Review: One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus (UK edition)

Title: One Of Us Is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin Books (1st June 2017)
Blurb:

FIVE STUDENTS WALK INTO DETENTION.
ONLY FOUR LEAVE ALIVE.

Yale hopeful BRONWYN has never publicly broken a rule.

Sports star COOPER only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond.

Bad boy NATE is one misstep away from a life of crime.

Prom queen ADDY is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.

And outsider SIMON, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again.

He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it was no accident. All of them are suspects.

Everyone has secrets, right?

What really matters is how far you’ll go to protect them.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

ONE OF US IS LYING by Karen M. McManus is a cross between the film The Breakfast Club (1985) and a who-done-it. It tells the stories of five high school students who end up in detention together and one of them ends up dead. There’s Bronwyn who wants to go to Yale, Cooper who has a promising career in baseball ahead of him, Nate who the gossip mill claims is on probation, Addy the prom queen, and Simon the creator of the notorious Bayview High gossip app. He dies twenty-four hours before he could lift the lid on the other four’s darkest secrets, and the police say it’s no accident.

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Review: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones (UK edition)

Title: Wintersong (Wintersong, 1)
Author: S. Jae-Jones
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Titan Books (7th February 2017)
Blurb:

All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They’ve enraptured her spirit and inspired her musical compositions.  Now eighteen, Liesl can’t help but feel that her musical dreams and childhood fantasies are slipping away.

But when her sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl must journey to the Underground to save her. Drawn to the strange, captivating world she finds – and the mysterious man who rules it – she soon faces an impossible decision. With time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

WINTERSONG by S. Jae-Jones is at its heart a fairy story. Eighteen-year-old Liesl has heard stories of the stunning and perilous Goblin King all her life, she even played with him as a child. But as she grew older, she drew further and further away from his magic as she was forced to grow-up. Yet his influence still lingered in her music. When the Goblin King takes her sister, Liesl risks everything to follow her into the Underground to try and win her back. Despite the warnings, Liesl finds herself drawn to the Underground and the Goblin King. With time running out and the old laws against her, Liesl finds herself with an impossible choice.

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Review: The Queen’s Readers edited by Amanda Diehl and Holly Vaughn

The Queen’s Readers: A Collection of Essays on the Words & Worlds of Tamora Pierce ed. by Amanda Diehl and Holly Vaughn

Title:  The Queen’s Readers: A Collection of Essays on the Words & Worlds of Tamora Pierce
Editors: Amanda Diehl and Holly Vaughn
Genre: Anthology, Essays, Fantasy
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (25th August 2004)
Blurb:

Over the course of her career, Tamora Pierce has created two worlds that continue to inspire readers more than 30 years after her first book was published.

In The Queen’s Readers, contributors explore a myriad of topics as only fans can: with love and a critical eye. With more than 30 essays covering topics from feminism to Pierce’s mythical creatures Stormwings, no fictional stone is left unturned.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️ (2 stars)
Review:

THE QUEEN’S READERS: A COLLECTION OF ESSAYS ON THE WORDS & WORLDS OF TAMORA PIERCE edited by Amanda Diehl and Holly Vaughn contains more than thirty essays about Tamora Pierce’s books. The essays cover a variety of topics from the author’s experiences with the book, to feminism and other academic based topics; each essay varies in length. They are described in the introduction as being “by her fans, for her fans.”[1] The collection also contains a foreword by Mark Oshiro about his experiences in the Tamora Pierce fandom where he says fans “want to make sure that people are enjoying the books”[2].

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Review: The New Voices of Fantasy edited by Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman

The New Voices of Fantasy ed. by Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman.

Title:  The New Voices of Fantasy
Editors: Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman
Genre: Anthology, Fantasy, Short stories
Source: The publisher
Publisher: Tachyon Publications (7th September 2017)
Blurb:

Eugene Fisher, Brooke Bolander, Amal El-Mohtar, Maria Dahvana Headley, Max Gladstone, Ben Loory, Carmen Maria Machado, Usman T. Malik, Sarah Pinsker, Hannu Rajaniemi, Adam Ehrlich Sachs, Sofia Samatar, Kelly Sandoval, Chris Tarry, A. C. Wise, Alyssa Wong, JY Yang, E. Lily Yu

What would you do if a tornado wanted you to be its Valentine? Or if a haunted spacesuit banged on your door? When is the ideal time to turn into a tiger? Would you post a supernatural portal on Craigslist?

