JUL WRAP UP | The Books & the Stats

This month, I’m writing this post on 31st July so if it doesn’t go live until mid-August, at least I started with good intentions. I’m getting better and hey, maybe this is the month that I post more than just my wrap up!

July has been busy, culminating in YALC last weekend. I don’t know yet whether I’m going to do a YALC post or not, but I will say that with that and my birthday, my July haul is off the charts. I’m never going to catch up on my TBR.

Big stat for the month though – this was my most consistently enjoyable reading month of 2019 so far with my star average being 4.63! My next closest was January with 4.42!

Continue reading
Advertisements

REVIEW | Solis Invicti series by Josie Jaffrey

A Bargain in Silver Kindle coverName: Solis Invicti series (A Bargain in Silver, The Price of Silver, Bound in Silver, The Silver Bullet)
Author: Josie Jaffrey
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: Paperback
Source: Author
Rating: ★★★★☆
GOODREADS | BUY

If the price of safety is slavery, would you bargain your life? 

A Bargain in Silver is book one of Josie Jaffrey’s Solis Invicti paranormal romance series, set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic London.

A deadly infection threatens to wipe out humanity. The only people who can stem its advance are the Silver, a vampiric race who offer a simple exchange: protection in return for blood and subservience. It’s not a deal that Emmy’s willing to make, but as her world burns around her she finds herself in the arms of the enemy and the line between oppressor and saviour begins to blur.

After an attack by the infected, Emmy is rescued by the handsome Drew who introduces her to the world of the Silver. Desperate to escape subjugation and confused by her attraction to him, she gathers what remains of her surrogate family and plans to make a break for freedom.

But despite her efforts to resist, she is drawn further into the intrigues of the mysterious Silver through the agency of their ruler, the Primus: Solomon. Emmy refuses to submit to the cold and detached Primus and an attempt on her life makes it clear that he is unable to protect her from the political machinations of his race.

As the connection between them deepens she must choose between her desire and her will to rebel, but can she trust his intentions when everyone is after her blood?

KEY WORDS: Vampires, Zombies, End of the World, Roooooomance + Bonds + Love Triangles.

*I received these books from the author in exchange for an honest review*

I have a great deal of respect for self-published authors. It’s a very difficult thing to do; to motivate yourself to write and the publicise your own novel. You don’t have the same kind of assistance when marketing and self-published authors almost always have a completely different, full-time career to compete with their writing time. Yet in our community, there is a stigma when it comes to self-published authors. Some reviewers don’t accept them and there’s always a reluctance to read them because there’s a reason a traditional publisher didn’t accept them, right? Wrong.

Some authors want the autonomy that comes with self-publishing, others never even tried to be traditionally published, and yes, some were refused but if anything their self-publishing shows determination and perseverance to continue doing something they love – writing. However, I cannot deny that there are some self-published books that are terrible and yes, there is a reason that they aren’t traditionally published. I hate to admit it but despite my love of many a self-published work, hello Tarryn Fisher, Josephine Boyce, Jacqueline Silvester, I do still have that voice in the back of my mind saying, ‘ugh, this is probably going to be awful’. I have never been more relieved in my life to have enjoyed a book series as much as I enjoyed this one. It was fantastic.

Now, I will always be a sucker for the supernatural. Gimme those vampires and werewolves and I won’t put that book down for anything. The Solis Invicti series was no different. The plot was incredibly interesting, taking place in an end-of-the-world/apocalyptic situation with two different types of vampire, except one was more like a zombie. So if you’re a fan of The Walking Dead and/or True Blood this is 100% a series for you. The story follows a human, Emmy, through her experiences as the world as she knows it ceases to exist.

The books are written in first person past, with the prologue of each book taking place during events from the end of that book and then her going back to tell you everything that happened to make that event happen. i.e. The first book begins with her working in a vampire club, so the whole of the first book tells you about the Revelation; how the Silver, the “good” race of vampire took over the world.

This style of writing actually really annoyed me at first. I didn’t like Emmy’s self-introductions and the way Jaffrey wrote the prologue seemed to tell a lot more than show. It annoyed me, to be honest. But, as Emmy grew on me as a character, so did this form of storytelling. By the time I got to the fourth book and this prologue system went out of the window, I actually missed it.

