Saturday, 29 August 2015

The Sin Eater's Daughter - Review

17 year old Twylla lives in a castle, betrothed to a prince and keenly watched by the Queen. But Twylla isn’t a princess, she’d an executioner. Chosen by the gods to serve her kingdom, Twylla’s touch is death, the poison coursing through her veins condemning her to a life of death and isoloation until she one day marries her indifferent prince and becomes Queen. Only her new guard Lief sees beyond her grisly duties, opening her eyes to a life she’s never allowed herself to dream of.

***Warning - this review contains minor, sort of, vague spoilers.***

To be honest, I was a little disappointed when I started reading this book. It’s a lot more of an introverted than I was expecting. There’s no big adventure, no tasks and triumphs. Our protagonist Twylla doesn’t even leave the castle! I was expecting a fierce and brave heroine in an epic battle against her captors, able to kill with a touch (think Rogue in X-Men. The comic books, not the movies!), but instead what I got was a slow burning, almost character study, sticking stubbornly with our protagonist as she hears and speaks of these far away kingdoms and terrible deeds, but rarely actually witnesses them. And I loved it!

Melinda Salisbury’s writing style is utterly beautiful. Because the story follows Twylla so closely in familiar territory, she’s free to lavish attention on the characters and surroundings she has created. It flies almost totally in the face of conventional YA storytelling but works so well. Our main character is isolated and locked away, and we’re right there with her. Everything is seen through Twylla's sometimes willfully ignorant and naive eyes, the apparent calm and peace of the castle gradually being stripped away as she discovers more about her surroundings, exposing the dark side of playing the princess in the tower. The world building and political intrigue is incredibly well written, elevating minor characters and those who could have been little more than cardboard cut outs (the scheming Queen, the spoiled Prince) to so much more.

Just as the ponderous story isn’t my usual thing, Twylla isn’t my usual type of YA heroine either. Seeming much younger than her 17 years, she’s a slave to her circumstances, lacking the ability or desire to express her own thoughts and opinions, so indoctrinated is she by life in the castle. Taken by the Queen to serve her kingdom as its Gods-appointed executioner and later its Queen after the death of the princess in infancy, she is obedient and afraid, willing to sacrifice her own happiness for what she believes is the good of her kingdom. At first, it’s more than a little frustrating - I wanted to grab her (gloved!) by the shoulders and shake her! – but as she gradually opens up to her seemingly na├»ve new guard Leif, her character unfolds and becomes far more endearing. I adored Lief as a character, his sparky personality and optimism contrasting perfectly with Twylla’s introverted cynicism. Their gradual shift from acquaintances, to friends, to lovers is quietly touching and utterly believable.



I loved the underlying indictment of religion and its use in controlling the masses. It's a credit to the author that this wasn't swept aside with a few throwaway lines or a dumbed down good guys/bad guys situation. So well written are the characters that you can understand their motivations, even if you don't agree with them. I even found myself nodding in agreement with the Queen at times! But then again, I've always rather fancied myself as a scheming Queen. Maybe one day ...

I try to avoid spoilers but my next comment doesn’t make sense without at least referencing a plot point which could be considered spoilery. I don’t want to give too much away about the ending, but I was torn. On one hand, I love a good twist ending, and this book had it in spades! But I was more than a little disappointed with the revelation about Lief. Not so much the story, but the fact that this is yet another YA book which seems to punish the protagonist for having sex. Not long after the “heroine” and “hero” sleep together, there is some sort of revelation and/or betrayal which ruins the burgeoning relationship and seems to taunt the protagonist with the idea that she should never have trusted the other person in the first place. It’s a disturbingly common trend in YA, one that I really don’t care for. That's not a critique of this book really because it actually fits in well with the characters we've come to understand and their motivations - unlike some other novels where it seems shoehorned in. I just don't like it!

