Friday, 23 September 2016

Crooked Kingdom Blog Tour: Matthias

Hello everyone, today I am breaking my hiatus to bring to you a special Crooked Kingdom blog tour post! I am a HUGE fan of all of Leigh Bardugo's books, but Six of Crows has to be my favourite and I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel on the 27th September. If like me you are counting down the days, hours, and minutes until Crooked Kingdom is released then I have just the thing to whet your appetite, especially for all you Matthias fans out there!

Artwork by Kevin Wada
Leigh Bardugo on Matthias 
If anyone out there is an Avatar: The Last Airbender fan, I like to think of Matthias as my giant Scandinavian Zuko. He has such clear ideas about honor and duty and what makes a soldier, and Nina turns all of those notions on their heads. In Crooked Kingdom, it's time for Matthias to figure out who he is now that he isn't a witchhunter anymore and I did love watching him struggle.

 Six Reasons to Love Matthias
1.) He puts on a tough exterior but underneath it all he is really a precious cinnamon roll

“Kaz leaned back. "What's the easiest way to steal a man's wallet?" 
"Knife to the throat?" asked Inej. 
"Gun to the back?" said Jesper. 
"Poison in his cup?" suggested Nina. 
"You're all horrible," said Matthias." 

2.) Seriously

“Jesper knocking his head against the hull and cast his eyes heavenward. "Fine. But if Pekka Rollins kills us all, I'm going to get Wylan's ghost to teach my ghost how to play the flute just so that I can annoy the hell out of your ghost." 

Brekker's lips quirked. "I'll just hire Matthias' ghost to kick your ghost's ass." 

"My ghost won't associate with your ghost," Matthias said primly, and then wondered if the sea air was rotting his brain.” 

3.)  He goes on a real journey throughout Six of Crows

“Nina, you taught me to be something better. They could be taught, too.”

“They fear you as I once feared you,” he said. “As you once feared me. We are all someone’s monster, Nina.” 

4.) And falls hard for Nina

“Stay,” she panted. Tears leaked from her eyes. “Stay till the end.” 

“And after,” he said. “And always.” 

“I want to feel safe again. I want to go home to Ravka.” 

“Then I’ll take you there. We’ll set fire to raisins or whatever you heathens do for fun.” 

“Zealot,” she said weakly. 



“Nina,” he whispered, “little red bird. Don’t go.”

5.) He is also the cause of some incredibly steamy moments

"She knew she shouldn’t speak, but she couldn’t help herself. “And what did you do, Matthias? What did you do to me in your dreams?” 

The ship listed gently. The lanterns swayed. His eyes were blue fire. “Everything,” he said, as he turned to go. “Everything."

6.) I just ship them so hard okay!?

“Jer molle pe oonet. Enel mörd je nej afva trohem verretn.” 

Nina swallowed hard. She remembered those words and what they truly meant. I have been made to protect you. Only in death will I be kept from this oath. It was the vow of the drüskelle to Fjerda. And now it was Matthias’ promise to her. 

*Sighs* isn't Matthias just the best?

Before you go make sure that you're in with the chance to win a special Crooked Kingdom prize pack full of US AND UK swag (including the coveted Crooked Kingdom socks) by commenting on all 12 blog posts by 11:59pm EST Monday, 3 October 2016.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Holiday Hiatus

I'm going on holiday on Friday and I can't wait to make the most of those final days of summer. I'm also going to be taking an extended blogging hiatus for a few weeks in September to give me chance to rest and rejuvenate ready for Autumn and Winter. My TBR for the upcoming months is looking rather fantastic and I'm very much looking forward to cosy reading as Autumn arrives. Whether you're going on holiday like me, or are returning back to school, I hope you make the most of these last warm days of 2016! I'll speak to you all in a few weeks and will still be around on social media sharing what I'm up to and what books I'm reading over there :)

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Review for The Deviants by C.J. Skuse

The Deviants by C.J. Skuse 
Publisher: Mira Ink
Release: 22nd September 2016
Genre: UKYA, Thriller
Source: Copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"When you set out for revenge, dig two graves

Growing up in the sleepy English seaside town of Brynston, the fearless five – Ella, Max, Corey, Fallon and Zane – were always inseparable. Living up to their nickname, they were the adventurous, rowdy kids who lived for ghost stories and exploring the nearby islands off the coast. But when Max’s beloved older sister Jessica is killed, the friendship seems to die with her.

Now years later, only Max and Ella are in touch; still best friends and a couple since they were thirteen. Their lives are so intertwined Max’s dad even sponsors Ella’s training for the Commonwealth Games. But Ella is hiding things. Like why she hates going to Max’s house for Sunday dinner, and flinches whenever his family are near. Or the real reason she’s afraid to take their relationship to the next level.

When underdog Corey is bullied, the fearless five are brought back together again, teaming up to wreak havoc and revenge on those who have wronged them. But when the secrets they are keeping can no longer be kept quiet, will their fearlessness be enough to save them from themselves?"

C.J. Skuse is one of my favourite authors and every time she has a new book out I wonder how she can possibly top the last, but she does! Every. Single. Time. The Deviants is CJ’s most accomplished book yet and I gobbled it up greedily in a single sitting – it was that good!

Ella, Max, Corey, Fallon and Zane used to be best friends. As children they would spend their days having adventures in their sleepy seaside town, and at night would beg Max’s big sister Jess to tell them one of her legendary scary stories, until the day a very real kind of horror finds them when Jess is killed in an accident, changing their lives forever.

Years later and all that remains of their group is Max and Ella who have grown to be more than friends, but when a series of events bring the five back into each other’s lives, they find that secrets of the past never stay buried for long, and that there may be more to Jess’s death than they first thought all those years ago...

