Fiction Books, YA Books

Slayer by Kiersten White – ARC Review

Thank you to netgalley and Simon and Schuster for sending me an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Although I hadn’t watched all of Buffy I still found the book interesting and after reading it, it actually made me want to go watch Buffy!

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Rating: 3/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.
Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.
Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.
As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…
But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next.
One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard.

So this book is set after the events that happen at the end of the show, Buffy. However I felt like I was able to keep up with what was happening despite not having watched the show fully. I do feel that I probably missed some references to the show that fans of the show would pick up on but it didn’t really detract from my enjoyment of the book.

The book started of quite slow and we get a lot of information about what is going on and what has happened to the watchers and we get Artemis and Athena’s back story throughout the book too. It did take me a while to really get into the story but I did enjoy the second half a lot more than the first half.

The story itself is interesting with plenty of intrigue and suspense. You don’t know who to trust and everyone has a secret. We slowly learn what everyone is hiding throughout the book and how these secrets change relationships and the course of events. I also found that some things become quite repetitive which I found a bit annoying for example Athena’s feelings towards Buffy is repeated again and again.

Athena who is known as Nina to everyone, was the main character who learns she’s a slayer, which basically makes her a badass, but I found her to be quite irritating most of the time. I found it quite difficult to like her at times and felt that she spends too much time focusing on how everyone has wronged her in some way. I get that she has had a difficult life but then so had all the other teenagers she grew up with.

I did want to see more of the other characters as I felt we don’t get enough of them to really have great depth to the characters. Though I did enjoy reading about Rhys and Cillian. I loved how Rhys was a total booknerd and how cute him and Cillian were together.

We do get several plot twists throughout the book and while I predicted a few there is one at the end that I did not see coming at all. The ending was a lot more fast paced and lots of things are revealed. I liked how Athena uses her strengths to fight at the end and feel like that is when she truly becomes her own person and someone I can root for.

I think if you love Buffy or books with vampires and slayers then give this book a read as I think Buffy fans will enjoy the book.

Monthly Wrap Up

January Monthly Wrap Up

Can you believe that January has already ended?! This month simultaneously felt like it lasted forever and that it was over in the blink of an eye.

I’ve decided to limit how many books I buy each month as my bookcases are full and my TBR is ridiculous! I think I did really well as I had three preorders this month and I only bought one more on top of those!

I also had a really great reading month I read 12 books and some really amazing books this month!

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This month I read:

Evermore by Sara Holland – this was the first book I read this year and to be honest I was a little disappointed. I still enjoyed the book but it wasn’t as good as Everless.
Rating: 3/5

Kick the Moon by Muhammad Khan – I loved this book so much! it deals with toxic masculinity and has British Pakistani Muslim characters and I feel it’s a book that young boys and girls should definitely read! You can read my review here
Rating: 5/5

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty – why yes I did read this book for the fourth time. And I will definitely be reading it again this year. This series is my new favourite and I just can’t get enough! My review is here if you want any more reasons why you should all read it!
Rating: 5/5

The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon – this was a reread as part of a readalong and I loved the book just as much the second time around!
Rating: 4.5/5

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer – this is the first time I read this book since I was a kid and oh my god! So. Much. Nostalgia. I love how sassy and sarcastic the characters and I’ve fallen in love with this series all over again.
Rating:4.5/5

Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen McManus – I loved this book as much as One of Us Is Lying and I am really looking forward to more!
Rating: 5/5

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada – Holy Crap! This book is amazing! The first chapter had me completely hooked and in shock and I read this book in one evening.
Rating: 5/5

Slayer by Kiersten White – I have mixed feelings about this book. While I did enjoy it I felt it took a long time to get really interesting and then the ending was a little rushed.
Rating: 3/5

The Dark Days Deceit by Alison Goodman – I adored the first two books so much but this last book was disappointing. Nothing happened until the very end which made it really boring and made me lose interest. I feel like I expected something different. I expected a lot more action.
Rating: 3/5

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo – my reread finished just in time for the release of King of Scars. I think I loved the grisha trilogy even more than I did when I read it a few years ago. I’m still team Darkling!
Rating: 5/5

Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton – While I thought the story was interesting I felt it moved really slow until the very end which made me struggle to really get in to it.
Rating: 3/5

The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty – I am dead. That is all.
Rating: 5/5

Aside from these books I also reviewed a few books that I read in previous months. You can find the reviews for each of the books here:

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen – Rating: 4/5

Nyxia Unleashed by Scott Reintgen – Rating: 4/5

Light Years by Kass Morgan – Rating: 4/5

So that’s everything I read and reviewed this month. I am hoping to have some reviews of the books I read this month up in the next few weeks. Well…once I can figure out how to convert incoherent squealing into an actual review.