I have to knock a star off because I think that books in a series should be able to stand alone, whereas this had the undeniable feel of setting up a far more epic series. That said, it works. I can’t wait for the sequel to this one! The book sets up perfectly for Twylla to spread her wings, to venture out into the rich and vibrant world Melinda Salisbury has created. I just hope she does!




Sunshine Award

I've been nominated by the lovely Ardis over at Pondering The Prose for the bloggers Sunshine Award.

“The whole idea of the Sunshine Award is that you nominate  bloggers who put a little sunshine in your day, who are positive, creative, and inspiring.”

Rules:

– Answer the 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.

– Nominate some wonderful bloggers and write 11 questions for them to answer.

Ardis' questions:
1. What kind of posts do you like to make on your blog (reviews. opinions, features)?
I've only been live with my blog for a month and so far it's been mostly reviews and features, but I really want to get some more opinions up. I've got loads of ideas, but just haven't got around to them yet!

2. What are the ways you promote your blog?
My reviews always go on Goodreads and Amazon with links back to my blog and I'm hoping to get on some blog tours when I'm a bit more established.

3. Why did you start a book blog?
I've always been a big reader, but none of my friends are into books, especially the YA/fantasy/chick-lit books I go for. I've always wanted to set up a blog, so I finally decided to do it!

4. How long have you been blogging?
Just over a month. I'm still a blogging newbie!

5. Are you on other social media (Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook)?
I'm on Twitter and Bloglovin'. I've set up Tumblr and Facebook accounts but haven't done anything with them yet. There are so many social sites to join up to!

6. What is your favorite genre?
My favourite is fantasy or dystopian YA, but I love chick-lit too. And thrillers. I'll read pretty much anything!

7. What is the last book you've read that made you cry?
Lorali by Laura Dockrill and Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor.

8. How many books do you read per week?
Not as many as I'd like! I probably manage one or two as I work full time.

9. Have you met any authors at book signings, conventions, or just randomly?
Not one. I feel deprived!

10. Which author would you love to meet and what would you say to them?
Probably Laini Taylor, To ask where on earth she gets her ideas!

11. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
Australia. I've been to New Zealand but really wish I'd visited Australia while I was "in the area".

Here are my questions:
1. If you could have three people, real or fictional, over for dinner, who would they be?
2. Where is one place you'd love to go but have never been to before?
3. Where is one place you've never been to before but would love to go?
4. If you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would it be?
5. Where's your favourite place to read?
6. What's you favourite movie?
7. What's your favouirte TV show?
8. What's your favourite song?
9. If you could travel back to any time period, when would it be?
10. What's the one item you never leave the house without?
11. Tea or coffee?

Throwing the nomination over to Sinead at Less Reality, More Books.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Feature & Follow #4


It's Friday, and you know what that means on this blog. It's time for another Feature & Follow Friday!

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. I've just started getting involved in these features and they're great fun! It's a really cool way to find out what people are reading and connect with other bloggers. Added bonus, the aim of a blog hop is to follow others. You follow me, I follow you. Wins all round! I'm happy for followers on GFC, Twitter, Bloglovin', Goodreads, whatever works for you. GFC seems to be being a bit temperamental at the moment, so I guess I'd prefer Bloglovin' follows if I had to pick one.



This Week's Question
Share a random quote from the book you are currently reading
by Journey Through Fiction

I'm currently reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes before the sequel, After You, comes out.



"Push yourself. Don't settle. Just live well. Just live."

Such a wonderful book and the quote sums it up perfectly! Sound advice too!

How about you?

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - World Building 101
















Class is in session! This week we're talking YA fantasy 101 and what books you'd have on the syllabus if you taught some of the essentials. It's quite a broad subject, so I've picked World Building 101 because, let's face it, who doesn't love opening a book and seeing the map of a whole new world before you've even read a sentence? I adore books set far, far away and good world building can make me overlook a multitude of sins elsewhere in the story (sometimes!). Hell, if you're going for escapism, you might as well do it properly right?

(As always, a big thank you to The Broke and The Bookish for hosting this weekly meme - one of my faves!)