In these nineteen stories, the enfants terribles of fantasy have entered the building—a love-starved, ambulatory skyscraper. The New Voices of Fantasy tethers some of the fastest-rising talents of the last five years. Their tales were hand-picked by the legendary Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn) and genre expert Jacob Weisman (The Treasury of the Fantastic).

So go ahead, join the Communist revolution of the honeybees. The new kids got your back.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

THE NEW VOICES OF FANTASY edited by Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman is an anthology that collects together nineteen short stories from up and coming writers in the fantasy genre. The collection includes several award winners and whilst most of the stories have appeared in other collections there is an original addition. In this anthology Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman bring together a wide selection of talent, with a broad range of topics – there is something for everyone in this collection – to create a stunning collection that will just draw you in. A perfect way to find new writers in the fantasy genre.

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Review: Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Title: Moxie
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books (21st September 2017)
Blurb:

Vivian Carter is fed up.
Fed up with sexist dress codes.
Fed up with gross comments from guys during class.
Fed up with her high school teachers who let it happen!
But most of all, Viv is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mum was a punk rock Riot Grrrl, inspiring Viv to create MOXIE a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her class mates.

She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond and begin to spread the MOXIE message:
MOXIE GIRLS FIGHT BACK!

And before Viv knows it, she has started a girl revolution.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

MOXIE by Jennifer Mathieu tells the story of high schooler Vivian Carter who lives in East Rockport, Texas. Vivian is fed up with certain attitudes that seem to permeate East Rockport High School: the sexist dress code and the gross comments some of the guys make during class – and, to make matters worse, the teachers let them get away with it. Vivian is used to following the rules and being ‘good’, but the things she sees happening in her high school make her more and more uncomfortable. Inspired by her mum’s love of the punk rock Riot Grrrl movement, Vivian creates MOXIE – an anonymous feminist zine – that resonates with other girls who are just as unhappy as she is.

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Review: Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford

Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford

Title:  Love and Other Consolation Prizes
Author: Jamie Ford
Genre: Historical Novel
Source: The publisher
Publisher: Allison & Busby (12th September 2017)
Blurb:

1909, Seattle. At the World’s Fair a half-Chinese boy called Ernest Young is raffled off as a prize. He ends up working as a servant in Seattle’s Red Light District and falls in love with Maisie, the daughter of the falmboyant madam, and Fahn, a Japanese maid sold into servitude.

On the eve of the new World’s Fair in 1962, Ernest’s reporter daughter looks back into the past and prompts him to consider the memories he made with his beloved wide and their tragic past.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

LOVE AND OTHER CONSOLATION PRIZES is the latest novel from Jamie Ford, and the first of his works I have ever read. The narrative splits itself between events at the turn of the twentieth century and the 1960s. LOVE AND OTHER CONSOLATION PRIZES tells the story of Ernest Young a half-Chinese boy who is raffled off as a prize at the 1909 Seattle World’s Fair. We follow Ernest’s life through events that are linked around two Seattle World’s Fairs, giving us a picture of two different worlds. Ford tells the story of a man who led a complex life and who loves his wife.

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Review: Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Title: Hidden Figures
Author: Margot Lee Shetterly
Genre: Biography, Nonfiction
Publisher: William Collins (9th February 2017)
Blurb:

GENIUS HAS NO RACE.
STRENGTH HAS NO GENDER.
COURAGE HAS NO LIMIT.

The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space.

Before John Glenn orbited the earth or Neil Armstrong walked in the moon, some of the brightest minds of their generation, known as ‘human computers’, used pencils and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, and the Space Race, Hidden Figures is a powerful, revelatory tale of race, discrimination and achievement in the modern world. Now a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kristen Dunst and Kevin Costner.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
Review:

HIDDEN FIGURES by Margot Lee Shetterly is a non-fiction book about the true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of the US’s greatest achievements in space. The book spans from World War II to the 1970s and charts the progress of race and gender equality against the backdrop of the US during the Second World War, the Cold War and the Space Race. Shetterly focuses both narrowly, on individual woman and their lives during this period, and broadly, on national events that were going on as the woman continued their work, to create an encompassing narrative of events during this time.

