ARC Review: The Circus

the-circusTitle: The Circus
Author: Olivia Levez
Pages: 288
Published by: Rock the Boat
Release date: 4th May 2017
Synopsis:
Why would a girl who has everything want to run away and never be found?

Willow has staged runaways ever since she was a little girl. She has everything a young person should want: a rich daddy, clothes, money, a pony and a place at a prestigious boarding school. In reality, she has everything except the thing she really wants: a father who cares enough to find her.

Aged sixteen, on the eve of her father’s wedding, she ruins the bride’s dress and escapes through a window, determined never to return. Her missing mother was a circus performer, and Willow wants to follow in her footsteps. But the performers she meets don’t want her. When her last bit of money is stolen by Suze, another runaway girl she thought she could trust, Willow becomes really homeless. Then Suze comes tumbling back into her life and a desperate Willow has to decide whether to trust her all over again . . .

So begins their frightening, exhilarating odyssey though hunger, performance, desperation and dreams. Will they both survive and will Willow make it to the circus of her imagining?

Purchase from: Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones 

goodreads

Firstly, thank you to Rock the Boat for sending me a proof of The Circus to review!

Review:

I absolutely adored Olivia Levez’s first novel, ‘The Island,’ so when I found out about ‘The Circus,’ I knew I had to read it. When a copy came through the post, I dropped everything to start reading immediately, and finished it within a day. And I was definitely not disappointed!

Willow, the main character, is spoilt and naive when she runs away from home to try and find her mum and join the circus. On the run and determined not to be caught, she soon realises how difficult making it on her own will be. She learns the how harsh life on the streets is, and she learns the importance of friendship that’ll last even when you have nothing. She undergoes a lot of character development in the book, which is something that I love to see.

Suze was my favourite character. She is fun and quirky and a talented performer, and though she added a lot of lightheartedness through her character, her story also broke my heart at places. She is the opposite of Willow, and the pair form a friendship that I loved. She helps Willow get back on her feet after she becomes homeless, and she pushes her to achieve her goals.

One of the things that I was most looking forward to in The Circus was Olivia Levez’s unique writing style. It was one of the things that really stuck out to me when I read The Island, and was just as wonderful in this book. The writing immerses you, and the story is entirely gripping — I found myself staying up until the early hours of the morning reading because I just did not want to put this book down. I loved the exploration into performing and the setting of a circus, too. It was so interesting and I thought that it added a sense of adventure and a touch of magic to the story.

The Circus is a wonderful, adventurous book that somehow manages to be heartbreaking and heartwarming, all at once.

Rating: ★★★★★

Review: When We Collided

When We CollidedTitle: When We Collided
Author: Emery Lord
Pages: 344
Published by: Bloomsbury
Release date: 7th April 2016
Source: Netgalley
Synopsis:
Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them.

Vivi and Jonah couldn’t be more different. Vivi craves anything joyful or beautiful that life can offer. Jonah has been burdened by responsibility for his family ever since his father died. As summer begins, Jonah resigns himself to another season of getting by. Then Vivi arrives, and suddenly life seems brighter and better. Jonah is the perfect project for Vivi, and things finally feel right for Jonah. Their love is the answer to everything. But soon Vivi’s zest for life falters, as her adventurousness becomes true danger-seeking. Jonah tries to keep her safe, but there’s something important Vivi hasn’t told him.

Purchase from: Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones

goodreads

Firstly, thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book to review via Netgalley.

Review:

I picked When We Collided up on a whim when I could feel a reading slump coming on and wasn’t sure what to read next. I ended up reading it in a day and really enjoyed it while reading, but for a long while I really wasn’t sure how to rate it.

The thing I loved most about When We Collided was the characters. They were all very strong, and so much fun to read about. I loved Jonah especially, because of his strength and support for his family, and I thought that Vivi was a very bright and fun character, and I loved the positive impact she made. I liked the family dynamic in this book the most, though. I haven’t seen many large families in books, and I loved the insight into how eventful and hectic things are with lots of siblings, as it’s something I can relate to, and I loved how supportive Jonah and his siblings are of each other.