1. The Lord of The Rings - J R R Tolkien
The grandaddy of them all when it comes to world building, this would be my example of how not to do it. Don't get me wrong, the book's a classic, but I also found it a tedious chore to get through, mainly because on all the irrelevant backstory, references to characters we never meet and a language system worthy of Oxford. Not surprisingly, the books were written to accompany Tolkien's fictional language. Good world building should enhance the story, not overshadow it.


2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor
I've just finished this series (and am giving away my spare copies if you're interested and live in the UK) and the world building here is incredible. It's so beautiful, so imaginative and so descriptive I'd swear the author had been there and was recalling it from memory.


3. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
A seamless blend of dystopia, fantasy and reality makes for a chilling vision of the future!

4. Mistborn - Brandon Sanderson
The cover alone is enough to make me imagine the medieval landscape of Scadrial where ash falls from the sky and wraiths run around in the mist. I've only just finished the first book but have been practically eating the pages!


5. The Mortal Instruments - Cassandra Clare
Another winning combination of fantasy and reality (even though I loathed the movie!).


6. The Grisha Trilogy - Leigh Bardugo
Although I was a bit disappointed by the lack of Russian history and culture in this series (the book blurb made me think it was going to be full of it. I don't count the vaguely Russian sounding names!), the world building more than made up for it. I cannot wait for Six of Crows to come out and take me back to Ravka!




7. Seraphina - Rachel Hartman
Mythology? Check. Magic? Check. Dragons? Check. Although I didn't enjoy the second book all that much, I adored Rachel Hartman's Seraphina and the kingdom of Goredd, a world where dragons walk among people and good old fashioned back stab is likely not far away!


8. Lunar Chronicles - Marissa Meyer
I love this series and Marissa Meyer does an epic job of combining fairy tale characters, futuristic tech and girl power. But the way the characters lives and worlds intertwine is what makes this series a winner for me.




9. Graceling - Kristin Cashore
Despite my indifference towards the final novel Bitterblue, the series has some great world building.


10. A Song of Ice and Fire
Whatever you think about George R R Martin's writing style, his incredible eye for detail and world building cannot be denied! Yes I'd prefer if he wrapped up some plot threads before starting new ones, and no I don't care about the fourth son of a character that was once mentioned in book 3, but Westeros remains one of the best examples of creating an entire fictional world, history and culture. Well, if I'm teaching class, I want my students to aim high!

It was quite a broad subject this week, so I'm keen to see what subjects everyone else picked and what books they chose.

Class dismissed!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Giveaway - Daughter of Smoke and Bone


As anyone who follows my blog probably knows, I am in love with the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor! I just finished reviewing them and gave them 5/5 stars each. The only trouble is I now need a suitably epic and gorgeous series to take their place in my reading life!

Thanks to my constant raving about them to anyone and everyone who'll listen, I've acquired a brand new set of the books.

And they're pretty. So pretty!
The battered and tear stained ones will return to by bookshelf, but to share my love of the series, I'm giving away the shiny new copies. This is my first blog giveaway - exciting times! Time to do a happy dance and celebrate!


Sorry to any international fellow book bloggers, but this giveaway is only open to UK folks, because international shipping is hella expensive. Click, share, spread the word and good luck to all!

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Dreams of Gods and Monsters - Review

"Once upon a time, and angel and a devil pressed their hands to their hearts and started the apocalypse."

With chief bad guy and leader of the angel armies Jael and his seraphim army The Dominion cross into the real world (landing in The Vatican – naturally!) in search of the human weapons they need to end the war with the chimera, Elsewhere and the mortal world meet in spectacular style. Karou takes control of the chimera army, with a hope of rebuilding their shattered home world of Eretz, and Akiva rallies the Misbegotten warrior angels against their erstwhile leader, while humanity awakens to the reality of angels on earth.

Oh my poor little heart!

