Top 5 Wednesday – Authors I want to read more of

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly book meme created by gingerreadslainey but now hosted by ThoughtsOnTomes.

When I first saw this topic, I thought it would be so easy, I had the idea in my head that I have a lot of authors I want to read more from. The truth is, I actually in reality always want to read from authors I haven’t read before, so that fact made this slightly harder to make. But fortunately, I do have 5 authors that I want to read more from, so here they are!

  • Marie Rutkoski

Basically, I want to finish the Winner’s Curse trilogy. That counts, right? But seriously, I am really desperate to continue with this series. I read the first one a few months ago now, and reviewed it here. I didn’t get on amazingly well with the first book, but it was ok, I didn’t not like it. However, to tell you the truth, I read it because I wanted to read the second and third books, as I have heard so much praise for them. Yet I am at the point where I have read the first one and then stopped. What am I doing.

  • Laini Taylor

I have said this a lot of times on my blog, but I adore the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy (reviews here and here) and I can’t get enough of Laini Taylor’s writing. Or characters. Or plots. You get the idea. Strange the Dreamer is just sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read. But the problem is, I really want to immerse myself in it, and I don’t have the time to do that right now. As soon as I finish my exams, I am reading that book.

  • Daphne du Maurier

Going a bit classical now, just to mix things up. I read Rebecca a few years ago now, and it is one of my favourite books of all time. Which means I really need to read some of her other books. I definitely want to read Jamaica Inn, as well as My Cousin Rachel, which I think is meant to be more similar to Rebecca, which means I will most likely love it.

  • VE Shwab

I have actually read a few books by VE Shwab (A Darker Shade of Magic, This Savage Song, Vicious) and I have really enjoyed all of them, especially Vicious (I am so excited for the sequel omg). But for some reason I haven’t got round to finishing the ADSOM series. Well I think it is just because I have got distracted by other books since I read the first one a year ago, as well as the fact I don’t own the other two.

  • Ruta Sepetys

I loved Salt to the Sea, which means I really really need to read Between Shades of Grey especially, as it just sounds like something I would like. I always like it when a book opens my eyes to something I never knew about in history, which is what Salt to the Sea did, and I am hoping Between Shades of Grey will do that too.

Look out for a review of ACOTAR soon by the way, I have nearly finished it, so I am hoping to write a review for it this weekend! Thanks for reading!

The Newbie Book Tag

So I am doing this quick little tag today. Just a note in advance, I am currently revising for my GCSE exams, so there will probably be less reviews posted than usual, as I have a lot less time to read 😦 I will try to post at least once a week with a tag or whatever, and occasionally a review. Once my exams start, I probably won’t be posting at all. But that isn’t for another month! (I am trying not to sound too stressed but I really am).

Anyway, lets get on with this tag! By the way, I started this blog at the beginning of January, so I think that still counts as a newbie?

  1. Why did you start this blog?

I just really had a desire to share my opinions with the world. I was reading more than ever, and I felt like I was just reading a book, finishing it, usually giving it 5 stars on goodreads, then moving on to the next one without a second thought. So I really wanted to think more about what I was reading and actually write it down and get it out there, and also to be more critical with what I read.

2.  What are some fun and unique things you can bring to book blogging? 

Hm… I wish I could just spurt out a list of amazing things about myself and my blog, but sadly that is not happening. I like to think I am quite critical? I think I am very honest about the books I read, and also maybe I go quite deep into what makes the book really good or bad. But I do also try and remain friendly. I think I have successfully made a list of things I want my blog to be, but haven’t actually achieved yet…

3. What are you most excited for about this new blog?

I am excited to get more of my reviews out into the world, and also to talk to other people who share my love of books!

4. Why do you love reading? 

Wow this is hard. To reference To Kill a Mockingbird, this is like asking why do you like breathing. So I’m just going to say because I honestly don’t know what I would do without it.

5. What book or series got you into reading?

It’s pretty much impossible for me to pin it down on one book. I can’t remember not reading, I’ve just always done it. Therefore I can’t select a single book that got me into it. …Sorry.

6. What questions would you ask your favourite authors?

What is this witchcraft?! TEACH ME

7. What challenges do you think starting a blog will be the hardest to overcome?

Balancing blogging, reading and homework whilst still giving myself time to breathe and also keep up with other hobbies (I play the flute, and I also do a lot of art, although I am taking Art GCSE and I will be doing Art A Level so I already have to give that a lot of priority!)

