One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus #BookReview #YA #Mystery

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oneofusislyingTitle: One of Us is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Series: n/a
Format: Digital ARC, 370 pages
Publication Details: June 1st 2017 by Penguin
Genre(s): YA; Contemporary, Mystery
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free advance copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads 

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Five students go to detention. Only four leave alive.

On Thursday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nate, the bad boy, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the jock, is the all-star baseball pitcher. And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app. Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investi­gators, his death wasn’t an accident.

On Thursday, he died. But on Friday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they just the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

Review

One of Us is Lying is a super-fun, light read, perfect for the summer holidays.

Full of everyone’s favourite high school stereotypes, the story centres around five students who end up in detention for something they apparently didn’t do. Were they set up? During the detention, the “geek”, Simon, drinks a cup of water and dies. He’s severely allergic to nuts and it appears that someone spiked his water with nut oil.

And so, the four remaining students are suddenly murder suspects. There’s the pretty, goody-two-shoes, Bronwyn, the jock, Cooper, the bad boy, Nate, and Addy the insecure beauty. They all have reasons to hate Simon, as he had dirt on all of them and wasn’t afraid to post it online for all to see.

One of Us is Lying is written from the perspectives of all four suspects. Multiple narrative stories usually annoy me, but I think it was necessary in this novel, and it worked really well. Each character had their own, very different reasons to want Simon dead, and their own problems aside from that too, which brought a nice element of realism to the story.

I thought it was a really fun, quick read that kept me intrigued most of the way through. The only let down was that I guessed the outcome from about half-way through, but it was still enjoyable.

It has a bit of everything; mystery, romance and action all rolled into one. 

unicorn rating 4

 

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones #BookReview#YA #FantasyReads

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wintersongTitle:
 Wintersong
Author: S. Jae-Jones
Series: N/A
Format: Paperback, 508 pages
Publication Details: February 7th 2017 by Titan Books
Genre(s): YA; Fantasy; Romance
Disclosure? Nope I bought it! 

Goodreads 

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‘Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.’

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

Review

Inspired by one of my favourite films of all time, Labyrinth, I met Wintersong with equal amounts of excitement and apprehension. It’s not a short book at 500ish pages, but it flew by…however, I don’t feel like I can say I loved it. In fact I’m really not sure how I felt about it and I finished it a couple of weeks ago!

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Basically, The Goblin King steals away Liesel’s beautiful sister Kathe to lure Liesel to the Underground where he plans on making her his bride. Liesel has always dreamt of The Goblin King. She’s drawn to his beauty and his power, but also fears him. There is a passion between the pair but being The Goblin King’s bride means leaving her family behind and never setting foot overground again.

Wintersong was certainly cringe-worthy in places, and outright bizarre in others, and it never went where I thought it would which is a double-edged sword in that it’s good that it was unpredictable but bad in that I wanted things to happen that didn’t.

Overall, I enjoyed this strange, slightly melancholic tale that brought a new Goblin King into my life. I obviously pictured a young Bowie with a ridiculous wig and an even more ridiculous cod piece but that’s not the point (swoon). There were some deliciously dark moments in Wintersong, but the relationship between the MC and The Goblin King never truly felt right, not even in that ‘so bad but good’ way.

I do think Jae-Jones has written a lovely tribute to Labyrinth though, and I also loved the evident use of, and inspiration from Rossetti’s The Goblin Market which I’ve only ever read snippets of but now want to read in its entirety.

“We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?”
“Come buy,” call the goblins
Hobbling down the glen.

– The Goblin Market

unicorn rating 4

(I rounded-up)

Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin #BookReview #Christmas

a9Title: Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky
Author: Holly Martin
Series: A Town Called Christmas #1
Format: Digital ARC, 332 pages
Publication Details: September 22nd 2016 by Bookouture
Genre(s): Romance; Christmas
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review. 

Goodreads 

bookdepo

This year spend a wonderful Christmas on Juniper Island, where love can melt even the iciest of hearts…

Piper Chesterfield lives a glamorous life travelling the world and reviewing the finest hotels. She calls nowhere home, she works alone and that’s how she likes it. For long ago Piper decided that to protect her heart she should lock it away.

