The Rosie Result by Graeme Simpsion

Title: The Rosie Result
Author: Graeme Simsion
Series: Don Tillman #3
Publication: 5th February 2019
Genre: Fiction

Around the Year in 52 Books –  A book containing a name

My Thoughts (2)

(Goodreads)

I was standing on one leg shucking oysters when the problems began…

Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman are about to face their most important challenge.

Their ten-year-old son, Hudson, is struggling at school: he’s socially awkward and not fitting in. Don’s spent a lifetime trying to fit in—so who better to teach Hudson the skills he needs?

The Hudson Project will require the help of friends old and new, force Don to decide how much to guide Hudson and how much to let him be himself, and raise some significant questions about Don’s own identity.

Meanwhile, there are multiple distractions to deal with: the Genetics Lecture Outrage, Rosie’s troubles at work, estrangement from his best friend Gene…

And opening the world’s best cocktail bar.

Hilarious and thought-provoking, with a brilliant cast of characters, The Rosie Result is the triumphant final instalment of the much-loved and internationally bestselling Don Tillman trilogy.

My Thoughts

We had The Wife Project, then we had The Baby Project, now we have The Hudson Project.

Don has been married to Rosie for 4,380 days and their son, Hudson, is now 11. Don’s happiness is starting to go down hill as Rosie is having trouble and work, Don is in hot water after his latest lecture goes viral and Hudson is having trouble at school.

Don decides that in order to learn how to be a good parent, as well as a good husband, he needs to give up his job and get help from old friends.

This is a wonderful conclusion to a very entertaining series. It is still as heartwarming and quirky as the other books, with bigger topics at it’s core.

My Thoughts (1)

4-stars

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2019 Challenges

For the past couple of years I have been setting myself a few challenges. I love seeing a little bit of progress as the months go by and seeing what I’ve achieved at the end of the year. It always gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

In previous years I rolled over incomplete challenges, but as that the same ones keep being incomplete it’s time to let them die.

My 2019 targets:

  • To get above 75% on NetGalley
  • To read more pages in total than the 2018 total (I’m not sure I’ll be able to beat 2017 but that would be brilliant)

2018 – 12,670 pages (43 books)
2017 – 19,113 pages (55 books)
2016 – 16,084 pages (59 books)

2019 Around the year in 52 books

Again, like last year, I’ve decided not to set myself a number of books challenge as otherwise I feel guilty about adding children’s picture books and making it look like I’ve read more than I have – this is why I’ve set the pages challenge!
The DiabolicThe Graces (The Graces, #1)The Complete Sherlock HolmesThe Locked Ward: Memoirs of a Psychiatr…Forensics: The Anatomy of CrimeLes Misérables

Last year I only read 8 of the books I intended to at the beginning of the year and only completed one of my targets so lets see if I do any better this year…


What are your challenges?
Can you recommend me any books I’ll enjoy?
Which book on my list should I begin with?

Final Quarter Quell 2018

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The year has come to an end! So lets have a look at the reading challenges I set myself at the beginning of the year:

I set myself the following challenges at the beginning of the year: 

  • To read my pre-ordered books. (Court of Mist and Fury and Angel of Storm)
  • To get above 75% on NetGalley
  • To complete The Sherlock Holmes Collection
  • To read more pages in total than the 2016 total (16,084 pages)
  • To read at least 25 books I already own.
  • To complete at least one classic (other than Sherlock Holmes)
  • To read at least 5 of the books delivered to me in my illumicrate boxes, including any new ones I get.
  • To complete at least 26 of the Around the Year In 52 Books Challenge.

Here’s the progress I made after 3 months, 6 months and 9 months.


To Read My Pre-Orders: The first book I read this year was A Court of Mist and Fury! It was a brilliant book which was a great start to my year. I still have Angel of Storm to read – I didn’t even look at it this year.

To get above 75% on NetGalley: In December 2017 it was at 70%, by June it had dropped down to 69%. Thanks to doing ARC August, it’s now at 73%. I’ve been a lot better at requesting books this year and have only requested books that I know I’ll read.

Books that are sitting on my shelf, still to be read, include:

  • Traitor to the Throne – Alwyn Hamilton
  • Age of Swords – Michael J Sullivan
  • The Best of Adam Sharp – Graeme Simsion
  • The Lying Game – Ruth Ware
  • Opposite of Always – Justin A. Reynolds

To complete The Sherlock Holmes Collection:  In December 2017, I was 88% through with just The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes left to read. I haven’t picked it up this year.

