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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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200 followers!

This is just a quick blog post to celebrate 200 followers on my blog

I honestly can’t believe it. It’s so exciting. Thank you so much to everyone who has followed me. It really means so much.

When I put my first blog post, I didn’t have a single follower. I just did for the love of the book, which I still do. I love to share my thoughts on books, and I love hearing yours back even more.

You can follow my blog

Or my Twitter: jthbooks1

Or my Instagram: instagram.com/jthbooks

Until the next review

JTH

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50 Followers on my Blog

Just a quick blog post today to say I’ve reached 50 followers on my blog! I can’t believe it. Now I know it’s not much (compared to some of you) and I hope it keeps growing. But I’m really happy with the progress so far.

I’m surprised how much I’ve liked writing my blog posts. I love reviewing books. I know I don’t do that many because I’m a slow reader but I’m really trying this year. I try to keep my reviews honest. If I don’t like a book, I’m gonna let you guys know.

I’ve even set up a Goodreads challenge of 40 books to read. My name is jthbooks if you’d like to be my friend on there.

Thanks for reading

Until the next review

JTH

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Goodreads Challenge

Just a short blog post today to say I’ve set up my first GoodReads book challenge which I’m very excited about, but also nervous as I want to complete it.

I’ve only gone for 40 books as I’m a slow reader and I don’t want to set the bar too high and not complete it. So expect more reviews from me this year as I aim to review everyone. The good and the bad. If you’d like to add me on Goodreads as I’ll also be writing short reviews on there, my name is jthbooks.

I’ve just finished my first book of the year which was ‘At Swim, Two Boys’ a full review will be coming soon.

So until the next review

JTH

blog, book blog, book blogger, book review, books, bookstagram, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

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… Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Author: Ruta Sepetys

Title: Salt to the Sea

Length: 378 pages

Publisher: Penguin

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 out of 5

I loved Ruta’s first book ‘Between shades of grey’ so I decided to pick this one up. It took me a while to get into it, but once I did it was amazing.

War-torn Germany. Four young people. Four dark secrets. They come from different lands but each of them is hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies… and war. As thousands of refugees flock to the coast, desperate to escape the advancing Red Army, the paths of four young people converge. All are hoping to board the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom. Yet not all promises can be kept.

“Just when you think this war has taken everything you loved, you meet someone and realise that somehow you still have more to give.”

I tried to read this book about a year ago and gave up, I just couldn’t get into. The chapters are short and you change characters so quickly I just couldn’t carry on. However I decided to give it another go as I know people love this book and I can really see why. It’s something special.

Ruta Sepetys is a master at writing historical fiction. Her writing is so evocative, you truly feel as if your on the tumultuous journey through Germany with these characters. I always love it when an author gives you a new perspective on something and Ruta has done just that. Giving us a new side of the war I’d never encountered before. As I said before the chapters are very short, changing the narrative between characters and it works in this books favour. It makes the book feel chaotic, just like the characters journey which is genius.

The four different characters stories are interwoven is such a clever and stylish way. You get a sense for each character and their back story which adds another layer to an already fantastic plot. You won’t be able to put it down, as you’ll want to find out how this thrilling story concludes. It does not disappoint. Ruta even manages to get a romance in the book which doesn’t feel out of place in such a harrowing setting. Is that not a testament to great writing and excellent story telling.

So if you like historical fiction, or just a gripping book, then I can’t recommend this one enough. Read it. You won’t regret it.

Until the next review.

JTH

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Book Review: ‘The Secret Vow’ by Natalie Meg Evans

Title: The Secret Vow

Author: Natalie Meg Evans

Publisher: Bookouture

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5

This is the first book I’ve read by Natalie Meg Evans, it won’t be the last. I didn’t know what to expect from this book, but I throughly enjoyed it.

Katya – young, beautiful and impoverished – arrives in Paris, hoping to begin a new life. She leaves behind a terrible secret, and her survival in this strange and beautiful city depends on nobody discovering who -and what- she is. Immediately Katya is swept up in the city’s glamour – particularly the boutiques on the main boulevard, where glittering gowns are hand sewn for exclusive clientele. Dare Katya dream that she may someday wear – or even design – one of these dazzling creations? It feels like an impossible wish, until she meets businessman Henry Morgan. Tall, handsome and well-connected, Harry could give Katya everything she wants and more…but at what price? And should she break the vows she made and trust him with her secret when her very survival could be a stake?

