The Cruel Prince

The cruel prince is a fantasy series that is the start of a new life for Jude Duarte. Jude and her twin sister, Taryn, are kidnapped with their other sister, Vivienne, by their new foster father, Madoc. Madoc murders their birth parents and claims that Vivienne is his biological daughter. He steals them to a new world, “Fairieland”, but specifically, “Elfhame”, where the 3 sisters spend their childhood. During their stay, the High King, Eldred, has several children, but one main character, Cardan, soon dominates Jude and Taryn’s lives by bullying them through their childhood with his friends Nicasia, Princess of the Undersea, and Locke, because they are mortals. Jude soon becomes a spy for prince Dain, Cardan’s brother, to work against Balekin, another sibling of Cardan, to stop him from controlling the throne. However, this soon changes as they grow up, and they mature towards each other. But how will this play out at the coronation of Prince Dain?  

The Wicked King

(Please do not read ahead if you haven’t read ‘The Cruel Prince’ yet and don’t want the books to be spoilt for you)  

(Major spoiler alert!) 

Now Cardan is High king of Fairieland (mainly because Madoc murdered Prince Dain and the other siblings to assist Balekin’s attempt to get the throne, but Jude saved the throne by getting Oak, the true heir, to crown Cardan) (I warned you for spoilers) will his alliance treaty stay with Queen Orlagh of the undersea? Or will he need help from his seneschal, Jude Duarte, to maintain his friendship that bonds the land and sea? 

 

The Queen of Nothing

(Please do not read ahead if you haven’t read ‘The Cruel Prince’ and ‘The Wicked King’ yet and don’t want the books to be spoilt for you)  

(Major spoiler alert!) 

Cardan and Jude decide to get married, that means that Jude is now the first mortal queen of Elfhame. But, after her exile from Elfhame (because she murdered Balekin!!!) she returns pretending to be her sister Taryn after she murders her husband, and Jude’s former lover, Locke. Cardan instantly recognises her but Madoc steals Jude away, mistaking her for Taryn. How will this affect Jude’s short stay in Elfhame after her exile? Read and find out!

 

In simple from, this book is about what would happen if a bunch of teenagers were peer pressured into taking strange focusing drugs that has dark evil twists. To start the concept is fun, and with the aid of having very relatable conflicts (that being exams), from the get-go I was very hooked though I do think the actual concept of the book is scarier than the execution. I feel the author tried way to hard to make the book scary, to the point where you just have to roll your eyes. This inst me saying it isn’t scary, its defiantly got some dreadfully eerie moments. Its just bogged down by the obnoxious anti-drug messages, stupid cliché scares and overall far-fetched back story of these pills. I do feel inclined to say if you’re a fan of gruesome books then I would suggest this one, people have their face ripped off, eyes gouged out, its really nasty and I was not expecting it from a book like this.

My favourite aspect of this book is how you’re just watching this group of normal friends slowly deteriorate over time, become more sicklier ever so slowly until the end where they’re just washed-out corpses. You’re always thinking, ‘it can’t get worse than this’ and then it gets 10x worse 10x faster and its awesome.

In conclusion it was a generally fun book bogged down by the author not knowing when to stop, its full of crazy twists and thrilling plot points.

I know you did it by Sue Wallman is a fabulous crime murder mystery book about a girl called Ruby who accidentally killed a girl when she was 4. Years later, trying to forget what happened, she moved to a new school, but when she arrives she finds a note on her locker. ‘I know you did it’. Someone knows about her causing a little girl’s death. She tries to forget about it but can’t. Then students in her school start dying. Ruby realises she is being framed by another killer. I would totally recommend this book to anyone who likes crime thrillers. It keeps you guessing to the very last page and I would give it a 5 star rating.

Last one to die by Cynthia Murphy is a fabulous crime thriller book about a girl seeking a summer of fun in London on a drama course, but soon women across the city are being attacked, someone is always watching her. This book has many twists and turns and keeps you guessing until the very last page. I have to say this is one of the best books I have ever read, and I would totally recommend it to anyone who enjoys this type of book. I give it a 5 star rating.

