Sunday, 29 May 2022

Blog Tour- Primal Animals

Title: Primal Animals (Goodreads)
Author: Julia Lynn Rubin
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: Horror, LGBTQ+
Age Group: YA
Source: ARC (epub)
Rating: ⭐⭐


I would like to start off by saying a big thank you to TBR Beyond reads, Wednesday Books, and Julia Rubin for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour and for having a chance to read this new exciting book in advance of its publication.

Primal Animals is definitely a book worth reading if you love spooky horrors and exciting creepy twists! This is one to add to your tbr pile for the spooky season this year. Primal Animals is perfect for readers if you ever watched Parent Trap but hoped for something with a darker twist to the summer camp story.

“So, you get what I mean, then? I mean, it’s beautiful here. It’s…almost like paradise. But there’s something off, too. You know? […] I’ve felt that way since my first summer. I remember being so excited, that this place was so cool, and these people were so awesome…but then…things change you. Things I think you can only understand once you’ve spent time here.”

I can see why there will be many readers that really enjoy this book. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t for me. This is because the girls and story felt too juvenile to me in the first half of the book and therefore I lost interest in what would happen to them and how the story would progress to explore the darker sides of the summer camp. That is why I gave Primal Animals a two star rating because I couldn’t regain the intrigue I started off with coming into the story.

That said, I continued to read the book because I respect the time and efforts it takes an author to write a book and there was still a part of me that wanted to see how the darker side played out. The darker theme of this book is definitely when this book started to get creepy and intriguing again and I became reinvested in the book for the last half.

Overall, I would still recommend this book to readers who are looking for a book with darker themes, as there is plenty in Primal Animals. Also, this book is LGBTQ+ which for readers who want to read more about stories with diverse sexualities than this is one to check out. This was also one of the reasons why I would be tempted to push my rating upwards because I believe diversity in books and reflecting this in our literature is important. Do go and check out Primal Animals and give some love to this book and its author Julia as it’s a really refreshing new book which incorporates themes of insectophobia, creepy cults, and summer romance.

‘For just a moment, there’s a brief, beautiful stillness between us. A comfortable kind of silence you usually only feel between people you’ve known a long time. Outside, the birds chirp and other girls talk and laugh, and I realize that I could just stay here, on this bed with Winnie, in this silence, all damn summer long.’


Protect the girls

Arlee Gold is anxious about spending the summer at the college prep Camp Rockaway—the same camp her mother attended years ago, which her mother insists will help give Arlee a “fresh start” and will “change her life.” Little does Arlee know that, once she steps foot on the manicured grounds, this will prove to be true in horrifying ways.

Even though the girls in her cabin are awesome—and she’s developing a major crush on the girl who sleeps in the bunk above her—the other campers seem to be wary of Arlee, unwilling to talk to her or be near her, which only ramps up her paranoia. When she’s tapped to join a strange secret society, Arlee thinks this will be her shot at fitting in…until her new “sisters” ask her to do the unthinkable, putting her life, and the life of her new crush, in perilous danger. 

Content Warning: Blood, gore, mentions of Sexual harassment/assault

Book Links:

Author Information

Julia Lynn Rubin lives the writer’s life in Brooklyn, where she finished an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults at The New School in 2017. For three years she served as a writing mentor for Girls Write Now, New York City’s premiere writing program for high school girls, and she continues to facilitate pre-K literacy programs throughout Brooklyn at libraries and family shelters.

Julia has been writing books, poems, and stories since first grade, and loves reading about everything from film analysis (she’s a film nerd) to psychology and philosophy. Her short stories have appeared in publications such as the North American ReviewSierra Nevada Review, and The Lascaux Review, and she has written for a variety of online publications, including BuzzFeedThe Content StrategistFatherly, and Wetpaint Entertainment.