I really loved Jaffrey’s characters, I think they were well planned and thought out, well-rounded and intriguing. Each one really grew on me as I got to know them more and more throughout the books and I could really feel myself beginning to really know them. Special mentions go to Cam and Laila, both of whom I love for completely different reasons and one I actually began the series hating. Can you guess who?

Now, there is one thing which every reader gets a bit tired of reading about once in a while – a love triangle. It’s been overdone, we all know it, but sometimes it can be done well enough that it doesn’t matter as much. I think this was actually done very well at times, while less so at others. Emmy’s inability to be near a male character for a long-ish period of time and not kiss him annoyed the hell out of me. It is pretty much the only reason any form of love triangle/square/octagon/whatever-it-was existed in the first place and it was the only thing that really irked me about Emmy. So many other events made her a strong female character, fighting for freedom and humanity etc. but that just diminished her strength. Also, there was an event in the final book with another character that came so far out of left field that it seemed unbelievable to me. Maybe I just missed the signs but meh.

HOWEVER, the Sol/Emmy/Drew situation was handled well. I love a good love-bond situation, mainly because I can’t trust them and that creates angst and friction and all kinds of great plot lines for the bonded to actually fall in love, or not as the case may be, and this triangle was fabulous. The angst was some of the best I have read and satisfied my angst-loving heart immensely. Again, if you’re a fan of angst, this series is a must. The world Jaffrey created gave her so many options for different plot lines that I never knew entirely which way she’d go with it. Of course, I knew how I wanted it to go and I was very content with how it ended, but I was also left guessing what was going to happen next a lot of the time.

TLDR; I loved this series. I thought it was pretty rad, even though there were some things I disagreed with or didn’t like as much. It may even end up being one of my many series that I enjoy rereading, like Vampire Academy and Law of the Lycans.

Also, thank you so much to Josie for sending me the first book and then the rest on ebook and paperback when I was halfway through and couldn’t cope with the idea that I was going to have to wait for the rest.

morelikethis

Paranormal:

  • Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead ★★★★★
  • Shadow Falls series by C.C. Hunter ★★★★☆

Love Bonds & Triangles:

  • Law of the Lycans series by Nicky Charles ★★★★★
  • Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi ★★★★★

you.png

Have you read Solis Invicti? Do you love vampire novels as much as me? Let me know in the comments!


Follow me elsewhere: TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

TOP TEN TUESDAY | Ten Books That Feature Characters Who Have to Fight to Survive

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish and I love a good list so here goes!

I found this quite hard to choose what to do this week but as this is my all-time favourite (though possibly overdone) book trope, I thought I would go for this. Basically, if your novel has a character who has a pretty shitty childhood and learns to fight to survive and save the world/their friends then I am there for it.

 

Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas
The Assassin’s Blade, Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows, Empire of Storms, Tower of Dawn, Untitled #7

Celaena Sardothien is without a doubt my favourite fictional character of all time. She is arrogant and fierce and ruthless because she has had to be in order to survive in Adarlan. At sixteen years old, she was the most famous assassin in the land without anybody even knowing her face. Throughout the series, she grows and learns the other ways she needs to fight for those she loves and it only makes me love her more. Celaena is the definition of this trope.

Infamous Assassin, Celaena Sardothien, is released from Endovier salt mines, a prison camp, in order to compete to be the Royal Assassin to the King of Adarlan, her sworn enemy.

Divergent series by Veronica Roth
Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant

This may be an unpopular opinion but Tris Prior is probably my other favourite fictional character. I have her three ravens tattooed on my ribs, each representing my favourite characters who made sacrifices, similar to her three family members she left behind. Tris started from the very bottom with no experience of fighting or survival and she learned everything she could in order to do the right thing. *SPOILER* She gave her life for the ones she loved and I believe that to be the bravest thing, the right thing at the time. Her arc was one of the absolute best because you had her fall from grace where she was reckless and wrong and then she learnt. She grew. I will defend Tris until the end. 

