A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
Posted on Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 by Emily May

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa TahirA Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
Published by Penguin on August 30th 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 464
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Elias and Laia are running for their lives.
After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.   Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars' survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.  But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.
Bound to Marcus's will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape...and kill them both.
From the Hardcover edition.

I realize I am not staring into his eyes. I am staring into my future.
I see it for a moment. Pain. Suffering. Horror. All that I love, all that matters to me, awash in blood.

Oh my god. I loved it.
Read more… »

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
Posted on Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 by Emily May

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn GreenwoodAll the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
Published by Macmillan on August 9th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Literary
Pages: 352
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

A beautiful and provocative love story between two unlikely people and the hard-won relationship that elevates them above the Midwestern meth lab backdrop of their lives.
As the daughter of a drug dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. It's safer to keep her mouth shut and stay out of sight. Struggling to raise her little brother, Donal, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible adult around. Obsessed with the constellations, she finds peace in the starry night sky above the fields behind her house, until one night her star gazing causes an accident. After witnessing his motorcycle wreck, she forms an unusual friendship with one of her father's thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold.
By the time Wavy is a teenager, her relationship with Kellen is the only tender thing in a brutal world of addicts and debauchery. When tragedy rips Wavy's family apart, a well-meaning aunt steps in, and what is beautiful to Wavy looks ugly under the scrutiny of the outside world. A powerful novel you won’t soon forget, Bryn Greenwood's All the Ugly and Wonderful Things challenges all we know and believe about love.

Right up until that moment it was sweet and funny. Odd couple that they were, they had a real connection. Then he tugged her boot off and kissed the bottom of her bare foot. I could see him doing that kind of thing to his own kid, but she wasn’t. She was somebody else’s little girl.

This book destroyed me. I have never read anything like it. If you know the basic premise – that this is a so-called “love story” between an adult man and a female child – you might be thinking Lolita! But nah, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is a completely different beast.

Ugly and wonderful really are great descriptors for this story. The best thing about it is the completely unsentimental storytelling that, with its constant switching between perspectives, as well as alternating first and third person, beautifully presents a dark tale of childhood, family and abuse.

It’s so… not manipulative. The author narrates a series of events, using gorgeous writing, but it’s a fantastic example of how showing works so much better than telling. We are never told how to feel. We are allowed to be disgusted, sad and angry on our own terms, and we are allowed to draw our own conclusions about the relationship this book portrays.

I came to the end of the novel with my mind reeling, my emotions scattered, and completely unsure exactly what I did feel about it… but one thing is certain: I felt. Oh hell, I felt.

She nodded against my arm and after that, we were quiet. We didn’t need to talk. We just laid there watching falling stars go streaking white through all that darkness.

The story is about a girl called Wavy and it is a tale that spans around fifteen years. Through the perspectives of Wavy’s cousin, brother, teachers and friends, as well as Wavy herself, the story of her childhood emerges as one filled with physical and emotional abuse. Her mother is a drug addict, her father is violent, and her mother’s issues with eating and germs manifest in Wavy’s behaviour, which, in turn, earns frustration from her teachers and fellow pupils.

Then a motorcycle accident brings Kellen into her life. Kellen is a big guy with his own history of abuse at the hands of his father. Called a “fat slob” and generally thought of as a waste of space his whole life, there is an instant connection between these two outsiders.

While uncomfortable, disgusting and often graphic, it is so emotionally confusing because Kellen is not another Humbert. His motivations in his relationship with Wavy are loneliness and compassion, and he is not driven by sexual agenda. In fact, Wavy seems somehow removed from the regular notion of sexuality, existing on a plane where she is not an adult or child, male or female, but simply Wavy. Just herself.

I’m sure it will provoke many conflicting reactions, but there remains one overwhelming certainty: it’s hard to not react passionately to it. Whether you view Wavy and Kellen as two unfortunate victims of their personal circumstances, or as a child being abused by an adult who should know better, their story is a compelling one.

Sad and disturbing. I don’t think I’ll ever get these characters off my mind.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Railhead by Philip Reeve
Posted on Wednesday, May 4th, 2016 by Emily May

Railhead by Philip ReeveRailhead by Philip Reeve
Published by Capstone on April 1st 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 352
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

The Great Network is an ancient web of routes and gates, where sentient trains can take you anywhere in the galaxy in the blink of an eye. Zen Starling is a nobody. A petty thief from the filthy streets of Thunder City who aimlessly rides the rails of the Network. So when the mysterious stranger Raven offers Zen a chance to escape the squalor of the city and live the rest of his days in luxury, Zen can't believe his luck. All he has to do is steal one small box from the Emperor's train with the help of Nova, an android girl. But the Great Network is a hazardous mess of twists and turns, and that little box just might bring everything in this galaxy — and the next — to the end of the line. The highly anticipated novel from Carnegie-medal-winning author Philip Reeve, Railhead is a fast, immersive, and heart-pounding ride perfect for any sci-fi fan. Step aboard — the universe is waiting.

