Wednesday 30 December 2015

Don't Eat the Glowing Bananas Blog Tour

Hank Rose has only two missions in life, find the best food the post apocalyptic world has to offer, and find out why the bombs fell. 

After meeting Lewis, a radioactive mutant with a tentacle for an arm, Hank continues his journey to the city of New Dallas, where he encounters far worse things than radioactive food, including dancing zombies and a horrible dictator. 

Hank must help his new friends and the people of New Dallas while trying to find out the biggest mystery of all.

After reading Alice Takes Back Wonderland I was eager to read more by David D Hammons so when I saw a review tour for another book by this author I was eager to participate! Don’t Eat The Glowing Bananas follows Henry Rosetta, a man living in a post apocalyptic world after the bombs fell, destroying the majority of the world. I enjoyed this book more than Alice Takes Back Wonderland simply because I found it to be more unique from the majority of books in this genre. Although dystopian books have been extremely popular since the success of The Hunger Games, this is the first time I have read one mixed with the comedy genre. It was extremely funny and I adored the quirky characters.

I particularly loved Lewis, a man who through high doses of radiation had become a mutant with radioactive blood, a tentacle for a hand and an ability to heal extremely quickly. Lewis was a unique and funny character who seemed confused about the world the majority of the time and didn’t seem to mind being mutilated multiple times in order to save his friends.

Henry was an interesting protagonist, and I loved that he was not a perfect hero as many protagonists tend to be. Although he does his best to save his friends, he also has a survival instinct which is shown by his willingness to leave Ivan behind when they are being chased down by zombies. However he does seem to redeem himself by refusing to abandon his friends and leave the planet, which I loved as it showed that although he was trying to save himself he was unwilling to leave those behind who he truly did care for.

The book was overall a very fun and light hearted read, and reminded me of one of my favourite books, ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. I loved that everything that seemed relatively normal to these characters was completely ridiculous to the reader, and seeing them being sentenced to multiple executions and chased by dancing zombies was both ridiculous and funny. I also loved the idea of knowledge being forbidden, and that people would visit the library just to turn back again to make a statement of being ignorant. I felt that this showed an important point of the government brainwashing the people into thinking that knowledge was a bad thing.

Having attempted to write fiction myself, I have found that comedy is one of the most difficult genres to write. Not everyone will have the same sense of humour, and something you find funny will often be something that no one else is amused by. I thought that Hammons use of comedy was brilliantly done, and extremely well timed. Although there will always be someone who doesn’t find it funny, I feel as if the majority of people who read this book would appreciate the comedic values.

I overall enjoyed this book and would recommend it to fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Welcome to Nightvale. 

Don't Eat the Glowing Bananas is now available to purchase!

Thursday 24 December 2015

My Favourite Festive Reads!

No book review until next week but I have made a youtube video talking about my favourite books to read over the holidays. Enjoy!

Saturday 19 December 2015

Review on The Felix Chronicles: Freshmen

After losing his parents to a terrible house fire, Felix August starts his freshman year at Portland College with low expectations. The loss of his parents taking a huge toll on him, Felix is reluctant to make new friends and attend parties. That is until he meets his roommate Lucas Mayer, a reality tv star with a lot of personality. However Felix soon finds out that not everything is frat parties and college girls, as people start to go missing in the forest close to campus, and Felix has started having the same dream about being burnt to death over and over. Not to mention the serial killer who is going after teenagers and seems to be targeting those without any siblings. Felix soon finds out that there is a much bigger picture, and it is up to him to stop the killer known as the Faceman before he kills anyone else. With the help of his friends, and the mysterious groundkeeper, Felix must find the connection between these seemingly unrelated events and stop them before it is too late.

This book was a really interesting read and perfectly mixed contemporary with fantasy. The novel starts with Felix starting university, and the struggles he goes through with coming to terms with his parents death and not allowing himself to get swept up into university life. He arrives with his childhood best friend Alison, who is the only person who knows about what happened to Felix’s parents. I loved the relationship between Felix and Alison, and was extremely happy that their relationship didn’t turn romantic. It is rare for male and female characters to remain as just friends throughout a YA novel and I loved that this was the case with Felix and Alison. They care about each other deeply and sacrifice themselves for each other on multiple occasions, but the fact that it remained platonic was a breath of fresh air.

