Thursday, 17 August 2017

The Nearest Faraway Place - Book Review


The Nearest Faraway Place

Hayley Long 

YA Contemporary 


Synopsis:

Griff and Dylan are driving into Manhattan with their parents when the worst happens. There is a terrible car accident and Dylan and Griff’s parents are killed.

The boys are suddenly orphans with nowhere to go, until a kind aunt and uncle give them a new home in Wales. Now Dylan and Griff have everything they need. Love, a happy home and a future. But Dylan is worried about Griff: whether he is ok, whether he is coping with his grief. He doesn't seem to want to speak about it or really acknowledge the loss of their parents.

But Dylan needs to be even braver than Griff, because there is something very important he needs to face up to before he can move on. 

Review:

I always applaud books that make me cry - and this one really teared me up. Beautiful and bittersweet, this is a story that will surprise you, even as it breaks your heart. It is a book that fans of Moria Young’s The Road to Ever After will love. 

When Dylan and Griff lose their parents in a fatal accident, their life of jet-setting around the world comes to a total standstill. Now taken in by their Aunt and Uncle, they must make new lives for themselves in Wales. But Dylan hides a terrible secret that keeps him from moving on, and its a secret he must keep close if he ever hopes to see his brother, Griff, smile again... 

This is by no means a fast paced book. However the voice behind it is strong, steady and filled with an empathy toward grief that will tug at your heart strings. Its a beautiful, poignant read, and the story deals with death in a way that makes this a must read for anyone struggling with loss. 

Told from the older brother, fifteen-year-old Dylan’s perspective, the book takes you on a journey through each stage of grief and acceptance. I particularly adored that both pets and music played a big part in the brothers healing process. 

I also liked all the characters the brothers came into contact with. However what I appreciated most were the flashbacks of their travels. Seeing how happy their family were was lovely, but undeniably sad, but it really makes you feel for everything the boys lost.

What really sold this book for me though was the big plot twist toward the end. It’s not often I’m taken by surprise and this book really threw in a huge curve ball. I overlooked every clue, and although I caught a few lines that puzzled me, I never came close to seeing the finished picture. Massive applause to Hayley Long for her skilled writing!

All in all, a spellbinding read of family, loss and the bond between brothers. 4 stars!

What are your thoughts? Have any of you picked up this book?

Friday, 11 August 2017

The Savage Dawn - Book Review


The Savage Dawn
Melissa Grey
YA Fantasy
The Girl of Midnight Book #3
UK Publisher: Atom

Other Books in the Trilogy:

Synopsis:

The sides have been chosen and the battle lines drawn.

Echo awakened the Firebird. Now she is the only one with the power to face the darkness she unwittingly unleashed… right into the waiting hands of Tanith, the new Dragon Prince. Tannish has one goal in mind: destroy her enemies, raze their lands, and reign supreme in a new era where the Drakharin are almighty and the Avicen are nothing but a memory.

The war that has been brewing for centuries is finally imminent. But the scales are tipped. Echo might hold the power to face the darkness within the Dragon Prince, but she has far to go to master its overwhelming force. And now she’s plagued by uncertainty. With Caius no longer by her side, she doesn't know if she can do it alone. Is she strong enough to save her home and the people she loves?

Whether Echo is ready to face this evil is not the question. The war has begun, and there is no looking back. There are only two outcomes possible: triumph or death.

Review:

A great wrap-up of the trilogy! The Savage Dawn is the final instalment of what has been a a whirlwind adventure. Fantastical through every page, with strong world building, character growth and beautiful word play, it ended on a magical high note that left me satisfied, yet still hoping for more. 

Echo is losing the war. Her beloved Caius has been captured and she is stuck on the island, duty bound to protect what is left of the Avicen people. But as travel through the in-between becomes unstable, Echo learns Tanith is plotting to wipe out the world… and Echo is the only one who stands a chance of stopping her. But just what sacrifice will victory demand, and is Echo willing to pay it?

Aside from a few nit-picks, I really enjoyed this book. What really sprang at me were the characters, most especially the secondary ones. Jasper and Dorian… I could write a whole review based on their relationship alone. I heart this pairing so much and was thrilled to see their emotions hit full bloom. 

However the whole cast, Ivy, Ronan, the Ava… they are a diverse and witty group with lots of quirk. Their interactions with one another really helped bring this story to life and they are one of the reasons I enjoyed this series as much as I did.

Echo has done heaps of growing in this book too. She is more mature after all the trials of book two-and by finally putting her past behind her-she made strong decisions throughout book three. This also allowed her relationship with Caius to move forward, and together they made one impressive unit. 

However my true love for this trilogy lies in Echo’s obsession with collecting words. Once again, these were beautifully threaded throughout the story, allowing Echo to express herself in the most meaningful of ways. Keeping a notebook handy while reading is most recommended!

As for the plot, it was less emotional than book two. Also while I enjoyed the winding journey Echo took, I do feel some readers might grow impatient with the pacing. There were also one or two scenes that I felt were quite similar to events in previous books - but these were all minor niggles that didn't really impede my enjoyment of the story.

The ending though really blew me away. It was open-ended, bittersweet, but still full of hope. It reminded me of Laini Taylor’s ending to her daughter of smoke and bone trilogy… and I think its an ending that people will either love or hate. Personally, I liked it. However I will still be keeping my fingers crossed for a novella of some sort… there is definitely room for one. 

All in all I really enjoyed this book, and the trilogy as a whole. Melissa Grey is definitely an author to watch out for.

4 stars!

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

June in Review

(Me Sky Diving in Vancouver... Don't I look fashionable)

June in Review

You’re probably wondering why I’m posting my June wrap up at the end of July—and all I can say is— I completely forgot about it! Which is a shame, because for me June was a pretty exciting and productive month.

Here are the highlights:

  • I went to the cinema and saw WONDER WOMAN - which I loved. True it was a little cheesy in places, but I adored the soundtrack (It’s now my background writing music) and all in all, it was an empowering film.

  • And speaking of empowering, I went SKY DIVING! A truly exhilarating experience… nothing is more freeing than throwing yourself out of a plane. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do (I'm not crazy, I promise). But a huge applause for my beloved caveman for jumping with me - no small feat considering he’s afraid of heights. He also melted my heart with a real Titanic moment of “If you jump I jump”... made slightly less romantic with his pasty, green-faced, I’m-about-to-throw-up expression.

  • I HIT 68K with my Middle-Grade WIP! Although 60k was my actual word goal… however the story is still going, and going… and going! I’m not too worried because I know much will be cut during edits, but when I think about the amount of slicing and dicing I’ll need to do… Well, for now I’ve decided not to think about it!!

  • I READ 11 BOOKS! As you can see, another fab reading month for me… but I’m crazy behind on reviews! However my favourite reads were Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (No contest) followed by A Court of Wing’s and Ruin by Sarah J Maas. 

Books Read

  1. This Savage Song by V.E Schwab **** (Loved!)
  2. Scythe by Neil Shusterman *****
  3. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby *****
  4. Gilded Cage by Vic James ***
  5. A Conjuring of Light by V.E Schwab *****
  6. The Forever Court by Dave Rudden ***
  7. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard ** 
  8. Six of Crows  by Leigh Bardugo ***** (ADORED!)
  9. Mind Games by Kiersten White ***
  10. The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodbine ****
  11. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas ***** (LOVED!)

Books Reviewed

Other Posts:


Hope everyone else had a fab June. I'll be posting July's wrap up tomorrow :)
Love & Hugs
x