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Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: 
Becky Albertalli
Genre: YA Diverse Contemporary
Publication Date: April 7th, 2015
Pages: 320 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Balzer & Bray
Rating:
5 Star

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Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

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You can find my spoiler free review of The Upside of Unrequited HERE!

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I honestly don’t like this cover, like at all. I like the cover of The Upside of Unrequited a bit more but still didn’t love it. The Simon cover just kinda looks cheap and basic and I just don’t like it.

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My opinion of Becky Albertalli’s writing is the same in this book as it was for The Upside of Unrequited! These books drag you in and you just get so invested in the lives of the characters in this book. I feel as invested in these characters in 300 pages as I would usually feel in the last book in a trilogy! These books are also really quick reads! Each I read easily in a day!

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I really enjoy that in Albertalli’s books there is the main plot, but also side plots going on, but they also feel like they are main plots too! I love that these books also deal with major topics but bring it into an awesome, funny and cute book! I just love everything about these books!

I’m not going to lie though, this book was a little predictable and I guessed who Blue was like half way through and was right.

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Again a pretty diverse range of characters! We had Gay, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Jews & Dark characters (I don’t believe it was actually stated what nationality Bran actually is, so I don’t want to make a guess). We also had people from divorced families, which I respect as being from a divorced family myself.

I really like Simon and being in his head for this story was hilarious. Just the way he thinks was so funny and a great perspective to read from! I feel like I can kinda relate to him too, but for the life of me, I don’t know how really as I haven’t been through any of these things myself!

There are a lot of characters I want to talk about, so I’m going to try and keep it to one or two paragraphs. And they are in no particular order of how much we see them in the book, I’m just writing it as I think of people.

Martin was an ass, I don’t care what happens throughout the rest of the book, I still don’t like him. He seemed genuinely upset at the end there though, so maybe he at least understands his mistake, even if it doens’t take back what he did.
I enjoyed Abby a lot, she was the cool best friend that you could do silly things with and there was never really an issue.
Nick, I was really excited to see as he was the one mentioned in The Upside of Unrequited that was with Simon at a certain thing, so when we meet him I was excited as! But also he is a cool character and I enjoy that nothing will get in the way for his love of both music and video games haha.
Leah was a little grumpy and annoying some times, but there was a reasoning behind it, but she was one of those characters that you just wanted to help feel better because even if she didn’t see ‘the thing’ coming, the rest of us totally knew how it would play out.
Garret, we don’t see too much of, he is just kinda in the back ground a lot of the time. Same with Bran, but I still thought Bran was the quiet and cute type.
I really liked their theatre teacher, she was awesome and passionate!
I also really liked Simon’s Sister Alice, she was understanding and caring, even though she wasn’t around. I also liked Simon’s Younger Sister Nora too, I don’t know how old she was but she seemed pretty mature for a younger sister and I liked that she was understanding as well. She was also caring enough to show Simon a certain thing rather than just ignore it and let him figure it out.

Those are all the ones I can think of right now, but I know there are more. But that is all I think!

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I really loved this book and from now on Becky Albertalli is an auto buy author. Even though I’m not a romance reader, I have a soft spot for LGBT+ romances. I think one of my main isues with romances in books as they are always so damn typical and over done! And it’s nearly always the same type of romance with similar characters. So for that reason, I don’t mind LGBT+ romances as they are usually more unique and also, being a bisexual myself, I like seeing these diverse characters!

Anyway, I love these books! They are fun, hilarious and cute books with amazingly diverse characters and great plots! I highly recommend them both!



HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!
IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

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When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: 
Sandhya Menon
Genre: YA Diverse Contemporary
Publication Date: May 30th, 2017
Pages: 380 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Simon Pulse
Rating:
3 and a half star

Blog Titles

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

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This is probably going to be the weirdest review you read. Even though I think this was a beautifully written book with a great diversity of characters, I also didn’t love it. I am quite simply not a romance reader and this book was just too much for me. But it is still a great book and I highly recommend it to everyone that does enjoy romance!

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Even though I don’t usually like covers with people on the front, I do really like this one as the person on the cover matches the description of the MC perfectly, same with the back cover with Rishi & Dimple on it! So often books with people on them don’t even match the MC description (just look at the multiple editions of the Anna and the French Kiss books). So I was really happy to see a book that matches! I also like the simplicity of the cover but it portrays the book perfectly.

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The writing of this book was great! My only problem was the combination of Hindi (I think) in the speech parts of the book. I don’t speak Hindi, so it was a tad confusing as even though some of it was explained/translated, there was a lot that wasn’t. At the beginning, I did try and google the translation, but it messed with the flow of the reading, so I stopped bothering and even though I didn’t feel like I missed anything not understanding those parts, but it was still a little annoying not knowing the meaning of them.

