Blog Tour – Deck Of Omens – CLH

Hello everyone! I hope you are all keeping well in these strange times. For many of us reading is an escape and a chance to go into a different world. Today I am so happy to be a part of the blog tour for Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman. This is the sequel to the amazing first book – The Devouring Gray. Be aware that there may be spoilers for the first book in this review so if you haven’t read the first book then come back when you have!

My many thanks go to Titan Books for sending me a review copy of this book and for giving me a space on your blog tour! Special thanks to Sarah for organising this.

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Plot

With the Beast subdued, the town of Four Paths discovers a new threat: a corruption seeping is from the Gray, poisoning the roots of the town and its people. Only May Hawthorne realises the danger, forced to watch as her visions become reality.

Meanwhile, the town is riven by change: Harper Carlisle is learning to control her newfound powers, and how to forgive after devastating betrayals; Isaac Sullivan’s older brother, Gabriel, has returned after years away; Violet Saunders is finding her place and Justin and May’s father has finally come home.

With the veil between the Gray and the town growing ever thinner, and the Founder Families all returning to their roots, the time has finally come to settle ancient grudges, to cure the corruption and stop the Beast once and for all.

But more than one kind of beast preys on Four Paths…

Extract

She found Justin standing stiffly in the center of a small clearing, the shaky beam of his flashlight trained on the tree in front of him.

There was something horribly wrong with it. Part of the bark had faded from brown to a dark gray, and rivulets of liquid dripped down the trunk, leaving a slick, oily sheen behind them. The smell that wafted from it was nearly unbearable. May’s eyes stung; she tried to blink her tears away, coughing.

May raised her flashlight, shuddering as she traced the spread of gray toward its branches.

“What do you think is happening here?” Justin asked, his voice muffled by the hand he’d clapped over his mouth and nose.

“I don’t know,” May said. She had been in the Gray just once, the time she had saved Justin from the Beast after he’d failed his ritual. Something about this tree reminded her of the forest she’d seen there, pulsating and alien, branches twisted toward her like clawing hands. But it wasn’t the same—although it was damaged, the bark that remained was still unmistakably normal, still part of Four Paths.

She took a picture of it on her phone, then lowered her flashlight to the ground.

Iridescent liquid pooled on the ground below, soaking into the soil. May watched, alarmed, as it slid toward them. She’d never heard of anything like this before, yet it looked oddly familiar.

“We should move,” she said, grabbing Justin’s arm and yanking him back. “I don’t think it’s a good idea to touch it.”

For once he didn’t protest, his expression nervous. “Yeah. Wait—what’s that?”

He gestured at the tree, and May swung her phone flashlight forward, a terrible sense of déjà vu washing over her.

She didn’t know why it had taken this long for her to recognize it. But now, as she saw the half-melted trunk, harshly illuminated, and watched a tendril of gray emerge, she remembered sitting beneath the hawthorn tree just a few days ago, shuddering at that exact image. Before she could even fully process what it might mean, the gray dissipated, vanishing into the air like a puff of smoke. She shone her flashlight on the tree, on the iridescent trails of liquid still creeping toward them, but all signs of it were gone.

“Shit,” she whispered, her grip tightening on Justin’s arm. She had seen this coming for them, but that didn’t tell her what it was—or how to stop it.

“You saw that too.” His voice was raw.“The Gray.You saw it, right?”

May nodded, nausea churning in her stomach. “Let’s get out of here. Mom needs to know about this.”

They hurried back through the forest, their earlier argument forgotten. Long after the smell faded away, May still felt the touch of decay against her skin, as if rot were seeping into her very pores. And in her mind, that smoke unfurled over and over again, reaching for her.

 

Review

I absolutely adored reading The Devouring Gray before the Deck of Omens and I knew as soon as I finished the first book that I wanted to read the sequel right away! For me, The Devouring Gray was a stand out debut novel – and I wanted more. The Forest has so much personification that it feels so real. There are so many dark twists and turns to this novel that keeps you reading at a rapid pace.

