Review: The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini



โ€œIt may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime.”

Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir’s choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.

This was a book that I picked up from the library as an emergency journey read, when I forgot to take my own book. I had been considering reading it for a while, and when I was browsing the shelves I just thought, “why not?”.

Thank the lord I forgot my book.

The Kite Runner was an absolutely stunning read. Heartbreaking and relevant, it followed Amir’s life journey to defeat his childhood cowardice, and seek redemption.

That is ultimately what his novel is about, but the war riffed setting and the confliction between rich and poor in the Afghani society during the 70’s at the turn of the Russian invasion, right through to the ruling of the Taliban in the 2000’s, make this novel gripping and devasting, uplifting yet shocking, and I honestly can’t stop thinking about it now, even after 3 weeks of reading other books!

Very few books have made me stop in my tracks and truly evaluate the world we are living in, have lived in, or could potentially push ourselves to, and this was one of them.

I found myself wanting to scream at the book, or Amir as a child more specifically, and just shake some sense into him! He wasn’t intentionally cruel to Hassan, but he just didn’t see the effect that his actions, or rather lack of, were having until it was too late. It’s this guilt that drives the rest of the plot, and boy is it action packed!

I laughed, I cried, I felt every emotion possible reading this book, and not one page of it disappointed me. It was truly enthralling,

I’ll definitely be reading more from Hosseini, and I hope that those of you that haven’t read this book yet will feel inspired enough to do so.

View The Kite Runner on Goodreads

Review: Orbiting Jupiter – Gary D. Schmidt

Rating: โญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธ.5


A heartbreaking story, narrated by twelve-year-old Jack, whose family is caring for fourteen-year-old Joseph. Joseph is misunderstood. He was incarcerated for trying to kill a teacher. Or so the rumours say. But Jack and his family see something others in town donโ€™t want to.
What’s more, Joseph has a daughter heโ€™s never seen. The two boys go on a journey through the bitter Maine winter to help Joseph find his baby – no matter the cost.


I received a copy from the Andersen Press when it was first released in hardback, and I have to say, I didn’t go anywhere near it for a while. I can’t even tell you why. I just put it to one side and let it become another addition to my ever growing TBR pile. I only picked it up because I needed something short and quick to read, and being less than 200 pages with a moderately large font size, this book ticked that box perfectly.

Well, now I just feel stupid for not picking it up straight away. This book deserves to have a hype around it. I haven’t seen any sort of coverage on it, on blogs, twitter, nor bookstagram, and I want that to change. Rapidly.

Orbiting Jupiter is an incredibly moving, heartfelt and honest piece of writing. It’s written in first person, from the ,perspective of a young boy, Jack, who narrates his foster brother, Joseph’s, journey to find his daughter. They’re only 12/14 respectively. That’s a hell of a lot going on for two boys still in school! I loved this POV, because the naivety of their youth shone through, and gave the topic a completely fresh take in comparison to the usual contemporary trope of broken families and teenage parenting.

Their relationship, although tense and distant at times, was loving and generous, truly brotherly in nature, and just a joy to read. The little details and observations made throughout are simply beautiful when they piece together, and ultimately make this a suitably teary read.

I cried. Five times.

But I didn’t just cry because it was “sad”. I cried because it warmed my heart. I felt the love, and it was beautiful.

This novella addresses the issues of growing up in school, and how judgemental your peers and even teachers can be. But it also shows how it can only take one good influence in your life to encourage you to take your life back for yourself, and make a difference.

I also have new found love and respect for cows… they freaked me out before, but now I love them. (View may change when I next come into contact with one…)

I simply urge you all to go out, buy this book, and read it right now! It’ll only take you a day, and trust me when I say that you’ll wish you’d read it sooner.

View Orbiting Jupiter on Goodreads

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E Schwab



Kell is one of the last travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King–George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered–and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London–a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

I’m a sucker for magic, so naturally, I loved this!

People have said it was slow to start, but I didn’t find that at all; reading about all the different London’s and worlds intrigued me from the offset, and I just flew through this book! I’m excited to read the next two instalments to the series now, especially to follow more of Lila’s story – she’s by far my favourite character (super badass female who  doesn’t take any sh** from anyone!)

The trouble with books about magic, is that they’re now pretty much always going to be compared to Harry Potter in one way or another. What I enjoyed most about this book is that the Magic is totally different to the spells we all know so well from Hogwarts and the like. There are no wands or “silly incantations” – the magic comes from within, like a source at the centre of the earth that must be summoned. And the Magic itself materialises in the control of the elements: earth, water, fire and, the most dangerous of all, bone. For this reason, this book shouldn’t be compared to Harry Potter. Whilst the Magic is there, and is enjoyable in the sense that it takes me back to my childhood of wanting to be Hermione Granger (ahem), I never once found myself picking fault and referring back to HP. I loved this book for it’s own reasons.

This book was exciting, gripping and daring – none of it “beat around the bush” so to speak. I feel like I know enough about the characters to connect with them, but then not too much to make the next books boring – there’s still more to be discovered, which excites me.

