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: Pounce by Seth Casteel

PouncePounce by Seth Casteel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Hachette Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Pounce’ by Seth Casteel was a lovely, funny and adorable quick read through the book a photographs of pouncing kittens (and some cats).
Seth Casteel is a photographer and best know for his underwater photographs of dogs, puppies and babies. This beautiful and funny gift book is filled with more than EIGHTY previously unpublished photographs.

‘Pounce’ reveals adorable cats and kittens as they pounce and jump through the air, arms outstretched – all in Casteel’s signature up-close, mid-action style.

I would strongly recommend gifting this book to your cat-loving friends! I love cats and this was one of the most enjoyable – and downright hilarious – photography books which I’ve had the pleasure of flicking through.

The mid-action shots created some incredibly silly and sometimes, somewhat creepy facial expressions. I spent at least TEN minutes on one particular photograph of a kitten laughing my bum off. I’d also highly recommend flicking through the book with the presence of family and/or friends. Gives you more to laugh at!

If you’re wondering why Seth Casteel has not named the book ‘Underwater Cats’ (like I did), the photographer explains it as: “…after an extensive search worldwide search for ‘cats who willingly dive into swimming pools,’ I found approximately zero participants. So unless something radically changes with the behaviour of cats around water, ‘Underwater Cats’ is permanently on hold.”

Congratulations to Seth Casteel on publishing this beautifully gift book!

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: Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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

Review

‘Crooked Kingdom’ is the second and final AMAZING novel in the ‘Six of Crows’ duology. I simply cannot express how much I very much appreciated having this novel in hands and at my fingertips. Saying that I absolutely loved this novel would do Leigh Bardugo no justice. So, instead I will try to describe to you in the following list what it was that had me up till 3 am in the morning and reading the Acknowledgements section just to make the book last that little bit longer.

1. The first book was INCREDIBLE, but it was like a PRELUDE to the MASTERPIECE that was the sequel. I have to give great and deep appreciative thanks to the author for her use of plot devices. They were outstanding.

2. Plot. This is the number one aspect which MUST be done to PERFECTION for a novel to be any good.

Leigh Bardugo executed this masterfully. Her plot was incredibly rich. It wove an incredible tale that kept me gripped till the very last pages. I love the twists and the surprises the author hid in such a way that they were by no means expected. There are some plot twists which you learn to expect. These plot twists would knock you off your feet and spin your around so fast you wouldn’t know what hit you.

The complexity of the plot also made it so that the novel was a wonderfully lengthy one! 500+ pages!

3. Characters were sophisticated, well-developed and evolved as the story progressed. I loved the variety of perspectives which were introduced with each chapter and the six main characters never ceased to amaze me. Their history and personalities were so well developed that it would be impossible to call them anything other than real. From page one I felt as though Kaz, Inej, Wylan, Jesper, Nina and Matthias were people. Not just mere characters in a book.

4. Romance beautifully written and woven into the relationships between the characters. There was passion and sorrow and longing and chemistry.

I am a firm believer in a good romance story, and ‘Crooked Kingdoms’ gave me everything I ever wished from one and more. I was left hanging on every word these couples spoke to each other. And the end made me wish for more, more, more about them and in a semi-grieving state.

5. World-building was OFFICIALLY AMAZING. I lived and breathed the Grisha world for the past short day and I want to go back again! I would compare this world to the other few wonders out there, but I believe the Grisha world can speak for itself.

These were the five major aspects of this novel which I can only give praise for and the reason this novel received a whole-hearted FIVE STAR from me. I hunger and thirst for more from Leigh Bardugo!

Congratulations to Leigh Bardugo on publishing a STUPENDOUS sequel series to the ‘Grisha’ trilogy! I hope osteonecrosis does not stop you from writing more!

