REVIEW | Ninth House (Alex Stern #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Name: Ninth House (Alex Stern #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Gollancz
Format: Uncorrected Proof
Source: Ellie @ Faerie on the Shelf
Rating: ★★★★★
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Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

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BLOG TOUR REVIEW | The Words That Fly Between Us by Sarah Carroll

Name: The Words That Fly Between Us
Author: Sarah Carroll
Genres: MG, Contemporary
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format: Uncorrected Proof
Source: Hashtag Reads
Rating: ★★★★☆
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Lucy’s father is a successful lawyer making a killing on the property market. She and her mother want for nothing. Nothing, that is, that can be bought.

But money cannot buy Lucy the words she needs. The words to stand up to her bully of a father. The words to inspire her mother to do something about the family life that is suffocating them both. The words to become the person she wants to be.

Then Lucy finds something else: An escape route…

Soon she discovers that every building on her row is connected, through the attic, to the next. As she explores the inner lives of those who live on her street, Lucy realises that she is not the only one to suffer in silence. She also sees ways she can help some, and ways to punish those that deserve it.

But as the mighty fall, Lucy is forced to realise that while she can affect the lives of others from the safety of the attic, she will need to climb down to face her own fears.

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REVIEW & A | The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews

Last year, I was lucky enough to read an ARC of A Thousand Perfect Notes and fell deeply in love with the writing of C.G. Drews, better known in the book community as rainbow bookstagrammer, PaperFury. I once again had my wishes granted by the Team BKMRK fairies and received an ARC of Cait’s second novel, The Boy Who Steals Houses which is out next week.

To do something a bit different for this review, I thought I’d intersperse my thoughts with a Q&A I had the opportunity to do with Cait. Let me know what you think of the format in the comments and I’ll see if I can do this more often!

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ARC REVIEW | The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum

Name: The Weight of the Stars
Author: K. Ancrum
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Publisher: Imprint, Macmillan
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Rating: ★★★★★
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Ryann Bird dreams of travelling across the stars. But a career in space isn’t an option for a girl who lives in a trailer park on the wrong side of town. So Ryann becomes her circumstances and settles for acting out and skipping school to hang out with her delinquent friends. 

One day she meets Alexandria: a furious loner who spurns Ryann’s offer of friendship. After a horrific accident leaves Alexandria with a broken arm, the two misfits are brought together despite themselves—and Ryann learns her secret: Alexandria’s mother is an astronaut who volunteered for a one-way trip to the edge of the solar system. 

Every night without fail, Alexandria waits to catch radio signals from her mother. And its up to Ryann to lift her onto the roof day after day until the silence between them grows into friendship, and eventually something more . . . 

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REVIEW | A Girl Called Shameless by Laura Steven

This is a review of a sequel, so there will be spoilers for the first book, The Exact Opposite of Okay, in the below review. To find my review of the first book, please click here. Otherwise, this review will be spoiler-free.

Name: A Girl Called Shameless (The Exact Opposite of Okay #2)
Author: Laura Steven
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Publisher: Electric Monkey, Egmont
Format: UK Paperback
Source: Publisher
Rating: ★★★★★
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Izzy O’Neill: Writer, Activist, World’s Worst Waitress.

It’s been two months since eighteen-year-old Izzy O’Neill was slut-shamed in a national scandal. As well as coming to terms with the fact that thousands of people have seen her foofer – Izzy is juggling high school, writing a screenplay and figuring out what to do next with her life.

When another girl’s nude photos are leaked, Izzy and the Bitches Bite Back team decide to take action. They’re taking the fight all the way to the top … and won’t let anyone bring them down.

It’s time for the shaming to stop.

A book about friendship, feminism and fighting back.

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ARC REVIEW | The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Name: The Priory of the Orange Tree
Author: Samantha Shannon
Genres: Adult, Epic Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Uncorrected Proof
Source: Bloomsbury
Rating: ★★★★★
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A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

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ARC REVIEW | On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Name: On the Come Up
Author: Angie Thomas
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Publisher: Walker
Format: Uncorrected Proof
Source: Walker Books YA
Rating: ★★★★★
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Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighbourhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.

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ARC REVIEW | Fierce Fragile Hearts (Beautiful Broken Things #2) by Sara Barnard

Name: Fierce Fragile Hearts
Author: Sara Barnard
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Publisher: Macmillan
Format: Uncorrected Proof
Source: My Kinda Book @ Macmillan
Rating: ★★★★★
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Fierce Fragile Hearts is the stunning companion novel to Sara Barnard’s YA bestseller Beautiful Broken Things. It is about leaving the past behind, the friends who form your future, and learning to find love, in all its forms.

Two years after a downward spiral took her as low as you can possibly go, Suzanne is starting again. Again. She’s back in Brighton, the only place she felt she belonged, back with her best friends Caddy and Rosie. But they’re about to leave for university. When your friends have been your light in the darkness, what happens when you’re the one left behind?

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REVIEW | Beautiful Broken Things (Beautiful Broken Things #1) by Sara Barnard

Name: Beautiful Broken Things (Beautiful Broken Things #1)
Author: Sara Barnard
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Publisher: Macmillan
Format: Paperback
Source: Gift
Rating: ★★★★☆
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I was brave
She was reckless
We were trouble

Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie – confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne’s past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realises, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.

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