A dystopia where people are separated based on their personality traits. Upon reaching choosing age, Tris Prior and her brother both choose different factions to their family but Tris is divergent, meaning she could fit into more than one factions. If anybody finds out, she could be killed for it.

 

Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound, Last Sacrifice

Rose Hathaway is the definition of fighting for her friends and loved ones. That is all she has trained for her entire life as a dhampir and guardian. Rose is fierce, loyal to a fault, and will do anything for those she loves, but she’s also sarcastic, insolent and rebellious. I am completely in love with her character. This series makes me so happy, it’s my go to when I’m in a reading slump.

Rose is dhampir, born of both human and vampire bloodlines but Lissa is a Moroi Princess, powerfully magical and must be protected at all times from the evil Strigoi vampires. Rose has been protecting Lissa her whole life and is determined to be appointed her offical guardian but after leaving St Vladimir’s Academy for two years due to an unknown threat to Lissa’s life, the pair are dragged back to school where Rose finds she isn’t as good as she thought, and Lissa might still be in danger. 

The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon
The Bone Season, The Mime Order, The Song Rising, Untitled #4, Untitled #5, Untitled #6, Untitled #7

Paige Mahoney is clairvoyant and, therefore, will always be in danger in her society. She’s part of the clairvoyant underworld of London and it is hella cool. Also, when captured and taken to Sheol I, she doesn’t half goddamn fight to get out and save as many voyants as she can. If you haven’t read this series, it’s my ultimate book rec. Samantha Shannon is a gem and every single instalment is magic.

Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing. Attacked, drugged and kidknapped, Paige is transported to Sheol I, a penal colony in Oxford controlled by an otherwordly race. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

 

Monsters of Verity duology by V. E. Schwab
This Savage Song, Our Dark Duet

I want to be Kate Harker. She’s ruthless and without a doubt a would-be villain as she tries to live up to her father’s reputation. She fights with everything in her, firstly to be who her father wants her to be, and then for herself and her life. She is selfish. She is cruel. She’s also one of the best fictional characters in YA. Schwab has a way of writing the most complex and compelling people and Kate Harker is no exception.

Dystopic and monstrous. A city is divided, one half is ruled by monsters and to stay safe, you must pay. The other half ruled by a man trying to protect the human race. Kate and August are heirs to their respective halves of the city and natural enemies, but when thrown together to flee for their lives, things change.

The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer
Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Winter

In reality, all four of the protagonists in each book in the series fights to survive and to save the ones they love. Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter each fight in a different way for the same goal but my ultimate favourite is Scarlet. Reading her book was when I realised that I really loved this series. Don’t get me wrong, Cinder was great but a little predictable. It was Scarlet when I realised I was fully onboard with everything going on. These four women are truly fantastic.

A futuristic take on classic fairytales. Weaving together the tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White in an adventure to save the universe.

 

A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, A Court of Wings and Ruin

If you don’t know who Feyre Archeron is, I feel like you’ve been living under a rock for the last three years. If that’s true, then you should pick up a copy of ACOTAR immediately. Having lost everything in her childhood, Feyre learnt to hunt to feed her father and two sisters. She did everything she could for them and when the beast came knocking on their door, she went with him to another world just to ensure her family were okay. In Prythian, she still fights for what is right and throughout this series, she grows from strength to strength. No spoilers but she’s pretty badass.

High fantasy loosely based on Beauty and the Beast – Feyre kills a beast in the forest and is then taken to the land of the Fae as punishment.

The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
Shadow and Bone, Seige and Storm, Ruin and Rising

Alina Starkov is thrown quite literally into the lion’s den when she is taken to train to be Grisha. She has to learn to use powers she never knew she had and fight for the survival of her country against forces of evil which she can’t fully comprehend. This was the first Bardugo book I read which started my now lifelong love affair with Kaz Brekker (of Six of Crows). Her world building is extraordinary.

The Shadow Fold is a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh, splitting the nation of Ravka in two. When Alina’s best friend almost dies, she releases a dormant power which saves his life, causing her to be whisked off to the Royal Court to join the ranks of the Grisha, a magical elite.