How many books did you read in January? What was your favourite book?

Books by Muslim Authors, Diverse Books, Muslim Shelf Space, YA Books

Kick the Moon by Muhammad Khan – ARC Review

Thank you to Pan Macmillan for sending my this eARC. It does not affect my opinions of the book.

I read I Am Thunder last year and loved it so I was really looking forward to reading Kick the Moon and was really excited when I was approved for the arc! It’s safe to say that I loved this book even more than the I Am Thunder!

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Rating: 5/5

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Fifteen-year-old Ilyas is under pressure from everyone: GCSE’s are looming and his teachers just won’t let up, his dad wants him to join the family business and his mates don’t care about any of it. There’s no space in Ilyas’ life to just be a teenager.
Serving detention one day, Ilyas finds a kindred spirit in Kelly Matthews, who is fed up with being pigeonholed as the good girl, and their friendship blows the social strata of high school wide open. But when Kelly catches the eye of one of the local bad boys, Imran, he decides to seduce her for a bet – and Ilyas is faced with losing the only person who understands him. Standing up to Imran puts Ilyas’ family at risk, but it’s time for him to be the superhero he draws in his comic-books, and go kick the moon.

I read this book in one sitting, I just could not put it down! It’s a book that deals with many social issues prevalent in today’s society and I felt it handled it really well. Like his first book, I feel that many teenagers will relate to this and is a book I feel young boys should read. The main character being Pakistani Muslim is not something that we see in books, especially YA books and I hope we get to see more because we need more representation of young Muslim boys and girls.

There are so many important issues addressed in this book, they are interwoven really well and feel like a natural part of the story and not forced. The main theme that is addressed in this book is toxic masculinity and how this can affect not only the boys life but also those around him. He also addresses sexism, racism and prejudice. And how these can all be interlinked.

Ilyas has to deal with so much, he was a really well rounded character and so relatable. He was brought up with the “boys don’t cry” mentality and you can see how much it affects him. How showing emotion and being “soft” is seen as unmanly. He doesn’t enjoy sports like the other boys, instead he loves to draw comics and loves his rabbit. All things which are perfectly fine but he’s taught it’s not from his dad and his friends and the society around him. I felt so much for Ilyas because I have seen this growing up. Watching people tell my cousins that boys don’t cry and essentially teaching that they should not show emotion. So they never learn how to manage their emotions. They learn to hide parts of themselves if it doesn’t match what they are taught about what makes them a “man”. It just makes them unhappy and stressed and can lead them down a bad path like it did for Ilyas.

I loved that the gang culture, peer pressure and cliques were also addressed in this book. I’m sure it’s something we all saw while in school and were all affected by it. When Ilyas stands up for what is right, he puts himself and his family at risk. The fear he feels felt so real and it made me really root for him because it takes strength to stand up and fight for what’s right. I also loved Kelly, who is a reflection of the rich, privileged school girls and how this privilege gives them an advantage over other students. It was nice to see that she realises her privilege.

One of my favourite parts was that Ilyas was an artist and that he drew comics. But not just any comic, one that represented him and other South Asians. I have always wanted to see a superhero who looked like me and I was so happy to see that in this book! I just want to read a whole comic based on his superhero! I really loved that Ilyas holds onto his identity of being Muslim and a Pakistani. It isn’t something we see enough of in books.

There is so much more I want to say but I don’t want to spoil anyone so I will just say this, this book deals with really heavy topics but it is also fun and uplifting and that representation is so important and I want more and I’m sure many others do as well! I highly recommend picking this book up and also reading his other book I Am Thunder if you haven’t!

Kick the Moon releases today, 24th January.

Unboxings

Fairyloot Unboxing – December Dragons Box

Hey booknerds! I’ve got an unboxing for you today! This is the December fairyloot box and it was dragon themed! When I heard the theme I just had to buy it! I absolutely love dragons so I seriously needed this box and it did not disappoint. I really loved what was included.

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This month they included a pin flag which I loved because I hoard enamel pins and I needed a flag to put them on.

