Review: The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy

Another book I received in a subscription box is “The Disappearances” by Emily Bain Murphy. I always do my best to try to use the clues the companies give to guess the books that will be included, but I was absolutely surprised by this choice! I was very delighted with the surprise, and I was so excited when I found out it was set in the 1940’s! I have been reading too much contemporary fiction recently and got really burnt out, and this was just the change I needed.

First, a synopsis from Amazon…

35529075Every seven years something disappears in the remote town of Sterling: people’s reflections, the stars in the sky, the ability to dream. Aila realises that her mother may be to blame for the curse. But some mysteries are buried very deep and some secrets want to stay hidden – and one young woman’s desire to uncover the truth may not be enough to save Sterling from the past.

A beautifully told story of love, loss and finding the truth – no matter how difficult that may be.

So, the official synopsis doesn’t provide much information, so I’ll clue you in to the set-up for the series:

The year is 1942, and Aila’s mother has just died. She and her younger brother Miles are being sent to live with her mother’s best friend in a small town so their father can go fight in the war. Before she leaves, she comes across a volume of Shakespeare that her mother had scribbled over, as well as a letter to a mysterious individual accompanied by  a  ring. When Aila and Miles arrive in Sterling, they realize that the town is very odd: people don’t have reflections, some things don’t get wet when it rains, they can’t see the stars, they cease to dream, and all the color seems to leave their paints and crayons when they try to use them. The whole town believes that these Disappearances are linked to Aila’s mother, and she and her brother are ostracized. Continue reading

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Review: One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

I subscribed to Book Box Club a few months ago, and the very first book I received was One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus. It was the featured volume in their “Schoolroom Scandals” box. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up if I hadn’t been sent it, but I enjoyed it very much!

Before I get too far into it, though, here is the synopsis from Amazon…

32887579Five students go to detention. Only four leave alive. For fans of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars, this is the perfect high school thriller.

Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule.

Sports star Cooper only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond.

Bad body Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime.

Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.

And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again.

He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it’s no accident. All of them are suspects.

Everyone has secrets, right?

What really matters is how far you’ll go to protect them.

Continue reading

Post-YALC thoughts and tips!

So, this year I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Young Adult Literature Convention, part of London Film & Comic Con. I was really really nervous and excited as I had never attended a convention before, but I was really looking forward to seeing some of my favorite authors!

To be honest, I had no idea what to expect. I knew that there were going to be a few exhibitors that I was really looking forward to, and LFCC published a schedule of talks, workshops, activities, and booksignings about two weeks before the events. This made it very easy to plan my day, however, I had a few hiccups (which I will explain later).

First off, I thought the venue was excellent. YALC had its own devoted entrance and floor with stairs and lifts taking you straight to the floor. It was spacious and roomy, and even had a small reading area and cafe! There was also plenty of open floor space, which lots of people took advantage of to sit and eat their packed lunches. The floor had its own toilets as well, though I understand that some people had some trouble accessing the disabled toilets, which were sectioned off as part of a VIP area =( Continue reading

Review: Because You Love to Hate Me

So I recently finished “Because You Love To Hate Me”, an anthology of short stories about villiany by some popular YA authors and BookTubers. It took me AGES to get through! I just haven’t had much time to read lately.

Anyway, as with any anthology, I liked some stories much better than others. Before I go into that too much, here is a synopsis from Amazon

becauseIn this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains’ points of view.

These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like “Medusa,” Sherlock Holmes, and “Jack and the Beanstalk” provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains’ acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage–and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!

Featuring writing from . . .

Authors: Renée Ahdieh, Ameriie, Soman Chainani, Susan Dennard, Sarah Enni, Marissa Meyer, Cindy Pon, Victoria Schwab, Samantha Shannon, Adam Silvera, Andrew Smith, April Genevieve Tucholke, and Nicola Yoon

BookTubers: Benjamin Alderson (Benjaminoftomes), Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia), Whitney Atkinson (WhittyNovels), Tina Burke (ChristinaReadsYA blog and TheLushables), Catriona Feeney (LittleBookOwl), Jesse George (JessetheReader), Zoë Herdt (readbyzoe), Samantha Lane (Thoughts on Tomes), Sophia Lee (thebookbasement), Raeleen Lemay (padfootandprongs07), Regan Perusse (PeruseProject), Christine Riccio (polandbananasBOOKS), and Steph Sinclair & Kat Kennedy (Cuddlebuggery blog and channel). Continue reading

Service Review: Book Box Club

A few months ago, I was overloaded on working overtime and I figured I may as well treat myself — I had been wanting a book subscription box for a while, and I was combing instagram eagerly every month to see the books and contents of all the different boxes as they arrived with their subscribers. I eventually decided that Book Box Club was the best pick for me.