8. When did you start reading? 

I can’t remember honestly. Like I said, it’s not something I just decided to start doing.

9. Where do you read?

On my bed or sitting on the sofa.

10. What kind of books do you like to read?

YA fantasy and historical, classics, and any Adult fiction that I hear about that interests me. But I will read a book from pretty much any genre as long as it appeals to me and I feel motivated to read it.

Thanks so much for reading me talk about myself. I honestly don’t blame you if you got bored. Also, I discovered this tag here at JessicaMarie493’s blog, so be sure to take a look at her answers, trust me, they are a lot more fun and a million times less tedious than mine!

 

 

 

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – Review

Lets just begin this review with a quote from the start of the book (not written by the author).

The family is like the forest: if you are outside it is dense; if you are inside you see that each tree has its own position.  – Akan Proverb

I can assuredly say that reading this proverb at the beginning of the book sent my expectations sky high. I love the sentiment and the meaning behind it, it is beautiful and stunningly truthful and as soon as I read it I knew it was something I will always remember and that it would stay with me.

The same can be said about the book.

I’ll just set out to you exactly how this story is told; the book is split into 14 chapters. Each chapter tells a different person’s story, starting from two half sisters who have never met, and gradually descending through each line, telling every generation’s story. Both sisters live in Ghana, but in different villages. One of the sisters marries an Englishman and moves to live in Cape Coast Castle. Her half sister is captured in the dungeons below the castle, to be sold into slavery.

Obviously we can see here the clear divide between the two sisters’ wellbeing. We are witness to the horrors of the slave trade, the shocking conditions of Esi’s imprisonment, and we can see the consequences of this treatment not just to Esi, but how it impacts every descendent’s life in a unique way. However, we are also realistically shown the suffering in both sister’s lives. In each story, we see the impact of love as well as the impact of racism, the presence of love and hate in all of their lives. The characters that are pictured in this book become more than just a picture, they become real, living people. At the start of this book there is a family tree. When you first look at it, it is irrelevant. At a glance it is just a group of names, something distant with no meaning to you. When you finish the book, it becomes real, you look at that tree and every name as its own imprint on you, its own place in your heart. You see that ‘each tree has its own position’.

I would like to note that this book is just 300 pages long. 300 pages. 300. Yet in these 300 pages, we are taken on a journey through history. Somehow, it covers an incredible amount of history, about 300 years worth, and truly displays the lasting effects of British colonisation and the slave trade. It does this by making us feel like we are part of this family, that these lives are familiar to us. The history feels relevant, current and something that we definitely should be aware of. It doesn’t feel like you are reading about the past.

It is so amazingly compelling and engulfing to read. Reading this book, you will be transported. This is a book you don’t read, you live.

But make no mistake, there is a distinction between easy to read and compelling. This book is not easy to read. It is at times devastating, at times heartwarming. At times shocking, always rewarding. If a book truly shows you slavery and the effects of it, it will not be easy to read. And this book definitely does that, but also has sensitivity along with truthfulness.

This is definitely a book everyone should read. It manages to capture entire lives in single chapters, it provides a window into the slave trade and colonialism, somehow covering 300 years of history, but also showing you how people lived that history, showing you the ups and extremely low downs of this family’s life and giving each name on that family tree a story and giving history a voice. Please, just read it. It is incredibly captivating and rewarding, a book that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

img_0029img_0029img_0029img_0029img_0029/5 hearts

Help me out- which book should I buy??

Hi everyone!

So, I am having a bit of a dilemma. I am planning on buying a new book (yay!!) but when I came to choosing I just couldn’t make up my mind on which one, so I was hoping you could help me out?

I managed to narrow it down to a few so if you could let me know if you really loved any of them or if you have a favourite that you think I really need to get to soon, then please comment and let me know, that would be so great! 

Here is the shortlist:

  • Empress of a thousand skies by  Rhoda Belleza
  • The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
  • Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan
  • Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
  • The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
  • Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
  • American Street by Ibi Zoboi
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Thanks so much in advance! 

Beauty and the Beast Book Tag

Hi! Today I am going to take part in the Beauty and the Beast book tag, for a few reasons- I recently went to see the new film and I loved it, it was such a beautiful film, although I do wish it had been out when I was younger, because I know I would have adored it even more then! Also, I came across this tag done by Anushka H. on Going Through Books, and it just looked like so much fun, so I am so excited to do this!

