Book Review: Mexican Gothic, written by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Book Review: Mexican Gothic, written by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Hello everyone! Today I’m going to be reviewing Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, published by Quercus Books(UK) on June 30th. The first book I read and loved by Moreno-Garcia was The Gods of Jade And Shadow. Mexican Gothic proved to be even more of a captivating and stunning book.

Continue reading “Book Review: Mexican Gothic, written by Silvia Moreno-Garcia”

Book Review: If We Ever Meet Again, written by Ana Huang

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to review Ana Huang’s NA contemporary romance, If We Ever Meet Again, book one of If Love Duet. It’s available on Amazon KU and on kindle for only $1.31!

Continue reading “Book Review: If We Ever Meet Again, written by Ana Huang”

DARK SKIES(DARK SHORES #2) by DANIELLE L. JENSEN BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY

DARK SKIES(DARK SHORES #2) by DANIELLE L. JENSEN BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the blog tour for Dark Skies by Danielle L. Jensen hosted by FFBC! It’s the second book in the Dark Shores series but there are new protagonists this time around.

Dark Skies(Dark Shores#2) by Danielle L. Jensen

Publication date: May 5th, 2020 
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: 464
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy
Buy: GOODREADS | BOOK DEPOSITORYWordery | B&N

Synopsis:

A RUNAWAY WITH A HIDDEN PAST
Lydia is a scholar, but books are her downfall when she meddles in the plots of the most powerful man in the Celendor Empire. Her life in danger, she flees west to the far side of the Endless Seas and finds herself entangled in a foreign war where her burgeoning powers are sought by both sides.A RUNAWAY WITH A HIDDEN PAST Lydia is a scholar, but books are her downfall when she meddles in the plots of the most powerful man in the Celendor Empire. Her life in danger, she flees west to the far side of the Endless Seas and finds herself entangled in a foreign war where her burgeoning powers are sought by both sides.

A COMMANDER IN DISGRACE Killian is Marked by the God of War, but his gifts fail him when the realm under the dominion of the Corrupter invades Mudamora. Disgraced, he swears his sword to the kingdom’s only hope: the crown princess. But the choice sees him caught up in a web of political intrigue that will put his oath – and his heart – to the test.

A KINGDOM UNDER SIEGE With Mudamora falling beneath the armies of the Corrupter, Lydia and Killian strike a bargain to save those they love most—but it is a bargain with unintended and disastrous consequences. Truths are revealed, birthrights claimed, and loyalties questioned—all while a menace deadlier and more far-reaching than they realize sweeps across the world.

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– My Thoughts –

You don’t need to read Dark Shores to read Dark Skies as it’s set in a different world with an entirely different cast of characters..well, except one.

In Dark Skies, we follow Teriana’s(from Dark Shores) friend Lydia to a place called Mudamora where there’s politics, Gods, and so many other things at play.

The story begins in Celadon, and during the same timeline as Dark Shores. Lydia escapes from Cel and lands in Mudamora where she comes face-to-face with two dangerous things, only one of them won’t kill her. Killian, marked by the God of war and the commander of his King’s army, meets Lydia during a fight. He saves her life and in return, Lydia repays him by saving him. This is where we stumble into a whole new world; a world where a god would suddenly appear and bestow their ‘gifts’ upon you. The gifts can be healing, fighting, growing things, water breathing, etc.

I love Danielle Jensen’s writing which gets better with every book. I never thought I’d be able to finish this book in a day, but I did. The pacing is wonderful and even though there are so many things happening, you’ll forget your bathroom break and watch(err.. read). There are assassination plots, mysteries, magic, chases, a BLIGHT(Or, a virus. I should’ve included a trigger warning) zombies, evil god, evil army leaders, more evil people, more scheming.. There’s a lot of slashing people, and more darkness.

I loved Lydia and Killian. They were both compassionate, loyal, brave and so very human. When I say ‘human’, I mean that they feel afraid, helpless, anxious considering the fact that they were god marked. The other characters in the book like Malahi, Killian’s mother, brother, Finn were written impeccably well, with just enough context to their characters.

Overall, I would highly recommend this if you love fantasy, great characters, a couple that you’ll root for, magic, politics, intrigue, plot twists, and of course if you loved Dark Shores!

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


– Giveaway – 

Win one copy of DARK SKIES. Enter here. Open to US residents only! Ends on May 19th, 2020

Click this link to see the entire Tour Schedule. Make sure to visit the rest of the tour stops to get more chances to win!


– About the Author –

Danielle L. Jensen is the USA Today bestselling author of The Malediction Trilogy (Angry Robot), the Dark Shores series (Tor Teen), and The Bridge Kingdom series (Audible Originals). She lives in Calgary, Alberta with her family. Follow her on:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

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Thank you for reading! Do you think you’ll read Dark Skies? Have you read Dark Shores or any of the author’s books? I’d love to you thoughts in the comments below! 

ARC Review: My Dark Vanessa, written by Kate Elizabeth Russell

ARC Review: My Dark Vanessa, written by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Hi everyone! Today I’ll be reviewing My Dark Vanessa and while it has been on my list of 2020 releases to look out for, the book was too dark for me to review it in depth. This book deals with topics such as child grooming and sexual abuse so be prepared before you dive into it.

Night Spinner by Addie Thorley

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Publication date: March 10th, 2020 
Publisher: Harper Collins/ Fourth Estate
Pages: 384
Genre: Fiction, Adult
Buy: Book DepositoryWordery 

Synopsis:

Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.

2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.
2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?

Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.

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– My Thoughts –

My Dark Vanessa is one of the most uncomfortable reads I’ve had the pleasure of reading. A sentence I never thought I’d utter.