I seem to be finding it a rare occurrence to find a male protagonist in a fantasy YA novel, so having Felix as the protagonist was interesting. I always feel that the majority of YA books seem to be more based towards female readers, but The Felix Chronicles seems to have the male reader in mind too. Felix seems like a typical eighteen year old college student so I loved watching him get thrown into a world that he didn’t even know existed.

I loved Lucas from the start and he soon became my favourite character. I always seem to love the obnoxious, over confident character in YA novels, and it was no different with Lucas. Although he is a bit of a player I loved that he didn’t go off with the frat boys and try to be popular which he easily could have done, but stayed with a less popular group of people just because he enjoyed being with them. I always love relationships where two characters can’t stand each other but develop feelings over time, and I enjoyed seeing that developing between Lucas and Caitlyn. I did however feel that Harper lacked character, and that her main purpose was to be a love interest for Felix.

I did have a few issues with the plot, as although I read the diary entry from Felix’s auntie twice, I still felt that I didn’t fully understand what The Source was, and the closest explanation that I could make up for it was that it was similar to The Force in Star Wars. I felt as if seeing as this was such an important part of the story it could have been explained a little better. I also felt that there were too many instances where a character was presumably dead, only to be found alive. Felix’s tendency to seek vengeance against his enemies and enjoy torturing them almost gets his friends killed on multiple occasions, and I felt that something needed to happen to make Felix see that seeking vengeance was the wrong thing to do.

Although I loved the main storylines, I felt that there were too many subplots that weren’t tied into the main story arc at the end. For example I didn’t really understand what the point of the subplot involving the movie star was, as although there seemed to be some sort of cult going on, it didn’t really seem to have any point in the story overall. However as this is the first book in the series it is likely that it will be more important in later instalments. I did however find myself wanting the book to get back on track when this happened, as I was mostly concerned for Felix and his friends. I also felt that it was pointless to give certain characters who were only there to show that people were getting killed in the forest so much back story. There was multiple times when characters would be introduced and killed in the same chapter, yet we were told about their lives in great detail which I felt was not needed. I felt that at 500 pages long, the book was slightly too lengthy and there was a lot of small details that were unneeded to drive the plot forward. I also felt that the first 200 pages were slow, as there is only a couple of instances where we see anything supernatural happening, and takes a while to reveal that Felix is not just an ordinary college kid. I felt myself getting bored during the first quarter of the book, and it wasn’t until Felix found out what he was that the book started to keep me interested. However once the pace picked up I really enjoyed the book. For me it would have just been a little more enjoyable if there was less subplots and the story had focused more on Felix.

Overall I enjoyed this book and recommend it to fans of Harry Potter and Star Wars.

The Felix Chronicles is now available to purchase!

Thursday 3 December 2015

Review on Imogene of the Pacific Kingdom

When Imogene is five years old, she is suddenly left at her aunt’s house with no explanation from her mother. She is only promised that she will return for her in five years time. Grieved by the loss of both of her parents, Imogene is forced to stay with her horrible aunt with the only hope that her mother will keep her promise. When she turns ten years old, she finally learns the truth. She comes from a land under the ocean known as the Pacific Kingdom, where her parents rule as King and Queen. However, things are not as they seem, as the former King and Imogene’s uncle has returned to the Kingdom and plans on overruling her father. With the help of her new friends, Imogene must help to return the Kingdom to it’s rightful state.

This book had great potential and there were certain things I liked about it and others that I didn’t. Imogene is left by her mother at her horrible Auntie Agnes’s house with no idea why her mother was leaving her. I loved the mystery and suspense, with Imogene wondering if she had done something wrong or if her mother was ok. I also enjoyed the relationship that she built with Sampson, her auntie’s butler, as he seemed to be the only thing that was able to keep Imogene sane. However I did feel as if this dragged on for too long, as I was eager to see the reunion between Imogene and her parents. I was expecting some sort of action to happen far sooner than it did, as even when Imogene arrived in the Pacific Kingdom the book spent way too long acclimatising her to her new life. The book is quite short to begin with, so I felt that such a big build up was not a great idea, as the majority of the action happened in the last quarter of the book. I felt myself being slightly bored and distracted while reading the first three quarters, and although it is a short book it took me about a week to get through it. However I did read the last quarter fairly quickly, as the action picked up and I wanted to find out how Imogene and her friends were going to overthrow her Uncle.

