Friday, 18 May 2018

Friday Book Excerpts: Omens by Kelley Armstrong

Today I'll be sharing some book excerpts with these bookish features:
Book Beginnings is a weekly feature (hosted by Rose City Reader) where you post the first sentence of the book you're currently reading. 
The Friday 56 is a weekly feature (hosted by Freda's Voice) where you get a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% on ereader) then post a interesting sentence from that page with no spoilers. 


Omens (Cainsville book 1) by Kelley Armstrong

Blurb:
Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions.

But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancĂ©, Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens.

Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past.

Aided by her mother’s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, Olivia focuses on the Larsens’ last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel start investigating the case, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies. Because there are darker secrets behind her new home and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.


Beginning:
Prologue - Eden crawled into the living room, the rough carpet burning her chubby knees and hands.  As boots slapped the hall floor, she went still, holding her breath. Had he heard her?

Friday 56:
I needed to make choices for me, whoever I was.  I'd say I needed to find myself, if that didn't sound like I was heading into the Himalayas, taking only a backpack stuffed with angst and clean underwear. 


My Thoughts:
I first read Omens a few years ago and recently I decided to reread it to refresh myself on the details of it before I continue with the rest of the series.  The first lines are intriguing and make you wonder: Why's she hiding? And who exactly is he


Have you read Omens? What do you think of the excerpts from it?

Monday, 14 May 2018

Book Review: The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

Book: The Exact Opposite of Okay
Author: Laura Steven
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Feminism

Izzy O'Neill here! Impoverished orphan, aspiring comedian and Slut Extraordinaire, if the gossip sites are anything to go by . . . 
Izzy never expected to be eighteen and internationally reviled. But when explicit photos involving her, a politician's son and a garden bench are published online, the trolls set out to take her apart. Armed with best friend Ajita and a metric ton of nachos, she tries to laugh it off - but as the daily slut-shaming intensifies, she soon learns the way the world treats teenage girls is not okay. It's the Exact Opposite of Okay. - Quoted from Goodreads

My Rating: 5/5 STARS

My Review: 
I loved The Exact Opposite of Okay and it's now one of my favourite books of the year.

This book is about Izzy who has had her privacy violated when pictures of her having sex with a senators son go viral.  This book is about the double standards in society and how the world treats young girls.

I loved Izzy so much.  Her humour is exactly the kind of humour I get and love, it made me laugh so many times throughout this book.  Izzy is a teenager who likes to have sex.  I know that shouldn't be a shocker but considering a lot of YA books out there, it kind of is.  As much as I love YA, there is definitely a lack of female characters who embrace their own sexuality and are confident about it so it was really refreshing to read about a character like Izzy.

Izzy is such a strong character and that's why it was heart breaking to read her having doubts about herself.  From the very beginning of The Exact Opposite of Okay Izzy is sure of her decisions and knows she did nothing wrong but because of the pressure of other people's judgement she does start to doubt herself and I felt so angry at the characters in this book who made her feel that way.

I loved Ajita and Izzy's friendship.  I liked how they supported each other and I loved their witty banter with each other.  I love books about strong female friendships and The Exact Opposite of Okay is one of them.  I also liked Izzy's relationship with her grandmother, it was an interesting relationship dynamic.  

Overall I loved this book.  Izzy is an unforgettable character and The Exact Opposite of Okay makes you really question things that need to be questioned.  There is many different topics raised in this book and it really leaves a lasting impression on you.  The writing is very quotable and I would highly recommend reading it.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Top Ten Tuesday - Books With My Favourite Colour On The Cover

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is: Books With My Favourite Colour On The Cover.  

My favourite colour is: 

So here are eight books with the colour pink on the cover.


Dreamin Sun vol 1 by Ichigo Takano
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
Sand Chronicles Vol 2 by Hinako Ashihara
The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey book 3) by Julie Kagawa 


The Shadow Reader (Shadow Reader book 1) by Sandy Williams
Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky book 1) by Veronica Rossi
Pretties (Uglies book 2) by Scott Westerfeld
The Haunted (The Hollow book 2) by Jessica Verday


What is some of your favourite book covers that include your favourite colour?

Friday, 4 May 2018

Friday Book Excerpts: The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

Today I'll be sharing some book excerpts with these bookish features:

Book Beginnings is a weekly feature (hosted by Rose City Reader) where you post the first sentence of the book you're currently reading. 
➣ The Friday 56 is a weekly feature (hosted by Freda's Voice) where you get a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% on ereader) then post an interesting sentence from that page with no spoilers. 


The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

Blurb:
Izzy O'Neill here! Impoverished orphan, aspiring comedian and Slut Extraordinaire, if the gossip sites are anything to go by . . . 
Izzy never expected to be eighteen and internationally reviled. But when explicit photos involving her, a politician's son and a garden bench are published online, the trolls set out to take her apart. Armed with best friend Ajita and a metric ton of nachos, she tries to laugh it off - but as the daily slut-shaming intensifies, she soon learns the way the world treats teenage girls is not okay. It's the Exact Opposite of Okay.

Beginning:
Look, you probably bought this book because you read the blurb about how I'm an impoverished orphan and also at the heart of a national slut-shaming scandal, and you thought, Oh great, this is just the kind of heart-wrenching tale I need to feel better about my own life, but seriously, you have to relax.  I am not some pitiful Oliver-Twist-meets-Kim-Kardashian-type figure.  If you're seeking a nice cathartic cry, I'm not your girl.


The Friday 56 (56 % on my ereader):
Maybe it's because it perpetuates that uncomfortable sensation of being watched and judged by a faceless entity.