Julia is passionate about realism and diversity in teen literature. She hopes to one day own a French bulldog, pug, Boston terrier, or perhaps a mix of all three. She loves indie films, drag shows, and spending as much time as possible at the beach.​

She is represented by Lauren Spieller of Triada US Literary Agency 

Author Links:

Website / Twitter / Instagram / Goodreads / Facebook

Saturday, 28 May 2022

Blog Tour - Two Truths and a Lie

Title: Two Truths and a Lie (Goodreads)
Author: April Henry
Publisher: Christy Ottaviano Books
Genre: Thriller, Mystery 
Age Group: YA
Source: ARC (epub)
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


I would like to start by saying a huge thank you to TBR Beyond for allowing me to join this blog tour. As well as a massive thank you to Christy Ottaviano Books and especially April Henry for allowing me to read Two Truths and a Lie before publication. Thank you!!
“I feel like there’s something really wrong with this place. Like it doesn’t want us here.” As he is speaking, the wind picks up with a huge moan. A sudden gust blows straight down the chimney, making the fire gutter again. […] Out in the hall, there’s a series of soft, surreptitious sounds. And then I see it. A hooded figure sneaking up on us. Something long and narrow rests on its shoulder. It looks like a shotgun.’

Two Truths and a Lie was such a quick, exhilarating, and suspenseful read. I devoured this book in only two days! After the moment I started to read I did not want to stop and enjoyed the spooky drama that unfolded. I very rarely find a good worthwhile thriller that keeps me engaged and interested, only because it is not my usual first choice of genre to read. That is why I would recommend this book to anyone who also struggles to find a good thriller when it is not their usual first choice of genre to read.

As I said, I really enjoyed the spooky atmosphere created by April Henry in Two Truths and a Lie, after all isn’t that what a good thriller provides? What also stood out for me was the issues raised regarding stereotyping in the media and people trafficking. These issues aren’t developed in huge detailed essays but comfortably raised in the context of the story and interconnected with the overall thriller plot of being stuck with an enthusiastic murderer.

I would completely recommend this book to all other readers. Not only because it was quick, spooky and easy to read but I was truly invested in finding out who would make it out alive and who enjoyed murdering innocent stranded motel guests. Go and give Two Truths and a Lie a read and share some love for April Henry for writing such a fun and exciting new thriller!

“Just because he’s nice not a bloodthirsty terrorist or some crazy religious martyr doesn’t mean it’s not hurtful. Just because he’s nice, even lovable, doesn’t make it okay. Apu never changes. He doesn’t get to grow like the other characters. Even Flanders became a widower. Everyone deserves to be a character, not a caricature.”


A group of teens are trapped in an old motel with a murderer in this chilling YA mystery by New York Times bestselling author April Henry.

Nell has always wanted to be an actor, but doubts her ability. As a member of her school’s theater program, she prefers working backstage. On the way to a contest, an unexpected blizzard strands her acting troupe in a creepy motel. Soon they meet a group of strangers from another high school—including the mysterious and handsome Knox, who insists they play the game Two Truths and a Lie. When it’s Nell’s turn, she draws a slip of paper inked in unfamiliar handwriting:

I like to watch people die.
I’ve lost count of how many people I’ve killed.

Suddenly a night of harmless fun turns into a matter of life and death. As guests go missing, it becomes clear that a murderer is hiding in their midst ready to strike again. In a room full of liars and performers, the truth is never quite what it seems. Nell is going to have to act like her life depends on it—because it does. 

Book Links:

Author Information

New York Times-bestselling author April Henry knows how to kill you in a two-dozen different ways. She makes up for a peaceful childhood in an intact home by killing off fictional characters. There was one detour on April’s path to destruction:  when she was 12 she sent a short story about a six-foot tall frog who loved peanut butter to noted children’s author Roald Dahl. He liked it so much he showed it to his editor, who asked if she could publish it in Puffin Post, an international children’s magazine. By the time April was in her 30s, she had started writing about hit men, kidnappers, and drug dealers. She has published 26 mysteries and thrillers for teens and adults, with more to come. She is known for meticulously researching her novels to get the details right.  

Author Links:

Website / Twitter / Goodreads / Facebook

Key Quote

‘For many of us, theatre is our truest family, sometimes our only family. Theater is the place where being weird is embraced, not shunned. We know what we're like when we're stripped of everything, literally and figuratively – and yet we still love one another.’

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Blog Tour - The Knave of Secrets

Title: The Knave of Secrets (Goodreads)
Publisher: Rebellion Publishing
Genre: Fantasy
Author: Alex Livingston
Age Group: Adult
Source: Paperback ARC

I would truly like to start by thanking TheWriteReads for asking me to be a part of this book tour. I am also very grateful to Rebellion Publishing for providing me with an arc for this book. Also, the hugest thank you goes to Alex for writing such an intriguing book!


