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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Review | The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Title: The Cruel Prince (2018)
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Read: 19th – 22nd June 2018
Genre: young-adult; fantasy
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

“One terrible morning, Jude and her sisters see their parents murdered in front of them. The terrifying assassin abducts all three girls to the world of Faerie, where Jude is installed in the royal court but mocked and tormented by the Faerie royalty for being mortal. As Jude grows older, she realises that she will need to take part in the dangerous deceptions of the fey to ever truly belong. But the stairway to power is fraught with shadows and betrayal. And looming over all is the infuriating, arrogant and charismatic Prince Cardan…” (Synopsis from the publisher)

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Review | The Summer of Us by Cecilia Vinesse

summerofusTitle: The Summer of Us (2018)
Author: Cecilia Vinesse
Publisher: Hachette Children’s Group/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: 14th June
Read: 30th June 2018
Genre: young-adult; contemporary
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Five friends. Five cities. Two complicated love stories… Aubrey and Rae have been planning their European tour since the moment they met. It was meant to be the perfect way to spend their last summer together before university, but now it’s not just the two of them… There’s Jonah, Aubrey’s seemingly perfect boyfriend, and Gabe, who Aubrey may have accidentally kissed. Then there’s Clara, the friend Rae is crushing on, hard, even though there’s no hope because Clara is into guys, not girls. And on top of all that Aubrey and Rae’s friendship appears to be falling apart. Things are more complicated at eighteen than they were at ten. Set off on a romantic adventure that embraces warm summer nights, the thrill of first kisses and the bittersweet ache of saying goodbye to the past.” (Synopsis from the publisher)

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Review | Eat Up! by Ruby Tandoh

eatupTitle: Eat Up!: Food, Appetite and Eating What You Want (2018)
Author: Ruby Tandoh
Publisher: Serpent’s Tale
Read: 10th – 19th June 2018
Genre: non-fiction; cookbooks
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Think about that first tickle of hunger in your stomach. A moment ago, you could have been thinking about anything, but now it’s thickly buttered marmite toast, a frosty scoop of ice cream straight from the tub, some creamy, cheesy scrambled eggs or a fuzzy, perfectly-ripe peach. Eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Food nourishes our bodies, helps us celebrate our successes (from a wedding cake to a post-night out kebab), cheers us up when we’re down, introduces us to new cultures and – when we cook and eat together – connects us with the people we love.

In Eat Up, Ruby Tandoh celebrates the fun and pleasure of food, taking a look at everything from gluttons and gourmets in the movies, to the symbolism of food and sex. She will arm you against the fad diets, food crazes and bad science that can make eating guilt-laden and expensive, drawing eating inspiration from influences as diverse as Roald Dahl, Nora Ephron and Gemma from TOWIE. Filled with straight-talking, sympathetic advice on everything from mental health to recipe ideas and shopping tips, this is a book that clears away the fog, to help you fall back in love with food.”
(Synopsis from the publisher)

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Review | Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer

arcticincidentTitle: Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident (2002)
Author: Eoin Colfer
Publisher: Puffin
Read: 7th – 10th June 2018
Genre: children’s; fantasy
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Someone has been supplying Class A illegal human power sources to the goblins. Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit is sure that her arch-enemy, thirteen-year-old Artemis Fowl, is responsible. But is he? Artemis has his own problems to deal with: his father is being held to ransom and only a miracle will save him. Maybe this time a brilliant plan just won’t be enough. Maybe this time Artemis needs help…” (Synopsis from the publisher)

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Review | The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Title: The Hazel Wood (2018)
Author: Melissa Albert
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: 8th February 2018
Read: 25th – 30th March 2018
Genre: young-adult; fantasy
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the strange bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate – the Hazel Wood – Alice learns how bad her luck can really get. Her mother is stolen, by a figure who claims to come from the cruel supernatural world from her grandmother’s stories. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: STAY AWAY FROM THE HAZEL WOOD. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began…”
(Synopsis from the publisher)

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Review | Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Title: Genuine Fraud (2017)
Author: E. Lockhart
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Read: 1st – 2nd June 2018
Genre: young-adult; mystery
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

“Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat. Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete. An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two. A bad romance, or maybe three. Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains. A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her. A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.”
(Synopsis from the publisher)

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Review | Royals by Rachel Hawkins

royalsTitle: Royals (2018)
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: Scholastic
Read: 19th – 20th May 2018
Genre: young-adult; contemporary
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond. While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady… but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself. “
(Synopsis from the publisher)

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Review | The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

exactoppositeTitle: The Exact Opposite of Okay (2018)
Author: Laura Steven
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Read: 14th – 18th May 2018
Genre: young-adult; contemporary
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Izzy O’Neill here! Impoverished orphan, aspiring comedian and Slut Extraordinaire, if the gossip sites are anything to go by… Izzy never expected to be eighteen and internationally reviled. But when explicit photos involving her, a politician’s son and a garden bench are published online, the trolls set out to take her apart. Armed with best friend Ajita and a metric ton of nachos, she tries to laugh it off – but as the daily slut-shaming intensifies, she soon learns the way the world treats teenage girls is not okay. It’s the Exact Opposite of Okay.”
(Synopsis from the publisher)

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