World After (Penryn and the End of Days, #2) – Susan Ee

In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what’s left of the modern world.

When a group of people capture Penryn’s sister Paige, thinking she’s a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.

Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels’ secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.

Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can’t rejoin the angels, can’t take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?

The book is currently sitting on my shoulder like a parrot at the moment, because I don’t want to part with it. What a bloody awesome, killer of a sequel! Not disappointed at all, this definitely lives up to the standards of the first book. I’m so pleased that the quality has continued on.
In the first book I always did kind of struggle to believe Paige was only 7 years old, and in this book it became even harder for me to believe that. To me it just doesn’t seem believable that she’s only 7, and I’m always imagining her as a young teenager, around 13. This didn’t impact how much I liked and enjoyed the book, but it did bug me slightly. Yep, that’s it people, in a book filled with angels and the world on the brink of the apocalypse, Paige’s age is the thing I find hard to believe…

I think this book could have done with a dash more of Raffe. But I think that’s just a personal thing, since I love his character. The led up waiting for him & Penryn to reunite reminded much of the one between Lila and Kell in A Gathering of Shadows. So tense!

Once again this book was a rollercoaster of a ride. Event after event after event. Penryn never really does catch a break, and she constantly continues on.

I love her internal struggle between whether or not she is a hero and how she weighs upon helping others or just helping herself and her own family. I think that’s what grounds her, her humanity, in this world.

The best thing about this whole book is what she named the sword, everyone let’s hear it for (view spoiler)

End of Days, here I come!!!

The Square Root of Summer – Harriet Reuter Hapgood

This is what it means to love someone. This is what it means to grieve someone. It’s a little bit like a black hole. It’s a little bit like infinity.

Gottie H. Oppenheimer is losing time. Literally. When the fabric of the universe around her seaside town begins to fray, she’s hurtled through wormholes to her past:

To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died. To the afternoon she fell in love with Jason, who wouldn’t even hold her hand at the funeral. To the day her best friend Thomas moved away and left her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.

Although Grey is still gone, Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie’s past, present, and future are about to collide—and someone’s heart is about to be broken.

Thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for sending me this book for review! 🙂

I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It intrigued me from the first page, and by the time I was nearing the end I didn’t want to put it down.

I’m not really a mathematics person, so all the maths fuddled me slightly. Also with all the science! So many scientific theories, and so many big ideas that I hadn’t heard off/had no idea how they worked! This confused me and gave me a bit of a headache. It’s easily looked past though, and it’s still fun to enjoy Gottie’s flashbacks (? yeah, let’s call them that).

So while I’m not too sure of what happened and why these things were happening to Gottie, it was still an enjoyable read. I like how it represented the different types of grief people go through, and that everyone deals with death and difficult situations differently.

I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to rate this book. One half of me wants to go with a solid 4, and the other half thinks maybe a three. So I’m going in between, and it’s a 3.5 stars from me! When this is released in paperback form I’ll definitely be buying a copy and having a re-read. Maybe all the science-y stuff will make sense second time round.

P.S: this book is very beautifully written. I love the writing style, it flowed so well. Plus the little illustrations were cute.

Angelfall (Penryn and the End of Days,#1) – Susan Ee

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

*pulls myself together long enough to be able to write a some-what coherent review*
This book has everything you want from a book about angels and the apocalypse. Let’s break this down:

• a kick-ass female lead? CHECK.
• an awesome male lead? CHECK.
• witty one liners? CHECK!
• a complicated but realistic family dynamic? CHECK!!!
• actual real life apocalyptic stuff? CHECK!
• a romance that isn’t insta-lovey? CHECK!
• a story that actually focuses more on the plot than the romance? CHECK!

I found this book to be really refreshing. I loved how it was plot driven, and I never once found myself getting bored. There was none of these “filler” chapters to add length, every scene, every chapter, worked up to something bigger and kept the story going at a fast pace. I LIKED THAT. You really get emerged into the story, and it’s hard to put down.

I love that the romance takes a back-seat. I find in too many young adult books about the end of the world, romance seemingly works it way into the forefront. Not with this one. While Penryn does sometimes crack and swoon over Raffe, she soon knocks herself out of it and realises there’s bigger things to be worrying about, like finding her sister. Not once does she let Raffe dominate her, which was awesome. Also the romance isn’t insta-lovey. Yep, you heard that right!! It takes them a while and God I couldn’t be happier!!

Penryn was awesome. She has some kick-ass surviving skills (although sometimes she does make questionable decisions. Sometimes it is better to listen and run.), some great witty one-liners (emphasis on the sometimes, even Penryn knows she’s not going to win any awards for great comebacks anytime soon) and her love for her family is heart-warming. I feel like the struggle between her and her mum is realistic and the family relationships helps ground the story in a world full of angels.