Now, to decide on my favourite London… it should be easy!

Grey London is, I imagine, based around the real London of today – I live here, so I guess that’s how I see it anyway. The similarities are definitely there. Regular, a bit dingy, the people are half decent for the most part… But there’s no magic… boring!

White London is definitely evil. I would say “dark and twisty”, but everything is totally washed out of colour and white, very much like winter – cold, and no one likes it.

Now, Red London – happy, bright, full of magic; thriving and prosperous. I think I like it here best! Obvious choice. I’m predictable, what can I say?

Because I’ve only just managed to find time to write this review, I’ve actually already read the second book of the series, A Gathering of Shadows. I’ll let you know my thoughts on that soon…

If you love fantasy, magic and danger, I’d definitely recommend this book!

View A Darker Shade of Magic on Goodreads

Mini Review: What Was Never Said – Emma Craigie

Rating: โญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธ.5

Synopsis: IMG_130115-year-old Zahra has lived in England most of her life, but she is haunted by memories of her early childhood in Africa: the warm sun, the loud gunfire, and happy days playing with her older sister before “the visitors” came. It is hard for Zahra to make sense of everything that happened, and the terrible events are impossible to talk about, but when three familiar women arrive unexpectedly for tea, Zahra realises that the dangers of the past could still destroy her.

What Was Never Said is the powerful story of a girl navigating the demands of two very different and conflicting worlds; a tale of surviving loss and overcoming fears.ย 

I flew through this book in just a couple of hours reading time! I picked this up over a year ago on a whim whilst browsing Foyles, just for something short, and the first line really grabbed me:

“The cutter came last night. I recognised her: her black clothes, her narrow face and the yellow whites of her eyes.”

I actually had no idea what this book was about until just before I decided to read it; an entire year after buying it! I was looking for some diverse fiction to read, but something that I already owned. I then discovered that this was in fact about a girl’s desperate attempt to escape FGM (Femal Genital Mutilation) – a tradition that her African family has followed for generations.

Although the writing wasn’t the greatest, it was very much a “teen” read, I generally enjoyed reading this book. It’s diverse in its cultures and race, and tackles a subject that it not widely talked about. I feel that this subject is important to get out there in raising awareness, as it is unfortunately something that still happens today.

This book was short and sweet; a good book to just pick up if you want something quick to read.

View What Was Never Said on Goodreads.

Review: Queen of Shadows – Sarah J. Maas


Synopsis: IMG_1298

The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But sheโ€™s at last returned to the empireโ€”for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her pastโ€ฆ

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queenโ€™s triumphant return.

I’m finally getting on top of my reviews – phew! Only a couple more to write before I’m back on top of them… FINALLY.

So, without further ado, my thoughts on Queen of Shadows.

This was my initial Goodreads review:

Holy crap. This just got good. Really REALLY good! I couldn’t put it down! Such suspense, and then that twist! OMG. Loved it.

All the exclaimation marks… I think I liked it! No… loved it. Which I really did.

This is by far the best book in the series. Up until this point I raved about Crown of Midnight being the best, but actually it has nothing on this book. The character developments are just incredible, and all of the little details within the plot from the earlier books are all coming together… it’s just mind blowing. I’m so impressed.

Chaol is such a hero, and given such a hard time! He has absolutely no magic in him, and all he does is look out for Dorian and shows such loyalty, yet is just knocked down by Celaena all the time. Poor little muffin, I just want to wrap him up in blankets to protect him forever!

I have to say though… I’m hooked on Rowan too… there’s just such intensity there.

Manon is THE BEST character in this whole book! I’m so engrossed in her story and her development so far. I can’t wait to read more of her, and also of Elide’s journey, in the next book!

The only thing I wasn’t convinced by was the ending with the King… I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I felt like he hadn’t been crafted as a well rounded enough character enough for me to feel that he was really threatening in the first place, nor for me to feel compassion for him at the end here. The plot twist surrounding these events though were EXTREMELY unexpected though, and i think things are about to get very dark indeed…

Can I also just add quickly that I forced my BF into reading Throne of a Glass, and now he’s totally hooked on the series and absolutely loves it! He’s currently reading this book and is just as blown away as I was. I love hearing his thoughts about it knowing everything that happens and just feeling all smug, but also excited that he’s still got so many twists to get to!

We’ll be buddy reading Empire of Storms together this month – exciting!

View Queen of Shadows on Goodreads

Hooked To Books Reading Challenge

Hooked To Books Reading Challenge

As I’m behind on my Goodreads challenge, I figured it might be a good idea for me to enter the “Hooked To Books” reading challenge, starting in July and ending December 2017.

I’m going to slot myself into the lowest rank, of “keen reader“, so as to not put too much pressure on myself, and keep it realistic! That’s 30+ books to read in six months… I can do that, right?

I’m not going to set a TBR just yet, as I know I’ll change my mind! But at the beginning of each month I’ll do an update with my selected books, and at the end of the month update my progress!

The challenge seems pretty fun with no genre constraints, and there are prizes too… WOO!

Who else is joining in the fun? โค๏ธ