Friday, 29 January 2016

Would You Rather: Book Tag!

I first came across this tag over at and I loved the idea of it so much that I decided to give it a try!

1. Read only series or standalones? 
I definitely have to go with series on this one. One book is never ever enough for me and with every standalone I've read and liked, I've ended up craving more. I seriously don't think I could handle reading only standalones forever, it would break my heart and the craving for sequels would just be too much. Also, all of my favourite books are series, theres something unexplainable that I love about series and seeing them lined up all pretty on my shelf is wonderful.

2. Read only female or male authors?
This one is difficult as I've read a mixture of amazing male and female authors but if I absolutely had to choose one it would have to be female authors. My decision here is purely based on the fact that all of my favourite series are written by female authors and I feel like female authors tend to write in the style that I enjoy most more often.

3. Shop at Barnes and Noble or Amazon? (I am making the executive decision here to change Barnes and Noble to Waterstones as we don't have Barnes and Noble in the UK)
I would choose Amazon almost 100% of the time over Waterstones. Maybe it's just me being cheap but I think Waterstone's is ridiculously over-priced and a book that would cost you £8 there, could cost as little as £3 with Amazon! Plus I pay for Amazon Prime with makes ordering books hella convenient.

4. All books become movies or TV Shows?
This one is difficult... The main thing I hate about books becoming movies is all the detail that gets cut out in order to make the movie a reasonable length, something that can be avoided with TV shows. However, TV shows often get picked up by companies like ABC Family (Freeform) and get turned into absolute cheese-fests (I'm looking at you Shadowhunters). But at the same times movies can end up just as bad (Looking at you AGAIN Shadowhunters!). At the end of the day I think I would choose movies, I like how a series can get split into a movie per book and you get that clear definition. Also there are a hell of a lot of amazing films that have been made into amazing movies (Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Divergent, I could go on there's literally so many), but apart from the likes of PLL, Vampire Diaries and Game of Thrones, there aren't as many TV shows I can think of that truly do their books justice.

5. Read 5 pages per day or 5 books per week?
If I read 5 pages a day it would take me weeks just to finish one book, but I feel like 5 books a week is pretty excessive. I guess if I had the time though I'd prefer 5 books a week, there's a lot of books out there to read, and I'd fly through them like this!

6. Be a professional reviewer or author?
I really don't know with this one. It would be amazing to write my own books and have people read my stories but at this point in my life I don't know if I could do that. I don't have the faintest idea of how to write a full length novel and it seems like a pretty daunting task. So if we're talking today I'd prefer to be a reviewer, long term however, I wouldn't mind experimenting with novel writing.

7. Only read your top 20 favourite books over and over or always read new ones that you haven’t read before?
Always read new ones. I do love re-reading my favourite series and re-living my favourite characters but I feel like this would get very old, very quickly. Plus, like I said before, there are a lot of books out there and when I'm always reading something new I'm bound to find more and more favourites.

8. Be a librarian or book seller?
I don't feel like I've ever been to a fun library. the one that I used to go to growing up was pretty crappy. I feel like libraries are too filled with books that I really don't want to read like encyclopaedias and dictionaries and rubbish like that. Book shops however, are filled with all the newest releases and books on every subject which are more likely to be written in modern and fun ways than those held at a library. My final answer is book seller.

9. Only read your favourite genre or every genre except your favourite?
I don't really know what my favourite genre is... I feel like it must be fantasy thinking about it. I don't know, I think it would be really sad to never read any other genre of book but at the same time I feel like fantasy can be so broad that it would be worth it. So... I would have to go with only reading fantasy, because I really do love fantasy.

10. Only read physical books or ebooks?
Physical Books. I enjoy ebooks very much and they're obviously so convenient for on the go reading but overall I prefer physical books. I love the way they look on my shelf, I love that I can loan them to people and I just prefer the feel of them to a kindle or my phone.

This book tag was really fun! It definitely got me thinking a little bit about what type of reader I am!

I have decided to tag SophieCountsClouds.

And I am CHALLENGING James Griffin to do this tag as a blog post or a video. Here's your motivation James, now that I've tagged you, you have to do it!

Sunday, 24 January 2016

January Book Haul

Here's an overview of all the books I have acquired so far in January!

