Posted in Book Reviews

‘The Crowns of Croswald’ by D.E. Night

‘The Crowns of Croswald’ by D.E. Night.21698268_695047084022023_1100801937_n.png

Publisher: Stories Untold Press.

Published: July 21st2017.

Page Count: 310 Pages.

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy.

ISBN: 9780996948647.

RRP: $10.99 Buy your copy here!

Synopsis:

In Croswald, the only thing more powerful than dark magic is one secret…

For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald’s mysterious gems. When Ivy’s magic––and her life––is threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever

Review:

We would just like to firstly say a huge thank you to JKS Communications for sending us this novel to review!

We are  so glad we picked up this Middle Grade Fantasy novel to read as we both just really enjoyed this novel! It was a really quick read and the plot itself was just so easy to dive into.

The magical adventures that took place really grabbed at us as soon as we started reading this novel! Although, we do wish it was a little bit more action packed and that the characters relationships had a little more detail. However, we will definitely see more detail in a second novel if one is released due to the whole mystery behind this novel. Overall, we really can’t complain as we really loved this new fantasy novel!

We were honestly just blow away! The whole concept to this plot was just so unique and extraordinary. We loved the mystery that consumed the characters. In particular, we loved the main character, Ivy. We really learnt a lot from her, to pursue what you think is right, to believe in yourself and most importantly, to not let anyone make you feel inferior.

This novel follows the leading character, Ivy Lovely, who has been hidden behind a magical boundary to separate the mundane from the magical who possess certain abilities and magic. When Ivy crosses the boarder, powers awaken which have been locked inside her. A certain mystery leads her to the Halls of Ivy, a school where magic is learnt to be controlled. Throughout the novel, Ivy is swept away in a series of adventures where she learns to accept and unlock her true potential.

We were actually really surprised by the Halls of Ivy. The school reminds us of Hogwarts with its magic and adventure concepts. The author has done a remarkable job to capture this world’s true beauty. We know we would love to study at this school! The classes are really intriguing, especially the ‘Art of Ink’ and ‘Memory class’!

The characters were also really amazing! We loved how Ivy treasured all her relationships with students and teachers! We thoroughly enjoyed the mystery and curiosity she always carried. It was lovely to see loyal friendships being made.

Overall, we really enjoyed ‘The Crowns of Croswald’! We highly recommend it to you all! It’s such a magical read with so much mystery!

We loved it!

Book Rating: 4.5/5 ⭐️

~ Georgia & Morgan.

Advertisements
Posted in Book Reviews

‘IDA’ by Alison Evans Book Chat!

‘IDA’ by Alison Evans.21733356_693488874177844_76605326_n.png

Publisher: Bonnier Publishing.

Published: January 1st 2017.

Page Count: 244 Pages.

Genre: YA, Fantasy.

ISBN: 1760404381.

RRP: $19.99 AUD.

Synopsis:

How do people decide on a path, and find the drive to pursue what they want? 

Ida struggles more than other young people to work this out. She can shift between parallel universes, allowing her to follow alternative paths.

One day Ida sees a shadowy, see-through doppelganger of herself on the train. She starts to wonder if she’s actually in control of her ability, and whether there are effects far beyond what she’s considered.

How can she know, anyway, whether one universe is ultimately better than another? And what if the continual shifting causes her to lose what is most important to her, just as she’s discovering what that is, and she can never find her way back?

Review:

Thank you so much to Bonnier Publishing for sending us a copy of this novel to review❤️.

It’s not very often that you find a novel which features a great range of diversity, hidden within its cover! Also featuring a unique and fascinating plot about time travel, ‘IDA’ portrayed gender fluid characters and one character’s different personalities and events across parallel universes.

This novel was just spectacular with how it features different perspectives! We honestly just loved how diverse this novel was, giving each character their own individual voice.

We were just so excited to read this novel as we continue to hear positive thoughts and reviews from our friends and fellow readers! We were especially excited to pick up this novel to help share some #loveozya.30720860

Although we really did enjoy this novel, we did find ourselves confused within some parts of the novel. This could be due to the amount of gaps we found, or just how fast paced we found this novel to be. We would have loved a bit more detail however, we did enjoy this novel.

