Review | The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

montecristoTitle: The Count of Monte Cristo (1844)
Author: Alexandre Dumas
Translator: Robin Buss
Publisher/Edition: Penguin Clothbound Classics
Read: 3rd July – 18th August 2018
Genre: classics
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“A beautiful new clothbound edition of Alexandre Dumas’ classic novel of wrongful imprisonment, adventure and revenge. Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes is confined to the grim fortress of the Château d’If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and becomes determined not only to escape but to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. A huge popular success when it was first serialized in the 1840s, Dumas was inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment when writing his epic tale of suffering and retribution.”
(Synopsis from the publisher)

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Review | Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

Title: Scrappy Little Nobody (2016)
Author: Anna Kendrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Read: 24th – 29th August 2018
Genre: memoir; humour
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like Pitch Perfect, Up in the Air, Twilight, and Into the Woods, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, and “10 percent defiant.” At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already resolved to “keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here’s the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out.” In her autobiographical collection of essays Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candor and winningly wry observations. Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious).”
(Synopsis from the publisher)

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Review | The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

evelynhugoTitle: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (2017)
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Read: 3rd – 10th September 2018
Genre: historical fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

“Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. When she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career. Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.”
(Synopsis from author’s website)

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Review | Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

sixofcrowsTitle: Six of Crows (2016)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Hachette Children’s Group/Orion
Read: 2nd – 6th June 2018
Genre: young-adult; fantasy
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

“Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams – but he can’t pull it off alone. A convict with a thirst for revenge. A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager. A runaway with a privileged past. A spy known as the Wraith. A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction – if they don’t kill each other first.”
(Synopsis from the publisher)

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Review | Theatrical by Maggie Harcourt

theatricalTitle: Theatrical (2018)
Author: Maggie Harcourt
Publisher: Usborne
Read: 13th – 16th August 2018
Genre: young-adult; contemporary
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

“Hope dreams of working backstage in a theatre, and she’s determined to make it without the help of her famous costume-designer mum. So when she lands an internship on a major production, she tells no one. But with a stroppy Hollywood star and his hot young understudy upstaging Hope’s focus, she’s soon struggling to keep her cool…and her secret.”
(Synopsis from the publisher)

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Review | Giant Days by Non Pratt

giantdaysTitle: Giant Days (2018)
Author: Non Pratt
Publisher: ABRAMS Kids/Amulet Books
Release Date: 21st August 2018
Read: 3rd – 4th August 2018
Genre: young-adult; contemporary
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“Based on the hit graphic-novel series from BOOM! Studios, the publisher behind Lumberjanes, Giant Days follows the hilarious and heartfelt misadventures of three university first-years: Daisy, the innocent home-schooled girl; Susan, the sardonic wit; and Esther, the vivacious drama queen. While the girls seem very different, they become fast friends during their first week of university. And it’s a good thing they do, because in the giant adventure that is college, a friend who has your back is key—something Daisy discovers when she gets a little too involved in her extracurricular club, the Yogic Brethren of Zoise. When she starts acting strange and life around campus gets even stranger (missing students, secret handshakes, monogrammed robes everywhere . . .), Esther and Susan decide it’s up to them to investigate the weirdness and save their friend.” (Synopsis from the publisher)

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Review | A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

athousandpiecesofyouTitle: A Thousand Pieces of You (2014)
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: Harper Teen
Read: 22nd – 24th July 2018
Genre: young-adult; science-fiction; romance
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. None more so than the Firebird, a device that allows users to jump into different universes, which catapulted them into instant fame. But then Marguerite’s father is murdered, and the killer – her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul – slips into another dimension before the law can touch him. Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt and her own heart. And soon she discovers that the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined. A Thousand Pieces of You explores a world where other versions of our own lives are possible in an amazingly intricate multi-universe, and where fate is unavoidable, and true love inevitable.” (Synopsis from the publisher)

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Review | A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

torch.jpgTitle: A Torch Against the Night (2016)
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Read: 24th – 30th June 2018
Genre: young-adult; fantasy
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt Elias and Laia as they flee the city of Serra. Laia and Elias are determined to break into the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison to save Laia’s brother, even if for Elias it means giving up his last chance at freedom. They will have to fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene, Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike. Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own, one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape … and kill them both.” (Synopsis from the publisher)

* It goes without saying but, as this is a sequel to the first novel An Ember in the Ashes, there will be spoilers for the events/ending of the first book within this review. However, there will not be specific spoilers for the events, or ending, of A Torch Against the Night. *

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Review | An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

emberTitle: An Ember in the Ashes (2015)
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Read: 22nd – 24th June 2018
Genre: young-adult; fantasy
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

“Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. When Laia’s grandparents are brutally murdered and her brother arrested for treason by the empire, the only people she has left to turn to are the rebels. But in exchange for their help in saving her brother, they demand that Laia spy on the ruthless Commandant of Blackcliff, the Empire’s greatest military academy. Should she fail it’s more than her brother’s freedom at risk… Laia’s very life is at stake. There, she meets Elias, the academy’s finest soldier. But Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.”
(Synopsis from the publisher)

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Review | The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

innislearTitle: The Queens of Innis Lear (2018)
Author: Tessa Gratton
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Read: 7th – 17th June 2018
Genre: fantasy; retellings
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

“The erratic decisions of a prophecy-obsessed king have drained Innis Lear of its wild magic, leaving behind a trail of barren crops and despondent subjects. Enemy nations circle the once-bountiful isle, sensing its growing vulnerability, hungry to control the ideal port for all trade routes. The king’s three daughters – battle-hungry Gaela, master manipulator Reagan, and restrained, starblessed Elia – know the realm’s only chance of resurrection is to crown a new sovereign, proving a strong hand can resurrect magic and defend itself. But their father will not choose an heir until the longest night of the year, when prophecies align and a poison ritual can be enacted. Refusing to leave their future in the hands of blind faith, the daughters of Innis Lear prepare for war – but regardless of who wins the crown, the shores of Innis will weep the blood of a house divided.” (Synopsis from the publisher)

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