The Lady of the Rivers, Phillipa Gregory, HardbackThe Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory - £1 - Hardback
"Jacquetta, daughter of the Count of Luxembourg and kinswoman to half the royalty of Europe, was married to the great Englishman John, Duke of Bedford, uncle to Henry VI. Widowed at the age of 19, she took the extraordinary risk of marrying a gentleman of her household for love, and then carved out a new life for herself." - Goodreads

Jane Austen, Paperback, January, Book HaulEmma by Jane Austen - £1 - Paperback
"Emma is young, rich and independent. She has decided not to get married and instead spends her time organising her acquaintances' love affairs. Her plans for the matrimonial success of her new friend Harriet, however, lead her into complications that ultimately test her own detachment from the world of romance." - Goodreads

Emily St. John Mandel, Paperback, January, Book HaulStation Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel - £3.85 - Amazon - Paperback
"An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization's collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity. 

One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur's chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them. 

Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten's arm is a line from Star Trek: "Because survival is insufficient." But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave. 

Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it. " - Goodreads
Jenny Han, Paperback, January, Book Haul

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han - £3.85 - Amazon - Paperback
"To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all. " - Goodreads

Andy Weir, Paperback, January, Book HaulThe Martian by Andy Weir - £4 - Amazon - Paperback
"Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills — and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit — he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?" - Goodreads

Scott Westerfeld, Paperback, January, Book HaulUglies by Scott Westerfeld - £3.85 - Amazon - Paperback
"Tally can't wait to turn sixteen and become pretty. Sixteen is the magic number that brings a transformation from repellent Ugly into a stunningly attractive Pretty, and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks, Tally will be there.

But Tally's new friend, Shay, isn't sure she wants to be Pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the Pretty world - and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn Pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever." - Goodreads

Claire North, Paperback, January, Book Haul

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North - £3.85 - Amazon - Paperback
"No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes.

Until now.

As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. ‘I nearly missed you, Doctor August,’ she says. ‘I need to send a message.’

This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow." - Goodreads
George R.R. Martin, Paperback, January, Book Haul

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin - £3.85 - Amazon - Paperback
"As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must ...and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty. 

The old gods have no power in the south, Stark's family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne." - Goodreads
Jojo Moyes, Paperback, January, Book Haul

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes - £3.49 - Amazon - Paperback
"Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time." - Goodreads
Erika Johansen, Paperback, January, Book Haul

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen - £4 - Amazon - Paperback
"Kelsea Glynn is the sole heir to the throne of Tearling but has been raised in secret by foster parents after her mother – Queen Elyssa, as vain as she was stupid – was murdered for ruining her kingdom. For 18 years, the Tearling has been ruled by Kelsea’s uncle in the role of Regent however he is but the debauched puppet of the Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of neighbouring realm of Mortmesme. On Kelsea’s 19th birthday, the tattered remnants of her mother’s guard - each pledged to defend the queen to the death - arrive to bring this most un-regal young woman out of hiding...

And so begins her journey back to her kingdom’s heart, to claim the throne, earn the loyalty of her people, overturn her mother’s legacy and redeem the Tearling from the forces of corruption and dark magic that are threatening to destroy it. But Kelsea's story is not just about her learning the true nature of her inheritance - it's about a heroine who must learn to acknowledge and live with the realities of coming of age in all its insecurities and attractions, alongside the ethical dilemmas of ruling justly and fairly while simply trying to stay alive..." - Goodreads

Friday, 22 January 2016

Review: Keep Your Friends Close by Paula Daly

"From breakout thriller writer Paula Daly, the story of a husband and wife and the devious best friend who comes between them.

Natty and Sean have a rock-solid marriage—with two daughters, a successful business, and a beautiful house, they are a model family. When their younger daughter falls ill on a school trip, Natty rushes to her side. Luckily, Natty’s best friend from college, Eve, is visiting and offers to stay with Sean to lend a hand in the household. But Natty returns home to find that Eve has taken to family life a little too well: Sean has fallen in love with her. With no choice but to put on a brave face, Natty attempts to start anew—yet no matter how hard she tries to set herself upright, Eve is there to knock her down again. Then Natty receives a mysterious note that says Eve has done this before—more than once—and the consequences were fatal. On a mission to reveal Eve as a vindictive serial mistress, Natty must navigate through a treacherous maze of secrets and lies that threatens her life and the safety of her loved ones." - Goodreads

I will start by saying this is not the type of book I usually read, the novel centres around Natty, mother of two, always busy, always worrying, striving for the perfect life. However, this perfect life starts to unravel when her daughter Felicity is taken ill and a friend whom she thought she could trust ends up snaring her husband. As various secrets get revealed the novel takes quite a sinister turn and themes of deception and murder begin to come into play.