Good girls die first by Kathryn Foxfield is an amazing crime thriller about 10 teenagers lured into a derelict carnival, each with a secret they are determined to keep hidden, then they start dying, it is full of plot twists and moments of thrill. I would 100% recommend it to anyone in this school, it is one of the best books I have read. You are constantly engaged and don’t want to put the book down! I give it a 5 star rating.

Milly, Jonah and Aubrey Story are cousins. Their grandmother, Mildred invites them to her resort for the summer out of the blue. The Storys haven’t had any contact with Mildred for decades after she abandoned her children after the death of her husband. The cousins are sure that something is wrong, and they work hard to discover what their parents did to get rejected. They dig up many secrets from the past and find out about shocking events that happened years ago.

I really enjoyed this book because it was really dramatic, with things going on at every turn of the page. There were many twists and turns that encourage you to keep reading.

The Players are in charge. They have access to files that have the answers to tests. Then, every year, the Senior Players gather the Freshman Players. Jill wants this year to go smoothly. She wants to get into Brown with good grades and leave school with no complications. However, this is not the case. Old secrets rise from the past about Shaila’s death and unexpected drama arises from them. Jill makes it her job to find justice in a mess of lies, secrets and death.

I really enjoyed this book because it was completely filled with relatable emotion, plot twists and a sense of urgency that compels you to keep reading.

Well shiver me timbers……….I absolutely loved this book!

Pirates, adventure, swoon-worthy romance, twists and turns it’s got it all!

“Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.”

As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her Mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her Father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her Mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her Father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the Island and across the Narrows to her Father.

But her Father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.”

First of all, as I’ve said before I read A LOT of books, that being said I think Fable may be my all-time favourite heroine, so that is a feat in itself! I sometimes find when authors try to create a strong, independent female character they can go too far, make her too ruthless, or stubborn just for the sake of being so. Or they don’t go far enough and she ends up not being independent at all, and whiney. Neither of which result in a likeable character, in my opinion. Fable is the perfect blend of hard and soft. She’s faced immense hardship at a young age, losing her Mother, and being abandoned by her Father on a dangerous island with no food or money. As a result, she’s fiercely independent, she’s had to look after herself, and earn her own money so she didn’t starve. The island is full of thieves, many who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at committing murder to get what they want. Fable can look after herself, she’s no damsel in distress. Despite this, she’s not cruel, she hasn’t lost her softness or caring nature, she feels remorse for any acts done in the name of survival, and she still loves her Father, even though he abandoned her the day after her Mother died.

Adrienne Young’s world-building is a masterpiece, she sets the scene gradually rather than all in one go, instead you experience everything through Fable, see, smell and hear things when she does. Along with her incredible use of language and description, I felt like I was really there on the ship with Fable, West and the crew, taking in the salty sea air!

The romance between Fable and West is to die for. It isn’t instant, and doesn’t swallow the rest of the story whole. It slowly builds throughout, and as a result it’s all the more powerful as it has you swooning, and screaming at them from the side-lines in support.

Like any good duology it ends on one hell of a cliff-hanger! Waiting in suspense for the next book in the series, ‘Namesake’.

So if a you’re looking for a ‘swashbuckling, action packed, pirate adventure, with characters you can’t help but fall in love with, then ‘Fable’ is for you me hearties! (Did I take it too far?!)

The perfect, feel good, teen rom com to curl up to!

“It’s been years since seventeen-year-old Becca Hart believed in true love. But when her former best friend teases her for not having had a boyfriend, Becca pretends she’s been secretly seeing someone.

Brett Wells has it all. As captain of the football team and one of the most popular guys in his school, he should have no problem finding someone to date, but he’s always been more focused on his future than who to bring to prom. When he overhears Becca’s lie, Brett decides to step in and be the mystery guy. It’s the perfect solution: he gets people off his back for not having a meaningful relationship and she can keep up the ruse that she’s got a boyfriend.”

I must admit it was a little predictable at points, and did follow the premise of the million and one teen rom com flicks currently trending on Netflix (which coincidently are my secret guilty pleasure!) That being said, I enjoyed it immensely!  Although this book definitely gives all the feels, there was some unpleasantness experienced by the main characters such as divorce, abandonment, affairs and bullying but the author deals with the issues sensitively and responsibly. The sensitive issues experienced by the main characters are however a very small part of the story. It’s predominately a story about friendship, family and how love blossoms over time.