To read more pages in total than the 2016 total (16,084 pages): According to Goodreads, I read 12670 pages = 79% of 2016’s total. Whoops.

To read at least 25 books I already own: I definitely set the bar too high on this one. I’ve managed 20 books which I still think is quite impressive. All the books to date here on my Mount TBR Challenge page.

To complete at least one classic (other than Sherlock Holmes): Yeah… that didn’t happen. The oldest book I read this year was Preludes & Nocturnes (The Sandman #1) by Neil Gaiman, released in 1989. It’s still older than me…

To read 5 of the books delivered to me in my illumicrate boxes:  I read 2 books – The Smoke Thieves and A Thousand Perfect Notes.

  • The Graces – Laure Eve
  • Diabolic – S. J. Kincaid
  • Wintersong – S. Jae-Jones
  • The Walking Land  by Callie Bates
  • Wonder Woman: Warbringer – Leigh Bardugo
  • Nyxia – Scott Reintgen
  • Artemis – Andy Weir
  • The City of Brass – S.A.Chakraborty
  • Blood and Sand – C.V.Wyk
  • Light Years – Kass Morgan
  • Empress of All Seasons – Emiko Jean
  • Wild Magic – Tamora Pierce

✓  To complete at least 26 of the  Around the Year In 52 Books Challenge(37/52 completed) Hurray! A challenge I actually managed to complete!

2018

The books I read this year: 

  1. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  2. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  3. Preludes & Nocturnes (The Sandman  #1) by Neil Gaiman Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  4. The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter (The Riyria Chronicles #4)  by Michael J. Sullivan. Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  5. Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal Shausterman Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  6. Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal Shausterman Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  7. Immortal Reign (Falling Kingdoms #6) by Morgan Rhodes Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  8. Blood For Blood (Wolf by Wolf #2) by Ryan Graudin Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  9. Clean by Juno Dawson Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  10. Claude in the City (Claude #1) by Alex T Smith Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  11. Wonder by R.J.Palacio Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  12. Claude on the Slopes (Claude #6) by Alex T Smith Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  13. My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  14. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  15. Plaques and Tangles by Nicola Wilson Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  16. Claude on Holiday (Claude #2) by Alex T SmithGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  17. Claude: Lights, Camera, Action (Claude #10) by Alex T. SmithGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  18. Claude Going for Gold (Claude #9) by Alex T SmithGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  19. The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  20. Claude in the Spotlight (Claude #5)  by Alex T SmithGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  21. Claude in the Country (Claude #4)  by Alex T Smith Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  22. Claude at the Circus (Claude #3) by Alex T Smith Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  23. Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  24. Best Foot Forward by Adam Hills Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  25. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  26. Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  27. The Novice (The Summoner #1) by Taran Matharu Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  28. You Only Live Once (Gracie Dart #1) by Jess Vallance
  29. This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  30. The Red Parts by Maggie Nelson Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  31. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before  #1)  by Jenny Han Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  32. Trust Me, I’m a (Junior) Doctor by Max Pemberton Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  33. A Life of Crime by Harry Ognall Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  34. How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  35. Tokyo Ghoul (Tokyo Ghoul #1)  by Sui Ishida Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  36. Talking with Serial Killers: The Most Evil people in The Wold Tell Their Own Stories Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  37. A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G.Drews Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  38. Hollow World by Michael J. Sullivan Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  39. The More You Ignore Me by Jo Brand Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  40. The Life and Loves of a He Devil by Graham Norton Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  41. Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2)  by Jay Kristoff Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  42. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  43. James Acaster’s Classic Scrapes by James Acaster Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg

My targets for next year to come soon…

 


How did you do with your yearly challenges?

Have you read any of the books that I have this year?

Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoff

Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle, #2)

Title: Godsgrave
Author: Jay Kristoff
Series: The Nevernight Chronicles
Publication:  7th Spetember 2017 by Harper Voyager UK
Genre: Fantasy

Around the Year in 52 Books – A book with a map

My Thoughts (2)

(Goodreads)

A ruthless young assassin continues her journey for revenge in this new epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.

Conquer your fear, conquer the world

Mia Corvere, destroyer of empires, has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry do not believe she has earned it.

Her position is precarious, and she’s still no closer to exacting revenge for the brutal death of her family. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it is announced that Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself into slavery for a chance to fulfill the promise she made on the day she lost everything.

Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold, secrets are revealed and the body count rises within the collegium walls, Mia will be forced to choose between her loyalties and her revenge.

My Thoughts

That ending. That God Damn ending.

I had to force myself to savour this book and read it over a couple of days instead of devouring it all at once. It was everything a sequel should be – it deepened our understanding of the characters, it furthered the plot, and it ripped out your heart and stabbed it multiple times was brutal and emotional.

Godsgrave is one of those books that has it all; gladiators, assassins, plot twists, love, slavery, murder, bisexuality, , violence, sexual content, world building. I honestly can’t wait to see what the next book is like.

Side note: I personally found having the kindle edition made reading the footnotes a lot easier as I ended up skipping a lot of them when I read the first book in paper back.

My Thoughts (1)

5-stars

Talking with Serial Killers by Christopher Berry-Dee

Talking with Serial Killers: The Most Evil People in the World Tell Their Own Stories

Title: Talking with Serial Killers: The Most Evil people in the World Tell Their Own Stories
Author: Christopher Berry-Dee
Series: N/A
Publication: 31st May 2003
Genre: Nonfiction, Crime.

Around the Year in 52 Books – A book that intimidates / scares you.

My Thoughts (2)

(Goodreads)

An investigative criminologist, Christopher Berry-Dee is a man who talks to serial killers. In this book, their pursuit of horror and violence is described in their own words, transcribed from audio and videotape interviews conducted deep inside some of the toughest prisons in the world. Berry-Dee describes the circumstances of his meetings with some of the world’s most evil men, and reproduces their very words as they describe their crimes and discuss their remorse—or lack of it. This work offers a penetrating insight into the workings of the criminal mind.

My Thoughts

I have a morbid interest in serial killers. If I could do any job in the world, without needing a degree or prior training, I would love to look into the psyche of serial killers; finding out their motivations and what compels them to commit these crimes.

There is no denying that Christopher Berry-Dee is a skilled interviewer, getting some of these murderers to talk to him and admit things, which they haven’t done for other people. In some cases they haven’t spoken to journalists in years, if ever. However, a lot of this book felt like Berry-Dee was giving himself a pat on the back.

“The Most Evil People In the World Tell Their Own Stories.” Except they don’t.  I probably would have rated it higher had the title not misled me. There are only a few direct quotes from the interviews or letter correspondence with the killers, usually at the start or end of the chapter. This book is a series of mini biographies about the different serial killers. They usually started with the background of the place, then the background of the person before then listing the murders, some in more detail than others. Most of the information is stated as fact. Although the majority of it is, some of it certainly couldn’t be confirmed unless he witnessed it firsthand, such as the emotions of the murderers and the victims whilst the crimes are being committed, or in the case of McDuff, a detailed description of the lethal injection from the injectee’s point of view (eg. “he contemplated the end, which he thought would be painless…” “McDuff felt pressure in his chest. It was a suffocating feeling…” “He was dizzy and hyperventilating.”)

An interesting subject but the misleading title, lack of direct quotes from the killers, and unreliable narration left me less impressed than I hoped. I was going to get his conversations with female serial killers but after reading this book, I don’t think I will.

My Thoughts (1)

2-stars

This is Going to Hurt: Secrets of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay

 

This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor

Title: This is Going to Hurt: Secrets of a Junior Doctor
Author: Adam Kay
Series: N/A
Publication:  7th September 2017 by Picador
Genre: Non-fiction, medical, biography

Around the Year in 52 Books – A book about or inspired by real events

My Thoughts (2)

(Goodreads)

Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you.

Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn’t – about life on and off the hospital ward.

My Thoughts

I was first introduced to this book when the author was in dictionary corner on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. He read snippets from his book and I couldn’t help but snort laugh. I had to buy it and definitely don’t regret doing so.

This book consists of extracts from a diary Adam Kay kept whist he was a Junior Doctor working for the NHS. The book is funny, heart warming, heartbreaking and, as he was an obs & gynae doctor, sometime disgusting.  It was eye opening to see just how many hours doctors are expected to do, on little sleep, food or toileting, to see the effect the job had on their families, their social lives and their mental health.

As it is a collection of diary entries, I will share my favourites.

“Three a.m. attendance at labour ward triage. Patient RO is twenty-five years old and thirty weeks into her first pregnancy. She complains of a large number of painless spots on her tongue. Diagnosis: taste buds.”