  • “Tale as old as time” – A popular theme, trope, or setting you will never get tired of reading.

This is a difficult one, as I usually like books because they do something new…although I do usually really enjoy reading fantasy worlds that are inspired by a historical period, for example An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. But then again, I do sometimes get annoyed when fantasy doesn’t push the boundaries of history enough, so I don’t know really. Actually, something I do really enjoy over and over is travelling between worlds and settings. Some examples of this are A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Shwab and Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. That is definitely something I never get tired of.

  • Belle – A book you bought for its cover that is just as beautiful on the inside.

25524583._UY700_SS700_.jpg

I love this cover so much! It caught my eye when I was browsing on amazon and I couldn’t resist buying it. I was a bit unsure about the actual book at the time because I hadn’t read many retellings so I didn’t know whether it would be something I would enjoy or not? But I should definitely not have worried as this is a beautiful book on the inside as well, the writing is just heavenly to read and I ended up loving the whole retelling aspect of it and the plot and romance.

  • Beast – A book you didn’t expect much from but pleasantly surprised you. Unknown

I’m going to go with the Lunar Chronicles for this one, because I had heard lots of mixed things for Cinder especially, so I was a bit like oh no I’m not going to like this at all, but I was thinking I didn’t want to miss out on the later books. But I shouldn’t have worried because I adored the entire series, it was so much fun, there were so many twists and turns and the characters were just amazing! But I wasn’t expecting it. At all. Plus I am not a fan of the covers, so that also put me off.

  • Gaston – A book everyone loves, but you don’t.

512And8xM0L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Well. There are a LOT I could go for for this as I often seem to have some controversial opinions about popular books. Some other examples are Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake and Caraval by Stephanie Garber. But I went with the 5th Wave by Rick Yancey because I would say it was the one that I had the highest expectations for (except Caraval but I have already written a full review for that here if you are interested). Everyone just seems to love this book and I just didn’t get it. I was dragging myself through it by the end. Also, I don’t know if this is just my own stupidity or not, but I found it really hard to know who was narrating? The viewpoint kept changing without any kind of labelling of who’s point of view it was, so most of the time I was just trying to work it out, as the characters definitely didn’t have distinct enough voices for me to be able to tell. Yeah, sorry, but it was not for me.

  • Lefou – A loyal sidekick you can’t help but love more than their counterpart.

61czWGfS9PL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

I do love Karou, she is so awesome, but I can’t help but choose this book because of Zuzana. I don’t know if you’d call her a sidekick exactly, she kind of has her own story in my opinion but anyway I think she is amazing and I had to give her recognition, even though I don’t think she is specifically a better character than Karou…Why do you have to make it so hard for me to choose between your characters Laini Taylor? How are they all perfection?!

  • Mrs Potts, Chip, Lumière and Cogsworth – A book that helped you through a difficult time or really taught you something.

nineteen-eighty-four-popular-penguins

I’ve only used YA for this tag so far so lets mix things up a bit! I definitely wouldn’t say this book helped me through a difficult time, that would be impressive considering how depressing it is. But it definitely taught me a lot, I think everyone should read this book as it shows how important it is that we reflect on history and make sure that some events in history don’t ever repeat themselves.

  • “Something There” – A book or series that you weren’t into at first but picked up towards the end.

18166936.jpg

I wouldn’t say necessarily that this book ‘picked up’ at the end, it was more to do with me, as a reader. I don’t read a lot of magical realism, and it took a bit of time for me to get used to the weirdness of it all. But once I got accustomed to it, I really loved this one and I would definitely recommend it. Although to be completely honest I don’t exactly remember what happens, but I remember absolutely loving it, so that is a good sign? I have a really bad memory when it comes to books. Or anything really.

If you have any magical realism recommendations then please let me know in the comments!

  • “Be Our Guest” – A fictional character you’d love to have over for dinner.

41VGTZGpd+L

I’m going to say Eleanor from Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, purely because she likes the Beatles, and I would love to just talk about the Beatles with her. That’s a good enough reason isn’t it?

So that’s it for the Beauty and the Beast tag, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I am definitely going to start doing more tags because this was just so much fun and I love doing a whole theme like this. Anyway, thanks for reading!