I personally enjoy books where the action happens in the first few pages, I like to be gripped by a novel from the get go with information about the surroundings and backstory given to me as I get further into the story. This novel does give you a lot of backstory throughout, however nothing particularly exciting happens until page 30 when we're first introduced to Eve.

But from here on out I just enjoyed this novel more and more with every page. Looking back it has a very similar feel to The Girl on the Train but with much, much better characters and writing that was miles more interesting (can you tell I wasn't impressed with The Girl on the Train?).

I felt that the plot moved at a good pace never feeling boring or padded out but also never feeling rushed. There were lots of plot twists and unexpected moments which were all tied nicely together at the end in a conclusion that didn't leave me with any glaring questions about Eve. However, I'm sure Daly achieved exactly what she wanted to with the end of this novel but, as much as I enjoyed the book and thoroughly recommend it, I wasn't 100% satisfied with the ending.

Even though Eve's plot-line is thoroughly concluded, no-one else's is. You have no idea how Natty and her family fair afterwards, whether she reconciles with Sean, how Alice and Felicity deal with the transpired events, if Sean ever realises the true extent of Eve's plans. I know some authors like to leave this sort of stuff up to the imagination, so readers can make their own ending but I personally like to be told these things. The rest of the characters are pretty messed up at the end of this book, I really would have liked to have seen even the smallest glimpse of 'life after Eve' shall we say.

Despite this I liked all of the characters in this book, I didn't think there were any weak links. I felt the main character Natty was likeable, relatable and her actions were thoroughly explained and made understandable. She fiercely fought for the people she loved and had a real purpose throughout the novel to protect her family which is something that really draws you into her.

Sean is written as the weak, easily led-astray husband who falls straight into another woman's trap. You're not supposed to like Sean, and why would you? It takes him less than 10 days to fall into the bed of his wife's best friend, who he's too oblivious to realise is just using him. Sean annoyed me very much, but not because he was badly written, more because he was very well written.

With Eve I like how we don't get a lot of information about her, from her. It gives her an air of mystery and I like that we find things out about Eve at the same time Natty does. That way we are sort of put into Natty's shoes and when she goes and confronts Sean and he doesn't believe her, it makes you want to shake him and say "Why are you so stupid?!" Which, incidentally is probably exactly how Natty feels.

For the girls (Alice and Felicity), I don't particularly like it when teenagers say "Mummy" in books, as to me this just isn't realistic. However, I was willing to overlook this as again the two characters were very real and well written.

This has turned into a very lengthy review so congratulations if you're still reading! Overall, I enjoyed this book very much and would recommend it to fans of The Girl on the Train and anything similar, but also if you're not a fan give it a try anyway, you might be pleasantly surprised.

Paperback | 400 pages

Goodreads rating: 3.76                Published: 21/05/2014 | Corgi (first published 13/03/2014)
My rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

#RYBSAT Readathon

If you aren't already aware of what RYBSAT (Read Your Bookshelf-athon) is, it is a week long reading marathon where you pick a spot on your shelf and basically read along the shelf, one book after another. It starts today (Tuesday,  January 19th) and ends on Monday, January 25th.

I'm quite lucky that most of the books on my shelf at the moment I haven't read so I have quite a lot of choice as to where to start.

I've debated and changed my mind about where I wanted to start so many times already it's ridiculous. I debated starting on the right side of my book shelf where all of my The Mortal Instruments series books are as I really want to finish those, I debated starting in the centre and reading some of my newer books, I also debated starting just after the Throne of Glass series and basically marathoning Harry Potter. However, after much deliberation I have decided to start on the left side of my book shelf starting with Keep Your Friends Close by Paula Daly. I decided to start here as I've had these books the longest and I think it is time for them to finally be read.

I have no idea how many books I'll read this week (especially since it is already 16 hours into the readathon and I haven't read a word), but ideally I would love to get through Keep Your Friends Close by Paula Daly, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon and Poison Study by Maria V Snyder. I would also like to start Paper Towns by John Green but we'll see if that happens.

It'll be really nice if I can polish off these books this week as they have been sat on my shelf for a while. However, I'm not going to force myself to read when I don't want to because that will just make me resent the book I'm reading rather than love it.

Wish me luck! I'll let you know how I got on in a post next week!

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

2015 Favourites

So I was on YouTube yesterday and I saw YouTubers posting their 2015 favourites videos... On the 11th of January! My initial reaction was, late much? But then I thought about it and realised that this gave me a perfect excuse to do my own half way through January 2016, 2015 favourites! Thus, here we are. I have been extremely busy this past week which is why I haven't been posting every two days like I was at the beginning of the month, but this post means I have so far stuck to my resolution of a post a week and that is what matters!

