Blog Tour 📍 I Am Change ✨ Spoiler Free Review 📚 + Giveaway

Title: I Am Change
Author: Suzy Zail
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: August 1st, 2019
Pages: 340
Publishers: Walker Books Australia
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

They told her that her body belonged to men and her mind didn’t matter. They were wrong.

“What if I don’t want to marry?” Lillian held her breath. She had never said the words out loud. “Not want to marry?” Her aunt frowned. “What else would you do?” 

Set in a Ugandan village, Lilian has learned to shrink herself to fit other people’s ideas of what a girl is. In her village a girl is not meant to be smarter than her brother. A girl is not meant to go to school or enjoy her body or decide who to marry. Especially if she is poor. 

About the Book

Inspired by the stories told to the author by young Ugandan women. Timely and salient – the rights of girls and women in African countries are only now being exercised. A moving story of one girls struggle. 
200,000 million girls in developing countries don’t have the opportunity to go to school. Their education is disrupted by poverty, child marriage, gender based violence and cultures which favour boys’education. I Am Change highlights the issues that these young women face. 
Through Lilian, Suzy Zail gives readers a connection and a meaning to the young women’s stories.

This is for all the girls who have been whistled at on the street or groped behind classrooms… For anyone who’s hidden bruises or been visited by the cutter or been asked to stay back late after class. For girls who said “No” to a boy who heard “Yes”, and for all of us who’ve been told not to dream big.

I’m not sure how long this review will be because I am struggling to put my thoughts into words about this book!

This book is amazing! This is a book like The Hate U Give that needs to be shared & read because the message is so freaking important! I learnt so much about the culture around Uganda by reading this book. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know much about any of the African cultures at all, so while I can’t say I’m happy to have learned from this book because it’s not happy at all I’m glad I read it and learned these things. But it’s definitely not happy, it’s scary and heartbreaking and makes me furious honestly. But, it’s important, so it needs to be learned.

Obviously I can’t speak for the representation in this book but based on everything the author did to create this story I hope it’s accurate. This is such an important story that needs to be shared. It’s also empowering & inspiring. It makes you think about how freaking lucky you are to have no experienced that. It’s brutal and I recommend caution going into this book because the author does not sugar coat anything to make it an easy read. It’s a hard book to get through but it’s one that everyone needs to read. There were times where it was hard for me to think that this is a book set in present day. I wanted to believe that this is how it used to be and that things are better now but they aren’t! This is the type of thing that could be happening to a young Uganda girl RIGHT NOW!

The characters were also so well written! I fell in love with Lilian as a MC and I just wanted to bundle her up in my car and protect her from the shit she had to endure. And same with most of the girls in this story. There are characters I wanted to save, characters I wanted to slap sense into and characters I wanted to hang for their actions. I couldn’t help falling into & being wholeheartedly investing in their story.

That’s about all the words I can put right now as it’s still fresh and hard to process at this point. But I encourage every single one of you to go and purchase this book, or borrow it from your library, or whatever means you need to take to get this book & then read it! Or if for whatever reason you aren’t able to purchase the book and the library isn’t an option then please enter the Giveaway below.

Make sure you go and check out everyone else’s posts for the Tour aswell! You can find them all linked on the Aussie YA Bloggers post!

Giveaway

Firstly I would like to note that this Giveaway has nothing to do with the Blog Tour or the organisers of the Tour. I am doing this by my self and under my own free will.
This Giveaway is not going to run like they usually do on this blog. I will not be picking one winner & there is no time frame or specific rules to this giveaway (except that Book Depository must ship to you to enter). I will be simply sending out books to random people that enter when I can afford them. I won’t be notifying people if I’m sending it your way, you will just get a surprise in the mail. This giveaway is for the people that can’t get a hold of this book on their own for whatever reason but genuinely want to read this book. So please only enter if you intend to read the book.

I am also not responsible for any shipping fees or taxes that occur after the purchase of this book. So be mindful when entering.

How to enter:

Simply send me an email to duskangelreads@yahoo.com with the subject line ‘I Am Change Giveaway’ and include your name & address in the email. That is all you need to do. I would also appreciate that if you enter and then end up purchasing the book yourself to just email me and let me know that you no longer need the book so I can purchase it for someone that still needs it instead.

Some Links

Suzy Zail’s Held Girls Learn, Uganda

Girl Child Network, Uganda

AAFCAD

Girls Not Brides

Concern for the Girl Child

The Uganda Youth Alliance for Family Planning and Adolescent Health

Donate to One Girl

Thank you to Aussie YA Bloggers for hosting this tour & Walker Books for providing the books for us to review.

