Review: This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) – V.E. Schwab

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: 

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives. 


Let me just start by saying that from page one, Schwab had me hooked.

I want to share with you all, the first few lines of this book…

“The night Kate Harper decided to burn down the school chapel, she wasn’t angry or drunk. She was desperate.

Burning down the church really was a last resort; she’d already broken a girl’s nose, smoked in the dormitories, cheated on her first exam, and verbally harassed three of the nuns.”

Now tell me you don’t already love it?!

The two main characters in this book, Kate Harker and August Flynn, are two of the most surprisingly loveable characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. And seeing their personalities take form and develop was just the best!

Kate and August are both troubled by their own demons (pun..?) and are desperately searching to find themselves, but in the face of danger form an unlikely bond – WHICH GIVES ME LIFE.

There’s no romance in this. No lovey dovey stuff. Just pure friendship and an incredible story of trust, loyalty and companionship.

The world that Schwab has created is suitably dark and twisted, whilst somehow still remaining somewhat human and relatable – this parallels with our good friend, August, but I’ll let you read that for yourselves. The monsters are suitably horrific, yet formed in such a way that it’ll have you checking your own shadows, just in case.

This book had me laughing, crying, and always sitting on the edge of my seat.

The plot line, the writing, everything just drew me in. I was totally engrossed in this mysterious, monstrous world, and really nothing was as it seemed. Just when I thought I had something figured out, I would immediately be taken by surprise and steered in a completely different direction and the pages just kept on turning and turning, until I found myself at the end of the book…

There’s a kind of emptiness that you experience after reading a truly great book, and I feel hollow… I NEED MORE AND I NEED IT NOW! Thankfully, I’m fully armed with His Dark Duet already (thank god I got my hands on it early), so hopefully I’ll be able to fill that void and continue on this journey. That is, of course, until I finish that one and then we’re back to feeling void of all emotions…

A sacrifice I’m willing to make.


View This Savage Song on Goodreads

 

May 2017 Book Haul

May. The month of my birthday. So, naturally, a LOT of books were bought this month!

I was also send a massive stack of books from publishers too, so this is (again) one hefty haul!


Books I Bought in May:

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

More Than This by Patrick Ness

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Given To The Sea by Mindy McGinnis (Fairy Loot BOTM)

Who Runs The World? by Virginia Bergin

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier

Simon vs The Homo Sapiens by Becky Albertalli

The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden

The Flame in The Mist by Renee Ahdieh


Publisher Book Mail:

The Lonelinest Girl in The Universe by Lauren James

The Dollmaker of Krakov by R.M Romero

Charlotte Says by Alex Bell

And Then We Ran by Katy Cannon

Following Ophelia by Sophia Bennett

My Evil Twin is a Supervillain by David Solomons

Kick by Mitch Johnson

The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish

Rook by Anthony McGowan

The Last Duchess by Laura Powell

One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus

After The Fire by Will Hill

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend

Being Miss Nobody by Tamsin Winter


That’s a whopping 30 books… I think this might be my biggest ever haul! But in all seriousness, I need to not buy any more books now until I move in July… I’m going to have to lift those boxes!

 

June 2017 TBR

After the success of last month, I’m going to challenge myself again with by TBR this month. I also want to read a more varied range of genres, as I have been reading a lot of fantasy lately and though I adore it, I feel like I should branch out a bit.

June is also Pride month, so I hope to read books that have some LGBT rep.

Good Bones by Margaret Atwood – This is a selection of short stories. After reading The Handmaid’s Tale (read full review here) at the end of April, I found myself longing to return to Atwood’s writing. I’ve already started this and I love it already. The stories have a really unique take on feminism and the role of women both in life and literature.

This Savage Song by V.E Schwab – I managed to grab a copy of Our Dark Duet yesterday, a whole 10 days before it’s official release date, so now I can binge read them both! I’ve been holding off reading this one for a whole year just so that I wouldn’t have to wait for the sequel…

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera – I’m really looking forward to reading this one, and lucky enough to be meeting Adam Silvera at an event in Waterstones Piccadilly in just a few days!