Dreams and Gods and Monsters is the epic and fitting conclusion to the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. And it’s damn near perfect! The only thing that ruins the book is the ending. As in the fact that it does end, and I’m now left with a huge hole in my reading life that it will take a pretty amazing series to fill.

I loved the melding of magic and reality in DoGaM. Book one was a little more magic, book two was a little more reality, whereas book three has a lovely mix of the two. Jael’s PR war to win over the humans in order to secure our weaponary is wonderfully believable! There was still plenty of the incredibly lush and gorgeous world building I’ve come to expect from Laini Taylor, so vivid and descriptive I’d swear she’d been there and is recalling it from memory. At no point do her worlds seem contrived or jarring. There's nowhere where a dues ex machina pops up to save the day that hasn't had the mythical groundwork laid out for it. The next time I read a particularly bad example of that in YA, I'll return to this series to cleanse my reading palate!

This is the book where devil and angel come together too. The uneasy alliance between the chimera and misbegotten armies as they unit against the graver threat reflects the fragile trust rebuilding between Karou and Akiva. I was so happy to see this pair together again, even if they still don’t see eye to eye for much of the story. Laini Taylor is too good a writer to let their history be swept under the rug with a kiss, but with the future of both their races in their hands, they begin to start again. Both characters are battered, bruised and irrevocably changed. Gone is the carefree and mischievious Karou, now a strong and determined leader of what is left of her people. Gone is the stoic and vengeful Akiva, now fighting against the very system which created him. Stripped of everything we knew about them in DoSaB, what remains is the hope for peace that they once dared to dream of. The character arcs in this book, and the series, have been fantastic.

But as much as I love Karou and Akiva (one of my favourite YA couplings ever), they’ve been usurped in my affections by Liraz and Ziri. Nowhere is the uneasy alliance between chimera and seraphim more obvious than with these two. Angel Liraz is probably my favourite character of the series. The ultimate badass, she was willing to kill Akiva for his relationship with a chimera, so her gradual shift in seeing past the body that chimera Ziri is in to the soul inside is utterly beautiful. Anyone who had read the books can probably guess the parts where I was in tears! It goes to show how incredibly detailed and well written all of the characters are. Every character goes through the emotional wringer in this series!

Still can’t stand Zuzanna though!

I put this book down stunned, shaken and with a huge crazy smile on my face. I’m so sad to leave this fantastic and incredible world behind, but the journey from the beginning of book one to the end of book three has been nothing short of incredible. If you think you might have even the tiniest interest in this series, I urge you to read it. I promise you will not be disappointed!





Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Blogger Recognition Award!


I've been nominated by lovely ladies Carrie over at The Book Goddess, Erika at Books and Stars and Sinead at Less Reality More Books in the Blogger Recognition Award tag. Thanks guys!

Rules

1. Select 15 other blogs you want to give this award to. Do some digging if you must! Find those blogs. You cannot nominate yourself of the person who has nominated you.

2. Write a post to show off your award! Give a brief story of how your blog got started, and give a piece or two of advice to new bloggers. List who you nominated in your post. Make sure to attach the award yourself!

3. Comment on each blog and let them know you've nominated them. Provide a link to your award post.

4. Provide a link to the original post on Edge of Night. That way, anyone can find the original post if needed, and we can keep it from mutating and becoming confusing!

My Story
I've always been a big reader, even since I was little and read The Very Hungry Caterpillar. My mum used to wake me up for school when I'd slept with my head in a book and had to go to class with lines on my face. But in recent years reading has taken something of a backseat. After finishing college, I spent some time travelling and then took everyone's advice to "settle down" and "get sensible". I took a job which I love, but is stressful as hell and ate up my time to the point where I woke up one day and realised that I just wasn't happy. I'd been so caught up in being this successful career girl that I'd lost sight of the little things that were important to me and made me smile. The pay was great, it sounded good on paper and the parents were proud - always a plus - but it just wasn't what I wanted to do. One of the things that put it all into perspective for me was when I realised I hadn't bought or picked up a new book since I'd moved into my house. Almost 9 months ago. So as part of "getting back to me", I decided to set up my book blog. None of my friends are big readers of the YA/fantasy books that I love so much (my book group's latest pick is In Cold Blood by Truman Capote to give you an idea!) and I wanted somewhere to spew my thoughts and chat to likeminded bookworms. And the blogsphere has not let me down! The internet may have a bad rap for bringing out the worst in people, but it also brings out the best and the book blogging community has got to be one of the friendliest and most welcoming out there. You guys are the best!