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: Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton

Good Morning, MidnightGood Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Hachette Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Good Morning, Midnight’ is one of the most beautiful, atmospheric novels I’ve come across in a long time. Its words were like magic on the page and it’s setting a wonderful ethereal experience. But, despite my appreciation of the technique and style of writing, I felt that the novel could have been better. Here’s why:
1. The whole novel seemed to be a rather long exploration of the emotions one feels when met with absolute isolation. It would explore the minute influences and effects on a human mind and character. I found the concept rather enchanting, but it could have been conveyed in a better style. With more UMPH. I felt that there was just that missing piece to the whole story-telling. A missing piece that would have sky-rocketed my opinion of the novel.
2. The settings, in which the novel was written, were chosen quite nicely to convey a sense of isolation. But I felt that were unoriginal and a blatantly obvious choice. For humanity, the Arctic poles and deep space are probably THE most extreme environments – and definitely the loneliest. But these locations can’t be the ONLY ones that explore the impact of true isolation on the human mind! I felt like this choice – whilst capable of beautifully illustration their wonders – was the author conceding her choice to THE most obvious. It was a frustration that nagged me during multiple points in the novel.
3. The writing was…good and solid. But that’s all it was. Average; too average in my opinion. An idea – a STORY – such as this should be written in THE most beautiful style the author could think of! The writing needed more GRAVITY to it, and a more formal style would have done wonders, in my opinion. A more complex story and sentence structure would have effectively conveyed the complexity of the human character. And ‘Good Morning, Midnight’ just didn’t have that.
On the other hand, here are the things that I enjoyed:
1. The characters were highly complex…and highly flawed. I felt that they were well crafted and were very, very tangible. There was no comparison between the two main characters, Augustine and Sullivan. Augustine was a captivating illustration of the regrets of old age and the somewhat cruel nature we all possess deep inside us. He was a reflection of what most of us – I imagine – will come to when there is nobody to look at us and judge us: except ourselves. Sullivan was a more hopeful portrayal of humanity. She was the realisation that some of us are gifted with early enough the make a difference. Both were completely different; but also enchantingly similar as well.
2. There was one major “secret” that spanned the entire novel and wasn’t revealed until the very end. The connection that Augie and Sully have. From the beginning, the author would heavily allude to some sort of mysterious bond that was present between the two. It was THE mystery in the novel but also a somewhat obvious one. By the end of the novel I had an idea of the truth so its revelation wasn’t a surprise – but definitely thought provoking. It made me reflect back on the novel and look at it with a new insight.
3. The pace was slow but fit quite nicely with the idea behind the novel. It allowed for the reader to mull thoughts over and process each minute detail given to them. It also allowed for the atmospheric quietness and stillness of the novel to shine through. A great combination!
Congratulations to Lily-Brooks Dalton on publishing her debut novel, ‘Good Morning, Midnight’!

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: A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles, #1) by Amanda Bouchet

A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #1)A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Hachette Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘A Promise of Fire’ has BLOWN my mind. I would have rated it TEN stars out of five if I could. It was so good that it has literally blown my mind right now. I’m in awe. This novel is too good. If I start speaking gibberish later on in the review, let me tell you it’s because the story was THAT good. Mind officially scrambled.
The tension/drama/anticipation which Amanda Bouchet created was just higher than the sky. Think of the highest point on earth or in space and the scale at which the tension was created and developed will exceed that point by…oh, let’s say…INFINITY! There was just so much UMPH added to every word and every event. Not one moment was boring. Each moment had something epic to tell or would lead up to something epic. The number one, and ONLY problem, with this novel was how hard it was for me to tear myself away from reading. It was literally impossible. I was incapable of doing so. My best advice to all readers out there is that:
1. PICK UP THIS BOOK!
2. MAKE SURE YOU PUT EVERYTHING ASIDE BECAUSE ‘A Promise of Fire’ WILL MAKE YOUR REAL LIFE NON-EXISTENT!
The plot. Was. So. Good. Better. Than. Food. And that’s saying something. This is probably an exaggeration but it’s the best one I could find to illustrate how masterfully put together the plot was. But in all honesty, this novel CANNOT be read whilst eating. You will find yourself so entranced by the words on the page you will forget to eat or drink whatever is front of you. Like I did. Multiple times.
The character development was a-FREAKING-mazing! Catalia was such a rich and vibrant character I would not have been surprised if she jumped out of the page and ended up being a real life person. And WOW was Cat sassy! And she had such spark to her! I can not give her enough credit. She was – IS – the most sassiest, strong-headed, steel-hearted woman/character I have ever had the pleasure of knowing or reading about. Cat was a real gem. The BEST character ever to tell this story in first person.
The world-building was a masterpiece. I could have fallen into Amanda Bouchet’s world and not have noticed the transition from reality to fiction. So beautifully done, every aspect of the world was concrete and thoroughly thought through. The history and landscape was crafted to perfection. I cannot wait to return to it in the second instalment!
The tie to Greek mythology was definitely unique and a lot more wonderful than other novels that I have come across. It was much more real and less mythological to me. I quite enjoyed this original twist to the idea of Greek gods in a fantastical setting. It was refreshing and unique.
The romance and chemistry is HOT, HOT, HOT. Cat and Griffin? I ship them together so hard it hurts. Be prepared to fall in love and to blush furiously. 😉
The finale left me reeling and hungry for the sequel! Beyond description. I’ll leave you to find out why!
Congratulations to Amanda Bouchet on the publication of her award-winning fantasy debut!