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The plot of this book was fine but like I said the main focus is the romance, so I wasn’t obsessed. But I did love the rest, the app designing was really interesting and I’m curious if anyone has actually created an app like that as I think it legitimately would be helpful. I also really enjoyed the comic side of things too! It was also interesting learning some things about their culture.

I did find the plot a little predictable at times, but there is very few contemporaries that I have read that I haven’t found predictable.

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I enjoyed that there was a fairly diverse bunch of characters. Not only did we have 2 Indian MCs but also Dimple’s room mate is, I am guessing, bisexual as she mentions have a girlfriend previously but is in a relationship with a male within the book, so just guessing the bisexual part.

I did enjoy Dimple as a character and I mostly enjoyed being in her head as I found it funny and similar to myself, her way of thinking, even if she didn’t say a lot of things out loud.

Rishi was a little annoying at times as he kinda went on and on in his head about Dimple and relationship/marriage things (Dimple did it too but not as often or as excessive). Besides that, he was pretty cool and I enjoyed his passion for comics even if he tried to down play it.

I enjoyed Celia at the start and at the end, in the middle though I wanted to slap some sense into her but she came round and figured it out for herself eventually anyway and then I was back to liking her but I just can’t stand the type of people that act like she was acting in the middle there.

Well, they were the main ones, but I also want to talk about a few others. Ashish, I did enjoy and I loved his development with his brother towards the end. Hari & Evan were just typical jerks. Isabelle, I didn’t like, even though she acted like she was the victim the same as Celia in that middle part, she still kept pretending afterwards.

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The book was okay. It’s a fun cutesy romance, but romances just aren’t for me. But I enjoyed the other elements of the story and most of the characters. The writing was really good and the so was everything else, just not a book for me.



HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!
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This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab – Spoiler Free Review


Title: This Savage Song
Author: 
Victoria Schwab
Series Name: Monsters of Verity
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Publication Date: July 5th, 2016
Pages: 427 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Greenwillow Books
Rating:


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

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

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Blog Titles (1)I love how simple this cover looks from afar but how detailed it is close up! From a distant it simply looks like a read violin on a black background which represents the book perfectly! But then when you look closer you find that there is a broken city street shown in the violin shape. I think this cover fits the book amazingly! 

Blog Titles (2)After reading Victoria Scwabs short story in Because You Love To Hate Me I was excited to get to another of her books as the writing was amazing! And I was not disappointed!

The writing drags you in and doesn’t let you go! The pacing and flow was amazing. It was slower when it needed to be but was mostly fairly fast paced. The book flowed well and I didn’t have any issues with understand this book. The world was described beautifully and I didn’t finish the book with a hundred questions like some fantasy novels do. Everything was rounded off well and honestly I think this book could be read as a standalone. Even though we finish on a turn where our characters are about to face something completely new, it was still rounded of so well that you felt like it could just be left there and still be a perfect story. 

I also loved that there was no romance! I genuinely felt like a true friendship was being built in this book and I absolutely loved it! I seriously hope that the friendship continues in the next book and doesn’t turn to a romance (that is if both of our characters are together and in the next book 😝). 

My only complaint is I wish we had a map of Verity in the book! It would have been awesome to see where everything was located and also the areas considered Red, Yellow and Green! 

Blog Titles (3)I thoroughly enjoyed the plot in this book. It was action packed but not insanely so where it just feels unrealistic. Again everything was explained and summed up amazingly at the end, so the plot didn’t have any holes or spots that were confusing.  

Blog Titles (4)Firstly I loved the friendship in this book! Even though they had basically nothing in common, there is certain things that you go through with a person and can’t help but become friends and that’s exactly how this book felt! 

Kate I kinda disliked in the beginning. But e ven if how she did it in the beginning was a bit questionable, all she wanted was for her dad to actually respect and feel proud of her. I grew to like her though and found her really enjoyable. She was kind and caring, but also wouldn’t let people get away with doing something horrible, which I respect. Overall a pretty badass female character. 

August was an awesome character. He knew what he was excepted to be by Leo was wrong and never stopped fighting that. Yet he still made sacrifices that would benefit more people in the long run. He was also a caring and loving character and if someone he cared about was in trouble he would try everything he could! Except for with Isla because she is too stubborn to let others help here haha. 

From the start I didn’t like Leo. Even though I understood his general idea of people who have done wrong should suffer I still think he goes about it the complete wrong way. There is one thing to do the service to save others from these people, but to enjoy doing it was just a bit off for me. 

Sloan I also couldn’t stand but at first it was just because he was creepy and just felt odd but then towards the end my dislike for him definitely escalates! 

There are other side characters, but most of them we don’t see enough for me to full form thorough opinions of them. But I like Isla, and I hope we find out more about her in the next book! And Harker is a cruel bastard. 

