Book Review · Books

House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City #2) by Sarah J. Maas [BOOK REVIEW]

House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City #2) by Sarah J. Maas [BOOK REVIEW]

I enjoyed reading every second of House of Sky and Breath, even though at times I wasn’t too keen on where the story was heading. It’s a perfect continuation of House of Earth and Blood and I’m definitely curious to find out what happens in the next book in the series. 

About The Book:

House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City #2) by Sarah J. Maas [BOOK REVIEW]


Pages: 802

Format I read it in: Hardcover

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

★★★★★

Synopsis:

Two sisters. One throne. Who will ultimately rise to power and wear the crown?

Wren Greenrock has always known that one day she would steal her sister’s place in the palace. Trained from birth to avenge her parents’ murder and usurp the princess, she will do anything to rise to power and protect the community of witches she loves.

Bryce Quinlan and Hunt Athalar are trying to get back to normal―they may have saved Crescent City, but with so much upheaval in their lives lately, they mostly want a chance to relax. Slow down. Figure out what the future holds.

The Asteri have kept their word so far, leaving Bryce and Hunt alone. But with the rebels chipping away at the Asteri’s power, the threat the rulers pose is growing. As Bryce, Hunt, and their friends get pulled into the rebels’ plans, the choice becomes clear: stay silent while others are oppressed, or fight for what’s right. And they’ve never been very good at staying silent.

In this sexy, action-packed sequel to the #1 bestseller House of Earth and Blood, Sarah J. Maas weaves a captivating story of a world about to explode―and the people who will do anything to save it.

My Thoughts:

This review is SPOILER FREE – I won’t be talking about any spoilers, but I may inadvertently mention some thoughts regarding the plot, so please be wary. 

As a whole, House of Sky and Breath was a true gem and I wholeheartedly enjoyed it. I read it as part of the Tandem Collective readalong throughout 15 days, and reading this book in this way made it even more meaningful. Every night, all of us readers would get together in our Instagram chats and talk about what happened and plot our theories. Having so many buddy readers made reading this book so much more enjoyable! 

The story starts with a twist, but then threads very slowly, almost at the same pace as House of Earth and Blood. If you manage to get through the first 70 pages, you will be engrossed with the story, and the pace doesn’t stop from there on. Adventures are at every corner, and the crew keeps discovering new hints and clues that make you continue reading. After those first 70 pages, stopping will be an issue – honestly! 

“Fae were highly sensitive babies. Their tantrums could last centuries.”

The characters in this book are as vivid as they are in the first one.

We met a lot of new faces that joined the crew and I loved the vibe that they brought with them. I loved that people from different houses joined and how they all had their own stories to tell as well. The only part that I didn’t like was that some characters that died in the last book were now part of the story as well. New things were discovered about them, which changed a lot of things.

The issue I have with this is I think it’s a very weak plot armour. It’s very easy to write a plot twist about someone that’s already dead. Have them done things in the past, and they can no longer talk for themselves or explain. This is however, just a matter of taste, and some people may enjoy this trope, but not me. I hope the next book doesn’t follow this path again. 

“Have you met my mom?” Bryce burst out. “Does rational ever spring to mind when you think about her? She makes sculptures of babies in beds of lettuce, for fuck’s sake.”

Sarah J. Maas did a very good job in portraying feelings.

I felt that the survivor’s guilt was portrayed very realistically at the beginning of House of Sky and Breath. It shows how different characters deal with it in a different way. You can also feel the aftermath of everything that’s happened in the first book linger in the air whilst reading, and that shows the true mastery of Maas’s writing. She created a unique atmosphere where you can almost sense what people are feeling without them saying it out loud. It was the same later on in the book where people dealt with grief and anger. 

But also, when people felt love. Aside from our obvious couple, we had some other couples along the way, and every love I read about I felt differently about, which truly shows how good the writing is. They all loved differently, but just as strongly. I was so enchanted with Ruhn’s story and his love interest. It gripped me in a way I didn’t expect it to. I knew where the story was heading and I thought I’d be untouched, but it touched me, and it’s my favourite love story in the book. And if you’ve read the book, you’ll know that says a lot. 

“But wherever you’re headed when this life is over, Quinlan, that’s where I want to be, too.”

This book engrossed me from the very beginning.

And even as I finished it, I am still enchanted by the amazing storytelling. There is so much going on in this world, with so many characters, and yet everything felt in place. Everyone’s story was told, and everything was left with a meaning behind it. Fighting for what’s right and trying to find the truth was what led this book forward. But the power of friendship and family (blood related and made one) made it worthwhile. 

“Hard to enjoy being free.” Hunt countered darkly, “if you’re dead.”

