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ARC Book Review: The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune

Title: The Extraordinaries

Author: TJ Klune

Length: 400 pages

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Synopsis: In Nova City, there are extraordinary people, capable of feats that defy the imagination. Shadow Star protects the city and manipulates darkness and Pyro Storm is determined to bring the city to its knees using his power of fire. And then there’s Nick, who… well, being the most popular fanfiction writer in the Extraordinaries fandom is a superpower, right? Instead of fighting crime, Nick must contend with a new year at school, a father who doesn’t trust him, and a best friend named Seth, who may or may not be the love of Nicks short, uneventful life. It should be enough. But after a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nova City’s mightiest hero (and Nick’s biggest crush), Nick sets out to make himself extraordinary. And he’ll do with or without Seth’s reluctant help.

The plot was super interesting, even if I did have a few problems with the pacing. I loved the whole superhero aspect to it. I hadn’t read a book like this before and I enjoyed it. Also gay superheros FINALLY. I also loved the relationship between Nick and his dad, it was dealt with beautifully.

My favourite thing about this book was the friendship between the main four characters Nick, Seth, Gibbi and Jas. I absolutely adored it. They all had such great chemistry. I loved the dynamics between them all. All the characters had such strong personalities, but they blended so well together. I had a real soft spot for Gibbi. She made me laugh out loud.

I loved the romances. Nick and Seth were absolutely adorable and total end goals, would I have liked them to get together sooner as it was so obvious, yes, but it was worth it when they did. I also loved Gibbi and Jas’s relationship. They had a real solidity to their relationship that you don’t see often in YA.

There was definitely some things I wasn’t to keen on about the book, I definitely found it to be a bit tedious at times, mainly about the 25% mark. It just needed to move on quicker. I guess I had a little problem with the pacing. And it was also a tiny bit predictable, it took it further than I thought it would, but it made me struggle to pick it up at times.

I loved TJ’s writing. It was witty, it had me laughing out loud but it was also really heartfelt and honest. He managed to combine the two perfectly. This is the first book I’ve read by him and I look forward to reading another of his. So many people have recommended The House on the Crulean Sea, so I’m going to check that one out.

I really would recommend this book. Look all I know is I had to ask people if there was going to be another book in this series because I want to got back to this world. So keep a look out for that one, I will be.

Thank you to Hooder & Stoughton and Netgalley for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. This one is out now.

Until the next review

JTH

#fantasy, #fiction, blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, gay, lgbt, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

Pride Month YA recommendations.

Pride Month is upon us. It’s a very exciting time. Last month, I spent the whole entirety of June nothing but queer books and it made my heart very happy. Very happy indeed. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do that this month, so I thought I’d share my recommendations.

These book are all YA. I truly think YA books have some fantastic options for us to read with some fantastic representation. I’ve said before and I’ll say it again. Representation Matters. I’m trying to keep all these books as Own Voice options, but at the bottom of the blog, I’ll put a little section that aren’t own voices.

These books will help young queer people to find themselves, find others like them and I can’t tell you how important that is. It’s all about acceptance. I remember being a young queer boy and desperately trying to find the courage to be able to buy a queer book in my local bookstore. Now, there’s only a little hesitation when I buy them.

I’ll be doing another post for some adult literature queer books, a bit later.

So let’s get started shall we.

‘History Is All You Left Me’ by Adam Silvera. This book is so beautiful, heartbreaking and emotional. It was the first queer book I read, so it owns a very special place in my heart. It deals with so much, and there’s some beautiful queer representation at its heart. This was the book I had to pluck up the courage to buy and I’m so glad I did. In the photo above are some more of Adams books if you’d like to check them out. But History really is the most beautiful for me.

‘Camp’ by L.C.Rosen. Boy oh boy, do I love this book. It took queer to another level. It put femme characters centre stage and it’s brilliant. It’s not something I’ve seen before, and I hope more books follow. It’s a beautiful story of self acceptance, queer love, and being proud to be you. It’s just so celebratory. Rosens other book ‘Jack of Hearts’ also very good. I really can’t recommend this one enough. It’s out May 28th. Just in time for Pride Month.

Felix Ever After by Kacen …. Now, I am going to be honest and say I haven’t actually read this one, but I’m going to recommend because it’s got Trans POC representation, which is so underrepresented. The story revolves around Felix, who learns to love himself. And I can’t think of a more positive message than that. Also, let’s just look at the cover. STUNNING.

