Tunes: September Song – JP Cooper

Tunes is a weekly Tuesday post on TwinReads featuring my favourite/most-listened-to track on Spotify.

If you enjoyed this week’s track then give it a like! I’m always open to song suggestions so leave a comment. 😉

Tunes: First Heartbreak – Torri Kelly

Tunes is a weekly Tuesday post on TwinReads featuring my favourite/most-listened-to track on Spotify.

If you enjoyed this week’s track then give it a like! I’m always open to song suggestions so leave a comment. 😉

Tunes: Never Seen Anything “Quite Like You” – The Script

Tunes is a weekly Tuesday post on TwinReads featuring my favourite/most-listened-to track on Spotify.

If you enjoyed this week’s track then give it a like! I’m always open to song suggestions so leave a comment. 😉

Review: The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight, #1) by Melissa Grey

The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight, #1)The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Hachette Children’s Books in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘The Girl at Midnight’ is the FIRST spectacular instalment in the series and one that hooked me from page one. I honestly had no reservations about picking up this novel and launching straight into it. The main reason? The unique and piquing blurb that graced the beautiful cover of this novel!

I honestly loved EVERYTHING about this novel (except one thing which I will go I to detail a bit later on). I loved the vibrancy and the originality of the novel and the ideas that flew from the pages. I was transported into a captivating world where firebirds existed, dragons could no longer shapeshift back into their draconic form and birds of paradise in human form. Of all these, what captured me the most was the beautiful, gorgeous and exotic bird-like magical creatures. Mostly human, the Avicen sported eyes that ranges the colour of the rainbow and plumage to match. Plumage for them was like hair for humans. Most Avicen also mimicked the colouring of specific species of birds, such as magpies, peacocks, doves, etc. I was in awe of that I’ve never actually had the chance to appreciate avian creatures. I’ve hardly come across these fantastical creatures in ALL the novels I’ve read, so this was a definite adventure into the unknown.

The dragons being unable to transform from their human bodies to their dragon form was also an interesting twist. I admired the contrast created by Melissa Grey. She put the dragons (the Drakharin) next to the Avicen and made them cooperate.

If I could compare this novel to any others out there, it would be definitely be a wild and fabulous clash of worlds between the following:

‘Talon’ series by Julie Kagawa &

‘Magonia’ series by Maria Dahvana Headley.

If you’re looking for something between these two, or very similar too, I would highly recommend ‘The Girl at Midnight’!

The one thing I found a bit of a letdown was the complete obviousness of what/who the Firebird was. The realisation of what/who the Firebird actually was came to me a third of the way into the novel which made reading the rest a little futile. I diligently tried to ignore this epiphany however, in hopes that I would be proven wrong. Any reader should be able to pick up on the hints as soon as they start appearing, and this upset me the most. Which is why this novel ended up being a solid 4 star for me.

My forced ignorance of the truth may be why I enjoyed the novel until the very end. I was able to just enjoy the characters and the personalities they brought with them, as well as their stories, thoughts, feelings and romances. The fact that this novel explored not only heterosexual attraction but homosexual romances too was wonderful. And cross-race love was also a great hidden message in the story.

Congratulations to Melissa Grey on publishing an exotic first instalment in a new series! Can’t wait for ‘The Shadow Hour’!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: Midsummer at Eyre Hall (Eyre Hall Trilogy, #3) Luccia Gray

Midsummer at Eyre Hall (Eyre Hall Trilogy #3)Midsummer at Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Luccia Gray in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Midsummer at Eyre Hall’ is the third and FINAL instalment in the ‘Eyre Hall’ trilogy! I can’t believe that everything has finally come to a close and Jane and her friends and family can now finish this chapter in their lives.

What I love most about this series is the beautiful prose which has started in the first novel and has lasted until this very last one. It is not unusual for authors to sometimes stray from their original styles and ideas for a series. I’ve also encountered LOTS of novels where second book syndrome has suddenly struck down a series. Or even more worse, the series just lost that original flare. This has not been so with ‘Midsummer at Eyre Hall’! It’s grasp on me remained true and steady!

I’m quite amazed at the amount that has happened just in the course of THIS novel! There were betrayals and deaths and births and new loves. Honestly, listing all that had happened would take me a mighty long while and you would get more pleasure out of picking up this series (or instalment) and reading it. I loved the wild adventure that the author had put ALL her readers on! There was this constant an quick pace that continued on relentlessly until the very last page. And even then it promised for more! I loved that it kept me gripped and reading without an ounce of boredom. I really can’t remember even one moment where I would yawn with boredom: tiredness and lack of sleep definitely! But never, ever boredom!