2015 was a pretty eventful year for me. I finally finished my A levels, I moved to England and I started the 'university' chapter of my life. Aside from all of that though, here is a list of things that I loved in the year 2015.

Make-Up and Beauty
Mac Cosmetics: This year I purchased my very first Mac lipsticks and I have completely fallen in love. I love the texture, the pigment, the colour, I love how long they last. I pretty much love everything about Mac lipsticks and I'm pretty obsessed. My main obsession of the year has been the Satin Mocha lipstick. It's described on the Mac website as a 'peachy yellow-brown', I think that sounds gross... but the colour itself is gorgeous and it has definitely become my go-to.

Food and Drink
Coffee: So I've liked Mochas for a long time, but I was constantly convinced that I didn't like coffee. However, this year I worked in a coffee shop for a while and instead of leaving hating it, I left with a brand new obsession! Cappuccinos are as far as I'll go though, black coffee is still off limits.

Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas: I think we all knew this was coming. I've been obsessed with his series since the moment I picked it up, and it was definitely these books that stuck with me most this year.

My Blog: I am incredibly happy that I've fallen in love with my blog in 2015, it's something that I really enjoy doing for myself and something I will be very happy to continue with in 2016.

World of Wanderlust: This is a travel blog that I discovered this year and loved! The girl that runs it, Brooke, travel's all around the world and blogs about it and all of her tips for travelling the globe.

So that's everything I wanted to talk about in this post, it's a little bit of a filler post because I'm still pretty busy but soon I should be back on track with enough time to post again.

Monday, 4 January 2016

December Favourites

I literally haven't done a favourites post since July, but to be fair I didn't post much between July and December at all! I am trying my best to be on track with blogging though and my New Years resolution is to post at least once a week but at the moment I am trying to post every two days. The once a week resolution just keeps the pressure off if I miss a day.

It is the beginning of a New Year but before I completely let go of 2015 I have a few reflective posts such as favourites and recaps planned so let's dive right in to my December favourites.

Make-Up and Beauty

L'Oréal Paris Infallible 24H-Matte Mattifying Foundation: I had this foundation in my make-up bag for a while but I was so attached to my Rimmel foundation that it sat in the bottom of my bag lonely and unused. However, during the month of December I ran out of my Rimmel foundation and I was too lazy (and too cheap) to go out and buy a new one. Thus the age of the L'Oréal foundation began! This foundation is wonderful, it goes onto my skin so smoothly and gives amazing coverage without looking cakey. It lasts all day, it makes my skin look flawless, it doesn't make me feel oily or look shiny. It's just overall an amazing foundation and I am currently obsessed.


Scarf: I can't remember where or when I got this scarf but it is always a must-have for me during the winter months. It is the cosiest scarf I have ever come across and the lovely neutral light brown/creamy colour goes with absolutely anything. Especially in my wardrobe as 90% of my winter attire is black, white and grey. It also goes beautiful with my favourite beige winter boots.

Winter Socks: There is nothing better than a cosy pair of winter socks. Whether it's the obnoxiously fluffy kind that you wear around the house, or the really cute fashion kind that you wear with winter boots. I have have been loving wintery socks in December and a part of me will be sad when spring rolls along and it's too warm to wear them.

Rings: I am not a big Jewellery wearer, but this month I have once again started wearing both the ring that Jordan bought for me and a ring that I received from a family member this Christmas. They are both so pretty and shiny and I don't entirely understand why but I've been loving wearing them.

Food and Drink

Anything Home Cooked: Literally, after being in university for 3 months and living off pasta, pot noodles and onion rings I am so incredibly happy to be home with proper meals cooked by my mum (and the many meals we've gone out for). I usually have no motivation to cook for myself in the evenings so it's very, very nice to have them cooked for me for a few weeks.


December is the month of Vlogmas so I've been watching a LOT of YouTube this month. Some of my favourites have been: Zoella, MoreZoella, Abookutopia, Katie Snooks, SacconeJolys and PeruseProject.


Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas: I have talked about this series (Throne of Glass) a lot on my blog recently but that is simply because it is one of my favourite series right now and this instalment was no exception. There's been a lot of conflicting views on this book but I for one loved it. I'm not happy that I have to wait so long for the next one but at least I have the second instalment of A Court of Thorns and Roses in a few months to make the wait a little more bearable.


