Spoiler-Free Review: How I Magically Messed Up My Life In 4 Freakin' Days by Megan O'Russell
How I Magically Messed Up My Life In 4 Freakin' Days(The Tale of Byrant Adams #1) by Megan O'Russell
Date Started - 13/10/2017
Date Finished - 1/1/2018
Genre(s) - YA Fantasy, Magic
Synopsis: Ever wanted to grow a five-story tall flower in central park? How about fight a deadly battle under the subway tunnels of Manhattan?
Don't worry. I never wanted to either. But if you're ever being chased by ladies made of mist and you have to save the girl with the sparkly eyes you've never had the guts to say actual words to, there's an app for that.
I found a magic cell phone, opened an app I shouldn't have, burned down the set shop for my high school's theatre, and it was all downhill from there. A drag queen seer who lives under a bridge is my only hope for keeping my mom alive, and I think the cops might be after me for destroying my dad's penthouse.
But it gets better! Now I'm stuck being the sidekick to the guy who got me into this mess in the first place. It'll be a miracle if I survive until Monday.
*Requested for review. All opinions are my own and honest*
I was meant to have reviewed this for November, but things sort of piled up and I just didn't really get to properly read it until December. I just didn't have much time to read it, so that's why it took me nearly 4 months to read it. Sorry!
I did read the synopsis before I requested the book, but by the time I started it I'd sort of forgotten what it was about. I knew it was a fantasy and something to do with magic, but that was about it.
Starting it, I did struggle to get in to the story at first, so I did put it down for a couple of days because I was already starting to get into a reading slump and I didn't want to make it worse. I came back to after a week or so and tried it again and read further. The second time round, it pulled me in and I really got a feel for the voice of Bryant, the main character.
It took me a while to understand the characters and the setting, but once I did I was able to really get into he storyline. it took a couple of chapters before the action started and the story began to start. Once Eric was introduced and this mad chase began to take place, I was hooked. From here we got to learn the magic world that is featured in this story and the rivalries. I was completely invested into this new world and I loved getting to learn new things.
As the story developed, the pacing was brilliant. It matched the events perfectly and there seemed to never be a dull moment and when the action really started, I found myself on the edge of my seat.
I liked most of the characters, especially Elizabeth. She wasn't just the pretty girl, she was smart and brave too. She took charge of some of the situations well and overall she seemed like a good example of a strong female character. Bryant had a bit of a crush on her to begin with and I enjoyed seeing him turn into this nervous awkward character around her. You got to see a lot of character development between the pair as they went on this adventure together.
I also really loved Devon, Bryant's best mate, and his humour. I did find it a bit tedious and annoying when Devon and Bryant had some arguments over Elizabeth and her relationship status. Not going to say too much more as I don't want to spoil it, but it just annoyed me as it was like what Elizabeth thought or wanted didn't matter. This did change later and I was glad to see her making her own decisions.
Eric also played a huge part in the story, especially from the middle on to the end. I loved his snarky comments towards Devon and vice versa. Their relationship or lack of was brilliant to read and I found myself laughing out loud at certain comments between the two. Eric was just quite a humorous character and I really enjoyed his part in the development of the story.
Towards the end there are some action scenes that I thought were just brilliantly done by Megan. They were fast and action-packed and they broke up the bits in between well. I was sat on the edge of my seat through some of the tenser ones and I found myself rushing through the pages, desperate to know what was going to happen.
The ending closed up the story well, but left it open to continue easily with the rest of the series to come in the future. I really enjoyed this first instalment and getting to know this new world and set of characters.
Overall, it took me a bit to get into, but from the middle onwards I was completely hooked and sped through the story through December. I'm looking forward to seeing what Megan will bring to this series in the future and I can't wait to see what will happen to Bryant, Devon, Elizabeth and Eric next.
Rate - 3.75/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32231955-how-i-magically-messed-up-my-life-in-four-freakin-days?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/How-I-Magically-Messed-Up-My-Life-in-Four-Freakin-Days-Megan-ORussell/9781976416293
AMAZON - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Magically-Messed-Life-Four-Freakin/dp/1976416299/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1517682144&sr=8-1&keywords=how+i+magically+messed+up+my+life+in+4+freakin%27+days+by+megan+O%27russell
Spoiler-Free Review: Toby Gentle and the Winter Assassin by C.G.Hickling
I've had so many reviews to do in the past weeks and I'm finally catching up now, so this one is a bit late. I received a copy of Toby Gentle and the Winter Assassin by C.G.Hickling from Burst Publishing for review. A big thank you to Burst Publishing!
*I received a free copy of the book in trade for an honest review.*
I'm really excited to get into this review and tell you all about Toby Gentle because as you can probably guess, I really enjoyed it.
Carry on reading!