I really wish we got more answers on why the angels are here, etc. It seems that I am just as clueless about it all as Raffe and Penryn. Hoping that World After will offer some more answers! And some more Dee-Dum as well, they’re funny.

So if you’re looking for a nice, quick, roller coaster of a story, I’d highly recommend this!

You can also view my review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1515790682

A Gathering of Shadows -V.E Shwab

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift – back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games – an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries – a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

AHHH! Deep breath in, deep breath out!! WHAT AN ENDING. Okay, so I know V.E Shwab said it took 9 books for her to invoke the dreaded cliffhanger…but considering this is only my 2nd book by her, my phrase is “Why, why would you do this to me?!” but oh God was it perfect, heartbreakingly amazing.

All the relationships in this book! I’m so happy we get to see more of Rhy, and that we get to see more of Rhy and Kell’s bromance flourishing! Oh, the wit and the banter and the cute moments! Lila is awesome like always, and I just love her obsession with her knives. Lila is definitely one of my favourite female characters of all time. All her point of view chapters were amazing. Mr Alucard Emery…at first I was wary of this newcomer into this but gahhh, he was awesome too!

I’m also a fan of the scenes we get between Rhy and Lila. There’s something just so sweet about them, and I wish we could have more. But Kell and Lila though…all the build up to their reunion, and trust me, I was not disappointed!

This book is amazing. It’s definitely one of my favourite books I’ve read this year, if not THE favourite (it’s in good company with Six of Crows, Me Before You and Lady Midnight, and it’s predecessor A Darker Shade of Magic).

I loved seeing the way all of our characters have grown and changed, and we see how they are dealing with all the events that happened to them in the first novel and how they’re trying to move past that. The way Kell and Rhy try to look out to each other is both sweet, you can see how stifling and frustrating it can be for them, but they never blame each other for what happened to them.

I just really loved this book, and although it took me a while to read, that was mainly because I never wanted it to end! Ever! I’m now going to go and find out all I can about the 3rd book and wait impatiently for it to come out.

5/5 stars on Goodreads!! You can see my review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1502651090?book_show_action=false

Passenger – Alexandra Bracken

Passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home… forever.

I have my own hardback version of this but I also received an arc copy via Netgalley and the publisher, so thanks!

I absolutely love Alexandra Bracken’s the Darkest Minds trilogy, so when I heard she was written a book about time travel and pirates and a love for music I just couldn’t resist. I wasn’t disappointed with Passenger, but unfortunately I wasn’t blown away by it either. It was good, and I really like it, but I don’t think I can say I love it. Unfortunately, it didn’t meet up to the love I have for The Darkest Minds.

What I do love about this is how fleshed out the time-travelling process is and how it wasn’t confusing. With time travel it can easily get all screwed up and complicated, but Bracken made it simple and easy to follow while still being interesting and fun. I think some of it can be confusing, but hopefully in the second novel these will be addressed more and the time travel will become something you don’t even have to think about.

Not too sure I’m feeling the romance. I love the fact that Nick is a person of colour, and that he’s also the love interest. I have barely read any YA books where there is a person of colour as a main character. I do like Etta and Nick, but I just wasn’t feeling the chemistry. To me there wasn’t anything there, no real build up. So while their moments were cute, I can’t say I’m over here freaking out about the relationship between them.

What I did love was how Etta’s mum used the paintings as a way of telling Etta the story and where to go. I thought that was awesome and really clever. And Etta herself was pretty awesome, but I do wish we got more violin action from her (and some more pirate action!).

Overall, I really liked this book and I will be picking up the next one. Although I can’t say it’s my favourite book this year, it was enjoyable, fun, and interesting.I rated it 3/5 stars on Goodreads which you can see here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1267434993?book_show_action=false

Shadowhunter Academy – Cassandra Clare & A variety of authors

This is a collection of 10 short stories that take place in Shadowhunter Academy where Simon Lewis is being trained to be a Shadowhunter. This short story collection follows on not too long after the events of City of Heavenly Fire. We revisit many characters, and we are even told stories that happened in the past (like Will killing ‘Jack the Ripper’). We see relationships develop (Malec is still, and will forever be, the cutest) and meet new, wonderful, loveable people (I’m looking at you, George Lovelace).

I highly recommend reading this series before Lady Midnight. We see Emma and Julian perform their Parabatai ritual, and we find out more about Helen and Mark. We also hear more about the “Cold Peace” and see different sides to it.

I really loved these short stories, even though I cried a lot (I’m so hung up on Will Herondale it’s unreal). There was also a lot of smiling and laughing and loving.

