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My Week Ahead in Books #16

I finished Half Bad and loved it (did I mention that already?) so now I get to start something new! I have wanted to read A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens for a long time. Ok, this desire mostly came about from reading The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare because A Tale of Two Cities is referenced a lot. I’ve read a few of Dickens’ novels and loved them so I really want to read another and this seems like a good place to start. Plus, I have a really pretty old green edition which I will post a picture of.

What are you reading this week?

Filed under my week ahead in books books reading currently reading half bad sally green a tale of two cities charles dickens tid cassandra clare

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Review: Half Bad by Sally Green
As you may have seen me mention, I bought this book because I liked the cover. I’m ok with admitting that. There’s no blurb on the back but it was in the young adult section and I decided it was a safe bet that I would like it. I was very lucky. The insides meet and exceed the quality of the attractive cover. In a UK where witches are real and are governed and monitored by a Council, Nathan is faced with the problem of being a half White Witch and half Black Witch. White Witches are trusted, Black Witches are not. Soon he will be assigned one label and whatever it is, it will change everything.
Nathan comes from a family of White Witches but is drawn to the mystery of his father, Marcus, one of the most notorious Black Witches. The question of nature vs nurture is raised and is a question that surrounds Nathan’s life. As the Council becomes more and more eager to control Half Codes like Nathan, Nathan’s life and future hangs in the balance as he must make a decision about who he will become. As some White Witches become more and more hostile, the lure of the Black Witches becomes very tempting.
I loved this book. I didn’t know what to expect at all and I’m so glad that it was what it was. This isn’t high fantasy. Aside from the witch element to the story, the descriptions of various locations in the UK and Europe feel very normal and that becomes quite unsettling. The addition of witches feels entirely possible and very real. Sally Green’s writing is quite claustrophobic and tight which works brilliantly for Nathan’s growing unease with his identity. The story is so dominated by this lore of the witches that you become engrossed very quickly. An easy book to get into, I challenge you not to become addicted.
This is a refreshing take on YA fantasy. It’s a book about Witches that fantasy and non-fantasy fans alike would enjoy. If you read this or have read it, let me know what you think! I’m intrigued to hear other people’s opinions because I, for one, am eagerly awaiting the sequel.
Rating ***** 5 stars

Review: Half Bad by Sally Green

As you may have seen me mention, I bought this book because I liked the cover. I’m ok with admitting that. There’s no blurb on the back but it was in the young adult section and I decided it was a safe bet that I would like it. I was very lucky. The insides meet and exceed the quality of the attractive cover. In a UK where witches are real and are governed and monitored by a Council, Nathan is faced with the problem of being a half White Witch and half Black Witch. White Witches are trusted, Black Witches are not. Soon he will be assigned one label and whatever it is, it will change everything.

Nathan comes from a family of White Witches but is drawn to the mystery of his father, Marcus, one of the most notorious Black Witches. The question of nature vs nurture is raised and is a question that surrounds Nathan’s life. As the Council becomes more and more eager to control Half Codes like Nathan, Nathan’s life and future hangs in the balance as he must make a decision about who he will become. As some White Witches become more and more hostile, the lure of the Black Witches becomes very tempting.

I loved this book. I didn’t know what to expect at all and I’m so glad that it was what it was. This isn’t high fantasy. Aside from the witch element to the story, the descriptions of various locations in the UK and Europe feel very normal and that becomes quite unsettling. The addition of witches feels entirely possible and very real. Sally Green’s writing is quite claustrophobic and tight which works brilliantly for Nathan’s growing unease with his identity. The story is so dominated by this lore of the witches that you become engrossed very quickly. An easy book to get into, I challenge you not to become addicted.

This is a refreshing take on YA fantasy. It’s a book about Witches that fantasy and non-fantasy fans alike would enjoy. If you read this or have read it, let me know what you think! I’m intrigued to hear other people’s opinions because I, for one, am eagerly awaiting the sequel.