You can order a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book Depository if you would like to support this blog!

Booktopia

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QBD

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Shadow Frost by Coco Ma ✨ Spoiler Free Review

Title: Shadow Frost
Series: Unknown
Author: Coco Ma
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: October 1st, 2019
Pages: 400 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Blackstone Publishing
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

IN THE KINGDOM OF AXARIA, a darkness rises.

Some call it a monster, laying waste to the villagers and their homes. 
Some say it is an invulnerable demon summoned from the deepest abysses of the Immortal Realm. 
Many soldiers from the royal guard are sent out to hunt it down.

Not one has ever returned. 

When Asterin Faelenhart, Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne, discovers that she may hold the key to defeating the mysterious demon terrorizing her kingdom, she vows not to rest until the beast is slain. With the help of her friends and the powers she wields — though has yet to fully understand — Asterin sets out to complete a single task. The task that countless, trained soldiers have failed. 

To kill it. 

But as they hunt for the demon, they unearth a plot to assassinate the Princess herself instead. Asterin and her companions begin to wonder how much of their lives have been lies, especially when they realize that the center of the web of deceit might very well be themselves. With no one else to turn to, they are forced to decide just how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect the only world they have ever known. 

That is, of course… if the demon doesn’t get to them first.

From young author Coco Ma comes a dazzling new tale of adventure, power, and betrayal, weaving together a stunning world of magic with a killer cast in an explosive, unforgettable debut.

Okay, so I’m not going to follow my usual format. I don’t know why but I just haven’t been feeling the structured review writing lately. So let’s just jump in.

Firstly, I will talk about my 2 dislikes of this book and the reason I didn’t rate it 5 stars. Trust me, I loved this book but these 2 things were irritating.
Firstly we have the romance between Asterin & someone else that I won’t name because spoilers. This romance was a very typical, predictable romance and kinda insta lovey. When the second character first got introduced I guess there would be a romance straight away and I was not wrong. I however thought it could of been a good opportunity for a Hate to Love situation but they only showed dislike for eachother for about 3 seconds and then it was all over.. So the author missed that chance.

Now for the second reason I didn’t like this book, which is the character Orion. He rubbed me the wrong way from the very start of this book. His overly jealous personality really freaking irritated me. Then there was the romance he is apart of later in the book….

I can’t say more without spoilers but I want to explain, so if you don’t want to be spoiled for anything then don’t read the next section that is in italics.

So as I said his jealousness pissed me off. It was constant when Quinlan was around and felt very possessive in most situations. Which I did not like. If I was Asterin I would have kicked him to the curb well before this. In the beginning I assumed the jealousness was because he was in love with Asterin, which came across a few times as true but THEN… Bringing in Harry and all of that is completely abandoned. Talk about Insta love! He meets this dude and then instantly stops with the love sick crap towards Asterin and the jealousy shit towards Quinlan… I just don’t get it. Like at all. This character in my opinion just wasn’t written very well, his actions constantly contradicted each other and as I said he came across as possessive at times, which I’m not a fan of in any situation. Of course this may have been fixed for the release of the finished copy, as I did read an eARC but I was not a fan!

Well that’s the dislikes out of the road and now for everything I liked! Firstly, the Characters in general (excluding Orion) and the POV. At first the POV was a little disorientating. We jump between POVs with each chapter and occasionally within a chapter and in the beginning it was a tad hard to follow. The author does not include names at the start of the chapters but the character’s name is usually in the first sentence of the chapter, so it was relatively easy to figure out whose POV we were reading from. After getting used to the frequent changes I actually really enjoyed it! Throughout the book we follow the POV of nearly 10 characters or more which allows you an insight into not only what the main characters are doing but also the bad guys.. Each character felt like they had a unique voice within their POVs section, except for maybe the ones we only see one chapter of POV from. But I think overall it was done quite well and I enjoyed it.

The characters themselves we all very well developed and grew throughout the book which I really enjoyed! They were all written very well excluding Orion and even the ‘bad guys’ were written very well even if they aren’t nice people. Asterin suffered from the kinda typical trope of having more power than most so she has to go and defeat the villain but in this situation it did work and everything fell into place and made sense in the end. I really enjoyed Rose’s character as well! She was a badass and I really enjoyed reading from her POV. I also really liked Luna! She developed so well throughout the story and I 100% agree with her choices at the end of this book! Quinlan was also kinda typical… Extremely attractive, powerful and there to save the day of course… He was an enjoyable character but he definitely fit the mould of most YA male characters. Then we had Eadric who was probably the character that grew the most throughout the book. He was kinda the Dad figure of the group and I really enjoyed his personality and the way he developed.

