Review: The Pioneer by Bridget Tyler (DNF)

The Pioneer (The Pioneer, #1)
When Jo steps onto Tau Ceti E, it should be the happiest moment of her life. After all, she’s been training for as long as she can remember to be a cadet pilot in the International Space Agency. She’s dreamed of the day she and her family would leave Earth forever and begin life as pioneers on a new planet.

But now she can’t stop thinking of everything that has gone wrong on their mission: the terrible accident that nearly destroyed their craft, that set their voyage back years, that killed her brother, that left her unable to fly…

As Jo struggles to live with her grief and figure out who she’s going to be now, she falls in love with her new world. It isn’t hard. Jo’s team is camped out by a pristine, tumbling river at the base of a mountain range that looks like huge prisms buried in the prairie. The soring crystal peaks transform every sunset into rainbows full of colors human eyes have never seen before. And that’s just the beginning. Tau offers Jo and her family a lifetime of beauty and adventure.

Jo throws herself into helping her team, lead by her commander mother, establish their community on this amazing new world. But just when she starts to feel like her old self again, she uncovers a devastating secret her mother has been keeping from her people. A secret that could destroy her family’s pioneering dreams…if they survive that long.

With the fate of the pioneers in her hands, Jo must decide how far she’s willing to go to expose the truth — before the truth destroys them all.

It has been sooooo long since I found a sci-fi book that I really enjoyed. The Pioneer unfortunately did not break this bad streak.

Okay, so first things first... I did DNF this book at 56%, and as you may know from previous reviews I don't always give long reviews for DNF books as it's unfair to do so.

So to sum up the reason that this book was a DNF. I enjoyed the start of the book enough, sure the pacing was off but I liked Jo and her willfullness. It just got a bit weird with aliens and then I just lost the plot a little and I had to give up because I was just not with it anymore.

Book released 5th March 2019 by HarperTeen
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

Review: Missing, Presumed Dead by Emma Berquist

Missing, Presumed Dead
 With a touch, Lexi can sense how and when someone will die. Some say it’s a gift. But to Lexi it’s a curse—one that keeps her friendless and alone. All that changes when Lexi foresees the violent death of a young woman, Jane, outside a club. But Jane doesn’t go to the afterlife quietly. Her ghost remains behind, determined to hunt down her murderer, and she needs Lexi’s help. In life, Jane was everything Lexi is not—outgoing, happy, popular. But in death, all Jane wants is revenge. Lexi will do anything to help Jane, to make up for the fact that she didn’t—couldn’t—save Jane’s life, and to keep this beautiful ghost of a girl by her side for as long as possible.

Recently I have had this huge craving to reread the Mediator series by Meg Cabot, it was the first book that got me into the YA Paranormal genre in the first place. The issue is that I have such a huge TBR pile that I put that thought to the back of my mind and decided to pick a randomly selected book from my TBR list and read it.

That book was Missing, Presumed Dead. Whilst it isn't really on the level of The Mediator, it definitely filled a void and left me feeling pretty contect.

Firstly, let me say how much I loved the Film Noir vibe that this book had going on. From Lexi's spiky exterior and the menance behind the scenes and the almost crime familia kind of thing that Urie has going on, it was amazing. 

There's also some amazing characters as well. As much as Lex herself wasn't entirely likeable, she had her reasons for pushing people away so it's forgivable. She's also compelling to read, and I loved those around her. Deda is an amzing character and even though he wasn't in on the action he was a steadfast support. Ilia... Oh how I loved Ilia... I expected Ilia to be the main love interest to be honest and I am so glad he was not. It's such an amazing representation of how a male can be a protector and that can be completely platonic.

Now let's get onto the less alive characters. Trevor... oh get me a Trevor. he was funny and cute and witty and such a companion to Lex. Jane was also just amazing, so real to life and such an instigator for Lexi's change and arc. I supported the two of them all the way through even though I find dead/alive romance as a trope entirely cringeworthy.

The plot of this book was pretty simple, but the origianlity came from the underground network of magic and powers that exists in a modern day LA. I loved that the descriptions were vague enough to not be infodump but also not entirely complicated so it didn't feel like poor world building.

Overall, Missing, Presumed Dead is one of the better books that I have read recently. It's only because I compare all Urban Paranormal books to the ones that set me on this blogging course that this book won't get 5/5.

Book released 21st May 2019 by Greenwillow Books
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

Review: The Beholder by Anna Bright

The Beholder

 Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now that day has finally come.

But after an excruciatingly public rejection from her closest childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all.

I feel like this review is going to be a hard one to write. it's barely been five minutes since I finished The Beholder and I can barely put my thoughts into worsdsbecause I'm in two minds.

1) Diversity, amazing secondary characters, intrigue, pretty princesses OMG!
2) What worldbuilding, magical radios and instalove... disjointed retelling.

Let's put these thoughts into words then.

Okay, first the pros. I really really loved the premise of this book. From page one I was hooked by Selah's life and her life in Pontomac and the intrigue with her evil stepmother and ailing father. There were some gorgeous descriptions and some amazing characters.