You can see more of my thoughts and feelings here (note: some of these reviews are longer than the others, and some are just my status updates):

Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy

The Lost Herondale

The Whitechapel Fiend

Nothing but Shadows

Pale Kings and Princes

Bitter of Tongue

The Fiery Trial

Born to Endless Night

Angels Twice Descending

 

 

 

The Darkest Part of The Forest – Holly Black

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

Why did this have to end? Can I have more, please? So I read that at this particular moment this is just a stand alone novel. That makes me incredibly sad. While it does great as a stand alone novel I love this world so much and I really want more. I think it has a strong potential to have a great sequel, even a series of books. There’s just so much in this world to explore and if Holly Black decided to revisit this world and write another book I’ll 100% be buying that. No doubt about it.

As soon as I finished this book I wanted to turn right back to the beginning and dive back into this world. I didn’t want to leave & I really want to go back in to it. I really don’t know how to put my thoughts into words but I really was enchanted by this book and I liked it a lot more than I expected to.

I’m now kicking myself for not buying this book sooner, and The Coldest Girl in Cold Town is definitely getting bumped up a place or 10 on my TBR list. (let’s just pretend I have an organised list and not just a nagging voice in the back of my head reminding me of all the books I still have yet to read)

Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3) – Veronica Rossi

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do—and they are just as determined to stay together.

Within the confines of a cave they’re using as a makeshift refuge, they struggle to reconcile their people, Dwellers and Outsiders, who are united only in their hatred of their desperate situation. Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. Then Roar arrives in a grief-stricken fury, endangering all with his need for revenge.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble an unlikely team for an impossible rescue mission. Cinder isn’t just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival–he’s also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

In this final book in her earth-shattering Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.

OKAY, SO I LOVE THIS SERIES. IT’S GREAT. IT’S WONDERFUL. MUCH MORE THAN I EXPECTED.

I was doubtful to begin this book. I’d heard a few good things about it & that’s about it. It wasn’t hyped up, but it wasn’t hyped down, you know? It was just there. I really wish I read it sooner.

What I love this book is the realism of it all. It doesn’t come easy to them all. People die, people suffer, and they don’t all just magically find their ways out of sticky situations. They try several times to make an escape or to do something, and then BAM nope. It just doesn’t go there way. (Although Perry and Aria always seemed to get weirdly lucky with the aether…sure they nearly got hit and a bit singed – from what I remember of the first couple books). People aren’t just that invincible (well, Perry seemed to actually have a lucky streak at the end, but let’s just ignore that).

I LOVE THE FRIENDSHIPS. I like Perry and Aria together, I really do. BUT ARIA AND ROAR! Their friendship is amazing. It was one of my favourite aspects about that book actually. Like who the hell gives a damn about the romance when you got some killer friendships going on??

The romance wasn’t too much either. Sure, there was a lot of it and the whole “I miss Aria,” and “oh, I miss Perry,” and I just “want to kiss him and touch him,” and all that but Aria and Perry understood that there was more to it all than just them two! WHICH WAS GREAT. How many books are there where the MC’s just throw away what they’ve been working towards – saving the WORLD – because they’ve fallen in love? Perry & Aria didn’t exactly push away their feelings, but they at least got the point that if they stayed caught up in their lovey-dovey romance there wouldn’t be a world for them to be together in.

Bloody hell, I’ve even come to like Soren. He annoyed me a bit, but it was good to see a different perspective – the reality of his disease, and seeing how others coped to being on the outside after living inside their own minds for so long.

I just love this book. Despite being quite short, this book packed a hell of a lot in to it. It was great. Quite fast-paced, action-y, romance-y, friendship-y (you’re spotting a pattern aren’t you?), mystery-y (no, that one doesn’t work as well). JUST KNOW THAT THIS IS A GREAT END TO THIS TRILOGY AND IT WON’T LEAVE YOU DISAPPOINTED.

Sure there’s a few lose ends at the end but they’re not too glaring I don’t think, not when you look at it as a whole.

5 FAT STARS, PEOPLE, 5 FAT STARS.

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The Next Together – Lauren James

Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again, century after century. Each time, their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated.

Spanning the Crimean War, the Siege of Carlisle and the near-future of 2019 and 2039 they find themselves sacrificing their lives to save the world. But why do they keep coming back? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace?

Maybe the next together will be different…

A powerful and epic debut novel for teenagers about time-travel, fate and the timelessness of first love. The Next Together is told through a mixture of regular prose, diary entries, letters, “original” historical documents, news reports and internet articles.

Oh wow, I loved this book. It was great.

