Monday, 20 August 2018

Review: Vox by Christina Dalcher

I was so glad to be part of this Vox Blogger day, it was such a great read, definitely one I'l recommend to whoever will listen to me.

Here it is:

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Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial--this can't happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end. 

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.

I'm going to make this a short and sweet review, as in this book women are, after all, only allowed 100 words. This will be more than that, but shorter than my usual ramblings in honour of the plot.

One word sums up this book: wow. It is is a chilling concept, and a book that keeps you on your toes until the end trying to guess what will happen. It really is terrifying to think that something like this could actually come to pass if people aren't careful.

Character wise - I think I have a new favourite "villian" in Reverend Carl - he is a horrible human and you really learnt to hate him while reading - though Morgan was a close second.

Just, to be quick, I blew through this book because it was so spectacular, and I just want more - I want to know what happened after the end of the book, and I just want more books like it.

I give this: 5 cats.


Have you read this book? If not, it's out now and I highly suggest you go and grab a copy! Comment below with your thoughts.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Blog Tour: The Secret Legacy by Sara Alexander

So, today is my stop on the blog tour for this amazing book. I got a proof copy of this book at the HQ summer showcase, and I just flew through it. I was so glad to get a place on the blog tour.



Today, Sara is talking about her top 5 spots in Italy, as this book is set in the beautiful Positano, and I highly recommend buying a copy!



My Top Five Spots in Italy

Italy is my ancestral home and the one that has infused my identity with a passion for good food with a side of good yarn shared over a full table. I would like to boast that I have exhausted the country, delved into every mountainous crag, breath taking forest and turquoise bay it has to offer but I would be stretching the truth even further than a fiction writer. I have been lucky to visit a lot so far and my list of to-sees grows annually and with much pleasure – I haven’t told the family officially but I’ve day-dreamed my jaunt to Venice for the very near future.

Till then, here are some of the top places I have spent time in and would urge anyone to make plans to travel to.

1. Sardinia

I’m biased of course, because my mother is from this island and I feel like I’m very much descendant from that tribe of diffident cooks and storytellers that it’s famed for. Sardinia is a land of mystery and tumultuous history, it is jagged mountain silhouettes and breath taking turquoise sea coves with some of the freshest seafood you might ever have. Don’t stay hogging the beach though, there are fantastic archaeological sites dotted around the island as well as the spectacular Gennargentu national park at its centre.

2. Rome

This city seduced me a few years ago and we are still in the first throws of romance, where you struggle - or care little to - spy the fault lines in one another. I love the verve of this city, the swagger, the chaos, the unexpected surprises of antiquity as you walk through it. I adore the food, and how readily available it is. I love getting lost there, following my nose to the next nook or market. I’ve dodged the tourist crowds and let my wanderings take me further afield, and that’s something I would urge any traveller to do. I’m currently working on the second draft of a book set here so am indulging my imagination in retracing those steps with pleasure.

3. Positano

It is easy to fall in love with this cliffside town, especially if you catch it before half the world descends, just at the precipice of late spring. Take shoes that are made for walking not prancing because everywhere you go you’ll need to climb hundreds of steps. It makes digesting the twice-daily injections of gelato easier to digest. I love to escape uphill and walk the Path of the Gods, a fantastic hike that winds around the cliff edge for spell binding views of the Amalfi coast. I visited Pompei the last time I went to Positano and like the thousands of people who did so before me, left captivated by its spell. On my first visit to Positano in 2005, the idea of The Secret Legacy sprang into existence and gnawed at me to be written ever since.

4. Sicily

I was lucky to work on a film on location in Sicily and found it an intoxicating place. Perhaps it was the whole experience of being on set that added to the glamour of my memories there, but I loved the earthiness of the culture, the spice of its history, the clashing tones of the Sicilian dialect so different in rhythm from those on the mainland. I’d urge a traveller to make time to lose themselves along the coast around Noto, visiting the tiny towns that dot the east coast, fishing villages that are made up of one main street and small restaurant huts on stilts with narrow jetties that lead from the shore toward them where you can eat the freshest sea food in Italy. Take a plate and dive into their sea food antipasti buffets, squeeze one of their fresh lemons into a glass of cold sparkling water with a side of hearty red and you will have my version of heaven.

