Wednesday, September 20

Review: No Filter

No Filter
Orlagh Collins

Published By: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: July 13, 2017
Date Read: July 23, 2017
Genre: YA - Contemporary Romance
Source: ARC from Bloomsbury Publishing
Format: Paperback
Pages: 368

From Goodreads:
This is the story of THAT SUMMER … the one when everything changes.

Emerald has grown up in a privileged world – the beloved daughter of a wealthy family, friends with all the right people, social media addict. But Emerald's family has secrets – and when Emerald finds her mum unconscious on the bathroom floor, no one can pretend any more. Now she's being packed off to stay with her grandma in Ireland while her mum recuperates and her dad just works and works and works.

Grandma's big, lonely house is set back from the beach, and there's no phone signal or wifi. It's going to be a long summer ... Until she meets Liam.

When you're falling in love, it's hard to tell someone everything. Even if you've got nothing to hide any more. And when secrets and lies are all you're used to, how do you deal with real love – brave and true – with no filter?

The fresh, funny and poignant debut novel from Orlagh Collins, a bright new voice in YA fiction. Authentic, down to earth and sweepingly romantic all at once, No Filter is perfect for fans of John Green, Rainbow Rowell and Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

No Filter was a book I hadn't heard of until I saw the list of authors going to YALC and thought that it sounded like a super cute read. When Bloomsbury contacted me asking if I would like to review it, I jumped at that chance. No Filter was a super cute romance that was just what I needed at the time of reading it and I enjoyed it.

Emerald is horrified when she discovers that she is to be spending the summer with her grandmother  in Ireland but when she meets the intriguing Liam, her summer starts looking up. Liam is the only one she can confide in and she finds herself dreading having to go home at the end of the summer.

No Filter is the debut novel of Orlagh Collins and I enjoyed it. I really liked the characters of Emerald and Liam. Emerald shows signs of an addiction to social media and I really enjoyed the back story of teens being addicted to things like Instagram and the amount of distress that can cause. Liam was super sweet and I found myself just loving his points of view throughout the book.

No Filter is not the best book I've ever read in my life and there were elements that irritated me a little. No Filter is told from the points of view of both Liam and Emerald which I enjoyed but the narration seemed a little jumpy to me. For example, you'd be reading Emerald's point of view and she mentions plans with Liam in 3 days time and the next moment it's jumped to that day. I kind of felt as if they didn't have lives seperate from each other. Like nothing happened to them in their life in those times they were apart and I found that a littel irritating.

Overall, No Filter is a super cute, flirty romance and I enjoyed it. It's a good read and the perfect book for if you're wanting a break from a different genre.

Wednesday, September 13

Review: A Conjuring of Light (Shade of Magic #3)

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3)
VE Schwab

Published By: Titan Books
Publication Date: February 21, 2017
Date Read: July 19, 2017
Genre: Adult - Fantasy
Source: Gifted from Donna from Book Passion for Life
Format: Paperback
Pages: 666

From Goodreads:
Witness the fate of beloved heroes - and enemies.


The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.

Kell - once assumed to be the last surviving Antari - begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?

Lila Bard, once a commonplace - but never common - thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.

And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.

"Bad ideas are my favourite kind."

A Conjuring of Light was without a doubt the best book of the series. The Shades of Magic series is one that has just completely and utterly blown me away and I couldn't have asked for a more amazing and satisfying ending than I got in A Conjuring of Light. It was a rollarcoaster of emotions and at one point I didn't know how this story could ever end well, but VE Schwab did it superbly.

The battle is upon us. The Black King is in Red London and he wants to rule everything. How can you fight a shadow? Especially one that can infect the minds and bodies of almost everybody in the city? In order to fight, Alucard Emery and his crew must leave London and sail the seas in the hope to collect a legendary item that just might help them defeat the Black King.

I loved this book so much. I was a little worried about starting this one straight after A Gathering of Shadows, especially after I felt that that one took me forever to read and I just wanted to finally get through it. But I needn't have worried, because although A Conjuring of Light was longer than the other books, I read it the quickest of the three. It was absolutely stunning. I couldn't put it down. It was fast paced and held my attention so much, I read around 60% of it in one day.

VE Schwab has sealed herself as Queen of Fantasy. Her storytelling is so superb. She really has written such an intricately designed world and she executed everything flawlessly. There were points in this book where I was so worried about how it would end, because I really couldn't see how all of my beloved characters were going to get out of this, and save the world that everybody loved. But I should have just trusted Victoria because she clearly knew what she was doing and she ended this series perfectly. She even did the impossible... made me love a character I had previously disliked, if not hated.

