Sunday, 30 April 2017

Dead to Me by Lesley Pearse

27162607Dead to Me is the story of a friendship between two girls after they meet in London in 1935. Verity is well off, she goes to a private school and her family has a housekeeper. Ruby, on the other hand worries about where her next meal will come from and lives with her alcoholic mother. The girls become fast friends despite their different backgrounds. Their friendship is a joy to read, one that really makes you think about nature vs. nurture. 

However, not everything is as perfect as it seems for Verity.

After only a short time, the girls end up separated across the country, but are determined not to lose their friendship and keep in contact through letters and meetings. Their strong friendship really warmed my heart. But I knew from the blurb that 'one breaks the other's heart...'. So the whole time I was anticipating this happening, guessing as to who would do it and why right from the start. I didn't want anything to come between them!

Can the girls reconcile, even as Britain is being torn apart by war?

I wasn't expecting to love this book as much as I did. I've never read a Lesley Pearse novel before, but I've certainly heard of her and her work. I don't know why, but I think I expected the story to be shallow, something that wouldn't make me feel much. Wow, was I wrong. It's packed with emotion and depth. 

I think the only thing I might have like more of is more build up of the girls friendship before they're separated, to make me

I really liked Lesley's writing. As someone who usually reads dense, descriptive writing, her easy style was a breath of fresh air. It welcomed me into the story within the first page, and I sped through the whole novel within two days. Lesley brings to life the 1930/40's brilliantly, I could see it so clearly in my head.

The characterisation of Verity and Ruby is wonderful. They could have so easily been written as stereotypes; naive rich girl and rough poor girl. Instead Lesley has created two complex women that are addicting to read.

I highly recommend this book, whether you've read a Lesley Pearse novel before or not.  Strong female characters, female friendship and a historical setting, what more could you wish for?

I'd give it a definite 4 stars!

Thank you edpr and Darran for sending me a copy! 

Friday, 14 April 2017

Talking Dreamers with Laini Taylor and a Nightmare of a Journey

Yesterday somehow managed to be a day where everything was working against me and yet things still turned out okay.

So, Thursday morning I wake up. So many butterflies. Not only am I meeting one of my favourite authors ever. I'm interviewing her too. I was screaming internally the full day.
Image result for strange the dreamer
I thought I'd leave super early to get there because A) public transport is not reliable (more on that later) and B) I want to be punctual!

The plan was that my friend Emily, who usually comes along with me to signings would meet up with me and film the interview with her camera because its better than mine.

It takes about 50 mins to get to Newcastle from where I live and I left 2 hours before I would be meeting up with Laini.

On the bus, I sit tightly clenched with nerves thinking 'are my questions good enough?' 'I wont have long, so which ones should I cut out?' 'What if shes already heard these questions a thousand times and is going to be so bored by having to answer them again?'. I tried not to even think about what sort of word vomit would spew out in the presence of Laini.
20 minutes into my ride, Emily rings me. She says the Metro trains aren't running so she's going to get a bus instead, she just wanted to let me know so I don't stress. We both agreed that we had plenty of time so being a little delayed wouldn't harm us.

10 minutes later, my bus takes turn not on the route it usually takes. It's taking us to the bus depot to pick up a new driver. Adding on about 15 minutes to the ride. I tell myself to be calm, we still have time. We accommodated for this.
Emily texts me: They've turned the engine off the her bus.
Her bus had broken down. Shit.

Right then was when I was questioning how on earth I can travel for 3 hours, taking 2 trains to interview Sarah J Maas in Glasgow and be there in plenty of time but I can't make a 50 minutes journey (one I take 3 or 4 times a week to university) to a nearby city without some kind of problem.

So while Emily waits for another bus to pick her up, I get stopped at every red light in the city (obviously) but somehow manage to make it to Waterstones on time, just without someone to record. I have questions and my phone so I think i'll just have to voice record it. BUT THEN, Jo, a lovely Waterstones employee volunteered to film it on my phone. (Thank god I recently got a new one that actually has the capacity to hold 1GB videos.)

I kept hoping, right until the last minute that Emily would make it in time, but alas it was not meant to be.

After all this, my day still worked out pretty amazingly, Emily got to the signing eventually, Laini was THE BEST. Such an amazing, inspiring woman. Meeting her was totally worth all the stress.

I was extremely time conscious during the interview because it was 14:47 when we started and her signing started at 3 (We ended up finishing the interview at 14:59) and she then needed to be in Edinburgh for her evening tour stop. Laini was so busy, it must be exhausting!

However, they had ran out of Minya stickers which I was so gutted about. Thankfully I've worked out a trade for one, but I know a lot of people wanted to collect them.

Finally, the best bit:

(Complete with police sirens interrupting Laini's answer and me stumbling over words with nerves)

Sunday, 9 April 2017

The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles

22296822For the perfect love, what would you be willing to lose?

It’s been a shattering year for seventeen-year-old Zoe, who’s still reeling from her father's shockingly sudden death in a caving accident and her neighbors’ mysterious disappearance from their own home. Then on a terrifying sub-zero, blizzardy night in Montana, she and her brother are brutally attacked in a cabin in the woods—only to be rescued by a mysterious bounty hunter they call X.

X is no ordinary bounty hunter. He is from a hell called the Lowlands, sent to claim the soul of Zoe’s evil attacker and others like him. X is forbidden from revealing himself to anyone other than his prey, but he casts aside the Lowlands’ rules for Zoe. As they learn more about their colliding worlds, they begin to question the past, their fate, and their future.

I DNF'd this one. 

I HATE DNFing books but I couldn't finish this one. I tried three separate times to start The Edge of Everything and every time I just didn't want to carry on. 

I was intrigued by how this book sounded, which is why I tried so hard to get into it, but in the end it didn't work for me. I wasn't a fan of how it was written; the speech especially didn't work for me. I think Jeff completely missed the mark when trying to get into the head of a teenage girl. Zoe didn't feel realistic to me. 

I didn't like the main character, Zoe. I didn't connect with her or feel like she was particularly well written. All of the characters didn't seem to be very well fleshed out; they felt like cardboard cutouts 

There seemed to be a bit of insta-love which is...not good. 

I'd give it about 2 stars for the part I read.

Thank you Bloomsbury for sending my a copy of this book!

Monday, 3 April 2017

April TBR!

My TBR is quite small this month; there aren't many new releases I'm interested in this month (at least it lets my bank account prepare to be drained in May when ACOWAR, Lord of Shadows, Flame in the Mist and many others come out). So, i'm spending this month catching up on books i've had sitting around for a while that weren't priority to read. 

Image result for a crown of wishesFirst up is A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

I actually DNF'd The Star Touched Queen. But now i'm really tempted to pick it up and try it again after starting to read ACOW. 
I'm only half way through but I'm loving it! We NEED more stories like this one out there. 
Also, the cover is gorgeous! 

Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser


I had never heard of this one before I received this one from Bloomsbury about two weeks ago.It sounds like a great fantasy filled with gods, politics, pirates and an awesome heroine. I've seen nothing but good things about this one, so bring it on!
I'm loving the blue on the cover!

Royce Rolls by Margaret Stohl

I'll be honest, Royce Rolls doesn't sound like a book i'd usually read but despite seeing so much about Margaret Stohl and her works on Twitter, I've never read anything of her. So, i'm going to change that! 
RR is about a family who are on reality TV show, so i'm betting is going to be drama-filled!