Review: Haunt Me by Liz Kessler


Haunt Me
Joe wakes up from a deep sleep to see his family leave in a removals van. Where they've gone, he has no idea. Erin moves house and instantly feels at home in her new room. Even if it appears she isn't the only one living in it. Bit by bit, Erin and Joe discover that they have somehow found a way across the ultimate divide - life and death. Bound by their backgrounds, a love of poetry and their growing feelings for each other, they are determined to find a way to be together.

Joe's brother, Olly, never cared much for poetry. He was always too busy being king of the school - but that all changed when Joe died. And when an encounter in the school corridor brings him face to face with Erin, he realises how different things really are - including the kind of girl he falls for.

Two brothers. Two choices. Will Erin's decision destroy her completely, or can she save herself before she is lost forever?

The Mediator series by Meg Cabot is one of the book series that got me into YA paranormal fiction, so anything about a girl meeting and falling for a ghost is going to be something I'm interested in reading. When I was accepted for Haunt Me, I was so excited - Liz Kessler has written some brilliant books before and this had to be great for that reason.

I have to admit that it just didn't hit the mark for me - it kept my interest and I was definitely absorbed into Erin, Joe and Olly's story, but I'm not sure that this book did everything that it could have done. I was really absorbed into Erin and Joe's romance to start with, but I was not entirely on board with Olly's part even though I know why it was in there. That meant that the way the book went wasn't the best way in my opinion, that the story could have been executed.

What I did enjoy was the way Kessler addressed certain issues - from the way that Joe passed away and the baggage that this carried, to Erin's past and the bullying she has to deal with. Not least, the way that this book is about moving on as well. Not only does Kessler have an amazing writing style but she did deal with these issues very well.

Overall, Haunt Me had a lot of potential but it didn't completely blow me away. That being said, it did have some strong points and I would still recommend it.

Overall Rating: C+

Book released 6th october 2016 by Orion Children's Books
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

Review: Interference by Kay Honeyman

Interference
As a Congressman's daughter in Washington, DC, Kate Hamilton is good at getting what she wants -- what some people might call "interfering." But when her family moves to West Texas so her dad can run in a special election, Kate encounters some difficulties that test all her political skills. None of her matchmaking efforts go according to plan. Her father's campaign gets off to a rough start. A pro tip for moving to Texas: Don't slam the star quarterback's hand in a door. And whenever Kate messes up, the irritatingly right (and handsome) Hunter Price is there to witness it. But Kate has determination and a good heart, and with all her political savvy -- and a little clever interference -- she'll figure out what it takes to make Red Dirt home.

All I seem to have been wanting to read recently are cute, fun teen romance contemporary style books.  Don't ask me why, I honestly couldn't tell you. 

Anyway, they say don't judge a book by the cover, but I could tell based on the cover that this was a book that I really wanted to read (that font, those colours!), and the blurb just solidified this for me. This was not going to be a book that I was going to need to force myself to get stuck into. And yes, from the sexond I opened this book (metaphorically - I read it on my kindle) I was hooked. The voice was just so amazing, Honeyman gives this book a really relaxed, fun feel. The story is told in first person from Kate and Honeyman gives us a consistent, snarky and casual narrative voice that really fit with me.

I really loved the political side of things, it gives an intersting twist to what may have been a simple YA love story. Kate knows politics, she knows what she needs to say and what she needs to do to keep her father's campaign on track and this is a great device for showing the relationships both suffer and develop in this book. I really enjoyed reading this side.

However, my favorite bits to read were Kate's interactions with her friends and other people. Ana was one of my favorite characters (it's no coincidence that one of my best friends is called Ana, one 'n'). I loved the way she supported Kate and in return Kate tries to help Ana, though it goes off the rails a little bit. Their friendship was honest and realistic and a brilliant thing to have. Hunter though, solid, lovely Hunter - he will forever be etched on Jade's 'Book boyfriend's list). Maybe I'm getting a littttttle too old for him, but he is just so lovely and charming and his interactions with Kate were the highlight of this book for me. 