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: I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, #1) by Ally Carter

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, #1)I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

Review

‘I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You’ was – IS – the best spy-girl novel in the WORLD! I’ve LOVED re-reading this novel: ESPECIALLY with the series’ beautiful new covers!
There is a reason why Ally Carter is a legitimate New York Times Bestseller. The reason: she manages to successfully pull off the wildest stories of all and make them an unforgettable read for the YA community. I have read ALL of Ally Carter’s works, and every one is a unique literary gem. But her series, the ‘Gallagher Girls’, is the ORIGINAL spy series – YOU MUST READ IT!
Cammie Morgan is a character that will appeal to all readers out there. I’m not quite sure how to describe her (this may also be what appeals to me so much about her), but Cammie is a mixture of bookworm/introvert and this super cool spy girl. Her whole world is this unimaginable world of spies, secret agents, gadgets and exceptional education. Her secret world creates this atmosphere of excitement and tension. It’s so unbelievable it’s BELIEVABLE!
Ally Carter writes with an understanding and complete knowledge of her world. It’s confident and simple yet elegant. I love how easily her words carry across to her readers and that the moments with meaning are so readily accessible to her readers! What I mean by that is: Every single moment that held some sort of big importance or was emotionally significant created and impact on me. I would tear up when Cammie was sad, I would laugh out loud when she was amused! It was fantastic.
However, I had a few setback returning to this series.
One of them was that the series relies SO heavily on plot twists that sometimes rereading the novels was a bit dry. Reading it isn’t as tense and exciting as it would have been the first time around. I already knew what was going to happen and it ruined the novel for me in some ways. One of the positives about rereading this novel was that I had a greater understanding of Cammie and I was returning to a favourite character. But, in the end, the cons outweighed the pros.
To build on top of that, knowing what was going to happen in the rest of the series eclipsed this first novel. Each novel in the ‘Gallagher Girls’ series outdoes the previous instalment so that each previous book becomes slightly…less?…compared to the others. By the sixth and final novel, the plot is SO great that reading book one is like a giant fall from a high that you’ve been riding. For first time readers, this is great! For readers returning the series, it was like reading a full-length-novel prequel or a three-hundred-page introduction to the ‘Gallagher Girls’ world.
As always, Ally Carter wrapped up her novel in such a way that leaves you begging and on the edge of your seat for the next instalment. Reading the epilogue of the novel was BEYOND any massive cliff-hanger that you can possible think of. If you can think of a cliffie that you believe will be greater than the one in THIS novel: Well, I CHALLENGE you to pick up ‘I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You’!
Congratulations to Ally Carter on the publication of her tenth anniversary editions of the ‘Gallagher Girls’ 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: The Memory Book by Lara Avery

The Memory BookThe Memory Book by Lara Avery
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