It’s truly a lovely, sweet story and I regularly discovered a stupid smile on my face whilst reading! Would suit fans of ‘The Kissing Booth’ and ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’.

MY NAME IS

REBECCA

SAMANTHA

HAYLEY

KATIE

ASHLEY

NORA

A gripping young adult crime thriller, likeable characters, a clever plot line, suspense and intrigue what more could you ask for?!

Nora’s Mum is a con-artist, it’s what Nora was brought up to be. Five years ago Nora escaped that life or did she? Caught up in the middle of a bank heist and held hostage along with her girlfriend Iris and ex-boyfriend Wes, Nora’s past comes back to haunt her. Can she survive by using the skills she acquired from a life she’s fought so hard to forget?

I love a clever con-artist plot and ‘The Girl’s I’ve Been’ did not disappoint! Tess Sharpe’s writing and character building is absolutely on point. All the characters are likeable, strong, independent, and have their own dark pasts, but secrets never stay secrets for long. It’s a story of survival against the odds, friendship and trust, along with a healthy dose of edge of your seat thrills!

To think a month ago I had never read a crime/thriller, now I seriously can’t get enough, it is now my go to genre! This book also has the added bonus of the con-artist back story to Nora’s character, which adds a clever and intriguing twist. The relationships between the characters are to die for, they are more like family than friends despite the potential awkwardness of their dynamic, with Wes and Iris both having been in a relationship with Nora.

As you will see from my recent reviews I have been lucky enough to read some seriously good books of late, but there has been a common theme, it’s taken me a while to get into a lot of them, but once I have I’ve been hooked! This wasn’t an issue with ‘The Girls I’ve Been’, I was drawn in from the very first page and gripped until the last, when I had to VERY RELUCTANTLY put it down. I was honestly sad it had ended! I loved the way the Author bounced back and forth between the past and present. It helped to understand Nora, not only how her past shaped the person she had become, but it also explained each action she took in the present.

The ending is everything, once a con-artist, always a con-artist! It also leaves it open to the possibility of a sequel, pretty please Tess Sharpe!

This book, as much as it would like to suggest otherwise isn’t exactly horror, its more akin to an adventure thriller with some spooky themes. I felt the pace of the book was simply too fast for it to be horror, a horror books pace is typically slow and drawn out (that’s why Steven King’s books are so long) for something to be really scary in a book, at least from what I gathered, it needs a detailed setting and world, and the longer you take to describe this world/atmosphere/setting, the more you can immerse your self in it and the more the author can play around with the book without losing that immersion. I bring this up as this supposed horror book spends no time slowing down the pace, one minute they’re here, the next minute they’re there, without ever slowing down. This doesn’t mean the book is bad it just means that you will be disappointed expecting something that makes you have to stop reading in fear of what’s next.

I would also like to point out that this book is very bog-standard , there isn’t anything particular that makes this book stand out, the monster is generic the protagonist is generic, and this sucks as it means when reading, I cant get excited for what’s coming next, as it probably too, would be generic. The only thing I can really give credit for is the setting of the story in which takes place in a ski lodge in the middle of a storm, Its not ground breaking, but I did find it intriguing so it was a shame the author didn’t really expand upon it.

In conclusion I would give this book a 6/10, above average book.

If looking for a simple adventure book with dark twists then I would suggest this book, but if you’re looking for a slow atmospheric horror, don’t get fooled by the cheesy writing, you will be disappointed.

The year is 1936 and, in Vienna, three friends have formed a bond that they each believe to be unbreakable: the trio discover that they are quite literally on top of the world. Yet, that world is beginning to disintegrate beneath them, leaving a universe of pain in its wake as the Adolf Hitler and the Nazi ideologies he promotes continue to divide society, which results in ordinary people becoming both the oppressors and the oppressed.