Even the 'bad guys' are well written and have some kind of...  understanding towards the end. A tentative start to what may be development on their side, so I think that was an especially great thing to have as well. I think this may stem from the small town kind of setting, this time and understanding I think everybody has for one another. This small town setting was like a character on it's own - as Kate began to grow accustomed and want to call it home, I did as well. I think this was probably Honeyman's aim and she executed it perrrrrfectly!

If I had to dig for negative things to say, I would point out that towards the middle of this book I did began to loose interest the teeniest bit, but that was for a very short period of time. That is really all I could say...

Overall, Interference is one of the best written, most engaging contemporary reads I have read in the last year. The characters are well written, the voice is engaging, the plot os entertaining and well researched and the setting is something special. If I could go on, I would, but I'll wrap up with this: Kay Honeyman is definitely one I will be watching out for.

Overall Rating: A

Book released 27th September 2016 by Arthur A. Levine Books
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

Review: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

The Female of the Species

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.

But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.

So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.

Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.

Oh gosh. This book... 

It was absolutely breathtakingly amazing. I have been putting it off because it's quite dark and I wasn't entirely sure whether it was my bag, especially as Mindy McGinnis hasn't really impressed me much before. I picked it up after reading a brilliant review and it just blew me away.

This book isn't a book that has been written solely to entertain - it's a book that makes you think, that makes you doubt the way you think about killers and vengeance and motives. It was so well written. Alex was such an unbelievably well written character - she was layered, a tough nut with a soft nougat centre, but rather than just being the tough girl in most YA books she takes a completely different form. I loved that.

Jack and Peekay were also brilliant as supporting characters, their reactions are realistic and they are extremely integral to the way the story develops, and their relationships with alex are really important in giving this cold girl some humanity. Also important was the job at the vetinarians that Alex takes. McGinnis really thought through how to develop this plot and this character and whats more, she executed it extremely well as well.

I kept myself guessing all the way through about how this book was going to end. None of the endings I clould make up felt 'right', but the way Mindy McGinnis finished the book just worked perfectly for me. It was just... touching and perfect.

Overall, The Female of the Species was a wonderful, perfectly written book which absolutely blew me away and made me step back and think about a lot of things. Think Dexter, for the YA audience.

Overall Rating: A

Book released September 20th 2016 by Katherine Tegen
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

Review: We Know It Was You by Maggie Thrash

We Know It Was You (Strange Truth, #1)



It’s better to know the truth. At least sometimes.

Halfway through Friday night’s football game, beautiful cheerleader Brittany Montague—dressed as the giant Winship Wildcat mascot—hurls herself off a bridge into Atlanta’s surging Chattahoochee River.

Just like that, she’s gone.

Eight days later, Benny Flax and Virginia Leeds will be the only ones who know why.

We Know It Was You could have been a whole lot... more. In fact, I really wanted it to be. This could have been Gone Girl for the teen audience, instead it was like a car crash, a complete wreck of a book that I could make absolutely no sense of.

The start was good, I really could have enjoyed the book if it had kept on that same route - mysterious missing cheerleader, mystery club, Benny and Virginia... it all started so well.

Then the 'twists' started, and this book morphed into something I couldn't quite figure out... there's a male pornography ring that somehow comes into it all, and a woman hypnotising her boyfriend into sleeping with her (sexual assault anyone)? And out main characters and a random german cougar hunter getting themselves involved in some pretty crazy stuff. And nobody even tries to tell a parent.

I just didn't like the way this book dealt with problems - there were some really intriguing storylines pop up, like Virginia's stalker stuff, but they just got left behind and unresolved and the book just felt confusing and incomplete to me.

Overall, We Know It Was You was a read that tried too hard to be shocking and new, as a result it just became pretty unreadable for me. I finished the book hoping it got clearer and better, unfortunately it didn't.