Review

‘The Memory Book’ was somewhat disappointing for me. I didn’t hate it, or even strongly dislike it, but I also didn’t love it. It was a sort of in between liking and thinking the book was average. I guess what let me down the most was that the cover was so gorgeous and it was screaming its little heart out, BEGGING me to read it with its shiny, pink post-it cover.
So (since I’ve been into lists lately), here’s a list of all the little things that let me down.
1. THAT FOOLISH COVER! IT FOOLED ME SO BAD! I thought that the book was going to be a lot more sadder than it was. I was ready for something heart-wrenching and tear-inducing and emotionally-destroying. But ‘The Memory Book’ let me down on all those areas. I’m not sure whether I’m sad or happy about that. I’m conflicted. 😦
2. The plot. Seriously! What was up with it? How come the complication was sappy and how come it doesn’t make everything very dramatic and positively depressing! I was ready – emotionally, mentally and physically – to be DESTROYED by this book. (I was in the mood for something depressing but fate did not favour me.)
3. This was something that I cruelly quite liked about ‘The Memory Book’. It was NOTHING like a journal/diary. I was so impressed! Instead, it was exactly what Sammie described it as: a word doc. that contained all her thoughts and important past events so that if she ever forgets what happened previously, she’d be able to read back and remember.
4. I enjoyed how hopeful and determined Sammie was throughout her whole journey. She was a real force of life! Determined and ambitious, clever and courageous. And the style in which the author wrote really carried this across. It wasn’t always upbeat but the atmosphere those words created was always positive and hopeful. There was a sense of strength throughout the whole novel from Sammie. She was such a pleasure to get to know. She touched my heart.
5. The chapter structure was quite interesting. I felt as if the novel had a real contemporary style to it. There were text messages and emails and random unpunctuated paragraphs. It was raw. Real. Tangible. It was a great style to write the novel in.
6. I really didn’t expect the ending! I mean, I WAS expecting it, but it was just so sudden, and the last few pages were just hinting, hinting, hinting. Building the tension until…BOOM! There you have your ending. I just kept denying it. It was great. I really admired this.
7. ‘The Memory Book’ was a great exploration of what it is like to live with a genetic disease. One that so significantly impacts a person’s life and creeps deep within their genes until the time comes for them to strike. Understanding the impact of memory loss and eye-hand-coordination (as well as many other problems that come with Niemann-Pick Type C.)
A solid four star from me.
Congratulations to Lara Avery on publishing on a novel that beautifully captured the precious moments in life that matter!

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: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8) by J.K Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8)Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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

Review

‘Harry Potter and The Cursed Child – Parts One and Two’ rocked my socks off! I loved it! And I AM NOT A HARRY POTTER FAN!
I know, I know! *gasps* *screams* “How could you say that, Stacey!!!!” Well, I’ve never picked up a Harry Potter book before, despite all the movies that I’ve watched, and I’ve always endeavoured to never pick up the series. Why? Mostly because I was afraid that the series would be a big disappointment to me in the face of ALL the hubbub and uproar about it. Why was I so afraid of this? Because of my encounters with, maybe, ALL the books turned movies which I’ve read and ended up disliking! (The books, not the movies.) Take the ‘Divergent’ series. I can truthfully and without regret say that the movies were better than the books.
Reading a play was DEFINITELY something new to me. But despite all the dialogue, I actually quite enjoyed all the action and speech thrown around! I thought that just reading dialogue would be boring as HELL, but it really wasn’t! There was awesome stage directions on the authors’ parts and you could get a sense of the settings they were in quite clearly. WITHOUT all the descriptions that are usually needed in novels. It was an interesting experience! One that I would gladly return to! (At least I hope that’s what the “Parts One and Two” allude to on the cover: that there will be more to the story.)
There was a great pace and story plot! Everything was revealed quite neatly and it always kept me on my toes! All I remember is picking up the book and maybe waving my hands in a shooing motion towards my friends and family whenever they came near me. (Sorry, family and friends!) It really is a one-sitting read. There isn’t any way that you could possible leave the novel behind for less than FIVE min!
I really enjoyed the plot twists, and the actually story got me emotionally invested in it quite quickly! I enjoyed reading from an adult Harry Potter’s perspective. He stayed true to himself, I believe, but has matured and shown that evolvement from teen to adult very nicely.
I felt that all the new characters were pretty awesome additions. I really enjoyed being introduced to the kids of Harry and Ginny! Especially young Rose Granger-Weasly! So much like her mother! *laughs heartily*
Starting off a series with the EIGHTH book is probably not such a good idea, but I thought it was a good decision on my part. Why? BECAUSE I now REALLY want to read the entire series from scratch! Oh, my gosh, I can’t wait! WHY, in all that is holly, didn’t I read the series!
Congratulations to J.K Rowling on publishing an ENCHANTING new play and the EIGHTH instalment in the ‘Harry Potter’ series! Also to John Tiffany and Jack Thorne! Fingers crossed for more work from the three!