Who Runs The World? by Virginia Bergin – GIRL POWER! This sounds great (Though I’ve seen very mixed reviews on GR…) and is The Green Room’s (YA Book Group) pick for this month.

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carol – This has been on my TBR for 3 consecutive months now… will I ever pick it up..?

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon – It’s time to crack out the cute summer contemporaries! Starting with this bundle of cuteness. I’ve heard so many wonderful things, and I can’t wait to get stuck into it.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – I have so many contemporaries that have been neglected on my reading list for so long. This was one of them! I finally bought this with my birthday book voucher, so now I can actually read it!

Yet another ambitious month… 1 book longer than last month’s TBR, and 2 more books than I actually managed last month. These are, however, considerably shorter, so I think I can make it happen!

Wish me luck!


What books are you planning on reading this month?

May 2017 Wrap-Up

May was a good month for books! We had so many fabulous new releases, and it was my birthday, which means that I bought lots of books at no detriment to my own bank account! SCORE.

I also actually pretty much managed to achieve the TBR list I set out for myself at the beginning of the month. I ended up scrapping a couple, but the majority was completed for the first time in a very, very long time…

What I set out to read:

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Letters From The Lighthouse by Emma Carrol

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carol

Release by Patrick Ness

What I Actually Read:

A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J. Maas 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (Full Review)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (Full Review)

Release by Patrick Ness ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 (Full Review)

A Court of Mist & Fury by Sarah J. Maas 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (Full Review)

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Review Coming Soon)

As you can see, I enjoyed pretty much everything I read last month, and considering a couple of those books are about 600 pages long, I actually read a lot for me!


What’s the best book you read last month?

Review: Release – Patrick Ness

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Synopsis: 

Inspired by Mrs Dalloway and Judy Blume’s Forever, Release is one day in the life of Adam Thorn, 17. It’s a big day. Things go wrong. It’s intense, and all the while, weirdness approaches…

Adam Thorn is having what will turn out to be the most unsettling, difficult day of his life, with relationships fracturing, a harrowing incident at work, and a showdown between this gay teen and his preacher father that changes everything. It’s a day of confrontation, running, sex, love, heartbreak, and maybe, just maybe, hope. He won’t come out of it unchanged. And all the while, lurking at the edges of the story, something extraordinary and unsettling is on a collision course.


Whilst I haven’t read all of Patrick Ness’ rep, I have read A Monster Calls, which I found absolutely hauntingly beautiful (you can read my full review here) and I plan on making my way through all of his books over the next year.

I’m in two minds about this book. One half I loved, the other… I just didn’t really understand it’s relevance.

Release is essentially told from two perspectives. The first, is from a gay teenage boy struggling to overcome a past relationship, and the continuous disapporoval of his highly religious family and their homophobic views. This part, I loved. I found it moving, interesting, and empowering. I really liked Adam as a character, and it was just lovely to read his journey throughout the day, and see him develop and find himself.

The second perspective, I wasn’t a fan of. I can’t say too much without spoiling it for those who haven’t read it, and I don’t want to influence anyone’s opinions, but I found it very confusing. It had a kind of magical realism element to it, which I found interesting and added an extra twist to the writing, but didn’t quite feel like the two parts joined together. It made the narrative feel a bit too disjointed and surreal for my liking, and actually took away some of my enjoyment whilst reading it. I found myself racing through those parts just so I could get back to reading about Adam.

I still found myself hoping that somehow at the end, the two would marry together beautifully, but it just didn’t happen. The two characters meet briefly at the very end, but the event didn’t seem important or pivotal enough to recover that element of the book, and the book was just too short for it to hold great significance.

By the time I actually got into the flow of it, it was over. Maybe a re-read would alter my opinion slightly, but it’s not a top priority for me right now.

