ARC Review: 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough

Firstly I would like to thank Orion Publshing for sending me this ARC which was a total surprise as I honestly was not expecting it so thankyou so very much!!! I feel so lucky I got to read this book as an ARC because honestly it was so much more incredible than I first expected. Like seriously, WOW. 13 Minutes is available to buy from any book store from the 18th of Feburuary 2016. It is also available for pre-order from Amazon or any online book store. For those conserned this review will be SPOILER FREE so read ahead 😉

 About The Author

Sarah Pinborough was born in 1972 in Buckinghamshire, and now lives in London where she works as a  full time, award-winning, writer and script-writer. Her published work, almost all of which is optioned for TV or film adaptation, includes the stunning novella The Language of Dying , THE DOG FACED GODS series, THE HIDDEN KINGDOM series, THE NOWHERE CHRONICLES (as Sarah Silverwood) and two standalone novels: The Death House and 13 Minutes.

You can follow her on Twitter @sarahpinborough

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 The Blurb

She really doesn’t remember

U think she will? I’m scared

Me 2. I’ll call you l8r

I wish she’d died.

DELETE! We’ll be ok.


I was dead for 13 minutes.

I don’t remember how I ended up in the icy water but I do know this – It wasn’t an accident and I wasn’t suicidal.

They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but when you are a teenage girl, it’s hard to tell them apart. My friends love me, I’m sure of it. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t kill me. Does it?

 

My Review

This book has seriously got to be one of the most riveting books I’ve read in quite a while now. I honestly could not put this book down. At all. I’ve had such a busy week this week but I still managed to finish this book in 2/3 sittings  as I literally didn’t want to stop. This book is truly captivating and honestly gave me PBD (post book depression) as once I’d finished it it took me a full day to decide what to read next as I genuinely thought “what could even come close to that?” My best way to describe this book without giving too much away is that it is very similar to We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – IF YOU HAVENT READ IT DO READ IT NOW!! – but I actually honestly thought this books was so much better. I mean don’t get me wrong I absolutely LOVED We Were Liars so much but this book is just WOW.

The book is a gripping psychological YA thriller about our most important relationships and what we really know about the people closest to us. It also looks at  manipulation and the power of the truth in the age of the smartphone and social media. It is set in a modern age where materialistic objects prove your popularity and focuses on how popularity can change someone. It is an absolute MUST-READ for teenagers and fans of enthralling domestic noir.

The book like many I have read uses dual narration but unlike some I have read this is the clearest dual narration I have ever encountered in the sense you can tell exactly who’s talking at every point. The main narration comes from the central character Natasha ‘Tasha’. I liked Natasha’s view as it gave an interesting insight to how people feel about being ‘popular’ and how it affects them as a person. The other main narrator was Rebecca ‘Becca’. I absolutely loved Rebecca’s character not just because we shared a name but because of how honest she was about things even though at times she didn’t want to admit things she did in the end. I think the contrast between these two characters also helped in making it very clear who was speaking at what point and that helped greatly.

This book I found was set out in a slightly unusual but interesting way. There were chapters from Natasha’s view and chapters from Rebecca’s view but then there were every so often chapters that were set out to look like text messages between two characters which gave little clues as to what happened in the story. I’ve never come across a book set out like this before and I really do feel it helped to keep up the Mystery aspect of this book. At first I thought it wa making it slightly predictable but after the HUGE plot twist I realised it was for a reason.

Natasha and her two bestfriends Jenny and Hayley are ‘the Barbies’ and this seriously reminded me of Regina, Gretchin and Karen from Mean Girls. Which is another element I really loved about this book because their relationship clearly only works because they all want to be popular and by being friends with Natasha they get that. This is very similar to the relationship of the plastics in Mean Girls and seriously I LOVE the Mean Girls movie so fetch. I also got a bit of a Pretty Little Liars vibe from this book as it revolves around girls relationships with one another and so many secrets. I personally haven’t read the PLL books myself as I watch the TV show and I’ve been told the books are very different form the show so I don’t think I will ever read them. However from my knowledge of the show, I do think that this books has similar elements to it.

Secrets Secrets Secrets. A huge portion of this book revolves around secrets and uncovering them and revealing lies. This I think is the main reason I loved this book so very much as it just made me more and more intrigued to find out the truth. This is the first time I’ve read a mystery book like this and I seriously cannot express enough how much I enjoyed it.

