Review: Blood Sisters by Jane Corry

Blood Sisters by Jane Corry (ARC edition)

Title: Blood Sisters
Authors: Jane Corry
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Source: The publisher
Publisher: Penguin Books (29th June 2017)
Blurb:

Three little girls set off to school
one sunny May morning.
Within an hour, one of them is dead.

Fifteen years later, Alison and Kitty are living separate lives. Kitty lives in a care home. She can’t speak, and she has no memory of the accident that put her here, or her life before it.

Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. When a job in a prison comes up she decides to take it – this is her chance to finally make things right.

But someone is watching Kitty and Alison. Someone who wants revenge for what happened that day.  And only another life will do…

(Blurb taken from Goodreads)

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

BLOOD SISTERS is the intricate new novel from Jane Corry. The novel follows the stories of Alison and Kitty fifteen years after a horrific event: one sunny May morning three girls set off to school, on the way one of them died. Kitty lives in a care home unable to speak with no memory of that tragic day or her life before it. Alison meanwhile has become an art teacher, and on the surface everything looks fine with her. But looks can be deceiving. Someone is watching both girls, because they think they got away lightly. Someone wants them to pay for what happened on that sunny May morning.

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Review: The Song From Somewhere Else by A. F. Harrold, Illustrated by Levi Pinfold

Sorry this review is a day late, I forgot to schedule it. I hope you enjoy it anyway.

The Song from Somewhere Else by A. F. Harrold (UK edition)

Title: The Song From Somewhere Else
Author: A. F. Harrold
Illustrator: Levi Pinfold
Genre: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Middle Grade
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (10th November 2016)
Blurb:

Frank doesn’t know how to feel when Nick Underbridge helps her escape from the boys who’ve been bullying her. No one at school really likes Nick. He’s big, quiet and he smells weird.

And yet, there’s something nice about Nick’s house. Frank hears faint music playing – it’s light and good and it makes her feel happy for the first time in forever.

But there’s more to Nick, and his house, than meets the eye, and soon Frank realises she isn’t the only one keeping secrets. Or the only one who needs help . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

THE SONG FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE by A. F. Harrold and illustrated by Levi Pinfold is a beautiful and haunting story. The story follows Frank – Francesca Patel – over a period of a week during the summer holidays. All of Frank’s friends are on holiday and her cat has gone missing, so she is by herself trying to put up missing cat posters when the local bullies find her. She is rescued by Nick Underbridge, who no one at school really likes, and she finds herself at his house where she hears beautiful and haunting music. Frank feels happy for the first time she can remember.

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Review: Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy (Blog Tour)

DoNotBecomeAlarmed-blogtourbannerNEW

This review is part of the Do Not Become Alarmed blog tour.

Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy (ARC copy)

Title: Do Not Become Alarmed
Author: Maile Meloy
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Source: The publisher
Publisher: Viking (6th July 2017)
Blurb:

When Liv and Nora decide to take their husbands and children on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The ship’s comforts and possibilities seem infinite. But when they all go ashore in beautiful Central America, a series of minor mishaps lead the families further from the ship’s safety.

One minute the children are there, and the next they’re gone.

What follows is a heart-racing story told from the perspectives of the adults and the children, as the distraught parents – now turning on one another and blaming themselves – try to recover their children and their shattered lives.

(Blurb taken from Penguin.co.uk)

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

DO NOT BECOME ALARMED is the latest book to come from Maile Meloy. It’s a standalone novel that tells the story of a group of tourists who are on a cruise in Central America. Liv and Nora are cousins who decide to take their husbands and children away together to celebrate the holidays. After days spent aboard the ship they start to feel restless so they decide to leave the ship, and take part in one of the activities organised by the cruise liner. Unfortunately a series of small mishaps lead to a larger disaster for the women: their children go missing.

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Illumicrate Unboxing 7 – May 2017

The May 2017 Illumicrate before I started.

This quarter’s Illumicrate didn’t arrive until the beginning of June, hence why this post is so late. I’m not sure why this quarter was a month late; it just was. If you are interested in signing up for an Illumicrate, the next is due out in August I think, then you can find more details on the website.