So when Piper’s next assignment brings her to the newly opened Stardust Lake Hotel for the festive season, the last person she expects to face is Gabe Whitaker, the man who broke her heart so completely she could never love again.

But Piper isn’t the only one who has been frozen in time by heartbreak. Gabe hasn’t forgotten the golden-eyed girl who disappeared from his world without a trace.

Now fate has reunited them on Juniper island, can the magic of Christmas heal old wounds? And can this enchanting town be the one place Piper can finally call home?

Curl up with this gorgeously romantic tale and let the glistening snow and the roaring fires of Stardust Lake Hotel get you in the festive spirit this Christmas.

Review

I can’t tell you how happy I am that Winter and Christmas is fast approaching. It’s my favourite time of the year and I love everything about it, especially festive reads. 

I knew from the moment I saw it that Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky would be my first festive read of the year, and after a very busy Horror October it was just the light, heart-warming story I needed. 

The story centres around Piper, or Pip, a mystery guest who travels the world reviewing hotels and resorts. Her final assignment before taking a sabbatical sends her down memory lane to a remote Shetland island where she once spent a holiday with her best friend Gabe and his family. 

Pip is completely charmed by the winter resort from the off, that is until she realises that Gabe is the owner. We discover their complicated past, and why they haven’t spoken in 12 years, but a reunion in a magical place over Christmas might be just what to two of them need to put the past behind them…maybe!

I loved a lot of things about this book, but especially the setting. For a winter lover like me, Stardust Lake Hotel sounds like Heaven with its glass igloos for watching the Northern Lights, its miniature town called Christmas where the inhabitants sell homemade crafts and food, and of course, the Ice Palace. It’s literally like Holly Martin has taken all of my favourite things about Christmas and put them in this book. It was magical.

I was also intrigued by Pip’s character. She’s a bit of loner with no family or friends but a successful job and passion for photography. I found it interesting that her job was a way of life for her that made it easier to never have to make friends or put down any roots. She didn’t even have a home for ten years, choosing instead to stay in the hotels she was reviewing, even over Christmas.

I thought Gabe was sweet and you could see how the sudden break-up of their relationship and dissolution of their friendship affected them in very different ways. I was rooting for his success with the hotel and with Pip!

It certainly wasn’t a perfect book. I felt like there was a bit too much repetition of Pip and Gabe’s feelings, especially her turning over what had happened in the past again and again. It was also all a little bit too good to be true. Although I read in the author’s notes that the resort is based on a real hotel in Lapland, it didn’t quite fit with my image of Shetland. It was all a bit too perfect and glitzy -like it would have been more suited to Las Vegas than a remote Scottish Island, but that was all part of the fun I guess!

I couldn’t put this book down, and it certainly gave me that lovely warm and fuzzy feeling that I only get from reading festive books like this. The story itself wasn’t all that special, but the setting certainly was. I want to live there, even if it sounded too amazing to be true. 

I ordered the second book in the series as soon as I finished this one. Need. More. 

unicorn rating 4

Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky is available now in paperback & ebook, as is book 2, Christmas Under a Starlit Sky. 

Top Ten Tuesday: Villains (mwahahahahaaa)! #TTT #HorrorOctober

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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 Villains!

I’m very happy with this topic as it’s perfect for Horror October! I’m going to narrow the topic down to the most swoon-worthy baddest of the bad guys, but I’m choosing characters from both page and screen. Let’s face it, there’s gonna be a lot of vampires in this list. Sigh. 

These guys take ‘always falling for the bad boys’ to another level!

 

Spike (Buffy)

Spuffy forever! I’ve always loved Spike, he’s clearly the best. Much better than that lamo Angel.

v1

Lestat (Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles)

 I’m not talking about Tom Cruise here, although I think he played it brilliantly. Lestat is so the original bad boy vampire that we really want to want us, right?  Plus, he’s a rock star on occasion.