Hideous Beauty by William Hussey. This is a queer thriller and it’s fantastic. While this one had a love story that will make you heart soar, it’s also going to break it. It’s filled with mystery and romance. It’s a little darker than some of the others on this list, but just as beautiful. This one is also out on the 28th. Just in time for Pride.

Boy Queen by George Lester. Another book I’ve read recently and loved. Again, we have another femme character at the centre and I love it. This book is delightful. It’s full of drag queens, romance, self pride and love. This is definitely one to add to your queer collection. It’s out August 6th.

Like A Love Story by Abdi Nazemian. Again, I have to confess I haven’t read this book. I’m mentioning one I haven’t read just to bring them to your attention and maybe you’ll like the sound of them. This one is set in the 1980s and centred around the Aids crisis, a moment in queer history we can never forget. But it’s from teenagers perspective. I can’t tell you how badly I’m looking forward to reading this one.

Darius The Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram. Again, this is another one I haven’t read but want to highlight. This has got an abundance of different representations. Queer, Mental Health and POC. And this book is getting a sequel so it can’t be bad right? A friend recommended this to me and I trust their opinion highly. I am incredibly excited to read it.

‘Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe’ by Benjamin Alice Sáenz. Well this book reads just like a love song. It’s stunning. Quiet and impactful and it will have you weeping at the end. Beautiful. Just beautiful. And highly underrated.

There are so many more books out there, like ‘ I Wish You All The Best’ by Mason Deaver, ‘The Gravity of Us’ by Phil Stamper, ‘ziggy, stardust & me’ by James Branderson. ‘Alex in Wonderland’ by Simon James Green, ‘The Black Flamingo’ by Dean Atta and ‘Wranglestone’ by Darren Charlton. I encourage you to look all these Own Voice books up.

Now for some of those books that aren’t own voice. ‘Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda’ by Becky Albertalli. ‘Red, White & Royal Blue’ by Casey McQuiston, ‘Only Mostly Devastated’ by Sophie Gonzales, ‘Carry On’ by Rainbow Rowell and ‘I’ll Give You The Sun’ by Jandy Nelson.

I also really need to add some F/F books. I did recently read ‘Queen of Coin and Whispers’ by Helen Corcoran which was fantastic. And waiting for ‘The Henna Wars’ by Adiba Jaigirdar to arrive, which I can’t wait to read.

So there we have, some fantastic books that celebrate inclusivity, queer love, queer pride and self acceptance. They all teach such valuable lessons.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Let me know if there’s any I’m missing, or if you’ve read some of these and you love them, or if they’ve helped you.

Until the next review

JTH

blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, gay, historical fiction, lgbt, review, thriller, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

April Wrap Up

Well my fellow readers, I think it’s fair to say it’s been a strange month right? I know most of us have been or still are on lockdown. I know, in terms of reading, it’s affected everyone differently. I’ve had ups and downs. I’ve had times where I all I wanted to do was read, and others where I haven’t even wanted to look at a book.

I’ve been off work, so I’ve managed to read more than ever this month. I read 14 books. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to read that many. But again, it’s just because of circumstances that it’s happened. I’ll definitely take it as a win.

Anyway, let’s chat about them shall we?

You Will Be Safe Here by Damian Barr. This was good, it could’ve been great but was a little mix matched for me. Although the ending was brilliant, I just wanted the whole book to be like that. The connection just didn’t feel right throughout. It’s out now.

The Intoxicating Mr Lavelle by Neil Blackmore. This was good, there were parts I really enjoyed. But revolves around Mr Lavelle and I absolutely hated him. So it made the book feel a little off. Ugh, I really hated him. This one is out on ebook now and published in August.

The Prisoner’s Wife by Maggie Brookes. I really enjoyed this one. It was a super emotional, intense read. It gave a different side of the story to WW2. A great piece of historical fiction. It’s out now.

Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez. Oh I loved this book. I loved, loved, loved it. It was just brilliant. I hope it’s nominated for all the prizes. I adored it. It’s out now.

The Revolt by Clara DuPont-Monod. I like my historical fiction detailed and this certainly was. It’s very short, about 190 pages but it kinda lost me after 130 pages. But it was good. Out May 12th.