Still mere children, Leo and Elsa become caught up in a whirlwind of loathing and discrimination, all of which is seemingly aimed at them because of what they identify as regarding their religious beliefs. Hostilities gradually increase within their country before Elsa is whisked away by her parents to begin a new life in Czechoslovakia, a new life where any empty space remains in her heart that the presence of her two best friends used to inhabit. Racked with grief as a result of the departure of his friend, Leo and his parents remain in Austria until a horrific series of events ultimately pushes him to call upon the compassion and pity of two people that he has only ever met once before, two people that he subsequently begs to save his life…

Meanwhile, Max is the third and final member of this miniature gang. Unlike his companions, he is not Jewish and his father appears to be intent upon severing all relations he has with his friends almost from the outset. When the true nature of what his father does when he goes to work is finally revealed, Max is also enveloped by the darkness inflicted upon him by his father, who loyally serves the NSDAP directly. Tasked with prematurely progressing into a man in a bid to please his father, Max is still subject to brief moments of torment when his past catches up to him and the Hitler salute that he routinely performs appears to be weaker than the friendships he once had.

WHEN THE WORLD WAS OURS is a stunning novel that embodies the horrors of the Nazification of 20th century Europe. The reader is simply transported to a time where Orwellian dystopias are in fact the reality: the darkest elements of fiction become real. Although the book itself is fictitious, through simplistic

language, Liz Kessler attempts to permit the reader to acquire an impression of the harrowing history of Germany through the eyes of the children who grew up at the time. It is an incredible tale that documents a time which is too incredible to every truly comprehend; I strongly urge you to read it!

A really gripping story about a school murder. There are 4 suspects, a geek, a jock, a criminal and a princess, and they all claim that they didn’t do it. The story is told from the aspects of all four suspects, and it follows through the investigation into Simon’s death. The 4 suspects have a hard time as rumours about them get spread. They become friends through the investigation and don’t like the fact that one of them must have done it…

I really enjoyed this book because of the different perspectives it was told from, and the story is filled with many intriguing twists.

A beautiful, thought-provoking, moving tale of grief, forgiveness and finding a family you never knew you had.

“Camino lives for her father’s visits to the Dominican Republic. But this year, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people.”

In New York City, Yahaira is called to the Principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance and Papi’s secrets the two sisters are forced to face a new reality in which their lives are forever altered. Now Camino and Yahaira are both left to grapple with their grief, their new-found love for one another and what it will take to keep their dreams alive.”

This is not usually the type of book I would pick up and read. It’s one of the books recently purchased for the school library to celebrate diversity in literature, and has received rave reviews online, so I thought I would give it a go. The gorgeous cover did help sway me to read the book too!

It’s also my first Elizabeth Acevedo book, but I will definitely be reading more of her books in future. The first thing you notice is that the entire book is written in verse. I felt the verse added to the beauty of the story unfolding before your eyes.

The story is predominantly about loss and grief, but that’s not what I took from it, I will remember if for being about forgiveness, family and hope.

Camino and Yahaira couldn’t have more different backgrounds. Yahaira has had both her parents in her life, apart from three months a year when her father travelled to the Dominican Republic. She has a girlfriend, a comfortable life in a nice apartment, and a prosperous future. Camino’s life on the other-hand has been much more turbulent, although she has a more comfortable life than most in her area. She lost her Mother when she was a young girl and only saw her father once a year when he would come to stay for three months, and being a young woman in her neighbourhood can be dangerous at times and she worries for her safety. She does receive a good education and aspires to be a Doctor, but this now hangs in the balance with her father’s death.

The author said that she was inspired by stories she heard about the families of victims of flight AA587 which was travelling to the Dominican Republic and crashed in Queens, New York. I think we are often preoccupied with the details when a tragic incident happens, that we often forget about the people left behind, and the impact it has on them and their lives. The Author explores this in ‘Clap When You Land’.

The journey that Camino and Yahaira take together is both poignant and beautiful, and at points I was moved to tears. They may have met through a tragic loss shared, but as a result they both discover family they never knew they had, and a friendship and bond that will last forever.

I was expecting your average crime thriller, but I was so wrong, ‘The Inheritance Games’ is so much more! Intrigue, mystery, danger, thrills, it’s got it all! I couldn’t put it down!

“She came from nothing”

Avery has a plan: keep her head down, work hard for a better future. Then an eccentric billionaire dies, leaving her almost his entire fortune. And no one, least of all Avery, knows why.

