Book Review: Timebomb by Scott. K. Andrews

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Number of pages: 341
Read between: 18th- 31st May
Format: Paperback
Published: October 9th, 2014
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Synopsis: New York City, 2141: Yojana Patel throws herself off a skyscraper, but never hits the ground.

Cornwall, 1640: gentle young Dora Predennick, newly come to Sweetclover Hall to work, discovers a badly-burnt woman at the bottom of a flight of stairs. When she reaches out to comfort the dying woman, she’s knocked unconscious, only to wake, centuries later, in empty laboratory room.

On a rainy night in present-day Cornwall, seventeen-year-old Kaz Cecka sneaks into the long-abandoned Sweetclover Hall, determined to secure a dry place to sleep. Instead he finds a frightened housemaid who believes Charles I is king and an angry girl who claims to come from the future.

Thrust into the centre of an adventure that spans millennia, Dora, Kaz and Jana must learn to harness powers they barely understand to escape not only villainous Lord Sweetclover but the forces of a fanatical army… all the while staying one step ahead of a mysterious woman known only as Quil.

Rating: 5521e-4stars

Review:

This novel has great premise, three kids (well young adults) from three different time periods,  joined together and thrown through time, to end up stuck in the middle of a war.

Dora, Kaz and Jana are each out of their time and deal with the situation differently. Dora, for example, is a girl from the 17th century when she is sent to the future and she struggled the most with getting her head around what happened to her.

I also feel that this book is kind of her story, as the majority of the adventure takes place five years after she left during the 17th Century and the English Civil War.

Out of the three, I liked Kaz the most. When Dora was frightened, and Jana had her bitchy moments, Kaz was surprisingly level-headed. It was also great that he was Polish. I’ve never read a book with a central Polish character before so that was a nice change, and he wasn’t written in a way that could be stereotypical.

It was nice to see a non-English character who isn’t an American.

It’s a great book- even the villains of the story, Lord Sweetclover and Quil were padded out. They weren’t just coherently evil, they had back stories and it worked really well. I mean, they had to try and earn the trust of the three time travellers.

The mix of past and future also kept the story interesting. It was funny to see futuristic weapons alongside the weapons of the century- so historical fiction as well as sci-fi! A great mix!

I’m glad I read this book because I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump and this book was a cure! I love a good sci-fi book and this had everything so I’d highly recommend it!

4/5 stars.

An excellent read!

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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Book Review: The Gift of Charms

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Read between: 9th- 17th May
Published: September 4th, 2014
Publisher: Dino Books
Format: ebook
Popsugar reading challenge: A book involving a mythical creature; A book from a non-human perspective
Genre: Fantasy
Synopsis: In a secret land, far away from the habitation of man, dwell the world’s remaining dragons — hoping the dragsaur beasts have vanished forever. Here they try to live their daily lives, but all is not well and their talents are fading.

Things change, however, when, from a strange egg, Yoshiko is born – a dragon with a unique destiny.

Great adventure lies ahead as many challenges must be overcome, leading to a dangerous mission to the human world in attempt to return to the clans their missing magic!

Can Yoshiko make it in time?

Rating: Image result for 2.5 stars

Review: The Gift of Charms is a children’s fantasy novel that follows Yoshiko, a young dragon who doesn’t fit in.

The writing was a little competitive in places, but I can let that slide considering it was written simply to make it easier to read. The target audience are young children, considering it’s a middle grade novel, which could explain why. However, I liked the premise and the story is great, it took a while for the reader, and Yoshiko, to discover what his fate was.

He was very sensitive though, for example, when he was bullied at school, rather than stand up to himself and show the reader that you shouldn’t let the bullies hurt you….he flew away and cried. I liked that the author included school bullies, in order to raise awareness to young readers but I felt it was taken in the wrong direction.

Another point about the simplicity is there wasn’t much world building, there was the description of the mountain ranges here and there but I don’t feel like I know Dragor enough to describe it. I thought I would fly through this book but I didn’t, I had a mini slump in the middle of it! It just didn’t pull me in like most fantasy novels do.

I liked the personification of the dragons, although sometimes they felt a bit too human…it wasn’t an unnatural perspective. If you replaced the characters with people, there wouldn’t have had much of a difference in their characters.

I finished it though, and I’m glad I did because it was nice to see them all celebrating, although a lot of the dragons were just like ‘oh okay that’s over, let’s get back to our lives.’ when a massive change had just happened!