I particularly liked the crew of The Beholder. They were like a mixing pot of different cultures and backgrounds and they each brought something really fun to the table. Cobie is my BFF for life... I think that their loyalty to Selah even when they weren't being 100% truthful with her was beautiful.

That being said, the whole thing did feel disjointed at times. This is billed as a retelling of The Odyssey but that's nowhere near correct. it's more a retelling of different key tropes of different fairytales and folk stories and fables and they never really knit together as well as you might hope. That, as well as the poor worldbuilding (like really, why is a radio the only technology that exists... why are people in Norway - sorry, I mean Norge - living in a giant tree and where on Earth is Pontomac??) just made the whole thing difficult for me to swallow.

Now lets talk about the love interest. Really, Bright? Do you really need to introduce me to two handsome men that Selah falls for and then just rip through it. Firstly, it kind of makes 90% of the book about arc's which won't be significant down the line and secondly it makes Selah seem desperate, needy and it ruins the integrity of any future love interests. It looks like Captain Lang might be more important in the next book and I just hope that actually goes somewhere. (Torden for life).

The one thing that really saved this book was the writing. Despite a few phrases which seemed out of place for the setting, Bright's writing itself was descriptive and absorbing and took away from the many negatives of this book.

Overall, I will definitely be reading the sequel, but I hope that in it Bright spends more time developing the characters and the world...


Book released 6th November 2018 by Katherine Tegen
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

Review: Fan the Flame by Anna Priemaza

Fan the Fame
Lainey wouldn’t mind lugging a camera around a video game convention for her brother, aka YouTube superstar Codemeister, except for one big problem. He’s funny and charming online, but behind closed doors, Cody is a sexist jerk.

SamTheBrave came to this year’s con with one mission: meeting Codemeister—because getting his idol’s attention could be the big break Sam needs.

ShadowWillow is already a successful streamer. But when her fans start shipping her with Code, Shadow concocts a plan to turn the rumors to her advantage.

The three teens’ paths collide when Lainey records one of Cody’s hateful rants on video. Because she’s determined to spill the truth to her brother’s fans—even if that means putting Sam and Shadow in the crosshairs.
My notes for when I read this book are scarce, because I read it in a single bath, refilling the water twice, but they pretty much said this: LumberLegs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So yeah.

Look, I have an older brother. He also is a Twitch streamer. He also says things which I might deem inapporpriate. Don't get me wrong, he's not a total jerk like Cody, but I did definitely relate to the culture and the issues in this book.

I think the key to this book is the characters, so lets start with them. None of them were perfect (except maybe Legs) but I was a little annoyed by most of them. Lainey... she is so righteous that she sees everything so black and white - good or bad. I get that she tried to confront Cody and always got spoken to like crap, but I think that the way she approached things was way too heavy handed. ShadowWillow was a user, but she was just fighting tooth and nail to make her place in a mostly male run show. Don't get me wrong, I get that... but still, her obsession with follower counts while ignoring the people who really cared for her 'Zzz'  was frustrating. I really felt for Sam, he has his issues and he can't fight them and he feels trapped but he finds his own place as a streamer and his wa sthe only story that turned out the way it should.

The storyline of this book was brilliant. Whilst I didn't always agree with the character's actions, I think Priemaza has really got her claws into the eGaming and Streaming cultures and wrote about them honestly and authentically and whilst I don't want to ruin this for anyone so I may be vague, it was an honest representation of a culture that prides itself on being 'inclusive' but can be so very elitist.


Book released 20th August 2019 by HarperTeen
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

Review: A Dress for the Wicked by Autumn Krause

A Dress for the Wicked
Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Shy in Avon-upon-Kynt. And for eighteen years, Emmaline Watkins has feared that her future held just that: nothing.

But when the head of the most admired fashion house in the country opens her prestigious design competition to girls from outside the stylish capital city, Emmy’s dreams seem closer than they ever have before.

As the first “country girl” to compete, Emmy knows she’ll encounter extra hurdles on her way to the top. But as she navigates the twisted world of high fashion she starts to wonder: will she be able to tailor herself to fit into this dark, corrupted race? And at what cost?

Ok. I love Project Runway, despite the fact that I have the fashion sense of a fish - a very unfashionable fish - I love the drama and the campness and I love Heidi/Karlie and I love the designs and the challenges and when this book was described as a fantasy Project Runway I knew that I had to read it.

Don'd get me wrong. I did enjoy this book, it just didn't blow me away. I read it in a day, so it did keep my attention, but it wasn't particularly memorable afterwards. Emmeline fell flat for me, as did all of the other characters. There was some depth, in the political side of things, but it wasn't enough to make this book wow me.

The love story... oh, it could have been this epic stretched-out thing and it could have saved this book... but our headstrong Emmy just fell apart around Tristan, so I just could not bring myself to really like him, or their relationship.

Overall, A Dress for the Wicked was not quite what I expected and it did definitely fall short in my view. That being said, it was fun it just lacked depth and worldbuilding.


Book released 6thAugust 2019 by HarperTeen
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review