The main reason  I wasn’t sure on how to rate When We Collided, was because of the problem I had with Vivi and Jonah’s relationship, which was quite a big part of the book. Although I loved them as individual characters and as friends, I felt that their relationship needed more development leading up to it. I would have liked a bit more time to get to know and warm up to them, though I did really like how supportive of each other they turned out to be.

I liked how upbeat Emery Lord’s writing style was, and I breezed through the book in a day, which was he fastest I had read a book in a long while because of college – I was so drawn in to it. I really appreciated the positive representation of mental health, particularly bipolar disorder and depression in this book, too. Emery Lord is nothing but honest with the representation of mental health, which I think is very important. She also shows just how important and how much it means to be supported, and I know that I will be recommending this book a lot for its mental health representation alone.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Waiting on Wednesday: Flame in the Mist

waiting-on-wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking the Spine which spotlights exciting up and coming releases.

My pick for this week:

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

Flame in the Mist

Release date: 18th May 2017

Synopsis:

Mariko has always known that being a woman means she’s not in control of her own fate. But Mariko is the daughter of a prominent samurai and a cunning alchemist in her own right, and she refuses to be ignored. When she is ambushed by a group of bandits known as the Black Clan enroute to a political marriage to Minamoto Raiden – the emperor’s son – Mariko realises she has two choices: she can wait to be rescued… or she can take matters into her own hands, hunt down the clan and find the person who wants her dead.

Disguising herself as a peasant boy, Mariko infiltrates the Black Clan’s hideout and befriends their leader, the rebel ronin Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, Okami. Ranmaru and Okami warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. But as Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets that will force her to question everything she’s ever known.

goodreads

I absolutely adore Renée Ahdieh’s writing – she’s one of my favourite authors, so I CANNOT WAIT to read Flame in the Mist! It sounds amazing and I think I’m already in love with it! 

What releases are you waiting on?

February Wrap Up & March TBR

I think it’s safe to say that the reading slump I had for practically the whole of 2016 is finally over. I read more books in February than I’ve read in a long while – I mean, I read 4, but still. It’s a start! And I actually want to read again! Here are the books I read:

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

This was the first book I read in February and I honestly was not prepared for the feels it gave me. It was wonderful Queen of Hearts origin story – you can see my full review here.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber 

If you’ve been anywhere on bookish social media in the last few months, then you’ve probably heard of this book. So many people have loved it, and so I was bursting with excitement to see what all the fuss was about. It was so different than how I expected it to be, but it was magical. (4.5/5 stars)

When We Collided by Emery Lord

I’d had this book on my shelf for the longest time and decided to finally pick it up on a whim when I couldn’t decide what to read next (the STRUGGLE). I have kinda mixed feelings about When We Collided and I’m really not sure how to rate it, but one thing I loved for sure was the mental health rep!

The Circus by Olivia Levez

Rock the Boat were so lovely to send me a surprise proof of The Circus, which was SO EXCITING (and I definitely squealed when I opened it) because I LOVED The Island, and so I had to dive straight in to The Circus. I read it in less than 24 hours and let me tell you – it. Is. Fantastic. And now I can’t wait for everyone else to be able to read it in May. (5/5 stars)

I’ll get my reviews up for Caraval and When we Collided in the next week, so look out for them! I’ll post my review of The Circus a little closer to release date.

March TBR

There are TONS of books on my TBR that I want to get to ASAP because they all sound amazing, but I think I’ll aim to read 4 again, like in February. I’m hoping that I can read more this month, but with mock exams coming up in the next two weeks, I think 4 is a safe bet! Here are the books I want to read in March:

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

I’ve been dying to read Wintersong ever since I first found out about it so this is the first book I’ll read this month! I’ve started it yesterday and so far I am loving it!

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera 

I’ve had this book on my shelf for so long, and I’ve been wanting to get around to it for ages, so hopefully I will this month.

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

I loved Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon and I’ve heard great things about The Sun Is Also a Star, so I need to get to this asap.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I’ve heard a lot about his book over the years and I’ve heard that its wonderful so I really hope that I can get to it in March!

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favourite OTPs Part 2

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week they suggest a new theme with a list for bloggers to choose from. This week was a romance freebie, and since it’s been over a year since my original Top Ten OTPs post went up, I decided to update it with my newest obsessions.