Too long, didn’t watch: Overall I was pleased with the box, a little disappointed that it sustained damage whilst in transit.

The contents of the May 2017 Illumicrate. There is a full list below with links where possible.

If you want to see more pictures of the contents of the box then be sure to check out my instagram.

Contents of this quarter’s box:

Review: The Turn by Kim Harrison

The Turn by Kim Harrison (UK edition)

Title: The Turn (The Hollows 0.1)
Author: Kim Harrison
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Piatkus (7th February 2017)
Blurb:

Kim Harrison returns to her beloved Hollows series with the official prequel.

Can science save us when all else fails?

Trisk and her hated rival, Kalamack, have the same goal: save their species from extinction.

Death comes in the guise of hope when a genetically modified tomato created to feed the world combines with the government’s new tactical virus, giving it an unexpected host and a mode of transport. Plague takes the world, giving the paranormal species an uncomfortbale choice: stay hidden and allow humanity to die, or show themselves in a bid to save them.

Trisk and Kal flee across a plague-torn United States to convince leaders of the major paranormal species to save their supposedly weaker kin, but not everyone thinks humanity should be saved.

Kal surreptitiously works against her as Trisk fights the prejudices of two societies to prove not only does humanity have something to offer, but that long-accepted beliefs against women, dark magic and humanity itself might be mistaken; and that love can hold the world together as a new balance is found.

An unmissable story – discover Rachel Morgan’s world as you’ve never seen it before . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
Review:

THE TURN is the prequel to Kim Harrison’s The Hollows series, which follows the adventures of Rachel Morgan. THE TURN is set several decades before this series, with Inderlanders (that is witches, weres, vampires, elves, and pixies to name a few) still hidden and unknown by humans. THE TURN follows the story of Trisk a geneticist and dark haired elf, who has been sent out to work with humans because she is dark haired and female. Whilst in the lab she creates a genetically modified tomato, and her hated rival Kalamack is sent to check her work. A plague sweeps the world, and Trisk and her tomato seem to be the cause. With humanity dying, Inderlanders have to make a choice.

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Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake (UK edition)

Title: Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns 1)
Author: Kendare Blake
Genre: Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books (22nd September 2016)
Blurb:

IN EVERY GENERATION ON THE ISLAND OF FENNBIRN A SET OF TRIPLETS IS BORN: THREE QUEENS, ALL EQUAL HEIRS TO THE CROWN, ALL POSSESSED OF A COVETED MAGIC.

MIRABELLA, a fierce elemental, can spark hungry flames with the click of a finger.

KATHARINE, a poisoner, is known to be resistant to the deadliest of snake bites.

ARSINOE, a naturalist, is rumoured to have the ability to bloom the reddest of roses.

But becoming the Queen Crowned is not just a matter of royal birth. These three sisters must fight to the death for the throne, and on the night they turn sixteen the battle begins. Only one queen can inherit the crown.

WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
Review:

THREE DARK CROWNS is the first novel in Kendare Blake’s latest series. The book tells the story of a set of triplets born on the island of Fennbirn. These triplets are all considered queens, and all three of them have an equal claim to the crown. All three of them possess a coveted magic, though that is where their similarities end. Mirabella can control the elements; Katharine is a poisoner, known to be resistant to the most deadly or toxins; and Arsinoe is a naturalist who can make flowers bloom and call animals to her. Only one of them can claim the crown, and the winner must kill her sisters.

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Review: If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (UK Edition – Zoella Book Club)

Title: If I Was Your Girl
Author: Meredith Russo
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher: Usborne Publishing (1st June 2016)
Blurb:

AMANDA HARD IS the NEW GIRL AT SCHOOL.

Like everyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is holding back. Even from Grant, the guy she’s falling in love with.

AMANDA HAS A SECRET.

At her old school, she used to be called Andrew. And secrets always have a way of getting out . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

IF I WAS YOUR GIRL is Meredith Russo’s debut novel. It tells the story of Amanda Hardy an eighteen year old who has moved in with her dad for the first time, and is starting a new school. Like everyone else, she just wants to make friends and fit in. Amanda has a secret, one that has caused (and is causing) her a lot of heartache and pain: one that has pushed her and her family to their limits. Amanda used to be called Andrew. The trouble with secrets is that they have a way of getting out, whether you’re ready for them to or not.