Blog Titles (5)Overall I really enjoyed this book! The writing is amazing and you just don’t want to put the book down! The characters are very well done! Even if some of them I wanted to kill myself. I loved the friendship between our two main characters, it’s so refreshing and nice finding a book that actually has no romance with the MC! The world is also pretty unique and interesting! I can’t wait to get my hands on Book 2 towards the end of the year. 



HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!
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Passenger by Alexandra Bracken – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Passenger
Author: 
Alexandra Bracken
Series Name: Passenger
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: January 5th, 2016
Pages: 486 (Paperback)
Publishers: Disney-Hyperion
Rating:
4 star

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Passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home… forever.

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I really like the concept of this cover! The city inside the bottle with the ship reflected underneath displays this book well.

I don’t like however that on my paperback copy all the silver on the word ‘Passenger’ & ‘Alexandra Bracken’ is rubbing off and you won’t even be able to read it soon… Also, the plastic coating with the cover actually on it is peeling up at the edges. A bit poorly done, to be honest.

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This is my second Alexandra Bracken book and I do like her writing style. The book flowed really well and was a quick read, especially considering this book is near 500 pages. This book was also not as confusing as I thought it was going to be! When I first learned that this book would be time travelling between not only different time periods but also different places I was a little worried it would get a bit confusing keeping track. However, I didn’t have a problem at all! It was clearly told where and when they were throughout the book and it all went along smoothly.

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I really enjoyed this plot! The travelling and adventure of this book are great! I also loved that it ends half way through the journey the characters are on. I feel like a lot of books in series I have read lately end on a high note with everything calm and resolved but then when you get to the next book a different hell breaks loose. But in this one, we are in the middle somewhere and still in that hell that has broken loose. Which I enjoy because it makes me a lot keener to pick up the next book than it usually makes me want to pick up the next book when it feels like everything is fine at the end.
I hope that actually makes sense?!

One thing I did not enjoy about this book was the romance. As you may know, I am not a fan of romances in books and I can’t stand when a romance overshadows the plot of a book. That, unfortunately, happens a fair few times in this book! But not thinking about that I also thought like this romance was kind of pointless and felt a little forced. *May be a little SPOILERY!!** As soon as they met I knew what was going to happen. It felt like it developed slowly because of how long the book physical is, but in reality, it was only a couple weeks! It may not have been Instant love but it wasn’t that far off! You don’t tell someone you love them after two weeks! Why is it so hard to just have an awesome friendship develop in a YA fantasy book?! Why does it always have to be something romantic or sexual! Anyway, this romance was also pointless to the plot and when it was overshadowing the plot it was extremely annoying and I just wanted to get back to the adventure and the plot! *Even more spoilery ahead!* I also didn’t like Etta for the things she did within this relationship! Her mother was captured and may possibly be killed! I don’t know about you but if my mother’s life was at risk I wouldn’t be sitting around making out with someone, like come on woman, get your priorities straight!

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I enjoyed Etta but didn’t love her. If you read my little spoilery bit above then you will understand part of it! She definitely needs to reevaluate her priorities, especially with the time limit, other things could have waited! But I also just kinda found her annoying and petty at times too.

Nicholas, I enjoyed a bit more that Etta but there was also nothing that wowed me about him. He kinda felt like the typical guy out of a YA fantasy. I enjoyed how far he would go for the people he cares about.

Sophia was not an enjoyable character right from the start. She is selfish and doesn’t care what happens or how many people she hurts as long as she gets what she wants and it’s really pathetic. I honestly hope she goes through hell in the next book! She needs a reality check that it’s not only about her.

Hasam I did enjoy! Even though he was around the same age as Etta he acted a lot older and actually thought everything through he did. I also enjoyed that he questioned their choices and didn’t just straight out trust Nicholas.. Etta is family, so he trusted her quickly once he found out who she was but he didn’t just accept Nicholas like a few other people did in the book which I thought was foolish of them when they can’t guarantee who’s side he is on.

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I enjoyed this book but I had a few issues with it. The romance is a big thing I had an issue with and I didn’t love the two main characters. But I do love the actual plot and the world in this book! It was really interesting to visit those points in history and seeing it from an outsiders perspective and also how they reacted to certain things that weren’t from their time! I strongly hope the next book isn’t as heavy on the romance!



HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!
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The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: The Upside of Unrequited
Author: 
Becky Albertalli
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: April 11th, 2017
Pages: 336 (Paperback)
Publishers: PUFFIN
Rating:
5 Star

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Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love-she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness-except for the part where she is.
Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny, flirtatious, and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

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So this is my first book by Becky Albertalli and now I realise what all the hype was about! The writing was amazing! It flowed well and even though this book isn’t action packed it always felt fast paced and I read this book so quickly! I think it was a total of about 3 hours last night before I was falling asleep and about 4 hours today I read the book in. The book hooked you and dragged you in! It was very hard to put it down!

