Tag Archives: YA

Unpopular Opinions Booktag 

So I’m reading two books at the moment. Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard and Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra. Which means I’ll not be able to review for a while as the great Don alone is over 1,000 pages. So I’m going to be doing a couple of book tags in the meantime! 

This is one I should have done ages ago but never got round to, I found it on http://www.booklovingnut.com which has a host of fantastic book tags which you should check out! It was originally created by https://readatmidnight.com/ and it’s all about Unpopular Opinions! 

1. A popular book you didn’t like. 

Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith 

Loved the show, hated the books. Genuinely some of the worst books I have ever read. Poorly written, terrible characters and well, just poor altogether! 

2. A book series that everyone hates but you love. 

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James 

I’m not going as far as to say everyone hates this book but I’ve heard a lot of bad things about it. I really enjoyed it and I like the series. Fair enough the first book is pure smut but the second and third start to bring together a storyline which is really interesting. 

3. A love triangle where the main character ends up with the person you didn’t want them to end up with. 

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte 

Although Cathy’s heart always belonged to Heathcliffe I hate that she ended up married to Edgar. He was a sweet guy, I can’t speak ill of him, but Cathy and Heathcliffe should have been the couple! 

4. A popular genre you rarely reach for. 

Horror, I’m far too much of a scaredy cat! I’ve read a few but they scar me for days so I tend to avoid them! 

5. A popular character you didn’t like. 

Katniss Everdeen, I just find her a bit annoying. Also she treats her love interests like sh*t but they still love her. 

6. A popular author you can’t seem to get into. 

Saying that, I’m reading Glass Sword at the moment but I’m just really struggling to keep an interest in these books. 

7. A popular trope you’re tired of seeing. 

Lip biting. Seriously, who can bite their lip and look sexy? I’ve tried, I look like I’m attempting self cannabalism. Also who here bites their lip when they’re nervous/angry/scared? Nope, me neither. 

8. A popular series you have no interest in reading. 

The Discworld series by Terry Pritchett has just never appealed to me at all. 

9. The saying goes “the book is always better than the movie” but what movie do you prefer to the book?

I can’t think of a film but I’m enjoying the tv mini series of Cuckoo’s Calling much more than the book. 
I hope you enjoyed my unpopular opinions. Let me know what you think in the comments and have a go yourself if you haven’t already! 


Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff. Review 

And so dear reader, we pick up where we left off… 

I’ll end up talking like the narrator in these books if I keep losing myself in them this way! You can read my review of Nevernight on the following link, be aware that though this review holds no spoilers for Godsgrave it will contain some for Nevernight so if you’ve not read it yet, a) go and do so as soon as possible, and b) don’t read any further until you have. https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/09/08/nevernight-by-jay-kristoff-review/

Godsgrave picks up where Nevernight finished. Mia has become a blade through a fluke, defending the ministry from the harm threatened them by Ash one of Mia’s own friends and along the way inheriting a new dark passenger; Eclipse the wolf who previously belonged to the now deceased Lord Cassius. (Is it just me or does Dark Passenger just make you think of Dexter?) 

The story is split into two parts which eventually come together. One tells the tale of Mia’s current position as a Gladitor in a collegium, essentially a slave. Meanwhile the story backtracks to show how Mia got from the point of her initiation as a blade, to being a slave. I’m guessing if you know Mia at all, there is little doubt in your mind that her motive is as always revenge. 

Godsgrave and Nevernight are equally as fast paced. Kristoff’s unusual but effective use of footnotes prevents the need for masses of worldbuilding and character building in both books which allows the story to get on with the action and suspense. Have I come out with more questions than I went in with? Thousands. Have I got answers to any of the questions I had when I finished Nevernight? Nope. But then that’s what makes the reader want to read more after all, and I am now seriously excited for the final book in this trilogy!! 

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. Review 

‘You’ve got the look of a girl who’s no stranger to the page. I can tell. You’ve got words in your soul’ 

Despite the brilliant reviews I have seen for this book, in the first couple of pages I was unsure if I would actually like it. The writing is so rich, so beautiful, so deliciously well written that I wasn’t sure I could manage with 462 pages of it. Turns out I could do just fine and enjoy it all the more for it. Some writers who write as well as Jay Kristoff seem to veer off the point until their beautiful words are just that: words and the story is lost. Not the case here. Kristoff combines his decadent writing style with a well woven story and irresistible characters who have more flaws than the characters from a prison drama. 

Nevernight begins with the story of a girl and the two very different events that unfold her one night. Both of them equally life changing, once complete, she is finally considered ready to travel to the Red Church to study as Acolyte in the temple of the Godess of Murder. Mia has been waiting for this day since she was ten years old and first began her training in the art of death and murder. Theirs, not hers. But Mia is something different to the other acolytes; she talks to the shadows, and the shadows talk back. 

Mia is such a great character because she genuinely is so flawed. Her whole ideal about life is based purely on revenge but at the same time she isn’t quite as ruthless as a wannabe assassin should be. Instead she has moments of passion, compassion and fierce loyalty which betray her status as not really belonging to either the ‘light’ or the ‘dark’. 

Jay Kristoff also has a really unusual technique for world building which I have never seen, I’m going to say that it’s completely unique and that I really liked it. The story is fast paced but also requires time due to the in depth world and character building required of this kind of fantasy novel. All in all I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to start Godsgrave. 

Tarnished City by Vic James. Review. 