Overall Rating: D-

Book released October 4th 2016 by Simon Pulse
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

Review: Extraordinary October by Diana Wagman


Extraordinary October


October is an ordinary girl. From her plain looks to her average grades, there seems to be nothing special about her. Then, three days before her eighteenth birthday, she develops a strange itch that won’t go away, and her life is turned upside down. Suddenly, she can hear dogs talk, make crows fly, and two new and very handsome boys at school are vying for her affections. After she starts “transplanting” herself through solid rock, October learns that she is not ordinary at all, but the daughter of a troll princess and a fairy prince, and a pawn in a deadly war between the trolls and the fairies. Now October will have to use all of her growing powers to save her family, and stop a mysterious evil that threatens to destroy the fairy world.

In the fantastical vein of authors such as Julie Kagawa and Holly Black, Extraordinary October takes us on a magical journey from the streets of Los Angeles to the beautiful and mythical underground fairy kingdom.

Why is this book not getting more publicity, it is literally a fun amalgamation of all of the fantasy books that have been 'big'. Think The Iron Fey series, meets the Wicked Lovely series, throw in a little of Trylle series and a Disney style evil queen and you get something like Extraordinary October - this was a really fun and quick read that I enjoyed.

At the start I didn't think this book would work for me - the writing seemed a little clunky and the protagonist spent the first few chapters talking about how plain and ordinary she was, how nobody really notices her and her life is nothing special. I hate that kind of stuff and it was seriously overload in this book at times, but the writing started to work and when we got to the plot this book really picked up and October came into her own.

I loved the whole interspecies chosen one thing, and I loved the individual traits that the fairies (who like birds and have addictive personalities) and the trolls (mushroom digging) had - I also really enjoyed reading about how they came together to defeat the bad guy, it was a fun romp.

I mean, this book isn't breaking any records - I'm not sure it's going to be on the best books I have read this year list, but it's pure escapism and brings back a genre which seems to have fizzled a bit in the last few years.

If you liked any faerie series (Tithe, Wicked Lovely, The Replacement, Trylle) then I would recommend you give this book a go, it was an enjoyable fun read. 

Overall Rating: B-

Book released October 11th 2016 by Ig Publishing
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

Review: Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Holding Up the Universe
Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for EVERY POSSIBILITY LIFE HAS TO OFFER. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything in new and bad-ass ways, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. . . . Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

Some people are so sensitive. Like all the people saying that this book romanticizes mental illness. Yes, this book has two characters who are going through their own stuff, but just by having a character who has propaganasia doesn't mean that this book is romanticising in. This book is about two characters coming together to support each other through times of hardship, and helping each other to become the best version of themselves. Just because Libby is obese doesn't mean that Niven is standing up and saying 'OBESITY IS OKAY' - she is just using it as a plot device to make the character that she thinks will make this book special.

Okay, rant over - but it really upsets me to see people rating down a book that they haven't read based on assumptions.

Okay, rant really over.

I just really enjoyed this book, not only was it gorgeously written, but it really made me think. Jack and Libby's relationship is completely unexpected, but it works for the two of them and that was a perfect thing to read, and the way it all developed was not only sweet but it was entertaining. Remember people, books are meant to entertain - they are meant to make us think and make us smile and make us happy, this book did that for me. As is expected, there are some awful characters in this book and some not so smiley moments, but did this book make me squee and did I close this book with a smile on my face? Yes. Therefore, I think it served it's purpose.

I haven't read anything else by Niven yet (I have All The Bright Places on my bookshelf though) but if this is a reflection of her writing I know I will read anything brought out by her in the future. 

Overall, Holding Up the Universe was a book that made me smile and happy, it is completely cute and very inoffensive. 

Overall Rating: A-

Book released 6th October 2016 by Penguin Books (UK)
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

Review: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas, #1)


Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation...and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can't trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland...

Alice in Wonderland with the type of diversity we keep campaigning for - that is exactly how I would describe Labyrinth Lost and isn't that such an exciting description?