The next thing I loved was the world & magic system. Both of which are very fleshed out and detailed! I loved learning about this world and the magic system. It was so interesting even if the magic system was not the most unique I’ve seen it was still very solid. I just enjoyed how much it was thought out! There was reasons for everything and it wasn’t like some magic systems where you just have to accept that this is how it works and that there isn’t a why involved… The world was really interesting too and I would love to learn more about the other kingdoms in this world. Which hopefully we will get in book 2!

Lastly we have the plot itself to talk about because it was intense! There were only 1 or 2 places where I guessed a plot twist/plot point but even then I was so into this book that it didn’t annoy me, I just wanted to know the how! Besides those couple I guessed this book was unpredictable! There were so many twists and turns that just kept me hooked the entire time and I loved the rollercoaster ride this book took me on! I do however want to yell at the author a lit for that cliff hanger! How dare you!!

So, overall I really enjoyed this one! It had a couple flaws in my opinion but I enjoyed the ride it took me on. I loved most of the characters and I can’t want to see where they go next. Also that cliffhanger!! I need to know what happens next!!!!!!!! I can’t wait for book 2 but it’s going to be a bit of a wait I would say. There are no details released yet as Book 1 isn’t even released yet…

Thank you to NetGalley & Blackstone Publishing for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

You can pre-order a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book Depository if you would like to support this blog!

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The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan ✨ Mini Spoiler Free Review

Title: The Sword of Summer
Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: MG/YA Fantasy
Publication Date: October 6th, 2015
Pages: 499 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Disney Hyperion
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis:

Magnus Chase has seen his share of trouble. Ever since that terrible night two years ago when his mother told him to run, he has lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, staying one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, Magnus learns that someone else is trying to track him down—his uncle Randolph, a man his mother had always warned him about. When Magnus tries to outmaneuver his uncle, he falls right into his clutches. Randolph starts rambling about Norse history and Magnus’s birthright: a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

The more Randolph talks, the more puzzle pieces fall into place. Stories about the gods of Asgard, wolves, and Doomsday bubble up from Magnus’s memory. But he doesn’t have time to consider it all before a fire giant attacks the city, forcing him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents. . . .

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die.

Okay, so I think Rick Riordan’s writing is the main reason I don’t enjoy these books. First off, I have read the first book in the Percy Jackson series and basically felt the exact same about it as I do with this one. I’m not 100% sure what exactly it is about these books but I just can’t connect with these books. I can’t connect with the characters and because of that I don’t really care about them or what happens to them. So I find myself getting bored & distracted and just wishing it was over already.

The world building is good & the world itself is interesting enough. The plot is also action packed & slightly engaging in some places. I can also honestly say it was really unpredictable. But those are the only things that really interests me in the story. Also these are the reason I rated this one 3.5 stars and not lower.

So overall, I didn’t enjoy myself that much reading this one! If you enjoy Rick Riordan’s writing then I think this good be a good read but for me it’s just average!

You can order a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book Depository if you wish!

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Paperback
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Paperback

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Paperback (only 9.99 AUD!)

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eBook
Paperback
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Have you read this one?! Did you enjoy it more than I do? Or agree with me?

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Mooncakes: Vol 1 by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu – Spoiler Free Review

Title: Mooncakes: Volume 1
Author: Suzanne Walker (Author) & Wendy Xu (Artist)
Genre: YA Diverse Fantasy Graphic Novel
Publication Date: October 15th, 2019
Pages: 256 (paperback)
Publishers: Lion Forge
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft.

Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.

One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.

Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.

So, I have never reviewed a Graphic Novel, so this will be a new experience! This won’t be following my usual format and also I won’t talk much about the plot as I don’t want to give anything away when this is a short story and I don’t want to spoil!

Firstly, the artwork is amazing! It’s cute, colourful & detailed and I really enjoyed the art! I will definitely be checking out other Graphic Novels that this artist has been apart of!

Next we have the diversity! We have a Queer Chinese-American Witch that also wears a hearing aid. Then we have Queer Chinese-American They/Them character! Also we have 2 Queer grandmothers in an awesome relationship, and who are also kinda badass! I love how much diversity was featured in such a short story!