I also really enjoyed that the story continued after the main romance part with the main character was over. The ending was probably my favourite part of this book!

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I really enjoyed the plot of this book and also that the main plot wasn’t the only thing going on. There were other kind of plots going on in the background too which were really enjoyable as well.

I’m not a romance reader but this book was actually adorable. Like I said above I think the last bit was my favourite part and I was literally silently had tears running down my face in the last couple chapters (Happy tears).

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I absolutely loved the hugely diverse cast of characters that were in this book.
First off we had a main female character, Molly, that suffered from anxiety and was . A lesbian twin sister, Cassie, (I think she was lesbian, it wasn’t strictly stated). We had a bisexual, Nadine and a lesbian, Patty (I think, again wasn’t strictly said) mothers of the twins and they also have a little brother. And did I mention that the kids were born through Artificial Insemination, one mother having the twins and the other having their little brother? Then there was also Cassie’s girlfriend who is pansexual. There was a gay couple that popped up at the end too. I think that is all, but there might have been more that I can’t recall while writing this.

I really enjoyed Molly as a character and I found her fairly relatable. I don’t suffer from anxiety myself but some of the thoughts she had throughout the book were definitely things that had gone through my head when I was younger. It was a little frustrating at times being her head because you just felt like shaking her and telling her to just do it! But I have never suffered from anxiety and I have also been a very loud and out there person and have never fully given a crap what people thought of me. But I fully understood that how I was thinking was not how anxiety works and I think reading this book made me a bit more aware of what it would be like to have anxiety.

Cassie was a little petty and annoying at times but fairly enjoyable. I liked the idea of her trying to help Molly get her first boyfriend but it did annoy me that she never actually asked if the person she wanted Molly to be with was actually the person Molly wanted to be with and in that case she was a little selfish.

Okay, Will did kinda annoy me. This next bit is going to be a little spoilery, so skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want spoilers. So he did lead Molly on. The casual talking and flirting were fine but what annoyed me was when he deliberately came and sat with Molly when she was sitting with Reid and then interrupted them when they were whispering together. Then also deliberately sleeping right up against her for no real reason… I don’t like people that lead others on and I didn’t like him after this part of the book. The rest he could have gotten away with being a casual flirt but not that night.

I really enjoyed Reid as a character. He was fun and quirky and I liked him since he met Molly and was wearing a Middle-Earth shirt! I’m in! I also liked that he was funny and knew that there was a time and a place for certain discussions. There is nothing worse than having an off conversation with someone and having to work the rest of your shift with them, so I liked that he knew his timing. I also liked that he seemed like someone you can easily start randomly talking to and end up friends and wouldn’t be weirded out by it. I like people like that.

I liked how understanding Olivia was and she also knew when something was up with Molly and she needed to get out.
Abby was a good character too, she was always there for Molly even though they were however far away from each other. Molly would only need to call her and she would be there. And can someone tell me in the comments if Abby’s best friend Simon is the Simon from Simon vs. the Homo sapiens Agenda (I haven’t read it so don’t spoil me please) I’m just curious?
I enjoyed Mina and how considerate she was most of the time. She tried to stay out of the family drama and if she was present she either pretended not to be listening or asked if they wanted her to leave. She knew that Cassie and Molly were important to each other and she tried not to get in the way of that.

Patty & Nadine were great parents! Firstly I love that we have parents in a YA book who are an actual part of the story as it’s rare but I also loved that their story was in this as well. The ending that I loved had a lot to do with them. They were fun Mums and would do anything for their children. Even if it was just going for a drive in the middle of the night because they knew one of the girls needed a distraction and to clear their head. They were always there for the girls but also the girls couldn’t get away with anything as they would definitely find out! I also love how openly breastfeeding was talked about in this book as most books just say something along the lines of ‘ baby was feeding’ but in this book, the author just went for it and I thought that was great!

And I think that is all the major characters, there were a few other characters that were present but not present enough to get an actual feel for them though!

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Overall I really enjoyed this book! It was a quick and easy read and I love that it was based right around the time that Marriage equality was legalised all over America! I couldn’t help but get excited in this book! Especially seen as it hasn’t been legalised in Australia yet but there is a lot of talk about it at the moment! I loved the diverse characters and the plot was really good too! This is definitely a cute but amazing book!



HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!
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Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Song of the Current
Author: 
Sarah Tolcser
Series Name: Song of the Current
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: June 6th, 2017
Pages: 372 (Paperback)
Publishers: Bloomsbury
Rating:
4 and a half Star

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Caroline Oresteia has always been destined for the river. Her father is a wherryman, as was her grandmother. All Caro needs is for the river god to whisper her name, and her fate is sealed. But at seventeen, Caro may be too late.

So when pirates burn ships and her father is arrested, Caro volunteers to transport a dangerous cargo in exchange for his release. Secretly, Caro hopes that by piloting her own wherry, the river god will finally speak her name.