“I missed what the argument was about, but a woman storms out of gynae outpatients screaming at the clinic sister, ‘I pay your salary! I pay your salary!’ The sister yells back, ‘Can I have a raise then?'”

“‘In order to encourage use of public transport’ there is no staff car park at the hospital – an admirable sentiment that would land me with a two-hour-twenty-minute commute each way.”

“Prescribing a morning-after pill in A&E. The patient says, ‘I slept with three guys last night. Will one pill be enough?'”

“Sending a patient home from the day surgery unit following laparoscopic sterilization. I tell her she can have sex again as soon as she feels ready, but to use alternative contraception until her next period. I nod at her husband and say, ‘That means he has to wear a condom.’ I can’t quite work out why their faces are a picture of horror, melting like the Nazis at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. What have I said? It’s perfectly good advice, right? I look at them both again, and realize the man is actually her father.”

A book which will have you going through a roller coaster of emotions and leaving me with the feeling that maybe my work hours aren’t so bad as I thought. I already respected those who work in medicine but even more so after reading this.

My Thoughts (1)

4-stars

You Only Live Once (Gracie Dart #1) by Jess Vallance 

You Only Live Once (Gracie Dart #1)

Title: You Only Live Once
Author: Jess Vallance
Series: Gracie Dart #1
Publication:  23rd August 2018 by Hot Key Books
Genre: Contemporary, YA, Fiction

Around the Year in 52 Books – A book with a warm atmosphere (centered on family, friendship, love or summer)

My Thoughts (2)

(Goodreads)

Gracie Dart has always worked hard and she’s got a wall covered with revision timetables and French verbs to prove it. But now GCSEs are behind her and she suddenly starts to think: what was the POINT of it all?

When Gracie thinks she’s dying of a disgusting tropical illness, she starts to worry she’s been wasting her best years being sensible. It’s like people say: you only live once – so isn’t it about time she started LIVING?
(OK, so the tropical illness turned out to be a fake-tan miscalculation. Anyone could make the same mistake.)

When Gracie decides to do something, she does it properly. Gracie Dart is about to live out her dreams. However embarrassing.

My Thoughts

This book is marketed at being good for fans of Geek Girl, which was completely spot on. It also reminded me a lot of Louise Rennison’s Georgia Nicolson books. It was funny and enjoyable with some strong themes of friendship.

The book starts with Gracie coming back from holiday after her stressful GCSEs and taking herself off to hospital as, she has Googled it, she clearly has a tropical illness and is dying. Being prepared, she wees into a tub, pops it into her handbag and gets a single bus ticket to the hospital. On the way the bottle breaks in her bag, soaking her in urine. After a few hours wait she sees the Dr, who she off loads onto like a therapist. It turns out she’s not going to die after all! After her near-death(ish) experiece she decides she’s going to live life to the full and stats pushing herself out of her comfort zone by riding a horse along a beach (kind of), bungy jumping (what could possibly go wrong?) and taking her Gran on an impromptu trip to Paris.

It’s told entirely from Grace’s point of view and the author gets the teenage girl’s voice and thoughts spot on; from the humour, to the insecurities, to the dating. It captures family life, both the ups and downs. It even covers cutting friends out of your life because a “better offer” comes along.

A wonderful, funny and enjoyable read.

My Thoughts (1)

4-stars

The Novice (Summoner #1) by Taran Matharu

Title: The Novice
Author: Taran Matharu
Series: Summoner #1
Publication:  5th May 2015 by Hachette Children’s Group
Genre: Fantasy, Teen + YA

Around the Year in 52 Books – An author’s debut novel.

My Thoughts (2)

(Goodreads)

When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.

As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs.

My Thoughts

As I read this book, Mark Twain’s famous quote kept running through my mind.

There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope.” – Mark Twain

This book is a mash up of lots of popular ideas, some not really changed at all, added to the interesting, but ultimately not unique, story.

Orphan and blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world. He travels to the Adept Military Academy, a school, to learn more about the art of summoning. He is put through training with commoners and nobility, and newly accepted elves and dwarves. They are told that they will be put in a competition against second year students and the winner will receive a promotion in the military.