I enjoyed the investigations that went on during this book, it really kept the plot interesting. There are so many brilliant and creepy descriptions as well that were very atmospheric. The writing style flowed very well and I felt like this was a brilliant sequel to The Devouring Gray. I won’t go into massive detail because the plot is there to be enjoyed without spoilers!

Gabriel and Isaac are two of my favourite characters and I enjoyed following their plot line. The other good thing about this book was the fact that the characters were diverse and relatable and they each added a new dimension to the story.

Overall this was a brilliant sequel and I cannot wait to find out what happens next. This is a young adult fantasy genre mixed with contemporary – so I do believe it will suit a lot of peoples tastes.

If you have read this book and have thoughts, I would love to hear them! Send me a direct message or leave a comment below.

Until next time!

 

 

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Favourite Children’s Books.

Hello everyone! I hope you are all well and have had a fresh start to 2020!

I thought I would take the time to write a post today about my favourite books I used to read when I was younger. I have started perusing the charity shops and boot sales for books that I used to read and buying them.

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Let me know what your favourite books were below

  1. Pongwiffy by Kaye Umansky (and all of the series!) This is a series that I absolutely adored when I was younger and I have started reading them again now! I used to listen to the audiobooks a lot and I adored the narrator Prunella Scales. These books are based on a gaggle of witches and their adventures.

 

 

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2.  Any book by Jacqueline Wilson. My favourites include: The Story of Tracy Beaker, The Illustrated Mum, The Girls Series, The Bed and Breakfast Star and Bad Girls.

These books shaped my childhood in the sense that I read them as soon as they came out. I would recommend these to anyone including adults.

 

 

 

 

 

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3) Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling. I know I do not have to explain the

reasoning behind these books being my absolute favourite of all time. These books grew up with me and I adore them so much. I am going to reread them all this year, and in times where I am sad or down and need cheering up, Hogwarts is always there to welcome me home.

 

 

 

4. Wilma’s Wicked Revenge by Kaye Umansky

Another witch based story follows Wilma, who is on a mission to inflict revenge on her two witch sisters who have caused her a lot of bother. This is another adventure story which I just love. Again, the audiobook is brilliant.

 

 

Anticipated Reads!

Hello everyone, I though tI would drop in and tell you about some of my anticipated reads for the rest of 2019.

2019 is drawing to a close and I have read quite a few lovely books this year. However there are a few that I am still really looking forward to.

  1. The Toll by Neal Schusterman. This is the final book in The Arc Of A Scythe series. I absolutely adored Scythe and Thunderhead. I cannot wait to find out what happens next.
  2. The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black. Another end to a series I have really enjoyed. Carden and Jude are characters I do not want to leave but I cannot wait to see what happens next.

 

Other books that I need to get to:

I am currently reading Serpent and Dove and I am really enjoying it. The setting is beautiful and there are a lot of religious and political references that are interesting.

I also have an ARC of The Sisters Grimm by Menna Van Praag. I absolutely love the cover and the synopsis of this book.

 

I would love to hear what books you are looking forward to reading? Let me know below.

 

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REVIEW – Scars Like Wings – Erin Stewart

Hello everyone! I am very excited to be part of the Darkroom Tours blog tour for Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart. Thank you so much @Darkroomtours for allowing me to be part of this amazing blog tour. Make sure you also go over to my Instagram page: @ladybugbooks today because I will be featuring this book on my feed! I am happy to be one of the first bookstagram tours for this alongside my new friend @bookish_spoonie. Thank you as well to Simon and Schuster Kids UK for sending me a lovely finished hardback copy of the book.

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PLOT

Everyone has scars. Some are just easier to see …

16-year-old Ava Lee is heading back to school one year after a house fire left her severely disfigured. She’s used to the names, the stares, the discomfort, but there’s one name she hates most of all: Survivor. What do you call someone who didn’t mean to survive? Who sometimes wishes she hadn’t?

When she meets a fellow survivor named Piper at therapy, Ava begins to feel like she’s not facing the nightmare alone. Piper helps Ava reclaim the pieces of Ava Before the Fire, a normal girl who kissed boys and sang on stage. But Piper is fighting her own battle, and when Ava almost loses her best friend, she must decide if the new normal she’s chasing has more to do with the girl in the mirror — or the people by her side.