When offered the chance to join this blog tour I was really excited by the books premise, a magician turned cardsharp to gamble and win a secret. The Knave of Secrets doesn’t disappoint and most certainly delivers what it states in the blurb, however for me personally I wasn’t as excited once I started reading the book.

The Knave of Secrets though it wasn’t personally for me does have its high points which I can see will appeal to other readers. What I did respect and enjoy was the complexities of the world building and multiple narrative perspectives (which will appeal to many more readers too). This book certainly has a very complex magical system which is explored through Valen and Tenerieve who met and studied magic together at the Seminaire academy. As I said this complex magical system will be enjoyable to a number of readers. The reason that I struggled to enjoy it was because it felt too complex and disconnected due to the multiple narratives that didn’t always feel like they followed on easily from one another. To me the multiple perspectives felt like they jumped too much for me to keep up at times. That said, the multiple perspectives also allow for Mr Livingston to explore and expand the world so that readers can have a wider perspective of the world, not just contained to one or two oppositional viewpoints, as well as to better understand the value of the stolen and much sought after secret.

A spellbook in the hands of a novice could be dangerous, to say nothing of the ownership of the ideas within. Thus any paper book of spells bore some sort of encryption, normally hidden.’

Besides the excitement and political intrigue the pacing of this book was slightly too long for me. We know going into The Knave of Secrets that we will encounter a gambling den where players trade their secrets, not just their money, and so this was why the book is new and exciting. It took over 100 pages, nearly around 170, before the big secret was finally won and revealed by Valen. Therefore, as I said the pacing for me felt too long and drawn out due to the time spent building up to the game losing some of the initial excitement I had going into this book.

However, what stood out for me instead was the exploration of Tenerieve and her status as an outsider. I always enjoy books which explore important themes through the safety of a fantasy world. Tenerieve is born among the Mistigri people, the closest comparison is our worlds known travelling communities, and therefore she is seen as an outsider and mistrustful by most other than her trusted and close companions. I enjoyed not only the questions and issues raised about how certain communities and individuals become ostracized but the found family that Tenerieve finds amongst her companions with Jaq, Valen, and Margo. This to me was the stand out element for The Knave of Secrets.

Ten, you wouldn’t have believed me otherwise, but you have a home here. With me and Margo. I knew you would try to make amends with the Seminaire, to prove you were no threat to them; those are the skills that have kept you alive. We wanted to show you that we understand. If we had told you about our suspicions, you would have run off.”


A twisty tale of magicians, con artists and card games, where secrets are traded and gambled like coin, for fans of The Lies of Locke Lamora and The Mask of Mirrors.

Never stake more than you can afford to lose.

When failed magician turned cardsharp Valen Quinol is given the chance to play in the Forbearance Game—the invitation-only tournament where players gamble with secrets—he can’t resist. Or refuse, for that matter, according to the petty gangster sponsoring his seat at the table. Valen beats the man he was sent to play, and wins the most valuable secret ever staked in the history of the tournament.

Now Valen and his motley crew are being hunted by thieves, gangsters, spies and wizards, all with their own reasons for wanting what’s in that envelope. It’s a game of nations where Valen doesn’t know all the rules or who all the players are, and can’t see all the moves. But he does know if the secret falls into the wrong hands, it could plunge the whole world into war…

Key Quotes

‘[Margo] told her that this is what a home meant. That you were always forgiven.’

‘He spun to see the silhouette of the hunter against the glow of the torch light […] He had not figured, though, that the bastard would take it upon himself to start shooting people when he lost.’

A criminal is always well-versed in the precise details of the law she breaks.’

Words had power. Words could kill. And secret words all the more.’

Author information

Alex Livingston
Alex Livingston grew up in various quiet New England towns before moving to Buffalo, NY to study English at Canisius College. He writes SFF prose and interactive fiction. Alex is married and lives in an old house with his brilliant wife and a pile of aged videogame systems.

Sunday, 1 May 2022

Review - The Florentine

Title: The Florentine (Goodreads)
Author: Tom Trott
Publisher: Independently Published
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Age Group: Adult
Source: Author (ARC)

Before you check out my review below I would like to give a big thank you to Tom Trott for giving me the chance to read his new book before publication! Please proceed with caution as there may be minor spoilers. Thank you!


