Friday, 12 February 2016

BLOG TOUR: Remembrance by Meg Cabot Review and Giveaway


Today I am thrilled to be taking part in the final day of the blog tour for Remembrance, the 7th book in The Mediator series by the fabulous Meg Cabot, hosted by Me, My Shelf & I. Here are my thoughts on the book, and details on how you can win a copy of Shadowland, the first book in the series.

Series: The Mediator #7
Pages: 400
Source: Edelweiss
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: February 2nd 2016
Genre: Adult Fantasy & Paranormal
Buy The Book: Amazon - B&N
Goodreads

The highly anticipated return of Meg’s bestselling Mediator series featuring fan-favorite ghost whisperer, Susannah Simon.

You can take the boy out of the darkness. But you can’t take the darkness out of the boy.

All Susannah Simon wants is to make a good impression at her first job since graduating from college (and since becoming engaged to Dr. Jesse de Silva). But when she’s hired as a guidance counselor at her alma mater, she stumbles across a decade-old murder, and soon ancient history isn’t all that’s coming back to haunt her. Old ghosts as well as new ones are coming out of the woodwork, some to test her, some to vex her, and it isn’t only because she’s a mediator, gifted with second sight.

What happens when old ghosts come back to haunt you? If you’re a mediator, you might have to kick a little ass.

From a sophomore haunted by the murderous specter of a child, to ghosts of a very different kind-including Paul Slater, Suze’s ex, who shows up to make a bargain Suze is
certain must have come from the Devil himself-Suze isn’t sure she’ll make it through the semester, let alone to her wedding night. Suze is used to striking first and asking questions later. But what happens when ghosts from her past-including one she found nearly impossible to resist-strike first? 

My Thoughts:
Where do I even start? The Mediator series was the love of my life whilst I was in my teens. It was the series that first drew me into the YA genre, a genre which I have remained hugely passionate about since then. I owe a lot to Meg Cabot and her books. I couldn’t believe it when Meg announced she’d be releasing an adult update to the series, and I have been eagerly awaiting it for the past couple of years. Suze and Jesse, all grown up. I was so excited!

Suze is engaged to Jesse, but they are far from being married yet. Jesse is trying to secure a grant to help further his medical career, and Suze is working for free at her old high school just to get some experience. And as if Suze wasn’t stressed enough, Paul Slater reappears in her life with news that he’s planning to demolish her old home, the house in which she and Jesse fell in love. 

First of all, let me start by saying how much I related to Suze in this book. No, I am not engaged to a ridiculously attractive, Spanish former-ghost, nor can I communicated with the dead, but I can totally sympathize with the several spot-on rants about graduate life. Having to work for free because no one is willing to pay you after college? I feel you, sister.  

Suze Simon is back on top form in Remembrance, and I was so happy to have her back in my life! She remains one of my all-time favorite female characters because I can’t get enough of her attitude. With confidence, wit, and plenty of sass, she’s an utter joy to read about, and her dialogue was as hilarious as ever. There really aren't enough characters like her in the literature world.

It was great to see Suze and Jesse working together on a ghostly mission once again, though it took me a little while to adjust to Jesse actually being alive this time around! He was back to being the oh-so-hot Spanish God I remember him being. Seriously, he will forever be my ultimate book-boyfriend. 


I also enjoyed getting to catch up with all of the other characters from the series and see how they were getting on now. Meg spared us no details on all the gossip. Seeing Suze’s step-brothers again was great, especially David (he’s still my favorite). Also, if it's possible, I think I love CeeCee more now than I did when I first read the series! Paul, on the other hand, I disliked even more this time around. He's still a complete slime-ball. Will he ever truly redeem himself? I have no idea.

As for the plot itself, it was full of twists and turns. Just when you thought you’d figured something out alongside Suze, a new detail was thrown into the mix. The story was filled with the same thrilling energy that the rest of the series always thrived on. There were also a few emotional scenes with regards to the sensitive subject at the heart of this plot that were handled well.

I’m so thankful to be given the chance to once more delve into the lives of these wonderful characters. There wasn’t one aspect of this novel the left me feeling disappointed, and I am delighted with the ending. Thank you to Meg for a wonderful addition to this series, it was everything I wanted it to be and more!

Royal Rating:










 ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Meg Cabot was born in Bloomington, Indiana. In addition to her adult contemporary fiction she is the author of the bestselling young adult fiction series, The Princess Diaries. Over 25 million copies of her novels for children and adults have sold worldwide. Meg lives in Key West, FL, with her husband. 


GIVEAWAY
One winner will get a physical copy of the first Mediator novel, SHADOWLAND Must be 13+ To Enter | Ships in US only | See Terms & Conditions for full contest rules before entering some restrictions apply

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Monday, 8 February 2016

REVIEW: The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury

Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Scholastic
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: February 4th 2016
Buy The Book: Amazon - Waterstones

Return to the darkly beautiful world of The Sin Eater's Daughter with a sequel that will leave you awed, terrified . . . and desperate for more.

Ever since her brother Lief disappeared, Errin's life has gone from bad to worse. Not only must she care for her sick mother, she has to scrape together rent money by selling illegal herbal cures. But none of that compares to the threat of the vengeful Sleeping Prince whom the Queen just awoke from his enchanted sleep.