 

An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir
An Ember in the Ashes, A Torch Against the Night, A Reaper at the Gates, Untitled #4

Laia of Serra is forced into the revolution when her brother is arrested and she cannot leave him behind. A young woman with loyalty and bravery coming out of her ears, she becomes a spy for the rebels in order to gain their help in finding and freeing her brother from evil’s clutches. Laia is fierce and strong with a heart of pure gold, fighting for freedom and the ones she loves.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear. An adventure bringing together two young people from opposing walks of life to fight for their freedom.

The Elemental Trilogy by Sherry Thomas
The Burning Sky, The Perilous Sea, The Immortal Heights

Iolanthe Seabourne is prophesied to be the greatest elemental mage and saviour of the realm, the only problem is that she’s sixteen and has had no training. Her task of defeating the Bane, the most powerful mage and tyrant the world has ever known is suicide and yet, with the help of Prince Titus she still takes on the task.  Throughout the trilogy, she learns, fights and adventures through Victorian England and a magical Middle Eastern Dessert land. There’s even a little bit of a Twelfth Night/She’s The Man feel to it.

A magical fantasy focussed on Ionanthe Seabourne, a young mage with the realm on her shoulders after she is prophesied to be their saviour. She, along with Prince Titus, must learn how to wield her elemental magic in order to defeat the tyrant, the Bane.

you

What’s are your favourite book tropes? Who are your favourite characters who have to learn to fight to survive? Let me know in the comments or link me to your TTT for me to check out!


Follow me elsewhere: TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

TOP TEN TUESDAY | Top Ten Books on My Autumn TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish and I love a good list so here goes!

I have so many books on my TBR that I actually have a spreadsheet detailing what I need to read and by when. It’s long and organised and mad but these ten books below are the ones I’m most looking forward to!

Ringer (Replica #2) by Lauren Oliver
Release:
3rd October 2017

I was lucky enough to receive an eARC of Replica this time last year and absolutely adored it, so when Ringer was released on Edelweiss, I snapped it up! It’s next on my TBR once I finish Tower of Dawn!

The Replica series tells the story of two girls, Lyra and Gemma, when their lives become intertwined after Lyra and a boy known only as 72 escape the Haven Institute, a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed.

GOODREADS | PRE-ORDER/BUY

The Fandom by Anna Day
Release:
5th October 2017

I somehow managed to get this beautiful paperback ARC at YALC, moments after I walked into the convention hall. I am really intrigued by the concept and will definitely be reading this one soon.

A YA fantasy, set within a YA fantasy. Cosplayers go to comic-con and, after a freak accident, find themselves trapped within the fantasy world from their favourite fandom.

GOODREADS | PRE-ORDER/BUY

A Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
Release:
26th September 2017

I am unbelievably excited to be transported back into the incredible Grishaverse. Leigh Bardugo is one of the best world-builders out there right now and I have loved everything she has written. Give me more.

Six short stories set within the Grishaverse which explore familiar lands and new, inspired by myth, fairytale and folklore.

GOODREADS | PRE-ORDER/BUY

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover
Release:
3rd October 2017

I have read every CoHo book, some more than once, and her books mean so much to me. They tear me apart and stitch me back together. I cry a lot. They are my catharsis and I’ve heard lots of good things about her next novel, her first YA since Losing Hope.

Without Merit explores family dynamics and the layers of lies that tie a family together through the eyes of the imperfect daughter, Merit Voss. 

GOODREADS | PRE-ORDER/BUY

Bad Mommy by Tarryn Fisher

Much like Colleen, I love Tarryn’s writing. Plus, sometimes it hard to like one and not the other considering what a double act Hoover/Fisher are. Bad Mommy is one of the few that I haven’t yet read along with the new release Athiests Who Kneel and Pray. Both are on my bookshelf begging to be read.

When Fig Coxbury buys a house on West Barrett Street, it’s not because she likes the neighbourhood, or even because she likes the house. It’s because everything she desires is next door: The husband, the child, and the life that belongs to someone else.

GOODREADS | BUY

Illuminae series by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

My friends kept going on and on at me telling me I would love this series so I decided to buy them and now they’ve been sat on my shelves a month or so, waiting to be read. I guess I’d better get on with it!

