Book Review- Phantom

Thursday, 20 September 2018
Title: Phantom
Author: Leo Hunt
Published: 9th August 2018
Pages: 416
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopian

Rating: 4/5 stars

Sixteen-year-old thief and hacker Nova makes just enough to live on leeching from the corpsmen that live in the spires 400 storeys above the forgotten undercity slums she calls home. So when infamous anti-corp hacker The Moth offers Nova a huge sum to infiltrate and steal something from the biggest corp of all, Bliss Inc. - manufacturer of the neural implants that allow everyone in the spires continuous metanet access - she jumps at the chance. But what is the dark secret Bliss Inc. is hiding and why does The Moth want to get his hands on it so badly? -Goodreads

Thank you so much to BKMRK Books for the copy of this novel to review.
I really like the blurb to this book, I wasn't aware of it before I received a copy in the post, but I was immediately drawn to it. It's been compared to Blade Runner and Black Mirror, and I think these are accurate comparisons. There is a definite sci-fi/cyber-punk feel to the novel, and I like how this is quite uncommon to read in YA. The author has written a fast-paced and exciting, and the twists and turns don't stop from the first page to the last.
Nova is the main character and heroine, and although she did remind me quite a lot of plenty other heroines in YA, the author has made her relatable and easy to root for throughout. The characters that fill the rest of the novel are well written and fully developed by the author. Hunt has written a mix of 'good' and 'evil' characters, and those that seem to fall ambiguously between the two.
Nova, our main character, is gay. This isn't treated as a big deal or a particularly important plot point, and I thought this was refreshing and well-handled by the author. I think it's important that LGBTQ characters exist in YA just as they do in reality, and the more common they become the better YA lit becomes.
However, although the author handles the LGBTQ element of the novel so deftly, I have read online that many people feel the novel to be ableist. I did not notice this on first reading, but after reading others' thoughts, and rereading the instances they evidenced, I agree. The word 'cripple' is thrown around by characters in an insulting and derogatory way towards a character with physical disabilities. Also when a character is not connected to the network-of-sorts that features heavily in the novel, this is likened to missing a limb or being deaf/blind. This is a gross exaggeration even in this world which is heavily dependent on said network, and is also insensitive terminology to use. 
Overall I enjoyed this novel, although the above ableist terminology/mindset has seriously dampened my enjoyment post-read.

Buy this novel on Book Depository (affiliate link) here

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

Monday, 17 September 2018

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at the Book Date.
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I've been working what feels like non-stop recently, so reading time has been fairly infrequent, but I'm hoping to squeeze more in this week!
Let me know what you're currently reading or something you read recently in the comments!

What I Read Last Week:

Sadly I didn't finish any books last week, I plan on changing that this week!!

What I'm Currently Reading:


Up Next:
Have you read any of these novels? What are you reading right now? Let me know in the comments!

Book Review- Ascension

Thursday, 6 September 2018
Title: Ascension
Author: Victor Dixen
Published: 28th June 2018
Pages: 496
Genre: YA, Sci-fi
Series: Phobos #1

Rating: 5/5 stars

'This thrilling space odyssey will keep you turning pages late into the night.'C. J. Daugherty, author of NIGHT SCHOOL
Six girls, six boys. Each in the two separate bays of a single spaceship. They have six minutes each week to seduce and to make their choices, under the unblinking eye of the on-board cameras. They are the contenders in the Genesis programme, the world's craziest speed-dating show ever, aimed at creating the first human colony on Mars.
Leonor, an 18 year old orphan, is one of the chosen ones. She has signed up for glory.She has signed up for love.She has signed up for a one-way ticket.Even if the dream turns to a nightmare, it is too late for regrets. -Goodreads