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Review: All the Good Things by Clare Fisher (Blog Tour)

This review is part of the All the Good Things blog tour.

All the Good Things by Clare Fisher (cover via Penguin.co.uk)

Title: All the Good Things
Author: Clare Fisher
Genre: Contemporary, Crime
Source: The publisher
Publisher: Viking (1st June 2017)
Blurb:

Twenty-one year old Beth is in prison. The thing she did is so bad she doesn’t deserve ever to feel good again.

But her counsellor, Erika, won’t give up on her. She asks Beth to make a list of all the good things in her life. So Beth starts to write down her story, from sharing silences with Foster Dad No. 1, to flirting in the Odeon on Orange Wednesdays, to the very first time she sniffed her baby’s head.

But at the end of her story, Beth must confront the bad thing.

What is the truth hiding behind her crime? And does anyone – even a 100% bad person – deserve a chance to be good?

All the Good Things is a story about redemption and hope for fans of Nathan Filer, Stephen Kelman and Emma Healey

(Blurb taken from Penguin.co.uk)

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

ALL THE GOOD THINGS is Clare Fisher’s debut novel. The novel is comprised of letter’s written by the story’s protagonist Beth, who is twenty-one years old and is in prison for doing a bad thing. Through the course of the twenty-two letters we gradually learn more about Beth and her life prior to her ending up in prison, we also learn about the bad thing she did to get there. Although I found Beth a hard character to like, I think Fisher does a great job weaving together a narrative that is both compelling and heart breaking, where you find yourself rooting for Beth.

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Review: A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong

A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong (UK edition)

Title: A Darkness Absolute (A City of the Lost Novel/Casey Duncan 2)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Detective Novel, Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Sphere (7th February 2017)
Blurb:

The secret town of Rockton is the perfect place to hide. The only problem is – once you’re in, there’s no way out . . .

After a shaky start, Casey Duncan is settling into her role as the town’s much-needed detective. She’s also found love with Sheriff Eric Dalton, a man who appreciates her unconventional ways. But when Casey discovers a young woman trapped in a tiny cave in the mountains, she is soon caught up in a terrifying new case. Someone has been abducting woman and holding them captive deep in the forest. Is he from Rockton, or from the wilderness beyond?

Battered by winter storms and sudden blizzards, the town is cut off from the rest of the world. And as Casey races to find a killer, she becomes his next target . . .

With her gripping new novel, bestselling author Kelley Armstrong has written a heart-stopping, edge-of-the-seat, standalone thriller and a sequel to the highly acclaimed City of the Lost.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

A DARKNESS ABSOLUTE is the second book in Kelley Armstrong’s fantastic The City of the Lost Novels series. This book continues the story of Casey Duncan and her life in Rockton: a secret town in the Canadian wilderness where people with a past go to hide. Casey has settled into life in the town, and as a detective on the town’s police force. She is in a relationship with the town’s sheriff Eric Dalton, something they are both still adjusting to. When Casey finds a young woman trapped in a tiny cave in the mountains, she finds herself caught in a terrifying case where women are abducted and held captive deep in the forest. The question is, does the perpetrator come from Rockton?

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Bout of Books 19 | Sign up & Progress

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 8th and runs through Sunday, May 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 19 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

As I’ve left this so late, I’ve decided to combine the sign up and my progress into a single post. If you haven’t already, there’s still time to sign up – I believe sign ups are open until midnight on Tuesday/Wednesday, but go check the blog to make sure.

It’s taken me a while to write this post, so there’s a video of my TBR up on YouTube if you want to check it out:

Or you can just look at the pic below:

My TBR for #BoutofBooks 19

This year my goals, apart from reading the six books above, are to participate in one of the Twitter chats (probably Saturday’s) and complete at least one of the challenges. I’ll be keeping track of my progress below, so be sure to check back if you want to see how I’m doing or just leave a comment to let me know if you’re taking part.

