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: 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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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: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Title: Geekerella: A Novel
Author: Ashley Poston
Genre: Contemporary, Fairy Tale, Re-Telling, Young Adult
Publisher: Quirk Books (4th April 2017)
Blurb:

ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN ONCE UPON A CON . . .

When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her step-mother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all – not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true.

Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws hear, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake – until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, GEEKERELLA is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
Review:

GEEKERELLA by Ashley Poston is a young adult re-telling of the fairy story Cinderella, but set in the world of the fictional fandom of Starfield. The story is split between Elle, who grew up in the Starfield fandom as a young child and who now runs a blog, and Darien, the actor playing the main character in the new Starfield reboot and a fan of the original series. The producers of the Starfield reboot sponsor a cosplay contest at ExcelsiCon, and Elle sees it as a way for her to escape a seriously dire situation even if she is unimpressed with the reboot. Darien meanwhile is trying to deal with feeling more and more like a fake, as he hides his own history with Starfield, until he meets a girl who reminds him what he loves about the series and fandom.

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Review: A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab

A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab (UK edition)

Title: A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, 3)
Author: V. E. Schwab
Genre: Alternative Universes, Fantasy
Publisher: Titan Books (21st February 2017)
Blurb:

The precarious equilibrium among the four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving space for another London to rise. Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – theif, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry.

Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery and the Night Spire crew are attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible, as an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown and a fallen hero is desperate to save a decaying world . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

A CONJURING OF MAGIC is the third and final instalment of V. E. Schwab’s brilliant Shades of Magic series. This book deals with the fallout of events that started in A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC, as the precarious equilibrium between the four Londons reaches its breaking point. Kell and Lila find themselves in the thick of it, as darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire. An ancient enemy appears to claim a crown, and a fallen hero desperately tries to save a dying world. All whilst Captain Alucard Emery races against time to acquire the impossible. They all stand on a knife’s edge; the shadows are hungry.

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Review: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (UK edition)

Title: A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, 2)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, New Adult, Romance, Sword and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (3rd May 2016)
Blurb:

FEYRE IS IMMORTAL.

After rescuing her lover Tamlin from a wicked Faerie Queen, she returns to the Spring Court possessing the powers of the High Fae. But Feyre cannot forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people – nor the bargain she made with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court.

As Feyre is drawn ever deeper into Rhysand’s dark web of politics and passion, war is looming and an evil far greater than any queen threatens to destroy everything Feyre fought for. She must confront her past, embrace her gifts and decide her fate.

SHE MUST SURRENDER HER HEART TO HEAL A WORLD TORN IN TWO.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

A COURT OF MIST AND FURY is the stunning sequel to Sarah J. Maas’s brilliant A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES. Rescuing Tamlin from Amarantha, the wicked Faerie Queen, came at a terrible price. Feyre returned to the Spring Court with the man she loves, changed by the events. Feyre did terrible, horrible, unforgivable things in order to gain the freedom of Tamlin and his people; things she cannot, will not, forget even in the beauty and peace of the Spring Court. Then, of course, there is the matter of the bargain she made with Rhysland, High Lord of the Night Court.

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Review: The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid

The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid

Title: The Diabolic (The Diabolic, 1)
Author: S. J. Kincaid
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (1st November 2016)
Blurb:

Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The girl who has grown up by her side and who is as much a sister as a master. There’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have – humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the Empire . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
Review:

THE DIABOLIC is the first book in a new series by S. J. Kincaid. Diabolics are genetically engineered to protect an individual at all cost, and are considered too savage to be human. THE DIABOLIC follows the story of Nemesis, a Diabolic, as she tries to protect her charge Sidonia, the daughter of a galactic Senator. When the Emperor demands that Sidonia graces his court, Nemesis reluctantly takes the place of her master so that Sidonia does not become a hostage in galactic politics. The Emperor’s court is a deadly place, even for a Diabolic, and Nemesis must learn to navigate is quickly.

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