Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
As you might know, I have been a huge fan of author Claire North ever since reading the magnificent ‘The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August’ earlier on this year. I jumped at the chance to review The Sudden Appearance of Hope, which has a kickass premise: a woman who no one can remember, living a life of crime and exacting her own brand of justice. This book delivers on so many fronts: unique plot, an almost uncomfortable lens on the state of social media, and a host of complex female characters. Although at times, I struggled with the slower pacing of the book – it was an ultimately rewarding read.
Hope Arden is a completely isolated individual, living at the fringe of society owing to people’s inability to remember her. Her parents started forgetting about her existence within her teens. People she meets forget her the moment their eyes stray from her face. Naturally, this makes Hope a somewhat prodigious talent at minor crime. Yet, it also leaves her floundering about her purpose and identity in life. She’s a woman who can make a thousand first impressions, but will never have a chance to develop relationships or form personal connections. Instead, she grounds herself by knowing things, by listing facts, by counting – much of the book’s bulk is actually bogged down by her compulsive need to list things. Continue reading “Book Review: The Sudden Appearance of Hope”→
Confession Time: I’ve been obsessed with this book ever since I heard of its premise – it promised to weave Persephone/Hades with the Indian epic Mahabharat. I did all the illogical fangirling thing: stalking the author’s twitter, making an excess amount of graphics, pouring over the internet for reviews and quotes, anxiously waiting by my mailbox for my preorder.
When I learned that Roshani Chokshi considers Catherynne Valente (my favourite author, ever, as you might have heard me mentioned repeatedly) my expectations only skyrocketed. For someone who’s left largely skeptical by hype, I was uncharacteristically 100% committed this particular bandwagon.
“I wanted a love thick with time, as inscrutable as if a lathe had carved it from night and as familiar as the marrow in my bones. I wanted the impossible.”
In short, I cannot be trusted to be completely fair in this review. The book largely met my absurdly high expectations, which is a marvel in itself. The world is richly imagined, each description absolutely arresting and evocative. Continue reading “Book Review: The Star-Touched Queen”→
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Hachette Australia in exchange for an honest review.
I was positively gleeful when I received my copy of Fellside in the mail, being a huge fan of M. R. Carey’s first book: The Girl With All The Gifts. Comparing the two work is a pointless task, as they’re completely separate entities. Yet, Fellside retains the element I loved most from Girl: an unsettling glimpse into humanity’s psyche – especially at our lowest point.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Harper Voyager Australia in exchange for an honest review.
Looking for an immersive fantasy with female centric stories, filled with court intrigues and a smattering of romance? Look no more because The Lyre Thief has got you covered. Jennifer Fallon elaborates on her existing series and adds a multitude of dimensional, relatable characters in the process with this new series.
Admittedly, The Lyre Thief is my entry into Jennifer Fallon’s expansive world. She has previously laid down a lot of worldbuilding and history with previous series like The Demon Child trilogy and The Hythrun Chronicles. If you’ve read these series in the past, there’s undoubtedly a layer of the book only long time fans can appreciate. Fortunately, I was not confused at all during the read – as Fallon did a great job of easing her reader into this vast universe. The concepts of gods and various court politics at play and introduced slowly – in fact, I did not realise I was reading a new addition to a pre-existing series until I read the blurb. Most of this is because the events in The Lyre Thief follows a fresh cast of characters and different setting to previous entries in the series. Continue reading “Book Review: The Lyre Thief”→
The Lies of Locke Lamora has been on my TBR for a while, but I have always avoided it as it sounded like a bit of a sausage fest. The book does lack prominent female characters, but it somewhat makes up for it with the strength of the ladies who do feature (I need Sabetha!). What’s more, it’s dark, it’s entertaining, and it’s not afraid to stick a blade right into your heart.
“There’s no freedom quite like the freedom of being constantly underestimated.”
While the main plot of the book features heist, treachery and more mutinies than you could shake a stick at – the heart of the novel lies in the epic bromance that is the Gentlemen Bastards. I am a huge fan of the ‘family that you choose yourself’ trope, so Locke and his gang of misfits tickled at my heartstrings. Make no mistake, they’re neither gentle or loving to one another – preferring to trade insults to niceties. Yet, through flashbacks and banter, the reader could feel the camaraderie between Locke and each of the member in his team. Morally ambiguous characters who look out for their own? Basically a set up after my own heart. Continue reading “Book Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora”→
I have to be frank, the twitter promotion of Truthwitch had me very nervous about this book. I thought, surely, nothing is that good – my cynicism stemmed from a 2015 burned out from hype. Nonetheless, the day it was released, I sneaked onto Kindle and snagged myself a copy. My fears were alleviated, Truthwitch was a memorable read – filled with characteres I could root for. While I had minor issues with some of the relationships and plot points, I could see myself becoming a loyal follower of the Witchland series.