The writing style in particular jumped head first straight into action! We found this to be good in a way to help make the overall plot and characters really intriguing however, we also just felt like by doing this we couldn’t really grasp a good handle on the novels world building.

We actually found ourselves really loving the time travel concept to this novel! Ida portrays a really interesting and unique ability to transport herself across parallel universes, creating changes to situations and the order of her life. She often finds herself using her ability for small things such as to change her shampoo, to change what she may have said in any situation or even to change any predicament she found herself in of which she didn’t particularly like. Due to her frequent shifting of time a paradox is created, which is one result of her time travelling ability.

We found this novel to be quite intriguing in regard to Ida’s ability as well as her journey to find her way back to her own time and family. We did find this novel to have gaps and loose ends however, we really did enjoy this novel so we would absolutely recommend it to you all!

Book Rating: 3.5/5 Stars⭐️

 

Posted in Uncategorized

WWW Wednesday (September 13th 2017)

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. All you have to do is answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

The questions are:34503675
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading –

We are actually participating in #tbrknockdown24 on the weekend for the chance to set aside some time to knock off a view books on our TBR. We aim to finish  ‘Song of the Current’ by Sarah Tolcser! This novel follows Caroline Oresteia as she comes to terms with her father being arrested for smuggling. Her father is a wherryman so all she needs is the river gods to whisper her name or her fate to be sealed, even though she’s only seventeen.21039932_684960841697314_1303830044_n

Recently Finished –  

We actually finished reading ‘Illuminae’ by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff today. We really enjoyed this novel so we can’t wait to pick up the second novel in the series. We hope to upload our review very soon! 33281801

Reading Next –

Also for our Readathon this weekend, we are aiming  to read ‘Landscape with Invisible Hand’ by M.T. Anderson! We don’t know much about this novel however, from what we have head its about an alien invasion. 34944590

We also aim to start reading ‘The Crowns of Croswald’ by D.E.Night on the weekend for this Readathon also. We are officially on holidays from school/ university on Friday so we can’t wait to take a break and spend some time reading!

Have a great reading week!

~ Georgia and Morgan.

 

 

Posted in WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday (September 6th 2017)

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. All you have to do is answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at Taking on a World of Words.21039932_684960841697314_1303830044_n

The questions are:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading –

34503675

So we are still currently reading ‘Illuminae’ by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. We started reading this a couple of weeks ago. We hope to finish reading this book this week.

We also started reading ‘Song of the Current’ by Sarah Tolcser today! This novel follows Caroline Oresteia as she comes to terms with her father being arrested for smuggling. Her father is a wherryman so all she needs is the river gods to whisper her name or her fate to be sealed, even though she’s only seventeen.

Recently Finished –  

30720860

We recently finished reading ‘IDA’ by Alison Evans today. This novel was all about the character Ida who can shift between parallel universes and her dealing with the effects of shifting time. This novel was actually quite interesting!

We hope to post our review very soon!

Reading Next –

We hope to start reading ‘Daughter of the Burning City’ by Amanda Foody!

This novel follows a sixteen-year-old girl named Sorina who is an illusion-worker! She can create illusions that others can see, feel and touch with each of their own personalities, she didn’t believe they were real as yes, they are only illusions. Until one of them is murdered.

dbc.PNG

~ Georgia & Morgan 

 

 

 

Posted in Book Reviews

‘Phantom Limbs’ by Paula Garner

‘Phantom Limbs’ by Paula Garner21360819_689732137886851_958991256_n.png

Publisher: Walker Books Australia.

Published: June 1st, 2017.

Page Count: 367 Pages.

Genre: YA, Contemporary.

ISBN: 9781406373219.

RRP: $18.99 AUD.

Synopsis:

In this YA contemporary romance, a sixteen-year-old boy must learn to swim against an undercurrent of grief – or be swept away by it.

