Sunday, 25 September 2016

Review: The Rose & the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh

The Rose & the Dagger by Renée AhdiehThe Rose & the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh (Bought) - WARNING! I cannot review this book without spoiling the others in the series. Read no further if you're planning on reading this series and don't want it spoilt for you.

I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge in the desert, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid's empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn't yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.
From Goodreads (slightly edited due to spoilers).

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Review: Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer NivenReview: Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven (Proof) - Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed 'America's Fattest Teen'. But no one's taken the time to look past her weight to get to see who she really is. Since her mum's death, she's been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby's ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for EVERY POSSIBILITY LIFE HAS TO OFFER. I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin too. Yes, he's got swagger, but he's also mastered the art of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a secret: he can't recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He's the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can't understand what's going on with the inner workings of his own brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don't get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game which lands them in group counselling, Libby and Jack are both angry, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world - theirs and yours. From Goodreads.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Review: The Wrath & the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

The Wrath & the Dawn by Renée AhdiehThe Wrath & the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh (Bought) - In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.
From Goodreads.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Review: The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue HitchcockThe Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock (review copy) - Alaska, 1970: growing up here is like nowhere else.

Ruth wants to be remembered by her grieving mother.
Dora wishes she was invisible to her abusive father.
Alyce is staying at home to please her parents.
Hank is running away for the sake of his brothers.

Four very different lives are about to become entangled. Because if we don't save each other, how can we begin to save ourselves?

Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock's extraordinary, stunning debut is both moving, and deeply authentic. These intertwining stories of love, tragedy, wild luck, and salvation on the edge of America's Last Frontier introduce a writer of rare and wonderful talent.
From Goodreads.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Review: Cherry by Lindsey Rosin

Cherry by Lindsey RosinCherry by Lindsey Rosin (review copy) - There's a first time for everything...

Layla, Alex, Zoe and Emma are four best friends with not a lot in common. Well, except one thing . . . But they're determined to lose 'that thing' by the time they graduate high school. Yes, the time has come to Do It. To make love. To have all the sex. It's momentous, it's huge, it's important and it's life-changing. Or... is it?

Although each of the girls sets out with a pretty certain idea of what the Big Moment will be like, as they'll discover, life doesn't always work out the way you expect. And in their search for something huge, important and life-changing, they'll discover that they already have it - in each other.
From Goodreads.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Retellings Reading Challenge 2016: Link to Your September Reviews

Retellings Reading Challenge 2016

Welcome to the Retellings Reading Challenge 2016 September link-up! How are you guys doing? You know I mentioned I was starting Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige in the last link up? I had to put it down, I just wasn't getting on with it, unfortunately. But there are a few others on my TBR, so hoperfully I'll get to read a few more retellings soon!

Hope you had a better August than me, and that September will be a good month, too! Link to your reviews below. But before you do...
  • You must sign up for the challenge before you post links to your reviews. Links from people who haven't signed up will be deleted. Sign up for the challenge here.
  • Make sure your links go directly to your reviews, not to your blog/Goodreads page/youtube channel. Those of the latter will be deleted.
  • To count, books must be read in May. Only books read at the very end of April will count for May if posted at the very beginning of the month. Otherwise they won't count.
  • When you link to your reviews, in the "Name" field, please include the title of the book, the author, and your blog name. For example: Wicked by Gregory Maguire @ Once Upon a Bookcase.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Review: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Side Effects May Vary by Julie MurphySide Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy (review copy) - When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs - however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, who she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that's as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her archnemisis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice's scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she's said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her 0 and to the one person who matters most?
From the blurb.