“Aren’t you curious? Don’t you want to know what’s beyond that gate?”

This is a book for the curious. This is for those readers who get excited by possibility. If you like the idea of a great, wild universe spread out before you, full of mysteries and secrets, then I highly recommend you step into this world.
Read more… »

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry
Posted on Wednesday, April 13th, 2016 by Emily May

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie BerryThe Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry
Published by Penguin Young Readers Group on April 12th 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 496
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

I must write this account, and when I have finished, I will burn it.    Buried deep within the archives of a convent in medieval France is an untold story of love, loss, and wonder and the two girls at the heart of it all.    Dolssa is an upper-crust city girl with a secret lover and an uncanny gift. Branded a heretic, she's on the run from the friar who condemned her mother to death by fire, and wants Dolssa executed, too.   Botille is a matchmaker and a tavern-keeper, struggling to keep herself and her sisters on the right side of the law in their seaside town of Bajas.   When their lives collide by a dark riverside, Botille rescues a dying Dolssa and conceals her in the tavern, where an unlikely friendship blooms. Aided by her sisters and Symo, her surly but loyal neighbor, Botille nurses Dolssa back to health and hides her from her pursuers.  But all of Botille's tricks, tales, and cleverness can't protect them forever, and when the full wrath of the Church bears down upon Bajas, Dolssa's passion and Botille's good intentions could destroy the entire village.

The pure song of a nightingale, a rossinhol, rang across the water, ending in a trill. It was an hour for sprites and fairies. What magic might lurk among the riverbank grasses? Anything was possible just before dawn.

Read more… »

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Posted on Thursday, April 7th, 2016 by Emily May

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuireEvery Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Published by Macmillan on April 5th 2016
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 176
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere... else.
But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.
Nancy tumbled once, but now she's back. The things she's experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West's care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.
But Nancy's arrival marks a change at the Home. There's a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it's up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of things.
No matter the cost.

“We went down, and at the bottom there was a door, and on the door there was a sign. Two words. ‘Be Sure.’ Sure of what? We were twelve, we weren’t sure of anything. So we went through.”

Read more… »

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
Posted on Sunday, March 20th, 2016 by Chantal

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie RutkoskiThe Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux on March 29th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 496
Format: ARC
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.

But no one gets what they want just by wishing.

As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?

Are you really a boy, like Xash says? the god asked Arin. You’ve been mine for twenty years. I raised you.
The Valorian signed the scrap of paper.
Cared for you.
The message was rolled, sealed, and pushed into a tiny leather tube.
Watched over you when you thought you were alone.
The captain tied the tube to hawk’s leg. The bird was too large to be a kestrel. It didn’t have a kestrel’s markings. It cocked its head, turning its glass-bead eyes on Arin.
No, not a boy. A man made in my image…one who knows he can’t afford to be seen as weak.
The hawk launched into the sky.
You’re mine, Arin. You know what you must do.
Arin cut the Valorian’s throat.

I’m speechless.

This book was the perfect ending to one of my all-time favourite series. I can’t believe it’s over. But it was a beautiful ride, Marie Rutkoski, a truly beautiful ride.

Let’s do some reminiscing. When I first picked up The Winner’s Curse my expectations were pretty low. Books with girls in dresses on the cover? Focused primarily on romance? Not really my thing. However, as soon as I started the novel two things became very clear.

Read more… »

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork
Posted on Wednesday, February 17th, 2016 by Emily May

The Memory of Light by Francisco X. StorkThe Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork
Published by Scholastic Inc. on January 26th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

When Vicky Cruz wakes up in the Lakeview Hospital Mental Disorders ward, she knows one thing: After her suicide attempt, she shouldn't be alive. But then she meets Mona, the live wire; Gabriel, the saint; E.M., always angry; and Dr. Desai, a quiet force. With stories and honesty, kindness and hard work, they push her to reconsider her life before Lakeview, and offer her an acceptance she's never had. But Vicky's newfound peace is as fragile as the roses that grow around the hospital. And when a crisis forces the group to split up, sending Vick back to the life that drove her to suicide, she must try to find her own courage and strength. She may not have them. She doesn't know. Inspired in part by the author's own experience with depression, The Memory of Light is the rare young adult novel that focuses not on the events leading up to a suicide attempt, but the recovery from one -- about living when life doesn't seem worth it, and how we go on anyway.

Somewhere in me I probably had the strength to not kill myself. But I was tired of looking for strength. Tired of being strong. That’s what I did to make it through… each day, go through the motions of being strong. I put on strong every morning. I’m sick of faking strong.