Advice for New Bloggers
Do it! I was nervous as hell setting the blog up. What if no one read it? What if I just got a load of abuse in the comments (or no comments at all) and had to shut the whole thing down? Honestly, don't worry! I've only been blogging for a month or so but trust me when I say that book bloggers are some of the nicest people you will ever virtually meet. Don't be afraid to reach out. There are so many ways to connect with people and so many people out there, you'll realise where all the other book lovers have been your whole life.

And don't worry about trying to please anyone else, much less everyone else. Your blog is yours. You like that neon zigzag background? Have that neon zigzag background! My designer friend hates the indie flower font I use for my headers. But it's my blog and I love it, so it's going nowhere! Blogs are a constant work in progress, so try a few things out, see what works. Same with your content. Blog envy is painfully real, but don't try an imitate other people's, make it your own! Write about what resonates with you. If you post something that you think is clever and witty on Twitter and your follower number drops like a stone, who cares? What's the worst that can happen?

My Nominees
Priyanka @ A Booklion's Hideaway
Anna @ Enchanted by YA
Jessica @ A Great Read
Maria @ YA Teen Book Nerd
Phina @ Books Coffee and Life
Stina @ Once Untold
Jen @ My So-Called Book Reviews
Ardis @ Pondering The Prose
Piper @ Pipers Book Blog
Jess @ Little Book Heaven
Izzy @ The Reading Izzy
Kati @ Bookaholic Rambling Reviews
Donita @ My Random Book Thoughts
Aditi @ Book Stop Corner
Lauren @ My Expanding Bookshelf

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Auto-Buy Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish that other bloggers are welcome to join in, to create Top Ten lists on varying topics. This week it’s ten authors whose books go straight on your auto-buy list!

Laini Taylor – I’ve just finished rereading the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy for my blog. I’d forgotten how utterly breathtaking and incredible it it! I’m in awe of Laini Taylor’s imagination and her beautiful writing style. If I wore a hat (which I never do since I can never find any that fit over my enormous hair) I’d take it off to her. Anything she writes in the future is going straight to pre-order!

Kristin Cashore – Loved Graceling, liked Fire, didn’t enjoy Bitterblue, but there’s something about Kristin Cashore’s gorgeous world building and wonderful characters that would make me snap up anything she writes in the future.

Laura Dockrill – I’ve just finished reading Lorali (described by Hot Keys Books as 40% mermaids, 20% true love, 20% danger and 20% liberty) which I utterly adored, even though it made me cry in public. Laura is currently writing another book and whatever it is, it is going on the TBR list!

Diana Gabaldon – The Outlander series is one of my faves – although I wish I hadn’t watched the series finale on Amazon Prime. Jeez, I thought I cried enough when reading the book!

Natsuo Kirino – One of my favourite authors. Her books lean more towards gritty realism than the fantasy that’s my usual preference, but her stories always feature women constrained by their roles in Japanese society - something I’ve long been fascinated with. The Japanese to English translations don’t always come across perfectly though.

Kate Mosse – With magic, history and kick ass heroines, I’m obsessed with the Languedoc trilogy – Labyrinth, Sepulchre and Citadel – so much so that I’m making the trip to France early next year to see the sites that inspired the books. I just hope I remember to drive on the right side of the road when I get there!

Leigh Bardugo – Because of the Grisha trilogy. I’m (im)patiently waiting for the release of Six of Crows. Come on September!