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor – Review

Karou, Akiva and the rest of the familiar characters are back, but now are facing a war which could tear apart both the human world and Eretz. In order to prevent this, chimaera and seraphim must come together and unite against the darkness the world could be facing. But how can this be achieved when there are secrets on both sides and generations of hatred between the two? And will this mean more than an alliance forged between Karou and Akiva, could they be finally reaching what they wished for?

Yet again, Laini Taylor has astounded me with her writing. It is just beautiful to read and flows so well yet serves more purpose than just carrying along the plot. But I have said this all before in my review for Daughter of Smoke and Bone, so instead I will move on to things more specific to this book. For me, I felt that all the characters continued to grow and I loved how they all balanced against each other, so there wasn’t a boring moment. I was kept on the edge of my seat many times as the setting switched between characters. It was wonderful to spend more time with the characters we already know as well as be introduced to some new ones, except I was a bit unsure on how much Eliza belonged in the book but I will come to that later on. Zuzana and Mik added much needed lightness to the story, but at the same time we saw a lot of character development for these two as well.

Moving on to Karou and Akiva, I really liked how their relationship was handled, and I didn’t mind the tension and the dragging out of the romance, I think it added something more to their story than if they had just kissed within a couple of chapters or something. There needed to be that anticipation and the feeling of happiness not quite being attainable, a sense of desperation for love to replace fighting. Without the slow burn of the romance this book would have lost a lot of the passion and emotion that it had. That is not to say that it all hung on the romance, there was a lot more at stake than that, but the romance kind of represented what was going on in the grander scale of the novel and therefore as we despair for the romance, we are also hooked on the other events of the novel.

I absolutely adored the development that went into Liraz’s character. The journey she went on in this trilogy in terms of her character is kind of beautiful. I loved how she was handled, she was more realistic than Karou I would say (but don’t get me wrong, I love Karou’s character too), she was flawed like a real human being, and therefore interesting to read about and someone you end up rooting for even if she may not have originally been the most likeable character. I won’t go into it more than that because I don’t want to spoil it for any of you! This is just one example though, I loved every single one of the characters, also notably Ziri. I think interesting themes were explored by having him act through Thiago’s body. He was just such a sweet, admirable character, as well as being fascinating to read about.

Now talking about Eliza, to begin with she came as a welcome break from all of the depth and trauma of the characters we know and love, she was likeable and her chapters were entertaining to read about, but she began to lose any sense of belonging and purpose a bit later on in the book, and it was like the author didn’t really know what to do with her for the late middle section of the book?? And then she had too much importance by the end? The ending got a bit too complicated too suddenly for me and a bit too convenient, however it was ultimately satisfying nonetheless. But anyway, I’m not going to get too hung up on this because the book was stunning any other way you look at it, and this factor won’t prevent me from giving the book five hearts.

I am pretty sure this is taking top spot of the trilogy for me. I couldn’t put it down, despite it being 600+ pages long I just raced through it. I loved the intensity of it, but there was also humour and everything was balanced so perfectly, there wasn’t a dull page. Add writing dripping with beauty and gorgeousness and you have a winner. I will read anything Laini Taylor writes, she is incredible, and this series is for me now a firm favourite. In fact, I will be reading Strange the Dreamer soon, and I am so excited!

img_0029img_0029img_0029img_0029img_0029/5 hearts

Top 5 Wednesday- Sci-fi and Fantasy on my TBR

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly book meme created by gingerreadslainey but now hosted by ThoughtsOnTomes.

I have a lot of sci-fi and fantasy on my tbr. A LOT. I won’t include any that are on my April tbr because they won’t be on my tbr much longer, obviously (by which I mean hopefully). And these will all be ones that I own, by the way.

  • Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

So I read Illuminae about a month ago and LOVED it, which was surprising for me, as I don’t actually read a whole lot of sci fi books, although I do read a lot of fantasy. I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with it, but I really did, and therefore I need to read the next book!

  • The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

I have heard so many great things about this trilogy (I think it is a trilogy? Correct me if I’m wrong) and I bought the first one a few weeks ago and I am so ready to dive into it, but I also have a lot of other books to read, so this keeps getting delayed. But I will get to it. I usually read YA fantasy, so the fact it is adult is intimidating me a bit, I think.

  • The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles

This is a YA fantasy which was released this year. I don’t know a lot about it at all, but I have heard good things about it so I thought I would buy it. I haven’t read it yet though obviously, or it wouldn’t be on this list. But I’m hoping it offers something a bit new and original? If you have read this one, or any of these books, or they are also on your tbr then please comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

  • Fairest by Marissa Meyer

I have read all the Lunar Chronicles, and enjoyed them so much! I really want to read this soon, because I am missing the whole world and also I just want to know more about Levana! If I had one criticism of that series, it would be that I don’t feel that we get to know exactly why she acts the way she does, so I’m excited to find that out in this book.