Only You by Kate Eberlen. I really enjoyed this one. It was sweet, romantic and emotional. It was the perfect escape for these times and made me feel like I was walking the streets in Rome. It’s out now.

Love is For Losers by Wibke Brueggemann. A fresh and funny f/f romance that’s got a lot of heart. I did really like this one. Although at times felt a little long. It’s out 2021.

People Like Us by Louise Fein. This is a great historical fiction book. Again, a different look at the Nazi approach to telling the story. It had a really wonderful ending. Made me emotional. This out May 7th.

Writers & Lovers by Luly King. This was a quiet book, I didn’t realise how much I was enjoying it until things started to work out for the main character and I was pleased. It definitely grew on me. It’s out May 28th.

Camp by L.C. Rosen. Fantastic, absolutely fantastic. The kind of book I wished I had when I was younger. Unashamedly queer and beautiful. I highly recommend. It’s out May 28th.

Ashes by Christopher De Vinck. This was good, with a sweet ending but wasn’t the best historical fiction book. Parts of it felt rushed. I can’t even really remember what happened in it now. It was okay. It’s out May 28th.

The Magnificent Sons by Justin Myers. I hated this book. Hated it. Hated it. It was boring, bland and dull. Unlikeable characters I cared nothing about. It put me in a reading slump. I never want to think about this book again. It’s out May 28th.

The Stray Cats of Homs by Eva Nour. This was good, but not great. It captures the horror of what’s happening really well, but there’s was something missing and I don’t know what. I have a feeling I won’t remember this book in a few weeks. It’s out May 7th.

Hideous Beautiful by William Hussey. This was another great queer fiction book. Full of mystery and intrigue with a great love story. I definitely recommend this one. It’s out May 28th.

So that’s it. That’s my month. Definitely a few hits and definitely a few misses. One even put me in a reading slump for a few days! Ugh, I hated that book with a passion. But oh well, there’s better books out there.

I hope you’re all safe and well and enjoying your reading as much as you can.

Until the next review

JTH

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ARC Book Review: HavenFall by Sara Holland

Title: HavenFall

Author: Sara Holland

Length: 304 pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury

I was excited to receive this proof copy in the post. I couldn’t wait to get started on a new duology.

Synopsis: Most people think Haven is just an ordinary small town in the Rocky Mountains. Maddie Morrow knows differently. Her family is full of secrets. The Inn at HavenFall is the biggest secret of them all. Deep beneath the beautiful, sprawling manor are the doors between the ancient realms – including Byrn, Fiordenkill and Solaria. The door to Solaria was sealed long ago, by ancient magic, for the protection of the other kingdoms. Once a year, delegates from each realm meet – to keep the peace and celebrate the solstice – under the careful watch of the InnKeeper, Maddie’s uncle. This year is different. The door to Solaria has been opened. And Maddie’s safe Haven will never be the same again…

First off, I should say I liked this book. I really did. I just think it could’ve been excellent, but it didn’t reach it’s full potential.

It starts with Maddie making her way to HavenFall, which she one day hopes to inherit, to help her uncle as the magical realms come together for the annual peace summit.

The premise was so intriguing. It’s such a clever idea, and I thought it was going to be really interesting and intricate, but it was just lacking on a few levels.

For me, I didn’t feel any connection to the characters. None. Whatsoever. Maddie, the main character, was sort of just whiny and annoying. She was really one dimensional and I just wanted more from her. To be honest I don’t even really remember any of the other characters. So I guess that sums up what I thought of them.

It also needed much more world building. There’s three other realms, that we get to hear about but not in much detail, but never get to see. The story mostly took place in the Inn and it just felt restricted and basic. If it’s going to be an epic fantasy, give me epic fantasy!! Don’t just hint at it. I really think you needed to see the other realms to give this book some depth.

There was also a romance (of course), but it wasn’t a good one. I didn’t feel a connection between them, and the love interest wasn’t around long enough to build one. It was the kind of book where we are told they’ve got a connection, a history and they belong together. We’re never actually allowed to feel it. We’re just supposed to believe it.

Now, some parts of this book were predictable, the romance, The Silver Prince (oh I just remembered another character! Well dmone Jack). It had its fair share of twist and turns, but I just don’t know if because it was lacking in some other areas they didn’t quite work. They sort of left me feeling ‘meh’.