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The Darkling (The Grisha series)

It’s so wrong but so right. I haven’t read the final book yet but I’m praying for more evil-hot Darkling action. 

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Eric (True Blood)

Skarsgard. Nuff said.

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Paul Spector (The Fall)

I couldn’t give two shits about the whole 50 Shades thing but OMG Dornan in The Fall is just ueghdhsoigahuy. He’s a serial killer, which is bad, granted…but his accent, and face and well, everything. IT’S TOO MUCH. 

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Kasper Varn (The Dark Heroine)

I only read the first book in this series and I can’t remember a great deal about it tbh. Apart from the main vampire being hot.

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Rowan (Throne of Glass series)

Another non-vampire. Check me out. The last book I read in the series was Heir of Fire (I’m behind, I know) where we meet Rowan, the fae prince and warrior. He’s pretty vicious. He’s also totes hot amiright!? I must be, you just have to look at all the crazygood fan art of him. Swoon. 

v6

Gavriel (The Coldest Girl in Coldtown)

 OK that was short lived. Here’s another vampire who shouldn’t make our knees go weak but does. At least he’s kind of nice by the end of the book…I think.

v7

Jareth (Labyrinth)

David Bowie. Cod Piece. Leather. Glass balls. Enough. I mean he might try to steal your baby but at least he’ll sing while he’s doing it. 

v8

Hannibal (TV series)

Never before has Hannibal Lecter been even the slightest bit hot. Until Mads Mikkleson. What is it about him? It’s so wrong…

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*Bonus Pick* Damon (The Vampire Diaries)

Oh Damon. He’s no Spike but he’d do. 

v10

Don’t forget to vote for your favourite  horror prompt for my Flash Fiction Battle. More info here. Voting closes in 2 days!

NEXT UP ON HORROR OCTOBER: Pretty Wicked book blitz & giveaway

 

 

The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell #OutThisWeek

madwomanTitle: The Madwoman Upstairs
Author: Catherine Lowell
Series: Into the Dim #1
Format: Digital ARC, 353 pages
Publication Details: March 1st 2016 by Touchstone
Genre(s): Literary Fiction; Mystery
Disclosure? Yep! I received an advanced copy in exchange for an HONEST review

Goodreads // Purchase

In this smart and enthralling debut in the spirit of The Weird Sisters and Special Topics in Calamity Physics, the only remaining descendant of the Brontë family embarks on a modern-day literary scavenger hunt to find the family’s long-rumored secret estate, using clues her eccentric father left behind.

Samantha Whipple is used to stirring up speculation wherever she goes. As the last remaining descendant of the Brontë family, she’s rumored to have inherited a vital, mysterious portion of the Brontë’s literary estate; diaries, paintings, letters, and early novel drafts; a hidden fortune that’s never been shown outside of the family.

But Samantha has never seen this rumored estate, and as far as she knows, it doesn’t exist. She has no interest in acknowledging what the rest of the world has come to find so irresistible; namely, the sudden and untimely death of her eccentric father, or the cryptic estate he has bequeathed to her.

But everything changes when Samantha enrolls at Oxford University and bits and pieces of her past start mysteriously arriving at her doorstep, beginning with an old novel annotated in her father’s handwriting. As more and more bizarre clues arrive, Samantha soon realizes that her father has left her an elaborate scavenger hunt using the world’s greatest literature. With the aid of a handsome and elusive Oxford professor, Samantha must plunge into a vast literary mystery and an untold family legacy, one that can only be solved by decoding the clues hidden within the Brontë’s own writing.

A fast-paced adventure from start to finish, this vibrant and original novel is a moving exploration of what it means when the greatest truth is, in fact, fiction.

Review

I’m not really sure why I requested this novel from Netgalley because I never got on with the classics at all and I couldn’t even differentiate between the Brontés (I can now though, whoop), but I can’t even express how happy I am that I gave it a go – I think it’s been my favourite of the year so far!

Samantha Whipple is the last living descendent of the Bronté family. She has been home-schooled by her father – with a heavy emphasis on literary criticism – and has a sharp mind as a result. She is also however, a bit strange and socially awkward, but adorably so.