The Florentine is definitely worth a read if you are a fan of fast paced, live action crime thrillers. From the very opening pages you are transported into a book which has non stop action and drama, there is never a dull moment! That said because you enter the book instantly I did personally feel a bit jolted by the instantaneous action because it read as if it was part of a continuation on a series and that you should have read the previous book. However, that did not make this book any less enjoyable for me and future readers hopefully. In fact the abrupt but excitable action from the opening sequence led me to want to know more and created such an exciting suspense and intrigue.

‘She hurried to the stairs. A pair of heavy male footsteps were clattering up the floors. They were coming for her. Without looking down, she pulled herself up the stairs taking two at a time. She burst into the corridor above hers and ran to the opposite end of the building. Then she entered the other stairwell and leapt down the six flights three steps at a time, four steps at a time, the impact jolting up through her knees, until she reached the street. Her heart was kicking against her ribs. She had to catch her breath. A mist had risen off the bay…’

I also really enjoyed the relationship and dynamic between Dolly and Cain. They are in some ways a crime fighting duo. If you have watched Elementary with the gender adapted Holmes and Watson then this is as close as a comparison I can suggest. In particular Dolly was an interesting woman who took no nonsense from men and was willing to prove she was no damsel in distress but an intelligent woman not to be undermined. She even at one point has Cain question himself and his current circumstances as well as who he should trust, like I said not because she is trying to be duplicitous, but rather because she is exploring their situation from a more distanced impersonal perspective. Also, it seems that Cain from his perspective finds being challenged by someone rather refreshing, irrespective of Dolly’s gender, and is in those moments the more vulnerable individual too trusting of their friends unwilling to believe they can be manipulated and betrayed.

How did they know your route?’ she asked. ‘What?’ ‘How did they know your route? You said yourself it was an ambush, they had to know what route you would take. At the very least they had to know where you were going.’ Cain was silent for a minute. ‘I should have spotted that. Thank you. That’s very sharp of you.’ ‘I’m an NSA technician, Cain, I’m not an idiot.’

Finally what is an exhilarating crime thriller without a good antagonist. Nearer the end of the novel we meet Liese, the crime boss, kick-a** villain. She is definitely no weak hearted vulnerable woman, she is brutal, vicious and unfeeling. Liese will find all your weaknesses and use them to trap and destroy you little by little. Moreover, she is rather fond of a torture trick that she learnt from her father which she uses to control people and situations, pain and control are her most powerful weapon, she is most certainly not someone you would like to underestimate just because she is a woman and arguably more violent than even some male antagonists that can be found in crime thrillers.

[Liese] paused for effect. No one said anything. She knew she had their attention and Dolly hated it. ‘You see, our deepest fears are not animals, or items, or people, they’re scenarios. And I know what your scenario is. The one that keeps you awake at night.’

Synopsis (From Goodreads)

When Cain retired from the CIA, he moved to Florence, Italy to get away from his past.

He’s had nine years to enjoy fine wine, good food, and the Tuscan countryside.

But now his old boss has tracked him down, and he needs Cain to do one last job.

What starts as a simple trade entangles Cain in a web of secrets involving the mafia, an NSA whistleblower, and his own past.

With the Italian police and international assassins on his trail, he'll have to survive the night to solve the mystery of who wants him dead.

Key Quotes

‘I guess I’d been growing disillusioned ever since I properly read about Snowden, listened to the things he said. Disillusioned is a good word for it, because what you realise when you wake up to it all is that our moral superiority, our claim to be the good guys, is just a myth we tell ourselves. It stops us asking questions of our government. Of our colleagues. Even ourselves.’
‘[…] When you’re an immigrant it’s difficult to feel at home anywhere, but maybe it’s why I’m suited to this life. I imagine you find it more difficult.’
‘[...] Every time corruption and hypocrisy are exposed it turns one, or ten, or ten thousand people’s heads, and makes them see the world the way it is, even if just for a moment.’
Tom Trott


I loved the scenic setting of the Italian countryside and meeting the crime family headed by Gaspare Gallo. I really enjoyed the family values and loyalties they had, especially the small but sentimental moments of love shared by the dad & brothers.

If you loved The Florentine, or my review has inspired you to pick it up then please go and check out the other exciting books written by Tom Trott.

Which country would you like to be sent to as a spy? 

Friday, 25 February 2022

Review - Chain of Gold

Chain of Gold with Cordelia Fairyloot bookmark
Title: Chain of Gold
Series: The Last Hours (Goodreads)
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Author: Cassandra Clare
Age Group: YA
Source: Waterstones (purchased)


So begins the new generation of Shadowhunters. Chain of Gold follows in the magnificent footsteps of previous shadowhunting series, and thankfully it does not disappoint, in fact it might just be Clare’s bestest work yet!

