Monday 4 November 2019

Recent Reads (#2)

Hi everyone! Welcome the newly renamed Recent Reads (previously Mini Reviews), the series on my blog where I review books in a couple of sentences to give you my thoughts and recommendations.There's only three books this week, but here they are. Thank you to the lovely publishers who sent me these books

37236008. sx318 There’s no such thing as a secret.

SOMETHING happened to Ava. The curving scar on her face is proof. But Ava would rather keep that something hidden—buried deep in her heart and her soul.

She has her best friend Syd, and she has her tattoos—a colorful quilt, like a security blanket, over her whole body—and now, suddenly, she has Hailey. Beautiful, sweet Hailey, who seems to like Ava as much as she likes her. And Ava isn’t letting anything get in the way of finally, finally seeking peace. But in the woods on the outskirts of town, the traces of someone else’s secrets lie frozen, awaiting Ava’s discovery—and what Ava finds threatens to topple the carefully-constructed wall of normalcy that she’s spent years building. Secrets leave scars. But when the secret in question is not your own—do you ignore the truth and walk away? Or do you uncover it from its shallow grave, and let it reopen old wounds—wounds that have finally begun to heal?

Quick Thoughts:I was so excited when I read the synopsis of this one, but ultimately it fell flat for me personally. I do think that this is more of a personal taste thing, but I didn't feel in any way connected to the characters and I wasn't bothered about what was happening in the story. Ava was such a bland character and she made so many awful decisions that I did grow to resent her. I do appreciate the representation for sexual assult victims in this book though.
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Meri Beckley lives in a world without lies. When she turns on the news, she hears only the facts. When she swipes the pages of her online textbooks, she reads only the truth. When she looks at the peaceful Chicago streets, she feels the pride everyone in the country feels about the era of unprecedented hope and prosperity over which the government presides.

But when Meri’s mother is killed, Meri suddenly has questions that no one else seems to be asking. And when she tries to uncover her mother’s state of mind in her last weeks, she finds herself drawn into a secret world full of facts she’s never heard and a history she didn’t know existed.

Suddenly, Meri is faced with a choice between accepting the “truth” she has been taught or embracing a world the government doesn’t want anyone to see—a world where words have the power to change the course of a country, and the wrong word can get Meri killed.

Quick Thoughts:I know I have rated this one two stars, but it's really more of a one star for the second half. This just felt like such a copy of Divergent or any other dystopian of that time, without any true world building. It felt like the author had done very little planning as to where she wanted to go with the story, and altogether she set up a huge story and then barely scratched the surface of the world she created. Not a favourite unfortunately.

32605126. sy475 From the acclaimed author of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns comes a fantastical new tale of darkness and love, in which magical bonds are stronger than blood.

Will love break the spell? After cruelly rejecting Bao, the poor physician's apprentice who loves her, Lan, a wealthy nobleman's daughter, regrets her actions. So when she finds Bao's prized flute floating in his boat near her house, she takes it into her care, not knowing that his soul has been trapped inside it by an evil witch, who cursed Bao, telling him that only love will set him free. Though Bao now despises her, Lan vows to make amends and help break the spell.

Together, the two travel across the continent, finding themselves in the presence of greatness in the forms of the Great Forest's Empress Jade and Commander Wei. They journey with Wei, getting tangled in the webs of war, blood magic, and romance along the way. Will Lan and Bao begin to break the spell that's been placed upon them? Or will they be doomed to live out their lives with black magic running through their veins?

Quick Thoughts: This was a super enjoyable, early-mid YA fantasy with some great characters, excellent dialogue and well thought out world-building. It's not a new favourite, but it was really fun to read and I'd recommend it to teenagers and adults looking for a fun fantasy.

Have you guys read any of these? Please let me know!

Sunday 3 November 2019

Your Guide to 2021 YA Releases

Hello folks.

So this week, I've been having the worst time. I've been sick, and preparing for my licensing exams and just a bit miserable. Then I got a comment yesterday saying how much someone loved my 2020 YA Releases list and how it made their life so much easier to terms of planning their TBR. This comment completely made my day and made me so excited to start on my 2021 releases list. So here it is! I really hope it is helpful to everyone! The vast majority of books are in the undated section just now, so best to scroll down there and have a look.

If you see that a book is missing, please do let me know and I'd love to add it! I don't have access to publisher's marketplace so I don't hear about all the wonderful books coming out, but I want to include them all.