It’s a shame, because Adam’s story was a solid 5 stars from me, but the second perspective just let it down in my opinion.

I’d still recommend it because half of it really was wonderful, it’s got a great LGBT rep in its characters, and Ness’ writing is generally just a joy to read.


Please, any of you who have read it, share your opinions below. I’d love to hear what everyone else has to say about the second perspective. ❤️


View Release on Goodreads

Review: A Court of Mist & Fury (ACOTAR #2) – Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis

(Contains spoilers to previous instalment. Review is spoiler free, so skip ahead if you need to)

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.


Just a disclaimer to start, that this book is very much “New Adult” rather than YA. There’s rather a lot of sex, so if you don’t like that sort of thing, just know that it’s in here. Frequently.


This world is just incredible. I’m so absorbed in it, and I have that magical feeling I remember having when I read Harry Potter for the first time. That feeling where all you want to do is be able to live in that world, and be friends with all your favourite characters…

This has officially taken place as one of my favourite ever books. I’ll be wanting to re-read this a few years down the line just to escape to The Court of Dreams once more.

Enough gushing.

The characters in this series, comparing to Throne of Glass, are so much more rounded. They are so much more relatable, even in the fantasy world, and it just makes all the difference in connecting to the plot line. Which, by the way, is incredibly gripping.

This book is 600 pages long. It’s not a short book. But every page had purpose. I didn’t feel like there was a single dry point. The twists and turns kept coming, and the descriptions were beautifully vivid. I have such clear images in my mind of all of the places, characters and creatures, and the relationships are just… yes.

No spoilers here.

But I’m shipping to the end of the world over here (whilst secretly being incredibly jealous…)

And the ending… WHY?!?!

I have to hold off from reading ACOWAR for a few weeks as I have other books I need to read first. I’m torn because I can’t wait to read more, yet I don’t want it to end.

Sarah, why do you break me so?

I also want to add, that I’m sorry some people have been offended in various ways by this book and the rest of the series. I appreciate your points of view, and I want to be clear that me enjoying this book by no means reflects my opinions on those issues.


 

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetSee also:

Review: A Court of Thorns & Roses

Review: Throne of Glass


View ACOMAF on Goodreads

Review: The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: 

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice. 


I’ve waited a couple of weeks since reading to write this review, simply because it hit me so hard, and I couldn’t put all of my feeling and opinions into words. I’m still struggling.

The Hate U Give is phenomenal. Better than that. I can’t think of any word that does this book justice, and as Angie Thomas’ debut novel, I’m so excited to see what she writes next.

Everything about this book was just incredible on so many levels. The characters were fully formed, and even minor characters didn’t get forgotten about. I feel like I knew all of these people, which made me care all the more.

Starr was depicted perfectly, in all of her teenage greatness, and I particularly loved her family. All of their individual personalities shone through, and I just wished I could have jumped through the pages to meet them all! The sense of humour was subtle yet effective, and I found every single one of them to be totally genuine. There was no bulls**t here.

I laughed. I cried. I was continuously in a state of awe at how good this was.

Now, to the nitty gritty. The subject matter of this book is so important. Not only does it highlight the terrifying reality of segregation between Black and White, and the horrifying consequences of involvement in drugs and gang culture, but it speaks volumes about the power of speaking up for what you believe in. Supporting each other in times of need.

With everything that has happened recently in the news, there hasn’t been a need so great for us to find our voices, join together, and find the sense of community that this novel paints so beautifully.

I couldn’t stop turning the pages reading this. I would have read it in one sitting had I of had the opportunity. I wanted to continue reading about Starr’s life and see where life takes her next.

As soon as I finished this book I was sure to put it in my bag and pass it on to my sister. This book is one I want to share with everyone, and shout about it to every person I pass on the street.

If you haven’t read it yet, please do, because I cannot recommend it enough.

The best book I’ve read this year.

Seriously, read it now…


View The Hate U Give on Goodreads