What stood out as the strongest aspect of Chain of Gold for me was the male friendships, the merry thieves. I was pleasantly struck by this because usually I would not be so interested in predominantly male friendships. However, the merry thieves stole my heart because of their loyalty, love, and more importantly they shared and supported one another during their most vulnerable times. It is the sharing and supporting of each other’s vulnerabilities that truly endeared me to the merry thieves and why I know that is why their male friendship kept my interest. Also, their scenes were the ones that made me laugh the most (closely followed by Anna and Matthews scenes together). I loved a particular scene with the merry thieves when they are trying to ‘help’ James to enter the shadow realm, after all he is Tessa’s daughter and it wouldn’t be a Shadowhunter’s novel without some demonic chaos!

In the name of a million bloody angels, Christopher, what the hell did you just do?” Matthew demanded, leaping up after James. “Did you try to kill James?” Christopher lowered the bow. […] “I was not trying to kill James,” said Christopher in an injured tone. “I was hoping the shock of the arrow flying past would startle him into the shadow realm. Pity it didn’t work. We must think of a new plan to grievously alarm James at once.” “Christopher!” James exclaimed. “I cannot believe you would say that! I also cannot believe you would shoot at me.” “It had a seventy-two percent chance of working, in perfect laboratory conditions—” “We are not in perfect laboratory conditions!” James shouted. “We are in the ballroom of my house!”

Another aspect that I loved from Chain of Gold was the allusions to fairy tales and references to Victorian culture. It might be because I have always been fascinated by the Victorian era that references to artists such as William Morris stood out to me. As well as the fact that having grown up and returned to London for my University years that I was able to visit the actual Morris museum in Walthamstow that this held my interest too (A lovely little museum to visit if you are ever in London). I particularly enjoyed the fairy tale allusions because Clare reminds as that they were never just fluffy happily ever afters but once held darker themes such as sleeping beauty. Therefore, to me it is important to remember the origins of traditional fairy tales and not lose them to those happily ever afters that we have perhaps come to prefer, thanks to Disney (though I cannot resist a Disney movie if you were to put one on). I have included that rather charming interaction between Lucie and Cordelia discussing the darker version of Sleeping Beauty because not only do I enjoy the allusion but the manner in which they discuss such dark traditional themes:

“Did you ever read the older fairy tales? I remember them being much more frightening. There was one where Sleeping Beauty’s palace was ringed all around with sharp briars. And the bodies of the princes who tried to get through hung on the thorns when they died, and their bones whitened in the sun.” “Delightful!” said Lucie. “I shall be sure to Include that in a book.”

Synopsis (From Goodreads)

Welcome to Edwardian London, a time of electric lights and long shadows, the celebration of artistic beauty and the wild pursuit of pleasure, with demons waiting in the dark. For years there has been peace in the Shadowhunter world. James and Lucie Herondale, children of the famous Will and Tessa, have grown up in an idyll with their loving friends and family, listening to stories of good defeating evil and love conquering all. But everything changes when the Blackthorn and Carstairs families come to London…and so does a remorseless and inescapable plague.

James Herondale longs for a great love, and thinks he has found it in the beautiful, mysterious Grace Blackthorn. Cordelia Carstairs is desperate to become a hero, save her family from ruin, and keep her secret love for James hidden. When disaster strikes the Shadowhunters, James, Cordelia and their friends are plunged into a wild adventure which will reveal dark and incredible powers, and the true cruel price of being a hero…and falling in love.

Key Quotes

I simply cannot see why one would wish to picnic in the nude,” Cordelia said. “There would be ants in dreadful places.” Anna laughed. “Cordelia, you are a breath of fresh air,” she said, as a woman with dark hair bore down on them, carrying a silver salver.’
Oh, dear, Magnus thought. I may need to linger in London a bit longer. Perhaps I should send for my cat.’
“There’s an orangery in Kensington Gardens that needs smashing. Ladies, lock up your outbuildings. James Herondale is in town and he has been slighted in love!”
“Cordelia will be coming with us. That was why I invited her here in the first place.” “I thought you wanted to have tea!” objected Cordelia. No one ever just wants to have tea,” said Anna. “Tea is always an excuse for a clandestine agenda.” “Anna, Cordelia is a proper young lady,” said Matthew. “She may not wish to risk her reputation by sallying out with Downworlders and reprobates.” “Cordelia wants to be a hero,” said Anna. “One cannot do that by staying at home stitching samplers.”