I was absorbed into this book from the first page, when we meet Alex and are pulled into her family of witches and tradition and all of the dysfunction that goes with that. I was excited by the prospect of a bruja that hadn't found her power and her deathday upcoming and that part of the book did not disappoint, in fact it was really enjoyable to read. Straight from the start, it was clear to see that Cordova is a very talented author.

However when we got into the main chunk of this book, my interest began to waver. To start with I was really into the Los Lagos world and Nova and Alex's journey through it, but despite the fact that there were many obstactles, I just started to lose focus. It just seemed quite uninteresting, like I was waiting for something to happen but between 25% and 75% not a whole lot did. I still read it, but I can't say I was caring a whole lot about what happened.

There was a big climax, and this redeemed itself a little as did the ending, but because the majority of this book barely kept me hanging on I can't really say that means a whole lot.

Another thing that I have to fault was Risa and Alex's relationship. It felt very forced, and I was initially excited by a gay relationship in YA fiction, but because Risa just sort of dropped in when Nova and Alex had been at things themselves I didn't really see this work for me. I wanted Nova by that point, Risa just seemed to be an awkward add on.

Now, don't get me wrong. Labyrinth Lost wasn't a bad book, I read it from start to finish and I really enjoyed the premise, but it lost me at a few points and the romance didn't work for me, so whilst i'd recommend this book if your local library stocked it, I personally wouldn't be in a rush to buy it. 

Overall Rating: C-

Book released September 6th 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns (Untitled, #1)

Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.
But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.

Kendare Blake is such a consistently good author. I loved Anna Dressed in Blood and I enjoyed Antigoddess, by this point I am obligated to enjoy everything to woman puts out. Three Dark Crowns was in no way an exception.

Now, I think part of the reason I can't say I adored this book is to do with the fact that recently I have been on a run of shallow, cute contemporary reads and Three Dark Crowns was much darker and much more loaded than anything that I read recently. That being said, I still really really enjoyed this book and I can honestly say Kendare Blake has done it again. #KendareBlakeHasDoneItAgain, can we make that a trending hashtag?

This book is about three sisters - more like strangers than family - that have been brought up in different environments with the same knowledge - two must die, one must live. We join the girls a few months before the Ascension Year - the year they have to battle to the death - and we see their development up until then. 

To start with I wasn't 100% keen on the split points of view, but because each of the girls had such unique personalities and voices, I didn't find myself getting confused and it started to work for me. Now, I have to say that my favorite of the three Queens was Katharine, so I enjoyed reading her parts more than the other girls, but each arc and the overriding main story kept me hooked anyway. My favorite bit was where they all came together and things started to go a bit cray-cray.

Now the end is written to shock, but with regards to Arsinoe's discovery I had already sort of guessed that - Katharine's ending was a shocker though, and almost a literal cliffhanger, so I am definitely hooked into wanting the next book already, because this is a story that is nowhere near finished yet and I can say that I am absolutely hooked.

There isn't much more that I can say about this book - Kendare Blake has proved once again that she is a brilliant author and world builder, and my faith in her has grown even stronger. I seriously enjoyed this book, even despite a few flaws which keep it from getting the very top ratings.


Overall Rating: A-

Book released September 20th 2016 by HarperTeen
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

Review: How to Make Out by Brianna Shrum

How to Make Out


Sixteen-year-old Renley needs three thousand dollars for the math club’s trip to New York City, and she knows exactly how to get it: she’s going to start a how-to blog where people pay for answers to all of life’s questions from a “certified expert.” The only problems: 1) She doesn’t know how to do anything but long division and calculus. 2) She’s totally invisible to people at school. And not in a cool Gossip Girl kind of way.

So, she decides to learn to do . . . well . . . everything. When her anonymous blog shifts in a more scandalous direction and the questions (and money) start rolling in, she has to learn not just how to do waterfall braids and cat-eye makeup, but a few other things, like how to cure a hangover, how to flirt, and how to make out (something her very experienced, and very in-love-with-her neighbor, Drew, is more than willing to help with).

