Monday 28 March 2022

Book Review | Verity by Colleen Hoover | prettylittlewriter

 This book was an absolutely wild ride from start to finish.


'Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.
Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity's notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn't expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity's recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.
Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen's feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife's words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.'

Contender for the best book I've read in 2022 so far is Verity, a novel that I've heard so many incredible things about, but have only just gotten round to reading it for myself. 

Colleen grabs you from the very first line of the book, filling you with intrigue and hunger to devour the whole story in one sitting (which is what I did). 
The characters are brilliantly written, with Lowen being a very likeable character, who suffers with anxiety that surrounds her success as a writer. 
Jeremy is a very sweet and caring man, whom I found myself rooting for to be with Lowen throughout as he needed some comfort after everything he'd been through in just a few months. 
Verity is shown to be an absolutely vile person, and as Lowen slowly finds out, might be lying about everything. 

There are some pretty brutal moments to read that could be triggering to some as Lowen reads through Verity's manuscript, including child abuse, so don't pick this up if reading that kind of thing would affect you.

There are some incredible twists within this book, and the final one leaves you with a question unanswered, one that you are left to decide for yourself.

I really think this would be an absolutely epic movie, and could picture Lucy Hale or Ana de Armas as Lowen, and maybe Sandra Bullock as Verity? That would be pretty cool. 

An absolutely brilliant story, kept me on the edge of my seat and I will be recommending this to everyone that loves a thriller!

I will leave you with one question, are you Team Letter, or Team Manuscript?

5/5 stars

Thursday 24 March 2022

Book Tour Review | The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi | prettylittlewriter

 A thrilling and fun ride from start to finish, John Scalzi has created an incredible novel full of laughs, impressive scenery and clever characters (and that's just the Kaiju!)

'When COVID-19 sweeps through New York City, Jamie Gray is stuck as a dead-end driver for food delivery apps. That is, until Jamie makes a delivery to an old acquaintance, Tom, who works at what he calls "an animal rights organization." Tom's team needs a last-minute grunt to handle things on their next field visit. Jamie, eager to do anything, immediately signs on.

What Tom doesn't tell Jamie is that the animals his team cares for are not here on Earth. Not our Earth, at at least. In an alternate dimension, massive dinosaur-like creatures named Kaiju roam a warm and human-free world. They're the universe's largest and most dangerous panda and they're in trouble.

It's not just the Kaiju Preservation Society that's found its way to the alternate world. Others have, too--and their carelessness could cause millions back on our Earth to die.'

Thank you so much to Stephen from Black Crow PR for allowing me to participate in the blog tour for this brilliant book and for sending me an ARC copy to review!

I'm a huge fan of dinosaurs, but I must admit, I've never read a book about them, and didn't really know much about the Japanese Kaiju creations. However, because I love the Jurassic Park movies, I knew this would be something I'd enjoy!

I love that John has modernised the novel and kept it relevant; set during the prime of the Covid-19 pandemic, with some pop culture thrown in, both modern and retro, like the mention of Bella & Edward from Twilight, amongst other things. 

This book is full of snappy, hilarious conversations, which really draw you in to the story and allow you to bond with the characters in a way that happens effortlessly. 
From the get-go I liked Jamie, who didn't take any shit, especially when his boss fired him with no real reason, and he just seemed like a really genuine person (I feel like Jamie was a he, however, Scalzi never actually states the gender of our main character). 

The writing style is easy, and even when the characters are discussing scientific elements, it's not completely mind-boggling, which I often find can happen with sci-fi novels. Scalzi has written it in a way that even someone who has never read sci-fi before can feel comfortable with it and not intimidated by it. The novel is also quite short, which meant I got through it within a couple of days, and sometimes I can feel disappointed with a short novel, and left wanting more, but that definitely wasn't the case here.
The book is also rumoured to be being turned into a movie, which would be brilliant, so I'm looking forward to that!

