Review of yet another anticipated YA historical fiction Dangerous Alliance | Blog Tour

Review of yet another anticipated YA historical fiction Dangerous Alliance | Blog Tour
Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen

Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen

Publication date: December 3rd, 2019 
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 448
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Historical
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery | Amazon

Synopsis:

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Jane Austen in this witty, winking historical romance with a dash of mystery!

Lady Victoria Aston has everything she could want: an older sister happily wed, the future of her family estate secure, and ample opportunity to while her time away in the fields around her home.

But now Vicky must marry—or find herself and her family destitute. Armed only with the wisdom she has gained from her beloved novels by Jane Austen, she enters society’s treacherous season.

Sadly, Miss Austen has little to say about Vicky’s exact circumstances: whether the roguish Mr. Carmichael is indeed a scoundrel, if her former best friend, Tom Sherborne, is out for her dowry or for her heart, or even how to fend off the attentions of the foppish Mr. Silby, he of the unfortunate fashion sensibility.

Most unfortunately of all, Vicky’s books are silent on the topic of the mysterious accidents cropping up around her…ones that could prevent her from surviving until her wedding day.

– My Thoughts –

Dangerous Alliance was a highly anticipated read of this year as soon as I read the synopsis and the cover. However, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had expected. Let me explain..

The story is about Victoria(Vicky), the daughter of an Earl, who has to marry to prevent her family’s estate from falling into the wrong hands. Vicky daydreams about dashing Austen heroes like Darcy and likes to channel Austen heroines like Elizabeth Bennet when her wits fail her. She never imagined that her life would be so un-Austen like. Life has more surprises for Vicky as she encounters not only a mysterious man(who tried to kill her) and her childhood best friend Tom! Tom, now earl of Halworth, has come back from the continent but his hands are full with his late father’s debts and memories of abuse. He cares for Vicky but can’t forget his duty to his remaining family. Soon, suitors start to arrive and Vicky has to make a decision before it is too late to save her family.

What I liked were the cover, Jane Austen references, the hint of mystery and some of the secondary characters. I also liked that each chapter opened with quotes which hinted at about what’s to come.

What I didn’t like were:

  • Vicky being attacked but this incident is quickly overlooked. Although, I have to give some leeway as to the news that followed after this attack is much more important at that time.
  • Vicky is attacked quite a few times after this but everyone is all chill. Why? I found this so strange and lost any urge to stay invested in the story.
  • the ROMANCE. I just didn’t see it. I like my broody boys but Tom Halworth was so not a Darcy. He had no substance, nothing that could make me root for him and Vicky. To be honest, I much preferred Vicky with the Carmichael guy.

Overall, I would recommend this if you’re an Austen lover, would love to read a regency historical fiction in YA or are looking for a book with friends-to-lovers trope with a hint of mystery in the plot. I had high hopes for this book and I had personally requested an ARC from the publisher before joining the blog tour. I still will be looking forward to Cohen’s next book and I hope you give this (book) a chance even if I didn’t like it.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review and to the FFBC for including me in the blog tour!

Check out the entire blog tour schedule here

– About the Author –

Jennieke Cohen (JEN-ih-kah CO-en) is used to people mispronouncing her name and tries to spare her fictional characters the same problem. Jennieke writes historical fiction for young adults inspired by real people and events because life is often stranger than fiction. She studied English history at Cambridge University and has a master’s degree in professional writing from the University of Southern California. Jennieke loves exploring new locales but always returns home to Northern California where the summers are hot, the winters are mild, and life is casual. 

You’ll find more info about the world of DANGEROUS ALLIANCE on Jennieke’s website or you can say hi on Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest where she can often be found posting about writing, TV, and things of the Jane Austen persuasion.

Thank you for reading! Do you think you’ll read Dangerous Alliance? If you’ve already read it, then I’d love to know what you thought! 

What happens when all your dreams come true? It kind of does in Poemsia by Lang Leav. Check out my thoughts on the book in this post..

What happens when all your dreams come true? Find out in Poemsia by Lang Leav | Blog Tour
Poemsia by Lang Leav

Poemsia by Lang Leav

Publication date: October 1st, 2019 
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 304
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

Award-winning author and poet Lang Leav presents a YA novel that is an absolute fan pleaser!

Verity Wolf dreams of being a poet—not that she’d ever admit it to anyone. Her best friend Jess thinks she’s definitely got what it takes, while her cat, Zorro is characteristically indifferent. As for the cute boy she’s just met, he’s about to discover her best kept secret.

When Verity stumbles on an old, mysterious book, Poemsia, she finds herself suddenly thrust into the dizzying world of social media stardom, where poets are the new rock stars and fame is sometimes just a click away.

International bestselling author, Lang Leav takes you into the shadowy world of contemporary poetry in this revealing and emotionally charged story about friendship, first love, betrayal, and the courage to follow your dreams.

– My Thoughts –

Poemsia is a book for those who want to be published authors in this era of influencers, in this era where “cancel culture” exists and internet might make you a celebrity(or trash) overnight.

“In the words of Jean de La Fountaine, ‘A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.”

This is my first time reading a Lang Leav book and I can say that I liked it. Let me explain..

The protagonist here is Verity Wolf, who loves poetry very much and lives with her grandfather or Pop. Her parents passed away when she was little and grandmother left a few years ago as well. Verity lives a normal life: has a best friend called Jess, manages her Pop’s bookstore and writes poems. One day, she discovers a poetry book called Poemsia and the poems in it feel so surreal to her(and her bff) that it’s as if Verity wrote the book herself! Verity would’ve never realized that this book -written by #godknowswho- would catapult her to the status of an Instagram celebrity. Verity’s claims of not having written this poem goes unheard and suddenly she’s mentioned on TV as the author of this poem. From then on, Verity with her best friend Jess’s help sets out to self-publish her poems(the ones she wrote). She also meets a cute boy, her favourite poet, and the toxic side of fame. Verity will soon have to decide between leaving her home to pursue her dreams and staying home which could be the end of all.