One thing that seems a little tedious to mention but annoyed me throughout the book was the amount of exclamation points used. I started to notice them a few chapters in, and found myself distracted by how many I was finding, and how the majority of them were unnecessary. There was at least one on every page, and it was extremely difficult to just ignore them and enjoy the story. I’m not usually overly critical when it comes to grammar, but I really feel as if the book should be re-edited to remove the majority of these. It made the exclamation point lose it’s true meaning, as they were used in cases where nothing was happening apart from Imogene talking to the butler or taking tea with her aunt.

I loved the characters in this book, especially Sampson and her best friend Marina. They were extremely likeable characters and were always willing to help Imogene. However I felt that I didn’t know enough about Serenito, or the reason behind why he hated his brother so much as to lock him in the dungeons. I felt that the time taken by showing what Imogene ate for breakfast or how she had to go to school could have been replaced by giving him a little more back story. Although it was a minor plot detail, I felt it to be quite cringy that Imogene seemed to be developing feelings for Sampson’s son. Imogene is ten years old! I know for a fact that I was not interested in boys at all when I was Imogene’s age. The ending of the novel made it seem like this was something that would be expanded on in the sequel, and reading about a ten year old developing romantic feelings is not something I would enjoy reading. However I was interested in what the dragonfly represented and how it would fit into the sequel. If I was to enjoy the sequel, I feel as if it would need to have more action than the first book, and possibly less exclamation points.

Imogene of the Pacific Kingdom is now available to purchase!

Tuesday 24 November 2015

Fright Before Christmas Blog Tour

It's the most wonderful time of the year... or is it?

Christmas Eve is a night of mystery and magic, but not always in ways we expect. Things lurk in the shadows and they're not the least bit jolly or merry. Let's just say some presents are better left unopened.

 'Tis the season to be screaming along with our thirteen tales of holiday horrors. Ghosts, Monsters, Demons and more!

This Christmas be careful what you wish for.

When I saw an email for this book tour in my inbox I just knew I had to be part of it! I love both Christmassy reads and horror, so what could be better than putting these two together into an anthology of short stories. Each story is by a different author, and each one is extremely talented in their work. The book was quite short and each story took around ten minutes to read which makes it perfect for anyone with a busy schedule who finds it difficult to find time to read a novel.

Each story is interesting and comes with it’s own twists and turns. I loved the variety of writing styles, with some of the stories being in third person and others being in first. I love a good plot twist, and many of them ended in really unexpected ways which I loved. A few of them seemed to mimic my favourite horror writers, Stephen King and Edgar Allen Poe, with one story even giving a nudge towards Poe’s A Tell Tale heart.

One of the stories that really stood out for me was North Poal Coal by Patrick Hueller. I found the idea of Santa putting coal in the stockings of naughty children being taken literally to be a really clever idea, and I loved both the child's and the parents concern. It was also interesting that it also applied to adults, and the parents were worried about saying anything bad about Santa in case they were put on the naughty list. I also loved that what happened to children who were really naughty was never fully explained, which let the readers imagination go to dark places.

I loved all of these stories and although it’s possible to read them in ten minute intervals, I found myself going from story to story and reading the majority of the book in one sitting. I wish I could share my thoughts on each story, but unfortunately that would mean a pretty lengthy review! As someone who has wrote both novel length stories and short stories, I have found that short story writing can actually be more difficult, as a lot of information has to be packed into a small amount of words. These authors all have the technique of writing a short story down perfectly. There is little build up to what is about to happen apart from a little foreshadowing which only adds to the stories, and they immediately get down to the action and horror.

I do however feel as if some of them could have been a little more creepy, as not many managed to put me into a too scared to sleep state. I always find that reading horror stories tend to scare me a lot more than watching a horror movie, but unfortunately this anthology failed to terrify me.

Although these stories may not be as unnerving as a Poe story, they are still a great read for anyone who finds reading novels too tedious, or if you simply enjoy reading short stories now and again. I recommend this book for anyone looking for a christmassy read with a bit of a twist. 

Fright Before Christmas is now available for pre order! Get it for just $1.99 through November 29th

Be sure to check out the book trailer below!

