Tag Archives: challenge

Paper & Fire by Rachel Caine. Review. 

Please be aware that this review while not containing spoilers for this book, will contain spoilers for the first book Ink and Bone. 

Paper and Fire picks up where Ink and Bone left off and it’s a great sequel! Jess and friends are still reeling from the events of Ink and Bone, their friend Thomas was killed, their other friend and sort of Jess’ girlfriend; Morgan has been imprisoned in the Iron Tower of the Obscurists and Jess no longer knows who he can trust. Especially when a routine training excercise of his company in the High Garda turns sour. 


This book is another teaser at what the library may contain, what secrets are hidden inside its walls and what the people at the helm will do to protect it. It is a story of friendship and relationships that are stronger than those of blood. In a world full of secrets it’s impossible to know who can be trusted and who would just as soon Knife you in the back. It’s down to Jess and his friends to fight the library to the bitter end. 


I love that this series is all about books, it’s such a great concept and it’s easy to see that it’s taken some inspiration for the onslaught of ebook readers on the market today. I find the premise incredibly engaging and interesting, sometimes the second book in a trilogy can read like a ‘filler’ and be a bit flat but that is not the case with this one at all. I can’t wait for Ash and Quill now. 

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier. Review 

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier is, like Rebecca a novel of thrilling mystery and distrust and unexpected twists and turns. 

Philip Ashley has lived with his elder cousin Ambrose since he was small, they have always had each other, their collection of male servants and the love of the people who live around their estate. There has never been the need for a woman in their lives. That is until Ambrose goes to Florence and meets their mysterious cousin Rachel, and marries her. 

When Ambrose dies under suspicious circumstances, Philip is determined to reep revenge on the woman he blames for his death. But when she turns up on his doorstep he finds that his feelings for her are quite different. 

The novel makes you want to scream with frustration at the naïveté of some of the characters, while wanting to bash the heads in of others at the same time. It is equally, if not more darkly gripping than Rebecca. Although it’s left for you to decide if Rachel is guilty or not, I think it was great to see people getting their just desserts in the end for once. Really enjoyed this suspense filled novel of love and betrayal.

Roseblood by AG Howard. Review 

Thank you to the publisher Abrams and Chronicle Books Ltd for my copy of Roseblood in exchange for an honest review. 

‘When the phantom touched me, when his eyes held mine, I felt it. And I still feel it now.’

Wow. Just wow. I really didn’t think I was going to enjoy this as much as I did! There’s always that worry when you receive an RC that you’re not going to like the book. Although Roseblood had been on my tbr I had no idea what to expect. But there was no need for me to worry. Roseblood is an addictive, gripping, fantastic, magical, horrifying tale of dark love, dark friendship and the terrible things that creep behind mirrors. 


Roseblood is a sort of retelling of The Phantom of the Opera but over a century after the events of Gaston Leroux’s novel, made famous by the Andrew Lloyd Weber theatre production. Rune is sent to an opera school in Paris called Roseblood after the death of her father. She has a brilliant voice but every time she sings, she gets sick, her mother hopes that schooling her voice will help her to become a great opera star. 


But she is haunted by the Phantom boy she discovers in the grounds of the school. At first she is sure that he is the Phantom from the story, sent to her to become her muse. But gradually her suspicion grows that this phantom may be someone or something else. 


This story is mesmerising, gripping from start to finish, the electric feelings between the characters draws you in deeper and deeper as the horrific secrets of the Phantom and his legacy are revealed. 

I really cannot express how much I really enjoyed this book, I had no previous experience of The Phantom of the Opera so I was going into it completely blind as what to expect, but it was everything it promised to be. Creepy on the supernatural side, romantic for the YA side and devilishly delicious throughout! 

Highly recommended to anyone who likes supernatural YA fiction. 

Reading Challenge 2017 week 4

For week 4 of my 2017 reading challenge I’m looking at a book which was published this year. I decided to go with one of the books I really enjoyed reading last year for review, ready for its publication this January. 

Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land is a thriller like no other. This novel will completely freak you out while also, at the same time allowing you to empathise with the main character. 

The main character Annie/Milly is in a brilliant foster home after her mother was charged with murder and abuse. Her new home is perfect, or would be if it wasn’t for her stupid stuck up foster sister, the ‘real’ daughter of her new parents. All Phoebe seems to want to do is make Milly’s life a misery. 