I especially loved how the events remained real and true. There wasn’t anything that would make me doubt the authenticity and poignancy of ANY moment! The characters really pulled through in this department. I very much admired the creativity and originality of some of these events. They weren’t limited in any way and I really enjoyed that!

The characters, as I’ve mentioned above, were spectacular! The wide array and number of them was a definite part of what made this novel a solid four star. I’ve had the pleasure of reading from the points of view of the most fascinating and in-depth personalities which brought so much flavour and intrigue to its readers. I loved the introduction of some of the new characters and their subsequent role in Jane Eyre’s life. I also loved the way they presented themselves, how we readers were sometimes influence to misjudge their true characters. They were rich and vibrant! Amongst my most favourite was the sin-eater. I really couldn’t get over his fantastic creation and the fact that he played such an interesting role in the novel. He has left a definite imprint on my mind! I would love to see a short story or novella about him!

I felt like this series was a great expansion and addition to the original ‘Jane Eyre’. I had nothing to critique about its development and the progression of Jane’s life. It was a fantastic “what-could-have-been”! I felt like it remained true to Jane Eyre in every way. It had that deep, sorrowful and powerful atmosphere which permeated most of ‘Jane Eyre’ as well as the hardships that Jane faced. The era was painted gorgeously and brought to life some of its hardships.

Congratulations to Luccia Gray on publishing a wonderful conclusion in the ‘Eyre Hall’ trilogy!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: Reflection – Thorn of the White Rose (Records of the Ohanzee, #3) by Rachel R. Smith

Reflection: Thorn of the White Rose (Records of the Ohanzee, #3)Reflection: Thorn of the White Rose by Rachel R. Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Rachel R. Thompson in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Reflection: Thorn of the White Rose’ is the fourth and final instalment in the ‘Records of the Ohanzee’ series, and one I enjoyed very much. I really admired how easy it was to pick the novel up and just read. And read. And read. It was also one of the quickest reads AND one of the most well written I’ve come across from YA self-published/indie-published authors. If you’re looking for something similar to ‘And I Darken’ or ‘Ranger’s Apprentice’, then this series will definitely make your day.

Rachel R. Smith continues to deliver in her writing. Not one sentence sounded unpolished nor were there any awkward turns of phrases which seem to fill most self-published novels. Everything in the prose was of high quality and the experience the author has in writing definitely makes itself known. Not one typo did I spot! (I sound like Yoda!!) And reading ‘Reflection: Thorn of the White Rose’ was like gently immersing yourself into a warm bath, or drinking a delicious hot cocoa. Just right.

Talking of immersing oneself. I could easily and shocking quickly attach myself to Nerissa (Caenas) and all the supporting characters. Never did I feel like there was any barrier which prevented me from doing so. My only wish was that the characters had a bit more originality to them. They seemed a little too perfect for my liking, and they fit the standard mold for fantasy characters too readily. I wanted Nerissa to be just a little bit different. Just a little bit more unique. However, I have no other qualms other than that. The history and backgrounds of these characters were fairly well developed. They seemed vibrant and alive if maybe not the richest on the shelf.

This instalment continues to development of a certain love-triangle. I’m…okay…with it so far, mainly because I love my romance, and will usually put up with a lot just to see it followed through. I don’t have anything about it to nit-pick at, however, I do want it to be just a little more believable. I get the feeling that Nerissa is just falling into the whole lovey-dovey thing to easily. It would have been nice to see SOME sort of resistance to the idea of a romance, or at least some explanation for it – like a more idepth look into the inner thoughts of Nerissa. I felt like Nerissa’s reasoning for her attraction to her partners in crime was just a little feeble. I wanted more tension! Anticipation! Suspense! And a little bit more chemistry please!

Great plot movement in this instalment! Lots of action and heap of progress towards the finale, though I’m still not quite sure where the author is leading me. There is definitely more world-building happening here and I can’t see how it all goes down in ‘Reflection: Dragon’s Bane’.

Congratulations to Rachel R. Smith on publishing her third instalment in the ‘Records of the Ohanzee’ series!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Tunes: I Don’t Wanna Live Forever – Zayn ft. Taylor Swift

Tunes is a weekly Tuesday post on TwinReads featuring my favourite/most-listened-to track on Spotify.

If you enjoyed this week’s track then give it a like! I’m always open to song suggestions so leave a comment. 😉

Review: Reflection – Harbinger of the Pheonix (Records of the Ohanzee, #2) by Rachel R. Smith

Reflection: Harbinger of the Phoenix (Records of the Ohanzee, #2)Reflection: Harbinger of the Phoenix by Rachel R. Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Rachel R. Thompson in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Reflection: Harbinger of the Phoenix’ was certainly amongst the BEST self-published/independently-published fantasy novels which I’ve had the pleasure of reading. I’ve really enjoyed the first instalment in the series and I can guarantee any reader that this series (and novel) will be one of the MOST pleasantly surprising novels they’ll have read in a while!