Otis and Meg were inseparable until her family abruptly moved away after the terrible accident that left Otis’s little brother dead and both of their families changed for ever. Since then, it’s been three years of radio silence, during which time Otis has become the unlikely protégé of eighteen-year-old Dara – part drill sergeant, part friend – who’s hell-bent on transforming Otis into the Olympic swimmer she can no longer be. But when Otis learns that Meg is coming back to town, he must face some difficult truths about the girl he’s never forgotten and the brother he’s never stopped grieving. As it becomes achingly clear that he and Meg are not the same people they were, Otis must decide what to hold on to and what to leave behind. Quietly affecting, this compulsively readable debut novel captures all the confusion, heartbreak, and fragile hope of three teens struggling to accept profound absences in their lives.

Review:

Thank you so much Walker Books Australia for sending us this incredible novel to review!

“You love someone and they leave, but they never entirely go away. You feel them there, acutely, like an amputated limb”

Where can we begin? Phantom Limbs is just a beautifully written novel that strongly captures grief, personal struggles, growing, moving on and of course love in all of it’s many possible forms.

Going into this novel we weren’t quite sure what to expect or how we should feel about so much grief. However, this novel is truly just breathtaking and heartbreaking at the same time!

As soon as we started reading this novel we found that we automatically connected to the leading character Otis. Despite his many setbacks with trying to take each day as it comes, you really do see his character grow and transform into a completely different person. He learns to accept himself, others and the situations he finds himself in, including the tragedy of losing his little brother.21322951_689732134553518_1682688063_n.png

The characters and plot was also really strong and powerful throughout this novel. After getting to know the two main female characters Meg and Dara, we just felt like we could finally understand the characters and story line a lot better!

This novel made us bawl quite a lot! Meaning blotchy, tear stained faces! But we honestly loved how this novel could do this to us as it made us feel truly connected to how incredibly strong and inspirational this novel is!

Phantom Limbs is an incredibly heartbreaking and inspirational novel so please pick this up as we can’t recommend it enough!

This novel will stay with us for a very long time! We can’t wait to read future novels by this amazing author.

Book Rating: 5/5 Stars.

Posted in Monthly Wrap Up/ TBR

August Wrap Up & September TBR

We are now in the month of September so it’s about time we wrapped up our August reading month… We have been absolutely terrible at blogging during August which we apologize for. We have just had such a crazy semester at school/university however, hopefully we will have more time to read this month!

We only managed to read 6 books during August. We have holidays in 2 weeks so we are really looking forwards to having lots of time to read and relax!

Books Read in August:

21322975_689735264553205_803526720_n

September TBR:

  • ‘Song of the Current’ by Sarah Tolcser.
  • ‘Daughter Of The Burning City’ by Amanda Foody.
  • ‘Bad Romance’ by Heather Demetrios.
  • ‘Heart of Mist’ by Helen Scheuerer.
  • ‘Landscape with Invisible Hand’ by M.T. Anderson.
  • ‘Sparrow’ Scot Gardner.
  • ‘The Crowns of Croswald’ by D.E. Night.

We also aim to finish our current reads which are ‘Illuminae’ by Amie Kaufman and ‘IDA’ by Alison Evans.

21325589_689735267886538_1486283614_n.png

Have a great reading month!

~ Georgia and Morgan.

Posted in Book Haul

August Book Haul – 2017

We hope you all had an amazing August! It’s honestly just crazy how fast this year is travelling! Anyway getting into our August Book Haul we managed to somehow haul a total of 8 books!

21291125_688947984631933_393786442_n.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What did you haul this month?

~Georgia & Morgan.

 

 

 

Posted in WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday (August 30th 2017)

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. All you have to do is answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at Taking on a World of Words.35666656

The questions are:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading –

We started ‘Phantom Limbs’ by Paula Garner a couple of days ago. We haven’t gotten too far into the novel yet due to a busy week filled with school/university assessments due however, what we have read so far we have enjoyed!

This novel follows a sixteen year old boy called Otis as he tries to overcome his grief of losing his little brother and Meg, his best friend who abruptly moved away after this tragic accident. It’s been three years since he has heard from Meg so when she suddenly comes back to town, he must face some difficult truths.

21039932_684960841697314_1303830044_n

We also currently reading ‘Illuminae’ by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. We started reading this last week however, we have been quite busy lately and haven’t been able to read as much as we would have liked to.