I don't want to say too much about the storyline itself, as I don't want to spoil it, but what I will say is this; The Kaiju might be big and scary looking, but they aren't the real monsters within this story. 

5/5 stars

Sunday 20 March 2022

Book Tour Review | The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake | prettylittlewriter

 I can't believe that I'm lucky enough to be taking part in a blog tour for such a highly anticipated book! Thank you so much to Black Crow PR for allowing me to participate!

'The Alexandrian Society, caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity, are the foremost secret society of magical academicians in the world. Those who earn a place among the Alexandrians will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams, and each decade, only the six most uniquely talented magicians are selected to be considered for initiation.
Enter the latest round of six: Libby Rhodes and Nico de Varona, unwilling halves of an unfathomable whole, who exert uncanny control over every element of physicality. Reina Mori, a naturalist, who can intuit the language of life itself. Parisa Kamali, a telepath who can traverse the depths of the subconscious, navigating worlds inside the human mind. Callum Nova, an empath easily mistaken for a manipulative illusionist, who can influence the intimate workings of a person’s inner self. Finally, there is Tristan Caine, who can see through illusions to a new structure of reality—an ability so rare that neither he nor his peers can fully grasp its implications.
When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they will have one year to qualify for initiation, during which time they will be permitted preliminary access to the Society’s archives and judged based on their contributions to various subjects of impossibility: time and space, luck and thought, life and death. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. The six potential initiates will fight to survive the next year of their lives, and if they can prove themselves to be the best among their rivals, most of them will.'

I find it difficult to review fantasy books that are so incredibly lyrical and beautiful, as I feel like my review won't do it justice, however, I will do my best!

Olivie has created a clever dark academia novel with brilliant characters that are so incredibly detailed, with shining personalities and absolute epic skills. 

There was a lot going on within this book, with each chapter from a different characters' perspective; we got to see into the heads of each of them, which gave us a beautiful and raw insight into how they were different, but also the same. 

As soon as the characters arrive at The Society, they are thrown into a competition which puts them in danger from the beginning, with members of The Forum trying to use them to destroy The Society from the inside. 

Out of all the characters, Libby and Tristan were my favourite. Libby being incredibly down to earth and probably the most normal out of them all, with the clearest moral compass. Tristan, although he seems to be quite clear cut and to the point, is also the most complicated and definitely has a few secrets to tell. 
I also really liked the character of Reina, her powers impress me the most. 
Callum is my least favourite; he seems to only care about himself with no sense of compassion or empathy for anyone else (considering he can feel what others feel, you'd think he'd have A LOT of empathy).
I found myself craving more romance than we actually got, but I'm hoping this gets explored more in the second novel.

I did find however, that this book was a VERY slow burn, as in, not a lot happened for the first 3/4's of the novel (apart from character interactions and power experimentation). It wasn't until about 70% of the way through the novel that the storyline really piqued my interest and the action started happening

The ending was great, definitely a cliff hanger, so now I desperately want to read the next one! 

Overall, I enjoyed the book and would definitely recommend for any fantasy fans that don't mind a slow burn!

4/5 stars

Tuesday 8 March 2022

Book Tour Review | Our Lady Of Mysterious Ailments by T. L. Huchu | prettylittlewriter

I am very excited to be participating in the blog tour for the 2nd instalment of the Edinburgh Nights series by T L Huchu & thank you to Black Crow PR & Tor Books for providing me with a copy and for allowing me to take part!

'Ropa Moyo’s ghostalking practice has tanked, desperate for money to pay bills and look after her family she reluctantly accepts a job to look into the history of a coma patient receiving treatment at the magical private hospital Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments. The patient is a teenage schoolboy called Max Wu, and healers at the hospital are baffled by the illness which has confounded medicine and magic.

Ropa’s investigation leads her to the Edinburgh Ordinary School for Boys, one of only the four registered schools for magic in the whole of Scotland (the oldest and only one that remains closed to female students).
But the headmaster there is hiding something and as more students succumb Ropa learns that a long-dormant and malevolent entity has once again taken hold in this world.
She sets off to track the current host for this spirit and try to stop it before other lives are endangered.'

