Book Review · Books

The Tether – Julia Ash [BOOK REVIEW]

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As soon as I read The One and Only, the first book of the ELI Chronicles, I knew I had to finish the series. When Julia Ash reached out to me, letting me know the second book, The Tether, is available for review – I obviously jumped at the opportunity!

It took me a bit to get to it due to my busy schedule, but once I finally got my hands on The Tether and started reading it, I couldn’t put it down.

The Tether continues where the first book finished – Ruby managed to save the Earth from the ZOM-B disease and a possible zombie apocalypse, being the only person with a unique blood type that can provide a cure. And then she got turned to a vampire. 

And when everything seems quiet, things are starting to escalate again. Ruby’s blood donors are from another planet, and one of the donors is the King of Darkness, an ancient vampire who is in search for food – animals and humans on Earth. And once again, it is up to Ruby to save the planet and her family. Only this time, she discovers she has way more power than she thought.

If you read my review on Book One, you will know I was confused and angry with how the first book ended. Right after a Zombie Apocalypse, we had a vampire ending. For a moment, I thought that once you start mixing too many things up, it can get confusing. But this series somehow manages to keep it all together, and it all logically makes sense. I just fear that perhaps people might not agree with me and find it confusing. I didn’t though.

Ruby, again, was my favourite character. She had to go through so much, and then learn to finally embrace it. She kept herself down on Earth, despite her power, and that made me like her even more. I also respect her so much for sacrificing herself for a greater cause, and always putting her family first!

Clay, oh, Clay…

We never got along buddy. But I couldn’t help but feel for Clay in this book, and he is slowly growing on me. He has to slowly age and then die, while his wife is immortal. Secretly, I hope he becomes a vampire too, so they can spend their eternity together, even though, let’s be honest, he won’t really bring anything much to the table. But I loved, how he sacrificed himself for his family, and stood up against bullies, even if they were immortal vampires.

I loved our main villain in this book – Zagan. For he had reasoning for everything he did, even though it was wrong. He had a purpose and a goal, and he did have a pinch of good inside him. But he also had evil, and that was never gonna change.

Interestingly enough, and a big no-surprise for me was the government. Their corruption and the depths that they were willing to go to reach their goal was scary – and very accurate to what actually is currently happening in the world. The fear is also represented, and how differently they react as soon as they see someone who has more power than them. Their thinking of making new people similar to this one case, that they could use for greater goals. This moment was captured in the book in a great way, as it is a great discussion point and a very painful subject at the same time for some people.

The new planet, new characters, new powers was an interesting switch within the book. I didn’t expect that at all, but I was pleasantly surprised with how it all fitted in. It was all well thought of, The Tether story, the tree, the blood connection with Ruby, the link between the planet and Earth, the concept of how people lived their belief of healing what they were hurting and keeping the balance. The one thing that confused me was the mentions of their heartbeats, as I thought vampire’s hearts don’t beat.

I really enjoyed The Tether and it ended perfectly, getting us ready for the third book and Ruby’s next challenge. I highly recommend it – it is a real page-turner with incredible plot twists! 

Thank you to the author, Julia Ash, for sending me a copy of The Tether, in exchange for an honest review!

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Book Review · Books

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

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In the year 2118, in New York City there’s a thousand-story tower. It has everything you could imagine inside, and there is no need for you to ever get out.

The floor you live on represents your status. The higher you live, the more money you have, which means you become more popular. The rich people don’t necessarily hang around with the poor, and gossips spread faster than lightning. The thousandth floor is the top!

But then one night, at a party, one girl falls down from the rooftop of the tower, and the mystery remains – what exactly happened that night? 

Despite all the mixed reviews I’ve seen for this book, I actually really enjoyed it! The world is futuristic and I loved reading about all the different cool items and gadgets that the author was writing about.

The main character that we have is Avery Fuller, who lives on the thousandth floor of the tower. She has been genetically designed to only have the best genes from her parents, and is, therefore, perfect. But then – SPOILER ALERT – she is in love with her brother, who is actually adopted, so not her brother. And as weird as it might seem, they are not related in any way, and the romance was beautifully written. And a lot of you people have been giving this book a bad review because of this reason, but some of you also happen to love ”City of Bones” by Cassandra Clare, who features Clary and Jace, who started with the same background?

Apart from Avery, there were many other characters as well, all of them different and all of them unique at the same time. A girl that works as a main in a rich boy’s house, a girl who is best friends with Avery but doesn’t feel she belongs there, a girl that suddenly finds out she is not rich anymore and has to move onto the lower floors of the tower, a hacker who wants to earn money, no matter the what… The book is written from all these character’s points of view, and I loved the variety and also how all these characters connect to each other in an interesting way. They all have goals, dreams, hopes, fears, and everything is surrounded in drama.

If you love Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars or the TV Show Riverdale, I guarantee you will enjoy this one. It’s full of mystery, drama, romance, sci-fi and luxury. 

Thank you to my sister, for letting me read this book. I borrowed it from her and will unfortunately have to give it back soon…

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Book Review · Books

A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier

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When the team from LoveReading UK contacted me regarding A Single Thread, all I knew was that I loved Girl With A Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier and would therefore read any other book she writes.

A Single Thread follows the life of Violet, during the year 1932, a few years after the First World War. Violet has lost her brother and fiance in the war and is still learning to cope. She is labelled as a ”surplus woman” by the society, a woman that in unlikely to marry.

With the grief, the society label and the suffocation of her mother, Violet starts a journey that will change her life.

She is determined to find where she belongs and who she truly is, in a time where being a woman and succeeding on your own was not praised by others.