5. Cinque Terre

This is the area close to Genoa that is a cluster of picturesque villages with buildings painted dainty hues against the craggy dark blue coast. It is a ritzy part of the Ligurian world (I’m a lover of simple pleasures but pair it with regular dips in luxury), one where the hip Genoans take their swanky shoes on a well-heeled Sunday parade. This is the land of pesto so know that you will have a beautiful experience of that glorious garlic basil marriage. Make time to eat it with trofie, the traditional handmade pasta twists that are the perfect pairing to the sauce, catching every nuance of that lustrous olive oil, rich pine nut, tangy parmesan, fragrant locally grown basil and punchy garlic in one mouthful.

Buon Viaggio!


Saturday, 21 July 2018

Blog Tour: Splinter by Joshua Winning


So, today is my stop on this blog tour, and I'm so excited to be sharing my review for this amazing book, which is the last in the series!

I've previously reviewed the past books as well if you want to read them (Book One, Book Two - mini review)

Here's the info for this book:

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“All who stand against us shall perish”

The critically acclaimed Sentinel Trilogy comes to a thrilling conclusion in this final instalment of the dark fantasy series.

The world is falling apart around Nicholas Hallow. Amid rumours that the Dark Prophets have returned, a deathly gloom pollutes England, unleashing a savage hoard of nightmare creatures. Fighting the tide of evil, Nicholas returns home to Cambridge, where an old ally helps him seek out the mysterious Skurkwife, who could help Nicholas stop Malika and the Prophets for good.

Meanwhile, Sam Wilkins unites the Sentinels against the forces of darkness, but with Jessica's sanity slipping, and Isabel suspicious of her shadowy past, it's a battle that could cost the Sentinels everything.

To describe this book I will just say this: wow. This was the perfect conclusion to a thrilling trilogy, and it definitely kept you on your toes until the end guessing what would happen.

I am so happy I got to read this so soon after finishing the second book, it was left in a place where you knew you just had to pick up the next book, and I was not disappointed at all. I think I was most happy to finally get some backstory on Malika - she is one of my favourite baddies going now, and I have been waiting for more information on her since the first book - and Joshua came through. Her backstory was amazing (you'll just have to read it to find out how good it was).

I have to admit that this book will keep you gasping with some of the twists, there was so much that I wasn't able to guess what would happen, and usually I'm quite good at that. It was so action packed near the end that you kind of felt that you were there with them, it really helped you imagine you were in the midst of everything, and I love it when a book does that.

So, I'm giving this book 5 cats, definitely an amazing conclusion to a trilogy, and I'll always wish for more from this world that Joshua has built.


I highly recommend this series if you love a bit of fantasy with mystery mixed in, have you read any in this series? Comment below!

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Blog Tour: Floored!


"I wake up with a jolt when one of the packages slides off the pile on my lap and into the footwell."


Oops, I must be careful with these packages, don't want to ruin them. I'm Sasha, and if you haven't heard, we're doing a big book launch party for the book that's based on our group's crazy meeting, and our lives afterwards.

I came up with this idea that we should do a blind date with a book for the table centrepieces. It's such an interesting idea, and everyone loved the sound of it, so I've got a boatload of packages all wrapped up nicely with a nice little description about the book on a tag.

Which one would you pick up?

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"He was called a swot. The perfect friend. Perfect son. But is that all he really is? Family problems, friendship problems, work experience problems. What will he do now? This is all about him taking his chance, and what happens after."

"Sometimes life can throw you into mysterious places. This book is about a girl who was just trying to help out her dad when a chance moment changes her life. Could it have been different? Who knows. But this is the story of the dutiful daughter who finally realises what she wants."

"I bet you know all about quintessential bad -boys? How about rich bad-boys? The players? You may not know everything about this one. You'll just have to read to find out."

"I bet you think all teen stars end up with perfect lives? Not this one. 'Washed-up' is what many people describe him as, 'ugly', 'reverse-Longbottomed'. But what happens when he has a chance to find his way after a string of bad years? You'll have to read to find out."

"Ever wondered what it's like to lose your sight? To be paranoid that everyone knows it? This girl does. But she will meet a group of people that will change her outlook on life forever."

"You might think this is just a general romance, after all it does include a few Mr Wrongs. It's not. Instead, it's about a girl trying to find her way in the world and realise she doesn't necessarily have to live the life her upbringing would dictate to her."