The beautiful, life-affirming debut from Erin Stewart that’s being called the YA answer to Wonder. Perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson, Nicola Yoon and John Green.

THOUGHTS

Firstly, from a purely materialistic point of view, I adore the cover. The pink hair and blank face inspires intrigue into the plot already. I would definitely pick this up from the cover alone.

This book changed me! This sounds like a dramatic statement but it is true. This book will stay with you for a long while. I also have heard that this book is inspired by true events, and this makes the book so much more impactful. I would say that the target audience is for the young adult / high school reader, but adults would certainly benefit from reading this book. There are many themes such as loss, grief, judgement, bullying, anger and more. There is real pain and suffering in this book, but also acceptance and moving on. This story is an inspiring read that I was not expecting to get. I do not want to delve directly into some of the story as I firmly believe the less you know about this book going into reading it, the better.

Pacing wise this was a very easy and quick read, I read it over the weekend with no trouble. I flew through it and felt like I could not put it down. This book will make a difference in the world, which is a refreshing thought as I have not felt that way towards a book in a long time.

What also surprised me is that humour can be found in the darkest of moments in this book. This reminds me of the quote from Harry Potter / JK Rowling. “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” This was a lovely and unexpected part of the story. There is hope to anyone going through a hard time, read this book.

I would love to know your thoughts below if you have read this book.

Thank you for reading.

Make sure to head over to @ladybugbooks on Instagram for my bookstagram tour post!

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Bloodlust and Bonnets – Review.

Hello everyone! I am so excited to be part of the #darkroomtours Bloodlust and Bonnets bookstagram tour. Thank you so much @darkroomtours for sending me a copy of this beautiful graphic novel. I absolutely adored reading this as I haven’t  read many before. I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves graphic novels or anyone who is starting out for a first read.

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P l o t

The year is 1820, and bored young debutante Lucy knows there must be more to life than embroidery and engagements – no matter how eligible the bachelor might be. Some bachelors, she has discovered, are less ‘eligible’ than they are ‘bloodthirsty,’ however… literally. It turns out that there are a lot of vampires in late-Regency England, and Lucy has an eye for spotting them and the desire to rid the world of them. 

It’s not long before Lady Violet Travesty, leader of a mysterious vampire cult, spots Lucy’s talents and offers her a place amongst her vampire acolytes. Unfortunately, Lady Violent is most horribly slain by the famous Lord Byron before Lucy can accept. Lucy instead joins Lord Byron and his enormous, psychic eagle Napoleon in their ongoing fight against evils such as bloodsucking ghouls and bad taste. Before long they’re joined by the mysterious Sham, an androgynous bounty hunter, who catches Lucy’s eye. The trio lie, flirt, fight and manipulate each other as they make their way across Britain, disrupting society balls, slaying vampires, and making every effort not to betray their feelings to each other as their personal and romantic lives become increasingly entangled. 

A balm for the soul for readers who love Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series, novels by Eloisa James and Jane Austen, and the action and adventure of Xena, Warrior Princess, Bloodlust & Bonnets is the most modern action-heavy love-story set two hundred years ago that you’ll read this year.  

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Pages: 216

Publisher: Simon and Schuster @simonschusteruk

Genre: graphic novel

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I would highly recommend this book as it was hilarious! I was laughing at every page as I did not expect anything that happened in the book to happen. I couldn’t put it down and read it in one sitting. The colours of the book are vibrant and stunning. There is so much detail to the illustrations. The main characters are great. Lucy is a vampire killing badass who I adore. A must pick up! Released in the UK 17th September 2019. 

Let me know your thoughts!

 

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American Royals – Katharine McGee

Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a lovely week. Summer is nearly at a close. If you are in need for a contemporary read for the end of summer then American Royals by Katharine McGee is what you are looking for. I am very lucky to have been sent an early review copy by the amazing Penguin Random House ( Thank you Sophia!).

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p l o t

The Washingtons have ruled America for almost 250 years.

