Hit Squad

This is book #6 in the Medusa Squad series, and stupidly I didn’t re-read any of the other 5 books in the series before starting this book so I was a little lost for a while. I couldn’t get my hands on this book for a surprisingly long time so I am a little behind on this series too. But I quickly fell back into the story and really enjoyed this book.

We follow our squad, plus one or two extra tagalongs, as they attempt to stop the production and usage of Medusix. This is a drug which simulates the gene mutation they have and can cause the development of powers in those who take it. We switch character viewpoints throughout the book and this is really used to the plot’s advantage as we are left with cliffhangers and mystery whilst the book is still ongoing. With different characters not knowing what is happening to others within the group and this affecting the whole plot.

I was fully engrossed in this book and am upset that this is the final book in the series! (although McKenzie has left the ending open so there is a chance that it could be continued… but it’s been like 5 years so maybe not ūüė¶ ) I was so stressed, tense and freaking out for the end portion of the book! Non-bookworms may think that is a bad thing but trust me, that just means the book has you in its grasp and is 100% doing its job. I really recommend this YA Sci-Fi read to those of all ages. Definitely a fun, fast-paced piece of literature that leaves you wanting more!

Queendom of the Seven Lakes

This was one of my first requests when I originally signed up to NetGalley and it has been pushed to the bottom of the pile for a while, which is a great pity as I absolutely loved it! Before I go any further I’d like to thank NetGalley for the eARC of this book.

This story follows Elen-ai as she is enlisted, as an assassin, to guard the Queen’s son. In this world, only women may rule the Queendom as it allows for any familial lineage to be unknown and therefore leaves the seven families of the Queendom at the same level, with no rise in power coming from having a child with the monarch. Elen-ai must protect Gidyon, as the Queen has decreed her son will be the first ever Prince of the Queendom. Obviously, this makes all the families lose their footing and scramble to get one up over everyone including the Queen herself.

I wasn’t too sure how this story was going to develop, would there be a cheesy romance? Would the plot be stereotypical and obvious? The answer is HELL NO! This fantasy read did everything in such good proportions, with the relationship between our protagonist and her charge developing in a way which felt very natural and realistic and makes you root for their side intrinsically. Although there is much about the world that I feel I do not know, I knew what I needed to in order to comprehend the events in the book and I am sure that the sequel (yes there is a sequel, I am so excited!) will explain further about the world and develop this fantasy read even more.

I am very glad I picked this up and was able to read it and I 100% recommend that you at least read the synopsis to see if this is your sort of book, as I had believed I would be getting an averagely told fantasy with a mediocre plotline (because I am apparently an idiot/have been let down by a lot of books lately) and instead I am now finding myself with a new favourite world that I can’t wait to return to! Definitely, need to get to King of the Seven Lakes when I can!!

The Ghosts of Heaven

I never expected to pick up this book. At all. My friend came to visit me here at uni¬†and decided she wanted to have a look around the city centre, and we ended up in the library which I had actually never been in before *gasp* (I know, I know but ereaders and charity shops were doing it for me at the time). We went and had a look at the YA section and she had picked this book up, she isn’t a reader herself so she told me to get a library card and take the book out. I’m so glad she did.

This book is split into quarters, and you can read the sections in any order you wish. This ability is really unique and interesting and I think is what sparked my friends’ interest. The order in which I read the sections was: 1,4,3,2. My favourite section out of the four was #4, as I liked how it linked with #1 and the mystery of the events taking place was done really well. I also loved the futuristic aspect of this section which was in drastic contrast to the cave-man time period from section 1. I loved that part #1 was written in poetry as it conveys the simpleness of the time and the slowly developing ability for language and more complex thoughts and emotions. #3 was my second favourite quarter as I liked the setting and the main character, as well as the complex emotions which were present. Part 2 was my least favourite of the four, but it was still really good. I absolutely hated the “villain”, which can only be a good thing, and loved the portrayal of religion and illness in the time period.

Essentially, this book is four short stories which are intertwined and interlinked throughout time, and they are all really well written, with my least favourite section still being very interesting and entertaining. It’s a fun and quick read and definitely something you should pick up, whether for the unique reading layout, the differences in time periods or just for a really good book which I am surprised I’ve never heard of before.

Because You’ll Never Meet Me

I borrowed this book from my housemate¬†at the time, who had recently finished the book and recommended it to me. I was expecting to struggle a little as I was in a bit of a reading slump and contemporaries aren’t my favourite to read, however, I found it really easy to get through and ended up really enjoying it!

The story is very sweet, as it focuses on a young boy who is allergic (for want of a better word) to electricity. This forces him, and his mother, to live out in the middle of nowhere in the US in order to not be affected every day by the devices the rest of the world are constantly using such as TV’s, microwaves and even electric watches.

The title, “Because You’ll Never Meet Me” refers to the letters that start to be sent between two boys. Ollie, with his electricity induced seizures, and Moritz with an electronic pacemaker due to a heart defect. If they ever met, they would both die as Ollie’s presence would cause the pacemaker to malfunction and Moritz’s pacemaker would give Ollie a seizure. This confirmation that the two can never be in each others¬†presence, means that they feel comfortable sharing with each other what they could never say to anybody else. It is through the medium of letters between these two boys that we find out more about their lives and their struggles.