Lastly, the story itself was really fun too! It has an interesting world, awesome characters & an unpredictable plot! I didn’t really know what to expect with this Graphic Novel as I hadn’t seen any information about it except that it was awesome, so it was fun to discover the interesting paranormal world that is in this story!

Thank you to NetGalley & Lion Forge for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

You can pre-order a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book Depository if you wish!

Book Depository

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Have you had the opportunity to read this one yet?
Did you enjoy it?
Are you keen for Mooncake to release?

Purchase any of the books mentioned from BOOK DEPOSITORY! World Wide FREE shipping and awesome prices? Can’t say no to that!

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Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford ✨ Spoiler Free Review

Title: Crown of Coral and Pearl
Series: Crown of Coral and Pearl
Author: Mara Rutherford
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: August 19th, 2019
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Harlequin Australia
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

For generations, the princes of Ilara have married the most beautiful maidens from the ocean village of Varenia. But though every girl longs to be chosen as the next princess, the cost of becoming royalty is higher than any of them could ever imagine…

Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and beauty of Ilara, the kingdom that’s ruled her village for as long as anyone can remember. But when a childhood accident left her with a permanent scar, it became clear that her identical twin sister, Zadie, would likely be chosen to marry the Crown Prince—while Nor remained behind, unable to ever set foot on land.

Then Zadie is gravely injured, and Nor is sent to Ilara in her place. To Nor’s dismay, her future husband, Prince Ceren, is as forbidding and cold as his home—a castle carved into a mountain and devoid of sunlight. And as she grows closer to Ceren’s brother, the charming Prince Talin, Nor uncovers startling truths about a failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen… and a plot to destroy the home she was once so eager to leave.

In order to save her people, Nor must learn to negotiate the treacherous protocols of a court where lies reign and obsession rules. But discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Varenia and Zadie.

Writing

Okay we are going to get my negative out of the road first. This was also the reason this book got 4.5 instead of 5 stars! INSTA LOVE!! Just no! There is not a single book with insta love that I’m like YES BITCH! Just nope..

Moving on! I adore the writing of this book! I DEVOURED it honestly, I read it late into the night until I literally fell asleep because I didn’t want to put it down! This world that is described in this book is so vivid an atmospheric! I loved it! I could picture the whole thing and I love the idea of village on the ocean. Houses just sticking out of the ocean and little boats to travel between it. I love the world!

Plot

I also really enjoyed the plot. It was full of interesting plot points and many twists I wasn’t expecting at all! It was super unpredictable and it kept me hooked the entire time! As I said before, I literally couldn’t put it down half the time!

Characters

I’ve already spoken on the Insta Love, so I won’t mention that again to do with the character. But I really enjoyed all the. characters, even the ones that are not likeable people, I enjoyed how they were written. All the characters felt very fleshed out and I loved seeing how they developed through the book!

Overall

I really enjoyed this book, obviously except the romance… Hopefully that is better in book 2, Kingdom of Sea and Stone. I can’t wait to see what happens next in this series and I also love that this looks like it’s going to be a duology!

Thank you to NetGalley & Harlequin Australia for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

You can pre-order a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book Depository if you wish!

Booktopia
Paperback
Hardcover

Book Depository
Hardcover

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eBook
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Are you keen to pick up Crown of Coral and Pearl? Or were you lucky enough to snag an early copy? Did you enjoy it?

Purchase any of the books mentioned from BOOK DEPOSITORY! World Wide FREE shipping and awesome prices? Can’t say no to that!

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Stronger than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan – Spoiler Free Review

Title: Stronger than a Bronze Dragon
Author: Mary Fan
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: June 11th, 2019
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Page Street Publishing
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

When a powerful viceroy arrives with a fleet of mechanical dragons and stops an attack on Anlei’s village, the villagers see him as a godsend. They agree to give him their sacred, enchanted River Pearl in exchange for permanent protection—if he’ll marry one of the village girls to solidify the alliance. Anlei is appalled when the viceroy selects her as a bride, but with the fate of her people at stake, she sees no choice but to consent. Anlei’s noble plans are sent into a tailspin, however, when a young thief steals the River Pearl for himself.

Knowing the viceroy won’t protect her village without the jewel, she takes matters into her own hands. But once she catches the thief, she discovers he needs the pearl just as much as she does. The two embark on an epic quest across the land and into the Courts of Hell, taking Anlei on a journey that reveals more is at stake than she could have ever imagined.