Samantha has always lived with the Brontés legacy hanging over her like a cloud. It seems the more she tries to distance herself from them, the more they follow her around. Everyone assumes that she’s inherited a secret part of Bronté estate following from her father’s death but she has no idea what it could be or where.

When random Bronté books that belonged to her father start turning up she is both annoyed and intrigued about the whole thing. Luckily for Samantha she has a dashing tutor who may be willing to help her…

I loved everything about this book. The interactions between Samantha and Professor Orville were hilarious, and Samantha’s character in general (especially her hatred of all pretty much all fiction) just made me do actual LOLs. 

I loved the academic setting and the literary debates. It even made me want to revisit that world. Not that my time at uni was anything like this…but maybe it could have been! I loved that it was like a literary treasure hunt. I loved the debate about ‘is all good fiction actually the truth’. It was nice to read a book that actually made me think a bit.

It even made me want to try the classics again. Maybe. One day 😉

The Madwoman Upstairs is definitely a book for Lit nerds. Like me, you don’t have to enjoy the classics to enjoy this, but it would probably help if you’re interested in the study of literature in general. Oh, and did I mention how swoon-worthy the professor is? OK so yeah…unethical…but y’know…HOT. 

The Madwoman Upstairs gets ALL the unicorns from me!

unicorn rating

Book Promo: Debt by Rachel Dunning

Welcome to another book promo on Lipsyy Lost & Found, where I’m always thrilled to support independent authors and publishers.

Debt is the latest New Adult novel by Rachel Dunning who brought us the highly praised Naive Mistakes Series, Truthful Lies Trilogy, Johnny Series and the paranormal romance series, Mind Games.

Debt

book-cover-debt-rachel-dunning[1]

 

Author: Rachel Dunning
Editions: Kindle/e-book, 400+ pages
Release Date: March 30th 2016

Goodreads // Amazon UK // Amazon US // iTunes // B&N

 

I pay my debts, and I expect others to. I was raised in the slums of London, I knew nothing of privilege. My father was murdered when I was seventeen. Morty figured my father’s passing meant I would automatically take on dad’s debts. I refused.

And I paid for that refusal.

So did my sister.

So now I fight. All I know how to do is fight. The best cash is in the states, so that’s where I am now. A big fish called Vito came along offering me a “favor” when I arrived.

Another debt.

I paid for that one too.

I knew Kyla Hensley would be trouble when I met her. But I wanted her. I could see through the falsehood of her wannabe-slutty clothes and her sexy legs. So I chased her.

Besides, trouble is my middle name.

Kyla Hensley

I was brought up in privilege, but I lacked everything else. My father is a business tycoon who buys and sells and doesn’t care who gets rolled over in the process.

I never knew my mother, and all I have of her is a photo with a note scrawled on the back in French saying “I’m sorry.” The only Female Figure I had growing up is my dad’s wife who is a bleach blond with seven boob jobs. We never bonded.

I drink. I party. I meet guys.

But I wasn’t always like that.

I’ve had a string of lovers in the last few years, the worst and most recent of which was Vince Somerset. My best friend Vera was dating a guy called Rory Cansoom who is the opposite of Vince in so many ways, and yet so the same.

She and I hit the road for the summer, getting away from the two college psychos and just trying to have some fun.

But there’s a funny thing about trouble, the more you run from it, the more it finds you.

Which is when I met the Debt Collector.

It was only supposed to be sex. He made that clear. I made that clear.

That’s all it was supposed to be.

I never expected to fall in love. I never expected to fall so deeply, madly, uncomfortably in love with a man who is wrong, so wrong for me.

And yet…so unbelievably right.

Excerpt

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~Kyla~

I push my head back against the wall, not sure what’s coming, but not fighting it either.

“Who are you?” he repeats.

“I…I don’t know what you mean.”

“I see you at a bar in Texas, then I look for you all over Nashville. And suddenly you’re at my side in a hospital, following me into this warehouse. Who are you?”