But when the cargo becomes more than Caro expected, she finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies. With much more than her father’s life at stake, Caro must choose between the future she knows, and the one she never could have imagined.

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This was the book that came in the June The YA Chronicles box and I’m so glad that it did as I haven’t seen this book anywhere so I probably never would have seen it or purchased it and I would have missed out on this amazing book!

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I really like the cover of this book! I love the swirl design on the front and the ship with the moon behind it are gorgeous! I don’t like that the ship on the cover doesn’t resemble either the Cormorant or Vix especially seen as there are images of both boats on the page of the map. I also like the vibrant blue of the cover, the image above doesn’t show the proper colouring of the book.

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I really enjoy the writing of this book! Especially considering this is a debut author! The writing was beautiful and flowed really well. The pacing was also really good in this book, there were a few slower parts but they worked well, overall the book was fairly fast paced though! I love that there were very unique names of people, places, and boats in this book and even though they were a little hard to read the first time, once you spelled them out they were fairly easy and I didn’t have any extreme trouble with any of them I don’t think. There were some terms in the book when it came to sailing & the boat itself that I didn’t really understand and I kinda wish they were explained a little bit as I have no experience with boats so they didn’t make sense to me but it wasn’t bad enough to be a problem, they were usually just things mentioned in passing.

I also loved that there was a map! I kept checking back with the map throughout this book as there is a lot of moving around happening and I don’t think the traveling would have quite made sense without the map. Especially with all the twists and turns of the rivers, it would have been really hard to visualise without the map.

This next bit is a little spoilery. As many of you may know I don’t love romances in books but I actually enjoyed the one in this book. It was a slow development and I think it was done really well. I also really liked that it never over took the plot of the book, not once. And I also enjoyed that in the end, one person didn’t give up their life to be with the other, they had an understanding that they are two different people and they still had to go their own way in life.

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The plot of this book was interesting and action packed. Like I said earlier there were only a few slower parts but most of the time there was something going on! Even though the plot, in general, was kinda similar to other YA fantasy novels there was still something unique about it and it never felt like ‘every other YA book’.

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I really like Caro as a character! She is an independent, intelligent and badass female character. I loved seeing her develop and find out who she really is! I love how she was always loyal to her people and both sides of her family even though she didn’t get along that well with one parent.

I also really enjoyed that the parents played a part in this book! It’s fairly rare to have the parents present in YA books. This next bit is a bit spoilery. Even though in the beginning Caro and her mother didn’t get on too well in the middle and her father was absent thanks to being locked up they still came through and tried to protect her in the end.

Tarquin was an interesting character. At the beginning, he was stuck up but he developed well as he actually saw the world around him and started to understand what life was like outside of Akhaia.

I have already spoken about Caro’s parents a little but I also really liked Pa’s character. He never treated Caro like a child and he believed in her! I loved that we actually got an awesome caring parent in this book!

I liked Fee too even though we don’t really know her as the Frogmen don’t really talk much. I would like to learn a bit more about their race in the next book as even though we find out a little bit their race is still a bit of a mystery.

I really enjoyed Kenté too. She is another badass female in this book! It was good to have 2 awesome females in a YA book as it’s generally just one. Kenté was an intelligent and fun character.

I also really enjoyed that there was no girl hate in this book. Kenté, Caro, Fee & Daria mostly all got along. Daria was a bit dubious of Caro for the most part but there was never direct hate going on. And also with the other Wherrywomen there was always a kinda feeling that they were one big family and would do anything to help each other out.

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I really enjoyed this book. The plot was enjoyable and full of things going on! The characters and relationships between them all were really good! I loved that we had a pretty good family as it’s rare in YA books. I also really enjoyed the writing and the map in the book. I can’t wait till June next year to get a hold of the sequel and last book in the duology!



HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!
IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

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The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
Author: 
Mackenzi Lee
Series Name: Guide
Genre: YA Diverse Historical Fiction
Publication Date: June 27th, 2017
Pages: 513 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Katherine Tegen Books
Rating:
4 and a half Star

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Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

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I received this book in the July OwlCrate box. The book in the OwlCrate box had an exclusive OwlCrate cover. In the edition, I own the text on the cover is orange with everything that is yellow on the cover above is blue.

Trigger Warnings & Issues in this book: Abuse, Homophobia, Racism & Sexism. There is also somewhat of a negative view on Epilepsy, but understand that this book was set in the 1700s and Epilepsy was simply not understood at this time. 

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So I don’t particularly like covers with people on them but this one doesn’t bother me too much. I like all the little drawings on the front and on the spine. And I really enjoy the colouring of the OwlCrate exclusive edition a bit more than the original cover. Overall I really enjoy the cover of this book.

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I really enjoyed the writing of this book. It was easy to read and always flowed really well. The pacing was also really good as well. There is also a map!