Feel free to enter the giveaway to win a $10 Amazon gift card

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Fright Before Christmas by Shannon Delany

Fright Before Christmas

by Shannon Delany

Giveaway ends December 05, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

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Wednesday 18 November 2015

Review on The Quantum Door

After discovering that someone has moved into the abandoned house close to their own, brothers Brady and Felix decide to investigate their new neighbours. After their drone unexpectedly crashes, strange things start to happen. The power keeps going out unexpectedly, and there seems to be strange mechanical animals living in the forest. When they meet Nova, their lives are turned upside down. There is a door that lets them travel between parallel worlds, but Brady and Felix soon find out that some worlds are better off left unexplored.

I adore YA Sci-Fi so this book immediately caught my attention. Brady and his younger brother Felix follow their new friend Nova through the quantum door, where they enter a parallel world in which humans have become extinct and artificial intelligence has taken over. I loved the idea of sentient robots, and especially loved that some of the robots seemed to have maternal feelings, leading them to create child robots.

I loved the relationship between the two brothers and how they constantly risked their lives for each other. I especially loved Felix, who saw that even artificial life was precious and risked his life on multiple occasions for Nova’s robotic friends. Nova was an interesting character and I loved that we learnt more about her and her world as the book progressed. I loved the relationship between Nova and Achilles, her robotic dog, and loved that Achilles seemed to genuinely care about her and want to protect her. I particularly enjoyed seeing Achilles’ memories and the reason why he had been created.

I was slightly confused about when the novel was set, as the technology in Brady and Felix’s world seemed to be quite advanced with self driving cars and virtual reality glasses, yet they were surprised when they discovered the mechanical animals. I found this slightly strange as it would seem likely that with their advanced technology robots would be a normal occurrence for them.

The different types of robots were interesting, with some of them being aggressive and others being a little more welcoming, which showed that they were not too dissimilar to humans. I liked that the different types of robots had different names as if each different type was it’s own race.

The first half of the book was a little slow, as it mostly consisted of Brady and Felix trying to find out why their new neighbour was so private and trying to spy on them. However things started to pick up once they had entered the parallell world and had to go on rescue missions to save each other from the various types of robots. The story about how Nova came to be living in a world where all other forms of human life had been wiped out was interesting. I also loved how the Artifex were trying to mimic human life through reading books and watching movies, yet had got everything about the human world slightly wrong. I’ve always thought the idea of parallel worlds interesting and that there could be another you living a similar life but with certain things changed. I loved that this book explored that, and I empathised with Felix’s reaction to having to leave a world that had something in it that he wanted so badly.

I always love when a plot seems to be resolved but you realise you still have a few pages to go and that something is about to go down. This is exactly what happened in this novel, and I loved how for a split second Brady and Felix thought everything was back to normal until they were thrown into another problem which only escalated. I thought the ending wrapped up most things nicely, while still living a few things open for the reader to think about, such as what happened to Nova and if the boys ever saw her again.

If you love YA Sci-Fi and futuristic novels that you should read this book!

The Quantum Door is now available to purchase!


Tuesday 10 November 2015

Review on Carry On

Simon Snow is heading back to school for his final year at Watford School of Magicks, but nothing is as it should be. His room mate and arch enemy Baz hasn’t even bothered to show up, and there’s rumours that the insidious humdrum is still on the rampage. Simon is the only one who can stop him, but he can barely perform basic spells at the best of times, and Baz could appear at any moment and ruin his plans like he usually does. Will Simon be able to rid the world of the Humdrum once and for all, or will the Humdrum succeed in ridding the world of magic forever?


My best friend insisted that I read this book and i’m so glad that I listened to her! As a huge fan of Harry Potter I was so glad to find a book that seemed similar to my favourite fictional universe. I loved reading Fangirl, and after reading the synopsis for Carry On, I was interested to find out if Rowell would be able to change her writing style from contemporary to fantasy, and oh did she manage it!

Carry On is set in a magical boarding school in the UK, and follows protagonist Simon Snow, the most powerful mage in the world, who according to his room mate Baz, is the worst chosen one to ever be chosen. I found the layout of the book to be interesting, as instead of being from Simon’s point of view throughout the novel, it changes between different characters so that we can see their perspective of things too, which I loved. Telling a story from first person is always a problem as we only ever know what the protagonist is thinking, but Rowell expertly got around this problem by giving different characters their own chapters which worked out perfectly.