My Thoughts:
I was intrigued by the first line of this book because it opens up with the main character speaking directly to the reader which really drew me into the story.  I'm still currently reading this book and I have to say so far I'm really loving it and think it will be one of my favourite books of the year.  
  

Have you read The Exact Opposite of Okay? What do you think of the excerpts from it?

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

April 2018 Wrap Up


Obsidio (The Illuminae Files book 3) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - 5/5 STARS
This is such a great action packed and amazingly formatted series.  Obsidio was a great finale to the series and I'm really sad it's over.

Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron - 3/5 STARS
I found this book to be just okay.  I was interested enough in the plot to finish reading it but overall I thought it was a bit lackluster.  It wasn't as emotionally impactful as I thought it would be but I did think the ending had a lot of emotion in it and I liked that the characters were so diverse.

Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson book 10) by Patricia Briggs - 4/5 STARS
This was another great instalment in the Mercy Thompson series.  In Silence Fallen Mercy gets kidnapped and ends up in Prague separated from Adam and the rest of the pack.  I liked how we got to read about both Mercy and Adam on their own and I found some of the new characters introduced in this one interesting.  

State of Sorrow (Sorrow book 1) by Melinda Salisbury - 4/5 STARS 
I'd heard some mixed things about this book before reading it so I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it.  I thought the political aspect of the story was very interesting and there were some twists that were really surprising.


Here are some of my bookstagram pictures for April.  You can find me at: xo_reader_kyla



What books did you read in April?

Friday, 6 April 2018

Book Review: Heart of Mist (The Oremere Chronicles #1) by Helen Scheuerer

Book: Heart of Mist
Series: The Oremere Chronicles book 1
Author: Helen Scheuerer
Genre: YA, fantasy 
In a realm where toxic mist sweeps the lands and magic is forbidden, all Bleak wants is a cure for her power.
Still grieving the death of her guardian and dangerously self-medicating with alcohol, Bleak is snatched from her home by the Commander of the King’s Army, and summoned to the capital. But the king isn’t the only one interested in Bleak's powers.
The leader of an infamous society of warriors, the Valia Kindred, lays claim to her as well, and Bleak finds herself in the middle of a much bigger battle than she anticipated.
Heart of Mist is the gripping first book in The Oremere Chronicles, a fantasy series of epic proportions. - Quoted from Goodreads

Rating: 5/5 STARS

My Review:
Heart of Mist is a book that took me completely by surprise.  I'd heard hardly anyone talking about it so I was going back and forth on whether or not to read it but ultimately the blurb sounded too interesting to let it pass me by.  And I am so glad I decided to read it.

Heart of Mist is a YA fantasy centred on Bleak (the mc) who can hear people's thoughts.  And to cope with hearing people's thoughts all the time she turns to alcohol.  Yes, this is a YA book with an alcoholic mc.  It's a richly imagined world where people with magical abilities are rare to come by and are not looked on kindly by the king.  At the start of the book a group of the king's soldiers come to take Bleak to the king.

I loved this book, it was written so well.  The world was wonderfully set up and the characters were all so interesting and individual that I just wanted to read more about them.

Bleak was a fascinating mc, from her dependency on alcohol to her testing the limits of her powers.  All of it made her an intriguing character.  I also liked reading about the Valian, who are a race of female warriors, who take Bleak under their wings.  Henri is the leader of the Valian and she is another intriguing character.  She has a very tough exterior and her motives are always a bit unclear which adds a lot to the intrigue of her character.  I liked reading about her relationship with Athene, her second in command, and would like to read more about their background with each other in further books.

Although Bleak is the mc, the book also has multiple povs that introduce other characters and I thought these povs really added a lot to the story and were so captivating to read and I loved how interwoven the povs were.

Overall I loved the richly imaginative world of Heart of Mist and the characters and their backstories are so interesting.  The writing feels so seamless as it brings together a great plot.  I don't like comparing books but while I was reading Heart of Mist, the writing and flow of the storyline reminded me of the earlier Throne of Glass books and the Poison Study series so I would highly recommend Heart of Mist if you liked these books.  I can't wait to see where the story goes next.  

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

March 2018 Wrap Up



Unbound: Stories from the Unwind World by Neal Schusterman - 3/5 STARS
This is a collection of stories that take place in the Unwind world and although I did like some of the stories, there was also some I feel didn't add anything to the overall story.

Summerlost by Ally Condie - 2/5 STARS
I didn't really enjoy this book but I think the main reason for that is because it's made for a much younger age group.  I didn't think it had much of a plot.

Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter book 10) by Nalini Singh - 4/5 STARS
I really liked this book and I loved reading about Venom and Holly.  I love this series and I like seeing in each book of this series how close of a bond all the characters have with each other.  It's so interesting to read. 

Restore Me (Shatter Me book 4) by Tahereh Mafi - 3/5 STARS
There were parts of Restore Me I liked and parts I didn't.  I didn't like Juliette in this one, I found her to be really weak.  I liked reading her journal entries and I thought she had a much stronger voice in them but they were from the past and not who she was in Restore Me.  There was also a lack of communication in this book between Juliette and Warner that I felt was very unnecessary. 

Heart of Mist (The Oremere Chronicles book 1) by Helen Scheuerer - 5/5 STARS
Heart of Mist was a huge surprise for me.  I went into this book not knowing much about it, I heard hardly anyone talking about it and I ended up loving it.  Everything about it, the world, characters and plot were all written in such a captivating way.  If you like YA fantasy, I would highly recommend reading Heart of Mist.  I will be making a full review of this soon.


Here are some of my Bookstagram pictures from March.  You can find me at: xo_reader_kyla 




What books did you read in March?