I liked it- but I can definitely see children enjoying it more than I did. They can probably relate to Yoshiko. That being said, it’s a great premise and painted dragons in a better light than most fantasy novels- making them good and not monsters.

2.5 stars.

Don’t take my review to heart, if you feel like you’d like this book, then give it a go!

Thanks for reading
~Katie

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Book Review: Mafiosa by Catherine Doyle

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Read between: 2nd- 8th May
Format: Paperback
Published: January 5th, 2017
Publisher: Chicken House
Number of pages: 400
Synopsis: A blood war rages on the streets of Chicago.

Protected by an infamous mafia family, Sophie is living a dangerous lie, pretending to lead a normal life. But the deceit can’t last for ever. Her heart belongs to a killer and Sophie’s the prime target of a rival clan. She’s determined to seek revenge on her mother’s murderers, but can she pay the price – can she be a mafiosa?

Rating:
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Review:
This is the third and final installment of the Blood for Blood trilogy and boy did it end with a bang! It was a rollercoaster ride from start to finish.

I have a new favourite YA trilogy- this book was packed with action, romance, secrecy and promises. Tropes that shouldn’t work together but do, and they work really really well.

Since the last book, Sophie went to the Falcones for sanctuary and is now living in the family headquarters, despite being form the enemy bloodline by birth. Some people want her there, others don’t- and she’ll have to prove her loyalty.

Some, like Luca, already believe she is.

I was definitely rooting for her and Luca to get together and the school dance scene was totally my favourite moment between them, until the terror that followed had them facing death- Sophie more show, when she finally gets her first bullet wounds and the proof of the danger that siding with the Falcones brings, is revealed to her.

It wasn’t the only revelation either.

Luca pretty much reveals that his heart belongs of Sophie and I had to actually stop reading because I could do nothing but stare at the part with my mouth open. I wanted it sure, I love them together but it was completely unexpected.

On the downside, there are a few major character deaths in this novel- some deserved it, some definitely didn’t, but what happened definitely has an effect on the characters, and you can tell that Sophie changes as a person.

It changed them all, and I found it really difficult to read their grief. I didn’t want to get involved. It felt personal.

Overall it was a great continuation the series and a fantastic story in itself. Doyle is a wonderful writer and I would definitely recommend this series. If you love YA, crime- you’ll love this. I’ve felt so many emotions.

5/5 Stars.

I cannot tell you how much I love this book!
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Thanks for reading!
~Katie
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Book Review: Prince Caspian by C.S Lewis

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Read between: 27th April- 2nd May
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 190
Published: January 1st 1998
Publisher: Grafton
Synopsis: The Pevensie siblings are back to help a prince denied his rightful throne as he gathers an army in a desperate attempt to rid his land of a false king. But in the end, it is a battle of honor between two men alone that will decide the fate of an entire world.
Rating: 003d1-threestar

Review: In chronological order, this is the fourth book in the Chronicles of Narnia series (In publication order, it’s the second.) but it is the second  book to feature Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy who we first met in The Lion, The With and The Wardrobe.

However, hundreds of years have passed since their reign and when they are pulled back to Narnia, it is quite right they’re confused. It is then, after saving a dwarf named Trumpkin, that they learn about Caspian.

Caspian is the rightful heir to the Narnian throne but his uncle, King Miraz, will stop at anything to ensure Caspian never rules. He has other ideas.

So Caspian runs away.

He wants to defeat his uncle, and decides to call on the old Narnians of old, including the Penvensies- the High Kings and Queens of Narnia. The reason they have been bought back to Narnia, is because he called for them. Not that there’s much time for reminiscing- there’s a battle to be fought, a lion to be found and there is a lot crammed into the 190 pages of this novel.

Caspian did seem a little childish, I’m not sure how old he is actually supposed to be apart from the fact he’s the same age as Peter so I’d say about 15-16? He acted much younger, but being a prince and with his upbringing, I guess I can’t blame him.

Overall, it was nice to be back in the world. It’s been a while since I’ve read Prince Caspian- I remember the film much better! I did enjoy it though, but I felt that although it was Caspian’s story, the Pevensies could have features much more than they did.

I was also confused about the narrator. Was it Trumpkin- telling Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy about Caspian or was it the author? I mean at some points I guess it could have been both.

I was of course, very pleased when Aslan turned up. That made the story for me, because you can’t have a book based in Narnia without Aslan!

It was a good story, I liked it.

3/5 stars.
A re-read, but a lovely story to re-live.

Thanks for reading!
~Katie.