How the Grinch Stole Christmas: This is such a classic Christmas film and I don't know if this is an unpopular opinion but I think I actually like this film more than Elf. It's adorable, has songs and is just indescribably wonderful. Watching this film in December reminded me how much I love it, definitely one of my favourite Christmas films I watched this month. The post that goes with this film can be found here.

Serendipity: I did not expect to love this film as much as I did. I thought it would be too cheesy and annoying but I was wrong. It was just the right amount of cheesy and annoying and I loved it. I loved it so much that I gave it 5/5 Santa Faces. the post that went with this film can be found here.

Santa Tell Me by Ariana Grande: Celebrities' original Christmas songs can often be awful, cheesy and difficult to listen to, but I found myself playing this song on repeat throughout the month of December. It's just so catchy!

Walking In A Winter Wonderland/Be Happy by Pentatonix ft. Tori Kelly: I love Pentatonix any day, but this Christmassy mash up is amazing! Tori Kelly's voice is absolutely beautiful and the harmonies are on point. A must for my Christmas playlist.


Barry: Towards the end of the month my parents, Jordan and I spent a few hours in Barry with my dog, Bella. We walked along the beach and through the town and my mum took a few nice pictures. Bella loved it, even though she ran away from the waves of the sea like a child. Overall it was a lovely day and definitely my favourite of the places I went this month.

How I Met Your Mother: A while back Jordan and I decided we wanted to watch How I Met Your Mother from start to finish. It is such a brilliant show that we finished 3 seasons in about 2 weeks. Don't even judge me, it's winter break! The show is so incredibly funny and all the actors are amazing, I highly recommend this series if you haven't seen it yet.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J Maas

"When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it... or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever." - Goodreads


As a fan of the Throne of Glass series also by Sarah J Maas, I was extremely excited to find out that she had started another series. I picked this up as soon as I finished Heir of Fire (the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series) and expected great things.

However, before I started reading I found out that this is a loose retelling of the classic story of Beauty and the Beast and this definitely put me off a little as unless it's a truly amazing series, I hate re-reading things as I just know what's happening, one of my favourite things about reading a book is the surprise. So I was worried that knowing the story of Beauty and the Beast would take away any of the surprise in reading this book. 

I needn't have worried. When I say this is a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast, I mean it is so loose that you almost have to search for similarities. I would hardly even call it a retelling, it's more just inspired by Beauty and the Beast.

The synopsis of the story also put me off as whenever a book specifically mentions Fae/Faeries and magic and things on the back it's hard not to worry that the book will just be really childish. But I have to give it to Maas, she handled it very well, despite the magic and the fae this book didn't feel childish or belittling.

However, as opposed to Throne of Glass (which I literally couldn't put down) this book took me a little while to get into. I personally found the beginning a little bit slow, and I didn't immediately fall in love with the main character of Feyre. I did like the first half of the book but I wasn't hooked on it, it took me until about half way through to truly feel engrossed in the characters and the story.

The last third of the book is where this novel really shines. There is a major twist towards the end that I didn't expect, and I love it when authors can surprise me. The end of the book was exciting and action packed and very S.J Maas. Maas does action so well, she really knows how to describe a fight scene and her writing definitely shines during exciting moments. 

Despite this, I figured out the 'riddle' (which you'll know of if you've read the book) the second I read it. I don't know if she meant for the reader to figure it out, but I did and I was a little bit disappointed that it didn't have more of an impact. But that's me being extremely picky.

Like I said, at the beginning I didn't love or even really like Feyre's character. She put herself down, she complained a lot, and thus brought me down quite a lot. However, she developed a lot towards the end and became a much stronger character, much more brave, righteous and caring and this is when I really started to love her. I would have liked to have seen some more detail in the developing relationship with her family though. I felt that her relationship with her family 180'd so quickly and I would have liked to have seen a slower and more concrete development in this area that would have made it more impactful and believable.

I also didn't really love Tamlin at the beginning but the way the story developed and as the secrets of his past came to light, I understood his character a lot more and a lot of the actions he made at the beginning of the novel ended up making sense. 

Overall, I did end up very much enjoying this book and I can see myself picking up the sequel when it comes out this year. This book has further solidified my love for Maas' writing and I can't wait to see what she comes out with in the future. If you love Throne of Glass, Sarah J Maas, fantasy, strong female leads, romance or anything similar then give this a try. Just don't really expect it to be anything like the original Beauty and the Beast story because you will be disappointed.

Paperback | 432 pages

Goodreads rating: 4.30               Published: 05/07/2017 | Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
My rating: 4/5