As her blog’s reputation skyrockets, so does “new and improved” Renley’s popularity. She’s not only nabbed the attention of the entire school, but also the eye of Seth Levine, the hot culinary wizard she’s admired from across the home-ec classroom all year.

Soon, caught up in the thrill of popularity both in and out of cyberspace, her secrets start to spiral, and she finds that she’s forgotten the most important how-to: how to be herself. When her online and real lives converge, Renley will have to make a choice: lose everything she loves in her new life, or everyone she loves in the life she left behind.

Ohhhh Ms Shrum, you have burrowed your brain straight into my soul and written the book that I have been wanting for so long. It may not have been exactly the most well executed or well thought out book, but it was still a joy to read.

True escapism, that's what this book is - a girl with a blog answering questions. Yes, google does the same thing for free, but YA has never been known for it's application to real life. Vampires and werewolves don't exist, but there are loads of books about them. A girl can create a blog which is pretty redundant if she wants, this is teen fiction after all.

Renley, whilst lacking in common sense for 70% of this book, was a charming character to read about. Okay, she was indecisive and silly and extremely naive, but I sort of loved her for it. I also loved Drew as well, he was the character I came to care about the most and I felt so sorry for him a lot of this book. The dreaded love triangle was pretty well done in this book though, and I really apprecated that.

Overall, How to Make Out was a cute book which whilst being pretty inconceivable was pretty fun to read. Such a good book for relaxing!

Overall Rating: C+

Book released September 6th 2016 by Sky Pony Press
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

Waiting on Wednesday - 7th September 2016

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Anyway, here are my WOW picks, let me know what you think and link me to yours!


To Catch A Killer by Sheryl Scarborough
Tor Teen - February 7th 2017

To Catch a KillerErin Blake has one of those names. A name that, like Natalee Holloway or Elizabeth Smart, is inextricably linked to a grisly crime. As a toddler, Erin survived for three days alongside the corpse of her murdered mother, and the case—which remains unsolved—fascinated a nation. Her father's identity unknown, Erin was taken in by her mother's best friend and has become a relatively normal teen in spite of the looming questions about her past.

Fourteen years later, Erin is once again at the center of a brutal homicide when she finds the body of her biology teacher. When questioned by the police, Erin tells almost the whole truth, but never voices her suspicions that her mother's killer has struck again in order to protect the casework she's secretly doing on her own.

Inspired by her uncle, an FBI agent, Erin has ramped up her forensic hobby into a full-blown cold-case investigation. This new murder makes her certain she's close to the truth, but when all the evidence starts to point the authorities straight to Erin, she turns to her longtime crush (and fellow suspect) Journey Michaels to help her crack the case before it's too late.

 My thoughts:
I'm really excited by this, an exciting grisly back story and a teenage sleuth - if done well this could be amazing

Review: Diplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton

Diplomatic Immunity


Raucous parties, privileged attitudes, underage drinking, and diplomatic immunity...it’s all part of student life on Embassy Row.

Piper Baird has always dreamed of becoming a journalist. So when she scores a scholarship to exclusive Chiswick Academy in Washington, DC, she knows it’s her big opportunity. Chiswick offers the country’s most competitive prize for teen journalists—the Bennington scholarship—and winning will ensure her acceptance to one of the best schools in the country.

Piper isn’t at Chiswick for two days before she witnesses the intense competition in the journalism program—and the extreme privilege of the young and wealthy elite who attend her school. And Piper knows access to these untouchable students just might give her the edge she’ll need to blow the lid off life at the school in a scathing and unforgettable exposé worthy of the Bennington.

The key to the whole story lies with Rafael Amador, the son of the Spanish ambassador—and the boy at the center of the most explosive secrets and scandals on Embassy Row. Rafael is big trouble—and when he drops into her bedroom window one night, asking for help, it’s Piper’s chance to get the full scoop. But as they spend time together, Piper discovers that despite his dark streak, Rafael is smart, kind, funny, and gorgeous—and she might have real feelings for him. How can she break the story of a lifetime if it could destroy the boy she just might love?