Thanks for stopping by.

My Progress

Day 1: May 8th
Book(s) I’m Reading: The Turn by Kim Harrison [Book Depository]
Number of Pages Read Today: 90
Number of Pages Read Total: 90
Book(s) I’ve Completed: None today.
Challenge I’ve Participated In: #insixwords

My day: A slow start, mostly because I decided late on in the day to actually participate. Happy with the reading I did, and pleased I completed a challenge.

Day 2: May 9th
Book(s) I’m Reading: The Turn by Kim Harrison [Book Depository] and Doing It by Hannah Witton [Book Depository]
Number of Pages Read Today: 318
Number of Pages Read Total: 408
Book(s) I’ve Completed: The Turn by Kim Harrison
Challenge I’ve Participated In: I didn’t take part in today’s challenge.
My day: Well I got a lot of reading done. I’m actually really happy about that. I’m also really happen that I’ve finished The Turn and drafted a review for it.

Day 3: May 10th
Book(s) I’m Reading: Doing It by Hannah Witton [Book Depository], The Song From Somewhere Else by A. F. Harrold [Book Depository], Tsubasa World Chronicle volume 2 by CLAMP [Book Depository], Tsubasa World Chronicle volume 3 by CLAMP [Book Depository], and The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic [Amazon UK]
Number of Pages Read Today: 762
Number of Pages Read Total: 1,170
Book(s) I’ve Completed:  Doing It by Hannah Witton, The Song From Somewhere Else by A. F. Harrold, Tsubasa World Chronicle volume 2 by CLAMP, and Tsubasa World Chronicle volume 3 by CLAMP
Challenge I’ve Participated In: Share Your Shelfie (though not officially)


My day: I don’t even know what to say, other than it was a fantastic day for reading. I read a lot more that I thought I would. I’m kinda proud about it to be honest. It reminded me how amazing reading and books can be. Fingers crossed some of the momentum will carry across into day 4, even if I don’t read as many pages. 🤞

Day 4: May 11th
Book(s) I’m Reading: The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic [Amazon UK] and an ARC of Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy [Book Depository]
Number of Pages Read Today: 172
Number of Pages Read Total: 1,342
Book(s) I’ve Completed: None today.
Challenge I’ve Participated In: I didn’t take part in today’s challenge.
My day: It was not a good day, but I did manage to get some reading in which I’m proud of. I might not have read as much as I did for day 3, but then I didn’t expect to. I’m pleased with that.

Day 5: May 12th
Book(s) I’m Reading: The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic [Amazon UK] and an ARC of Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy [Book Depository]
Number of Pages Read Today: 221
Number of Pages Read Total: 1,563
Book(s) I’ve Completed: None today.
Challenge I’ve Participated In: I didn’t participate in today’s challenge.
My day: I didn’t spend a lot of time reading, but I’m happy with what I managed to put in around daily life.

Day 6: May 13th
Book(s) I’m Reading: The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic [Amazon UK], an ARC of Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy [Book Depository], Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman [Book Depository], and The Raven King by Nora Sakavic [Amazon UK]
Number of Pages Read Today: 285
Number of Pages Read Total: 1,848
Book(s) I’ve Completed: The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic, and Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy
Challenge I’ve Participated In: I was tempted to take part in today’s challenge, but in the end I didn’t.
My day: Today might not have been my best reading day, but it was a good day. I had lots of fun taking part in the Twitter chat – it was pure chaos, and all the more fun for it.

Day 7: May 14th
Book(s) I’m Reading: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman [Book Depository], and The Raven King by Nora Sakavic [Amazon UK]
Number of Pages Read Today: 487
Number of Pages Read Total: 2,335
Book(s) I’ve Completed: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman and The Raven King by Nora Sakavic
Challenge I’ve Participated In: There wasn’t a challenge today.
My day: I ended up reading to the bitter end (and actually a bit over, I didn’t actually check my time until I finished the final book). This Bout of Books has been amazing in terms of the amount of reading I have achieved. Honestly it kind of blows me away.