In particular I loved the way the story was told. Through newspaper articles, e-mails, notes, blog entries or just normal prose, it was great. I thought at first the constant change between formatting would get annoying, but it didn’t. It kept me on my toes & searching for clues. The timeline at the top of the page also changed to the date in coordination to which story was being told/when it was being told. Details like that made me happy – and the fact that every time it changed between time periods, so did the font (I looked waaay to much into this, I think).

In several reviews I’ve seen people pick their favourite Katherine/Matthew and the favourite time period. But I just can’t. I love them all. What I love is that even though they are essentially the same people reincarnated over and over again, they still seem like separate characters. They have some of the same quirks (I personally love those old-timely ‘that’s what she said jokes’ that Matthew made, which Katherine soon picked up) but still each character has their own story, so it doesn’t really seem like you’re reading the same thing over and over again just in a different setting.

This book really does have everything: romance, history, time travel, reincarnation, war, dystopian-esque features, humour, and two really strong protagonists. So whatever your a fan of, you’ll more tan likely find something to your tastes in this book.

The ending was slightly anti-climatic. Throughout the whole book it seemed like we were building up towards something so dramatic, so life-changing, a really great reason as to why they kept living over, and over, and over again…and then it was revealed and it just fell flat. There was too loose strings, and the last page certain didn’t help  (like helloooo? the little kid typing that code like THE CODE THAT WAS USED THROUGHOUT THE BOOK, BY THE PEOPLE SEEMINGLY WATCHING AND CONTROLLING THE FATE OF MATTHEW AND KATHERINE???) and I’m hoping the next book will address this (Although to the most of my knowledge, the next one is completely new characters).

So it wasn’t a bad ending but it wasn’t great either. The whole book was enjoyable & great, and the finale didn’t live up to it. Still looking forward to the next book & I highly recommend that if you haven’t already read this, then you do!

This Raging Light – Estelle Laure

Thank you to NetGalley and Hachette Children’s Group for sending me this book!

How is it that you suddenly notice a person? How is it that one day Digby was my best friend’s admittedly cute twin brother, and then the next he stole air, gave jitters, twisted my insides up?

Lucille has bigger problems than falling for her best friend’s unavailable brother. Her mom has gone, leaving her to look after her sister, Wren. With bills mounting up and appearances to keep, Lucille is raging against her life but holding it together – just.

A stunning debut to devour in one sitting, Laure captures completely the agony and ecstasy of first love.

This description really doesn’t do this book justice and is rather misleading. This book is more than the “ecstasy of first love” and Lucille falling for her best friends brother. One thing it has got right, is that she does have bigger problems than falling for him. This book really has more to it than her falling for her bff’s brother (well, when we meet her she already loves him so it’s not really the story of her falling in love with him).

Sometimes the metaphors would get a bit too much. One minute the writing is all nice, simple and flowing and then BAM a whole page of a strung-out metaphor that had me skim-reading. I have nothing against metaphors, but I don’t see what it is with YA & contemporary authors telling their stories through a narration of long-winded metaphors, that have the time don’t even make sense? It makes it seem forced, and like the author was trying to hard when she really didn’t need to.

I really, really wasn’t feeling the romance. Which for a book that was promising an epic tale of first love, makes it seem like a failure. It was just Digby. I didn’t get him. I’m not sure if I love him or hate him. I’m confused, just as confused as Lucille. One thing is for sure though is that he made me mad. It annoyed me how one moment he was all over her and then texting his girlfriend, like dude, wtf?! Especially since all Lucille was going through, it was a dick-ish move. I never really felt a connection between them (all it really was was Lucille swooning over him, or yearning over him). So the romance was a whole no-no for me and I couldn’t really care less if they ended up together or not. I just wanted them to both get their heads out of their butts and think about what was actually going on. The dialogue between them was just…weird? I don’t know how else to put it – for one, she says her bellybutton is grateful (?) & he says that she has a ‘dangerous ear'(I’m not even gonna go there). It was just so awkward and cringey at times that I just had to skim read.

Lucille and Wren’s relationship is what made this book for me. The way they held themselves together, too scared to let themselves go in fear of hurting one another. How Wren would make food, and Lucille would do whatever she could to try and make things normal and good for Wren. Not once was Luce a brat about having to take care of Wren. She just got up and did it (kind of reminded me of Katniss and how she would do whatever it took to take care of Prim). It was a great dynamic.

Let’s not even get started on her mother. Or her dad (although can we give him bonus points for actually trying to make amends?)

Lucille’s work friends were great too & I liked how they helped her out by covering shifts and taking care of Wren.

This book was good, and I’m going to give it a rating of 3.5 stars out of 5. Well done to Estelle Laure on a good debut novel.

(P.S: The cover is also quite pretty)