I cannot recommend House of Sky and Breath enough. If you love adult fantasy romance, the Crescent City series should be on the top of your reading pile.

About The Author:

House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City #2) by Sarah J. Maas [BOOK REVIEW]

Sarah J. Maas is the #1 New York Times and internationally bestselling author of the Throne of Glass, Court of Thorns and Roses, and Crescent City series. Her books have sold millions of copies and are published in thirty-seven languages.

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Book Review · Books

Twin Crowns by Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber [BOOK REVIEW]

Twin Crowns by Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber [BOOK REVIEW]

Twin Crowns was such a magical read. From the moment I read the synopsis, I wanted to know more about these two sister twins. The action starts from the very first page, and it never stops. Even when it ended, I was immediately craving to read the second book in the Twin Crowns series. Needless to say, I will be pestering and stalking both authors for book spoilers and updates.

About The Book:

Twin Crowns by Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber [BOOK REVIEW]


Pages: 512

Format I read it in: Paperback / Limited Edition Uncorrected Proof

Publisher: Electric Monkey

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

★★★★★

Synopsis:

Two sisters. One throne. Who will ultimately rise to power and wear the crown?

Wren Greenrock has always known that one day she would steal her sister’s place in the palace. Trained from birth to avenge her parents’ murder and usurp the princess, she will do anything to rise to power and protect the community of witches she loves.

Princess Rose Valhart knows that with power comes responsibility including marriage into a brutal kingdom. Life outside the palace walls is a place to be feared and she is soon to discover that it’s wilder than she ever imagined.

Twin sisters separated at birth and raised into entirely different worlds are about to get to know each other’s lives a whole lot better… 

My Thoughts:

The royal theme entwined with magic really hooked me. The stories about the witches were some of my favourite scenes whilst reading this book. All the awful things that happened to them, things that were done to them. How they were forced to go into hiding and give up so many things, the throne being one of them. However, what really made me love them was the willpower for them to keep fighting. They never give up and finally come back to fight for what truly belongs to them.

“When you break open the stone heart of Anadawn Palace and seize your rightful place on its throne, all the winds of Eana will sing your name. May the courage of the witches go with you, my little bird.”

I also loved that this book features twin sisters.

I was very glad that we didn’t have any of those stereotypical moments that authors like to do with twins. It was such a relief! Wren and Rose are two completely different people with different personalities, and this book really explores that. They are both so very lovable in their own unique way. I connected with Wren slightly more than I did with Rose. Perhaps due to the fact that Wren is more adventurous, outspoken and sarcastic. However, Rose is also amazing – and her story is very emotional. The development she is going through is inspiring. It’s not easy to suddenly realise that your whole life has been based on lies, and now you are away from home and have to relearn everything from the beginning.

“I imagine the battles a princess must fight don’t often call for knives and swords.”

Everything about this book captivated me. The world, the twin sisters, the witches… Then Tor and Shen, the Cliffs, the desert and the unknown places we are still yet to explore. I can vividly imagine every detail in this world, because it was so perfectly described. The story itself carried excitement and suspense at the end of each chapter. It made me desperate to keep reading. And the chapters swapping between Wren and Rose’s points of view only add up to the fast pace the book has.

The romance in this book is adorable.

We have a few slow burn romances entwined with humour. I am so invested in these people’s relationships and I can’t wait to read about their happy ever afters. The bonds that they make are very wholesome and adorable, and I am here for it.

Rose glared at him. “Do you always talk to women the way you talk to your horse?”
“You should be flattered. There’s no one in this world I respect more than Storm.”

I also had the privilege to attend two online meetings and meet both authors. They shared so many incredible details about the book, the places and the motivation behind it. Reading this book with some amazing bookstagrammers as part of a readalong and also whilst chatting with the authors made this book very special to me. I will forever cherish that experience!

To sum up, although I could go on forever, please pick this book up! It’s the magic YA fantasy you’ve been yearning for. As soon as you finish the first chapter and the magic starts working, you won’t be able to put Twin Crowns down. I am sure Wren’s enchantment spells have something to do with this!

About The Authors:

Twin Crowns by Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber [BOOK REVIEW]

Catherine Doyle grew up in the West of Ireland. She holds a first-class BA in Psychology and a first-class MA in Publishing. She is the author of the Young Adult Blood for Blood trilogy (Vendetta, Inferno and Mafiosa), which is often described as Romeo and Juliet meets the Godfather. Her debut Middle Grade novel, The Storm Keeper’s Island (Bloomsbury, 2018), is an adventure story about family, bravery and self-discovery.

​Aside from more conventional interests in movies, running and travelling, Catherine also enjoys writing about herself in the third-person.