  • Half Bad by Sally Green

I feel like I’ve kind of neglected this one. It’s just been sitting on my shelf for a while now, and I haven’t really considered picking it up. I have heard good things about this one, but the rest of the trilogy seems to have quite mixed opinions? Whatever, I feel like I need to read them very soon and make my own judgement on it.

So that’s it for my sci fi and fantasy tbr, although believe me there are tons of others I could have picked! What are some of the sci fi and fantasy books on your tbr? Let me know in the comments!

Caraval by Stephanie Garber – Review

Scarlett and Tella are sisters. They live on a small island and have never seen the outside world. Scarlett’s biggest prospect is her arranged marriage to a Count who she has never met. They have always dreamt of escaping their abusive father and journeying to the magical performance of Caraval, where the audience also play a part in the show. But is everything at Caraval as it seems?

Uggghh, this was so disappointing! I wanted to love this so much, but honestly it really wasn’t great. At all. The first thing that annoyed me instantly was the writing. Usually I love kind of creative, unusual, descriptive writing but this was just trying to do that but, lets be honest, failing. It kept describing things as tasting like something that literally you can’t taste. I have seen this done well before, in We Were Liars by E Lockhart. I know the writing in that annoyed people, but I personally loved it. I felt this book was trying to be like that, but it was almost trying too hard? The metaphors and descriptions didn’t flow, they just felt clunky, distracting and unneeded. It didn’t feel natural at all, I honestly stopped reading loads of times just to take in how bad some of the metaphors were.

Another awful thing about this book was the characters. This book really highlights the importance of having well thought out, developed, realistic characters in a book. Because the characters here were the opposite of that, and it really just made the book fall flat. Well, the characters weren’t the only thing that made it fall flat, but they were a large contributing factor. Scarlett was just soooo stupid! She had no personality, and apparently no brain. How many times did she have to be told that in the game, not everything was real? She was incapable of making an intelligent decision for herself, instead she had to rely on Julian, the male lead, to make all the decisions for her and look after her. What happened to strong female characters?! Also, I was expecting some strong sisterly bonds and all that, but it was never really shown. We just had Scarlett saying (for the entire book) oh I love my sister, I would do anything for her, and then all of her subsequent actions go against that. She also managed to fall in love with Julian within a day, and the next day she would be considering whether she loves her sister or Julian more. I could go on and on about the ridiculous characters in this book, but I will move on as it is probably getting boring for you all.

Moving on to what instantly struck me when they entered Caraval- the overwhelming similarities to the Night Circus. I adore that book, it is one of my favourite books EVER, and this book just blatantly copied it! I couldn’t believe it when they entered a shop for clocks, and then surprise surprise, the performance only happens at night! But this book was nowhere near on the level of the Night Circus, just making that clear. Nowhere near. It wasn’t just that though, this novel was basically a whole bunch of YA cliches and tropes in one book. It was SO predictable, none of the twists surprised me at all. I actually think that the whole it is all a game was a bit of a cop out, as it meant that all of the events that happened could just be reset…I don’t know, it just felt like an excuse to get the author out of actually having to come up with proper resolutions for all the characters in the situation they were actually in, instead she could just say none of it happened.

I’m going to end it there because I really don’t want to go on for paragraphs and paragraphs about how bad this book was, and I really apologise if this upset you and you love this book, but I am happy for you, I am glad you had a good reading experience, but I didn’t, and that is just my opinion. So please don’t hate me for it, and I’m really sorry for ranting so much about this one. Please feel welcome to comment with your opinion on this book, positive or negative, just be nice!

So just to summarise my overall verdict, I really felt that there weren’t any redeemable features of this book. The characters were so one dimensional, all of the female characters relied entirely on the men, and didn’t show any capability of independence or intelligence, which is just wrong. The plot was predictable, nothing new here at all. And it copied the Night Circus, one of my favourite books. And the writing was unbearable. Basically it just fell flat for me.

img_0029/5 hearts

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman – Review

This book is set in 1812 in London, but it is not the place that we have heard of before. Lady Helen is not ordinary either, she meets Lord Carlston and begins to realise that she is not who she thought she was. She also realises that with this new found identity she carries a huge weight of responsibility. But given the choice, would she actually be able to let part of herself go?

