Monday, September 14, 2015

Popcorn Love

Title: Popcorn Love
Author: K. L. Hughes
Genre: Contemporary NA
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 10/10

A prominent figure amongst New York City’s fashion elite, Elena Vega is a successful businesswoman and single mother to an adorable three-year-old son, Lucas. Her love life, however, is lacking, as those closest to her keep pointing out.At the persistent urging of her closest friend, Elena reluctantly agrees to a string of blind dates if she can find a suitable babysitter for Lucas.Enter Allison Sawyer, a free-spirited senior at New York University.Elena is intrigued by Allison’s ability to push her out of her element, and the young woman’s instant and easy connection with a normally shy Lucas quickly earns Allison the job.After each blind date, Elena returns home to complain to Allison about her lacking suitors. As they bond, Elena begins to realize that the person possessing all the qualities she most desires might just be the woman who has been in front of her the entire time.The vast difference between the two women’s social statuses, however, may be an obstacle not easily overcome.


It's always rewarding and exciting when you're in a fandom with fanfic writers that are so amazing, their AUs get picked up and published. This method of finding new authors has given us some of the biggest names of current literature (although I hold judgment on the quality of that writing in some cases. I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about). Cassandra Clare's wildly popular The Mortal Instruments started out as (and this is still weird for me to think about if I'm honest) Draco/Ginny Harry Potter fanfiction.

I'm lucky to be in a fandom where the writers are so talented, it wasn't one AU that got picked to be published -- but three. And Popcorn Love is the first of those three to hit the shelves.

The thing about this story is that it's cute. So, so cute. And so well executed. All the characters, no matter how small their appearance, are fully fleshed out. There were no shallow characters, and the plot moves along wonderfully.

Allison and Elena are delightfully shy while also being incredibly confident - in other words, they're brilliantly human. They are flawed, and we can't help but root for them as they fumble their way to love.

Having read it in its' original version, with the original names, there were quite a few chuckles that came from reading the new names (although, Swan Queen fans, look out for an easter egg when Allison is playing the guitar! You'll know it when you see it).

Definitely recommend it to anyone wanting some nice, easy fluff to read. Perfect holiday read, or back to school de-stress read!

And dare I hope for a sequel? (I'm probably just being greedy...)

Monday, September 07, 2015

Queen of Shadows

Title: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4)
Author: Sarah J Maas
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 10/10

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.


I tried to write a spoiler-free review. I really did. Despite my best efforts, some of them leaked in, so... proceed with caution if you haven't read it yet.

I don't think I can say enough how much I love these books. Maas paints and weaves an intricate world, where all the characters entwine together in intricate, complicated patterns. And trying to figure out those patterns is an awesome hobby - for example, I hope like hell that Manon will side with Aelin, despite their... misgivings towards each other. And now things are looking more possible on that front... because of [spoiler] reasons.

It's all very exciting, and there wasn't a dull moment to be found; even the slower ones just tended to be tooth-rottingly sweet.

The Dorian chapters ripped my heart to shreds. All of them. Every single last one of them. Damn my weakness for fictional men with dark hair and blue eyes!
On the other hand, the Rowan chapters filled me with joy. Yay for the Rowan Fire Fanclub! And no, of course I didn't cry when Rowan showed up *shifty eyes*

But the cake for Best Character Ever goes, hands-down to Lysandra (with honorary mentions to Aelin, Manon and Elide). Such a lovely, lovely surprise to see her blossom into herself. She had me in stitches by the end of the book with her relentless teasing of Aedion. I can't wait to see more of her and Evangeline (that kid is gonna be something else; with all the people she has around her as her role models, there is no way she won't grow up to be a ball of sass, and I hope we get to see more of that sass).

I'm excited about where we left off; I think there's loads more to come in the next two books, although some of the... complications... were dealt with faster than I expected (then again, with a 600-page behemoth, is that really any surprise?).


Thursday, September 03, 2015


Title: Firewalker (The Wordlwalker Trilogy #2)
Author: Josehpine Angelini
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 10/10
Worlds divide, magic slays, and love lies in the second book of Josephine Angelini’s The Worldwalker Trilogy.
"You think I’m a monster, but my choices, as ruthless as they seem, are justified."
Lily is back in her own universe, and she's ready to start a new life with Rowan by her side. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape from New Salem, and must hide her magic for the safety of everyone she cares about, but compared to fighting the Woven, the monstrous creatures inhabiting the alternate Salem, life is looking pretty good.
Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. If she can’t persuade Lily to return to her world, she will force her to come back by doing away with the ones she loves.
Picking up right where Trial By Fire left off, Firewalker is another sexy, fast-paced, heartbreaking thrill ride from internationally bestselling author Josephine Angelini!


The Rowan Fire Fanclub lives! Woo!
Except it took a hard blow in Firewalker... no spoilers, though.

One of the best things about Firewalker, and the way Angelini weaves her characters, is how there is no good and bad. To quote Voldemort, "There is no good and evil. There is only power". Voldy, despite his psychopathic tendencies, does describe what goes on in Firewalker pretty aptly.

As we're taken through Lillian's memories and past experiences, it becomes more and more hard to brand her as the evil bitch witch. None of Lily's choices are easy, but - and here's the true beauty of so many books recently - when it comes down to it, Lily makes her choices for her. Not for Rowan, who she knows she will hurt by agreeing with Lillian. Not for Tristan, her best friend and the only one who believes in what she says; she does it because it is the right thing to do.
For the first time in a very, very long time, I had no idea how the book would end, because it didn't hinge on who she would choose. And I cherish that uncertainty for what it is: fresh, new, different storytelling. Bravo!

And kudos to Ms Angelini for creating believable, lovable and three-dimensional characters, all in third person, allowing us to jump around. On that note, Carrick is still as creepy as ever.

Best new addition mentions have to go to Breakfast and Una - I can't wait to see more of them as we move forward!

Also, without spoiling anything... hats off to Angelini for having the guts to do the hard thing. I wasn't ready, I didn't see it coming at all, and it took me completely by surprise. I need to have a good cry over it still, but it takes courage to do something like that, and honestly, it felt true to the story, so... yay?

Shameless Self-Promotion, some news... mostly just to say I'm alive!

Hello and Happy September!

Hope you're warm and cuddly in your four-poster beds at Hogwarts, and that your first day of lessons yesterday went well.

This year has just flown by; I've been incredibly busy, and sadly, that's reflected on the blog. I know there have been less reviews and posts than I'd like, but I've been scrambling to keep up with all the changes going on. Since last year, I started and finished my first year at university (with really good grades, woo!), had two internships in publishing that went (if I say so myself) really well, got a job at YA Interrobang, moved house, and still tried to fit in reading books somewhere in there.

I didn't always manage to read those books, and, weirdly enough, now that holidays are nearly over, things should get back to normal. Having a schedule for uni really helps make sure things run smoothly in other parts of life.

Also: I have one review on backlog, that will go up later today and have started Queen of Shadows (no spoilers!!), so that should go up, hopefully early next week, as I plan on doing little else over the weekend... wish me luck ;)