The first 150 pages of the book were torture! There is a huge build up to Baz’s first appearance, and Simon doesn’t let us forget about him for one minute. He is constantly on the edge about where Baz is, worrying that he’s plotting his downfall and that he could appear at any moment. Simon and Baz have been enemies ever since their first year at Watford, and Simon is convinced that Baz is going to attempt to kill him. However when he was able to stop worrying about Baz, the narrative of what had happened in previous years at school was explained perfectly. As the book starts with Simon going into his last year of school, there is a lot of back story that needs to be covered to explain what has happened during Simon’s seven years at Watford.  I was worried this would get a little dull and use the method of telling rather than showing, but I was completely hooked and wanted to know everything about what had happened to him and his friends. By the time Baz finally appeared, I felt that I had been reading about Simon Snow for years and that I had been with him every step of the way through Watford.

I adored the characters in this book! Simon himself was extremely witty and funny, and I loved how he was so unsure of himself despite being the chosen one. I loved how he didn’t think of himself as being better than others, yet he didn’t back down from his destiny and bravely fought on for what he thought was right. Penny, Simon’s best friend was an amazing character! I always love when a strong character looks a little different and wears glasses, and Penny was all that and more. I loved reading the chapters from her point of view and seeing Simon and Baz from a different perspective. However I was not overly keen on Agatha, and although I could see where she was coming from in her decisions and couldn’t really blame her for them, I just didn’t have any sort of emotional connection to her.
I think it’s time that I talk about my favourite character, Tyrannus Basilton Grimm-Pitch. Even his name make him seems like a posh asshole, and for some part’s thats exactly what he is. But Baz is also one of the most complex characters i’ve ever seen in a YA fantasy novel. From the moment he stepped into Watford I was in love with him. His mixture of arrogance and vulnerability made me want to wrap him in a blanket and hold him. There was a specific part where Baz started getting his own chapters and talking about Watford from his point of view where we see his thoughts and feelings and see his vulnerability, and I just knew from that moment he was going to be my favourite character. It was so unexpected and emotional I was literally almost brought to tears.

I always love when characters who have been enemies are forced to work together, and Simon and Baz were no exception. I loved watching their relationship change and progress until it was completely different to what it was at the start. Although this is a fantasy novel, Rowell’s expertise at writing contemporary novels definitely helped her in writing the relationship between Simon and Baz.
There was never a dull moment in this book and although this is a pretty lengthy book I ended up reading it in just three days. I am generally a slow reader so this was pretty quick for me! I didn’t want to put this book down, and just when I thought things were slowing down enough for me to put it down for the night something huge would happen and force me to continue reading until it was resolved, only to be faced by an even bigger problem. I can’t recommend this book enough and I urge everyone to read it!!


Monday 2 November 2015

Review on Fangirl

When Cather Avery starts University, it is the first time she has ever been away from her twin sister, Wren. They did everything together, including writing fan fiction on their favourite book series, Simon Snow, but with a new room mate who seems to be out with a different guy every night of the week and a range of classes she isn’t even sure she’ll be able to keep up with, Cath is pushed way out of her comfort zone. She must learn to adapt to her new life without Wren being by her side every step of the way, along with deciding if writing original stories really is for her and of course, working on her Simon Snow fan fiction.

If I had to pick a book to describe my life it would be this one. I related to Cath so much that it felt almost like Rainbow was writing about my own experiences of University. In my first year, I was exactly like Cath. I was reluctant to leave my dorm room and never left the door open, I never made an effort to socialise and I would eat in my room instead of having to go to the kitchen or cafeteria. Like Cath, I suffer with social anxiety, and I felt that Rainbow showed her anxiety perfectly. Most authors tend to romanticise anxiety and show it as a cute, quirky trait, when it is anything but that. It stops you doing things you really want to do, which was shown by Cath in a variety of ways such as not going to the cafeteria for months as she didn’t know where it was or how it worked. This is something that would be resolved easily by most people by asking where it is, but for someone with anxiety, it can be the most difficult thing in the world.