I know it sounds like I don’t like this book, but I did. It was a quick read. I was never bored, not totally invested, but I never thought about stopping. The main character was bisexual and that kind of representation is always good in a ya fantasy. Also, it left on a bit of cliff hanger and I would like to know what happens next. Il definitely being reading the next one.

Thank you so much to Bloomsbury for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased. It out March 3rd.

Until the next review

JTH

#fantasy, blogtour, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

ARC Book Review: ‘We Steal The Stars’ by Alexa Donne

Title: We Steal The Stars

Author: Alexa Doone

Length 379 pages

Publisher: Titan Books

⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was thrilled to be sent this book. Look how gorgeous that cover is! I couldn’t wait to start it.

Synopsis: Engagement season is in the air, Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie “Leo” Kolburg, heir time a faded European spaceship, has only one thing on her mind: which lucky bachelor can save her family from finical ruin? But when Leo’s childhood friend and first love, Elliot, returns as the captain of a successful whiskey ship, everything changes. Elliot was the one who got away, the boy Leo’s family deemed to be unsuitable for marriage. Now he’s the biggest catch of the season and he seems determined to make Leo’s life miserable. But old habits die hard, and as Leo navigates the glittering balls of the Valg Season, she finds herself falling for her first love in a game of love, lies and past regrets.

In ‘The Stars We Steal’ we follow Princess Leonie ‘Leo’ as she enters the Valg Season, where she’s trying to find love to save her family from finically failing, whilst also not giving up on her first love and her own idea that could save her family. Doesn’t this sound like a good YA Book?

I liked this book. I did. I love the idea of the fading royals, and it being set in space but I just needed a bit more from this book.

‘The Stars We Steal’ was very predictable. You knew what was going to happen as soon as the book started. I feel like it tried to have a few plot twists to keep it interesting, but for me they didn’t really work. They weren’t surprising and I can’t even say they added anything to the story.

I have to say that none of the characters particularly stood out for me. I didn’t feel any attachment to them. The love story between Leo and Elliot was predictable, which isn’t always a bad thing when it comes to a romance if it feels passionate and true. For me, this one didn’t. It felt contrived and I didn’t even feel a connection between the two.

As I said before, I loved the idea of the fading royals and it being set in space, but neither aspect was really mentioned in detail. I would’ve loved to have known more. It such an original idea, that somehow ended up lacking originality. The ending also felt a bit rushed, it just suddenly reached a conclusion without much depth. In fact, this whole book needed more depth. Everything from the setting, characters, love story needed to be more fleshed out.

There were some positives to this book, I liked its inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters. And it was a quick read, it didn’t take me very long at all.

You know, I don’t think this story was for me. But I’m sure lots of you will love this book.

Thank you to Titan Books for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out February 4th.

Until the next review

JTH

#fantasy, blog, blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book review, books, bookstagram, gay, lgbt, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

ARC Book Review: ‘Infinity Son’ by Adam Silvera

Title: Infinity Son

Author: Adam Silvera

Length: 353 pages

Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK

⭐️⭐️

As you all know, I’m a huge fan of Adam Silvera and Infinity Son has been on my radar for a while. I feel incredibly lucky to have been given the opportunity to review it.

Synopsis: Two Brothers thrown into an epic war generations in the making. A fight for good and evil, between those born with power and those who took it. One brother had the power to end it all. The other will stop at nothing in his pursuit of glory. Who will live forever, and who will die trying?

Oh man, this book tried. It tried so hard. I could feel it wanting to be this new epic fantasy series. But for me, it sadly failed. And when I say sadly I truly mean it. I wanted to love it so badly, but I didn’t.

The story is set around Emil and his brother Brighton. Brighton is obsessed with the people who have powers and Emil becomes one of those people. It then introduces us to many (many) new characters and the story unfolds.

Ok, one of the problems I had with this book is when I say many characters, I really mean many. It’s told from the perspective of Four characters, Emil, Brighton, Maribella and, Ness. In all honesty I can’t even remember who Ness is!. I just felt like the characters could’ve been explored more, you never got know them at all and it made them bland and not likeable. It’s also got a lot of supporting characters that just make this book too jumbled

Speaking of jumbled, let’s talk about the magic shall we? There was a lot of magic in this book, I mean a lot! And it wasn’t cohesive. There was wands, Blood Casters, SpellWalkers, Phoenix’s, Celestials, Power Vests. I still honestly don’t know what half of it means. It felt like a group of eight year olds sat around and thought of every type of Magic they could think of and it’s been put in this book.