Her journey starts with a long walk in a few towns, something she used to do with her late father and brother, and it continues with her learning canvas embroidery (today knows as needlepoint), and the beautiful art of bell ringing (which pleasantly reminded me of The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo, a book I read in high school and one I should re-read).

With Tracy’s writing, it is always so easy to lose yourself in the book and teleport to the past and re-live every scene as if you’re there. It is such a pleasurable experience.

I loved Violet, and I loved how she coped with all challenges of that era. Post First World War times were extremely hard, with too many men dying and too many women not being able to ever marry. Violet’s courage and hope kept moving her forward!

This novel yells courage. It yells freedom. It yells independence. And standing along Violet, while she finds courage when you least expect to was a moment I will cherish.

I recommend it to you, if you love novels in the war time period, or novels that talk about courage!

Thank you to the team at LoveReading UK, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Book Review · Books

Living My Best Li(f)e by Claire Frost

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Fast and chill reads are always the hit for me. I definitely enjoy drinking my hot chocolate and cuddling my blanket while reading a chill book on my sofa. ” Living My Best Li(f)e ” was a modern-day book, that captures today’s problems, and it felt familiar, because I have seen these problems in my surrounding. It focuses mostly on social media, and the differences between what we present online, and who we really are in the real world. 

We have one woman – Bell – who is about to turn 40, and her comfort is broken when her man decides to leave her after years of togetherness.

We also have another woman, Millie, in her mid-thirties, and her little son Wolf (who names their child Wolf?). Millie fell in love with a football star Louis and had a child with him. To her disappointment, she realized the man she is in love with is the most unreliable parent in the world. She also happens to be an Instagram star, that only shows the world what she wants them to see.

While the followers see expensive dresses and well-behaved child, the reality shows that Millie takes a picture of the dresses and returns them to the shop, unable to afford them. She is also receiving calls from Wolfie’s school that he has not be behaving in his best manners.

When these two women accidentally meet, they turn out to be besties. In fact, they became besties so fast, that I had to laugh out loud at how bizarre and unrealistic that was. Do you ever go to a coffee shop, say hi to a person, and then THE SAME DAY, THE SAME CONVERSATIONS you both start sharing your deepest secrets? Yes – it was that bizarre.

I really wanted to love ” Living My Best Li(f)e ” , as it captured a lot of problems. But it only captured the surface of these problems, then solved them instantly and moved on. And I wasn’t satisfied. There were so many little plot problems that the author kept adding to the book randomly to keep the story going, and kept resolving them one by one – no anticipation, no hunger for one more chapter. Disappointing.

First of all, all the characters were not realistic. We have this woman that keeps saying she can be on her own, but she also keeps complaining every second of the day.

Then, we have this other woman, who seems like such a person that everyone is looking up to, but in fact, she is too scared to say no to her ex-love and father of her child, and she keeps up with all his nonsense on a daily bases.

Last, but not least, we have the 5-year-old Wolf boy, who talks like a 20-year-old boy, but behaves like a toddler, and I don’t know how to react to that.

And finally, we have ”the rest of the characters”, who were mentioned and had their own roles in the book, but didn’t have enough of a back story or air-time in order to be remembered by the audience.

The author also introduced us to a plot twist, that came out unexpectedly – but suddenly the government were about to destroy their community center and it was up to them to collect money and save this place in a record time. How convenient for the story, right? With no building up to it, the problem just raised from the ground… And you can all imagine the happy endings and soppy stories that followed with their success.

So yeah – that got me, and I didn’t believe it for a second, and therefore this review. I really wanted to love Living My Best Li(f)e, but nothing worked out. Disappointing characters, plots and lack of thrill. Not a great experience for me. I wouldn’t recommend it, but if you choose to read it, I would love to know what you think! <3

Thank you to the team at Netgalley and Simon & Schuster UK, for providing me with an E-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review · Books

Looking for Alaska by John Green

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Miles is moving to Alabama to attend a boarding school. And while he is a quiet boy that happens to remember famous people’s last words, he is also looking to stay out of trouble. He meets, incidentally, the most troublesome people that are about to change his life forever.

”So, I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bun, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.”

One of these people is Alaska Young, and believe me when I say, she is trouble. She is also clever and beautiful, but most of all screwed up, and she steals Miles’s heart straight away.

”Looking for Alaska” reminded me so much of ”The Perks of Being a Wallflower”. There was definitely the same vibe of boy goes to new school, boy is quiet, boy meets loud friends and boy falls in love.

And even though I got really annoyed at the beginning due to the fact that Miles barely talks to his friends and does whatever he is told to do, his character does develop throughout the book and he manages to find his voice and his purpose which I believe made this book way more meaningful.

”That is the fear. I have lost something important, and I cannot find it, and I need it. It is fear like if someone lost his glasses and went to the glasses store and they told him that the world had run out of glasses and he would just have to do without.”

On the subject of his feelings towards Alaska, the love he feels, it is very hard to actually notice the big impact she has on Miles. Yes, we might agree that she didn’t really care about him as we would’ve wanted her to do. She didn’t have big feelings for him, but she did have an enormous influence on him. While she was there thinking about her boyfriend, Miles was constantly thinking about her, memorising every opinion she has, learning all her favourite book titles, listening to all of her stories and always wondering whether she maybe, just maybe feels at least a fraction of what he feels for her. And while Alaska might not be aware, Miles will still carry all his emotions in his heart. Even if they have never been returned back.

”What the hell is instant? Nothing is instant. Instant rice takes five minutes, instant pudding an hour. I doubt that an instant of blinding pain feels particularly instantaneous.” 

The book perfectly captures a young person’s way of thinking and a young person’s perception of feelings, actions, and responsibility into the unfair thing we call life. I recommend it to all of you!

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