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: Ruins by Rajith Savandasa

RuinsRuins by Rajith Savanadasa
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Hachette Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Ruins’ was SO hard to get through! I can’t believe that I actually managed to force myself to keep reading and reading until I ACTUALLY finished the book! This was just plain annoying for me to read. And a real trek into the mountains, too.
What I disliked from the first page was the character, Latha. She was just so…argh! Frustrating and subservient and very, very weak! It was like putting up with a pesky mosquito! Latha was constantly just BUZZING around her employers and not even saying a word to any of them. She wouldn’t say anything when she was judged harshly, she obeyed their every single word, she just nodded her head and accepted the freakishly snobbish people she worked for. She didn’t even have ONE thought of rebellion! Of somehow getting OUT of the situation she was stuck in! Latha was just all, “Yes, sir,” and “Yes, ma’am!” Argh!!! And when her brother came to torment her and try to coerce her into becoming HIS personal slave, she just put up with it! Nods and mumbles of agreement. She would act as though her brother was yet another master in the house she worked for! And the work she did was just grating on me. She was a maid-slave. Latha did all the laundry by hand. She cooked by hand, with no help. Cleaned everything. AND she absolutely LOVED the children in the family as though they were her own children! I felt like grabbing her by the shoulders and saying, “PLEASE DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR LIFE! DONT JUST ACCEPT STUFF AS IT IS!”
I strongly disliked the culture. It was so male dominated. I hated it. It made me want to throw the book against the wall, but I felt too bad for the paperback. I know that I should judge other cultures for the traditions and morals that they uphold. The whole reason why I picked up ruins was to discover and explore a different way of life! But this setting was just not it for me.
Most of the other characters were pretty stuck up and stupid, too. I mean, why they couldn’t open their eyes a little to the world around them was beyond me! Each of them was so deeply entrenched in their personal little worlds and each HATED stepping outside those little bubbles. They couldn’t even open their eyes to the lives of their closest family members! It was ridiculous!
I strongly dislike the dialogue and prose. It was definitely effective in carrying across the speech patterns of Singapore, but I hated the sound of it in my head. Too busy and loud. Just not to my taste.
And the plot didn’t make sense to me. What was the problem? What did each of these characters overcome? There was way too many of them! I didn’t get anything from this novel. And when I finished, I felt like shouting, “Why did I just read this!”
Congratulations to Rajith Savandasa on the publication of his debut novel, ‘Ruins’!

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: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The Hating GameThe Hating Game by Sally Thorne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Hachette Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘The Hating Game’!!! What can I say about it other than that it was my SOUL book! You know those book(s) that you come across every once in a while that you just understand? Ones that resonate deep within you and make you fall in love within the first few pages? Actually, even BEFORE you open the book? You feel this desperate longing and metaphysical pull to open, it open it and READ it!
That was EXACTLY what it was like for me! I just HAD to read it before I got around to anything else because:
1. The book was a spectacular colour.
2. My favourite actually.
3. It had a funny illustration on the front.
4. The book was SO aptly named!
5. It had a little definition of Nemisis on the back.
6. The blurb was fantastic.
7. I knew I was gonna love it.
8. It was a romantic-comedy and I needed a little lift-me-up.
My most favourite aspect of the novel was most definitely the characters! I loved how real they felt to me and how each and every one of them made me feel for them and view them as REAL people! There was this depth and vitality to them that was unbelievable!
Lucy Hutton is my type of character. I felt like I could understand her and neatly zip myself into her costume as I read. It was easy for me to get in touch with her and easy for me to experience the world as she does. Lucy was a completely loveable character full of her own eccentricities and stubborn virtues which made her all the more memorable.
Joshua Templeman has stolen first place in my long list of book boyfriends. Seriously! He’s sooooo gorgeous! *swoons* There was nothing more fun and exciting but getting to know him. He is your archetypical brooding hottie but he is also so much MORE than that! He would act in ways that would surprise me and then make me grin like a Cheshire Cat followed by a slap on the forehead because DUH I should have known.
‘The Hating Game’ is one I definitely have to pick up again! Not only because it’s such an outstanding debut, but because rereading would be such an absolute PLEASURE. It’s a novel that you will fall in love with again and again and again.
There are some seriously wonderful sexy times in here! And they weren’t introduced too early or too suddenly. No! Instead they seemed to have been stretched out until the very last moment when I would be ready to fall off my chair with excitement about what would happen and would Lucy and Joshua finally do it!!
Readers…do your job and read the novel.
And now because reviewing this novel is such a pleasure but I REALLY want to re-read ‘The Hating Game’ I must finish this.
Congratulations to Sally Thorne on publishing a SPECTACULAR romantic-comedy that will capture the heart of everyone who reads it! I can’t wait for more!

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