Toby Gentle and the Winter Assassin by C.G. Hickling
Genre(s) - Middle Grade, Fantasy
Date Started - 28/1/2018
Date Finished - 30/1/2018
Synopsis: Toby Gentle is about to discover when the North Wind blows, it will change his life forever. An unexpected visitor arriving on Christmas Eve, a shocking revelation, and a summons to Silverbells – a mysterious military academy – is just the start. With a new danger threatening the world, Toby must uncover a dark plot, stop an assassin, and find out who he really is - all while trying to make the Mushing team!
Toby Gentle and the Winter Assassin is the first book in a new children's fantasy series by debut author C.G. Hickling. Young and older readers will enjoy discovering his new world of magical snow globes, talking reindeer, blue Ye’ti, psychotic warrior penguins and Figgypud’s chocolates - all set in the wintery backdrop of the North.
"When you hold a book, you hold a universe in your fingertips." - Toby Gentle and the Winter Assassin
This is the first book of a new series, featuring our main character, Toby. Toby hasn't had the best start in life and is living on Bluebell farm with the Gentles. They're not kind people at all, but luckily for him, he's not alone and has his siblings to keep him company. The Gentles don't allow the kids to celebrate Christmas, yet Toby can't help but get excited at the time of year as he hopes maybe that year will be different. There's a surprise one night and Toby is introduced to a whole new world, better than anything he could've imagined. However, it still does have it's problems.
From the start I felt a connection to Toby. I couldn't help but love and care for him, maybe that's partly because of how little love and care he gets. I felt like I was following him on his journey, cheering him on.
The idea of the story was another thing that I loved. I know not everyone celebrates it, but I do love that time of year with all the festive feelings. A book all about Christmas, what else was there for me to want?! I do wish I'd read it in the run up to Christmas, like I'd originally planned because it definitely would've put me in the most festive mood.
When Toby gets introduced to this magical world, the writing was so detailed that I felt all the feelings he felt. The excitement, the hope, but also the sadness he felt at leaving his siblings and the whole situation being just a bit too overwhelming.
With the introduction of the new world, Toby is also introduced to a new family. This is where Donny, Dash and Declan were introduced. I loved these three brothers, especially Dash who I had a soft spot for. They welcomed Toby in and the bond between them continued to grow throughout the story, especially between Toby and Dash. The character development between these two was done amazingly well and by the end, I'd almost forgotten they hadn't known each other forever.
When Silverbells Academy is introduced, the magical level doubles. It's like Hogwarts but all Christmassy! What's more to love?! I loved reading about the lessons and the new things Toby discovered as well as the new friendships he developed. The characters we met along the way were brilliantly done and they all had something different to them. I enjoyed getting to know them all.
There were some huge moments in this book and I found myself on the edge of my seat, urging Toby and Dash on. The pair teamed up and the partnership was brilliant.
There was so much excitement and if it wasn't for my need of sleep, I would've easily stayed up all night to finish this.
One thing that I would've loved to see more of was world building. I felt that we knew all about the characters and the lessons, but we didn't get as clear details about the school and the world. You get little snippets of information here and there, but I wanted to hear more about the history, world and the school. I'm hoping more of this might be in the rest of the series.
Overall, I absolutely adored this book. It took me on a magical Christmas adventure and gave me the escapism I desired. I can't wait for the rest of the series to be released, especially after the cliffhanger this book ended on. I can't wait to see what other adventures Toby and his friends will go on next.
I'd definitely recommend this book to young children, but I feel it's one that a person of any age will get at least a bit of enjoyment out of.
Rate - 4.5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28117725-toby-gentle-and-the-winter-assassin?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Toby-Gentle-and-the-Winter-Assassin-C-G-Hickling/9780993511813
Spoiler-Free Review: The Girl In The Glass Box by Andi Adams
I'm finally back with another review! This time it's for a review book that I requested, The Girl In The Glass Box by Andi Adams. I read this back in November and have been meaning to write my review for it ever since. It's a YA Snow White fairy retelling with some twists.
Carry on reading!
The Girl In The Glass Box by Andi Adams
Synopsis: A witch. An apple. A mirror. That’s all most people think of when they recall the story of Snow White. But the truth is rarely so simple. What if the Queen wasn’t born evil and the princess wasn’t always so pure of heart? Is it possible that these two women could have ended up in one another’s place?
The Girl in the Glass Box tells the story of Agrippine and Genevieve, two women who are not all that different, but who quickly learn through a series of choices, encounters, and devastating losses that the course of their fates can change in an instant. Through the influences of the people they love and lose, both are redefined as their stories head for a different sort of happily-ever-after.
*I requested to review this book through XpressoTours. My review is honest and my own opinion.*
When I requested this, I was really in the mood for it, but I thought I'd leave starting it till it was a bit closer to the review deadline. I do this often and I should know by now that this is a pretty bad thing to do. I ended up losing interest as I normally do and ended up sort of forcing myself to pick it up to just try and start it.
