Tuesday, 19 April 2016

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh - review

Hey there!

Firstly, sorry for being super slack with posts lately, it's hectic at uni and college at the moment but I should have a tad more time from now!

This week I finally picked up The Wrath and the Dawn from my library, after having heard soooo many amazing things about it all over the booktube and book blogging communities. I thought it sounded like something that I would really enjoy, and boy was I right.

The Wrath and the Dawn is a retelling of One Thousand and One Nights, and it takes place in a land where a boy-king rules. Each night he takes a new bride, and each morning he has his bride killed. When Shahrzad's best friend is taken as the king's bride and subsequently killed, she vows to avenge her. She has a plan for how to stay alive and to end the king's terror. However, as she begins to learn more about the young king she discovers that all is not as it seems and there are mysterious powers at play in the kingdom.

This story is just so incredible. I've never read any retelling of One Thousand and One Nights, but I find the story so mysterious and intriguing, and I adored the setting. Renee Ahdieh's writing style is incredibly beautiful and engaging, and I was absolutely mesmerised the entire time I was reading this book. I also found the characters so wonderful and intricate. Shahrzad is such a strong protagonist, who knows what she wants and is determined to do anything it takes to get it. Whilst there is a beautiful romance in here, there is also a lovely friendship between Shahrzad and her maid at the palace which I thought was amazing! All in all, I am totally obsessed with this book and cannot wait to delve further into the series!!

Rating: 5/5

Aaaah I have so many wonderful things to say about this book!! I can't believe it took me so long to pick it up, it for sure deserves all of the hype that surrounds it on booktube and blogs.

I'll start with the characters, always my favourite part of books! I found Shahrzad super interesting. On the outlook she is an incredibly strong young woman filled with anger and the need for revenge, willing to do anything to kill the king. However, as you begin to learn more about her and watch her character develop you also see her softer side, and understand how incredibly intelligent and emotional she is.

Then there's Khalid. I ADORE Khalid. He's so mysterious, and we know barely anything about him for the majority of the book, even though you have a vague idea that he is not who he seems from the Prologue. Even though his personality has been revealed much more by the end of the novel, I know there is still so much to learn about him, and I can't wait to delve further into his character as the series progresses. I thought Shahrzad and Khalid's relationship was done really well, and wasn't too tropey with the whole quiet, angry boy and strong, rebellious girl. There was a real beauty to their relationship, which especially came out towards the end of the book.

In regards to plot, I find it so incredibly intriguing!! I love the magical elements intertwined in the tale, with Khalid's curse, and now the mystery of Shahrzad's father. I need to know what happened there! I find it so upsetting when books end with a couple apart - I need them back together again!! Needless to say, I LOVED this book.

Let me know in the comments if you've read The Wrath and the Dawn what your thoughts are!!

Love always,


Monday, 11 April 2016

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare - review

Hi there!

I FINISHED LADY MIDNIGHT!! My most anticipated book of 2016, and it well and truly lived up to my expectations. It is incredible.

For anyone who is not a part of the Shadowhunters fandom, and doesn't know what Lady Midnight is about,it is the first installment in Cassandra Clare's new Dark Artifices series. It follows Emma Carstairs, who lives in the LA institute with the Blackthorn family. When mysterious murders begin to occur over the city, Emma and her parabatai Julian, along with other members of the institute must uncover the killer. Of course, this is a super broad summary!!

This book is full of friendship, family, love, and so many intricate aspects of the Shadowhunter world that we haven't learnt about before in Cassandra Clare's previous series. The characters are so well fleshed out, and that includes minor characters as well as the protagonists. The relationships are complicated and beautiful. And the storyline interweaves magically; I literally never guessed what was going to come next!! This is definitely my favourite first book in a series by Cassandra Clare, and I am so desperate to find out how the series is going to go from here.

Rating: 5/5

Ahhhhh, I am so ridiculously excited about this book. Cassandra Clare really does just keep getting better and better with her writing, and now I cannot wait to see where this series will go!!