This series is literally a rollercoaster ride. I loved Gilded Cage and you can check out my review of that here: https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/gilded-cage-by-vic-james-review/

Tarnished City was even better, which is quite rare for a Middle novel in a trilogy, usually I find the Middle novel a bit of a ‘filler’ with not much going on, but this was action packed to say the least. Following the events of Gilded Cage (spoilers for book 1 ahead) Tarnished City explains what happens next to the main characters. Abi is desperately trying to save her brother Luke by appealing to His old friends from the Millmoor Games and Social Club. Luke meanwhile is trapped in Crovan’s Scottish castle desperately trying to find a way out and back to his friends and family. Meanwhile Silyen is back to his old tricks and all I can say about Gavar and Jenner is that they’re about to both undergo big changes… 

Tarnished City is equally as fast paced as Gilded Cage but there is a lot more action in this one now that the author has free reign after the character and world building needed in book one. We start to see a lot more of the in depth personality traits of the characters and I was definitely correct in my original assumption that not everyone is who they seem! There’s a lot more violence in this one also as the story takes a darker turn than in the first book. 

I was really pleased with the character development overall, I feel like I’ve got a good idea of who everyone is deep down now as I’ve been able to see the darker and lighter sides of their characters. In the words of Sirius Black (ok.. JK Rowling) ‘we’ve all got both light and dark inside of us, what matters most is the part we choose to act on, that’s who we really are.’ I feel that’s a really fitting summary of the people in this book. 

I literally cannot wait for the next instalment in what has fast become one of my favourite fantasy series’. 

Gilded Cage by Vic James. Review. 

Oh my god I loved this so much! I’ve been desperate to read a good dystopia for a while now and this one really fit the bill! Although there were tropes they were done in a completely new way which was just fantastic, not that to be honest I mind tropes anyway! 

So, Gilded Cage, a dystopian novel set in Great Britain with two classes of people, Equals who have ‘skills’ which set them apart from the ‘commoners’ or ordinary people. The commoners live pretty ordinary lives except that for 10 years of their lives they have to go into slavery to the Equals. Often in smoggy factories in slavetowns like Millmoor in Manchester. 

But for Luke Hadley and his family their slave years are going to be a little different, they’re going to be working for one of the most elite Equal families the Jardines. They think they’ll have it more comfortable than the others back in Millmoor but they couldn’t be more wrong. 

This novel was so fast paced, I couldn’t put it down as I was desperate to know what was going to happen next. I found myself struggling to like some of the characters I was supposed to and really liking ones I probably shouldn’t! What I’ve decided is that there is just no black and white when it comes to the characters in this book! Everyone is a little bit mysterious and nobody seems to really be who they say they are! 

I really didn’t find that there were too many characters, although there are a few different perspectives I found it easy to remember who was who as they were all such intriguing personalities! 

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden. Review. 

‘Almost midnight – that wicked, magic hour – on a night menaced by ice and storm and the abyss of the featureless sky.’

I absolutely adored The Bear and the Nightingale so I was so happy when I was granted a review copy of The Girl in the Tower thanks to Netgalley and Ebury publishing. 
No spoilers here for The Girl in the Tower but if you haven’t read The Bear and the Nightingale yet I would warn you that there are spoilers for that book here and you would be better reading my spoiler free review of that book here: https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/04/06/the-bear-and-the-nightingale-by-katherine-arden-review/

The Girl in the Tower picks up from the events which happened in The Bear and the Nightingale, first focusing on Sasha and Olga in Moscow as the Grand Prince prepares for war against the Tartars and Olga receives news about the death of her father, stepmother and her little sister Vasya. The reader of course knows that Vasya is not dead but has escaped to the Frost King’s cottage for shelter. 

We pick up with Vasya next as she tells the Frost King that she intends to travel the country and be free rather than allow the people in her village to force her into a convent or marriage. I was glad to see the return of Vasya’s fiery spirit. But when she arrived in Moscow masquerading as a boy, it is here that Vasya’s fiery spirit gets her into trouble. 

I enjoyed this book so much, I love learning about folklore particularly the folklore of Eastern Europe which is always so deliciously dark. Katherine Arden demonstrates incredible research about the spirits, demons, myths and legends and weaves them into a fantastic story which is not only interesting but believable. Vasya is a character who is very easy to empathise with, a woman in a man’s world destined for nothing but a convent or marriage to a man she does not want. Instead she shows herself as a fierce survivor full of determination. Though she sometimes hurts the ones she loves I find that I see this as their fault not hers, their refusal to understand her and their determination to live by social protocols makes her the proverbial black sheep and I really dig that! 

If you haven’t read this series already then you should certainly do so as soon as possible. I challenge anyone to not enjoy these books. 

Shadowblack by Sebastien De Castell. Review 

This series is fast becoming one of my all time favourites. Following my epic adventures with Spellslinger after picking it up in a deal in Asda, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Shadowblack and thanks to the lovely people at Bonnier Zaffre and Netgalley I have done! 

Shadowblack was even better than Spellslinger which is hard because 1. Spellslinger was really good and 2. It’s rare a Middle book in a trilogy is any good at all never mind better than the first one! 

So, we meet back up with Kellen the Spellslinger, Ferius the Argosi and Reiches the Squirrel Cat as they make their way across Seven Sands, the Border Lands of their world; as outlaws. 

On their journey they meet new friends, but also new foes and end up fighting not only for their own lives but the lives of others as well, something evil is lurking and it seems to Kellen like it’s coming straight from his own people, the Jan’Tep but as for whether Kellen and his friends will manage to stop them in time, that’s for me to know and you guys to find out! 

Not only is this a really well written book, which i could go on to praise for hours on end, it’s also got a stunning cover and despite this being an ARC on my kindle, I will definitely be buying a hard copy come publishing day as it will look amazing on shelf beside Spellslinger!