This has probably been the most fastest yet one of the best YA reads I’ve picked up in a LOOOONG time. If you’ve read the blurb and remember it, you may have noticed that it mentions a “serialised style with a storyline that flows continuously between books.” This means that this instalment read unlike many novels. There wasn’t the usual introduction, then the complication and resolution sort of structure. In fact, the novel appeared to be more of an expansion of the story in book 1. I get the feeling the entire series is more like one giant book which is ENTIRELY to large to publish as one novel, and it has been split exactly into quarters for easier readability.

One of the perks was how quickly I read the instalment. It’s 200+ pages were read in less than 3 hours. Of course, the credit goes not only to its length but to its plot as well.

Every moment had some unique pearl in it that managed to keep me reading with a fairly constant intrigue. Despite the lack of an official “complication” and the somewhat…calm…storyline of the novel, (by calm I mean there wasn’t anything that could be deemed as MOMENTOUS in the plot and that it wasn’t heavy on the reader) I really enjoyed the read. It was a little bit of a confusion returning to the world after being introduced to it so long ago in book one, but I caught on fairly quickly and this didn’t really diminish from the reading experience.

I absolutely loved the romances and couples in this series. I felt like the author made them believable and every moment was tense with chemistry and the possibility of the unknown.

This leads me to the author’s writing. I loved the flow and the professionalism which oozed from every word on the page. Reading the first few pages was like savouring a favourite candy. It was sweet and held the promise of more. I loved how liberal imagery was something the author didn’t fail to neglect. Every word appeared clearly in my minds eye and this really made itself know during moments like battle scenes which involve intensely packed, high-action.

And I loved the world-building. I feel that the author has done a great job creating a world where everything about it has been slowly revealed – bit by bit – and will astound and astonish all it’s readers in the final instalments. Already I’m looking forward to reading books three and four! I can’t wait to see how it all goes down!

Congratulations to Rachel R. Smith on publishing the second instalment in the ‘Records of the Ohanzee’ series!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: Destiney Risen (Starbright, #3) by Hilary Thompson

Destiny Risen (Starbright series Book 3)Destiny Risen by Hilary Thompson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Hilary Thompson in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Destiny Risen’ is the third and FINAL instalment in the wild and magical ‘Starbright’ series by Hilary Thompson. When I first picked up this series, I just knew that it was going to leave me enchanted and reeling. I loved the exploration of a dystopian society where astrology became the central faith and religion as a way to overcome the dark times that had fallen upon humanity. The past two instalments had taken me on an a crazy and hectic journey that left me eager for the series finale.

‘Destiny Risen’ definitely shone in the “characters” department. There was such a vast array of personalities that there was never a moment were I would feel like the novel was lacking. I loved how in-depth and complex they were, mainly because their richness allowed for the plot to always remain interesting and their contributions towards it varies as much as their personalities.

For every antagonist, there was an equally powerful protagonist, and vice versa. So many novels written have extremely powerful protagonists that dominate the story. Their power is unmatched and they are risen to such power and…perfection…that any antagonist just doesn’t create enough resistance to make the story believable. This was not so in ‘Destiny Risen’ and I am so glad of that.

There was a GREAT plot. It was a solid roller-coaster of an adventure that took me from one place to another and then back again. I enjoyed the constant movement and the quick yet steady pace that the author created. Looking back, I can’t recall ever skipping a page or two. And that’s a big deal to me. The author managed to keep me reading even the slightly “boring” parts and the parts where action needed to be a tiny bit slower in order for a better progress of events later on.

However, the one thing I regretted most was that it had been such a long time since I had read books one and two. I felt like the significance of Astrea’s and Lexan’s journey to the Garden was lost to me, partially. I had a bit of a hard time recalling all the events and the intricacies of the previous instalments. I would highly recommend rereading those novels before venturing into ‘Destiny Risen’!

Hilary Thompson beautifully wove tension and anticipation into each chapter of her novel. There was always a constant on-edge feeling that permeated the novel. Any and all surprises had me shocked even though I should have expected them.

I also loved, loved, loved the little snippets of the world’s history at the beginning of each chapter. I felt that they gave the novel tangibility and really took the world-building to another level.

An epic conclusion to the novel. It had me crying and laughing and just generally loving every moment of it. I did not expect it and was very happy with it!
Congratulations to Hilary Thompson on publishing the epic finale to the ‘Starbright’ series!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

View all my reviews

Tunes: Issues – Julia Michaels

Tunes is a weekly Tuesday post on TwinReads featuring my favourite/most-listened-to track on Spotify.

If you enjoyed this week’s track then give it a like! I’m always open to song suggestions so leave a comment. 😉