I'll start with my thoughts on the characters. I absolutely LOVE the characters in this book. Emma is such an intricate character - she's so strong, yet so gentle, and you can really see how her past has developed her into the person that she is. Similarly, it's so evident how Julian has developed as a result of having to be the parent for his siblings. Even throughout the book itself you see how they continue to grow both as individuals, and in relation to one another.

I also loved Cristina and Diego! Cristina is such a wonderful friend, not just to Emma, but to the whole Blackthorn family. And Diego is hilarious, I was so not expecting it when he appeared, and at first I thought he was kind of two dimensional, but he continued to surprise me in his character development.

And, of course, all of the Blackthorn children - each and every one of them are so detailed and interesting. I was so excited when Mark came back, and found every scene with him so intriguing. His faerie quirks mixed with his Shadowhunter history are constantly at war with one another, until finally he realises that his family really is everything. That was such a beautiful moment when he made up his mind to definitely stay with them. The younger children, despite there being so many of them, are all just as detailed. I love how learning difficulties, mental illness, and sexuality are all explored subtly through the characters.

Now for the relationships. There are SO many beautiful relationships in this book, whether they be romantic, friends, or family. I'll tackle the main one first - Julian and Emma. Where to start. I love how, even though you don't directly see it, you can see how their long history together affects the way that they act around one another. And while the romantic feelings sort of appear straight away, it doesn't feel insta-lovey at all, because you know that they've been together since they were young, especially if you've read TMI. I found this relationship so deeply entrenched in their characters, and such a beautiful and gentle thing. They knew each other so well, yet continued to be amazed by one another.

The family relationships are also major, which I adore. Cassandra Clare captures how difficult it is for Julian to act as a parent rather than a brother for the children, which is so heart-breaking. Every one of them has a different relationship with one another, so it was always interesting to read scenes between any of the characters.

I also really enjoyed the relationship between Mark and Kieran, it was another heart-wrenching one. It felt so real and intense, and even though Kieran was pretty awful at times, it was still so upsetting when they had to leave each other.

Now, finally, for the plot!! What an incredible story. I never knew what was going to happen next, and continued to be surprised right to the very last page. Can I just say - Malcolm. I did not suspect him at all! I thought he seemed like such a cool character, and was so sad when he turned out to be the killer. It was amazing how Cassandra made you really connect with his story at the same time as not liking him for being a murderer, particularly when Emma says that she'd probably do the same for Julian.

How awesome was it when Jace, Clary and Magnus appear at the end!! I got so excited; it was so funny seeing how their characters had developed too. Also, I'm not sure if it's in every copy of the book, but the short story at the end about Simon's wedding!! SO GOOD. I actually could not deal with that.

So overall, as you can clearly tell, I am totally obsessed with this book and have no idea how I'm going to wait for the next book in the series.

Let me know in the comments if you've read Lady Midnight, what are your thoughts? How amazing is it!!

Love always,


Sunday, 3 April 2016

March Wrap Up!

Hey there!

So in March I had a pretty good reading month, despite being super busy getting back into uni and being involved in loads of extracurricular college things. I managed to fit in time to read six books!

Without further ado, here are the books that I read in March, and my thoughts on them:

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

I finally got to the second Throne of Glass book!! I have a full review here, but I absolutely adored Crown of Midnight! I love Sarah J Maas' writing style, and her characters and world is so well fleshed out and intriguing. I cannot wait to keep going with the series.

Rating: 5/5

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

If you've read some of my recent posts you will know that I am totally obsessed with this book. It is AMAZING. As a lover of history, I adore time travel novels, and I really enjoy Alexandra Bracken's super descriptive writing style.It was interesting how different it is from her Darkest Minds series, but they both have characters who I am totally in love with. Definitely recommend!! For more in depth thoughts, see my full review here.

Rating: 5/5

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

I received an ARC of this novel through NetGally and holy cow I am so glad; it is incredible! The combination of western themes, a desert setting, and dystopia were so so interesting. The characters and relationships are super intriguing, and I can't wait to find out more about this world! Non-spoiler review here.