The Chosen Pair
“I’ll always follow you, Safi, and you’ll always follow me. Threadsisters to the end.”
The lack of central female friendship in fiction is frustratingly prevalent. We live in an age where movies are still getting a pat on the back for passing a rudimentary Bechdel’s test, for Chrissake! Truthwitch features a steadfast and crucial friendship between two fierce ladies, for that it won a lot of points in my book. When it’s hinted that the Classic Chosen One trope has been tweaked in favour of a Chosen pair of friends? My heart can’t take it, where has this storyline been all my life?! Continue reading “Book Review: Truthwitch”→
I started reading this around Halloween season, but only got around to finishing up the review for it now. Oops. The anthology was very strong, and it reminded me why I love the economy of short stories. An amalgation of some of the best voices in YA at the moment, the stories in here are all based on a novel, movie, or other creative work in the past. I had a lot of fun trying to figure out the origin story of these works.
The Birds of Azalea Street by Nova Ren Suma – 4 stars
I felt this tale was a strong start to the anthology, it was not outright scary, but certainly incredibly unsettling. In classic Nova Ren Suma style, this tale edges on reality and the unknown – with the ill-intentions of the living being far more upsetting than those of the dead. Written in her familiar lyrical style, this tale examines teenage girls in both their strengths and vulnerability when faced with a sexual predator. You’ll look twice at the birds outside your window in a different light after reading this. Continue reading “Book Review: Slasher Girls and Monster Boys”→
It feels like quite some time since my last young adult fantasy, and THE YOUNG ELITEScertainly hits the spot. The book gets it right with its complex cast of characters and steady momentum. Although I wish the world building was more expansive, and that we got to see more facets to Adelina’s characters – it was still a promising start to a new series.
“Some hate us, think us outlaws to hang at the gallows. Some fear us, think us demons to burn at the stake. Some worship us, think us children of the gods. But all know us. —Unknown source on the Young Elites”
I felt The Young Elites played with a lot of common YA tropes, and while it successfully subverted some of them with finesse – it also stumbled on others.
The Special Chosen Ones
“I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside. It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.”
In The Young Elites, a small portion of the population has been decimated and forever changed by a blood fever several years ago. It left the survivors marked by those special Mary Sue physical traits: hair in strands of sapphire and red, colourful skin disfigurement, impossible eye colours, or in Adelina’s case: a cascade of silver hair. While in other fantasy novels, these traits may be viewed as desirable or physically attractive. In The Young Elites – the cursed are named malfettos. They are marginalised and feared. The fever also gifted a smaller portion of its survivors with special abilities: whether it’s to call upon wind or weave illusions. Continue reading “Book Review: The Young Elites”→
My Halloween reading continues! While some of this book was confusing, I adored the suspenseful writing and the constant mystery which shrouded the story.
For Ori, dancing came naturally, without a nervous stomach or worries she’d forget the steps. She danced like it was meant to be, in a way that couldn’t be copied, no matter how carefully I watched her move, mirroring my body after hers and trying to get my limbs to loosen up and act more free.
Although I don’t watch ballet in real life, previous consumption of the manga Swan and along with the movie Black Swan – has turned me into an ardent fangirl of ballet related drama. Violet, one of the narrator in this book, is one such competitive ballerina. I love the contrast between the beautiful, pink dancers with the darkness behind the curtains. From the get-go, we get a sense of Violet’s obsession with her art, along with hidden layers about jealousy, bullying, and a bloody homicide or two. Violet is not a protagonist you could root for, but she makes for a fascinating narrator – filled with envy, paranoia, and a frustrating tendency to victimise herself in every situation. Continue reading “Book Review: The Walls Around Us”→
Well, this is super awkward because the last time I mentioned Throne of Glass in a blog post, it was to rail on how disappointed I was. I marathoned the next 3 books over the last 2 weeks and let me eat my words. Never judge a series by its first books, guys. I am a verified fangirl of Celaena & co. In fact, I declare this week to be THRONE OF GLASS WEEK! on the blog 😀
Let be rave on about the ways in which Crown of Midnight was superior in EVERY way to Throne of Glass.