I'm so happy that this book captured me from the start and it was easy to get into as I ended up really wanting to read it. It was easy to settle into and I found the story so interesting, I struggled to put it down at times. I know the story of Snow White well as I used to love it as a child and I was slightly worried on how Andi would interpret/use the fairy tale. I was apprehensive starting it, but I really wish I had done sooner.
In The Girl In The Glass Box, Agrippine is the evil Stepmother and Genevieve is the character Snow White. I thought Agrippine was brilliantly written as she definitely lived up to her evil self and I liked how we got to see some of her childhood to begin with and the reasons behind why she grew up to be who she is. I couldn't help but feel sympathy towards her even though she was quite evil. Genevieve was another great character and I loved how she tried to be a strong female character.
I was hooked to the storyline and there was never a dull moment. I enjoyed how we got to see from Agrippine and Genevieve's POVs and it was cool to see how the two characters differ from each other.
There were some emotional bits and I felt as if a bond had grown between me and these characters and I really didn't want it to end.
The ending was good, but I feel it was rushed a bit. I also feel as if I didn't get to see as big of a reaction from certain characters as I hoped. I thought it was going to be quite emotional and dramatic, but I was left slightly disappointed.
Overall, I enjoyed this book for the most part and I'm glad I read it. I'd definitely recommend if you're looking for a new fairy tale retelling.
Rate - 4.5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30368932-the-girl-in-the-glass-box?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Girl-in-the-Glass-Box-Andi-Adams/9781945495014?ref=grid-view&qid=1513538094400&sr=1-1
If you guys know of any good fairy tale retellings, leave them in the comments below and I'll add them to my list to give a go.
Spoiler-Free Review: Caterpillars Can't Swim by Liane Shaw
I'm finally back with a review! It feels like forever and what a great book to review for my return. I requested Caterpillars Can't Swim through Netgalley a couple of months ago and I really loved it! There will be lots more reviews hopefully coming soon so stay tuned for those. Without further ado, here is my review for Caterpillars Can't Swim by Liane Shaw.
Caterpillars Can't Swim by Liane Shaw
Date Started - 16/9/2017
Date Finished - 16/9/2017
Synopsis: Ryan finds his freedom in the water, where he is not bound by gravity and his wheelchair. When he rescues his schoolmate, Jack, from the water their lives become connected, whether they like it or not. Ryan keeps Jack's secret about that day in the water, but he knows that Jack needs help. The school is full of rumors about Jack's sexuality, and he has few friends. Almost against his better judgement, Ryan decides to invite Jack on a trip to Comic Con he's planned with his best friend Cody, the captain of the school's swim team. The three boys make an unlikely combination, but they will each have the chance to show whether they are brave enough to go against the stereotypes the world wants to define them by.
*I requested this title via Netgalley. All opinions are both honest and my own*
I was looking through Netgalley after finishing all my current review books and saw this one. I read through the synopsis and was instantly interested.
The main character, Ryan, is confined to his chair and is the only one in his small town that uses a wheelchair. His freedom comes when he goes out in the early mornings or when he swims. One morning he's goes out early in his chair and sees something unexpected. Jack's there on a riverbank. Ryan doesn't realise it's him at first because he's not dressed like "normal". Jack comes into trouble as he falls and struggles in the water. Ryan, not knowing what to do, goes in after him and saves his life. From there on their story continues as the pair begin to learn about each other and what happened to Jack that morning.
There is gay and a disabled person representation in this story. I was pleased to see this as I've loved the LGBT+ books that I've read and feel like they've really opened my mind. I also don't think I've read a book before where a person in a wheelchair has been the main character, so it was really nice to be able to.
I thought the book was structured brilliantly and I was immediately sucked in. Originally, I didn't think I'd be able to connect to these characters that well, but I found that I really cared for them and what happened to them. Especially near the end, I was begging for things to go well.
I like the characters, but I'm not too sure about the "friendship" that develops between Ryan and Jack. Around the middle, it felt like Ryan thought it was his responsibility to speak to Jack, rather than himself actually wanting to. I think that changed towards the end for the better, but it just never really felt like a true friendship situation, like I was hoping it would.
This book is quite short (250-ish pages), but I was really immersed in the story. I found some parts really emotional and I'm glad that despite the length, that Liane included that development of the story.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story, but feel maybe the way the characters interacted could've flowed more smoothly. I'd definitely recommend Caterpillars Can't Swim, but keep in mind that this book can be a bit upsetting as one of the characters does have a couple suicidal thoughts as he feels he has no other escape.
If any of you have read Caterpillars Can't Swim, let me know what your thoughts are below!
Rate - 4/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34949098-caterpillars-can-t-swim?from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Caterpillars-Cant-Swim-Liane-Shaw/9781772600537
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