There needed to be a lot more world building, it feels like your just dropped in the middle with absolutely no explanation as to what’s going on. It didn’t take the time it needed to explain anything to the reader. It just jumped straight into the action, which was also messy and weird. With all the types of magic floating around it was bound to be! I also think at one point there was Phoenix fighting another animal in boxing ring! I honestly don’t even know!

This was Adams first time writing fantasy and you can absolutely tell. It felt amateurish. There was a sentence in the book that says ‘what the what, I’m flying’ and I remember thinking did I really just read. This man has written books so beautifully I’ve been reduced to tears and this one is making my roll me eyes. It was full of cliches and I don’t mind a good cliche, but when nothing else in the book is working they became extremely tedious. None of it felt original.

I did like that the main character of a fantasy novel is LGBTQ+, goodness knows it’s about time and we need more of this. And the ending did surprise me a little, I didn’t see it coming. So there’s two positives for you.

Overall, this book could’ve been good but it had far too many issues and was a bit of a mess. I can’t help but feel it needed to be more precise. It was to big and expansive. It’s supposed to be a trilogy (maybe that’s why the pacing was strange too?) so who knows what will happen in the next book. It does feel like it’s set up for a lot of things for book two. I just don’t know if I’ll read it. We can only hope for better.

Thanks to Simon and Schuster UK for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out January 14th.

Until the next review

JTH

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My Top 10 Reads Of The Year! 2019

Now that the year is over, it’s time to talk about my favourite reads of the year. It’s been a year of some truly fantastic books.

There’s been some I didn’t expect enjoy but have absolutely ended up loving. There’s also been some I’ve been waiting patiently for and was sure would be on the list but didn’t make it (I’m looking at you ‘Find Me’).

So theses are the books I’ve utterly adored this year. Two of them will probably go down as two of my favourites of all time. These books have made me laugh, made me cry, left me feeling elated and left me absolutely devastated.

In no particular order:

‘Girl, Woman, Other’ by Bernadine Evaristo. This book is just sublime. It’s a perfect piece of fiction. It won the Booker Prize, so I bought it. Then I had the urge to read it and I loved every second. It’s been a while since a book made me feel like this one did. I read this book slowly as I didn’t want to miss a single word! This is the one of the books that’s gone down as one of my favourites of all time. If you haven’t read it, please do. You won’t regret it.

‘Lie With Me’ by Philippe Bensson. Oh lord, be prepared to have your heartbroken. I read this back in August and I still haven’t recovered. It’s one of those books that astounds you with it’s beauty and it’s sorrow. I was crying by page 25 because it was so beautifully written. This has quickly become one of my favourites of all time. It’s just such a wonderful book! I implore you to read this book.

‘Serpent & Dove’ by Shelby Mahurin. This was the best Young Adult book I read this year. A witch and a witch hunter have to get married. Sign me up! This novel just works. It’s got a beautiful, believable slow burn romance. And a kickass female character which YA has been in desperate need of. It’s also got a new magic system which feels so fresh! I love it. I’m desperate for book two! Desperate! Book two is called ‘Blood & Honey’.

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane. I love a nice slow burn romance, and this book is like that. It’s so beautiful, tender yet there’s this utter truth and realness to it. It’s a remarkable piece of fiction. It’s also got some of the characters I’ve read all year in. It was a huge book this year and it deserved to be.

‘Less’ by Andrew Sean Greer. This is one of those books that I think back on and just love. It was heartfelt and charming. It was a love letter to the human spirit. It had a twist at the end I didn’t see coming, but it literally made this novel perfection. It wasn’t released this year, but it’s when I read it so it still counts.

‘My Dark Vanessa’ by Kate Elizabeth Russell. This one of those books that is so well written, so powerful and important that it’s actually difficult to read. And I mean that in the best way. It’s feels more like an experience, than you reading a book. Do not miss this one. It’s going to be huge next year. It’s out March 31st 2020.

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummings. I’ve seriously never known a book be so intense from the first page. It grabs your heart and doesn’t let go. This book captures a moment in times, a movement. I have feel this book will be huge next year. It’s seriously incredibly. It’s out January

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. I just have to include this one on the list. It was the perfect ending to this duology. It had brilliant characters, dialogue that made me laugh out loud, intense storytelling. And my friends, it made me cry in the bath as I was reading. Not just cry. Ugly cry. That’s how good it was.

