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Book Review: ‘Honesty’ by Seth King

Title: Honesty

Author: Seth King

Length: 291 pages

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

As we all know I’m try to read more queer books (especially by queer authors) so I decided to give this one a go. It’s my first by Seth King and it certainly won’t be my last.

Synopsis:Teenager Cole Furnam knows two things. The first is that nearly everyone in his deeply conservative family disapproves of gay people. The second is that he is falling fluorescently in love with a hazel-eyed guy from school named Nick Flores.

‘My story was real, and it happened, no matter how hard I try to forget it, I will never be able to make it unhappen.’

Honesty is the perfect title for this novel. Seth’s writing is so pure that the loves story leaps of the page and into your heart, which it will never leave. The way this novel is written makes the relationship so real, the romance starts out sweet and much like a lot of other young adult books, but then this one does deeper. It’s raw, it’s visceral.

This isn’t a book that’s filled with cliffhangers and plot twists that we keep you hooked, but the truth in the story and the romance will. The end will tear your heart out and make you cry. Ugly cry. Have tissues next you when you read this. Yet throughout all this, this book remains honest. It’s amazing.

I think this book should be read by everyone. Young or old, gay or straight. It doesn’t matter. It’s a book about two young people falling in love and the intense emotions that come along with it. This book will make you feel all the feels. Comment and let me know if you’ve read it or plan to.

Until the next review

JTH

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Book Review: The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Title: Shadow and Bone Trilogy

Length: 3 Books

Publisher: Orion

These are the first books I’ve read by Leigh Bardugo, I had high hopes for them and unfortunately they just didn’t live up to my expectations. Maybe I would’ve enjoyed them if there wasn’t such hype around them, who knows? I was looking forward to reading Six of Crows bur this series has made me question whether I want too.

Alina Starkov is a solider. When her regiment is attacked whilst crossing the Shadow Fold – a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters- Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed. Now Alina will enter a lavish world of royalty and intrigue as she trains with the Grisha – her country’s magical military elite – and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift. But as Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she loves and the very future of a nation.

‘The Darkling slumped back in his chair. “Fine” he said with a weary shrug. Make me your villian.’

The series stared off well with the first book. It was interesting with a good plot that I enjoyed. The universe is such a complex world and you get drawn into it immediately. The descriptions are fantastic. There was also a twist that I didn’t see coming and made me excited to read the rest. It started to lose momentum towards the end, but I was still intrigued enough to read the second novel. The Grisha plot in the first half of the first book is so interesting, learning about it all, but by the end of book one it already becomes tedious and then you’ve got two more books to suffer through it.

It’s when you start book two, that’s when things really start to go downhill. The plot becomes too long and drawn out. It gets even more drawn out in the third book, to the point where it comes boring. It’s obvious where the plot is heading through the third book, towards a big battle at the end which is also underwhelming. When the plot did finally did something unpredictable it ended up predictable again. There is a twist in third book that did surprise me, but made absolutely no sense. It was like the author just plucked it out of thin air and never even decided to explain it. It felt like it was just there for shock value, not to compliment the story.

Whilst the main character Alina was our portal to the Grisha Universe, she was completely unlikeable, I just wasn’t invested in her journey and I didn’t care what happens to her. She only gets more irritating as the story progresses. It felt like the writer tried to make her complex but still keep her heading towards a happy ending, when really it just made her whiny. There was a romance throughout the three novels that was lacklustre. It just dragged the plot along. Adding nothing to the story. There was no passion, no heart to it. It just seemed obvious to pair them together, so that was why it happened. There was an attempt at a love triangle, which just made the is series unnecessarily longer. My favourite characters were the Darkling and Nickolia. They were complex and actually interesting. I could of read books about both of those characters. The relationship between the Darkling and Baghra (another good character) was the best part of the last book.

Most of the time when I read a book, I get this feeling in my stomach and that’s my indication if its good or not. Whether it’s if two characters finally falling in love, if there’s a shocking twist or there’s an ending that is unforgettable. I didn’t get that once with these books. The Shadow and Bone Series almost put me in a reading slump to be honest.

The Young Adult world is so wonderful with complex, diverse, suspenseful, interesting stories and this series just isn’t one of them. Like I said, I hope Six of Crows is better! Comment and let me know what you think.

This is my review of the month for the review collection on lovelyaudiobooks.com

Until the next review

JTH

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Book Review… The Death of a Batchelor by M.A. Hinkle

Author: M.A. Hinkle

Title: Death of a Batchelor

Length: 293pages

Publisher: NineStar Press

⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 out of 5

This is the first book I’ve read by this Author so I didn’t know to expect and I was pleasantly surprised. There are more books to come in this series ( Cherrywood Grove) and I’ll certainly be reading those.