When her village is evacuated as part of the war against the Sleeping Prince, Errin is left desperate and homeless. The only person she can turn to is the mysterious Silas, a young man who buys deadly poisons from Errin, but won't reveal why he needs them. Silas promises to help her, but when he vanishes, Errin must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war to seek another way to save her mother and herself. But what she finds shatters everything she believed about her world, and with the Sleeping Prince drawing nearer, Errin must make a heartbreaking choice that could affect the whole kingdom.

My Thoughts:
Melinda Salisbury has done it again; she’s completely consumed my life with another story. When I read The Sin Eater’s Daughter, I couldn’t put it down for two days straight. Now here I am again, trying to bring myself back to reality after another binge on the sequel, The Sleeping Prince

I didn’t know what to expect going into this book, because instead of being told by Twylla, the protagonist of the previous story, this one follows Errin Vastel, the sister of Lief, Twylla’s former love interest. I was a little apprehensive about how the story would work switching narratives, but I had nothing to worry about. This story was brilliant from start to finish. 

The prologue alone tore my heart out. THAT PROLOGUE. Honestly, I’m never going to be over it. If I thought the story would start off lightly, I was highly mistaken. We’re thrown straight into the drama from those first few pages. I had to put the book down for a moment to come to terms with what had just happened.

We meet some new characters in this story. Our current protagonist Errin is feisty and wonderful, and she broke my heart with her level of dedication to protect her mother. And we also meet Silas Kolby. Oh my goodness, did I adore him. Learning more about him throughout the book was a joy. 

The story is fast paced throughout and I adore Melinda’s writing style because whilst she spares no detail, every word is chosen with care. There weren’t any paragraphs that were unnecessary. I also adored how this book linked up with The Sin Eater’s Daughter in a really clever way. The Sleeping Prince himself was an awfully chilling character and the few scenes he was in were utterly creepy. 

THE ENDING. I still haven’t fully processed my thoughts on that ending, and I can’t really say too much for fear of spoiling but OH MY GOD??? Just when I thought this story couldn’t throw another twist at me, it drops the mother of all cliff-hangers. WHEN CAN I GET MY HANDS ON THE NEXT BOOK?

I can’t praise this story enough because there really wasn’t a dull moment to be found. It’s a beautifully written tale that is jam-packed with surprises and strong characters. I’m so excited to see what’s in store next. What will happen to these wonderful characters?? Who knows??? I can’t wait to find out.

P.S. If you haven't read The Sin Eater's Daughter yet, what are you waiting for? Go read the thing.

Royal Rating:



 

Thursday, 4 February 2016

REVIEW: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Pages: 400
Format: Kindle
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Puffin Books
Genre: Historical
Release Date: February 4th 2016 (UK)
Buy The Book: Amazon - Amazon UK


It's early 1945 and a group of people trek across Germany, bound together by their desperation to reach the ship that can take them away from the war-ravaged land. Four young people, each haunted by their own dark secret, narrate their unforgettable stories. Fans of The Book Thief or Helen Dunmore's The Siege will be totally absorbed.

This inspirational novel is based on a true story from the Second World War. When the German ship the Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk in port in early 1945 it had over 9000 civilian refugees, including children, on board. Nearly all were drowned. Ruta Sepetys, acclaimed author of Between Shades of Grey, brilliantly imagines their story.

My Thoughts:
I’ve mentioned before that Ruta’s novel Between Shades of Gray was the book that inspired me to create this blog. After reading it, I had no one to discuss it with and instead found my way to Goodreads, which led me to start posting my bookish thoughts on here. She has been one of my favourite writers since then. So needless to say, I was massively excited to read her latest story, Salt to the Sea.

This book follows four characters on their individual journeys, and eventually their paths cross. Throughout the book, we get to learn their four very different stories. I was unsure how I’d feel reading a story from four narratives because usually I prefer single, but this book would not have worked without being told in the way it was. 

Salt to the Sea tells of the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustlov, an often forgotten part of history that shouldn’t be ignored. Over 9000 people lost their lives trying to evacuate Germany on the ship. I’m so grateful that Ruta decided to share this story because before reading the book, I had never even heard of this ship, much less knew of the horrifically high death toll. 

The characters within this story are beautifully written and I was utterly sucked into their fight to survive. Although difficult to read at times, I’m glad that Ruta included Alfred’s story, a Nazi sailor, because it was interesting to see things play out from his point of view, in a shocking contrast to the other characters. 

Joana, Florian, and Emilia were such strong and determined characters, and I loved seeing them bond despite the circumstances. I adored all of the characters dearly, but knowing the theme of this story, I knew that a happily ever after for everyone wasn’t going to be the case. Ruta injected so much realism into the characters and their struggles, making every word believable. 

There is no doubt that this is a harrowing tale, but it’s an important one. It’s crucial that we read and learn historical stories like this so that we do not forget those lost in such a horrific event. The characters in Salt to the Sea are fictional, but the tragedy was very much real, and this book shows us a glimpse of what it must have been like for those who suffered. I was reduced to tears several times, but I am so thankful I had the opportunity to read this story.


Royal Rating:










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