Rebecca Chance – I love a good flashy chick-lit book, and Rebecca Chance always delivers! There’s none of the magic or fantasy or world building that I usually go for, but I can’t get enough of them!

Maria V Snyder – I loved each and every book in the Poison, Glass and Touch series’ (I haven’t read Inside Out yet…) which tick every box for me in the magic, mystery and romance categories.

Stephen King – The Master of Horror. The Shining is the only book I’ve read other than The Woman In Black by Susan Hill that genuinely freaked me out. I almost did a Joey from Friends and put the book in the freezer. And you can’t beat Gerard’s Game for weird and freaky. I struggled to explain exactly what I was reading when somebody asked me!

What about you guys? Who makes your auto-buy list?

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Insight - Review

Before that fateful summer night, Willow had balanced the insight of emotion, and the vivid images. That night, the figure in her nightmare marked her wrist with a star, giving her father no choice but to tell Willow a family secret that would abruptly change life, as she knew it, forever. Before Willow has time to absorb the shock of her father's secret, her soul mate that had shared every stunning dream with her, finds her, and darkness captured her closest friends. In order to save them, she must weave through broken myths and the undeniable power of the Zodiac.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Feature & Follow #3


The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. I've just started getting involved in these features and they're great fun! It's a really cool way to find out what people are reading and connect with other bloggers. Added bonus, the aim of a blog hop is to follow others. You follow me, I follow you. Wins all round! I'm happy for followers on GFC, Twitter, Bloglovin', Goodreads, whatever works for you. GFC seems to be being a bit temperamental at the moment, so I guess I'd prefer Bloglovin' follows if I had to pick one.




This Week's Question
If you could have an endless supply of food, what would it be?
by Not Tonight, I'm Reading.


Tough question, mainly because I love food so much it's hard to narrow it down to just one thing! But I'd have to go with crisps. Or potato chips for my non-UK based readers. I am addicted to them. I can take or leave sweet food, but anything savory does not last long around me. I can't sleep knowing there is an open bag of savory snacks in my house. One thing I've learned in my travels is that no country on earth does crisps like the English!


Anybody else out there in the blogosphere share my almost obsessive levels of crisp/chip love?


Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Review star jar

Since starting this blog I’ve been spending more time at my desk than I used to. What was once a storage surface for all manner of junk and very boring letters about insurance is now something resembling a constructive environment and I take every opportunity to make it look pretty.

Taking inspiration from the very lovely Anna over at Enchanted by YA, I’ve started a book review star jar. Basically, I have two jars, one full of origami wishing stars, the other currently full of fairy lights. The plan is that for every book I read, one star moves over to the light jar. Let's see how long it takes me to fill it!


I already have loads of these stars thanks to being a bit of a crafter on the side. I went through a spate of requests for gifts for house moves, graduations, weddings etc so had literally hundreds in every colour. These guys are the left overs!

This picture represents many broken nails!
I’ll be tying the star jar in with my book reviews by colour to give me a visual on how the reviews are going and when I’m slacking, or just suck at picking good books!

Red = one star review. Hopefully there won’t be too many of these!
Green = two star review.
Yellow = three star review.
Blue = four star review.
Gold = five star review. I’m hoping for lots of these (even though these guys are a pain to make because of the foil paper)!



Monday, 10 August 2015

Days of Blood and Starlight - Review

"Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world."

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was, without exaggeration, one of the most gorgeously imagined books I have ever read. I absolutely adored it  and immediately rushed out to by Days of Blood and Starlight and Dreams of Gods and Monsters. My hopes were high!

Thankfully, I was not disappointed!


Friday, 7 August 2015

I Mustache You Some Questions


I’ve been tagged by the lovely Maria at Teen YA Book Nerd to answer some questions on the I Mustache You Some Questions tag. I tried, I really did, to come up with a mustache related pun to go here about answering questions but I’ll be honest … I got nothing! I’ve seen this feature on a few blogs so am really excited to get involved!