There is a twist at the end of this book, which I did not see coming. At all. It just makes no sense. I’m not mad at it, because it was really interesting, but at the same time, I really don’t know why it wasn’t made a little clearer throughout the book. Maybe I’m just oblivious! But this twist means that the sequel will be drastically different and when I finally get round to picking it up, I’m curious how the writing style and storyline change because of it.

An interesting little book that will tug at your heartstrings and keep you engaged.

The Woodlands – SPOILERS!!!

** spoiler alert ** *SPOILERS*
Sorry about the spoilers but I just had to write
some stuff and damn there’s a lot in this book!!!

This took me a little while to read because I was reading it on my phone and forgot about it as I was doing my¬†A Level exams at the same time, but I really enjoyed this book. I got this book for free on Apple iBooks so I wasn’t expecting anything amazing, but I was totally wrong! This dystopian world was different to the others I’ve read before, and that’s always a good thing as there always seem to be a lot of similarities within this genre.

I liked the segregation of jobs at the beginning and how Rosa was allocated a job she had no idea she was good at, just a small little reminder that we could be great at something if we just give it a go is something we should all try to remember. The twist of the girls having been forced into multiple pregnancies without any real awareness of the situation was shocking and as a female very hard hitting. Such a good twist to be fair, but my stomach was so twisted at the thought. The way the two girls (Rosa and Clara) handled their pregnancies was really well written, as both had very different opinions but still cared for the other girl and attempted to cater to the others opinion and not push their own agenda.

By the end, I was ridiculously worried about Joseph and truly thought he was dead, which broke my heart as I could imagine how devastated and numb Rosa would feel, but finding out he was still alive and risked his life to see Rosa when he heard her in pain was amazing and heart breaking in a different and beautiful way.

If you’ve read this review despite not reading the book, and are still interested, then I definitely recommend picking it up. I very much enjoyed it and want to read the sequels at some point. Something that’s a little bit different in the world of dystopias.

The Hazel Wood

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As a lot of you reading this will know, this book received a lot of hype in the book world online. I don’t know if this is because of the premise of the book, the various beautiful covers, or if the publishers just did a really good job of marketing! I would like to say thank you to NetGalley for the free eARC of this book in return for an unbiased review.

This book follows Alice as she tells us about her life, we are sped through her younger years on the road with her mum Ella, essentially being homeless, until they end up stationary, finally, in New York. But Alice is noticing some weird things happening around her, and they’re resurfacing memories that she had subconsciously¬†pushed deep down. This is when things start getting… weird.

I won’t be saying any more in order to keep this spoiler free, but I really liked the way the book progressed from this point. There is a strong and frequently mentioned link to fairy tales and when this fully gets underway it’s incredibly gripping and engrossing. I enjoyed the twists and turns and discovering the details as Alice does, and I absolutely loved the end half of the book! But… the very end was a bit… eh…

I feel bad for saying that, after such an amazing book all the way through, but the wrap up of this story felt rushed, incomplete, unsatisfying, and as if Melissa Albert didn’t know how to end the story. It could’ve been so much better if there had just been a bit more tweaking of this section. There is going to be a sequel which is expected to be published in 2019, and I am sure I’m going to pick it up as I need more of this world and to learn more about Alice, Ella and the Hinterland. I just really hope Melissa Albert improves on how she ends books, and that her editors help her along with this because this could have been a five-star book. As it is, it was a very enjoyable 4-star read and I am looking forward to finding out more about the world (if it’s possible with the ending we got…).

 

Just Henry by Michelle Magorian

Just Henry is an engrossing book based around the time of WWII. The book follows the life of a young boy, with a father who died in the war, living with his mother, step-father, gran and younger sister and his days at school and his love of photography.

Due to the stigmatisation which was common in those days and enforced by his grandmother, Henry is tested when partnered with two boys in school as one is a bastard (born when his parents were not married) and the other has a deserter for a father. He also meets a woman whilst trying to get into an age restricted film at the cinema and soon becomes friends with her. Through help from his unlikely friend as well as from his mother, teacher and what he truly believes; Henry becomes friends with these two boys.

He also develops (see what I did there) a love for photography and through help from both his teacher and his unlikely friend he starts taking pictures and learning how to make the best of the limited number of photos.

This love of photography and his close new friendships turn out to be crucial during a plot twist involving his father, gran, sister and a lot of worry.

The twist within this novel will have you glued to the pages as Magorian again manages to reel the reader in and not let go, this novel will grab you from the start and you’ll love learning about life in the post-WWII period as well as seeing the changes which occur at this time and how the characters develop.

Recommended for:

Those who love the WWII era.

This is my favourite era in history, meaning that I fell in love with this book almost instantly. The plot is easy to follow but also interesting and seems to stick to the historical accuracy of the time. The book shows what life was like once the war ended and how the countries landscape was changed, not only physically but mentally as people adjusted to others who were different with more ease.

Age recommendation:

Young Adults+

This book is aimed at ‘young adult’ readers with language and themes which may be slightly too mature for younger readers but which is simple enough that it is understandable. I would suggest that the reading age is around 12+ although this will vary from person to person, and many adults will enjoy this book as I still love it myself after many years.

Sorry for not posting in a while, I’ve had a busy summer! I hope you are all having a great time while the nice(ish) weather lasts!

Comment what books you would like me to review next ūüôā
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