I received a physical copy of this novel from Hot Key Books in return for an honest review.
I took this novel with me while I went on holiday because I knew I would have at least one full day alone to fill with reading, and I wanted to choose something that would keep me engrossed. I'm so glad I chose this book because it filled those criteria perfectly.
This book is just amazing, it is a perfect space YA novel, with great characters, action, intrigue and a sprinkling of romance. It's a clever premise for a YA novel, especially given the increasing popularity of tv shows such as Love Island. 
The characters in this novel are great. Our main character is Leonor, a fiery French girl with amazing ginger hair (which I obviously love!) She's wonderfully written, she's flawed, and at times really frustrating, but still so likeable, and I rooted for her the whole way through the novel. I really enjoyed following her story and having the story focus on her.
Ascension is the first novel in a trilogy that was first published in Dutch, and is being published in the UK by Hot Key Books. The next novel is published in October, and I am eagerly anticipating its release! 
Dixen has done a great job of describing and expanding the setting of the novel. I love space novels, and one of my favourite parts of these novels is the world-building and all the information about space we are given. Dixen doesn't disappoint in this regard, and he does a nice job of balancing this informative style with the reality tv aspect of the plot.
The plot is cleverly written, there is a big twist which the reader is aware of from very early in the novel, but which our main characters are not privy to until the very end. This style of narrative increases the jeopardy, we know, and we are desperate for the character to figure out what we know!
Overall I absolutely adored this novel. It's a wonderful YA sci-fi with break-neck pacing and great characters. If you loved Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, I think you'll like this novel too!

Happy reading!

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

Monday, 3 September 2018

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at the Book Date.
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I love seeing what everyone is reading, and what they plan to read in the next few days. Let me know your plans, or link you own posts in the comments!

What I Read Last Week:


When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya MenonI'm a bit late to this novel and all the hype but I really enjoyed it nonetheless! It wasn't quite as incredible as I had been hoping for, but it is an important YA novel for diverse representation, and it's a nice romance!








What I'm Currently Reading:













Up Next:












Have you read any of these novels? What are you reading right now? Let me know in the comments!!

Happy reading!

Book Review- Mud

Thursday, 30 August 2018
Title: Mud
Author: Emily Thomas
Published: 5th July 2018
Genre: YA

Rating: 5/5 stars

MUD STICKS. AND SO DO LITERARY HEROINESAn achingly funny, touching story for anyone who has been thrown in at the deep end.
‘Smart and funny. It will tug at your heartstrings’ Dawn O’Porter
It's 1979, and thirteen-year-old Lydia has no idea how she'll cope when her dad announces that the family has to sell up and move onto a Thames sailing barge in Essex. With his girlfriend. And her three kids.Between trying to keep her clothes dry in a leaky cabin, disastrous hair-dye attempts, awkward encounters with local boys, and coping with her suddenly enormous and troublesome family, Lydia fears she'll sink rather than swim . . .At turns heartbreaking and uplifting, through Lydia's innocent and perceptive voice we find out that while the mud may stick, the tide can turn - and in unexpected and joyful ways.
Perfect for fans of Louise Rennison, Hilary McKay and Rae Earl -Goodreads
I received an ebook copy of this novel from Net Galley and Penguin Random House UK.
I absolutely loved this novel! Honestly, I thought the blurb sounded good, but I had no idea just how much I would love it, and how much it would speak to me!
This novel is narrated by Lydia, a 13 year old who is dealing with her dad remarrying and both families moving onto a barge on the Thames. Set in the 80s, Lydia has to deal with a new family and a new school, and the perils of being a teenager. 
Lydia is one of the best narrators and one of the best characters I have read in a YA novel in years. She is smart and sensitive and funny. She seems so mature for her age at times, but also so naive, and this duality is so beautifully displayed by the author, Lydia is a character you root for from the very first page. She struggled with her self-esteem at times, and all I wanted was to give her a pep talk about how awesome she was, and how she could do anything she set her mind to. 
I actually really loved all the characters in this novel, I love novels with big families, and Lydia's were so fun and crazy, even if her Dad was really annoying and disappointing at times. 
The plot is crazy at times, some of the things the characters have to deal with are quite extreme, but the plot zips along quickly, and the dialogue between characters is smart and funny.
This novel deals with some difficult topics including bereavement and alcoholism, but they are sensitively and confidently written by the author, and I actually think this novel would be perfect for those children around 11/12+ as well as those in the teenage zone. 
The novel is overall one of hope and love, and I honestly think it's a novel everyone should read. It has a real Enid Blyton feel to it, and I really think it stands beside her work proudly. 
Seriously I cannot recommend this novel enough, a perfect read for both mature children/teens and adults alike, with one of the best and most loveable main characters/narrators I have read in a long time.