‘On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous’ by Ocean Vuong. Ugh, what a book. It’s so beautifully written I was crying on page 4. Yes, that’s right, page 4. This novel is so intimate and honest. It’s exquisite. So tender. I just adored it.

‘The Disappearance’ by Katherine Webb. I’m such a huge fan of Katherine’s and I was eagerly awaiting her new novel and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a beautifully written historical fiction, with a mystery I couldn’t figure out (I never can). I just loved it.

So that’s it. My top 10 for year. It’s been a great year for my reading. There have been so truly fantastic books and some awful ones which we won’t talk about. We don’t need that kind of negativity in the world!

I’ll also give a few honourable mentions to a few more fantastic books such as ‘Your House Will Pay’ by Steph Cha, ‘The Other Bennet Sister’ by Janice Hadlow and ‘Dear Lily’ by Drew Davies.

This year was also the year I really tried hard at book blogging, so a big thank you to all you readers and followers! I really appreciate it. I love to hear your opinion about books. So thank you. See you next year.

Until the next review

JTH

#fantasy, blog, blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, bookstagram, gay, lgbt, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

Book Review: ‘Crooked Kingdom’ by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Crooked Kingdom

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Length: 536 pages

Publisher: Orion

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Having read ‘Six of Crows’ and having it finish on such a cliffhanger, as I’m sure you can imagine I couldn’t wait to read ‘Crooked Kingdom’.

Kaz Bekkker and his crew pulled off a heist so daring they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies and hope. As old rivals and new enemies descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of jurda parem – a dangerous substance capable of altering the very fabric of Grisha magic – Kaz’s cunning and this team’s fragile loyalties are tested to their limits. A war will be waged within the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the future of magic and the fate of the world.

‘I would’ve come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and now matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.

Where I thought ‘Six of Crows’ started slowly, this book couldn’t be more the opposite. It picked up right where number one left off and started the action straight away.

The plot of this book is fantastic. I was a little worried it wouldn’t live up to the story in number one, but in my opinion, it exceeds it. It was extremely clever. That’s what I liked best about it. The story went places I didn’t imagine it would. The characters got themselves in situations and they were dealt with in a genius way. It was just great story telling. Yes, there were twists and turns and I never knew what was going to happen and I loved it. Absolutely loved it.

Where this book really shines, is it’s characters. It’s not often you read a book with Six main characters and you literally love them all. Seriously love them. When they’re all together, this book is magic. It’s when it’s best. Their chemistry is on fire. The dialogue is funny, it made laugh out loud. It made it so real. Now, is it a little cliche to have all the characters involved in romances? Yes. Does it matter? No. They were amazing. It was electric. I was rooting for them all to happen. The chemistry flew off the page.

I wasn’t a fan of the Grisha world after reading the original Grisha trilogy, but Six of Crows made me change my mind. Crooked Kingdom made me love it. It adds another layer to this story. It gets darker. The descriptions of Ketterdam are lush, vivid and evocative. It’s the great writing.

Now, can we please discuss that ending? First of all, I’m going to say I’m glad it happened. It needed it. It’s what pushed this book to brilliant. I’m so glad Leigh Bardugo didn’t go for the easy option. I’m not gonna give any spoilers as I know some people haven’t read this book yet. STOP READING NOW TO AVOID A SPOILER, but Nina lying next to Mathias’s body as it sails away at the end is so moving. It’s breathtaking imagery, that I won’t be able forget. I will say it had me crying in the bath. I was full on ugly crying everyone. How can a book ending be both heartbreaking, sweet yet so satisfying?

I seriously can’t recommend this book, this duology enough. I’m so glad I gave it a chance! Let me know if you loved this book?

Until the next review

JTH

#fantasy, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, gay, lgbt, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

Book Review: ‘Six of Crows’ by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Six of Crows

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Length: 491 pages

Publisher: Orion

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Now, this is one of those books that has a lot of hype around it. But it will it live up to it?