For me, the best thing about this story was the amount of historical detail. From the first page I knew that this would not be a book lacking detail or world building, it was packed with these things. The author had obviously really done her research and immersed herself in the Regency era, as is also proved by the author’s note, if the book alone wasn’t enough proof! It really added to the book in my opinion, I know that some people probably found that it was too bogged down with detail, but for me this wasn’t the case. It didn’t feel like too much, it just made the book better and more easy to get lost in as the world feels more real when there is at least some genuine fact or detail in it. Without this historical detail, the rating I gave would definitely drop by at least a heart. It just made the book so interesting and genuine to read.

However, just because there was a lot of research, it didn’t mean that the book had less imagination or magic. It was full of originality, I loved the whole magic system or whatever it was, and the inventiveness of the Deceivers. I think that this whole aspect of the book really worked well with and complimented the Regency setting and the historical side of the novel. The imaginativeness combined with the setting made it a joy to read. I love how the author didn’t take any shortcuts, instead she definitely put time into developing a really interesting idea for the magic side of it, and put in the time to research the setting. It definitely paid off.

I also loved the characters. They were really developed and three dimensional in my opinion. Helen was realistic for her time period, rather than instantly escaping the person she had been brought up to be, which I think happens quite a lot in YA. Helen had the spirit and the humanity and the desperation to escape the roles she was supposed to fill at the time, as I think she should if her feelings are going to be realistic, as of course the character would want to be able to be herself, but she didn’t immediately find it easy to suddenly have her purpose in life changed, and she didn’t straight away leap into her new role without looking back. I think this is more realistic, she wouldn’t straight away leave her entire life behind without considering it, like a lot of YA protagonists do.

Also, the writing was another huge positive for this book. There was a huge range of vocabulary compared to what you see in a lot of YA, and even a lot of Adult fiction. So I really enjoyed reading this, although I admit I am happy I read it as an ebook so I could easily look up a few words I had never heard before! However, one thing I would say is that some of this writing seemed a little forced. It did feel like at times the author was literally looking through a thesaurus and just throwing in words just because they sounded more of the era, and so there was in fact a wider range of vocabulary. I don’t know if she has just done this to fit more with the time the book is set, or whether she always writes in this style. Comment below if you know, as I haven’t read any of her other books. So I did like the writing, it just felt a bit overthought at times.

Despite all the good things about this book, without a doubt my favourite aspect of this book is how it displayed all of the etiquette and customs of the Regency era, and how careful you have to be at all times to not ruin your reputation, how reserved everyone was. But what was so good in this book was how it showed what was going on under the surface, all the meaning going on within what seems like a completely normal statement and greeting. I loved how it showed the Dark Days Club all communicating etc without breaking the surface. It was just so awesome, and that is the main thing that made this book so great.

The one negative thing about this, and I am sad to say it as I really wanted this to be five hearts for me, but it was a bit slow. I just think that it was quite long at 500 pages or so, and I think that maybe 100 pages could have been cut? I wouldn’t want to lose the detail, but there were some passages that were unnecessary and prevented the book from moving at a slightly faster pace. I didn’t mind the balls and dinners or whatever, as it would be less realistic if none of this took place, but it could have retained this and still been cut down. Also, I found all of the romance so predictable. I can’t remember exactly what happened, but there was a scene between two characters and I thought I could really tell what was going to happen, but then I thought no, the author is better than that, it won’t be that predictable. Well, it was. There wasn’t a lot of romance, but what there was was just way too predictable, as well as some plot points.

I would definitely recommend this book! The amount of historical detail and research that went into it was incredible, and the book was so original and imaginative. I loved the atmosphere, how Regency England worked with all the monsters and magic, and how it showed what was going on beneath the surface of all the characters’ reserved exteriors. The writing had such a wide range of vocabulary used, and was mostly a pleasure to read. However, I think it could have been quite a bit shorter and it suffered for it, being a bit boring in parts.

Also, can I just note how awful and misleading the UK cover is??! I really dislike when covers show actual people being the characters, and also from the cover I would think this was for younger readers rather than YA! This book is actually quite mature, and it definitely wouldn’t be suitable for younger readers, yet you wouldn’t believe it from the cover.

img_0029img_0029img_0029img_0029/5 hearts