The Light that Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew #BookReview #YA

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Title: The Light that gets Lost
Author: Natasha Carthew
Series: N/A
Format: Digital, 320 pages
Publication Details: November 5th 2015 by Bloomsbury Childrens
Genre(s): YA
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads // Purchase

A small boy hiding in a cupboard witnesses something no child should ever see. He tries not to look but he still hears it. And when he comes out, there’s no mistaking. His mum and dad have been killed. And though he’s only small, he swears that he’ll get revenge one day.

Years later, Trey enters a strange camp that is meant to save troubled teenagers. It’s packed with crazies, god-botherers, devoted felons and broken kids. Trey’s been in and out of trouble ever since the day the bad thing happened, but he’s he not here for saving: this is where he’ll find the man who did it. Revenge and healing, salvation and hell are a boiling, dangerous mix, and Trey finds himself drawn to a girl, a dream and the offer of friendship in the dark.

Review

The Light that Gets Lost is a lot of things. It’s a little bit murder mystery, a little bit coming of age, and a whole lot of emotions.

Camp Kernow is supposed to be a place of salvation. It’s supposed to turn wayward boys into model citizens by teaching them a trade and hammering a work ethic into them. In reality, it’s far from it.

Trey will never forget witnessing his parents get murdered at an early age, and now he’s heading to camp Kernow which seems to be both a blessing and curse. A curse because the camp is not all it seems, and the boys and staff there are not exactly welcoming, and a blessing because despite all this, Trey begins to make friends, and not only that, but he believes this is the exact place where his parent’s killer can be found.

I found this book interesting on a lot of different levels. The story was new and quirky, and the writing was beautiful and like nothing I’d read before. I felt for Trey the whole way through and needed to know how his story would end.

I was also interested in the whole idea of the camp as a juvenile detention centre and whether its true purpose was for good or for evil – it posed a lot of questions!

I’m sort of at a loss at what else to say about The Light that gets Lost. As you can probably tell, it’s a really hard book to describe, so maybe you should just give a go to find out more!unicorn rating 4

This Week in Books 25.11.15 #TWIB

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.

Ahhhhhhhh One month until Christmas…Yayyyy! I’m so putting my decorations up this week 🙂

Anyway, sorry I missed last week, but my friend was visiting from Germany and I just didn’t get round to it (or do much reading)! Here’s what I have been up to to though…

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Now: Winter ~ Marissa Meyer

The Lunar Chronicles has definitely been one of my favourite series in the last few years, Winter (#4) is living up to my expectations so far….yessssss!

Then: The Winter Place ~ Alexander Yates // The Light that gets Lost ~ Natasha Carthew

I enjoyed both of these, but didn’t quite love them! I reviewed The Winter Place here, and the other will be up later today.

Next: ???

I’ll be getting festive with The Christmas we Met by Kate Lord Brown.

New on the Shelves

I didn’t buy or request any books this week!

I’m Waiting On…

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

The Crow Girl ~ Erik Axl Sund

This sounds mysterious, and A-mazing!

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It starts with just one body – tortured, mummified and then discarded.

Its discovery reveals a nightmare world of hidden lives. Of lost identities, secret rituals and brutal exploitation, where nobody can be trusted.

This is the darkest, most complex case the police have ever seen.

This is the world of the Crow Girl.

Expected Publication: April 7th 2016 by Random House UK

So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours?

If you still do a similar WWW post (or just want to join in, leave your link/answers in the comments, OR why not tweet using #TWIB, and I’ll come and visit!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to be Thankful for! #TTT

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: Thanksgiving Freebie – I’m going for 10 Books I’m thankful for…

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  1.  The Chronicles of Narnia: I will always be thankful for this series; it has inspired me my whole life!
  2.  Twilight: As much as this book started a whole trend of bad teen vampire fiction, it also put YA on the map, and I don’t think the young adult genre would be the same without it.
  3. Harry Potter: I’ve never read them, but even I know that people’s (adults) opinions on ‘kids’ books would not be as favourable as they are today without Rowling’s series.
  4. A Million Little Pieces: I think this is the book I’ve read the most. It taught me that beautiful things can come out of suffering, and that people can overcome anything with hope and determination.
  5.  Slaughterhouse 5: I think everyone should read this anti-war book, which is completely batshit and poignant all at the same time.
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  7. The End of Mr. Y: This book introduced me to one of my favourite British authors.
  8. Interview with a Vampire: I’m glad this book exists for the sole purpose of reminding me how vampire should be!
  9.  The Hunger Games: I’m thankful for these books mainly because they’ve given me so much fangirling/ranting material.
  10. The Time Traveller’s Wife: This book reminded me that literary fiction can be amazing, and that I shouldn’t just read YA all the time!
  11.  Burial Rites: Same as above!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends! 🙂

Lazy Saturday Review: The Winter Place by Alexander Yates #BookReview

I started doing ‘lazy Saturday reviews’ as a way of getting reviews done in just 30 mins, and they proved to be quite popular. They are quick and snappy, and concentrate less on the plot and writing and more on my general feelings about said book. They generally end up being a bit of a rant. My fave!