I really enjoyed that at the back of the book there were authors notes and the author went into some detail about things like The Grand Tour, Politics, Race Relations in 18th century Europe, Epilepsy & Queer culture. I found the Queer Culture bit really interesting and would never have guessed some of the info that was mentioned.

This is something that is just personal preference.
I didn’t love how long some of the chapters were. I am someone who will only put a book down at the end of a chapter, not half way through and though a lot of the chapters were fairly short there was a couple that were ridiculously long and could have been broken up into 3 chapters or maybe even 4.

Okay, so this isn’t really about the writing it is just something I wanted to discuss. I have been seeing this book labeled as fantasy a fair bit, yet it is not. This book does take our real world a little step further, but it is still not fantasy. Alchemy is obviously something that was studied in the real world with the main focus being the Philosopher’s Stone. In this book there is a lot about Panacea, the word itself means a cure to all problems but in alchemy, it is a sort of medicine. Alchemist sort after a cure-all that would be a connection to the elixir of life. This Panacea would cure any illness and prolong life indefinitely. So, yes it sounds unrealistic, as does the Philosopher’s Stone but there are legends about certain Native America tribes using red sap of the elephant tree as a Panacea. So this is a real thing but like I said at the start of this paragraph this book does stretch reality a bit as I couldn’t find any info on the discovery of Panacea in Europe by the means that were used in this book. But either way, I still don’t think this book should be considered fantasy.

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This plot was definitely action packed! There was always something going on in this book! Even though this book was mostly fun and cute there was also a bit of a more serious side to it when it came to some factors in the book. I did find some parts of the plot a tiny bit predictable but most of the times I only guess the thing two or three pages before it actually happened or was discovered.

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I love that we have such a diverse range of characters in this book. Especially for a book set in the 1700s where a fair few of these things were considered illegal, unnatural or just simply degraded. In this book, we have a female who defies the limits of being a female in the 1700s. Gay character who could have been imprisoned or even killed because they were gay, we have a character with epilepsy that at that time was not understood and was just going to be shipped off to an asylum for it and lastly we have characters of colour, which at that time were used as slaves, treated like scum and weren’t even allowed a lot of places like Inns and such. Oh, and did I mention there are pirates in this book? Well kinda.

So firstly we have Monty (Henry Montague). Monty is an interested character, he has a lot going on and is kinda selfish and has a rather large ego. But throughout the book, he develops a lot! He discovers a lot through all the stuff he has to go through in this book!
Percy was the more sensible character but of course, has his own struggles. I wouldn’t exactly say he developed much in this book as he fairly well had his head screwed on the right way from the beginning but we do see his struggles and how he works through them. He is strong and he never lets the struggles get him down because he knows there is nothing he can do about them.
Felicity is another interesting character. Even though she is always considered less than and is held back from doing what she really wants because she is female she never lets it get to her and fights back in her own way. She is intelligent and badass and always knows what to do in difficult situations. I’m assuming the next book in the duology will be from her POV by looking at the name of it and I can’t wait!

There are other characters but I won’t talk too much about them. Monty’s father is a hypocrite and pathetic excuse for a man. The Duke is a selfish power hungry ass. Scipio is a funny character but I really liked him in the book. Lockwood is a little bit of a pain but he is just doing his job after all so he didn’t bother me too much. Dante is a very indecisive character and never knows whose side he should be on. Helena even though is a bit annoying she is loyal and would do anything for the people she loves.

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I really enjoyed this book! It was funny, cute and adventurous but it also covered some heavy topics. It was also educational as we learn how certain people were treated at that time. I don’t believe I have read a book set that far back before as usually the Historical Fiction books I read are about World War 2 so it was interesting to see all of this in a different era!



Well, that is all for this review! I highly recommend this book and I can’t wait for The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy to come out in 2018! It will most likely be about a year till it releases, which sucks but it will give me an excuse to reread this book when the next comes out!

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!
IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

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Roar by Cora Carmack – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Roar
Author: 
Cora Carmack
Series Name: Stormheart
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: June 13th, 2017
Pages: 380 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Tor Teen
Rating:
3 and a half star

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In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

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I absolutely love this cover and that is what had drawn me to it, to begin with. I don’t generally like books with people on the cover but this book cover is gorgeous. I also love that the scene continues onto the back of the book to show Paven as well.

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I enjoyed the world building in this book. It was easy to follow and  I was never bombarded with information. However, at the beginning, all the terms for the storms were a tad confusing until they were properly explained to Roar. I did find the book a little predictable though. I guessed a fair few things before they happened and also guessed information before the characters discovered it themselves.

I enjoyed that this was told in multiple perspectives. Roar & Locke being the main ones but then also occasional Nova & the Stormlord.

