#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

#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

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

Book Review: here comes the miracle by Anna Beecher

Title: here comes the miracle

Author: Anna Beecher

Publisher: Orion

Length:229 pages

Synopsis: It begins with a miracle: a baby born too small and too early, but definitely alive. This is Joe. And decades before, another miracle: in a patch of nettled-infested wilderness, two teenage boys fall in love. One is Edward. Time passes and Joe gains a sister, Emily. She watches learn to play the violin brought for him by his grandfather, Edward. Watches him grow into a young man – a young man who is ready to begin. When Joe is diagnosed with late-stage cancer, Emily, Edward and the rest of the family are left waiting for a miracle.

Have you ever read a book and known that it’s going to make you cry within the first few pages? I have thanks to this book. It was beautiful in every way.

The writing in this book really is stunning. It was lyrical and it has such an honesty to it. This is actually why I knew I’d cry in the first few pages because the writing was so beautiful. It also poignant. Ugh, I loved it. I loved every page. I loved its beauty, its message, its prose. It’s the kind of writing that as you’re reading it, you know you’re reading something special.

This is quite a short book and there’s a part of me that wishes it was longer, but that’s just me being selfish because I loved it so much I wanted more. But it packs such a punch, and its all handled so delicately that its the perfect length. But you can’t blame me for wanting more can you.

Anna has created such complex and intriguing characters. I loved them all. They just have my whole heart. I loved the connection they had with each other, especially Emily and Joe. There was such an honesty and integrity between them. I loved that you were seeing the story through different perspectives and they handled it. It gave the story such depth.

This book obviously deals with death and it is handled so well. It’s so beautifully done. There’s a rawness and a powerfulness. It just broke my heart. It was also death with so honestly. When this book was talking about hospital it really hit home for me, it sort took my breath away. It captures perfectly the loss of a loved one and the grief that follows. Brilliant.

Although this book was sad, incredibly sad, it wasn’t depressing. It was sweet at times, and filled with love. I think this book ultimately reminds you love the people close to us and let them know because you never know how short life is. And I think thats a pretty special thing to leave with after finishing a book.

I also really quickly want to highlight this bit of writing because it made me weep so much. ‘But you wanted another sort of love. The type where another person chooses you and you choose them. You wanted someone to notice you and a little tug to develop inside them, urging them toward you. A mirror tug in you. You had seen it. People luminous around each other. The hungry way of listening, one person’s knee slipping between the other person’s knee, braced there. You wanted to be beautiful to someone. You wanted your skin to be touched…’ I mean, that is one of the most beautiful pieces of writing I’ve ever read. And its like the author looked into my soul and put it on the page. Stunning. Absolutely stunning.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It’ll remind you of all the important things in life and the wonder of fiction. Don’t forget to grab your tissues, you’ll need them.

Thanks to Orion for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out now.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#contemporary, #fantasy, #fiction, #literature, #yafantasy, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, bookstagram, gay, lgbt, literary ficton, review, thriller, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

February Wrap Up

Another month has come and gone. Another month of Lockdown in the uk. I’ve, again, tried to spend my time reading but I did take a little break in the middle of the month. I’m not sure why, but that’s what happened and it definitely slowed my reading down. There was a time that I just didn’t want to pick up a book and that’s okay.

I did end up reading nine books somehow. I’m as surprised as anyone. There were a couple of standouts for me this month and I also think I’ve found a new auto buy author, which is always a good thing. So I’m going to call this month a success!

So lets talk about the books shall we?

First up was The Drowned City by K. J. Maitland. This was a really enjoyable, detailed historical fiction novel that is the beginning of a new series. It’s got a mystery that will keep you hooked until the end. Thank you so much to the publishers for gifting me this book. It’s out April 1st.

Then I read redder days by Sue Rainsford. Did I love this book? Yes. There was just something about it that totally captured me. It’s just brilliant, not always an easy read but to captivating. Thanks to the publisher for gifting me with this book. It’s out March 11th.