Similar reads

Serpent & Dove, The Raven Boys, Kingdom of the Wicked, Bone Crier's Moon, And I Darken, Caraval


What did you think of Chain of Gold?

What would you recommend to readers if they love the Shadowhunter's series?

What matters to you most in a friendship?

Friday, 17 December 2021

Review - Darkdawn

Nevernight Chronicles

Title: Darkdawn
Series: Nevernight Chronicle (Goodreads)
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Genre: Fantasy

Author: Jay Kristoff   
Age Group: Adult
Source: Received as a gift


Very rarely does a book make me cry, I could probably count the few that have managed this on one hand, and Kristoff’s Darkdawn is definitely among them. Also, without a doubt Jay Kristoff knows how to destroy souls and break hearts. If you have read Nevernight and Godsgrave there is still nothing that will prepare for the end!

What has been most important throughout the entirety of the Nevernight Chronicles is the importance of family and Darkdawn is no exception. There is a new character introduced to us in Darkdawn that is very important to Mia, I will not share their identity as it would ruin the books, all I will say is that they bring to the forefront once again the significance of family. Throughout the Chronicles Mia has fought to avenge her family and the wrong that was done to them all and so even though there is brutal murder, bloodshed, and yes smutty sex the one overriding theme and reason for Mia’s actions has always been her familia! I believe the following quote sums up the importance of family perfectly:


There is only one other author who rivals or equals Kristoff’s theme of family and that is currently for me Sarah J Maas. They both equally illustrate that family whether it is those we choose or cannot, will be the most important individuals and relationships in our lives, that even though family can cause each other pain like none other there is nothing that can destroy the bonds of family.

Darkdawn could not have been complete without bloodshed, murder and death. What friendships Mia has built over the past two books are pushed to the limits and of course not everyone survives, if you have read the previous books or other Kristoff books, you could not have expected less. If you are a new to Kristoff’s books, welcome, and enjoy the pain!

Finally, it has been one hell of a wild ride Mia Corvere, and I have enjoyed every single moment. From the beginning of the Chronicles Mia has been a complex antiheroine, the best kind of strong woman if you ask me. As a male author Kristoff did not once diminish the experience of a young woman. Instead, he gave readers a strong independent women with a will of her own and a sword to wield against her oppressors. For this very reason I adored her foul mouthed journey from the beginning, she never once stated that she was the hero of the story, only that she a had a will and desire to avenge her family and that only made me respect her more. So I leave you with the following quote and remind you all to never flinch…

“I know it,” she finally said. “I hurt people all the time. […] How do you kill a monster without becoming one yourself?” “I don’t know,” he replied. Mia shook her head, staring out at the wastes around them. “You can’t,” she sighed.’

Synopsis (From Goodreads)

Mia Corvere, gladiatii, escaped slave and infamous assassin, is on the run.

After the greatest games in Godsgrave’s history ended with the most audacious murders in the history of the Itreyan Republic, Mia finds herself pursued by Blades of the Red Church and soldiers of the Luminatii legion. She may never escape the City of Bridges and Bones alive.

Her mentor Mercurio is now in the clutches of her enemies. Her own family wishes her dead. And her nemesis, Consul Julius Scaeva, stands but a breath from total dominance over the Republic.

But beneath the city, a dark secret awaits. Together with her lover Ashlinn, brother Jonnen and a mysterious benefactor returned from beyond the veil of death, she must undertake a perilous journey across the Republic, seeking the final answer to the riddle of her life. Truedark approaches.

Night is falling on the Republic for perhaps the final time.

Key Quotes 

‘Out in the dark, a bookworm roared again. Closer this time. Aelius drew long and deep on his cigarillo, embers sparking in his eyes, his fingers stained with ink. “Don’t fuck with librarians, young lady. We know the power of words.”
“… shhhh…,” came a murmur at her feet. “… do you hear that…?” “… Hear what?” “… it appears to be the sound of … breasts tilting skyward…?” Mia scowled at the jest, dragging her sopping hair over her shoulder.’
Lightning flashed, tearing the skies in fury. The waves crashed and rolled. The Ladies of Storms and Oceans, the terrible twins, reaching out toward her with all their hatred. Mia hauled herself to her feet, Eclipse beside her, the shadows swaying like serpents. She dragged her sodden tricorn off, clawed her hair from her face, and she laughed. Her eyes alight. Her heart warmed by dark flame, burning in her chest. All they had, they’d thrown. All their hate, they’d given. All their fury, spent. Mia raised the knuckles to the sky. “Still standing, bitches.”