‘When I met you, I was a man of twenty-eight who wasn’t sure he’d make it to twenty-nine. You were hanging onto your life by your fingernails. We were birds crashing in flight, which doesn’t make it any easier.’

I loved this book. I couldn’t put it down. It’s such a good story with a wonderful plot. The female protagonist, Katya, is extremely likeable and you find yourself rooting for her from the beginning of this book. It’s a classic riches to rag story, but told so well. I loved reading about her chasing her dream, starting her new career. It was so well done. Look, I’m even writing about it as if it was real!

As for the love story that occurs, it’s beautiful. It’s one of the best love stories I’ve read in a while. It’s dramatic, passionate, loving, sweet and honest. I was rooting for Harry and Katya to be together at the end ( I won’t give it away, if they are or not).

The plot moves along really well. From the fleeing of Russia, starting a new life in Paris, Katya’s new business, the love story. It’s truly a book that will keep you entertained. There’s also a back story throughout this book, the keeps you guessing till the end. I had to know what happened. Speaking of the end of this book, it was amazing. It surprised me, it was suspenseful and cinematic. This book is the perfect candidate for a BBC miniseries.

It’s truly beautifully written. Natalie has a real talent. The emotion she conjures up is phenomenal. You truly feel for the characters. As for setting the scene, you get a real sense of Paris in the 1930s. Along with the description of the outfits, the machinery, it’s authentic.

So, if you like historical fiction, books about the fashion industry or a romance book, then this is the one for you. I can’t recommend it enough. Now excuse me, I’m off to buy some more Natalie Meg Evans books.

This ARC was given to me by Netgalley and Bookouture in return for an honest review.

This e-book comes out 11th December! Don’t miss it!

Until the next review

JTH

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Book Review: The Evolution of Jeremy Warsh

Title: The Evolution of Jeremy Warsh

Author: Jess Moore

Length: 321 pages

Publisher: NineStar Press

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5

This is a fantastic book by Jess More. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

Jeremy Warsh has been in off-mode ever since his Grandpas death a couple of years ago. He set aside the shared passion, comic art, and hasn’t looked back. As an introvert from the other side of town, he fully expects to spend his boring life bagging groceries until, maybe one day, he’s promoted to store manager. Yet, his two best friend, Kasey and Stuart, are differently. They’re not afraid to demand more out of everyone. When Kasey comes out, Jeremy’s inspired. He picks up his coloured pencils and starts drawing comics again, creating a, no-nonsense, straight talking character named Penny Kind. Who speaks to him. Literally. The friend-group sets in motion Stuart’s plan for a huge homecoming prank, and if they can get Penny’s comic trending, they might be able to pull it off. Could this a stepping-stone to a future Jeremy’s only dreamed of? And after he kisses a boy at a college party, will Jeremy finally face what he’s been hiding from?

‘I’m tired of seeing the same plain faced kid in the mirror and wondering why he’s allowed to take up so much space. I want to recognise what makes me, me.’

Jess More really is a fantastic writer. Just read that quote above, haven’t we all felt like that? Jeremy’s journey is written so delicately, subtlety and yet intricately that you truly go on a journey with him. Jess’s writing is really emotive. It’s a book that deals with, first romances, grief, friendship, family, coming out and it all blends together seamlessly. Is that not a testament to great writing?

The plot moves along nicely too. You can see where Jeremy’s story is going, but it’s such a nice ride along the way. You can’t help but want to get to finish the book to see if the prank comes off, to see how the romance blooms (this is done in such a realistic way, I love it). There was also a bit towards the end that made me really emotional. I honestly feel like I could read a second book of these characters to see where the story could continue.

Not only is this an excellent young adult book, I think it’s a really important book for young LBGTQIA+ to read. It deals with not only romance, but finding yourself. Which is important for all queer people to do. And it does in such a realistic, heartfelt and positive way. So if your a fan of young adult, m/m romances or a good book. This is definitely one for you. Comment and let me know.