Recently Finished –  21209096_687154281477970_2116947067_n

We recently finished reading ‘Harbour of Light’ by Elle Scott a couple of days ago. Review link here ‘Harbour of Light’ by Elle Scott! We really loved how adventurous and full of action this novel was! The characters were actually just so easy to relate to. There were so many inspirational messages within this book as well like believing in yourself and fighting for the ones you love.

Reading Next –30720860

We hope to start reading ‘IDA’ by Alison Evans next! This novel follows a female character named Ida who can shift between parallel universes. From what we have heard about this novel, it is about the ability of time travel and it’s effects on Ida’s life.

We have heard so many positive things about this novel so we can’t wait to start reading it!

What are you currently reading?

~ Georgia & Morgan.

 

Posted in Book Reviews

‘Harbour of Light’ by Elle Scott

‘Harbour of Light’ by Elle Scott.

Publisher: DJB.

Published: August 26th, 2017.21209096_687154281477970_2116947067_n.png

Page Count: 381 Pages.

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Science Fiction.

ISBN: 0995442622.

Synopsis:

Continue the journey with Nora, Kate, and Vivian as their choices make more impact than ever before. While shocking revelations, new alliances and unlikely friendships are made, the threat that looms becomes clearer.

Whose choices will lead them to make the ultimate sacrifice?

Review:

Thank you so much Elle Scott for sending us an arc of this beautiful novel to review!❤️

We officially finished ‘Harbour of Light’ a couple of days ago and we still just can’t stop thinking about this roller coaster of a novel!

This is actually the second novel in ‘The Incandescent Series’. We read the first novel in the series ‘Ray of Light’ a couple of months ago which we absolutely loved and really enjoyed! We will leave our review link here!‘Ray of Light’ by Elle Scott

This novel in particular was just extraordinary! It was so action packed and full of adventure so it was definitely right up our alley of genres we love to read! We fell in love with the characters in the first novel. We especially loved the leading character Nora so it was just amazing to be able to continue on with the story line to find out exactly what happened next.

We loved all the descriptions and emotion between each relationship! The friendships formed in book one came back stronger than ever in book two. The characters were faced with so much danger, adventure, betrayal and of course, love!35575143

Elle Scott definitely knows how to write a beautiful novel, especially one which we can all relate to! The novel portrayed so many inspirational key messages, some of which include to believe in yourself, to not take yourself or others for granted and to fight for what you believe in!

The novel follows the leading viewpoints of three female characters Nora, Kate and Vivian. Following on with learning each different power of Nora’s orb, the leading character, Nora just wants to live a normal life away from her past including Palladium Enterprises. When three of her close and trusted friends are kidnapped, Nora makes it her responsibility to dig deep inside herself to find the power to save them and everyone she loves. She goes on an incredible journey where she learns who she can trust and to believe in herself so she could save the world!

If you haven’t read the first novel in this series ‘Ray of Light’, we definitely encourage you to do so as it’s honestly just an amazing novel!

Elle Scott has done it again! She has created yet another intriguing and engaging story that you can’t not help but relate to!

5/5 Stars ⭐️

Posted in Author Q&A

Lauren James Q&A

  1. Where did the inspiration for The Loneliest Girl in the Universe come from?lauren james.PNG

Funnily enough, it started with a question from some Physics coursework at university! The question was about special relativity, and went something like this:

An astronaut travels in a spaceship to a new planet. After a few years, a newer faster ship is developed and launched, which overtakes the first ship. How old are the two astronauts when they each arrive on the planet?

I started thinking about what it would be like to be that first astronaut, and dedicate years to travelling alone in space, only for your ship to be overtaken by a faster one before you even arrive! What would that feel like? What kind of relationship would you have with the person on the faster ship? From that, the story of Romy Silvers was born.

I’ve always loved stories of isolation – it’s a great way to really get to know a character. I knew that if I was writing a whole book where there was only really one person, I would need to create a character who would keep the reader’s attention and loyalty. It was a big challenge, but I fell totally in love with Romy while I was writing about her, and I hope everyone reading The Loneliest Girl in the Universe does too.