We read the book from Vanessa(the protagonist)’s perspective where she doesn’t see herself as a victim at first. The entirety of the book has scenes that made me throw the book and rush outside to try and control my emotions; to remind that while the situations are hardly fictional but the story I was reading is.

The story alternates between 2008 and 2017 and we see how Vanessa is groomed and then raped by her teacher Jacob Strane. The battle Vanessa has with the realisation that she has been abused rather than anything else is described so painfully well that it gets under your skin. You grow up reading horror stories about mythical monsters and ghosts and whatnots but the real monsters are ones right in front of us, entangled in our daily lives. Teachers like Jacob Strane and other figures you probably see on the news and some you don’t see.

The book goes on for long, too long when it wasn’t really needed. Sometimes the lines would blur and it felt as if the sex scenes were romanticized. Besides those grievances, there were similarities to Lolita and #MeToo; another piece of reality would slap you in the face when you see how the people close to Vanessa responded to her.

Overall, I don’t whether to “recommend” it. If my friends ask for a recommendation, I don’t know if I’ll blurt out My Dark Vanessa as the first answer. This novel is dark and claustrophobic starring a real-life monster that will make you want to tear said monster from limb-to-limb. For a debut novel, if I were still rating, I’d rate My Dark Vanessa a solid 4/5 stars.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!


– About the Author 

Kate Elizabeth Russell was born and raised in eastern Maine. She holds an MFA from Indiana University and a PhD from the University of Kansas. My Dark Vanessa is her first novel.

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Thank you for reading! Do you read books that are out of your comfort zone? Will you read My Dark Vanessa? If you’ve already read it, then I’d love to know what you thought as well! 

A perfectly twisty thriller from Sophie Hannah | Book Review: Perfect Little Children

Perfect Little Children by Sophie Hannah

Perfect Little Children by Sophie Hannah

Publication date: February 4th, 2020 
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 336
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

All Beth has to do is drive her son to his Under-14s away match, watch him play, and bring him home.

Just because she knows her ex-best friend lives near the football ground, that doesn’t mean she has to drive past her house and try to catch a glimpse of her. Why would Beth do that, and risk dredging up painful memories? She hasn’t seen Flora for twelve years. She doesn’t want to see her today, or ever again.

But she can’t resist. She parks outside the open gates of Newnham House, watches from across the road as Flora and her children Thomas and Emily step out of the car. Except… There’s something terribly wrong. Flora looks the same, only older. As Beth would have expected. It’s the children. Twelve years ago, Thomas and Emily were five and three years old. Today, they look precisely as they did then.

They are still five and three. They are Thomas and Emily without a doubt – Hilary hears Flora call them by their names – but they haven’t changed at all.

They are no taller, no older… Why haven’t they grown?

Trigger Warnings: Miscarriage, Infant Death, Abortion, Child Abuse⁣

– My Thoughts –

Perfect Little Children is a standalone thriller/psychological suspense, also known as “Haven’t They Grown”, from the author of The New Hercule Poirot Mysteries and other mystery novels. Even though this book had an interesting premise, I found it a bit too far-fetched in some places.

Beth, our protagonist, takes a detour while dropping off her son at his football match. My confusion, my “head-scratching” starts from here. I wondered why would she suddenly park her car in front of her ex-best friends’ old house. Flora and Lewis Braid who were once close friends of Beth and her husband’s, have now moved to Florida with their three children. After dropping off her son at his match, Beth drives back to her friends’ old house and notices Flora Braid entering her home. However, that’s not THE surprise. The surprise is that Flora’s two children Thomas and Emily looked exactly like they would’ve 12 years ago.

The story gets crazier from here on and I had to constantly remind myself that this is fictional.

After Beth drives back home, she confides in her husband and daughter Zannah and both of them are dubious about the whole incident but Beth has unwavering faith in what she saw. So, she starts investigating and her daughter starts helping her too; soon, they realize that indeed something sinister is going on. Beth’s husband was also supportive of her need to uncover the secrets despite being aggravated by her obsession at times. There are several twists which with the pace demand your attention to the book; however, all the build-up gave way to a very dissatisfying ending.

What I didn’t like was every time Beth reminded Zannah to revise for her GCSEs, she was the one who quickly forgot about it. I would’ve liked to see Beth’s son solving these mysteries alongside his parents and sister too but we see very little of him. I have already mentioned how disappointed I was with the conclusion.

Overall, I would recommend this book if you loved Sophie Hannah’s previous books or if you’re looking for a mind-bending thriller with a unique premise.

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


– About the Author –

Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 27 countries. In 2013, her latest novel, The Carrier, won the Crime Thriller of the Year Award at the Specsavers National Book Awards. Two of Sophie’s crime novels, The Point of Rescue and The Other Half Lives, have been adapted for television and appeared on ITV1 under the series title Case Sensitive in 2011 and 2012. In 2004, Sophie won first prize in the Daphne Du Maurier Festival Short Story Competition for her suspense story The Octopus Nest, which is now published in her first collection of short stories, The Fantastic Book of Everybody’s Secrets.

Sophie has also published five collections of poetry. Her fifth, Pessimism for Beginners, was shortlisted for the 2007 T S Eliot Award. Her poetry is studied at GCSE, A-level and degree level across the UK. From 1997 to 1999 she was Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge, and between 1999 and 2001 she was a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. She is forty-one and lives with her husband and children in Cambridge, where she is a Fellow Commoner at Lucy Cavendish College. She is currently working on a new challenge for the little grey cells of Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s famous detective.

Thank you for reading! Will you add Perfect Little Children / Haven’t You Grown to your tbr? Have you read any of the author’s previous books? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!