Similar reads

Aurora Rising, A ​Court of Silver Flames, Ninth House, The Poppy War, The Priory of the Orange Tree, House of Earth and Blood, Illuminae


What did you think of Darkdawn?

Did you enjoy the Nevernight Chronicles?

How far would you go to avenge your family?

What would you recommend to readers who enjoyed Darkdawn and the Nevernight Chronicles?

Sunday, 12 December 2021

Blog Tour - You'll Be the Death of Me

Title: You'll Be the Death of Me (Goodreads)
Publisher: Penguin
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary, Crime
Author: Karen M. McManus
Age Group: YA
Source: Netgalley

I would truly like to thank TheWriteReads for asking me to be a part of this book tour. I am also very grateful to Penguin for providing me with a Netgalley link to this book. Lastly and most importantly the biggest thank you goes to Karen M. McManus for writing such an exciting book!


If you are looking for a fun, quick and snappy read than look no further than You'll Be the Death of Me! This is my first time reading a book by McManus and I can see why she has become a popular fast-selling author. Her books are full of surprises and energy, they are very quick reads and accessible to all readers. I truly enjoyed the fast pace of You'll Be the Death of Me and the suspense of the murder mystery.

However, what this book lacked for me was complex characters and a fully engaging plot. Perhaps it is possible to argue that the murder mystery genre itself does not stereotypically allow for complex characters to develop and I am being unfair to the author and her book, in that case I will happily put my hands up and admit I am not reading the right genre. In relation to the plot, yes it moves quickly, but to me it did not feel like a lot developed in the middle of the book which would have allowed an exciting build up to the conclusion.

There was a lot a teen angst and perhaps this took centre stage instead of trying to resolve the murder mystery. Most of Ivy’s and Mateo’s narrative near the end of the novel shifted away from the murder focus and onto their unresolved teenage romantic feelings and it just didn’t fit in with the overall plot for me. Cal unfortunately becomes the desperate third wheel and struggles to get the narrative back on track towards finding out who the killer was. Their overall friendship then became unbalanced and off kilter which made me struggle with the final chapters of the book.

In the end, I did enjoy this book mainly because it was so easy and quick to read but overall I struggled with the lack of character development and midway detour through teenage love town. That being said, if you enjoy the murder mystery genre and don’t mind easy going characters than You'll Be the Death of Me is worth a read for you.


When three old friends re-live an epic ditch day, it goes horribly-and deadly-wrong.

Ivy, Mateo, and Cal used to be close. Back in middle school they were best friends. So, when Cal pulls into campus late for class, and runs into Ivy and Mateo, it seems like the perfect opportunity to turn a bad day around. They'll ditch school and go into the city. Just the three of them, like old times. Why did they stop hanging out, anyway?

As soon as they pull out of the parking lot Cal knows why. Ivy's already freaking out about missing class, and heartthrob Mateo is asleep in the backseat, too cool to even pretend like he wants to be there. The truth is they have nothing in common anymore.

At least they don't until they run into the fourth student ditching school that day. Brian "Boney" Mahoney is supposed to be accepting his newly won office of class president. Which is why Ivy follows him into an empty building, only to walk into the middle of a murder scene. Cal, Ivy, and Mateo all know the person lying on the ground of that building, and now they need to come clean. They're all hiding something. And maybe their chance reconnection wasn't by chance after all.

Key Quotes

'I haven't been in a fight in years, but its like riding a bike, I guess - you don't forget how.'

"You know, you don't have to do everything on your own." "What?" My eyes are following hers, and my ears need a second to catch up. "You can ask people for help. It's not a sign of weakness."
"It's pretty crap security to have one key for everything," I say. "Well this is Carlton." Ivy steps through the doorway, and i follow. "Nothing bad is ever supposed to happen here, right?"

Similar Reads

Lies Like Wildfire, Killer Content, A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, One of Us Is Lying, The Inheritance Games, S.T.A.G.S