They’re gorgeous, fiercely famous and the beating heart of the most glorious royal court in the world.

But behind the glittering ballrooms, elegant gowns, and seemingly perfect public personas lie forbidden romances and scandalous secrets. Together four young women will navigate gossip, drama, and the eyes of the world upon them.

There’s everything to play for – but there can only be one queen.

t h o u g h t s

I thorougly enjoyed reading American Royals. I have always loved anything to do with royal families or courts. My honest review is that for me, this book is a five star read. I absolutely flew through this book. I adore reading fellow reviews to find out other people’s thoughts. Princess Beatrice is heir to the throne of America – a first queen. This has been the main focus for her whole life. There are other siblings too, twins and another sister. I absolutely loved the sibling relationships in this book as you had a marvellous family dynamic. The chapters focused on the four main female protagonists which was great because you could really get used to the family dynamic.

This is such an easy read and reminded me of other royal contemporary books which I have enjoyed. The writing has aspects of historical fiction, but was set in the modern era. For me, having followed the royal family for a long time meant that I could draw comparisons from our own society experience. The good news is that there is a planned sequel already, so if like me you could not put the book down. 

Let me know your thoughts on this book when you read it! It is out NOW. The Kindle UK edition is only 99p* (*subject to change) so do not delay!

 

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Turning Darkness Into Light – Review

Hello everyone! I have another exciting book review for you today. This is Turning Darkness into Light by Marie Brennan. A massive shoutout to Titan Books for scheduling me onto the blog tour and for sending me a wonderful review copy.

 

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P l o t

As the renowned granddaughter of Isabella Camherst (Lady Trent, of the riveting and daring Draconic adventure memoirs) Audrey Camherst has always known she, too, would want to make her scholarly mark upon a chosen field of study.

When Lord Gleinheigh recruits Audrey to decipher a series of ancient tablets holding the secrets of the ancient Draconean civilization, she has no idea that her research will plunge her into an intricate conspiracy, one meant to incite rebellion and invoke war. Alongside dearest childhood friend and fellow archeologist Kudshayn, Audrey must find proof of the conspiracy before it’s too late.

T h o u g h t s 

I was instantly drawn to this book when I heard that it was about dragons, antiques and a mysterious adventure. I had never before read any of Marie Brennan’s work previously. I would recommend possibly reading the Lady Trent series beforehand because there were a few references which didn’t make as much sense unless you had.

Audrey is a fascinating protagonist, a very clever lady who is able to procure some rare tablets. She is a very studious type with a background of academia.  There is another point of view with Kudshayn which brought a different style to the book. The writing style was easy to follow and there were many descriptions that could allow you to imagine what was happening in real life. Some of the styling was very contemporary, with letters, articles and journal entries which made this book very interesting.

The cover of the book is very pretty as shown. This was partly why I was intrigued to read the synopsis. Overall, this book was a stunning read with many adventures. I will not go into the plot too much to avoid spoilers, but I would recommend this book to anyone!

Many thanks again to Titan Books for the review copy.

 

Review – The Kingdom – Jess Rothenberg

Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a wonderful day. I had the pleasure of reading The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg this week. I absolutely flew through this book. I am here to let you know my thoughts, let me know if you have read the book and your thoughts too!

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P l o t

Welcome to the Kingdom, a dazzling fantasy theme park where ‘happily ever after’ is not just a promise, but a rule . . .

It’s a fairy tale which ends in murder as the one of the ‘Fantasists’ goes renegade… Ana, a half-human, half-android princess, is tasked with entertaining visitors and making wishes come true but now she’s on trial, after finding herself experiencing emotions and romantic feelings against all her programming. (Amazon UK).

T h o u g h t s

The plot hooked me straight away and I immediately purchased this book on e book via Amazon. I also was lucky enough to be gifted a physical review copy by the amazing Amber over at Macmillan publishing. Thank you so very much. I was enthralled by this story straight away.