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March & April Wrap Up

As I was on holiday when the beginning of April started,  this wrap up is a joint wrap up of the books I read in March and April. There’s quite a few books on this list so let’s get started!

MARCH

I read seven books in March- which I am amazed at.

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Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (okay it took me a month but I finished it in March). I rated in 4/5 stars! You can read my review here.
It also completed two of the challenges on the Popsugar reading challenge!
– A book that’s been on your TBR way too long
– A book that’s more than 800 pages

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The Understudy by David Nicholls- I gave this book 3/5 stars. There are a lot of 3 star ratings in this wrap up. I can’t actually find a review on here for it (oops) so I shall write up my review below.

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Stephen. C. McQueen is an actor- or trying to be. Apart from a film playing a talking squirrel he hasn’t had much luck. That and his marriage has ended, so it’s clear to see his life isn’t the best.

Now he’s playing the 12th Sexiest Man, Josh Harper’s understudy! Josh is successful, handsome, with a gorgeous wife. He has everything Stephen doesn’t.

It was a good story that gave me a look into the theatre- even the less glamorous side. My only downside is that sometimes it was a bit predicatable. I did feel sorry for Stephen though, his wife has re-married, his seven year old daughter has grown up really fast. He’s losing them.

It’s no surprise he falls for Nora, Josh’s wife, but Josh was way too arrogant. The whay he teased Stephen was childish- just because he saw himself as better than him. He did have his nice moments too though- offering to fake an illness so that Steve can get his big break.

Then it happens- but not in the way promised. The consequences are a lot worse and after getting his big break, Steve turns his back on acting. I was disappointed that he made that decision but it turned out okay in the end!

I enjoyed this book, and I love David Nicholls writing style, but I still think this wasn’t my favourite by him. That still goes to One Day.

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The Memory of Midnight by Pamela Hartshorne. I also gave this four out of five stars! My review can be found here
Popsugar reading challenge: A book set in two different time periods.
Image result for doctor who the deviant strainDoctor Who: The Deviant Strain by Justin Richards- it’s always nice to read a Doctor Who book 🙂 I gave this book a five star rating. You can read my thoughts in my review, that can be found here

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Holding by Graham Norton- I was pleasantly surprised by this book and I ended up giving it 4 out of 5 stars! If you want to know what I thought of this book, go and find my review which is here.

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Follow you Home by Mark Edwards- I got this from Kindle Daily deals because I was curious about it and it was actually pretty good! I gave it 2.5-3/5 stars and again, I can’t find a review on here, so I will write my review below.

I picked this book up from the Kindle Daily Deals. It sounded intriguing and like a good thriller. However- the actual event that had repercussions on Daniel and Laura was not at all what I expected it to be. I felt a little let down- it was still horrible but I expected, and would have preferred, something scarier.

It only got scary once the villain of the story followed Daniel and Laura back to England (hence the title!)

It starts off in Romania, and then flicks between there and London, where Daniel and Laura are travelling before their passports are stolen and they’re thrown off the train. It’s after this event that they discover something gruesome.

It shakes up their perfect happy life, and when Daniel turns to drink, Laura’s sanity spirals.

So what happened- is there more to it?
Romania is haunting them.

It was a good story, I read on because I wanted to know what happened but I also felt that there was too much going on. As for the characters, Daniel was midly irritating- even though he was a stereotypical computer geek, he also over thought everything!

Apart from that, I felt that it had good premise and the swapping between countries kept it interesting. It had good structure and was quite a quick read so I did like it.

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Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. I’ve wanted to read this book for ages and I rated it 4/5 stars. If you would like to know more of my thoughts and feelings- my review is here.


APRIL

I also read 7 books in April! That’s 14 books over two months and honestly, if that’s not a successful two months reading then I don’t know what is!

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The Queen of New Beginnings by Erica James was the first book I read in April, it was a cutesy book and I ended up giving it 4/5 stars. You can read more in my review here.

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Looking for Alaska by John Green. This is the second John Green novel I’ve read and I gave it 2.5/5 stars. Maybe 3. I’m still undecided because I have a few problems with John Green. My review is here.
Popsugar reading challenge: A book by an author from a country you’ve never visited (USA).

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The Summer of Secrets by Sarah Jasmon. I loved this summer read, I mean, I know it isn’t summer yet but still. I rated this book 3/5 stars. My review is here if you want to take a look.
Popsugar reading challenge: A book with one of the seasons in the title.

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Flawed by Cecelia Ahern. This book, like Holding, was an Arc from Netgalley that I’ve read after release date (my bad!). However, I gave it 3/5 stars. My review is here.
Popsugar Reading Challenge: A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you.