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Title: The Winter Place
Author: Alexander Yates
Series: N/A
Format: Digital, 448 pages
Publication Details: October 22nd 2015 by Simon & Schuster Children’s UK
Genre(s): Childrens/YA
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads // Purchase
When a mysterious stranger and his brown bear show up on the same day that Axel and Tess’s father dies in an accident, Axel fears he might be going crazy, especially as only he can see them. However, the strange duo are quickly forgotten when Axel and Tess are shipped off to Finland to stay with grandparents that they’ve never met. But when they arrive in Finland, Axel is stunned when the stranger and his bear reappear. More incredibly, the stranger tells him that his parents are lost and need help.

Desperate to see his father again, and actually meet his mother, Axel follows the man and his bear, disappearing deep into the frozen wilds of northern Finland. When Tess realises that her brother has vanished she’s distraught. And so begins the frantic search across snow and ice into the dark forest. But as the hours creep by and with no sign of Axel, Tess begins to wonder if her brother has ventured onto a path that she cannot follow.

Delving into the timeless, fantastical world of Nordic mysticism, set against the harsh beauty of a frozen landscape, The Winter Place is an imaginative, beautiful story of loss, love and hope, a story of family, and of a brother and sister who find each other again.

Review

I thought I’d be describing this book as magical, beautiful, emotional, but instead I find myself thinking bizarre, odd, and quirky. That’s not to say that those things are bad, but I was certainly thrown by it.

It is quite a cute story about Axel, who has muscular dystrophy (this is only touched upon and doesn’t define him as a character-which I loved btw) and his older sister Tess. The story is steeped in Scandinavian mythology and based around the Hiisi folklore, something I knew nothing of but enjoyed finding out about.

As I was reading this story, I really enjoyed it, but I felt like I was always waiting for more to happen. I loved the relationship between the two siblings, and seeing how they kept hope and joy alive in the most horrible of circumstances. I loved the mystery of the bear, and the wheelchair that follows Axel around, and not knowing for a long time whether it was supposed to be real or all in his imagination.

Overall, this wasn’t the magical, winter tale I was expecting, but it was a really interesting delve into nordic mysticism, and I’m sure that plucky Axel will stay with me for a long time.

unicorn rating 3

Lazy Saturday Review: Behind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes #BookReview

behindclosedTitle: Behind Closed Doors
Author: Elizabeth Haynes
Series: DCI Louisa Smith #2
Format: Digital, 416 pages
Publication Details: January 29th 2015 by Sphere
Genre(s): Crime; Thriller
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads // Purchase

‘To begin with, nothing was certain except her own terror . . .’

Ten years ago, fourteen-year-old Scarlett Rainsford vanished without a trace during a family holiday to Greece. Not being able to find Scarlett was one of the biggest regrets of DCI Louisa Smith’s career and when Scarlett is discovered back in her home town after all this time, Lou is determined to find out what happened to her and why she remained hidden for so long. Was she abducted or did she run away?

As Lou and her team delve deeper into Scarlett’s past, their investigation throws up more questions than it answers. But as they edge closer to the truth about what really went on behind closed doors, it is more sinister and disturbing than they had ever imagined.

Review

Behind Closed Doors is another compelling, page-turning read from Police Analyst Elizabeth Haynes.

This is the third book I’ve read by Haynes and I’ve found them all to be edge-of-your-seat thrilling and interesting in the most excellent dark and gritty way. Behind Closed Doors was no exception.

Haynes is masterful at navigating the multi-layer plot about a girl who was abducted on a family holiday and has returned after 10 years, posing more questions than there are answers.

Obviously, I felt for Scarlett and all the horrible things she went through, but she was frustrating too in the way that she refused to tell her story. Of course, this is what made it such a page-turner and I couldn’t wait to find out who was behind the whole thing.

No one in this book is a sure thing. Scarlett’s family were weird to the point of being suspects, and even Scarlett herself can’t be trusted.