Up next I read This One Sky Day by Leone Ross. This is the book that took me a long time to read. It’s not that it wasn’t enjoyable, the beginning was going to be a 5 star read for me but then I just lost my love for it. Thanks to the publishers for gifting me with a copy of this book. It’s out April 1st.

Then I read The Split by Laura Kay. I bloody loved this book. It’s great to see queer stories in commercial fiction. Great characters, great story. I couldn’t put this one down. It’s a glorious quick read. Thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book. It’s out March 18th.

Up next was Diary of a Film by Niven Govinden. This was an intimate look at the film making process and queer love and the things we feel we have a right to. This also had a quote that made me cry. Thanks to the publishers for gifting me with a copy of this book. It’s out now.

Then I read how to be sad by Helen Russell. This is a nonfiction that I’ve found really intriguing and even helpful. It says some really poignant things about grief that I’ve really connected. It’s educational and its always good to learn. Thank to the publishers for gifting me with a copy of this book. It’s out March 4th.

Up next was Infinity Reaper by Adam Silvera. After a disappointing first book, I was intrigued to read this one and I can confirm I loved it. It was epic in every sense. And now I wait for the third book. Thanks to the publisher for my gifted copy. Out March 4th.

Then I read The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent. Another super enjoyable book! It was sweet, funny and a super quick read. I literally read this in a day. Thank you to the publisher for my gifted copy. It’s out April 14th.

Lastly I read here comes the miracle by Anna Beecher. This was such an emotional read that i very much enjoyed and didn’t want to put down. Grab the tissues for this one. Thanks to the publishers for the gifted copy. It’s out now.

That’s it. Everything I read this month. It was bit of a random reading month but a good one none the less. Are you planning to read any of these? Let me know.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

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Book Review: The Coven by Lizzie Fry

Title: The Coven

Author: Lizzie Fry

Publisher: Sphere Books

Length: 448 pages

Synopsis: Imagine a world in which witchcraft is real. In which mothers hand down power to their daughters, power that is used harmlessly and peacefully. Then imagine that the US President is a populist demagogue who decides that all witched must be imprisoned for their own safety, as well as the safety of those around them – creating a world in which to be female is one step away from being a criminal. As women across the world are rounded up, one young woman discovers a power she did not know she had. It’s a dangerous force and it puts her top of the list in a global witch hunt. But she – and the woman around her – won’t give in easily. Not while all of the women’s power is under threat.

A book about witches? Isn’t that all you need to know? Aren’t you going to pick it up right now? Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

The Coven is intriguing right from the start, seriously from the first page. You start off with so much tension, questioning what’s happening and it immediately makes you invested in the story. Lets be honest, you stay intrigued until the very last page.

We’ve all read books about witches before, but I thought this book was a fresh take on the subject and it was really well done. It was detailed, it was intricate. The witchcraft just felt epic and slightly dangerous. I also really loved the message of The Coven, its a look at the political climate how women are treated by society and it gives the book real depth.

This book is filled with brilliant characters. I loved the connections that the four main characters had, I loved how they all grew throughout the book. It was all really organic and believable. Then I say, without any spoilers, that something happened that broke my heart. There was a romance that I really enjoyed, and I desperately hoped it was going to happen. There was just so much to enjoy.

The story is my favourite part of the book. It’s so well paced and you can feel the story building and gaining momentum. It makes you want to get to the end so you know what happens. It’s full of twists and turn and I just had no idea where the story was going and I absolutely loved it. It’s so layered, the story and the characters keep growing as you read. It’s makes it a real page turner. And it’s always great when the ending doesn’t disappoint.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s a thrilling story, filled with brilliant characters that you won’t want to put down. I wish this was the start of a series! I want more.

Thank you so much to Sphere Books for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out February 25th.

Until the next review

Jthbooks