Cathal Kinnery is an arrogant, over educated jerk, and Damon Eglamore is not afraid to tell him so. But Damon married Cathal’s best friend, so they have an uneasy truce. Then she passes away. Now they’re stuck together in close quarters, trying to honour her memory without shouting at each other all time. At first, they have no idea how to move forward. Damon is a chef, but all his favourite recipes remind him of his late wife. Cathal would love to start tomcatting around town again, except for that annoying promise he made to his best friend about looking after Damon. Then Damon’s son comes to them for help, convinced the only way to win over his first crush is a gender-bending Shakespeare production. After that, Cathal talks Damon into taking up baking as a new way to use his talents. Next thing they know, they’ve begun a new life working as a team instead of jumping down each other’s throats. But can they trust each other long enough to make it last, or will they fall into old bad habits again?

‘ The naked grief on Damon’s face was too much like what he saw in the middle of the night, when he tried to fall asleep but made the mistake of remembering who decorated the guest bedroom he slept in, picked out the watercolour of a unicorn that hung over his bed and the duvet set covered in gamboling kittens.’

The first half of this book deals with loss and grief, in which I think, is a very real and honest way. You see the three main characters coming to terms with their loss, each in their own way and you really feel for them. Isn’t this not a testament to great writing?

The second half of the book, turns into a sweet, romantic love story. After dealing with grief in the first half of the book you wouldn’t think the love story is coming, but it’s written in such real and honest way that it’s totally believable. Again, is this not a testament to great writing?

It’s a sweet and subtle romance, so there aren’t any twist and turns or shocks in the plot. But it moves along nicely enough to keep you interested and it’s filled with a bit of intrigue to see if Cathal and Damon fall in love.

The characters and the writing in ‘Death of a Batchelor’ are great representations of they LGBT community. Its not a big deal that anyone is gay, it’s just the telling of a good old romance for the modern times.

I have to say thank you to Netgalley and NineStar Press for giving an advice copy of this book for an honest review. The paperback is out now and the ebook comes out October 29th.

So, if you like LGBT fiction or a good romance or a book to make you chuckle this is the book for you. Comment and let me know if you like the sound of this book or plan to read it.

Until the next review

JTH

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Some News! And reviews to come…

I have joined Netgalley. This is such an exciting thing for me! I hope to be given books to review and recommend. It’s such a exciting opportunity. I can’t wait. I’ve requested a few books so far, and I’ve been lucky enough to get an advanced readers copy of Death of a Batchelor by M.A. Hinkle

Reviews to come soon…

Death of a Batchelor by M.A. Hinkle

Sweater and Cigarettes by Mika Fox

Salt to the Sea by Rita Sepetys

The Sapphire Widow by Dinah Jefferies

Honesty by Seth King

Until next time

JTH

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Review… Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman

Book Call Me by Your Name

Author André Aciman

Length 248pgs

Publisher Atlantic Books

This was the best novel I read last year, hands down. It was heartfelt, moving, tense, intimate and beautiful. I can’t praise this book enough.

The book revolves seventeen-year-old Elio and his father’s house guest Oliver who share a brief yet intense love affair one Italian summer. It changes them for a lifetime.

‘We rip so much out of ourselves to be cured for things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything – what a waste.’

The story is told from Elio’s point of view, and is so beautifully written that you can feel everything he feels. His fear, tenderness and desire. The writing sucks you in and you get transported into the story.

Now there isn’t much of a plot to this book to be honest, but that doesn’t make it a less enjoyable read in anyway. The way it’s written by André more than makes up for it. You truly feel like your sharing the experience of their romance with them.

Again, this is another book I’ve read that tells a LGBTQ love story well. It’s not even about that, it’s just the love and passion between two people. But it’s great to see a book featuring a love story between two men become so popular. Proving anyone can read this wonderful novel.

Did you guys like this book? Any book suggestions for me? Comment and let me know…

Until the next review

JTH

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Book Review… ‘History is all you left me’ by Adam Silvera

I’m going to start by saying I love this book. This is the second book by Adam Silvera, the first being ‘More happy than not’. It’s a story that really captures your heart and makes you feel all feels.

I’m sorry, but please don’t be mad at me for reliving it all. History is all you left me.’

The story revolves around Griffin, who’s telling the story of his first love and how he lost it when his ex-boyfriend Theo drowns. The book deals with love, loss, grief and all the problems that come along with it. It’s set in both the past and the present, with both storylines as intriguing and heartfelt as the other. There is also a bit of twist towards end that I’d be excited to see what you guys think about.

Adam’s writing in this book is truly phenomenal. You feel Griffins grief in every line and that’s all down the wonderful writing. The characters are so well thought out which is just another testament to Silvera ability to tell story’s that are sweet, honest, compassionate, complex and full of human emotions.

I also love the fact that is Young Adult novel, which can be read by anyone at any age, is telling the story of two LGBTQ characters falling in love. We need more books like this and with the excellent writing making it go mainstream.

I truly recommend reading this book, no matter age, gender, sexual orientation. Feel free to comment and let me know if you guys love this book (or didn’t). Or if reviews makes you want to read it.

Until the next review

JTH