Along with relating to the anxiety, I’m also a giant nerd like Cath. The Simon Snow series seems extremely similar to Harry Potter, and although i’ve never wrote Harry Potter fan fiction, I have read quite a number of Drarry fics, so I was able to relate to her obsession of shipping Simon and Baz. I loved the snippets from Cath’s fics that came before each chapter, as it made them seem more real and like she was actually uploading them to a website for fan fiction. Seeing Cath so excited about this series made me think back to when I would queue up at the book store at midnight for the new Harry Potter book and try to finish them as quickly as possible to avoid spoilers. Rainbow did a brilliant job of making the Simon Snow series seem real, and Cath’s enthusiasm made me want to join this fandom of this made up franchise.

I loved that Cath didn’t go through a big transformation and stayed true to herself. Instead of abandoning the fandom, she let new people and experiences into her life without letting go of Simon Snow. I thought this gave a good message that you don’t have to completely reinvent yourself when you take a big step in your life such as going to University, you just need to adapt slightly. Although her new friends didn’t fully understand her obsession with Simon Snow, they accepted it and didn’t talk about it negatively. There is a shockingly small amount of fictional characters who wear glasses, and I was expecting Cath to go through a physical transformation where she ditched her glasses in favour of contact lenses. I was so happy when that didn’t happen! The majority of coming of age novels and movies give a bad message that if you want boys to like you then you have to change how you look. I was so glad that Cath stayed true to herself and didn’t change how she looked for the sake of Levi. The scene where Cath tells Reagan that she wasn’t changing how she looked for the sake of Levi was brilliant, and gave a positive message that if a boy doesn’t like the way you look then he isn’t worth bothering with in the first place.

I’ve never been a huge fan of love triangles, and I was expecting one to form between Cath, Nick and Levi. I wasn’t too keen on Nick from the start, as he would let Cath walk back to her dorm on her own when it was past midnight and tried to take the notebook away from her before she had finished writing. I was rooting for her to get with Levi from the start and I was so glad when it happened! Levi is a really sweet character and although he annoyed me slightly in certain parts of the book such as not letting Cath carry her own laundry and bordering on the point of being misogynistic I did like him a lot more than I liked Nick. I did however find myself getting slightly bored of the scenes that went on for multiple pages where Cath was kissing Levi. I prefer kissing scenes to be short and sweet rather than hearing multiple times about how she was kissing his chin.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and found myself reading it for hours and way into the early hours of the morning. I’m glad I finally decided to pick up this book from my bookshelf that had been sitting there for a couple of years gathering dust before I finally decided to read it. If you enjoy contemporary YA novels and for some reason haven’t read this book yet then I definitely recommend it!

Monday 26 October 2015

Review on Last Light Falling #2 Into the Darkness

After Arena’s attempt to overthrow the government, the nation’s government have a renewed hope of winning against the Russian operatives. After reuniting with their friends and family, Arena and Gabe must go on a journey to find a group of fellow rebels known only as the Southern Resistance where they will find safety in numbers. But the journey will be dangerous, and with Russian soldiers hiding everywhere, there is no guarantee that Arena will arrive in one piece.

After reading The Covenant I was excited when author J.E Plemons announced that the second book in the Last Light Falling series was out and immediately requested a copy to review. As it is over a year ago that I read The Covenant I was worried that I would be completely lost, but I quickly picked up on Arena and Gabe’s storyline and wasn’t as confused as I thought I was going to be.

I loved the addition of Alison into their group, as it gave Arena someone to keep safe and made her become a little less reckless in her actions. Arena’s maternal instincts for Alison showed a completely different side to Arena making her seem less like a ruthless killer with no empathy for other humans. I did however still feel as if Arena lacked empathy towards strangers especially towards the end of the novel where she thought the rebels were stupid for not running when the camp was invaded, obviously not thinking about how they were probably terrified. I felt that Arena seemed more like an anti hero, as she cares a lot about the people who matter to her but has little sympathy or patience for strangers.

I felt that Arena’s attraction to Nic was strange, as she obviously didn’t trust him so I felt that it made no sense for her to be attracted to him. The loss of Jacob weighs heavily on Arena, and I thought that the only reason for her feelings could be that she was trying to fill the hole left by Jacob with the first guy that she came across. I did however feel that Nic was a great villain, as although it was unclear at first where his loyalties lay, his misogyny made him instantly dislikable.