Book Review- Awakened

Thursday, 23 August 2018
Title: Awakened
Authors: James S. Murray, Darren Wearmouth
Published: 26th June 2018
Pages: 304
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi
Series: Awakened #1

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

The star of truTV’s hit show Impractical Jokers—alongside veteran sci-fi and horror writer Darren Wearmouth—delivers a chilling and wickedly fun supernatural novel in the vein of The Strain, in which a beautiful new subway line in New York City unearths an ancient dark horror that threatens the city’s utter destruction and the balance of civilization itself.After years of waiting, New York's newest subway line is finally ready, an express train that connects the city with the burgeoning communities across the Hudson River. The shining jewel of this state-of-the-art line is a breathtaking visitors’ pavilion beneath the river.  Major dignitaries, including New York City’s Mayor and the President of the United States, are in attendance for the inaugural run, as the first train slowly pulls in.
Under the station’s bright ceiling lights, the shiny silver cars gleam. But as the train comes closer into view, a far different scene becomes visible.
All the train’s cars are empty.
All the cars’ interiors are drenched in blood.
As chaos descends, all those in the pavilion scramble to get out. But the horror is only beginning. High levels of deadly methane fill the tunnels. The structure begins to flood. For those who don’t drown, choke or spark an explosion, another terrifying danger awaits—the thing that killed all those people on the train. It’s out there…and it’s coming.
There's something living beneath New York City, and it's not happy we've woken it up. -Goodreads
I received a copy of this novel from Harper 360.
This novel is described as a terrifying and blood-curdling horror novel, and although it is scary in parts, I wouldn't quite hype it up to those heights. However, with this in mind, if you are sensitive to blood and gore then perhaps it's best to steer clear of this novel, there is quite a lot of this, and also a fair bit of violence too.
This novel is set in the future, in New York where a new subway line is being opened. However, the first carriage to travel along the line full of important visitors and guests arrives at the station empty and covered in blood. It sounds like an intriguing idea for a novel, and I think it would make an excellent movie or episode of a tv show, and in fact it is well-developed by the authors.
The plot does fall a little flat once the mystery of what is hiding in the depths of the subway is revealed to all the characters, the novel is at its strongest when the reader knows more than most of the characters. The sense of foreboding and tension that is built due to the knowledge the reader has is created well by the authors.
This novel is fast-paced and intense. The action starts with a bang on page 1 and it doesn't let up until page 304, it is definitely a quick read because it never stops.
I thought that there were some interesting villains in this novel, especially bearing in mind that there is something 'evil' living in the subway. The villains were well developed in general, and were dislikable in every way.
I do wish the other characters had been slightly better developed, the group of 'heroes' were all fairly similar, and the women were particularly disappointingly 2 dimensional. The characters also made some weird decisions in the novel which seemed out of character and were obviously made to further the plot. Related to the characters' lack of dimension, I did struggle to connect with most of the characters in this novel. This made me feel detached from that action a bit, and made me pretty uninvested in the characters and their survival.
However, this lack of interest only slightly dampened my enjoyment, it was still a action packed novel with lots of gore, and a clever sci-fi monster, which seems nicely set up for a sequel.

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

Monday, 20 August 2018


This meme is hosted by Kathryn at the Book Date.
~~~
It's been so long since I wrote a blog post like this, here's a wee look at what I've been reading recently, and what I'm hoping to read soon!

What I Read Last Week:


Sea Witch by Sarah Henning.
This is a retelling/origin story of Ursula from The Little Mermaid. I thought it was a good YA novel, but I was a little disappointed by the characters. A full review to come!










What I'm Currently Reading:















Up Next:















Have you read any of these novels? What are you reading right now? Let me know in the comments!!
Happy reading!
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