I didn’t follow you into the warehouse. You needed to pick up your truck, and you were stumbling.”

“So?”

“So I wanted to make sure you were OK.”

“And?”

And I want you to take my clothes off and I want us to live happily ever after. “That’s it.”

Logan grins, a deadly look for him with his dimples. “Don’t do that,” I say.

“What?”

“Smile.”

“Why not?”

Because you’re beautiful. “Just don’t.”

 

Pre-Order Sale

Debt is only 99c/99p if you pre-order

 Meet the Author

rachel-dunning-profile-picture[1]Rachel Dunning hit the scene in August 2013 and already has four highly praised series under her belt. 

A prolific writer, she sticks to stories where Alpha Males aren’t pricks and where women have guts.

She’s lived on two different continents, speaks three different languages, and met the love of her life on the internet. In other words, romance is in her blood.

Get Rachel’s Newsletter

Sign up for Rachel’s Newsletter and never miss a release or a special.
You can sign up here:
http://www.rdunning.com/p/non-spammy-news.html

Further Links:

Blog / Website: http://www.rdunning.com
Facebook: http://bit.ly/RachelDunning
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelDAuthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/racheldunning

—————————————————————

If you are an author, publisher or agent and would like to be featured on Lipsyy Lost & Found, drop me message on lipsyylostnfound[at]gmail[dot]com

Fearless by Devon Hartford

fearless
Title: Fearless
Author: Devon Hartford
Series: (The Story of Sam Smith #1)
Edition: Kindle, 346 pages
Publication Details: July 26th 2013 by Devon Hartford
Genre(s): Romance; New Adult
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it (for free)!

Goodreads // Amazon

After moving from stuffy Washington D.C. to laid back San Diego, Samantha Smith hopes to shed her troubled past and reinvent herself as a freshman at San Diego University.

Her parents are pressuring her to major in Accounting, because it’s the safe thing to do. But Samantha really wants to try something more adventurous, and secretly dreams of ditching the business major to study Art instead.

When she crosses paths with a handsome tattoo-clad bad boy, her life is turned upside down, and Samantha finds herself with more adventure than she ever dreamed possible.

Review


This was the first book I downloaded to Kindle for free and it’s taken me this long to get round to reading it. And, to be perfectly honest, the only reason I picked it up now, was because I wanted a fun, trashy beach read for my holiday.

Woooo, is all I can say – Fearless was so much better than I expected; I couldn’t put it down, and it was the PERFECT selection to escape with on a hot, sweaty beach.

Sam Smith has issues. Secrets that she hasn’t shared with anyone, not even her family, and this burden has changed her as a person. Not only is she closed off, but she also overcompensates for whatever it is that she’s done by making her parents happy and going to school to become an accountant, even if it’s the most boring career she can think of.

Everything is going fine until she spills boiling coffee down herself whilst driving, and almost hits another car. The driver is not happy and becomes aggressive towards a traumatised Sam. Enter Adonis, yes you heard that correctly, Adonis [insert laughter and eye-rolling here]!

It’s not really as simple as hunky god-like, motorcycle-driving, tattooed bad-boy saves the day, and falls for serious Samantha, who then have hot, rampant sex. But it’s not far off.

However, what was surprising about this book, was how invested I became in the characters. Adonis, who thankfully goes by a much less ridiculous name later in the book, is a dark, brooding type with ghosts of his own. I loved that we very slowly see his softer side, and watch his shell peel off, layer by layer. I’m sorry, but a man with tattoos who cries in your arms…hot right? I also loved the whole artist thing, and found his relationship with his famous artist dad really interesting.

Fearless isn’t the type of book I read a lot. I was expecting a lot more sex, and a lot less intrigue, which I think is why I enjoyed it so much. It had layers!

Sam and Christos (yeah OK, so it might have reminded me of Frozen a lot, but it’s still better than Adonis!) might just be my new favourite book-couple. I need to find out what they get up to next, and what Christos’ deal really is!

unicorn rating 4

Fearless, is still available to download for free, at Amazon!

