Because of You by Helene Fermont

 

ARC REVIEW FOR THE BOOKOLLECTIVE UK BLOG TOUR

thumbnail_image-1          This is a book that I received as part of this months BOOKOLLECTIVE blog tour. I am really proud to have been selected as a member of this team and thrilled at the opportunity to review books like this great read. This review is spoiler free so don’t worry!

Synopsis:

Because of You spans 36 years in the life of Hannah Stein, a Swedish teenager who arrives in London, at the tail end of the disco era, for a gap year before embarking on a teaching career. The people she meets change the course of her life irrevocably and the novel charts her changing personal and professional fortunes over the next three decades. Because of You is about love, coming of age, friendship, bereavement, stillbirth and rape. Its themes include redemption, acceptance, fidelity and family. Because of You is a story that every woman can relate to. Because of You is the deeply moving debut novel by Scandinavian writer Helene Fermont.

Review:

This book was really really out of the box reading for me because my usual genre is Young Adult fantasy and high fantasy books. However it was a really nice change of pace and once id gotten over the unfamiliarity of the genre I really enjoyed the book.

The story is set over about 36 years and goes between the countries of Sweden and the UK and i found the differences in cultures and settings to be really fulfilling, the changes that the settings gave to the plot were subtle and highlighted the movements of time and atmosphere. I became very involved in the character building and the coming of age, growth of the protagonist Hannah as well.

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The Grisha Trilogy

Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising.

All three grisha Books

Title: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Publisher: Macmillan

Okay so I bought all three of these boos on the reccomedation of a bookstagram friend and boy have I enjoyed them! I read all three in a week and that is with gaps for Netflix in between. I loved these books and the world of the Grisha, coming to love all of the characters, the storylines, the wonderful writing and the creation and destruction of lives and lands. These books are awesome and epic reads to which Leigh Bardugo deserves more than a million brownie points for. Read on for a breakdown and my reviews of each…

Shadow and Bone 


Okay so Shadow and bone is the first book we are introduced to in the Grisha trilogy, and it was a stunning novel, a really good set up and an amazing work of art. I adored all of the characters and the introduction of the Darkling, the character buildup and the addition of new voices. The books are all told in the point of view of Alina the main character and some may say heroine of the story.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

“Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.”
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The Leibster Award

Hello Blog Peeps,

I was nominated by Jordan at Fridaysandbooks to do the Leibster award post and I’m ashamed to say i totally forgot to put up anything about it at all. I am sorry but here I have nominated a few smaller blogs to do the challenge to and get some more publicity for their work!

The rules of the award are simple:

  1. Thank the person(s) nominating you.
  2. Answer the questions given to you in your nomination.
  3. Nominate 5 bloggers that have less than 200 followers.
  4. Inform those people that they have been nominated.
  5. Give them 11 book related questions.

So without further adieu, I say thank you so much to @fridaysandbooks for nominating me for this award, it was extra nice of you. You are amazing and your blog is such a reflection of your passion for reading!

These are the answers to my questions:  Continue reading

Order of Vespers – Elyse Reyes

order of vespers

4/5 Stars

This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. It does not impact on my feedback or opinion in any way. *Spoiler free*

Summary:

Jasper Andrews is in over her head. God and the Devil have disappeared from Earth, leaving humanity without hope. Il Separatio, the Entity of Neutrality, tries to restore peace through the intervention of its children, the Order of Vespers. They are tasked with maintaining the balance between light and dark, ensuring that no faction becomes too powerful. They think Jasper is the key to harnessing the power of Il Separatio, protecting the Vespers and maintaining the balance. —- Eighteen-year-old Jasper Andrews finds herself drawn into this superhuman world when a freak explosion exposes her to groups interested in secret abilities. When her family is killed under unbelievable circumstances, Jasper is the only suspect. She flees police custody and heads to New York City to lose herself in the crowds. Jasper wants revenge, but being chased by the police and superhuman bad guys, slows her down. While she’s in hiding Jasper becomes more volatile; she begins manifesting traces of her siblings’ abilities and begins to lose control. The Order of Vespers has decided she’s too dangerous and too important to leave unguarded and capture her. Before she can escape, the killers strike again, this time taking children directly connected to the Order. Jasper is forced to choose between her vendetta and the lives of the Vespers and humanity.

Review:

This book is one of those book that is short but sweet, adding the awesomeness of a YA novel to a really original take on the ideas of good and evil. I loved the fact that some of the characters were neither good nor evil as it means that there is really cool. will they wont they about the book and the narrative.