If you'd have said to me when I was reading the first book in this series that I would end up loving Holland, I would have laughed in your face. I hated him! But a lot of this book was looking back on Holland's past and explaining why he was the way he was, and I found myself sympathising with him so much. He had been through so much crap in his life and I really just wanted to hug him. VE Schwab could have easily left Holland's back story out of this book and focused more on the other charaters and events happening. I am so glad that she included it, as to me, it gave the whole story such an added depth. It made me love Holland and his story just utterly broke my heart.

A Conjuring of Light was pure fantasy perfection. I cried, I laughed and I went on such an adventure with these characters. I loved every moment of it and I truly believe that this is the best fantasy series I have ever read... and I've read a lot. I cannot praise this series enough. I just adore it so much and I know it will be a series I will re-read over and over again. If you haven't already read this series, I highly recommend that you do. It will make you laugh, swoon and cry your heart out... and it is worth every single second of your time.

"Love and loss, are like a ship and the sea. They rise together. The more we love, the more we have to lose. But the only way to avoid loss is to avoid love. And what a sad world that would be."

Wednesday, September 6

Review: A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2)

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2)
VE Schwab

Published By: Titan Books
Publication Date: February 23, 2016
Date Read: July 15, 2017
Genre: Adult - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 508
From Goodreads:
Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift, and into Black London.

In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games—an extravagant international competition of magic, meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries—a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again—meaning that another London must fall.

"Standing there on display was painful enough.
Now came the truly unfortunate task of socializing"

A Darker Shade of Magic completely and utterly blew me away. I loved every single second of it. I couldn't believe how much I had missed by not reading this sooner. I couldn't help but jump straight into A Gathering of Shadows.

A Gathering of Shadows picks up with A Darker Shade of Magic left off. Lila has left, now a thief on a ship while Kell is left back in Red London with his family. The only difference is now the King and Queen no longer trust him at all.

I really felt for Kell throughout this one. He did all he could to protect and save his family and his world for the majority of them to turn on him and not trust him at all. At many points throughout reading A Gathering of Shadows I wanted to yell and shake them a little bit. Kell was really a kind of prisoner in this book and I really just wanted to reach into the book and hug him a little.

I absolutely loved the new characters added into this second installment of the Shades of Magic series. I absolutely adored Alucard, the captain of Lila's ship who carries with him just as many secrets and mysteries as she does herself. I loved seeing glimpses of his past and I ship him and Rhy so much. They were so adorable in this one. I loved seeing the start of the little romances in this book. It's not a major part of the book but it's there in the background and I loved that.

A Gathering of Shadows was such a great installment in this series but I had a really odd experience reading it that I've never had before. I was loving the storyline, the writing and the characters but I felt it was taking me absolutely forever to read this book. I don't know whether I was just reading it too slowly but I really couldn't wait to finish the book. It was just lasting me for so so long. I had my mind set that I was going to have a break from the series after finishing this book. Something short and sweet but then VE Schwab hit me with that cliffhanger! Seriously guys, it is the mother of all cliffhangers so how could I not jump straight into A Conjuring of Light. If you're reading this series guys make sure that you have book 3 to start striaght away!

A Gathering of Shadows was a great book and I really enjoyed it. I didn't love it quite as much as I did the first one but I know, as all middle books in a trilogy, it's setting up for all the crazy things to go down in the final book of the series. I can't wait to see how it all plays out.

"Crossing worlds, killing royals, saving cities. The marks of every good courtship."

Friday, September 1

Wrap Up: August 2017

Hey Guys,
Can you believe it's September already? This year is going so fast and I feel like the summer went by in the blink of an eye. I read quite a bit in August which was awesome. See my month in books below.

Book Haul


The Wrath and the Dawn (Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh
The Rose and the Dagger (Wrath and the Dawn #2) by Renee Ahdieh
The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare
Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artificies #2) by Cassandra Clare



For Review


Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1) by Leigh Bardugo
Nyxia (Nyxia Triad #1) by Scott Reintgen

Books Read in August 2017:

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James - 5 Stars
Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1) by Renee Ahdieh
The Treatment by CL Taylor - 3 Stars
Roar (Stormheart #1) by Cora Carmack - 5 Stars
If There's No Tomorrow by Jennifer L Armentrout - 5 Stars
Vendetta (Blood for Blood #1) by Catherine Doyle - 4 Stars
Inferno (Blood for Blood #2) by Catherine Doyle - 5 Stars
Mafiosa (Blood for Blood #3) by Catherine Doyle - 5 Stars

Reviews Posted in August 2017:

Fireblood (Frostblood #2) by Elly Blake
The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
Truth or Dare by Non Pratt
The Treatment by CL Taylor
We Were Liars by E Lockhart
One of Us is Lying by Karen M McManus
If There's No Tomorrow by Jennifer L Armentrout  
A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by VE Schwab

2017 Challenges Update:

This year I am challenging myself to:
  • The Totally Doable 2017 Reading Challenge
  • The 2017 Debut Author Challenge
  • The 2017 'Continue a Series' Challenge
  • The Zoella Book Club Challenge
The Totally Doable 2017 Challenge

Like last month rather than selecting books for the categories I just read what I wanted and then saw if any of them fit.