Twin Crowns by Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber [BOOK REVIEW]

Katherine Webber was born in Southern California in 1987. She currently lives in London with her husband, Kevin, and their young daughter. In addition to her YA, Katherine also co-writes young fiction, as Katie Tsang, with Kevin.

She loves an adventure, whether it is found in a book or in real life and has travelled to over 45 countries. Travel, books, and eating out are her favourite indulgences.

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Book Review · Books

Midnight in the Snow by Karen Swan [BOOK REVIEW]

Midnight in the Snow by Karen Swan [BOOK REVIEW]

Karen Swan’s books have become a comforting and safe space for me over the past year. I always look forward to picking her newest book up and I’ve not once been left disappointed. Midnight in the Snow is definitely at the top of the list!

About The Book:

Midnight in the Snow by Karen Swan [BOOK REVIEW]


Pages: 457

Format I read it in: Paperback

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

★★★★★

Synopsis:

The story follows the award-winning movie director Clover, who rose to fame when she filmed the documentary about Cory Allbright, a surfer whose life went downhill after an accident, because of a controversy with his rival, Kit Foley.

Now that Kit has been labeled as the bad guy, he has decided to retire from surfing and make his debut into snowboarding. And Clover is the one tasked to document his journey now, all whilst she is struggling to hide her personal bias.

My Thoughts:

I loved everything about Midnight in the Snow. The beginning is very captivating and I was instantly pulled into Clover’s world, where she has just become the star of a documentary. We get to meet her in the spotlight and outside of it, and find out two different Clovers for a little while.

“An ending doesn’t have to be happy for a new beginning to spring up; it will follow anyway, just as surely as the sun chasing the moon.”

Then, very soon after, the plot thickens, and she’s on another adventure, filming another documentary. Only this time around, she is filming the “bad guy”. Trying to keep her personal bias aside, Clover and her crew members are determined to film his story and be as neutral as possible. However, once they meet Kit and his team, they realise nothing will be that easy.

Because Kit is terrible and rude, but also very dedicated to his sport. You never know where you stand with him, and he seems like he doesn’t care about anything else but winning. And as a former competitors, I have met many Kit’s in my life, and I can completely understand the determination to be the number one, and the arrogance that sometimes comes with it.

“When you already are more, where is there to go? What becomes of your humanity? The need to win comes at what cost? And are the sacrifices worth it? Because it seems to me, that when we reach for the sun, we always get burned.”

Karen Swan’s writing is as captivating as always.

And it’s not only Clover and Kit that get the spotlight. We meet so many different characters that we end up loving equally as much. Their stories and their paths are very beautifully written, and they cross in a very calculated manner. I ended up loving a lot of characters that I didn’t like at the beginning. The more I get to know them throughout the book, and understand why they made the choices that they did, and why they are the way they are – it left me with a heartwarming feeling in my heart. There is, as always, a little bit of mystery behind the story as well, and I greatly enjoyed discovering the clues and solving the questions.

With Midnight in the Snow, you are in for an adventure, trust me! You’ll be heading up and down your own emotional snowy slope and enjoy every single moment of it!

About The Author:

Karen Swan

Karen Swan is the Sunday Times top three bestselling author of twenty books and her novels sell all over the world. She writes two books each year – one for the summer period and one for the Christmas season. Previous summer titles include The Spanish PromiseThe Hidden Beach and The Secret Path and for winter, Christmas at Tiffany’sThe Christmas Secret and Together by Christmas.

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Book Review · Books

Eden I (The Eden Trilogy #1) by Georgia Le Carre [BOOK REVIEW]

Eden I (The Eden Trilogy #1) by Georgia Le Carre [BOOK REVIEW]

Reading books by Georgia Le Carre is one of my guilty pleasures. I knew that getting into the Crystal Jake / Eden Trilogy would be a wonderful experience, and I wasn’t disappointed.

About The Book:

Eden I (The Eden Trilogy #1) by Georgia Le Carre


Pages: 158

Format I read it in: Paperback

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

★★★★

Synopsis:

Still troubled by her brother’s death, Lily is searching for answers. So she enbarks in a career that introduces her to a dangerous underworld. Surrounded by lust, greed, wealth and handsome and powerful men – one man in particular swipes her off her feet.

Jake Eden has everything; money, power, all the women he can ask for… He never needed love. Love is for the weak. Until one woman with the stage name of “Jewel” arrives and grabs his attention…

My Thoughts:

For the short book that it is, Eden I is packed with steamy action and fast-paced and interesting plotline. I read it in one sitting and devoured it. There is that unsettling presence of lust in the room on every single page. You can feel the tension between Lucy and Jake, and even as a reader, it can get a bit steamy in the room and you might need to open up a window. Aside from the lust though, there is also a romantic aspect of it – which gives a good balance to the book.