First, let me explain a little bit about the subscription service. You can sign up month-to-month, with the option of skipping a month if the theme isn’t for you, or you can buy a subscription block of 3-months, or 6-months.

What drew me to this service is that they don’t stick with a particular genre. They may send out a fantasy book one month, a contemporary one the next, and a historical one next month. I like the variety and I feel like it makes the box more of a surprise.

So, what do they include in their boxes?

Continue reading

Sorry for the hiatus…

I have to apologize for the extremely long and unexpected hiatus. I was hired in a job last year that is in the tourist industry, and as summer is the busiest season, and has us work the longest hours, it was difficult to find time to devote to the blog. I think I have finally balanced life out, though, and am stable (and disciplined) enough to find time to make some posts! I plan on writing posts for all the books that I have missed out on reviewing, so prepare to be overloaded with content soon!

I also attended YALC and intend on writing a post-YALC post, so keep your eyes peeled!

Now, on to new content!

Waiting on Wednesday 27/4/2016

It’s Waiting on Wednesday!

My pick for this week is The Gilded Cage by Lucinda Gray.

gildedFirst, a synopsis from Amazon:

After growing up on a farm in Virginia, Walthingham Hall in England seems like another world to sixteen-year-old Katherine Randolph. Her new life, filled with the splendor of upper class England in the 1820s, is shattered when she discovers the corpse of her brother George in a lake on the estate-the tragic accidental drowning of a young man, the coroner reports, despite the wound to George’s head.

Katherine is expected to observe the mourning customs and get on with her life, but she can’t accept that her brother’s death was an accident. A bitter poacher prowls the estate, and strange visitors threaten the occupants of the house. There’s a rumor, too, that a wild animal stalks the woods of Walthingham.

Can Katherine retain her sanity long enough to find out the truth? Or will her brother’s killer claim her life, too?

Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday 20/4/2016

It’s Waiting on Wednesday again and I’m really excited for the pick this week!!

My WoW choice is…. Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West.

kingdomFirst a synopsis from Amazon:

Building on homages to”Cinderella,” “Sleeping Beauty,” Jane Austen s”Emma”and the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Hannah West makes a spectacular and wholly original debut.

Bristal, a sixteen-year-old kitchen maid, lands in a fairy tale gone wrong when she discovers she has elicromancer magic in her blood. Elicromancers are an ancient breed of immortal people, but only two remain in Nissera. Bristal joins the ranks of Brack and Tamarice without knowing that one of them has a dark secret . . . Tamarice is plotting a quest to overthrow the realm s nobility and take charge herself. Together, Bristal and Brack must guard Nissera against her black elicromancy. There are cursed princesses to protect, royal alliances to forge and fierce monsters to battle all with the hope of preserving peace. Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday 13/4/2016

It’s time for Waiting on Wednesday again!

This week I read about a book titled “If I Was Your Girl” by Meredith Russo.

Here’s a synopsis from Amazon:

ifiwasAmanda Hardy is the new girl in school. Like anyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret, and she s determined not to get too close to anyone.

But when she meets sweet, easygoing Grant, Amanda can t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she realizes just how much she is losing by guarding her heart. She finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself, including her past. But Amanda s terrified that once she tells him the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda s been keeping? It’s that at her old school, she used to be Andrew. Will the truth cost Amanda her new life, and her new love? Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday 6/4/2016

It’s Wednesday again! And that means it’s time to feature another great book that is upcoming…

My pick this week is Charlie N. Holmberg’s “Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet”.

magicbmagcsA synopsis from Amazon:

Maire is a baker with an extraordinary gift: she can infuse her treats with emotions and abilities, which are then passed on to those who eat them. She doesn’t know why she can do this and remembers nothing of who she is or where she came from.

When marauders raid her town, Maire is captured and sold to the eccentric Allemas, who enslaves her and demands that she produce sinister confections, including a witch’s gingerbread cottage, a living cookie boy, and size-altering cakes.

During her captivity, Maire is visited by Fyel, a ghostly being who is reluctant to reveal his connection to her. The more often they meet, the more her memories return, and she begins to piece together who and what she really is—as well as past mistakes that yield cosmic consequences. Continue reading