I love the way that the reader is allowed to question the judgement of the heroine, Jasper at every turn and that he is such a strong willed character. The deep emotional baggage and scars make the reader question the past of the character and show how it effects Jasper into her later life. As it is a story about one persons life and not a story involving more than one POV you get to question the choices of the lead character and really dig into the motivations of her actions. Continue reading

Minor Gods – A.M.Yates

minor gods

3.5/5 Stars

Book sent to me in exchange for an honest review, this does not impact my views or review in any way.

This was a really refreshing read by author Amy Yates, I had previously never heard of this series until I was sent a review copy of the book and what a read it is!!

Synopsis:

SHE WAS THE CHOSEN ONE… UNTIL SHE WASN’T.

Josie Day has spent her life training to lead the Core—summoners who use ancient masks to channel the elemental powers of the gods. But then her mother is murdered by a mysterious Earth Goddess. And the power meant to be Josie’s passes to her sister instead. Worse, the Earth Goddess escapes. Now, Josie must prepare her sister to lead the fractious Core. Except her sister would rather be hanging at the mall with her too-perfect boyfriend. And, in truth, Josie would rather be hunting down the Goddess. When the Goddess returns and attacks, a shadowy Fire God comes to the rescue. But until Josie knows who is behind the mask, she isn’t sure she wants his help or the heat igniting between them.

With the Goddess plotting a war against humanity, Josie has to accept what she’s lost if she’s going to save what she has left. (Taken from Goodreads.com)

Review:

Minor Gods is such a good read, I was so impressed by the action and the impact of the book and the brilliant character build up throughout the novel. The idea that people can posses magic enough to build masks and inhibit Gods is so unusual and the original story line was something I fell for straight away.

I definitely felt more for the characters of Minor Gods and was really impressed with the growth of Josie and her complicated relationships with her sister and the other characters. The beginning was such a smasher too, imagine diving into a death straight away, it reminded me of the thrill of game of thrones.

Josie is such a good protagonist to write and read from as she is not the infallible character that you expect her to be but you see her development and her progression over time through the novel and the hardships that she has to overcome. The loss of a parent so early in the book was a real shock to the readers system but set up a very descriptive and well balanced plot line very quickly. The romance between Judah and Josie is amazing as well. It took time for Tessa to grow on me but by the end it was easy to emphasise with her as well. It must be horrid to be thrown out of your comfort area into the turmoil of responsibility and power. Continue reading

Smoke by Dan Vyleta

smoke by dan v

3/5 Stars

You know what, I am actually really stoked that i read this book. It was a little out of my genre zone but i actually really enjoyed reading it and I’m actually so happy to say that i could be meeting the author on Friday at my local bookshop as he is in England to visit.

I was surprised by how poignant and deep this bee was and as i read more i learned all about the underlying morality issues and questions it raised too. I couldn’t help thinking that this would have been a great book for me to study for A Level.

I so enjoyed the adventures with Thomas and Charlie and Livia of the noble births and the awesome addition of the smoke rising from the sinners. To learn a persons true nature from visual prompts is such an interesting premise. I especially loved the boys relationship and the way that they formed a bond based on mutual dissolution and questioning of all that was the norm.

I actually also really liked the way it was set out as a historical dystopian and the fact that the description of old London and the like was really detailed. I loved the passages about the school trip to London and the weird teacher student relationships of the boarding school then moving out into Thomas home and through the family questions too. Answering Thomas inward question about whether sin and evil could pass through the bloodline. Continue reading

The Girl From The Paradise Ballroom

This book was really interesting as a first read from this website. I really liked the way that the story was set out in the midst of a war as I’m quite a historical fiction buff. It was so fun to read. I found the focus and the plot really interesting as it explored the point of view of the Italians in the great war which is something that i haven’t come across before now.

I adored the romance between Olivia and Antonio and devoured their forbidden love because that is one of my favourites, when two people cant be together but find a way somehow. I wasn’t sure how it would wrap up as i could only assume that it was all going to turn sour. i think people will be pleasantly surprised though. The way that the author empathises with the culture and the love story really gets you gripped.

I have never read a war story set between England an Italy, so this was my first and very enjoyable in that respect. Exploring the descriptions of the places and the culture and the respect that the author has for the two was really cool. It wasn’t surprising that the Italians were treated almost like the Japanese in this respect but it was heart rending and it did allow the reader to empathise with the characters. Continue reading