Rating ***** 5 stars

Filed under half bad sally green books ya review 5 stars

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My Week Ahead in Books #14

This post is a little late this week because I couldn’t decide what to read! I have bought/been given lots of books recently which is a great problem to have and I couldn’t decide. I’ve chosen Half Bad by Sally Green which I definitely bought because it has a pretty cover (see earlier post). I started reading it this morning and the writing style is very compelling, I’m intrigued to see where it will go.

What are you reading this week?

Filed under my week ahead in books half bad sally green books ya reading rtw

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Review: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

In a world dominated by a military lifestyle, Kestrel, the General’s daughter, is trying to find her place. When she pays over the odds at auction for a slave, for reasons unbeknownst to even herself, she sets off a trail of events which force her to make some important decisions about her future. The slave, Arin, has many secrets which will impact upon Kestrel’s life and the lives of those around her.

This book is set in a militaristic alternate world which owes a lot to the Greco-Roman traditions. I really like that while this is still a kind of fantasy, it’s almost an alternate history because some of the traditions and social systems can be found in our own history books. What is particularly refreshing about this book is that Kestrel is not an amazing fighter by any means, but she does have a brilliant mind. She thinks through strategies and shows her intelligence. The way in which she reads people’s emotions and motives reminds me of Katniss in The Hunger Games. It is always good to read about a YA heroine who is valued for her sharp mind.

The characters are well drawn, particularly the two main ones, Kestrel and Arin. Kestrel and Arin’s interactions are dominated by what the slave/mistress dynamic means to them and how it changes everything. This makes for interesting reading as their relationship is constantly shifting and they cannot take any truth for granted. The plot moves on at a fair pace and is certainly one that you’ll be thinking about when you’re not reading it.

This is the first in a trilogy and it is set up brilliantly for the next book. When I was reading, I could not think how there could be any kind of ending to this but Rutkoski manages it and is able to really open up the story to leave you wanting the next instalment right away.

Well worth a read! Check it out when it is published in the UK on 3rd July. The perfect series to begin reading this summer.

Rating - **** 4 stars

Filed under the winner's curse marie rutkoski books ya review 4 stars

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Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Em and Finn are trapped in cells next door to each other and the only way to change their situation is to travel back and change the past. The stakes are pretty high for these two teens as they attempt to thwart the controlling influences which have so dramatically impacted on their lives. In a world where time travel has become possible, Em and Finn must ensure that the power to control the past, which has fallen into the wrong hands, is used only for the right reasons.

The plot is interesting and I like the ideas that it presents. Em and Finn must avoid running into their younger selves even though they play pivotal roles in the mission they have to complete. They also have to try and change different elements of their recent history to see what has the greatest effect in the future. The book is fairly fast-paced and will ensure you are eager to find out how the complexities can be resolved.

The writing isn’t brilliant, particularly in the first half of the book. There are a few dodgy similes when a simple description would’ve sufficed. I enjoyed the plot and the fact that it kept me interested but its conclusion left me slightly baffled. I won’t give away any spoilers but it wasn’t as clear and satisfying as I was hoping for.

It’s a diverting read and will engage you but it’s not quite what I feel it could’ve been with a little more editing and character depth, perhaps.

Rating - ** 2 and a half stars.

Filed under review all our yesterdays cristin terrill books 2 stars

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Here are some photos I took at today’s Divergent premiere in Leicester Square. I was by the area where the stars arrived and got out of their cars. Theo James, Kate Winslet, Shailene Woodley and Veronica Roth all spent a long time signing autographs and posing for photos before heading down the rest of the red carpet. Shailene looked stunning in a blue dress, I didn’t get a good photo of that. It was a great atmosphere, everyone was very excited and the stars gave as much time as they could to the fans before being lead away. It was a very fun day! I have a few other photos on my phone which I’ll post too.

Very excited to see the film, hopefully going on Friday!

Filed under divergent divergent premiere books veronica roth ya theo james shailene woodley kate winslet premiere film Leicester square