T L Huchu has brought the post-catastrophe Edinburgh to life again with this sequel to The Library of the Dead. Ropa Moyo is no longer charging for her Ghostalker services (her last adventure caused her a lot of problems) and is starting on the straight and narrow by getting a 'real job'. But when her best friend Priya asked her to help solve the mystery of the terribly ill teenage boy at her hospital, she gets taken down another dangerous road.

I absolutely love Ropa's character, she is feisty, brash and full of vigour, determined to make something of herself so she can provide for her family. Her street smart and language is brilliant, it really brings her character to life.
I also adore Priya, who doesn't let her disability stop her from being an absolutely badass, and I certainly wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of her and that magic she wields!

The world that Huchu has creating is incredible; completely immersive, I could picture all of the places that Ropa went in detail, and I could really see this series making a brilliant a tv show!

I really enjoyed finding out more information around the magical history of Edinburgh, as well as learning more about her Gran (who might not be as innocent as we first thought). 

Whilst the action within this novel I found was not as scary or 'dangerous' for Ropa as the first instalment, the mystery surrounding the ghost and the topiary creatures that come to life, bring some brilliant fight scenes and an element of uncertainty. 

Overall, Huchu has given us another brilliantly clever and unique story which kept me completely immersed! 

4/5 stars 

Tuesday 1 March 2022

Book Review | I Love You, I Hate You by Elizabeth Davis | prettylittlewriter

'Victoria and Owen are bitter rivals.

Nora and Luke are friends online.
Who would believe these two couples have anything in common?

Of all the decisions brilliant lawyer Victoria Clemenceaux has made in her life, an unforgettable one-night stand with her opposing counsel Owen Pohl is either the worst...or the best.

One thing is certain: these long-standing rivals aren't going to let their searing attraction stop them from winning the biggest case of their careers. Thankfully Victoria and Owen have someone to vent to about their nemeses. But they have no idea that their online 'friends', Nora and Luke, are the very people they hate in real life.

As Nora and Luke grow closer online, and Victoria and Owen find their undeniable attraction harder to resist, the lines between love and hate blur. When the truth comes out, will their online chemistry work in the real world, or will their constant rivalry sever their connection?'
Since I read The Hating Game by Sally Thorne at the beginning of February, I've been really enjoying getting back into romance novels (they have been a lost genre for me for a few years now as I tend to go for thrillers or fantasy novels) and I am so happy I have as they are just so warming to the soul!

This book I picked up on a whim in The Works as it is quite short and I thought it sounded quite similar to The Hating Game. Upon reading it, it is very similar, with enemies to lovers (my favourite trope), a wedding and a 'sick day' visit, but also unique in it's own way with the online relationship!

I absolutely loved the character of Owen, I thought he was a sweetheart, and he was especially generous in the bedroom (I love a bit of smut and I wasn't actually expecting it which was awesome). 
Victoria is also a lovely character, but I found her more difficult to warm to as she was so darn stubborn when it came to letting anyone in (anonymity can be great, but not when you start to catch feelings for someone), so when she wouldn't let either Owen or Luke (her online love interest) in on who she really was, I found it a little frustrating. 

It's enemies to lovers, which is probably my favourite romance trope, and it was honestly such a breath of fresh air to read! The storyline itself is very clever, and as it's a short book, it has quite a fast pace which keeps you interested throughout.

The only reason I'm not giving this novel a full 5 stars is because I felt like the twitter exchange between 'Nora' and 'Luke' should definitely have been picked up on sooner by one of them, and I found it quite frustrating when the little things that Owen picked up on with Victoria that were similar to Nora weren't explored more by him to discover that they were one and the same! However, this did not take away from the enjoyment of the book as a whole

Overall, I really enjoyed it and I will definitely be recommending to any romance fans!

4.5/5 stars