  1. Did you always dream of becoming a writer?

I started writing The Next Together when I was sixteen, and finished the first draft when I was nineteen. I never intended to get the story published – I was writing just for myself, for fun! The first draft was very self-indulgent, and included cameos from some of my professors, and lots of in-jokes. There was no pressure to write something good. I was just writing for myself, telling myself a bedtime story after classes. I never saw it as doing something scary or difficult.

I always loved the idea of being a writer, but I absolutely didn’t think it was possible. I thought people who became authors must have spent their whole life writing, and I was too interested in doing other things for that.

My second novel The Last Beginning, which I wrote after I’d got a book deal, was about twenty times harder because suddenly there was all of this pressure. I had to push past a lot of fear which had never been there before.

Being an author is quite similar to how I imagined it, though – spending a lot of time alone, staying up late at night to write, summoning the devil in exchange for book ideas..….wait, what?

  1. How did you feel when secured your first publishing deal at 21?

It was very exciting and scary, and I still feel very lucky! When The Next Together was finished I left it for a few months, and when I came back to it, I was surprised to find that it wasn’t as terrible as I remembered. It even made me laugh a few times. I decided to send it off to some literary agents, just to see if they could give me some useful feedback.

I had absolutely no idea how the publishing industry worked, and I think I read one How To article on query letters before writing one and blithely sending it off into the aether. I found an A to Z list of agents and started emailing with the Z’s, because I thought they’d have the least submissions. In the end, I found an agent on W, after I’d emailed only six agencies. It was a very naive way to apply, but I got very lucky – my agent is incredible, and last year she was shortlisted for the Bookseller’s Agent of the Year award.

We then submitted to publishers after a whole year of revisions (I was still at university so could only really work on it during the holidays) and within two weeks, two publishers had offered. Saying it now, that seems so easy and fast, but at the time it was the most stressful, delirious fortnight of my life. I’ve been through the submission process several times since then, and it does not get any easier.

  1. What is your favourite book?

I love Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho, Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, Lirael by Garth Nix, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susannah Clarke and Far From You by Tess Sharpe.

  1. What authors have influenced your writing?

Neil Gaiman, Rainbow Rowell, Sarah Waters, P. G. Wodehouse, Audrey Niffeneger.…..I could go on all day, I think! In particular I’m always making notes when I read books by Douglas Adams – he’s the master of humorous sci fi. I’ve adored his work since I was young.

I read a wide range of genres, and because of that I try to make my books a little bit of every genre – The Loneliest Girl in the Universe is a bit fandom, a bit thriller, a bit romance and a bit sci fi.

I think if I didn’t write a variety of different genres, I’d probably get bored. My next books are a mix of different genres again – my latest book, which I’m still writing, is a paranormal supervillain origin story. So something completely different, again!

6. What issues do you like to explore in your writing?

I always try to include LGBT+ characters in my books. I was so frustrated as a teenager because, as a huge sci fi fan, I could never find diverse characters in the worlds I loved. Recently there’s been some amazing progress in this direction (like The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet) but at the time, it felt a completely barren wasteland. I wanted to write about a character who was gay, but the book wasn’t a coming out story. I wanted them to get to do things, while being gay.

   7. What was it like to see your books translated into another language?20864106_682217001971698_2130080875_n

It’s huge. Seeing my words in another language is something I’ve always wanted to have – so it’s incredible that it’s actually happened! I can’t quite believe it still.

I’m especially proud of the Brazilian edition, as I studied in America for a year, and spent most of my time hanging out with Brazilian students who were also studying abroad for a year. So there was a LOT of excitement amongst my friends when the translated edition came out in Brazil. They keep sending me pictures of it, and trying to persuade everyone to buy it!

   8. Would you go into space if you could?

I’m not sure. I think I’m probably not as brave as Romy. I might go after tourism space travel has been running for a few decades and it has been proven its safe, but definitely not yet!

Lauren is published in the UK by Walker Books, in the US by HarperCollins and in translation in five other countries around the world. She lives in the West Midlands and is an Arts Council grant recipient. You can find her on Twitter at @Lauren_E_James, Tumblr at @laurenjames or her website http://www.laurenejames.co.uk, where you can subscribe to her newsletter to be kept up to date with her new releases and receive bonus content.