This month I read one more for this challenge, which was a book set in the future. That book was The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James.

I am so thrilled as I have now completed this challenge with 4 months to spare!

Challenge Total: 12/12

The 2017 Debut Author Challenge

Unfortunately I was unable to read any other debuts this month.

Challenge Total: 4/5

The 2017 'Continue a Series' Challenge

Unfortunately, I was unable to do anything else for this challenge this month.

Challenge Total: 3/5

The Zoella Bookclub Challenge 

Unfortunately I didn't read any more for this challenge this month.

Challenge Update: 7/16

Top 3 Books of August 2017:

What did you read this month?


Wednesday, August 30

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1)

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1)
VE Schwab

Published By: Titan Books
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Date Read: July 5, 2017
Genre: Adult - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 401
From Goodreads:
Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

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.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then 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'd rather die on an adventure than live standing still."

A Darker Shade of Magic is a book I have seen everywhere for such a long time. I bought the series a little over a year ago as VE Schwab was going to YALC and it was one of my YALC 2016 TBR... but still I didn't read it. I had read and loved Victoria's other books Vicious and This Savage Song and it was well past time I finally read this series. Dude why did I not read this book sooner? I absolutely loved this book. It is just unbelieavable amazing!!

In a world filled with magic there are four overlapping worlds, with the most prominant city of London. Grey London is a dying world where magic no longer exists. Red London is brimming with magic. White London is dying for a taste of the magic of Red London and Black London no longer exists after magic has consumed it. Kell is special. He is one of the last Antari's. People with the power to walk between the worlds. But Kell also smuggles things from one world to another, and when one transaction goes wrong it could have life threatening consequences.

I freaking loved this book. I absolutely adore VE Schwab. She is fast becoming one of my all time favourite authors. She's just utterly phenomenal. Right from the very first word I was enamoured with this world and these characters. The more I read the more I wanted to read faster and faster so I could find out what was going to happen. She has definitely sealed herself on my auto-buy authors list. I don't even need to know what her books are about, I will read anything this amazing woman writes.

I absolutely loved the two main characters in A Darker Shade of Magic. They are such an unlikely pair to be companions but it worked so well. Kell was an amazing character who only wants to protect his family and the worlds and when he meets Lila, the unlikely companion from another world, it really changes his perceptions of everything. I loved Lila she is such a kickass character and I loved her attitude towards everything. She has this insane love of knives and everywhere she goes she ends up getting a new knife. This shows her amazing and heartbreaking back story of having to protect herself from such a young age. She was a great character to follow throughout the storyline.

A Darker Shade of Magic is filled to the brim with magic, mystery, action and adventure. I loved every single second of it. I was a little disappointed to see no romance in this book, as I am a sucker for a romance hidden behind all the magic in fantasy books but this book is so action packed that you have much more to keep you occupied so I didn't miss it as much as I would in other books. However I would really like to see a little bit of romance come into the series in future books.

A Darker Shade of Magic is a fantastic start to a series, and I fell head over heels in love with this series and it's characters. I cannot wait to see what it going to happen next and I will be jumping straight into book 2. If you're looking for a new series to take you on an amazing adventure then look no further. This book is definitely worth the read.

"Some thought magic came from the mind, others the soul, or the heart, or the will. But Kell knew it came from the blood."

Friday, August 25

Early Review: If There's No Tomorrow

If There's No Tomorrow
Jennifer L Armentrout

Published By: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Date Read: August 16, 2017
Genre: YA - Contemporary
Source: ARC from JLA
Format: E-Book

From Goodreads:

Lena Wise is always looking forward to tomorrow, especially at the start of her senior year. She's ready to pack in as much friend time as possible, to finish college applications and to maybe let her childhood best friend Sebastian know how she really feels about him. For Lena, the upcoming year is going to be epic—one of opportunities and chances.

Until one choice, one moment, destroys everything.

Now Lena isn't looking forward to tomorrow. Not when friend time may never be the same. Not when college applications feel all but impossible. Not when Sebastian might never forgive her for what happened.

For what she let happen.

With the guilt growing each day, Lena knows that her only hope is to move on. But how can she move on when her and her friends' entire existences have been redefined? How can she move on when tomorrow isn't even guaranteed?

"What would I have done differently that night if I'd known there was no tomorrow? EVERYTHING. I would've done everything differently."