I honestly don’t think I can say a bad word about this book it was absolutely spectacular. The one thing I did notice was there were a few typos but that was purely because it was an ARC Uncorrected manuscript copy so that’s not even a bad thing.

My Rating

For a truly captivating novel I did not want to put down I give this book 5/5 stars IMG_8379

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ARC Review: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Firstly I would like to give a HUGE thankyou to Orion Publishing for sending me this ARC ~ honestly I cannot thankyou enough!!! After co-hosting a read along to Red Queen back in September 2015 with my friends Katrine @bookish.insta & Hailee @thesebooklions , I have been DYING to get my hands on this book and when Orion contacted me I literally screamed!!! Glass Sword is the second book in the Red Queen series written by best-selling author Victoria Aveyard. This book is available for purchase from the 11th of Feburary 2016 from all bookstores (I think, I know the main ones for the UK are Waterstones and WHsmith). You can also pre-order online at Amazon or any online bookstore.  For anyone concerned this review will be SPOILER FREE but will contain spoilers for RED QUEEN so if you haven’t read the first book yet…

A- WHY?!

B- GO READ IT AND COME BACK!!!

About The Author

Victoria Aveyard is a screenwriter/ YA author who likes books and lists. Her genres include YA, Fantasy, Historical, Adventure and Apocalyptic. She was born and raised in East Longmedow, Massachusetts, a small town known only for the worst roundabout in the United States.

She moved to Los Angeles to earn a BFA in screenwriting at the University of Southern California. She currently splits her time between the East and West coasts. As an author and screenwriter, she uses her career as an excuse to read too many books and watch too many movies.

Find out more at www.victoriaaveyard.com

Or follow her on Twitter @VictoriaAveyard

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The Blurb

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare’s blood is red – the colour of common folk – but her silver ability, the power to control lightening, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court wants to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from the prince and friend who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: that she is not the only one of her kind.

Persued by the Silver King, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

My Review

Firstly AHHHHHHH the wait is sooooooo worth it guys I swear!!!! I literally cannot even deal. This was just what I needed to get me back into YA after reading countless books for Englsih Literature at college!! Although I found it slow at times (this was mainly because it took me so long to read because of college work that had to be done *sigh* not long till its over 😀 ) I literally cannot explain how amazing this books was. It certainly lives up to Red Queen. I was so afraid about what would happen to Mare after Red Queen but Victoria continued her journey SPECTACULARLY. My HEART.

*spoilers for RED QUEEN (NOT glass sword) ahead*

Okay so if you’ve read Red Queen you know about the HUGE plot twist at the end. Like Victoria WHY YOU HURT US LIKE THAT. I honestly did ship Maven and Mare  b u t   I did ship Cal and Mare SO MUCH MORE. And when Maven turned out to be a little snake like his mother (Queen Elara) I was upset for a bit because so was Mare but then I was like CAL MARE OMG. Sirius though *laughs at myself…see what I did there ;)* anyone else it honestly can’t be just me??? CALLLLL😍

This book for me felt a little like the Peeta & Gale (THG) / JACE aka BAE & Simon (TMI) situations bcs of that recurrent love triangle we see in all YA books nowerdays, yes guys it’s still there!! However it is slightly different to the love triangle we see in book #1. DONT WORRY YOU WILL LOVE IT BUT ALSO BE SAD BUT ITS OKAY bcs YOU WILL LOVE IT.

In Glass Sword we explore and gain a bit more information about the Scarlet Guard which I LOVED. It was so interesting finding out more about where they originated from and who started the Scarlet Guard (too an extent were still unsure about all of it). We also got a bit more of a characterisation of Farley (WE GET SOME HUGE NEWS ABOUT HER GUYS!!). I loved hearing more of Farley’s story which intertwines with another character we know about… You shall seeeeeeeee;) & there was also a slight hinting of something that her character may be towards the end of the book and if I’m right I honestly CANNOT wait for book 3!!!!!

What I also loved about this book was the world building Victoria has done. This is mainly because WE SEE MORE OF THE WORLD!!! I loved seeing other parts of the world outside of Notra and the different rulers *hint we go over oceans* 😀

Another thing I LOVED about this book is how Mare searches for the ‘New-Bloods’ using the list Julian gives to her. It was soooooo exciting but then there was also plot twists VICTORIA WHY. I honestly did love reading this search however there were times when it made the pace of the book seem seem rather slow but I think this was possibly because there were short bursts of action which had me hooked and then I was just waiting again for the next burst of action. But this did not put me off as I was still desperate to find out what would happen next.