Although Arena was smart and didn’t trust any newcomer, I felt it seemed slightly out of character for her to trust Matthew so quickly. Even though she found him attractive and he seemed genuine, Matthew could easily have been leading them into a trap, yet Arena followed him without giving this a second thought. After seeing how wary she was around Nic and after having recently been betrayed, I was expecting her to take a lot longer to warm up to Matthew.

The book was just as action packed as the first one, and Plemons spares non of the gory details. There is a lot of killing, torture and gory descriptions, so I would recommend staying away from this book if you find that upsetting. It shows both how good and how terrible humanity can be, and although the book is set in a post apocalyptic world, it is scarily relevant to what is happening in the world today.

The ending of the book was not what I was expecting at all! It was a huge surprise and left the series on a massive cliffhanger. Nothing is tied up at the end of this book leaving it wide open for what could happen in future instalments, and I definitely want to continue this series to find out what happens.

Into The Darkness is now available to purchase!

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Review on 'Love Spell'

Chance C├ęsar has been different ever since his earliest memories where he had strutted around the house in his mother’s high heels, but how that he’s a senior in high school, he is starting to question who he really is. When he meets the gorgeous Jasper Donohue at the annual pumpkin carving contest, he creates a plan to win his heart following a ten step article he finds online. But making Jazz fall in love with him isn’t as easy as he thought, and with Jazz seemingly ignoring his advances, Chance worries that Jazz won’t like him for who he is, and with the pressure of fitting into a label Chance wonders who Jazz wants him to be.

When I saw that this book involved a character who was both gender fluid and gay I knew I had to read this book. It’s extremely difficult to find a YA love story that doesn’t involve a straight cis couple so reading a romance novella that was neither of these things was a breath of fresh air. Chance is extremely camp and flamboyant, and although he fits into the gay stereotype to a T, he is an extremely likeable and funny character. Although Chance expresses his feelings on not feeling like he fits into one gender, I felt that like Chance himself, gender fluid was not the correct term for what he was despite the blurb stating that. Although Chance wears make up it is always clear what gender he is, as he never goes so far as to wear feminine clothes or even talk about that being a thing he wants to do. To me Chance seemed like he constantly wanted to be a male but sometimes wanted to look a little more feminine rather than identifying as female, as Chance says that he doesn’t ever allow anyone to call him by female pronouns.

I was slightly disappointed that the book didn’t involve more about gender fluidity, as the main plot of the story is Chance trying to get a boy who goes to his school to fall in love with him. I did however enjoy the chase, as Chance trying to flirt was hilarious, especially as he was following an online article on how to get a man to fall in love with you word for word. I felt that an important point the book made was to be yourself, as once Chance stopped lying to Jazz he started to like him more.

Although the book is a novella I still would have liked to have seen more of Jazz’s personality. We learn the moment Chance meets him that Jazz is amazing at carving pumpkins, but his creativity isn’t mentioned again at any point in the book. I would have loved to have seen more of Jazz’s creative side such as him drawing, painting or sculpting. Although Jazz is extremely busy with school and looking after his little sister, it still would have been possible for him to draw or paint while babysitting. As he tells Chance that he carved the pumpkin for his little sister, it would have made sense if he had also created drawings for her.

I was confused at some points in the story, such as Jazz almost full out telling Chance in the library that he liked him, but Chance being almost oblivious to this. As a character who was meant to be smart, I thought it was strange that Chance didn’t catch on. 

I wasn’t a huge fan of Emily, as she seemed quite judgemental, especially with telling Jazz to leave Chance alone when he was trying to be friendly and telling Chance that Jazz was dumb. From what we learn about Jazz, the reason his grades seem to be slipping is because of having to spend a large amount of time running errands for his mother and babysitting his sister leaving him no time to study. Jazz is also extremely talented in pumpkin carving, so Emily insisting he is “dumb” is obviously her judging Jazz without knowing anything about him. 

I felt that the book could have gone on a little longer as I would have loved to have seen how Chance and Jazz’s relationship progressed. I think that an epilogue would have been a good idea to tie up loose ends such as if Emily got into Julliard and if Chance and Jazz’s relationship would have survived once they had graduated high school. Although I did enjoy the book and loved the gay romance story, I felt that the promise of a gender fluid character fell a little short.