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

sept1
Title: Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #3
Edition: Paperback, 562 pages
Publication Details: September 2nd 2014 by Bloomsbury Childrens
Genre(s): YA; Fantasy
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it!

Goodreads // Purchase

Celaena Sardothien has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth…a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever.
Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed.

The king’s assassin takes on an even greater destiny and burns brighter than ever before in this follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Crown of Midnight.

Review

I don’t know what it is about this series. I love it at the time of reading, but then I fall out of love with the idea of it and I struggle to find the motivation to pick up the next book. That’s what happened with Heir of Fire.

I bought a copy not long after its release but it took me this long to pick it up. And even when I finally did, I couldn’t get into it at all! I was pretty close to giving up on the series altogether to be honest…but then I got hooked again. Ugh make up your mind, Woman!

I think I only fell in love with this book about half way through, but then I didn’t want to put it down.

In this, the third instalment of the Throne of Glass series, Celaena Sardothian, the once all-powerful, all-confident assassin is a broken woman. She’s walking the streets in a booze-induced stupor, almost starving, getting into fights and losing most, because her strength has all but gone.

She doesn’t seem to have any direction, and although I found it interesting to see this fall from grace, it was all a bit dull to start with. Until, that is, she meets Rowan.

Rowan, a prince of fae is ordered to train Celaena to control her fae powers so she can once again fight against those who plan on enslaving her and her people. Of course, she’s reluctant at first, tired of fighting for other people, but it’s not long until the fire in her is ignited, and with the help of brutal Rowan, Celaena slowly becomes herself again.

I’m not gonna lie, for a lot of this book I didn’t really know what was going on. I kind of skimmed the beginning because I couldn’t get into it and then when I got to the good stuff I was confused. But I couldn’t go back, because I couldn’t tear myself away.

I loved how the relationship between Rowan and Celaena developed and as much as I wanted them to get in on – he is clearly mega hawtttt – I’m glad that instead their friendship became solid and trustworthy. I felt like Celaena really needed that instead of another romance. It was refreshing.

There were a lot of things I didn’t like about this book, for example, I had no idea what the witch-clan chapters were all about, and I found myself skipping some of them but they are pretty terrifying characters and make great villains so I’m hoping it’ll be explored better in the next book.

Despite everything, I still ended up loving this book. I can’t really explain it. I think I’m just destined to have a love/hate relationship with this series.

As it stands, I can’t wait until the next book, but by the time it comes around, I’ll probably feel differently. Sigh!

unicorn rating 4

Heir of Fire is available in paperback from Waterstones now.

The Heir by Kiera Cass

HEIR
Title: The Heir
Author: Keira Cass
Series: The Selection #4
Edition: Paperback, 352 pages
Publication Details: May 7th by HarperTeen
Genre(s): YA; Dystopia
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it!

Goodreads // Purchase

Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she’d put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess’s life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can’t escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.

Eadlyn doesn’t expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn’s heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she’s always thought.

Review

You should all be aware of my unashamed love of The Selection series by now. I can’t help it, they are just bloody addictive!

With that in mind, I probably should have been happy at the prospect of Cass carrying on the series with a new protagonist – Maxon and America’s daughter Eadlyn – but I kind of wasn’t. I was worried that the series had peaked. And I thought it was rounded-up satisfactory, so why drag it on, why milk it?

Well I’m pleased to say I needn’t have worried. The new generation of The Selection has everything I loved in the first three books. And man, it was just as addictive.

Since we last saw Maxon and America, Illéa has abolished the caste system, meaning anyone can do whatever job they like or marry who they like. With no reason to attack the palace, the rebels have disbanded, but the kingdom isn’t in as much peace as they’d hoped.

Jobs are sparse, and prejudices about who used to be what caste are still threatening to cause problems, leaving Maxon and America at their wits end. So what to they do? Beg their hard-nosed, Queen-in-training daughter to have her own selection, of course.

Will it bring peace to the Kingdom? Will Eadlyn warm to any of her suitors?

Seriously guys, if you liked the original books, there is no reason that you won’t like this one too. I found Eadlyn quite hard to warm to because of her stern demeanour, but it was more understandable as we get to know her.