The demons are essentially Pokemon. Some of the descriptions and names even remind me of Pokemon – but this is probably because they’re both based on mythological creatures rather than blatant stealing eg. Pheonix, Hydra and Hippogriff all come from mythology, hense the links to other series such as Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. The demons all have skills and can level up. Like Pokemon, they are separate entities to the summoner and can be controlled.

The part where I got frustrated was with the elves, dwarves and orcs. They were stereotypical of their fantasy-races and it was like reading The Hobbit film. The dwarves did the mining and rode on the back of boars. The elves were agile, graceful and rode on the back of giant elks and used bows and arrows. The orcs were the enemies and there was even a large, albino orc with red eyes.

Image result for thranduil on elk in filmImage result for dwarves on boars in hobbit filmImage result for white orc the hobbit

Add on that Fletcher’s an orphan, we all know his parentage will be someone important. Of course the nobility are mean because all rich people must be horrible, only commoners are nice people. A competition against second years and nobility, who have had years of extra practice, I wonder who’s going to win… groan.

I’m sure this author will achieve and write fantastic things in the future but this book was like reading fanfic rather than any original ideas.

My Thoughts (1)

2-stars

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Genuine Fraud

Title: Genuine Fraud
Author: E. Lockhart
Series: N/A
Publication: 5th September 2017 by Delacorte Press
Genre: YA, Mystery, Thriller

Around the Year in 52 Books – A book set in Africa or South America.

My Thoughts (2)

(Goodreads)

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.

My Thoughts

The story is told backwards, beginning with Jule on the run. She’s dressed up in disguise, calls herself “Imogen” and flees when she feels her cover has been blown.

The story is told in third person, by an unreliable narrator. This was one of the only positives I can think of with this book. The unreliability meant I questioned myself as to who I believed and who I felt sympathetic towards. None of the characters were particularly likeable but I think that’s the way they were meant to be portrayed. I also found them completely unrelatable and unlikable because of their attitudes, they were privileged young girls with a lot of money and time to waste.

Being told backwards means it’s quite obvious what has happened. We’re supposed to find out the hows and whys but this didn’t really build up much tension and I found it all very unbelievable and anticlimactic. Being marketed as a mystery, I expected SOME mystery or suspense. There was very little.

I get what E. Lockhart was trying to do and I commend someone for trying a different style but this didn’t quite work for me. I definitely preferred We Were Liars.

My Thoughts (1)

2-stars

 

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

To Kill a Kingdom

Title: To Kill a Kingdom
Author: Alexandra Christo
Series: N/A
Publication: 6th March 2018 by Hot Key Books.
Genre: YA, Fantasy

Around the Year in 52 Books –  A book that takes place on, in, or underwater.

My Thoughts (2)

(Goodreads)

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

My Thoughts

This was easily one of the best books I’ve read this year and definitely lives up to the hype. It’s the type of book that keeps you reading until 2am. It’s the type of book that you find yourself thinking about when you’re not reading it. It’s the type of book that leaves you with a book hangover.

Firstly, I love that this is a stand alone fantasy book which seems to be hard to come by these days. The story is well told and wrapped up beautifully. Add on to that the fact that it’s a twist on The Little Mermaid and I was delighted before I even began. I say it’s a twist because this “mermaid”, who looses her siren song rather than voice, doesn’t want to be a human and bag a prince, she wants to kill him and take his heart.

I was hooked from the first page. The opening is one of the best I’ve read in a while.

I have a heart for every year I’ve been alive.

There are seventeen hidden in the sand of my bedroom. Every so often, I claw through the shingle just to check they’re still there. Buried deep and bloody. I count each of them, so I can be sure non were stolen in the night. It;s not such an odd fear to have. Hearts are power, and if there;s one thing my kind craves more than the ocean, it’s power.

The book flicks between the two perspectives;

Lira: the Siren princess, daughter of the Sea Queen who rules the sea kingdom, Diavos. Lira is also know as The Prince’s Bane due to taking princes’ hearts. Her mother is an abusive, manipulating tyrant and isn’t willing to relinquish her throne any time soon.

Elian: The royal prince set to inherit Midas, the city of gold. He is also a cutthroat sea captain, known as the Siren Hunter due to hunting down and killing sirens.

With some books I loath reading from a particular person’s perspective but I enjoyed reading both POV. I particularly loved the banter and the slow burning romance, which is something I don’t normally enjoy.

If you’re a fan of anti-heroines, slow-burning romance, strong friendships and banter, this is the book for you!

My Thoughts (1)

5-stars