Love Spell is now available to purchase!

Tuesday 6 October 2015

Alice takes back Wonderland blog tour

Today I am participating in the blog tour for Alice takes back Wonderland by David D. Hammons!

Alice has always believed in Wonderland ever since she visited it when she was seven years old, but with her parents telling her she is delusional and can’t tell reality from fantasy and forcing her to take medication, she eventually stops believing. That is until the white rabbit appears in her bedroom, taking her on another journey down the rabbit hole, except this time Wonderland is not like how Alice remembered it. The Ace of Spades has taken over Wonderland, forcing the wonder out of it’s inhabitants and turning it into a dull, colourless land of concrete buildings. Alice must find a way to stop Ace before it is too late, and with the help of her new friends, reclaim Wonderland and restore it to how it once was. But it won’t be easy. Ace has an army at his disposal, and it will take courage and strength to stop Ace once and for all. Will Alice be able to take back Wonderland, or will it be doomed to be a greyscale city forever?

I immediately wanted to read this book when I saw the title. I am a huge fan of Lewis Carrol’s work and I always enjoy fairy tail retellings. Alice takes back Wonderland is much darker than the original story, with a teenaged Alice who isn’t afraid to kill. I loved Alice’s character development, as she started out as being quite timid and terrified of using her father’s shotgun to being a fierce warrior. I was rooting for Alice the whole time, as she was a likeable character and it’s impossible to not want her to achieve her goal.

I loved the addition of the fairy tale characters we all know and love being present, but being slightly different to how we know them. The idea of fairy tail characters being an echo on Earth to what they are in their own world was an interesting and unique concept and I loved that Alice already knew who they were, but at the same time didn’t know this version of them. Character’s like Peter Pan, Pinnochio and Snow White were both similar and different to what Alice expected them to be, and I found it interesting how she interacted with each one.

I found the imagery to be beautifully detailed and gave a clear picture of each world, but I thought at times some things were overly described and left little to the imagination of the reader. One of the things I love about reading is that each individual person will have a different image in their head when they’re reading, and sometimes I prefer it when details are a little more vague so that I can build up the image for myself. I think the show don’t tell approach could have been used to solve this, especially as the book is told through a first person narrative. Describing every tiny detail so vividly did not seem like something someone telling a story would do, and I just felt as if it needed to be toned down a little to be more enjoyable. Readers can always fill in visual gaps by themselves, and I feel that telling the story is more important that describing a tower as “dark and twisted.” I would have preferred to have seen Alice’s thoughts of fear and dread from seeing this tower rather than her describing it visually.

There was just enough action to keep me on my toes, and there was a good build up to the climax of the battles against Ace. However I would have preferred more emphasis on the idea of Alice having schizophrenia towards the end of the book, as it was just implied that everything had been real. I think it would have been more interesting to have left it open ended for the reader to decide if it had been real or if Alice really had found a boy in the street who had been shot, such as her returning in her original clothes rather than the ones she had changed into in Neverland. 

Overall I enjoyed the story and think it would be a perfect read for anyone who loves fairytales with darker elements.

Alice takes back Wonderland is now available to purchase!

Amazon US | Amazon UK

About The Author:
While visiting Cambridge during my time studying abroad, I tried to sneak into C. S. Lewis’s old apartment. I wanted to stand where the old master stood. I wanted to glean bits of imagination that no-doubt still clung to those walls. A locked door barred my path, and I fled to the safety of the campus pub.
It has been my goal to live a life that is notable as the life of that master of writing. I’ve climbed the slopes of Machu Picchu, swam in Loch Ness, smuggled ice cream into China, and made moonshine in my hometown. I studied writing and business in school, and gave up a position in my family’s Black Walnut company to chase my dream. Life, if you make it so, can be an adventure.
Despite all my adventures, there is no greater journey than that which can be found in a book. It was cartoons that got me into writing, works meant for children that as an adult fascinated me with their joyful outlook. It was the old masters, Lewis, Tolkien, Hemmingway, Vonnegut, who challenged me to live an adventure of a life, and then write even greater adventures in books. Perhaps one day I’ll make it into that old Cambridge apartment. Perhaps one day I’ll be invited.

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