I bet everyone's in for a surprise though, because (if you haven't guessed yet) all the books are the lovely new Floored book! We all thought that as it's so diverse it's kind of like having a book per person, so there should be a description for each!

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Cool or not? We liked it so it's happening!

I can't wait to see you all at the launch party, we're hosting it up North somewhere because it's where we all met.

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And that's it from Sasha, but here's some info for the book, which is out soon!

The Breakfast Club meets One Day in Floored, a unique collaborative novel by seven bestselling and award-winning YA authors: Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson and Eleanor Wood.

When they got in the lift, they were strangers (though didn't that guy used to be on TV?): Sasha, who is desperately trying to deliver a parcel; Hugo, who knows he's the best-looking guy in the lift and is eyeing up Velvet, who knows what that look means when you hear her name and it doesn't match the way she looks, or the way she talks; Dawson, who was on TV, but isn't as good-looking as he was a few years ago and is desperately hoping no one recognizes him; Kaitlyn, who's losing her sight but won't admit it, and who used to have a poster of Dawson on her bedroom wall, and Joe, who shouldn't be here at all, but who wants to be here the most.

And one more person, who will bring them together again on the same day every year.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

June Wrap-Up!

Yet another wrap-up for a busy travel-reads month! Some great things have been read and reviewed, and these are just a few of them with some mini-reviews attached.

Ruins (Sentinel #2) by Joshua Winning

23503711I loved the first book in this series, but with so much to do it took me a while to get round to reading this which was a shame as it was even more action packed than the last book was, and kept me hooked when I had time to read.

I loved meeting all the new characters - my favourite being Nale with his faithful dog Zeus - and it was definitely interesting to see a few new POVs too - specifically Rae and Dawn (though Dawn's POV didn't last too long). I always think it's nice to get some back stories - and this book done that perfectly, which really helped me to connect to the characters a bit more. Though, I admit I still would have loved to see more of Malika's backstory!

Plus, I think this book was left in the most enticing way possible - it made me want to read the next one ASAP - but I'll be saving it for a little while longer. I give this book 5 cats!



Ariadnis By Josh Martin

30983420I got this book when I went to Drink YA in one of the goodybags, and it looked so interesting that I picked it up relatively quickly considering my TBR pile is getting larger and larger. I loved the premise, and the plot kept me hooked wondering just where this would turn out.

I think the one downside I could find was the short chapters, switching between the two MCs did confuse me a bit at first because I got a bit confused as to who was who and trying to figure out the two different cities, but I got over that and then I got sucked in.

I think one of the cutest things were the illustrations of the MCs on the back inside cover, they really helped me to imagine everything, that and the illustration of the two cities before the book started. Overall, definitely an interesting read, and I saw there was another book in the series which I will definitely be picking up! I give this book 4 cats!

Ascension by Victor Dixon

39862087So, I got this on Netgalley, and then won a finished copy in a competition on twitter, but I was a bit late to read it. Which is such a shame because it was amazing.

I've not read many space books, but it seems to be something that's coming back, and I kinda love it because there are so many takes on space to go for, and this was just one amazing take on space travel. Speed dating has always interested me - how can you possibly meet someone and decide so quickly on if you like them or not? - and add in a bit of space this made this such an interesting read!

I already want the next book, even though this has just come out, and I can't wait to see what will happen to everyone after the crazy conclusion! I give this: 5 cats!



Under a Sardinian Sky by Sara Alexander

33650464I got invited to a HQ event, where they showed off some upcoming books. A lot of them weren't my usual (AKA they were adult fiction not YA) but I picked up lots of new books including this one.

I adored it. That's all that I can say really. It was such a nice refreshing read, just what I needed when I was in a bit of a YA slump, and it made me really just want to go to Sardinia to see if it's as beautiful as the author described it.

I think what I liked most about this book was the fact that it was a mix of historical and modern day, which is something I do love in books, and it also had a tiny bit of mystery so I was left guessing what would have happened to the MC throughout. Plus, it was so nice to go back to a romance read, I used to read them a lot more a few years ago, but got into Fantasy after a while instead.

Overall, I give this 5 cats! I'll definitely be reading more like it (and I picked up the authors next book so that will be interesting!)