The Deviants is a book that doesn’t give up all its secrets at once. I started this book thinking it was one thing, only for CJ to add twists and turns throughout so that by the end, the book is something else entirely. I loved the direction that this book went in and found the bombshells that are dropped so casually throughout the book impossible to predict.

The area where C.J. Skuse really shines in all of her books is with her characters. CJ really gets teenagers and gives them voices and personalities that feel so authentic to read. Ella as a main character is so flawed and complex, I really appreciated not having the traditionally likeable heroine here and thought that it worked particularly well for this story.

When I started this book I never could have predicted the incredible ending, it absolutely blew me away! I’ve been purposefully vague in this review because this is a book that you want to go into knowing as little as possible so that you can experience the full impact, but I will just say that the ending of this book left me with my mouth hanging open!

The Deviants is a thriller with heart. With its clever twists, skilled plotting and heart-breaking finale it’s easily one of my favourite reads of 2016 – don’t miss it!

Saturday, 20 August 2016

YA Shot Tour: Q&A with Sara Barnard

Hello everybody! Today is my stop on the YA Shot Tour and I'm thrilled to be hosting Beautiful Broken Things author Sara Barnard. I had so much fun interviewing Sara and I hope you enjoy the Q&A!

1.) Have you ever experienced a significant life event? 
 Yes, but nothing like what happens in BBT! Mine are things like going to university, living in another country, moving in with my boyfriend, getting a book published. They’ve all been very significant for my life!

2.) Which of your characters did you most enjoy writing?
I enjoyed all of them in different ways, but Suzanne is particularly special to me and I could write her all day. Rosie’s blunt tongue was fun, and I have a bit of a soft spot for Tarin!

3.) Who are some of your favourite fictional besties? 
I love Holly Bourne’s Spinster Club, and of course the Harry Potter trio. The friendship between Queenie and Maddie in Code Name Verity is incredible.

4.) In Beautiful Broken Things Suzanne has a mental illness, what advice would you give to readers who want to know how to best support a friend with mental health problems?
Just to be their friend - that’s your role, and that’s what they’ll need. Remember, they’re friends with you for a reason! You don’t need to try and be their doctor or their psychiatrist. If you’re not sure, it’s always better to ask. Above all, make sure they know you’re there for them and that they can trust you to be there through the good and the bad. That’s the most important thing.

5.) Do you have any tips for dealing with a friendship fallout? 
Usually the only thing you really can do is wait out the storm - they all fade out eventually. If you’re in the wrong, apologise, but let them be angry for a while, too. And if they’re in the wrong, go ahead and be mad for a while. You’re allowed to be annoyed with your friends sometimes!

6.) What are some of the best places to hangout in Brighton? 
The beach is the most obvious, but the Royal Pavillion also has beautiful sunny gardens to sit in and relax. When I have friends visiting we like spending time in North Laine, which has the best vintage shops to explore.

7.) What’s been your best debut author moment so far?
Honestly, nothing beats getting messages from readers who love or have really taken something from the book. Everything else is a brilliant bonus, but those messages mean the absolute world.

8.) Can you tell us a little bit about your next book?
It’s called A Quiet Kind of Thunder and it's a quiet love story between a girl who doesn’t talk and a boy who can’t hear. It features anxiety, selective mutism, deafness and a German shepherd called Rita.

Thank you Sara for taking the time to answer my questions! 

You can meet Sara Barnard at YA Shot this October for more about the event check out their website here and don't forget to follow the rest of the blog tour under the hashtag #yashot2016 on Twitter

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Review for The Graces by Laure Eve

The Graces by Laure Eve 
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Release: 1st September 2016
Genre: UKYA, Thriller
Source: Copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"Everyone said the Graces were witches. 

They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair. 

They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different. 

All I had to do was show them that person was me.

Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on?"

The early whisperings of excitement for The Graces has been impossible to ignore, so despite feeling so over stories about witches and the paranormal I *had* to read this book to see what all the fuss was about. Woah. Just…woah. This book was nothing like what I was expecting it to be! It’s very unique and like nothing else on the YA market right now. If, like me, you thought that you were done with books about witches – think again!

Everybody knows the Graces - glamorous, magnetic and unabashedly different – the Grace siblings Thalia, Fenrin and Summer are their high school’s celebrities and everyone wants a piece of them. New girl River is no different and quickly becomes enchanted by the rumours that the Graces are witches. So many have tried and failed to befriend the siblings and so everyone is surprised when they take River under their wing. At first, hanging out with the Graces seems like all fun and games, but as the stakes get higher River quickly learns that being allowed into the Graces circle comes with a price, and that power of any kind carries consequences.

In The Graces, Laure Eve strips back witchcraft to its basics, this story is one of small magics that are so delightfully coincidental that you’re never sure whether to believe in this books magical element or not. The way that Laure Eve teases readers is both tantalising and fun, it really is showmanship as its very best. Reading The Graces is like watching a magician perform, as the audience you want to believe in the magic, but is there such a thing? Or is what you’re experiencing simply clever illusions and smoke and mirrors? That drive to know the truth is what makes The Graces so compelling to read.

River was such an interesting character she’s very ambiguous to the point where we only know her by the name that the Graces call her. Her identity is solely made up of the Graces and their love and approval of her. This book is a real testament to how other people perceive us versus our true selves and how they can differ. At its heart The Graces is a story about fully embracing both the things that make us ordinary and the things that make us different.

With heady writing and intoxicating characters, Laure Eve has spun a gothic tale about power and obsession that breathes new life into witches. Thrilling, dark and atmospheric, The Graces will hold you spellbound from start to finish. Don’t miss the next big thing in YA Fiction.

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