Happily Ever After - Kiera Cass – 5 Stars
Delightful Selection fluff that reminded me why I love this series after the immense disappointment of The Heir. 4 short stories – The Queen – Amberley’s story. This one I’ve read and reviewed once before, a few scenes of how Amberley and King Clarkson got together. The Price – some Selection scenes from Maxon’s view point. The Guard – my least favourite as this was Aspen’s story and I really really do not like Aspen at all and The Favourite – Marlee’s story. Also included are a few scenes from Lucy’s POV. I like Lucy, but her relationship with Aspen felt like unnecessary insta love to get Aspen over America. Because of course it’s obvious from the start of this series what America’s destiny is. There’s also a few scenes from Celeste’s POV. Some absolutely lovely art work scattered throughout of various scenes throughout. There’s a map in front of the book done in the most lovely pink and purple ink. The hardcover itself is so pretty, and purple!
Square crossed off: Book Towards Another Challenge (this was my purple themed cover for Story Sprites Round 3)
Court of Fives – Kate Elliott – 5 Stars
Brilliant fantasy novel. Great family dynamic between the main character, Jess and her mother and sisters. Incredible sense of place, brilliant world building, including religion, status, and every day life. The plot includes a competition of both mental and physical ability which can be run by both men and women but not someone of Jess’s family’s precious social status. Very well written, very gripping and hardly any romance and what romance there is is something Jess uses to help her family when they are in mortal danger. Exciting and intriguing, intricately plotted world of adventure and fantasy politics with a great cast of characters.
Square Crossed off: Number in Title.
Awake At Dawn (Shadow Falls #2) C.C. Hunter – 4 Stars
Second book in the Shadow Falls series. Following on shortly from the first book the continuing saga of Kylie’s daily life at the camp and her search for whatever paranormal species she really is. For a paranormal romance, the writing and the dialogue is very well written and extremely realistic and relatable too. Several different plot developments and twists as Kylie learns new things and relationships develop, and some scary stuff happening as well. This series manages to mix some series side and light hearted romance and humour. Though the final events did feel a tad bit rushed, and I’m hoping they will be explored in the more in the next book. More questions than answers, but a very good series.
Square Crossed off – Characters are Not Human
An Inheritance of Ashes –Leah Bobett – 2 Stars
A very weird dystopia. This one made no sense whatsoever. It’s got a very bleak the world has ended feel to it, but there’s no history and whatever world building there is was confusing as hell. Some sort of war had taken place and from the sound of it the good guys had won. But the bad guy still had weird creatures showing up and attacking the farm where the heroine and her sister lived. Dull and boring. I can’t even remember the plot of this one that clearly. Just that it was bleak and I didn’t like it.
Square Crossed off: End of the World (I may wind up reading something else for this square)
The Steep And Thorny Way – Cat Winters – 3 Stars
A unique Hamlet retelling. Set in 1920s Oregon. Hanalee is struggling to come to terms with the death of her father and the fact that her mom has moved on and married a white man. Hanalee is mixed race and at this particular town in this time that can be a very dangerous thing. Hanalee is all fire and determination. Though a revelation from the boy who was convicted of her fathers’ murder set in motion the fact that nothing is quite as it seems. Doesn’t stick to the Hamlet storyline exactly. I kept thinking – almost everyone dies in the end of Hamlet – I like this girl – how is this going to work? But it’s easy to see where the Hamlet parallels come in. The mystery is absorbing and the historical detail is very good. There’s an interesting author’s note as well about Oregon history and the law. Unpredictable and surprising.
Square Crossed off: Retelling
Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins – 5 Stars.
I’ve read this four times now. (Though for some reason I’ve only got it marked down as twice on Goodreads and three times on Booklikes). I found my original review here.
It’s my go to book whenever I’m sick or sad. It’s fluffy and fun (and yes I know St Clair is a bit of - well, a lot of – a dick at times) but I don’t care. It’s still one of my favourite books ever.
Square Crossed off – Set in More Than One Country
Burn Baby Burn – Meg Medina – 4 Stars
A brilliant coming of age story set against the background of the summer of 1977 in New York. While the story itself is fictional, it’s set against some very real things that happened. The Son of Sam murder spree, an unseasonable heatwave, blackouts, arson attacks, and women’s rights movements. Nora is a very mature and well written character in a horrible home situation. Her brother has become a drug addict and as a result is a criminal and violent and her mother is turning a blind eye to it. They’re struggling to make ends meet, Nora just wants to turn 18 and move out. She has a good best friend, a steady job but doesn’t quite know what to do after high school. She and her BFF have their 18th birthdays coming up and they just want to be able to go out and dance all night at the disco. Some delightful 70s pop culture references throughout. On top of all these Nora has to deal with all these other things happening, the heat, the terror of a serial killer stalking the city, being in the cinema when the big blackout hit…Very moving, good storytelling. A very interesting author’s note at the end about the real things that happened during that summer and how they tied into Nora’s story.
Square Crossed off: Based on Real Events.