Gallant, a review

Gallant by V.E. Schwab was an Illumicrate book box pick for March and so I read it along with the Discord buddy read in April. The Illumicrate edition of this is absolutely *stunning*, just gotta get that out there.

Unfortunately, I didn’t find the book completely stunning. Now don’t get me wrong, the writing was absolutely gorgeous and it was a fun read. I personally didn’t have many pacing issues and I loved learning about this world Schwab created. Our orphaned main character has mutism, and communicates through sign language. As a non HOH or Deaf person I thought this was done well, but of course please go and find own voices reviewers for an actual accurate review.

The utilisation of a shadow world, one that’s the dark version of our world, is one that I love. And I’m always down for any books about death. However, this book really seemed to be lacking something. There was a significant lack of depth throughout the book. We barely learn about the orphanage and who Olivia was before she leaves the orphanage and meets the family she’s never known. We barely learn anything about said family, meaning that when there is risk abound, well we care significantly less than we should. We also barely learn about this “dark” world and the true aims of those who reside there. And her parents. We learn a fair bit about Olivia’s mum, although it also somehow doesn’t feel like a lot. But we specifically do not learn about her dad. And that leads me onto my next point.

This basically felt like a prequel book. It’s a nice novella, a prequel to a bigger series where we’ve had time to develop further at least some of these characters. This is just backstory, extra information to add to the main storytelling arc. Not a book on it’s own. Additionally the ending was far too quick. It’s like someone gave Schwab a page limit and she had to try and squeeeeze everything in there, and unfortunately she didn’t hit the mark.

On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 7, Atmosphere: 7, Writing: 8, Plot: 6, Intrigue: 8, Logic: 5, Enjoyment: 7, with a score of 6.86 and a 3.5* rating.

I will 100% pick up any other books that Schwab could possibly publish in a Gallant series, because I think it has so much potential. But unfortunately, as it is, unless you’re a die hard Schwab fan this one just isn’t worth the hype. (imo, obvs). Let me know, if you’ve read this, what you thought! Do you totally disagree with me and think this is the best book ever written? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

An addictive series by AB Endacott!!

Once I finished up Queendom of the Seven Lakes (review here) I knew I just had to carry on with my re-read and pick up book two, King of the Seven Lakes! This is the second time I’ve read this book (original review here) and I think I love it even more than the first time through if that’s even possible! From here on out there will be spoilers for the first book so go and read that and then come back here!38918798. sy475

Although Gidyon has been coronated, there are still those who oppose him ruling because he is a man. One family is taking advantage of this and attempting to usurp him, meaning to put his female cousin on the throne but her grandfather would be the ones pulling the strings behind the scenes. Elen-ai, Gid, and his Uncles who are his royal advisers, are all working to stop this attack.

The further world building in book two is absolutely gorgeous, really developing the world and adding extra nuance to it. I also really love the portrayal of religion. I myself am not religious but the way in which Elen-ai and Gidyon’s religions are portrayed (they prey to different Gods who bestow powers upon the worthy) has given me the closest understanding of how those who strongly believe feel. It really makes you understand how close these people feel to their God at all times. It’s quite beautiful.

There are moments of lightheartedness throughout which are placed incredibly well in order to break up the heaviness of this battle they are trying to win and I love the various facets we get to see. There isn’t just one fight here.

This is another amazing work of fantasy from Alice and re-reading this book only cemented my love for it even further! I one million percent recommend picking this book up!!

Buy King of the Seven Lakes here!

Buy Queendom of the Seven Lakes here!

Buy the combined duology here!

My First Buddy Read Was Amazing!!!

I had never buddy-read a book before, I had just never had the opportunity. But me and Caitlyn got chatting and we both really wanted to read An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir so why not!!

An Ember in the Ashes - Ember Quartet 1 (Paperback)

A YA fantasy, we follow from two different perspectives throughout this story. One is from the subjugated race, a Scholar, the other is from the Martials. The race which overthrew them and maintains control. As you can guess, we get a good rounded viewpoint of the story!

There were so many times me and Caitlyn were messaging each other in CAPS LOCK BECAUSE WHAT THE ACTUAL F*** IS HAPPENING!?!?! So that should tell you some of how amazing this book is! It completely draws you in and Sabaa Tahir has managed to write the characters so beautifully that they really come alive on the page and you’re changing your allegiance and routing for different sides and different scenarios!

This is an amazingly written fantasy and I also think that the book is the perfect length. You finish just at the perfect point, and I am really looking forward to when I pick up A Torch Against the Night. I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here! If you’re at all interested in fantasy reads and/or YA I really do recommend this beautiful book. I’m so glad I’ve finally read work by Sabaa Tahir and I look forward to delving in again in the future!

March’s Re-Read! An Arthurian re-telling!


My third book in the Booktube ReReadathon this year and I’m loving taking part in this challenge! I’m getting to rediscover old favourites and with the book below I had completely forgot the majority of it!

The prompt for March was to read a book published or set before the year you were born. I’m a 1996 baby, so this book is definitely set before my time! Set around a young lad who is given a stone through which he can see into the past, by Merlin no less, we follow both him and the previous storyline as his life seems to match up with that of the old King Arthur.

The Seeing Stone by Kevin Crossley-Holland

I had forgotten much about this book, the unique chapter layout of very small chapters and even the stone which allowed Arthur to see into the past (it’s in the title for Pete’s sake!), so having an excuse to re-read this book was great! It’s a YA book which I feel teeters on the younger side of YA, and I love finding those books as they’re definitely less hyped online than those aimed at the older YA audience.

There is so much to explore within this book, with the well know and well trodden storyline of King Arthur given a revamp and a heavy twist. I loved the relationships between characters and how this develops, as well as watching Arthur himself understand more of this weird world around him.