We are immersed into the land of The Kingdom, which is similar in my mind to Disneyland or the similar. Already this is one of my favourite story settings as it takes me back to my childhood. We meet the Fantasists, who are programmed to be happy, to give their guests a brilliant trip, to never be sad and most importantly, live happily ever after. However, after many interesting events the Fantasists are becoming more human like and deter from the Kingdom’s regime. What follows is a story full of twists and turns and I did not want to put this book down.

The atmosphere was absolutely fabulous, the imagery of the setting felt like you were really there, heck I want to GO to The Kingdom just to see what it is like. The other thing that absolutely kept me reading was the fact that this book is partly written with trial transcripts, CCTV recordings, post trial interviews along with flashbacks about what actually happened. This was a fabulous use of media that really kept me interested. I loved the murder mystery aspect of this story and I like the way that it was wrapped up at the end.

There were many characters to get to know, the fantasists were the most exciting to me. They were all different and had been programmed very differently. It was interesting to see where their own individual plots developed to.

Overall I would highly rate this book a 4* and I will definitely be reading this again. I hope at some point there will be a sequel to this book as I would love to delve into this world once again.

Let me know your thoughts!

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Call It What You Want – Brigid Kemmerer

Hello everyone! Today I am reviewing Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer. Thank you to Bloomsbury publishing for a lovely gifted review copy. I have been so excited to read and review this book and be able to feature the book over on my Instagram page @ladybugbooks

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P l o t 

When his dad is caught embezzling funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.

Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overachiever, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.

When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship . . .

In her compulsively readable storytelling, Brigid Kemmerer pens another captivating, heartfelt novel that asks the question: Is it okay to do something wrong for the right reasons?

T h o u g h t s

I have always enjoyed Bridid Kemmerer’s writing style and I must admit I delved into this book at a rate of knots.  

“Other people don’t have the challenges we have, Owen. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have their own.”

I have previously read and enjoyed A Curse So Dark and Lonely and rated it one of my

highest reads so far of 2019. Call It What You Want follows a real life people in a real life setting.
There were many moral dilemmas in this story following the concept of guilt by association, teenage pregnancy and more. This story really makes you think and questions what you would do in certain situations.

The two protagonists are seen as pariah in their schools. 

Maegan cheated on her test which caused uproar due to the fact that all the class mates had to re take the exam. Rob is not popular because of his father’s fraud scheme against the town’s inhabitants.
We get to know them through their family lives and how they are struggling through due to the consequences of their actions.
Meagan and Rob come together in a class project and their paths cross in more ways than one.
This was such an interesting connection that was developed over time. This book really delved into personal relationships and overcoming hard ship.
Overall, this was a solid read for me which I will be re reading again. Definitely pick this up for a contemporary read with amazing moral underlay. 
Let me know your thoughts!

Blog Tour – The Girl in Red

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Hello everyone! It is my stop on the blog tour for The Girl in Red by Christina Henry. This incredible book is published by Titan Books and is out TODAY!!! Thank you very much to Titan Books for my review copy.

This book is the latest release by the Queen of fairy tale retellings – Christina Henry.

D e t a i l s

Title: The Girl in Red

Author: Christina Henry

Release Date: 18/06/2019

Publisher: Titan Books

ISBN: 1785659774 (ISBN13: 9781785659775)

P l o t

It’s not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. She is just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that doesn’t look anything like the one she grew up in, the one that was perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.

There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. Men in uniform with classified information, deadly secrets, and unforgiving orders. And sometimes, just sometimes, there’s something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined.

Red doesn’t like to think of herself as a killer, but she isn’t about to let herself get eaten up just because she is a woman alone in the woods….

T h o u g h t s

I have previously read a few of Christina Henry’s books, including The Mermaid, Alice and Red Queen. I enjoy reading fairy tale retellings so I could not wait to read this book. The format of this book was interesting in the sense that there was a lot of narrative sections due to the classic scenario of Red travelling along through the woods. This is set in a post apocalyptic world due to a plague that has wiped out a lot of the population. There are also flash back scenes to before the plague that involve other family members who are dealing with trying to survive

This read was well paced and was easy to follow, I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style, which follow on from previous companion novels.

I would love to hear your thoughts about the book – if you have read it please comment below!

 

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