Rating: 4.75/5

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

I was super excited to check out Sarah J Maas' other series, and while I really enjoyed it, I did have some mixed feeling in regards to characters and relationships. As usual, I adore the writing style, and the world building is so complex and interesting. I love the political intrigue in the storyline, and can't wait to see how it's built on later on in the series. For some of my more critical thoughts, I did a full review here. But overall, would definitely recommend this!!

Rating: 3.75/5

Sophie by Jennie Sargam

This was another ARC that I received through NetGalley, and while I appreciated the characters, I found it quite hard to get into and didn't end up completing it. I'm not sure if it's just because it's not really a genre that I'm interested in, but I found the writing style a bit difficult to engage in and wasn't invested in the storyline.

Rating: 2.5/5

Deviations by Anma Natsu

I was sent an ARC copy of Deviations from XPressoReads, and found it extremely interesting. It definitely is something that I have never read anything like before, and there were a lot of themes throughout that I don't know much about and so found it quite eye-opening. I wouldn't recommend this for anyone under around 17 due to the adult themes, but if you are interested in a book which considers sexuality, mental illness, and domestic violence, then this is very well done. Full review here!

Rating: 3.75/5

Let me know in the comments what books you read in March, and if you enjoyed them!

Love always,


Saturday, 2 April 2016

Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken - review


I finally picked up Never Fade, the sequel to The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken the other day and I am so glad!! If you saw my Darkest Minds review you will know that I absolutely adored it, and Alexandra Bracken is now one of my favourite authors. If you haven't read The Darkest Minds yet, please please please go and do so, and then read Never Fade, and then come back to this post, as I don't want to spoil anything for you! Bye bye spoilery people!!

Ahhh so many feels in this book!! At the end of The Darkest Minds I cried possibly the most I have ever cried whilst reading a book, my heart was broken into a million tiny pieces. I was desperately hoping that Liam would remember Ruby eventually in Never Fade and thank goodness he did, although I am still heart broken at their relationship state at the moment. But before I go off on tangents, I'll start with the character development in this novel.

I loved how we've continued to see Ruby develop since The Darkest Minds. Her time with the Children's League really highlights how strong she is, and how focused she is on achieving her goal of freeing the children in the camps. Even to the extent that wen Liam remembers her she still refuses to go with him, rather staying with Cole and the others to work towards freeing the camps. That was simultaneously painful and exciting to read, as I really wished she'd be with Liam but it showed such strength in her character that she stayed.

It was super interesting seeing how Liam was affected by Ruby taking his memories of her. When he was acting super strange around her I started to suspect that he vaguely remember her, and I thought it was amazing how she had accidentally put into his mind that story of them meeting at the beach! So beautiful and heart-breaking. In The Darkest Minds Liam was one of my favourite characters EVER, and he has maintained this in Never Fade. He's such a loving person and is primarily focused on those that he cares about. Of course, he also wants to free the camps but will go about it in a way that he wants to, making sure that it isn't compromising his beliefs and ideals.

In regards to the new characters we are introduced to in Never Fade, I absolutely loved them!! Jude and Vida are wonderful, so different from one another! I love how Jude is such a fragile character, but at the same time is desperate to impress Ruby, Veda, and especially Cate. Vida is so kick-butt and intense, and I truly never knew what she was going to come out with next. Her relationship with Chubs was just hilarious!!

And then there is Clancy. I thought we were rid of him, but oh no, he just keeps coming back!! So infuriating, but it was dealt with so well. The whole idea of the fake Slip Kid with Knox was also super interesting, and I was so freaked out when Ruby and Vida had to fight the Red!

I really enjoyed all of the plot twists and turns, and never saw them coming! Jude's death absolutely broke my heart, as Alexandra Bracken always seems to do...

Overall, I LOVED Never Fade, and although The Darkest Minds probably beats it a tiny bit, I will continue to recommend this series to every single one of my friends.

Rating: 4.75/5

Let me know in the comments what your thoughts are on Never Fade, and who is your favourite character in this series?

Love always.