I was told that there was instalove in this book, but I didn’t feel like that it was instalove.
(this may be a little spoilery but what I’m about to talk about is told in the synopsis)
When she meets the prince she is meant to marry she does kinda fall for him a little but I saw that as lust not love. I just saw this as her being naive and inexperienced and she soon learned her lesson with him anyway.
(This next bit is a bit more spoilery)
Her next romance wasn’t insta love either.. Sure there was a physical attraction at the beginning but it was over time that anything actually happened.

Also, I love maps in books and this book had a map!

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Overall I liked the plot. As many of you will know I am not a huge fan of romance and especially in fantasy books I hate when the romance overtakes the plot of the book. Unfortunately, at times that happened in this book and I, didn’t enjoy it. However. it wasn’t enough for me to hate the book and I mainly just ignored those parts and moved on.

The book was action packed and did have a fair few twists and turns. However, like I said earlier it was a little predictable so those twists didn’t exactly blow me away as I kinda suspected them.

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Auror/Rora/Roar was an enjoyable character. At the beginning, she was gullible, naive and a little annoying but she did develop out of that. However, towards the end, she did start to annoy me again. throughout the book, I thought she was starting to develop into a brave, intelligent and grown up character but as something else started to come into play she kinda back tracked and starting acting a bit more child like again, not thinking, allowing herself to get distracted and started ignoring the real problems in her life.. I don’t want to say anymore as I don’t want to spoil anything!

Locke actually really annoyed me a lot of the time when it came to how he treated Roar. I get that he was being protective but if he had his way I’m pretty sure he would have locked her away so she would never have to face reality and that really annoyed me. Even when she showed that she could handle things he still tried to baby her all the time and it was just frustrating!

Cassius is a jerk but I dislike his father even more. They are the perfect evil characters in a book and you can’t help but hate them! Especially as you find out more and more of what they did and what they are doing while in Paven!

I really like Nova but I just wish she would have told Rora her secret when she had the chance! I think it would have gone a lot differently for the two of them. But anyway, I can’t wait to see what she is going to do next!

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I did enjoy this book but I didn’t have a couple issues with it. The romance being the main thing but that is simply personal preferences. If you like romance in books then I think this romance was done well. I disliked Locke’s character a lot of the time and also Roar’s towards the end (excluding the last chapter which was better). I really hope that in the next book Locke will stop treating Roar like a child and Roar will stop allowing herself to be treated at one!



HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!
IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

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Unboxing

July 2017 The YA Chronicles Unboxing

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I’m back for another The YA Chronicles unboxing! Let’s jump straight in!



Blog Titles (38)The YA Chronicles is based in Australia so for me this is great, being Australian the shipping is pretty cheap and the box gets to me quickly!

Here is the link to their website!

It says on the website that there is international shipping, so I’m assuming they ship everywhere, so I’m sorry if they don’t ship to your country!

I will only be posting costing in AUD, so if you want to know what it would cost in your country then you can go here to convert it.

Cost of the Box: $39.99 AUD
Shipping to Aus and NZ: $9.99 AUD (this includes tracking)
Shipping internationally: $24.99 AUD (this includes tracking)

They have closed sales for the pride box but you can preorder the Tower of Dawn box. There are 3 options for this box. One is the UK paperback + goodies, the second is US Hardcover + goodies and the last is the UK paperback, US hardcover + goodies.

Also, this subscription box is not automatically recurring, so you do have to purchase it every month, which is good and bad because it means you can easily pick and choose the themes that you want to purchase but also you have to remember to get in before it sells out!

In this box every month, you receive a new release paperback YA book, a TYAC bookmark with that month’s theme on the back and 2-5 other bookish items. Each month is themed and the theme is announced as soon as the subscription box goes on sale!

Also they have previous boxes for sale! At the moment they have the following for sale:

June 2016: Pride Week
December 2016: Simply Wonderful
April 2017: Bippity Boppity Book
June 2017: Take To The Seas
July 2017: To The Revolution (This box)



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VOLUME TWENTY THREE: TO THE REVOLUTION

As always, I will write under each photo what is written on the description card that you get in the box. I’m also going to add pricing or a guess at pricing so we can see if the box is worth the price tag!

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Rise Up Candle

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Prepare for the revolution with the alluring scent of Rise Up, a Hamilton inspired candle made exclusively for this box by The Book Hangover. The candle smells of Hay, Tobacco, Leather, Amber & Mahogany.

The Book Hangover is currently closed and they also don’t usually make 4 oz candles, so I’m just going with the average pricing of a 4 oz bookish candle on Etsy. So I would price this at $8.

Magnetic Bookmark

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Remember Amani from Rebel of the Sands (our first and most beloved rebel?) well now you have this super cute Amani magnetic bookmark by Epik Page on Etsy.

This one costs $3.05 on their Etsy store.

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Place this Hamilton Rise Up decal onto your laptop, eReader, or even your bedroom wall and show off your dedication to the cause! Decal created by Goldparrotcreation on Etsy.