Cath and Jest from Heartless by Marissa Meyer

heartless

If you’re looking or an adorable romance that’ll break your heart into a thousand pieces, I recommend you read this book. I loved Cath and Jest together.

Scarlett and Julian from Caraval by Stephanie Garber

caraval-uk

I finished this book yesterday and I still haven’t completely stopped fangirling at how amazing and magical it was, and one of the biggest reasons for my fangirling is Julian and Scarlett. They were so cute together and I spent so much of the book on the edge of my seat, waiting for them to just kiss already.

Norah and Luke from Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Under Rose-Tainted Skies

These two will forever remain one of my favourite ships. I loved how supportive and understanding they were of each other and I just love them so much.

Amani and Jin from Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands

I adore Amani and Jin, and together they are so awesome. I’m really looking forward to reading more of them in book 2 when I get my hands on it!

ARC Review: Heartless

heartlessTitle: Heartless
Author: Marissa Meyer
Pages: 464
Published by: Macmillan Children’s
Synopsis:
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.

Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
Purchase from: Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones

goodreads

Firstly, THANK YOU to Macmillan Children’s for sending me a copy of Heartless to review!

Review:

Heartless is a prequel story to Alice in Wonderland, and it follows the future Queen of Hearts, Cath. The Queen of Hearts is one of my favourite villains from one of my favourite books, so obviously I couldn’t wait to get my hands this book. I was expecting something dark and wonderful and let me tell you – it was so much more than I expected.

I loved how this book progressively got darker as it went on, even though it completely shattered my heart towards the end. Cath was so far from what I expected the Queen of Hearts to have been like at the beginning of the book, but she was a great and fun character, with a passion for baking (and the descriptions of all these baked goods continuously made me very hungry) and I really sympathized with her situation, with the king and her parents hoping for her to become the next Queen of Hearts. And then she meets Jest, and things get a little more complicated. Jest was such an adorable character, and he was so much fun. Their relationship was so cute and I spent so much time internally screaming for him and Cath to just kiss already! 

I loved the appearances of some of my other faves from Alice in Wonderland, like the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter. They were so fun, and I was really happy to see that we also got a little of the Hatter’s back story, too, and even for a few of the minor characters from Lewis Carroll’s book.

I loved how well Marissa Meyer built up and added her own spin to many aspects of a world that so many people already know and love. I love the strangeness of this world and its character’s so much.

And can we talk for a second about that ending? My heart! I think it’s safe to say that I’m still very much an emotional mess because of this book. And I 100% recommend it.

Rating: ★★★★★

Review: What Light

what-lightTitle: What Light
Author: Jay Asher
Pages: 256
Published by: Macmillan Children’s
Release date: 20th October 2016
Synopsis:
Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon – it’s an idyllic place for a girl to grow up, except that every year they have to pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life begins to eclipse the other…

Purchase from: Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones

goodreads

Thank you to Macmillan Children’s for sending me a copy of What Light to review!

Review:

It’s now the end of January, and thanks to this book, I’ve never felt more Christmassy in my life. What Light is a heart warming and touching read that is perfect to get you in the mood for Christmas, whatever the time of year and it is guaranteed to give you a serious craving for peppermint mocha. (And now I want peppermint mocha again…sigh.)

This book is quite a short read, but it is incredibly sweet, and slightly cheesy (but, I mean, CHRISTMAS. You’re allowed to be cheesy then!) and I enjoyed it oh, so much. It follows Sierra, who spends her Christmases at her parent’s Christmas tree lot in California. Although I didnt really connect with Sierra all that much, I loved reading her story, and the other characters were all great fun.

I loved the fact that friendships were at the heart of this story and  I loved the friendship between the characters – how supportive (and funny – especially Heather. I loved her) both Sierra’s friends from back home and the ones in California were, and Sierra’s relationship with Caleb was the cutest.

The setting was amazing – I loved that the book was set on a Christmas tree lot. There were so many things about this book that just made me feel so nostalgic and happy. Honestly, this book just makes me want to go back to Christmas time.

A bright story with a focus on forgiveness and Christmas cheer that I am sure I will want to reread come December.

Rating: ★★★.5☆☆