Four Jobs I Would Love To Have
Graphic designer – Lucky for me, this is part of my day job. Said day job also comes with lots of stuff that’s not so much fun, but I get to flex my creative muscles every now and then!
Surgeon – I love anything fiddly, fixing things and helping people. Plus I'm weirdly fascinated by blood and guts.
Engineer – I like making things, and breaking things. This seems a natural progression.
Travel blogger – Travel the world, write, get paid. Dream job!

Four Movies I’ve watched More Than Once
The Shawshank Redemption – My favourite movie!
White Men Can’t Jump – 1990’s Welsey Snipes is utter genius. This is my go-to movie if I’m feeling a bit down.
Up – If I make it through the first 15 minutes without crying, I’m good.
Ted 2 – I ended up seeing this twice last week. It’s just as hilarious the second time around!

Four Books I Would Recommend
Lorali – I just finished this book (check out the review). Fantasy, star-crossed lovers, mermaids, what’s not to love?
Labyrinth – This book started my love affair with the Languedoc trilogy and is singlehandedly responsible for my decision to make the trip to France next year. Myth, magic and history, I’m there!
Daughter of Smoke and Bone – I’m rereading Laini Taylor’s trilogy for my blog, but the first book in the series is still my favourite. Plus Karou kicks so much ass! Angels, demons and magic, in spades.
The Girl Who Would Be King – Speaking of ass kickers, Kelly Thompson’s book has two of them. Bonnie and Lola. Good and evil. Superhero and supervillain. Written from the point of view of both girls, it’s a funny, brutal and far more original than it has any right to be. I love it!

Four Places I Have Visited
Japan – I adore Japan! I’ve been fascinated by it for as long as I can remember so it was a dream come true to spend a month travelling around this beautiful country. Downside though, having the inevitable jet lag in Tokyo sucks so much!
New Zealand – There is virtually nothing in this country that you can’t throw yourself off or out of. I met so many wonderful, inspirational and downright insane people here. My spiritual home!
China – A bit of a trial to actually get around and the language barrier was a nightmare, but China is an incredible country. I’ve been twice and it’s changing so fast I can’t imagine what it will be like in ten years time. It was the closest I've ever come to being famous too, with people taking my picture, wanting their picture taken with me or generally staring at me like I had two heads!
Laos – The wildcard. I went with no idea what I was doing or what to expect, just a backpack and a Lonely Planet. If you ever get the chance, go! Laos is one of the most beautiful, serene and intriguing countries I have ever been to. The people are so friendly and so welcoming it’s truly humbling. A place I will never forget!

Four Things I Don’t Eat
Tomatoes – Because of the squishy texture.
Peppers – Because of the taste (and squishy texture when they’re cooked).
Mushrooms – Because of the squishy texture.
Chocolate – Because apparently I’m a freak of nature.

Four of My Favourite Foods
Pad Thai – My go-to whenever I have to cook for people. It’s so easy even I can’t screw it up!
Sushi – Weird right? I hate squishy textures, but I love raw fish. Go figure!
Pizza – Pepperoni all the way!
Spaghetti – Pasta tastes so much better when it’s long and thin.

Four Things I’m Looking Forward To This Year
Spending New Year in Barcelona with my sister (that technically counts as this year right?).
Visiting Paris.
My little sister getting married!
My best friend having a baby!

Four People I Tag
Anna @ Enchanted by YA
Jessica @ A Great Read
Carrie @ The Book Goddess
Sinead @ Less Reality More Books

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Lorali - Review


All Rory had planned for his 16th birthday was a underage drink with his friends in the dead end seaside town of Hastings. Until he finds a strange, naked girl on the beach.

Her name is Lorali.

Followed by fierce storms and a group of mysterious figures who look like they’ve stepped out of the 18th century, Rory is drawn to the strange creature, determined to protect her. But who is Lorali? Where has she come from? And why is she running?