This one costs $3.90 on their Etsy store.

Feminist Pin

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We absolutely love this Feminist pin from jubly-umph.com. Show off your feminist pride and fight for equality for all.

This one costs $16.95 on their website. I don’t agree with an item like this being in the box as not everyone are feminist, myself included. So I would get absolutely no use out of this pin.

Readvolution Sticker

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Start a revolution of your own with this readvolution sticker from annaOMline on Redbubble.

You can purchase this sticker on their Redbubble store for $2.87.

Hachette Australia YA superproof

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We’ve also provided you with a Hatchette Australia  YA Superproof so that you can decide on which books to read during your revolution.

These books are usually given away so I can’t put a value to this.

The Book

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In our book of the month, The Walking Land by Callie Bates, Lady Elanna Valtai has been raised by the King since she was a child. But when the King dies under mysterious circumstances, Elanna is accused of his murder and flees back to her homeland. Fighting to suppress the strange connection she has to the natural world, Elanna must team up with her father to lead a revolution against the Kingdom to which she once gave her allegiance. Trapped between divided loyalties, she must summon the courage to confront a destiny that could tear her apart.

This book costs $17.88 on The Book Depository & $19.99 at both Dymocks & QBD.

The Bookmark

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The Card

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So all up this box was worth $52.65. This box costs me about $45 as I used a coupon code. But usually, the box is about $50 a month. Honestly, I would like a bit more value to the box as $3 extra really isn’t that worth it especially taking into account there is most likely going to be at least one item you don’t like or have no use for in each box. Hopefully, next month will have better value!



And that is all for this unboxing!

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Only one day to go!!!!

ALSO, DON’T FORGET MY GIVEAWAY IS STILL GOING ON! JUST CLICK THE PIC OR HERE TO GET TO THE GIVEAWAY POST TO FIND OUT HOW TO WIN A PAPERBACK OF ONE OF THE PICTURED BOOKS!

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The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: The Bone Season
Author: 
Samantha Shannon
Series Name: The Bone Season
Genre: YA Fantasy Sci-Fi
Publication Date: August 20th, 2013
Pages: 466 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Bloomsbury
Rating:
4 and a half Star

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The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.

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So I’m not in love with this cover but it’s alright. I prefer the over set of covers and if I purchase this series that is the ones I will buy!

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So I enjoyed the writing but I did have one issue and that was the lack of explanation of certain words in the book. However, I do know now that there is a Glossary in the back of the book though which is handy! But as I am reading the eBook I didn’t know it was in the back of the book until someone else told me it was there. Which is the frustrating thing about eBooks, you can easily go back and forwards and look at the glossary. I do like the glossary though as it is pretty extensive!

So as for the writing itself once I got into the book a bit I really enjoyed it. Without the glossary, the start of the book was a little confusing and a little hard to get into but once I got past the start of the book I really enjoyed the writing, it was fast paced for the majority of the book and dragged you in!

Another thing that annoyed me about this eBook itself is that it has the prequel in it, The Pale Dreamer, which is fine but The Pale Dreamer comes before The Bone Season and they put it at the back of the book!

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So as I said this is a fast paced book and there is a lot of stuff going on in this book! There are tonnes of twists and turns in this book which always kept it interesting! I was a bit iffy about this book just being another typical dystopian but it was fairly unique! It does contain a few tropes but the overall plot was really interesting and so was the world.

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I liked Paige, she was brave and strong and would always try and do what was right for the people around her. She also developed in this book and became even more caring and determined in the end. She always did everything she could and pushed herself until breaking if it meant trying to save herself or others.

Julian, I enjoyed even though we didn’t get to know him a tonne but he never cared about the consequences for himself as long as he was helping others. Liss I really enjoyed too, she put herself at risk to give some advice and food to a newbie!

I don’t like Jaxon. We mainly only see him in memories throughout the book but I don’t like him. I liked that there was a character named Eliza (same as myself) but we didn’t see her a tonne so I can’t really comment. I just like that I’m starting to find the name Eliza being used in books more. I did like Nick, I think, he was caring and protective but I need to know more about him, so hopefully, we will see him more in the next book.

I can’t talk about a few people as it will kinda give away spoilers so I’m going to leave it here.

But also can I just say the character development in this book was done so well!

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I really enjoyed this book! The character development was awesome! The world was so interesting and unique! The pacing was really good and this book drags you in and doesn’t let you leave! I can’t wait to get to book two!



HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!
IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

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Giveaway (1)

ALSO, DON’T FORGET MY GIVEAWAY IS STILL GOING ON! JUST CLICK THE PIC OR HERE TO GET TO THE GIVEAWAY POST TO FIND OUT HOW TO WIN A PAPERBACK OF ONE OF THE PICTURED BOOKS!