It's no surprise to anyone who knows me that Jennifer L Armentrout is my favourite author of all time. Everything she writes I will read (apart from when she writes about clowns but let's not talk about that) and there are no words to describe just how excited I was for If There's No Tomorrow. I knew that I would just absolutely love this book and I was right. This book is without a doubt the best contemporary that she has wrote.

Lena made a huge mistake. One that changed the lives of everyone she knows and now she is wracked with guilt. How can she move on when she is carrying around this guilt and responsibility that she feels? How can she when if all of her friends found out what she had done they would never forgive her?

If There's No Tomorrow is just utter perfection. I loved every single moment of it and with most JLA books as soon as I started this book I couldn't put it down. I loved every moment of it and I couldn't read fast enough for the need to know what was going to happen to these amazing characters. Jennifer once again gave us incredible characters that we could fall in love with and experience this amazing journey with them. I absolutley loved Lena, and I really sympathised with her throughout the whole book. I really felt for her and just wanted to reach into the book and give her a massive hug. Sebastian is such a typically amazing JLA book boyfriend. He is sweet and perfect and everyone who reads this book will fall head over heels in love with him.

If There's No Tomorrow has a much more sombre feel to it, due to the nature of this story but that made me love the book so much more. Often in contemporary books I feel like it's the same typical story and you know exactly what is going to happen but with this one I did not feel like that whatsoever. It's not just another romance book. It has a storyline that runs so much deeper than that and it will utterly break your heart in the most perfect way.

If There's No Tomorrow is without a doubt the best JLA contemporary book, in my opinion. My favourite will still remain to be her paranormal books. If There's No Tomorrow really makes you think about the most important things in life and how one action really can influence so much, no matter how little and insignificant you think that action is. It will break your heart and make you sob but you will love every single second of it. It is utter perfection.

"We were reading. Together. And there was something so nerdily perfect about what we were doing that I might've fallen in love all over again."


Wednesday, August 23

Review: One of Us is Lying

One of Us is Lying
Karen M McManus

Published By: Penguin
Publication Date: June 1, 2017
Date Read: June 24, 2017
Genre: YA - Thriller / Mystery
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 365
From Goodreads:
Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule.

Sports star Cooper only knows what he's doing in the baseball diamond.

Bad body Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime.

Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.

And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won't ever talk about any of them again.

He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it's no accident. All of them are suspects.

Everyone has secrets, right?

What really matters is how far you'll go to protect them.

"I don't know why it's so hard for people to admit that sometimes they're just assholes who screw up because they don't expect to get caught."

One of Us is Lying is a book that I came across after the author list for YALC was posted. As soon as I read the blurb I was intrigued. I'm not usually a thriller / mystery reader but this one just sounded so damn good... and I wasn't wrong. I absolutely adored every single second of it.

One of Us is Lying follows the lives of four students in Bayview High. Each of them a perfect stereotype of high school students, a nerd, a bad boy almost-criminal, the jock and the prom queen. After the death of fellow student Simon, a guy who has no shortage of enemies due to his app About That where he posts the most notorious gossip rumours about fellow students. Suddenly the four unlikely friends find themselves the suspects in Simon's death. But is something else at play? Or is one of them the real killer and lying about everything? Who can they trust?

I absolutely loved this book. Seriously it is just so amazing. First off the characters are just perfect. I love that our main four characters show the main stereotypes of high school students but the more you read the more you find deeper depths to them and I loved that. I loved all four of the main characters but my favourite were by far Nate and Bronwyn. I loved them and I was rooting for a romance between them so much. They were just utterly incredible.

One of Us is Lying is more a mystery book than a thriller to me. We definitely have the thriller aspect in the fact that Simon has died but the rest of the book is more of a 'who dunnit?' type of book and let me tell you Karen wrote this book so phenomenally. I am having an incredibly hard time believing that this is her debut because the writing is just stunning and so well done. Although I guessed some things correctly, namely one of the main characters real secret, the big storyline (who killed Simon) I just couldn't figure out. I had a different person in my mind as having done it every couple of pages. It shows how well this book is written when it keeps changing your mind and keeps you guessing right till the end. Oh and by the way, I still never called it. I was so surprised by the ending.

One of Us is Lying is a must read for everyone. I am not a typical mystery reader. To be honest, I usually avoid mystery and thriller books but then the past year or so I've read some that I have loved. They are pretty hit and miss with me but this one was definitely a hit and I am so so glad that I gave it a shot because it was just incredible. If you, like me, don't usually read these types of books I urge you to give this one a shot because it's amazing. This is without a doubt one of the best books I have read all year. Go read it. I promise you won't be disappointed.

"I guess we're almost friends now, or as friendly as you can get when you're not one hundred percent sure the other person isn't framing you for murder."