I liked seeing the tables turn and watching the girl calling all the shots. It was refreshing, and I couldn’t put it down. OBVS. I totally wanted more Maxon/America action though. I kind of feel like it’s OK to fancy him now that he’s older…not that it stopped me before…

I’m hoping they’ll be more of an uprising within the Kingdom in the later books, because I think it needs that more serious side to it, but, overall, I couldn’t help but love this book.

Keira Cass strikes again!

unicorn rating 4

The Heir is available now in paperback, from Waterstones.

Current Giveaway: Win a copy of The Violet Hour by Andrea L. Wells and/or a Kindle Fire HD here!!!!

Ice Kissed (The Kanin Chronicles #2) by Amanda Hocking

icekissed
Title: Ice Kissed
Author: Amanda Hocking
Series: The Kanin Chronicles #2
Edition: Digital ARC, 288 pages
Publication Details: May 5th 2015 by St. Martin’s Press
Genre(s): YA; Fantasy
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads // Purchase

Bryn Aven has always longed to be a part of the Kanin world. Though she has no social status because she’s a half-breed, she refuses to give up on her dream of serving the kingdom she loves. It’s a dream that brings her to a whole new realm . . . the glittering palace of the Skojare.

The Skojare people need protection from the same brutal rival who’s been threatening the Kanin, and, being half Skojare herself, it’s a chance for Bryn to learn more about her heritage. Her boss Ridley Dresden is overseeing her mission and wants to help. He’s always been her most trusted friend—but as their undeniable attraction heats up, he becomes a distraction she can’t afford.

Brynn is about to discover that the Skojare world is full of secrets, and as she’s drawn in deeper and deeper, she doesn’t know who to trust. As she gets closer to Ridley, she realizes she may not even be able to trust her own heart.

Review

Oh, this series! I seem to have developed a love/hate relationship with it. For context, you may wish to check my review of the first book, Frostfire here, because I feel a slightly muddled rant coming on.

Bryn Aven, is still on the path to accomplishing her dream of being on the hogdragen, in order to guard Kanin royalty and serve her kingdom. Ice Kissed picks up right where Frostfire left off. The status of her and her boss’ frowned-upon relationship is still in will-they-won’t-they mode, and peple are still being kidnapped.

This time however, it’s less of a kidnapping and more of a running away, as Princess Linnea has fled her palace to the magical lake Isolera where time moves differently and swimming feels like a dream. Linnea ran because she felt a growing sense of unease and tension, and she didn’t feel safe. And now it’s up to Bryn and her fellow trackers to find out what’s going on.

Sigh. There is a lot I didn’t like about this book, and they’re many of the same gripes from the first book. First of all, the story didn’t move fast enough – in fact – sometimes it felt like the story didn’t move at all.

Not enough happened. Actually, that’s not true, lots of insignificant things happened, but too few significant things did. And even when something important did happen, it didn’t seem to get resolved or have an ending. Arggggh.

But!!!! At no point did I want to stop reading. I wanted to know if Bryn and Ridley would give it a go. I wanted to know what the hell was going on with Princess Linnea and the all the weird shit going on in their palace, and more to the point, I wanted to know when Konstantin Black was going to turn up! I mean, seriously!??

I have the feeling that either this is going to be a slow-burning series with one hell of a culmination, or Hocking is just trying to squeeze out too many books for the scope of the plot.

Another thing that bothered me was the sex. Yes – SPOILER – there was sex, and that’s fine by me, usually. But here it seemed out of place. It was a bit more graphic than in other YA books, and… IDK…I found it odd. The tone was off.

I sort of wish I didn’t read the last page or so, because before that I definitely wouldn’t have felt the need to read the next book, but if Hocking does one thing successfully, it’s a goddamn cliffhanger. Argh!

I’m going to have to find out what happens next. I just hope it’s got a faster, better plot!

unicorn rating 3

[2.5 rounded-up!]

Ice Kissed is available for pre-order from Waterstones now.