I love it. I know I’ll definitely be rereading it. Please read this book so I can have someone to talk to about it. It’s out March 16th.

Thanks to Rebellion Publishing for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

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Book Review: Redder days by Sue Rainsford

Title: redder days

Author: Sue Rainsford

Publisher: Doubleday UK

Length: 258 pages

Synopsis: Twins Anna and Adam live in abandoned commune in a volatile landscape where they prepare for the world-ending event they believe is imminent. Adam keeps watch by day, Anna by night. They meet at dawn and dusk. Their only companion is Koan, the commune’s former leader, who still exerts a malignant control over their daily rituals. But when one of the previous inhabitants returns, everything Anna and Adam thought the knew to be true is thrown into question.

I read Follow Me To Ground by Sue and I absolutely loved it and then I found out she had a new book coming out and I couldn’t have been more excited. I also couldn’t wait to read it and picked it up right away. After reading this book, I think its fair to say that Sue Rainsford has become an auto-buy author for me. Whatever she writes, I’ll read.

Redder days is so intriguing and consuming that I couldn’t put it down. Here’s what I loved about the book, you are just dropped in the story and for a while you aren’t sure what’s going on, and how it all happened. And its not until Sue introduces different character perspectives that you begin to piece the story together and it really keeps the novel interesting and kept me totally hooked.

The writing, much like Sues plotting, is so clever. The story at times is so brutal and harsh, but Sue’s writing is so engaging and lyrical that it just keeps you turning the page. It’s such harsh topic but the writing is so lyrical and at times ethereal. The setting feels sparse and empty. Sue captures the atmosphere of this book perfectly. It feels desolate and isolated. This book was like nothing I’ve read before.

Sue writes brilliant characters, they were brilliant in Follow Me To Ground and they are just as brilliant in redder days. They are engaging, twisted, damaged and you can’t help but feel for them. But there was also something about the twins, Anna and Adam, that you can’t connect with and it makes them so intriguing. It shows the effects of two children left behind to grow up in a strange, scary situation. And they are so well crafted that and the story is engrossing that every decision they make, makes sense, even if you didn’t want them to make the decision. It’s just brilliant.

I can’t recommend redder days enough, as I’m sure you can tell I loved it. There’s no one out there writing these unique stories like Sue Rainsford. Redder days is unique and unforgettable. I’m looking forward to reading this again and getting lost in the world and the glorious writing.

Thank you so much to Tabitha at Doubleday Uk for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out March 11th.

Until the next review

Jthbooks