Kady’s planet has been invaded and she and her ex-boyfriend need to work together to fight their way to an evacuating fleet. Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews and more.

GOODREADS | BUY

False Hearts by Laura Lam

Having read the Micah Grey trilogy and fallen in love, I figured I should add Laura Lam’s other novels to my TBR. I’m sure I’ll love this adventure just as much as the last.

Two formerly conjoined sisters are ensnared in a murderous plot involving psychoactive drugs, shared dreaming, organized crime, and a sinister cult. 

GOODREADS | BUY

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Top of the NY Times bestseller list since its release, The Hate U Give, has been widely recognised as the book to read in 2017… so I read it I must!

A young, black girl, trapped between the two worlds of her poor neighbourhood and surburban preparatory school, has her life turned upside down after she witnesses the fatal shooting of her unarmed, childhood best friend by a police officer.

GOODREADS | BUY

And I Darken by Kiersten White

I purchased this and its sequel, Now I Rise, at YALC having had it on a long list of books I should get for a while. Yet, since its purchase, I have had more pressing things to read. It sounds just like my kind of book so I would love to get around to this soon.

A gender-swapped, historcal YA retelling the story of the Prince of Wallachia, also knowsn as Vlad the Impaler. Political and historical with a ruthless heroine, stabbing, murder and volatility.

GOODREADS | BUY

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Another novel that I haven’t stopped hearing about since it’s release so I feel the need to see what all the fuss is about. Especially with the tv series going ahead, I want to read it before that comes out.

A murder mystery surrounding five high school students who have detention together, but only four come out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

GOODREADS | BUY

you

What’s on your Autumn TBR? Have you read any on my list that I should read sooner? Let me know in the comments or link me to your TTT for me to check out!


Follow me elsewhere: TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

 

TOP TEN TUESDAY | Ten Hidden Gem Series

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish and I love a good list so here goes!

This was a lot more difficult this week because, to be honest, I’m a bit of a mainstream reader. HOWEVER, these are books which I haven’t heard loads of buzz about in the same way that certain series have become almost household names within the book-lovers sphere. Maybe you don’t think they’re hidden but either way, have a list!

Micah Grey series by Laura Lam
KEY WORDS: Intersex, queer, magical, circus, adventure, coming of age, SO SO GOOD.

I’m definitely going to be talking about this series for some time because I cannot believe that I’d never heard of it until I met Laura Lam in March. Now I’m completely mad for her writing. These books were beautifully written and one of my favourite series. If you are a fan of fantasy, magicians, circus and some good old LGBT+ representation, this is for you.

GOODREADS | BUY

Shadow Falls series by C. C. Hunter
KEY WORDS: Supernatural, summer camp, teen drama, trashy but great.

I am an absolute sucker for boarding school/summer camp supernatural novels. Vampire Academy is a long-time favourite so when my lovely friend Alys recommended Shadow Falls to me I was all in. It’s a little trashy teen drama but sometimes that exactly what I fancy. Vampires, werewolves, witches, fae, every kind of supernatural you can imagine all in a summer camp for ‘delinquents’. It is fantastic. Plus, with around twelve novels including the novellas and spin offs, it’ll keep you busy for a while.

GOODREADS | BUY

Shades of London series by Maureen Johnson
KEY WORDS: Ghosts, investigation, London, murder, mystery.

It’s been a while since I read Shades of London (and we’re still waiting on the fourth book) so maybe that’s why I haven’t heard a lot of buzz. Come on, Maureen, where have you been? Ghosts are all over London and Jack the Ripper is back – contemporary London, plus Victorian London, plus boarding school, plus ghosts. What more do you need, well, except the end of the series…

GOODREADS | BUY

The Elemental Trilogy by Sherry Thomas
KEY WORDS: Elemental magic, adventure, Victorian London, Middle East.

I can’t actually remember how I found out about this trilogy but I have to say, I haven’t heard very much about it since I started it. I loved this magical series – Victorian London (can you tell I like the Victorians?) crossed with mages in middle eastern desserts. Iolanthe Seabourne is my angel. It’s pretty great, I have to say.