Although I couldn’t remember much about this book before I re-read it, I knew I wanted to carry on with the series. I can 100% confirm this now! It’s definitely a series I intend to carry on with and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for Arthur!

Booktube Rereadathon February Edition!

The Princess Plot by Kirsten Boie was a core book of my tweenage years, I loved this book so much with its contemporary disguise masking a deeper and more poignant story so I was happy to pick this book for the “last read at least 10 years ago” prompt for February.


This book follows Jenna who sneakily auditions for a role in a movie despite her strict mother not wanting her to go. She gets the part! And she’s flown off to Scandia to meet the director of the film. But everything is not as it seems. This is such a fun book and I honestly didn’t expect so much from it.

What I mean by that is that I remembered the plot, but I didn’t expect Boie to so clearly make points about politics, classism, racism and to explain terrorist groups so well. She points out things which are present in our own societies (Boie is German but as a Brit, everything registered too) and utilises the made up country of Scandia to demonstrate the issues here without angering any one country.

That’s another point too, I had never known that this was a translated work! A surprising number of my childhood reads were translated from other languages and I love it!

Back to the review 😂

This is the first book in a duology, however, it stands on its own really well too. I think it’s a great book to give a tween/teen and a fun read as an adult too! Of course the nostalgia makes me biased, but I also genuinely believe that this is a great MG/YA book (it’s one of those rare books that targeted at the younger end of YA).

Have you read this book before? Did you know it was translated? Let me know!


Listen to some slam

This is a YA book which has been quite hyped online, and because of that I had avoided it for a while. Also because contemporary isn’t really my thing. But in the end I picked it up, in audiobook format, and damn am I glad I did.

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The Poet X is a powerful book, written in poetry and the audio is narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo herself. I felt my own teenage years within this, it was so raw and powerful and relate-able. Our Afro-Latina main character has had such a different life to my white British self, with such different struggles, different goals and aims. Yet here I was, on the bus home, tears streaming down my face.

This is definitely a book where you should listen to the audio. As it’s written in verse, having Acevedo read it out to you in the way she intended is powerful and it makes Xiomara’s slam poetry feel even more intense and raw.

I one million percent recommend listening to this amazing book. I’m so glad that I randomly picked this up and I definitely need to read more from Elizabeth Acevedo in the future.

OCD Rep All the Way Up

John Green is known for his YA contemporary novels, they cover a variety of topics but seem to have a similar plot line. I’ll be honest, that’s the same here, but there’s a different reason you should pick this book up.

In Turtles, the main character suffers from OCD, and the representation is so ridiculously good. I suffer from mild OCD myself, and no I don’t need everything to be clean, so it was so refreshing to see this done so well here and to actually properly represent the mental illness in a way that society seems to ignore.

Our MC isn’t easy to deal with, her friends struggle to not get annoyed at her quirks and weird behaviours and they impact every waking second of her existence. Sometimes they’ll go away and she can just be in the moment, but they’ll come back again and that bliss is shattered.

I 100% recommend this for brilliant OCD rep and if you want a typical “John Green” book with romance, character building and young people learning about the world then this is one for you.

When the Sequel Outperforms the First Book

It happened, I’m so surprised in the absolute best way! The first book in this series, The Wind Singer, was a bit of a disapointment to me, I didn’t really enjoy it, I found it very childish, and it was a slog to get through. But this book? Slaves of the Mastery? I sped through it! Adoring it every second of the way and whilst it was childish it was in a more mature way which I enjoyed. I don’t know if this is just because I have changed as a reader in the times between these readings, as I’ve not seen anyone else state the same thing.


In this book the twins have been separated and must work to get back to one another whilst saving their people from the Mastery, I loved the two different viewpoints and seeing how their knowledge of the Mastery, and other big names in the region, develops. The world building was dynamic and really built the world up inside of my head.

I really do recommend this series. William Nicholson has created a beautiful world and I’m now much more excited to finish this trilogy with the Firesong book!

Finishing the Divergent Series!


My third pick for the Buzzwordathon was Four by Veronica Roth, which I bought not too long ago this year. I was so excited to find this cover as it matches the covers I already had for the main series and I honestly loved being back in this world.

I do think that I’m “growing out of” younger YA, this sort of romance heavy literature aimed at younger teenagers, which is a pity because omg they can be so addictive! But I still did love this read as it was nostalgic and I really enjoyed seeing events from Four’s point of view. I had already assumed a lot about his character which turned out to be true, but it was nice to see it written down and to confirm his actions in the first book and what had lead up to them.

If you enjoyed the Divergent series, excluding the ending obviously, then I definitely recommend picking up this little set of short stories and delving back into the beginning of the story of this world and enjoying yourself! I gave Four 4*s!

I’ve finally read it!

It took me long enough to buy it (eventually I got it with a Waterstones gift card my beautiful flatmate gave me for my 22nd) and then it took me a long while to actually read it. But I’ve read it! And I loved it! I can see why so many people enjoy it, I love the unique art style and layout of a novel and I also was incredibly invested in the characters.

The world is well developed, it’s set in our future and is based on three ships trying to escape from another and save the thousands of civilians on board as the other ship wants to destroy them. We follow two main characters, a teenage boy and girl who just before boarding these ships broke up with each other. And now they need to work together.

The character development is done beautifully, with so many events having a massive impact on their ever-shrinking world. I also loved the artwork within, which really fits with the theme, and the unique formatting is also done incredibly well, although there was one section that I read in the wrong order cause I didn’t realise!!

If you’re into sci-fi and like YA books I think this one is great! It’s definitely a YA work though, I wasn’t sure until I sent a pic of some pages to my bf (who really doesn’t like YA books) and he declined to borrow my copy based on that. But if you like YA, either all the time or sometimes, I definitely think you should give this beauty a shot!