Writing

I have mixed feelings about the writing of this one and that is it’s main downfall for me. Firstly, I didn’t feel like the world was explained fully and I didn’t get enough info on the Magic System either, so I was a little underwhelmed with that. What I learnt about the world was super interesting and I would love to learn more, however this is a standalone, so won’t be getting that wish granted. I do appreciate that this is a standalone as YA Fantasy standalones are rare! My other issue with the writing is that it was a tad predictable and pretty cliche. I didn’t love the romance as it was pretty close to insta love. Which is a nope from me. It was only a little predictable, mainly with the romance and related things though. I didn’t guess the major plot points but there were things that I guessed..

However, I did enjoy the action, pacing, world and characters. So I didn’t hate this book but there could have been improvements..

Nothing can truly be fixed. Once broken, nothing will ever be s it was . . . And though you can’t repair something entirely, you can mold it into something better.

Plot

As I previously said there were some predictability, but not a tonne. I did enjoy the plot though, it kept me hooked and it was full of twists and turns. I also enjoyed the pacing, it felt very fast paced which made it easy to read!

Characters

The characters were quite enjoyable even though they were a bit predictable. This is one of those books that you are left wondering if you are supporting the right character and questioning their choices. Which I enjoy personally!

She throws up her hand. “If you were any denser, you’d fall right through the earth!”

Overall

So overall I enjoyed some things and disliked others. The book was enjoyable, action packed, fast paced, had an interesting world and good characters but there were a few things that could have been improved!

Thank you to NetGalley & Page Street Publishing for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

You can purchase a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book DepositoryBooktopia or Angus & Robertson.

Book Depository

Booktopia

Angus & Robertson

Have you read Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon? What are your thoughts??

Purchase any of the books mentioned from BOOK DEPOSITORY! World Wide FREE shipping and awesome prices? Can’t say no to that!

Aussie? Want quick shipping? Awesome prices? Want to be able to utilise AfterPay? Then try BOOKTOPIA or even ANGUS & ROBERTSON!

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Some of the links on my blog are affiliate links. This does not change the price of your purchases, however, I receive a small commission if you use any of those links to make a purchase! Which I highly appreciate!

Contagion by Erin Bowman – Spoiler Free Review

Title: Contagion
Series Name: Contagion
Author: Erin Bowman
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Horror
Publication Date: July 24th, 2018
Pages: 423 (Hardcover)
Publishers: HarperTeen
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

After receiving a distress call from a drill team on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is sent into deep space to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission.

When they arrive, they find the planet littered with the remains of the project—including its members’ dead bodies. As they try to piece together what could have possibly decimated an entire project, they discover that some things are best left buried—and some monsters are only too ready to awaken.

It got in us.

Writing

Oh my god!
This book was SO intense, SO gripping, SO interesting and just my god! I could not put this book down! The writing was awesome. There was the perfect amount of world building, character development, action, creepiness, sarcasm & second guessing. It was just awesome. It flowed really well & there was never any confusion. The atmosphere of this book was just outstanding. You could feel it & you could see it playing out, it was just amazingly written! I don’t read horror too often & this is Sci-Fi Horror and it definitely came through. The creepiness was just everywhere. Like if I heard a noise in the real world when I was deep in this book I would nearly shit myself. The writing just drags you so far into this story that it will feel real.

Most are dead.

Plot

This book did not slow down from start to finish! And it worked perfectly that way. The plot was unpredictable, action packed & intense in the best ways possible!

Don’t set foot here again.

Characters

These characters were just all over the place. In the best way. You never know who to trust, who has secrets, who is just doing something for their own gain & who is hiding something that could change everything! This is multi POV & in every POV you end up second guessing another character who you thought you trusted. All the characters were written amazingly & I loved and hated them all a little bit. They all developed over the course of the book, some in bad ways & some in worse ways. They all felt so fleshed out & were just so well written!

Don’t trust the kid.

Overall

This book was just so well done! Everything was written amazingly & the suspense was insane throughout the whole book! I can’t wait for book 2 which comes out very soon! 2nd of July which happens to be my birthday!! So that is super convenient!

You can purchase a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book DepositoryBooktopia or Angus & Robertson.

Booktopia
Hardcover // Paperback

Angus and Robertson
Hardcover // Paperback

Book Depository
Hardcover // Paperback

Amazon Australia
Hardcover // Paperback

Have you read Contagion
Are you keen for book 2 as much as me?!

Purchase any of the books mentioned from BOOK DEPOSITORY! World Wide FREE shipping and awesome prices? Can’t say no to that!

Aussie? Want quick shipping? Awesome prices? Want to be able to utilise AfterPay? Then try BOOKTOPIA or even ANGUS & ROBERTSON!

All the links!

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