Synopsis: Criminal prodigy, Kaz Brekker has been offered a chance at a deadly heist: break into the Ice Court – a military stronghold that has never been breached – and retrieve a hostage whose knowledge could change Grisha magic forever. To succeed would mean riches beyond Kaz’s wildest dreams, but he can’t pull alone… Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Together they might just be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

She’d laughed, and if he could’ve bottled the sound and gotten drunk on it every night, he would’ve. It terrified him.’

I’ve had these books on my shelves for a while. I bought them simply because of the hype. But first I read the Grisha trilogy (Shadow and Bone Series) because they are set before Six of Crows, you get to know the world and the magic. But, I have to be honest and I didn’t like the series or the world Leigh Bardugo had created, but I was still prepared to give these a go.

Now this book started off pretty slowly. Very slowly in fact. It was struggle to get into. I was considering putting it down and not picking it back up (and I never DNF). I began thinking it’s just like its predecessors.

Around chapter 8, this book really picked up. It was like a whole new book. I began to really enjoy reading it. The plot finally got going. The actual heist is exciting to read. It’s full of action scenes and they are so well written. Sometimes I can find action scenes a bit tedious, but I didn’t experience this at all with Six of Crows. They were fast paced, epic and clever.

The best thing about this book is it’s characters. I loved them all. Once you get into the story and their personalities shine through, they really are fantastic. Each chapter is told from a different characters perspective and I enjoyed each one equally. They all have individual voices, so you know which character you’re reading. The dialogue is fantastic. It’s so sharp and funny, it had me laughing out loud. They also give the book real depth and in turn elevates the plot. It’s brilliant.

Theres also a few hints at romance between some of the characters in the book. Which is exciting. I’m hoping we’re going to see more of this in book two.

This whole book build towards the ending and I really enjoyed how it ended. It had a few twists and turns. It was satisfying ending, yet set up the story for book two perfectly.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s got everything. I’m so glad I stuck with it. Can it be rewritten as ‘Seven of Crows’ just so I can be a character?

Until the next review

JTH

#fantasy, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, gay, lgbt, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

ARC Book Review: ‘Reverie’ by Ryan La Sala

Title: Reverie

Author: Ryan La Sala

Length: 416 pages

Publisher: SourceFire Books

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was so happy to be granted this book from Netgalley. I’d seen it everywhere and was desperate to read it.

Synopsis: All Kane Montgomery knows is that the police found him half-dead in river. He can’t remember how he got there, what happened after, and why his life seems so different now. And it’s not just Kane who’s different, the world feels off, reality itself seems different. As Kane pieces together clues, three almost-strangers claim to be his friends and the only people who can truly tell him what’s going on. But as he and the others are dragged into unimaginable worlds that materialise out of nowhere-the gym wraps into a subterranean temple, a historical hike nearby blooms into a Victorian romance filled with rife and scandal – Kane realises that nothing in his life is an accident. And when a sinister force threatens to alter reality for good, they will have to do everything they can to stop it before it unravels everything they know.

Doesn’t this synopsis sound great? Well let me tell you that this book is great.

Now, I don’t really read much fantasy, don’t ask me why, but this book made me want to read more. What an original, fresh idea. Loved the fact that the characters had to play out the reveries until it was the right time to end them. Such a clever idea. Loved how it was explored to. I feel like we could have sequels, with them dealing with more reveries! I’d read them that’s for sure.

We see the story through Kane’s perspective, and because he’s just woken up from a coma and remembers nothing, he’s in the same boat as the reader, so this helps to understand what’s going on because it’s a complex world.

This book is queer AF. It was heaven! A gay main character, who’s unapologetically himself. A lot of you gay men will see themselves in this character and I think that’s so important. Representation matters. It’s so refreshing. That’s right it’s not the sassy sidekick or the gay who’s super masculine so it’s okay. Kane also gets a little romance that I won’t spoil for you, but I sooo wanted more of this. There were so many more queer aspects to this book that I don’t want to spoil for you, but when you read it just revel in them.

I also found this book really suspenseful. I didn’t know wether to believe Kane’s friends or Posey. I never knew what was going to happen next. I was never sure if they were all going to get out of every situation and I loved it. It kept me guessing, kept me hooked until the end. And the ending wasn’t a let down!

I will say this book did take me a little while to get into, but once I did, I didn’t want to put it down. It was such a fun, new, suspenseful book that carries an important message.

Thanks to Netgalley and SourceFire books for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out December 3rd.

Until the next review

JTH