Read more… »

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson
Posted on Monday, January 25th, 2016 by Emily May

We Are the Ants by Shaun David HutchinsonWe Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson
Published by Simon and Schuster on January 19th 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 464
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Henry Denton has spent years being periodically abducted by aliens. Then the aliens give him an ultimatum: The world will end in 144 days, and all Henry has to do to stop it is push a big red button.
Only he isn’t sure he wants to.
After all, life hasn’t been great for Henry. His mom is a struggling waitress held together by a thin layer of cigarette smoke. His brother is a jobless dropout who just knocked someone up. His grandmother is slowly losing herself to Alzheimer’s. And Henry is still dealing with the grief of his boyfriend’s suicide last year.
Wiping the slate clean sounds like a pretty good choice to him.
But Henry is a scientist first, and facing the question thoroughly and logically, he begins to look for pros and cons: in the bully who is his perpetual one-night stand, in the best friend who betrayed him, in the brilliant and mysterious boy who walked into the wrong class. Weighing the pain and the joy that surrounds him, Henry is left with the ultimate choice: push the button and save the planet and everyone on it…or let the world—and his pain—be destroyed forever.

Your entire sense of self-worth is predicated upon your belief that you matter, that you matter to the universe.
But you don’t.
Because we are the ants.

Read more… »

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The Child Thief by Brom
Posted on Saturday, November 7th, 2015 by Chantal

The Child Thief by BromThe Child Thief by Brom
Published by Eos on August 17th 2010
Genres: Retelling, Fantasy, Horror
Pages: 481
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Peter is quick, daring, and full of mischief—and like all boys, he loves to play, though his games often end in blood. His eyes are sparkling gold, and when he graces you with his smile you are his friend for life, but his promised land is not Neverland.

Fourteen-year-old Nick would have been murdered by the drug dealers preying on his family had Peter not saved him. Now the irresistibly charismatic wild boy wants Nick to follow him to a secret place of great adventure, where magic is alive and you never grow old. Even though he is wary of Peter’s crazy talk of faeries and monsters, Nick agrees. After all, New York City is no longer safe for him, and what more could he possibly lose?

There is always more to lose.

Accompanying Peter to a gray and ravished island that was once a lush, enchanted paradise, Nick finds himself unwittingly recruited for a war that has raged for centuries—one where he must learn to fight or die among the “Devils,” Peter’s savage tribe of lost and stolen children.

There, Peter’s dark past is revealed: left to wolves as an infant, despised and hunted, Peter moves restlessly between the worlds of faerie and man. The Child Thief is a leader of bloodthirsty children, a brave friend, and a creature driven to do whatever he must to stop the “Flesh-eaters” and save the last, wild magic in this dying land.

Read more… »

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

End of Day by Jewel E. Ann
Posted on Thursday, October 8th, 2015 by Angela

End of Day by Jewel E. AnnEnd of Day (Jack & Jill Series, #1) by Jewel E. Ann
Series: Jack & Jill #1
Published by Jewel E. Ann on August 17th 2015
Genres: Mystery & Thriller, Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 424
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life.

Four caskets. Two bodies.

Jessica and Jude Day witness their funeral and that of their parents a few yards away from mourning family and friends. Stripped of the only life they’ve ever known, the Days say goodbye to San Francisco forever.

Six months later, two thirty-year-old misfits with elite self-defense skills and penchants for alcohol, sex, and trouble arrive like an earthquake to Peaceful Woods, a retirement community in Omaha, Nebraska, that thrives on rules and gossip. Welcome home, Jackson and Jillian Knight.

Jackson celebrates his new beginning by embracing his job and wiping his cavalier past clean with a temporary oath of celibacy. But Jillian’s past is branded into her soul—the deaths, the insanity, Dr. Luke Jones, and the need to make her lovers bleed. Her chance for redemption comes in the form of a next door neighbor, one Senior Master Sergeant Monaghan. He’s sexy, dangerously alluring, and riddled with emotional issues from years of service. He’s also … So. Damn. Grumpy.

Their mission is simple: Let go, start over, don't kill anyone, and pray that nobody wakes the dead.

**THIS BOOK CONTAINS EXPLICIT LANGUAGE AND SEXUAL CONTENT 18+

Reading is one of my favorite pastimes, but when you’re an avid reader who reads well over 100 novels per year, many books tend to blend together. Authors that bring something fresh to the table stand a better chance of producing work that stands out. Jewel E. Ann brought her A-game with End of Day, and I can honestly say I’ve never read anything like it. She has woven together a gripping, intriguing, and clever novel that I could not put down. What a fantastic start to the Jack & Jill series.

Read more… »

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Social Geeks



 
Geek Tube

 
The Bloggers
Hi! I'm Emily May but feel free to call me Emily. I'm a book lover, beta-reader, and Politics graduate from the North of England.

Hey there! I'm Brandi; I'm a Navy veteran, Army wife, mother, feminist and book lover! My go-to genre would have to be Urban Fantasy, but any fiction is game really.

Read more about us?
Instageek
Following
The Readers Den
Cuddlebuggery
The Midnight Garden
Great Imaginations
The Nocturnal Library
For the Love of Words
Rose Petals
The Broke and the Bookish
Sufficiently Distracted
Xpresso Reads
The Social Potato
Deadly Darlings
Ivy Book Bindings
The YA Kitten
The Book Nookery
It's a Books World
previous post: Silver-Tongued Devil (Sabina Kane, #4) by Jaye Wells