“They had everything.”

Now she must move into the mansion she’s inherited. It’s filled with secrets and codes, and the old man’s surviving relatives – a family hell bent on discovering why Avery got their money.

“Now there’s only one rule: winner takes all.”

Soon she’s caught in a deadly game that everyone in this strange family is playing. But how far will they go to keep their fortune?”

It’s got a ‘rags to riches’ back story, it’s got four drop dead gorgeous and troubled brothers, it’s fast paced, it’s got intrigue, mystery, danger, thrills, it’s seriously got it all! I love how the relationship evolves between the four Hawthorne boys and Avery as they work out the clues left behind by the late Tobias Hawthorne. The characters are beautifully written, they are all broken in their own way by their pasts and the secrets that they carry, more alike than they realise, and you can’t help but become attached. The attraction between the boys and Avery is palpable, but the author adds only a hint of romance so that it doesn’t detract from the story. The game itself is a masterpiece, it’s full of puzzles and riddles which are extremely clever and the author has you guessing to the very end, and when I say that I mean it literally, the book frustratingly ends on a cliff-hanger. I can’t wait for the sequel out this Autumn, I need to know what happens next!

“Can you love someone you can never touch?

Stella Grant likes to be in control – even though her totally out-of-control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. What Stella needs to control most is her distance from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. In one week he’ll turn eighteen, and then he’ll be able to unplug himself from all these machines and actually go see the world.

“Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. But now six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment. What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?”

Oh, my goodness, what a book! A heart-breaking emotional roller-coaster from beginning to end. ‘Five Feet Apart’ is a story of hope, love and friendship. The effect they both have on each other’s lives is profound, as well as the lives of those around them, including the reader!

I’m ashamed to say that out of all of the books on my ‘to read list’, this was the one I was least looking forward to. I’ve made no secret of my ‘tunnel vision’ when it comes to choosing a book to read, and emotional romantic reads are not usually my thing.

I am extremely pleased to stand corrected by Rachael Lippincott, and if I am not an advert for stepping out of your comfort zone when it comes to reading, I don’t know what is! I am so glad that I made the decision to read more varied genres, or I may have missed out on this amazing book!

I won’t lie it is an extremely emotional read, but Rachael Lippincott deals with it sensitively, and with an underline of humour. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and despite my trepidations at the beginning, it kept me captivated throughout, and I will definitely be on the look out for other books by this author.

Would suit fans of ‘The Fault in their Stars’, and ‘Everything, Everything’.

This book has now been turned into a film, which can be viewed on Netflix.

WARNING: YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PUT THIS BOOK DOWN!

I am an avid reader. However, I must admit to being a bit stuck in my ways when it comes to choosing a genre to read. Since discovering Harry Potter (too long ago to admit to), most of the books I have read fall securely within the fantasy genre. Therefore, I have set a goal for myself, that in the year 2021 I will get out of my comfort zone, and read a more varied selection of books.

With this in mind I purchased ‘A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder’ by Holly Jackson, a young adult crime thriller, which I have now donated to the school library for you all to enjoy!

“Five Years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The Police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it.”

But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final-year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth?”

What can I say about this book apart from wow………just wow, I was gripped from the very first page!

Pip, unlike most the people in the town she lives in, harbours a slither of doubt that the police were correct in finding Andie Bell’s killer as Sal Singh. She decides to re-investigate the case as part of her final year project in school, and questions everyone involved in the incident five years ago, including the accused’s brother Ravi. The two strike a deal, and investigate the crime together in a bid to prove Sal’s innocence, and in doing so become good friends.

This book is full of twists and turns from beginning to end. Holly Jackson has you guessing until the very last page, and even right at the end when you think you’ve got it all sussed she adds another twist! Pip is not afraid to stand up, or break the law to get answers and fight for what she believes in, there were points where my heart was literally in my throat and I was on the edge of my seat! I would definitely recommend ‘A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder’ to those looking for thrills, suspense and shocks galore. It would suit fans of ‘Pretty Little Liars’. I am looking forward to reading the sequel ‘Good Girl, Bad Blood.