Haynes’ experience as a Police Analyst brings an obvious insider knowledge to her thrillers, but they never feel clinical. They have heart, and I liked that this story in particular shows how different people act differently in extreme situations, making it impossible to judge anyone’s intentions.

You never know who to trust…

unicorn rating

This Week in Books 11.11.2015 #TWIB

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.

Hope you guys are having a good week!

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Now: The Winter Place ~ Alexander Yates

I’m enjoying this a lot! Bears, Finland, a cabin in the woods…perfect!!!

Then: Behind Closed Doors ~ Elizabeth Haynes

Another winning book for me by Haynes! My Review will be up on Saturday.

Next: ???

If Winter arrives, then that! If not The Light that gets Lost by Natasha Carthew which published today (I’m a bit behind on ARCs, sorry!)

New on the Shelves

I’ve been approved for the following title via Netgalley:

The Christmas we Met ~ Kate Lord Brown

I’m mega happy I got approved for this…I can’t wait to get started on some festive reads!

christmaswemetA gorgeous winter tale about the secrets revealed by a collection of family jewels.

A talented young jewellery designer fights to rebuild her life and family by solving the mystery surrounding a diamond brooch given to her by her grandmother.

When Grace Manners takes up residence on the Wittering Manor estate in Sussex, she little realizes working alongside eccentric Fraser Stratton will change her life.

Since her husband disappeared, along with most of their money, Grace has struggled to make ends meet and the little cottage on the estate is both a refuge and a workshop for her jewellery business. It’s only when Grace begins to uncover the story behind a beautiful diamond brooch she inherited that she becomes drawn into a family secret that threatens to destroy what little she has left…

Purchased: I broke my book-buying ban and ordered these MUST HAVES!

I also bought a copy of How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff from a charity shop. I’ve read it before, but I borrowed it from my friend Di and I wanted my own copy.

I’m Waiting On…

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) ~ Victoria Aveyard

I got really excited about this, this week! Come onnnnnnnn February!

glassswordMare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

Expected Publication: February 9th 2016 by HarperTeen

So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours?

If you still do a similar WWW post (or just want to join in, leave your link/answers in the comments, OR why not tweet using #TWIB, and I’ll come and visit!

Last Month in Books: October 2015 #TMIB

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OK so I’m slightly late with this, but you know what they say, better late than never!

Horror October felt a little rushed this year due to Real Life nonsense, but I had fun with it regardless. I hope you guys enjoyed it too.

Here’s the month in summary…

October 2015 Stats

Total Posts: 25 (+8 from previous month)

Books Read: 7 (+ 2)
The Lost Girl ~ R.L Stine
The Kiss of Death ~ Marcus Sedgwick
Seize the Night ~ Various
Vampire Vic ~ Harris Gray
Vampire Vic 2: Morbius Reborn ~ Harris Gray
Edgar Allan Poe Stories & Poems
The Ghoul Archipelago ~ Stephen Kozeniewski

The Breakdown:
Genres: YA (2/7); Horror (7/7); Anthologies/Collections (2/7)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (2/7); Digital (5/7); Hardback (2/7); Paperback (0/7); Owned (1/7); Borrowed (1/7)

Most Surprising: The Lost Girl
Most Disappointing: Seize the Night
Most Exciting: The Kiss of Death
Most Swoon-worthy: There was a severe lack of swooning this month!
Most Beautifully Written: The Kiss of Death

Reviews: 5 (+2)

  • The Lost Girl by R.L Stine, 3/5 (View)
  • The Kiss of Death by Marcus Sedgwick, 5/5 (View)
  • Seize the Night, 2/5 (View)
  • Vampire Vic by Harris Gray, 4/5 (View)
  • Vampire Vic 2 by Harris Gray, 3/5 (View)
  • The Ghoul Archipelago, 3/5 (View)

Most Viewed Posts

  1. TTT: Why Can’t I Quit Youuuu (10 things I’m bored of in Horror) (View Post)
  2. Welcome to Horror October (View Post)
  3. This Week In Books 21.11.15 (View Post)

Guest Posts, Promos and Other Highlights

  • Sea Monsters and the Bear Next Door by B.I Woolet (View Post)
  • My Love of Murder & Mayhem by Cleo Bannister (View Post)
  • Top Ten Tuesday: Horror Duos I’d Love to see Collaborate (View Post)
  • Horror Films That Still Scare Me #1 (View Post)

Awards

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An English Ghost Story by Kim Newman #BookReview

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An English Ghost Story ~ Kim Newman

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Format: Paperback, 315 pages
Publication Details: October 7th 2014 by Titan Books
Genre(s): Horror; Supernatural
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it.