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Watson and Holmes by Karl Bollers and Rick Leonardi. The only graphic novel I’ve read this year but an excellent one! I gave it a very deserving 5/5 stars. My review and some other pictures of the artwork inside is here.
Popsugar Reading Challenge: A book with pictures.

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Vendetta by Catherine Doyle. Probably my new favourite series. I gave this book a rating of 4/5 stars. My review is here.
Popsugar Reading Challenge: The first book in a series you haven’t read before.

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Inferno by Catherin Doyle. The second book in the Blood for Blood trilogy. I like it so much more than the first one! To find out why, read my review here.
I gave this book 5/5 stars.


And that’s all the books I read in March and April!

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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Book Review: Inferno by Catherine Doyle (Blood for Blood #2)

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Read between: 22nd-27th April
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 416
Published: January 7th, 2016
Publisher: Chicken House
Synopsis: Sophie’s life has been turned upside-down, and she’s determined to set things right. But Nic, the Falcone brother who represents everything she’s trying to forget, won’t give up on their love – and it’s Luca’s knife she clutches for comfort. Soon another mafia clan spoils the fragile peace – and with her heart drawn in one direction and her blood in another, Sophie’s in deeper than ever.

Rating: Image result for five stars

Review:

This trilogy gets better with each book. I gave the last one four stars (review here) but this one was so much better! There’s drama, twists, and find out where Sophie’s loyalties really lie after her traumatic experience at the hands of Calvino Falcone.

I don’t blame her for still being traumatised. I would be! I think it made her stronger, even if she is still in the middle of a feud, and it’s about to get worse! She’s about to discover a secret that turns the life she knows upside down.

A secret that could turn Nic against her.

However, it is Luca Falcone who stands by her. Luca who actually cares about her more than the war between their families. It is Luca who doesn’t lie to her.

Sophie and Luca are such a better couple than Sophie and Nice were! I wanted them to kiss so badly whenever they were together because there was clearly a hell of a lot of chemistry. (spoiler; THEY DO! :D)

Unfortunately, tragedy strikes that rips Sophie’s world apart. It is Luca she clings to. She can’t go to her uncle, he’s caused her too much pain already.

The drama has definitely progressed, it’s so intense! When Doyle threw in the plot twist I was totally shocked! I had no idea and I totally didn’t see it coming! That’s good writing, when the author can surprise you.

I cannot wait to find out in the third book, so I ordered it from amazon immediately and I’m reading it as soon as I can!

5/5 stars. Totally recommend.

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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Tag: The Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt

After seeing this tag floating around, I thought I’d have a go at doing The Bookshelf Scavenger hunt, originally created by TheLibraryOfSarah on Youtube. There are various different categories, and you have to trawl through your bookshelves (or shelf in my case) and find a book that fits that category.

So let’s get this started!

Find a book with an author’s name or title with the letter Z in it.

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An obvious choice but the Book Thief, written by an author with a Z in his name.

Find a classic.

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So it’s not the classic cover BUT it IS a classic, so it counts!

Find a book with a key on it.

Find something on your shelf that isn’t a book.

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Find the oldest book on your shelf

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Find a book with a girl on the cover

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Find a book with a boy on the cover

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Yes, technically I used the same book twice but it has a girl AND a boy on the cover so there!

Find a book that has an animal in it.

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It has a lion in it 😛

Find a book with a male protagonist.

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Don’t think this really needs any explanation….

Find a book with only words on it.

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Find a book with illustrations in it.

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Find a book with gold lettering.

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Under the dust-jacket- there’s the gold lettering!

Find a diary

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Find a book written by someone with a common name

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I knew a few people with the surname Collins so…yeah, this one.

Find a book that has a close up of something on it.

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Best I could do, a close up of a shoe!

Find a book that takes place in the earliest time period.

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It’s set in 1464, before the War of the Roses, which is pretty early if you ask me!

Find a hard cover book without a jacket.

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All of my Doctor Who hardback books like this do not have dust jackets.

Find a teal/turquoise book

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Find a book with stars on it.

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Much stars.

Find a non YA book.

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Find the longest book you own.

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This beast! Any other large books I have in ebook format, so Order of the Phoenix was the only choice for this one.

Find the shortest book you own.

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Find a book with multiple POVs.

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Multiple POVs that turned out to be a major spoiler for the ending of the book. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve read Allegiant.

Find a shiny book

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Find a book with flowers on it.

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And that’s the tag!

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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