GOODREADS | BUY

Mara Dyer series by Michelle Hodkin
KEY WORDS: Psychological, mystery, adventure, mind powers, head fuck.

Another great trilogy which I read a while ago but I will be all over The Becoming of Noah Shaw, a spin off from this series, when it releases at the end of this year. Paranormal, weird mind powers and psychological thriller all rolled into three mysterious novels. To be honest, I think a re-read might be in order…

GOODREADS | BUY

Law of the Lycans series by Nicky Charles
KEY WORDS: Supernatural, werewolves, trashy, romance.

Welcome to my wildcard entry. Imi will now tell you about her childhood. So I first read The Mating when I was about 15 on my phone in Biology because I hated listening to Dr Penny droning on about something I didn’t understand. I read the trilogy with ease and loved every second. Werewolves + romance = guilty pleasure. I continued to re-read them almost every year since AND THEN Nicky Charles kept writing spin offs and prequels and now there’s around ten of them! They’re all short and I will always have a soft spot in my heart for them.

GOODREADS | FREE EBOOK

Rebellion series by Josephine Boyce
KEY WORDS: Dystopia, Europe, A* female protagonist, fast paced.

Josie is a self-published author who has done the most amazing job at producing a new and interesting dystopian series set in Europe. It seems so real and the politics within it reflect the world we live in now, making it seem all the more like it could actually happen. Due to her self-published status, this series is probably the most hidden of my hidden gems, but definitely a favourite. The first two books which are currently out work well as a duology, though there is a third novel on the way.

GOODREADS | BUY

Love Me With Lies series by Tarryn Fisher
KEY WORDS: Romance, amnesia, suspense, all the draaaaamaaa.

I heard of Tarryn Fisher due to my love of Colleen Hoover and if anyone knows Colleen, you’ve probably heard of her and Tarryn’s antics. Now, as much as I love CoHo, I have now become probably more fond of Tarryn’s writing now. She puts so much of herself into her novels and characters and I relate to so much of what she writes. The Love Me With Lies series was her first published novels and her only romance until the recently published Atheists Who Kneel and Pray. If you don’t mind having your heart shattered, repaired and then shattered again, give it a go because I loved this series. A lot of drama, hurt and emotion as well as love.

GOODREADS | BUY

I know that’s only eight, but I guess that means I’m failing this week…

TOP TEN TUESDAY | Back To School Freebie: Ten Books That Should Be on the School Syllabus

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish and I love a good list so here goes!

 

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
(Primary/Secondary/Sixth Form)

I think I will probably end up having Harry Potter on most of the lists I do for this. It has influenced so much of my life that it seems reasonable for it to continually appear. Rowling, through a magical world of wizards, witches and Hogwarts, taught us all the most important life lessons which we will always hold with us – love, friendship, bravery, loyalty – and these fantastic stories should undoubtable be told and taught in schools for the rest of time.

GOODREADS | BUY

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven 
(Secondary)

Laura Steven’s debut novel which is to be released in March 2018 discusses the incredibly important topics of high school bullying, slut shaming and revenge porn. If nothing else, the themes within this book are ones that need to be addressed in schools and, for me, this is the most important release of 2018 which I have read so far.

GOODREADS | PRE-ORDER

 

Gone series by Michael Grant
(Secondary)

This came to me like a revelation because it’s been years since I read this series but it truly is fantastic. Set in a dystopia where one day all the adults just disappeared and this world is now run by adolescents – it has a similar feel to Lord of the Flies but with mutants thrown into the mix. Basically, it’s the perfect update for the GCSE syllabus if you want a more modern story which young people are more likely to connect with.

GOODREADS | BUY

Wing Jones by Katherine Webber
(Secondary)

Another debut novel, this time from Katie Webber, telling the tale of determined Wing Jones who, following a family tragedy, goes out and makes something of herself for the sake of the ones she loves. Heart-warming and inspiring and the perfect addition to English for Years 7-10.