The story is that of a girl who has been conditioned. Conditioned by a killer, her own mother. She has grown up watching torture and murder and unable to do anything to stop it. However, she’s fighting it. She doesn’t want to turn out like her mother. She tries not to listen to her mothers constantly taunting voice in her head. 

Good Me, Bad Me really takes you through the labyrinth of childhood issues mixed in with the unique twist which continues to keep you guessing throughout. Which way will Milly turn? In the end will she be good me? Or bad me? 

Reading Challenge 2017 week 3 

As week 3 of the fortnightly reading challenge 2017. My aim is to feature a book which is over 100 years old. Written in 1848 The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte is one of those books which has been overlooked as it hovers in the shadows of Anne’s sister’s better known novels Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. 

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is written in the form of letters from Gilbert Markham to a friend. Gilbert has become deeply intrigued by Helen Graham who has recently moved into the neighbouring Wildfell Hall. A young and beautiful widow she strikes up a friendship with Gilbert but despite their obvious attraction to one another she refuses to reciprocate when he opens up about his feelings to her. Gilbert is mystified, what is the young widow hiding? What is the secret in her past? 


The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is beautifully written and mysterious. A seemingly idealist view of a young couple’s potential relationship, the possibility of happiness to come to them both. But interwoven are secrets and lies and ramifications. 

Reading challenge 2017 week 2 

As part of my 2017 reading/reviewing challenge. I’d like to share my chosen book for the second week. A favourite book from my childhood. I’m trying to use lesser known books as it was tempting to go in for a Garth Nix or a Le Guin. I appreciate Blyton is extremely famous but I think The Children of Cherry Tree Farm has always stuck as my absolute favourite despite its lack of a fantasy element in novels such as The Folk of the  Faraway Tree and The Adventures of the Wishing Chair. 

The Children of Cherry Tree Farm is more in line with The Famous Five. It’s one of those ‘everything is perfect’ books. Four children; two boys, two girls of course. With perfectly Blyton-esque names like Rory, Sheila, Benji and Penny go off to stay with their uncle on Cherry Tree Farm. 


Of course adventures soon begin. The children are excited to meet the ‘wild man’ Tammylan who lives out in the wild. It’s a beautiful book full of picnics, beautiful countryside, fun and excitement! Homegrown and homemade meals abound as the children learn about baby animals and turn from city children to country children as Tammylan teaches them the ways of the wild. 


It’s a beautiful little novel which sets out to teach Blyton’s readers all about the importance of respecting nature and understanding the consequences of your actions and how they can affect the animals and other things which live in the wild. 

Writing challenge day 2 – write 250 words inspired by the colours of the room you are in 

So I wrote about the colours of my bedroom walls, we moved into a furnished property which we aren’t allowed to decorate which means it was indeed pretty difficult to match my colour scheme. I decided to describe my entire room in the piece as that’s just where the prompt took me. 

I’m going to try and keep the writing challenge updated as much as possible but it’s been a bit of a struggle since I started my new job today and the hours aren’t amazing during training. I might therefore miss a few days in between but I’ll do my best! 

The room was painted in calm tones of lilac and the orangey brown of old rust. Decorating must have been a nightmare trying to find soft furnishings which matched the strangely chosen colours of the walls. These done ok though, a pale pink bed cover the colour of the milky froth on top of a milkshake, pine furniture not quite IKEA but similar with white tops and a cushioned beige stool under the dressing take. The pictures were plain and simple a beige and gold canvas, a metal sign spelling out words and a black and white photo of a woman glancing back at a guard on a railway platform. The woman looked full of mystery as if she had a secret, as if maybe she was a spy. The usual clutter was scattered on the dresser, bottles of face cream, cans of deodorants and elaborate perfume bottles missing their caps. 2 soft grey Eeyore teddies perched clumsily atop a bookcase its shelves swollen with books. A fancy gift back with a picture of the Eiffel Tower on it, stuffed with pink tissue paper balanced precariously beneath a brightly coloured canvas depicting a street filled with pastel pink houses and powder blue cobbles. The centrepiece of the room which stole the show though was a glittering lampshade hanging in a circular shape it’s clear glass fragments reflecting rainbow colours which danced in the sunshine from the large window which dominated the back wall. From each clear glass segment hung another in a different colour. The colours of the rainbow. Red and yellow and pink and blue…