“There’s no way to be a poet. You can’t choose it because it chooses you. Maybe your soul refracts the universe in all its complex beauty and you are a shard of light in its great hallway of mirrors. The universe calls and compels you to write poetry because with every ounce of its being, it yearns to know itself through you.”

The writing was beautiful, or shall I say, quote-worthy. However, the pacing felt too fast for me; it was like I was in a rollercoaster and the ride was exhilaratingly good but now the adrenaline’s worn off and I don’t know what the f**k just happened. Verity was a relatable and lovable character for sure; I loved her passion for poetry and her dreams of becoming a published author. This has a wonderful portrayal of female friendships as well. Without Jess, Verity would never have published her poems online or in print and the way the duo were always there for each other was so wonderful to watch. The romance between Verity and Sash(Sebastian) felt a little too cheesy for me and the whole on-and-off girlfriend part was a headache to read.

The character development was done well for almost all the characters and I loved the addition of Mena Rhodes'(Verity’s idol) character. Mena was necessary to the plot and she offered both Verity -and us- a view of what really happens when you become a celebrity. Since this is a book about a lover of poetry, I do wish that there were snippets of poems between chapters or even at the end.

“Poemsia is about coming to the end of the book and not wanting to say goodbye to your favourite characters. The struggle of parting ways, real and imaginary.”

Overall, I would recommend this if you’re looking for a beautifully written book about reaching for your dreams, friendship, first love, family, goodbyes, the effects of fame and of course! if you love Lang Leav’s writing.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review for including me in the blog tour!

– About the Author –

Novelist and poet, Lang Leav is an international bestselling author and winner of a Qantas Spirit of Youth Award, Churchill Fellowship and Goodreads Choice Award. Often credited with popularizing poetry among a new generation of young readers, Lang’s poetry books, and hit novel, Sad Girls continue to top best seller charts around the world.
Lang has been featured on CNN, SBS Australia, Intelligence Squared UK, Radio New Zealand and in various publications, including Vogue, Newsweek, the Straits Times, the Guardian, and the New York Times.
She currently resides in New Zealand with her partner and fellow author, Michael Faudet.

Thank you for reading! Have you read Poemsia or any of Lang Leav’s poetry? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 


Review of yet another sensational thriller SAFE HOUSE, from the author of Sticks and Stones

Review of yet another sensational thriller Safe House, from the author of Sticks and Stones
Safe House by Jo Jakeman

Safe House by Jo Jakeman

Publication date: October 31st, 2019 
Publisher: Harvill Secker
Pages: 336
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Buy: Amazon(99p) | Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

Charlie just wants to be forgotten but everyone else wants to know her story…

The morning after a terrible storm, a woman turns up in a remote Cornish village. She has bought the crumbling cottage that has lain empty for over a decade, and she’s going to make it her home. She calls herself Charlie, but it’s a name she’s only had for a few days. She keeps herself to herself, reluctant to integrate with the locals. Because Charlie has a secret.

Charlie was in prison for providing a false alibi for a murderer. But Lee Fisher wasn’t a murderer to her; he was the man she loved. Convinced of his innocence, Charlie said she was with him the night a young woman was killed. That lie cost her everything.

And now she has the chance to start again. But someone is watching her, waiting for her, wondering if she’s really payed the price for what she did.

– My Thoughts –

Steffi Finn fell in love with Lee Fisher, then she went to jail because of him. Now, years later, she’s been released and she wants to start over in a new town with a new identity. Steffi is now Charlie, living in a sleepy little village in Cornwall. No-one here seems to recognise her and life seems good but not for long. As Charlie starts to renovate her house, she feels that she’s being watched. Accidents start happening every other day and Charlie can’t think who might be set on harming her. Her ex Lee Fisher is in jail and any other enemies she’s acquired because of him shouldn’t be able to find the “new” her….right?

Written in alternate timelines and dual POVs, we learn what kind of a person Steffi was before she became Charlie. We see how Lee controlled her and how Steffi couldn’t believe that he was a serial killer. It kinda reminded me of Ted Bundy..Lee Fisher was charming and manipulative sure, but he didn’t fit the profile of a serial killer(not at first glance, at least). Steffi was a victim of Lee’s too and it’ll break your heart reading her character arc.

The pacing was good even if I had a bit of trouble getting into it during the beginning. The setting of the village where Steffi/Charlie settled and the uneasiness she felt every moment was perfectly written. I liked the unpredictability of the twists as the author kept my mind working to find out who Steffi/Charlie’s stalker was and why was he/she(/they) were trying to kill her.

Overall, I would recommend this book if you’re looking for a slow-burn thriller with a captivating female lead. This story literally gives a terrifying meaning to the phrase “Love is blind.”

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review and for including me in the blog tour!

Safe House by Jo Jakeman

– About the Author –

JO JAKEMAN was the winner of the Friday Night Live 2016 competition at the York Festival of Writing. Born in Cyprus, she worked for many years in the City of London before moving to Derbyshire with her husband and twin boys. Safe House is her second novel and Sticks and Stones was her debut thriller.

Thank you for reading! Do you like reading thrillers? If you’ve read Safe House or the author’s debut, then I’d love to know what you thought!