To say I was so extremely impressed a couple of days ago by one of Ashton's other books, the great collab My Lady Jane I was expecting Diplomatic Immunity to be just a little bit more special than it was. Sure, it was an enjoyable read, if a little frustrating at times, but it lacked the magic that I expected from an author of My Lady Jane.

That being said, I have been telling everyone about My Lady Jane for the last few days - and it's unlikely that no book will ever live up to my love of that book. So really, using it as a comparison is just setting me up for disappointment now.

So yeah, Diplomatic Immunity was not in any way a bad book. I enjoyed it, Brodi Ashton is clearly a talented author because she created an engaging story and fun characters. I really liked Piper (Pipper!) she was tough and funny, but I felt extremely frustrated with her at times. She should have just told Rafael about her story, but Raf was just as annoying a character at times - firstly, he ignored her quite a lot and I didn't feel like that was something either party should be comfortable with - I wanted more of a story about dealing with the class differences not this messy romance that I couldn't fully bak.

The ending was a bit of a sell out - there was no climax or fall out, despite Piper's betrayal of Rafael, it just all fell into place for her and worked, and this upset me a bit - for the sake of tenty more pages, I feel like there could have been some confrontation and climax.

Overall, I think that Diplomatic Immunity was a fun read, but I don't feel like it showed me what Brodi Ashton can do - I didn't feel any magic or sparks, I just sort of enjoyed it and moved past it.

Overall Rating: B-

Book released September 6th 2016 by Balzer+Bray
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

Review: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows (aka the Lady Janies)

My Lady Jane




A comical, fantastical and witty re-imagining of the Tudor world, perfect for fans of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Lady Jane Grey, sixteen, is about to be married to a total stranger - and caught up in an insidious plot to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But that's the least of Jane's problems. She's about to become Queen of England. Like that could go wrong.




If you asked me to name just one book releasing this year that I have been extremely excited about, I would have to say My Lady Jane, firstly because it's been written by three of the most brilliant and talented minds in YA fiction, secondly because it's historical fiction based on English history (I am a brit, ergo I was very excited for this) and finally because it just sounds amazing and there has been a lot of hype and I am a sheep. I follow the hype. Baa.

So when I went to my local chain bookstore this morning to buy this book (it was released two days ago here in the UK) and found that they didn't have it (HORROR), I got in my car, drove home and ordered it for Kindle, and I devoured it within hours. I started this book at 12:30pm, it is currently five hours after that and I am writing a review. I ate this book.

I do not in the slightest way regret being a sheep. This book is every bit worth the hype. This book deserves an award for having me hysterically laughing and gripped and pulling me out of a slump which I thought I would never escape from. This book is so witty and intelligent, with characters which I really grew to love in every single way. It isn't at all what I expected, but it was absolutely amazing. 

Jane was such a strong amazing character but she was not my favorite - Gifford (call me G!) was my fave. Funny, kind, handsome, he's just a stallion of a man with a pony tail. Yes, he was great. Edward also was perfect but nobody will replace G as my new book boyfriend and steed. Yes, G is my new love.

I loved the way this book literally broke every fourth wall, and all of the pop cultre references (I also can't help but feel like at least one of these authors has watched the TV series Reign as well). There was a very strong Princess Bride feel of it all - a ridiculousness which just gave this book timelessness - I can honestly say it's going to be one of my feel good, go to, read again and again books (and that is one of the biggest compliments because I simply don't reread). 

I'm not really sure how many people read my reviews, I'd like to think that I have a bit of a reach. Therefore, if you are reading this please please please purchase this book and support these authors so that they can continue defiling British history in the best possible way.

I doubt I will read a better book for a very long time.


And yes - I will be getting my hands on a copy of that print version!

Overall Rating: A++++++++

Released June 7th (US)/September 1st by Hot Key Books
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review