Goodreads // Purchase

A dysfunctional British nuclear family seek a new life away from the big city in the sleepy Somerset countryside. At first their new home, The Hollow, seems to embrace them, creating a rare peace and harmony within the family. But when the house turns on them, it seems to know just how to hurt them the most—threatening to destroy them from the inside out.

Review

This was the last book I read for Horror October, and I’m so glad because I finished the month on a high.

An English Ghost Story was exactly what I was looking for! It was a book which started with promise. I was absorbed from the beginning even before anything spooky happened and then it built up its suspense and creepiness in a masterful, almost majestic way.

The Naremore family move into a grand old house in the countryside which was previously owned by a famous children’s author whose popular series of books were about a haunted boarding school. It turns out that these books were a lot less fictitious than anyone would have believed.

However, the ghosts, spirits, or presences (however you would like to refer to them) struck the Naremore family as friendly, and they found The Hollow an enchanted place to live. A place where they were finally happy; it had brought the family together in a way they had not felt before.

Unfortunately for them…the family had been lulled into a false sense of security and bit by bit, the ‘others’ in the house start to make life very difficult in The Hollow. The dream home, becomes a nightmare. They are turned against each other, and it looks as if they won’t wake up until there’s no one left.

This book was delicious for a horror fan like me. Ghost stories aren’t usually my favourite because I often find them unbelievable and just not scary enough, but I loved how ‘real’ An English Ghost Story felt. It gradually built up momentum as the house began to turn against them and slowly pulled their family apart. I couldn’t put it down.

It was funny in places, certainly creepy, and had some great gory, gross-out moments, but it felt magical too; it had a whimsical feel about it, like reading through a dream.

I was very impressed by my first delve into Kim Newman’s imagination, and I can’t wait to read more. Maybe I’ll finally get round to Anno Dracula now!

unicorn rating 4

This Week in Books 04.11.2015 #TWIB

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.

Whoop to Wednesday! I’m back to my regular schedule after another great Horror October. I still have a few reviews to post and my monthly round-up but other than that it’s goodbye for another year. Thanks to everyone who got involved!

Anyhoo, here’s what I got up to in the last 7 days…

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Now: Behind Closed Doors ~ Elizabeth Haynes

I didn’t get much reading time last week, but I’m well and truly into this now and finding it hard to put down. I may well be finished by the time this post goes out…

Then:

An English Ghost Story ~ Kim Newman

This was the perfect book to round-off Horror October 2015. I’m hoping to post the review at the weekend, if not before.

Next: ???

Same as last week: My Horror October reads pushed some ARCs back so I’ll be returning to them. The Winter Place is first up!

That’s it for this week (I’ll be returning to my longer post next week including my book haul and Waiting on Wednesday), what did you get up to?

If you still do a similar WWW post (or just want to join in, leave your link/answers in the comments, OR why not tweet using #TWIB, and I’ll come and visit.

Top Ten Tuesday: Please Sir, I’d Like Some More…

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel (because when you love a debut you just are ITCHING to get your hands on the author’s second book).

Hmm I didn’t even know what a ‘Sophomore Novel’ was until this topic came up, but now I know! However, I’m still going to change my list up slightly and look at authors that I’ve only read one book by but desperately want to read more of.

That’s pretty much the same, right?

In no particular order…

1. Rachel Hawkins: I loved Rebel Belle and would like to carry on the series…but just haven’t. Sigh.

2. Benjamin Alire Saenz: LOVED, LOVED LOVED Aristotle & Dante and now I need to read EVERYTHING this guy writes.

3. Kim Newman: I’ve been meaning to read Anno Dracula since it came out but still haven’t gotten round to it. After recently reading and loving his An English Ghost Story, I want to read more by him more than ever.

4. Erin Bowman: Loved her recent YA Western, Vengeance Road and would love to see more from her.

5. Joe Hill: Horns was great and I’ve heard great things about his other books too. I really want to read Heart-Shaped Box and Nos482.

6. Devon Hartford: I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed the steamy Fearless, and I bought the second book in the series straight away but haven’t got to it yet.

7. Rosamund Lupton: I absolutely adored The Quality of Silence earlier this year. It was the first one I’d read of hers but I now need to go read everything she’s done!

8. James Dawson: I’ve only read Cruel Summer so far and it was great! More please.

9. Victoria Aveyard: Red Queen was awesome, I loved it, despite being bored of all the YA Dystopia out there at the moment. I can’t wait for book 2!

10. M.R Carey: The Girl with all the Gifts was a great horror read, I wouldn’t hesitate to read more.