GOODREADS | BUY

 

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
(Secondary/Sixth Form)

I strongly believe that Laini Taylor is one of the greatest writers of this generation (with the other two also entries on this list) and the beautiful way she crafts worlds, lives and stories should be studied by all. Her metaphors and similes, especially in this fantastic novel, deserve to be on the syllabus.

GOODREADS | BUY

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
(Secondary/Sixth Form)

Narrated by Death, a novel set within the depths of World War II which I wouldn’t be surprised to already find on the syllabus – it just wasn’t when I was still at school. Historical background, while conveying the power of literature, all with a far more interesting narrator than your average GCSE or A Level text.

GOODREADS | BUY

 

Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo
(Secondary/Sixth Form)

Entry number two in the greatest writers of this generation category is Leigh and her incredible spin-off duology in the Grishaverse. Her world-building is easily the best I have encountered and this tale of gangs, magic and mystery is undoubtably a favourite. If it had been on my syllabus, maybe I would have done better in A Level Eng Lit.

GOODREADS | BUY

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
(Secondary/Sixth Form)

Easily the most important book I read during my school years which has stuck with me ever since and I still quote as being the best book I’ve ever read. The Kite Runner was on my A Level syllabus so why can’t this masterpiece be on it too? Following the life of a young Afghan woman through war, loss, life and fate.

GOODREADS | BUY

 

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
(Secondary/Sixth Form)

I would say this is probably my wild card entry. I am a sucker for a CoHo novel and It Ends With Us is the one that impacted me most. I spent all night sobbing into my pillow until I could compose myself. A heart-breaking story of domestic abuse and the strength required to live through and confront it. It allowed me to question whether I could leave someone in the same situation and that is important for everyone to question.

GOODREADS | BUY

A Darker Shade of Magic series by V. E. Schwab
(Secondary/Sixth Form)

The third and final, ‘greatest writer of our generation’ for me goes to the Queen of all things fantasy, Victoria Schwab. Everything she writes deserves to be taught to all and read by all. This particular series is rife with detailed characters, intriguing plots and the most beautifully built worlds – three different Londons to be precise.

GOODREADS | BUY

REVIEW: Resistance by Josephine Boyce

IMG_3609.PNG

Name: Resistance (Rebellion #2)
Author: Josephine Boyce
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopia
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: eARC
Source: Josephine Boyce
Rating: ★★★★☆
GOODREADS | BUY

Cassia has successfully started a rebellion against the Global Defence Organisation – but what happens now? She joins the Resistance which is aiming to take back Old Paris and push the GDO back out of Old Europe. Although she supports the Resistance’s aims, she struggles with the impact it has on innocent people’s lives. Kohler (her old enemy) is out for revenge and has found a unique way to get under her skin. Will she be an asset for the Resistance or will her doubts put everyone in jeopardy?

Rage is a GDO soldier, but she’s also still a child, brutally trained to be a weapon. She infiltrates the Resistance camp where Cassia and her team are based. She’ll do anything to protect the one thing she cares about, the question is, how far will she go?

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Right. So I bought Rebellion when I met Josie at YALC last year and enjoyed it but I wasn’t blown away. It was different from typical YA/NA dystopia and I enjoyed that because we’re all tired of that samey storyline, aren’t we.

My main issues with Rebellion was things like lacking descriptions and I kinda knew what was going to happen etc etc. Resistance basically fixed every issue I may have had with Rebellion.

The introduction of two new points of view – one third present and one third past – which may have been confusing, instead broadened the whole scope of the story and made it more exciting. Don’t get me wrong, I love Cassia, but it was so much more intriguing to see what was going on through other people’s eyes, especially the new character in the sequel, Rage.

Now lemme tell you something about Rage. I LOVE Rage. Rage is everything I wanted to be as a twelve, maybe thirteen, year old battling my goddamn inner demons. Rage is my smol sweetpea who could kill me before I even took a breath. I LOVE RAGE. YOU WILL LOVE RAGE.

Anyway, Resistance takes another brilliant turn, still seemingly relevant to to political climate we live in and continues to move in a way that keeps you interested. Both of these books are shorter than your typical 600-odd page YA novel and fast paced, they keep you in and interested.

Just read them.