The main prospect of this book is ‘Kneel or Bleed’ and Mare fights to do what is right to save the new-bloods like herself “Rise, Red As The Dawn”. At the end of the book we find out if Mare chooses to ‘Kneel or Bleed’. I was personally upset with Mare’s desicion however it does make me extremely excited to find out what happens in the next book.

!!!!! PLEASE GIVE ME BOOK THREE !!!!!

I want to say so much more but I also don’t want to spoil it for anyone so I’m afraid this is all I have to say… for now 😉

My Rating

For a book that I literally couldn’t wait to read & was literally screaming about when it ended I give this book 5/5 stars

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ARC Review – CHAINED by Susanne Valenti

Firstly I would like to give a HUGE thankyou to susannevalenti for sending me this ARC. The book will be available on October 1st and you can buy the kindle edition on Amazon for only £1.99 (GBP) which is an INCREDIBLE price for the story this book holds ~ click the word ‘Amazon’ above for the link to the book. Chained is book #1 in the Cage of Lies saga which will contain 5 books (Chained, Linked, Broken, Bound and Free).

About The Author

Susanne Vanlenti is a dystopian / sci-fi author. Her day job is working with her family running a boarding cattery🐱 She is married and has four fur-babies; two cats and two dogs. She loves everything and anything from The Walking Dead to Game of Thrones to Made in Chelsea. “I love a story that draws me in, keeps me hooked and leaves me wanting more and hopefully that’s what I create.” (She does she really does!!!)

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The Blurb

Terrified of the contamination and the creatures it has created, humanity hides behind The Wall. No one knows what lies beyond the wasteland. Maya has never thought much about what might still be out there, lurking in the forgotten places. But when she’s thrust into the unknown, she is forced to question everything she has ever been told. Not everyone outside died, some of them became something…else. As her heart is torn in two, every choice she makes is harder than the last. What she discovers will change her forever. She knows she will proberbly die, but Maya has seen enough death and she won’t let it have her without a fight. The cage of lies encases them and only the truth can set them free.

My Review

This book was my first ever ARC and I’m so grateful and lucky I got this book as my first ARC! I read this book in 3 sittings & 2 short bus journeys & I LOVED IT SO MUCH!!! I’m a HUGE fan of the dystopian genre after writing my own short story in this genre as part of my AS Level English Language coursework (thinking of maybe posting it on my blog if I get it edited a bit more, please let me know what you think in the comments) so if you are also a huge dystopian fan you will L-O-V-E this book!!! As always this review will be spoiler free so don’t worry & read ahead!!! The story is narrated and told from the prospective of the main character, 17 year old Maya. There is also snippets (short chapters) taken from the view of other characters but this is done very carefully and you can clearly tell who is speaking so their is no confusion which is a problem I’ve dealt with books I’ve read before so this was really good!! The story explores a world where humanity lives within ‘The Wall’ created by the ‘guardians’ and they live by the guardians rules in order to keep everyone safe (classic dystopian set up). Then there is the creepy creatures that also lurk outside the walls….if you thought that the make-believe beasts in the hunger games were bad then wait to you get a load of these!!! What I loved most about this book was how the pace within it was quick which made you want to keep on reading and reading (I literally sat for 5 hours today reading non stop to finish the book). I also loved the idea of The Wall and the ‘contamination’ threat that lurked on the other side of it which made it seem all that more interesting when you find out more about the guardians……(no spoilers so you have to go read to find out!!!) I also loved Maya as a narrator despite how bad she had it (for real she had it baddddd) she never stopped fighting and it made me kind of admire her for that. I also loveeeeddddd the way she went into so much detail describing things (there is some really good world building in this book which I loveeeeeee). I also LOVED Taylor & it made me pretty sad that he was only in the opening and ending of the book (he missed all the fun!!!) so if I could change anything it would be to have more of my boy Taylor in there. THE LOVE TRIANGLE MANNNN I honestly don’t know who to ship I loved Maylor at first but then Moal I DONT KNOWWWWWW…. But seriously this is my favourite dystopian read of the year so far and I honestly cannot WAIT for the next book!!!! I’m super excited to tell you all that I will be a part of launching the cover for book two so make sure you all check back in on the 5th of October to see 🙂

I recommend this book to EVERYONE and especially those who love dystopian 🙂

My Rating

For an epic kick ass dystopian novel that has become my favourite dystopian of the year I give this book… 5 /5 stars⭐️

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