I think that this is a great start of the Crystal Jake / Eden Trilogy series, especially after the very unexpected twist at the end of the book. Trust me, that twist will make you want to pick up the second book instantly.

I loved Lily as a character, and was very interested in the story. And I also enjoyed getting to know Jake as well. Slowly getting to know the real person behind his “big strong man with no feelings” attitude.

Honestly, I am very much looking forward to the second book in the series and definitely recommend this one to add to your collection of steamy stories.

Read my other book reviews for Georgia Le Carre’s books:
His Frozen Heart by Georgia Le Carre
Nanny and the Beast by Georgia Le Carre
The Man In The Mirror by Georgia Le Carre

About The Author:

Georgia Le Carre author

Georgia writes contemporary and erotic romance from a little old 19th century romantic cottage, surrounded by a magical garden filled with fruit and walnut trees.
When she is not feeding words into her laptop, she can be found lost in long walks in the woods, particularly on moonlit nights, and often with the man of her dreams.

Social Media:
Website | Twitter

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Book Review · Books

Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane [BOOK REVIEW]

Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane [BOOK REVIEW]

I had the amazing opportunity to participate in another instagram readalong – this time reading the Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane with some amazing bookstagrammers. Huge thank you to the team at Tandem as well as the publisher, Harper Fiction, for sending me a copy of the book to read and review!

About The Book:

Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane [BOOK REVIEW]


Publisher: Harper Fiction

Pages: 416

Format I read it in: Paperback

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

Synopsis:

Eve, Justin, Susie, and Ed have been friends since they were teenagers. Now in their thirties, the four are as close as ever, Thursday night bar trivia is sacred, and Eve is still secretly in love with Ed. Maybe she should have moved on by now, but she can’t stop thinking about what could have been. And she knows Ed still thinks about it, too.

But then, in an instant, their lives are changed forever.

In the aftermath, Eve’s world is upended. As stunning secrets are revealed, she begins to wonder if she really knew her friends as well as she thought. And when someone from the past comes back into her life, Eve’s future veers in a surprising new direction…

They say every love story starts with a single moment. What if it was just last night?

My Thoughts:

You don’t know how much you miss a certain type of book until you start reading one and you feel the instant refreshment it brings. This happened to me with Last Night. This book is so much more than your typical rom-com novel. I wanted to read it because of the “best friends to lovers” possible scenario, and instead I got so much more, and I’m so glad I did! I felt like I was Eve’s shadow – feeling everything she feels. Friendships, relationships, grief, secrets and betrayals… A remarkable roller-coaster of a story that I wasn’t able to put down.

“I notice, once again, that company that’s not the right fit for you is so much lonelier than being happily alone.”

I loved Eve, Justin, Susie and Ed.

Their group was unique and very dear. The chemistry these characters have between each other, especially Eve and Susie is truly something remarkable, and quite rare in today’s world. I felt like we didn’t get enough of Justin, and I quite liked Ed, although I did judge him for his poor decision making skills. I loved Finlay, and I really enjoyed getting to know him slowly throughout the book.

“Incredible how one revelatory discovery can completely change your perception of someone.”

Last Night is also one of those books where it’s so hard to write a review without spoiling anything, as the big bombshell happens quite early in the book. So I’ll just say this – I loved the ending and I feel like everyone got what they deserved! Last Night is the first book I’ve read by Mhairi Mcfarlane, and (said with the voice of Michael Bisping) “believe you me”, I’ll be definitely reading more. And while I’m checking out the rest of Mhairi’s books, you go ahead and check this one out. 🙂

A truly incredible story, a very emotional journey that will leave a mark in your life. A lesson on how to cope with grief, how to stop wasting energy on people that don’t deserve you, and how to start loving again and accept love back. And most importantly, a lesson that sometimes, it’s okay to be rude!

“I ponder how many mistakes in life are born of a simple fear of being rude.”

Rating:

★★★★

About The Author:

Mhairi was born in Falkirk, Scotland in 1976. She went to school in Nottingham, studied English Literature at Manchester University and then returned to Nottingham to delight its citizens with her journalism. Her debut novel, the romantic comedy You Had Me At Hello, was an instant hit upon being published in December 2012. It’s since become HarperCollins’ best selling ebook to date, has been translated into 16 languages and is being developed as a major feature film, with Mhairi writing the screenplay. The follow up, Here’s Looking At You, was published in December 2013 and made the Sunday Times Bestseller list.

Social Media:
Instagram | Twitter

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