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Illumicrate Unboxing 8 – August 2017

The August 2017 Illumicrate.

As you can no doubt tell from the date, I am late (and not just a little) getting this post up on the blog. I was ill from mid-June to September, and then I just kept putting it off.  As we are edging ever closer to box 9, I thought I should probably get on with it and put up my thoughts about this quarter’s box. If you are thinking of signing up for a box you can find out more details on the Illumicrate website here.

I was pleasantly surprised by this quarter’s box. The book was actually one I had been thinking of buying anyway, and I almost asked for it for my birthday. So I am really looking forward to reading it. I also really liked all the items in the box, and I’m curious about the ARC.

The contents of the August 2017 Illumicrate.

Doesn’t it look pretty?! I’m also really happy with the packaging, as nothing broke in transit. The box may have been a little battered and bruised, but the contents themselves were fine.

The contents of the August 2017 Illumicrate (part 1).

  • The Red Church Tea by T-ology, which was exclusive to the box.
  • A Shakespeare Zip Bag with artwork by Miss Phi, which was exclusive to the box.
  • The Wisdom Journal designed by Hey Atlas Creative, which was exclusive to the box.
  • The Alethiometer Coaster with artwork by Hannah Hitchman Art, which was exclusive to the box.
  • The Book Money Jar and Sticky Bookmarks were by Blossom Books.
  • Ringer (Replica 2) by Lauren Oliver bookmark.
  • After the Fire by Will Hill bookmark.
  • Harper 360 autumn releases postcard.
  • The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden bookmark.
  • Moxie badges/pins.
  • A Wonder Woman pin/badge, which was exclusive to the box.

The contents of the August 2017 Illumicrate (part 2).

  • An exclusive edition (with red sprayed edges) of Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, 1) by Leigh Bardugo (Goodreads)
  • An exclusive edition advanced reader copy of Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, 1) by Scott Reintgen (Goodreads)

Congratulations for making it this far down the post. Let me know in the comments if you’re thinking of signing up for an Illumicrate (you can sign-up here), and what your favourite item from this quarter’s box is.

Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, 3)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, New Adult, Romance, Sword and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (2nd May 2017)
Blurb:

FEYRE WILL BRING VENGEANCE.

She has left the Night Court – and her High Lord – and is playing a deadly game of deceit. In the Spring Court, Tamlin is making deals with the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees and Feyre is determined to uncover his plans. But to do so she must weave a web of lies, and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As mighty armies grapple for power, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

BUT WHILE WAR RAGES, IT IS HER HEART THAT WILL FACE THE GREATEST BATTLE.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

In A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN Sarah J. Maas brings the events that have unfolded in her previous two books to a head. This book starts several weeks after the events of A COURT OF MIST AND RUIN and continues Feyre’s story. The return of the King of Hybern threatens to bring Prythian to its knees; to reignite an old war that has already seen lands split. With everyone she loves threatened Feyre must find out what this king is planning, and discover if any of the High Lords are trustworthy and willing to stand with her against such power.

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Review: Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh

Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh

Title: Archangel’s Heart (Guild Hunter, 9)
Author: Nalini Singh
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher:  Gollancz (3rd November 2016)
Blurb:

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh takes us back into a dangerous and exhilarating world where a deadly, beautiful archangel and his once-mortal consort are caught in a fury of twisted darkness . . .

One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.

Accompanying her archangel lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, Guild Hunter-truned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within – truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is . . .

Nothing will ever be the same again.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

ARCHANGEL’S HEART is the ninth book in Nalini Singh’s sumptuous Guild Hunter series. In this instalment of the series Singh returns to Elena and Raphael. Lijuan, one of the most vicious archangels, has disappeared and no one knows if she is dead or has chosen to Sleep. What they do know is that her lands are falling into chaos, and the vampires she once held under rigid control are falling to a rising tide of bloodlust. Things are still somewhat under control but the Luminata, a mysterious and ancient order of angels, have decided that it’s past time the Cadre step up and discuss the fate of Lijuan’s territory.

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