I also have to thank NineStar Press and Netgalley for an ARC copy in return for an honest review. The book comes out today (26th November). Check it out guys.

Until the next review

JTH

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Book Review… ‘The Last Romeo’ by Justin Myers

Title: The Last Romeo

Author: Justin Myers

Length: 304 pages

Publisher: Piatkus

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5

I bought this book because the description really interested me and I have to say it did not disappoint. This is Justin Myers first novel and I sure hope he writes another one.

James is 34 and fed up. His six-year relationship with Adam has imploded, he hates his job making up celebrity gossip, and his best friend Bella has just announced she’s moving to Russia. Adrift and single in loved-up London, James need to break out of his lonely, drunken comfort zone. Encouraged by Bella, he throws himself headlong into online dating, blogging each encounter anonymously as the mysterious Romeo. After meeting a succession of weird/hot/gross men, James has fans and the validation he’s always craved. But when his wild night with a closeted Olympian goes viral and sends his Twitter-fame through the roof, James realises maybe, in the search for happy-ever-after, some things are better left unshared. Seriously, wherefore art thou Romeo…

‘I was suddenly, acutely, aware of all my competition. What if all the other men on the dating site were better than me? Eyes bluer? Taller, perhaps? More enthusiastic and spontaneous? The unseen enemy.’

First I have to say, Justin Myers is a fantastic writer. This book (and not many can) made me laugh out loud. It’s funny, witty and sharp. On the other hand ‘The Last Romeo’ is poignant, heartfelt and moving. It’s such an honest view on the dating lives on gay men in this modern world. I mean look at the quote above, we’ve all felt like this right? That’s why this book is so wonderful, because of its honesty, it’s integrity.

When I first started the book, I truly thought the plot was obvious, another gay romance story (don’t get me wrong I love them, and we need more) but this book is more than that. It’s a journey of self discovery, of finding who you truly and how doing something you love can lead to something wonderful. The plot moves along well, with a nice ending that took me by surprise. But I was really thrilled with the ending, it’s what makes this book special.

Now, I think this book should be read by everyone because it’s that good. But I really think it’s important for gay men, young gay men, single gay men to read. It’s a book that gives you hope, and an honest portrayal of our lives

Check it out guys and let me know…

Until the next review

JTH

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Book Review… The Sapphire Widow by Dinah Jefferies

Author: Dinah Jefferies

Title: The Sapphire Widow

Length: 387pages

Publisher: Penguin

This is the first book I’ve read by Dinah Jefferies, and it won’t be the last. I didn’t know what to expect but the story hooked me straight away.

Ceylon, 1935. Louisa Reed, the daughter of a successful British gem trader, and her husband Elliot, a charming, thrill seeking businessman, seem like the couple who have it all. Expect what they long for more than anything: a child. When Louisa struggles with miscarriages, Elliot is increasingly absent, spending much of his time at a nearby cinnamon plantation, overlooking the Indian Ocean. After his sudden death, Louisa is left alone to solve the mystery he left behind. Revisiting the plantation at Cinnamon Hills, she finds herself unexpectedly drawn towards the owner Leo, a rugged outdoors man with a chequered past. The plantation casts a spell, but all is not as it seems. And when Elliot’s shocking betrayal is revealed, Louisa only has Leo to turn to…

“As they walked through the cobbled streets, passing low-built bungalows with gorgeous ornamental lintels over the main doorways and terracotta roofs held up by rows of columns providing shade the verandas…’

This book really took me by surprise as I didn’t know what to expect but it was excellent. The plot was fascinating and moved along at a good pace with enough going on to keep me guessing until the end. I just had to know what happened. There’s betrayal, love, heartache and intrigue throughout this whole book.

I have to say Dinah is truly a fantastic writer. Her descriptions of the place, the architecture, the smells and the weather truly make you feel like you’re there in Ceylon, as you can tell from the quote above. The main character, Louisa, is extremely well written and you become instantly involved with her story and wanting her to succeed (I won’t give a spoiler to if she does or not).

So if you’re a fan of historical fiction or somebody that loves there books set in a different place, I can’t recommend this book enough. It will truly keep you entertained till the end. Have you read this book? Comment and let me know…

Until the next review

JTH