They included a mother of dragons magnetic bookmark set too. Unfortunately mine was missing but they did email everyone and say that they would be sending it out separately if it was missing.

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They also included a reading journal which is all dragon themed! I loved using the previous one they included so I love that they included another one. It was designed by FictionTea Designs and the artwork was by Blanca Montiel.

There was also a Harry Potter inspired book sleeve designed by Sweet Sequels and inspired by the scene where the trio escape Gringotts on a dragon. The artwork on the sleeve is stunning!

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They included a double sided art print. The artwork of Toothless on one side and Abraxos on the other. My two favourite dragons! I squealed when I saw the print! The beautiful artwork is by Diana Worak.

They also included a glow in the dark dragon necklace! I love it so much! I especially love that it glows in the dark.

This month they also included an ARC. They included an advance copy of the Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson. It sounds really good and I’m looking forward to reading it.

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This months book is Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst which is a standalone fantasy story. This edition is also signed by the author and includes an author letter and character artwork by Taratjah. I’m really looking forward to reading the book!

So that’s everything included in the box and they also included the first of the tarot cards. This month was Cassian and Amren.

I really loved this box and everything that was included and I’m really looking forward to getting the January Unbreakable Bonds box.

Did you get this box? What did you think? What was your favourite item?

Fiction Books, YA Books

OtherEarth by Jason Segal and Kirsten Miller – Book Review

I really loved Otherworld so when I saw OtherEarth on netgalley I just had to request it and I’m so glad I was approved! Thank you to OneWorld publications and Rock the Boat for providing me with an eARC.

OtherEarth releases on October 30th

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Rating: 4.5/5

Here is the synopsis for OtherEarth from Goodreads:

Simon saved his best friend, Kat, from the clutches of the Company and their high-tech VR gaming experience, Otherworld. But it was at a steep price. Now he, Kat, and their friend Busara are on the run. They know too much. About the Company’s dark secrets. About the real-life consequences of playing Otherworld. And about Kat’s stepfather’s involvement in everything. The group is headed to New Mexico to find Simon’s old roommate, who is a tech genius and possibly the only person who can help them reveal the truth about the Company before it’s too late and the line between what’s real and what’s fantasy is erased . . . forever.
Imagine a future in which you can leave reality behind and give in to your greatest desires. That future is now. And the future is terrifying.

So OtherEarth picks up right where OtherWorld ended and although it had been a while since I had read OtherWorld and was worried I wouldn’t remember what happened but as I started reading everything came rushing back to me. Like OtherWorld, this book was also fast paced and even more action packed and I loved it!

This book was intense and once I started reading I could not put it down and was reading well into the night. It’s full of intrigue and the story is even more complex than the first book. We spend a lot more time outside of OtherWorld and get a lot more backstory about the company and how and why OtherWorld was created. But we are left with even more questions too! I just wanted to keep reading to find all the answers.

I just have to say that the technology and the game that has been described in these books are absolutely terrifying and I am so glad that this technology does not actually exist and hope it never does! Even though it was made with good intentions, it never ceases to amaze me how inhumane humans can be. Like the first book, there were players who hunted the beings created in the game for sport. As a result of the technology they are actually sentient beings yet they were hunted and killed in horrifying ways. I’m so glad this side of gaming was discussed in books as it’s something I feel strongly about but I feel like it’s not something that is generally discussed.

I really liked Simon a lot more in this book than I did in OtherWorld. He was a lot more fleshed out and complex and generally more likeable. I also loved his relationship with Kat, they were adorable! Kat was a really great character and I do wish we could have seen more of her.

I also loved the addition of Simon’s friend, Elvis. He was fun and sassy but also kind and caring and smart. I’m looking forward to seeing more of him in the next book. The only person I still can’t decide what to think of is Busara. She is secretive and mysterious and I couldn’t figure out what she was hiding. I hope we learn more about her in the next book. Also that ending made me even more curious to know more about her.

I’m also intrigued by Simon’s hallucinations. Are they a form of PTSD? What is real? What’s his hallucinations? Especially that ending left me reeling and shocked and even more confused as to what Simon was seeing and what was real or not real! I won’t say anymore because I don’t want to spoil anyone but oh my god, I was not expecting that ending at all and I just desperately need the next book because I need all the answers!

I highly recommend reading this book especially if you enjoy gaming or sci-fi books. I’m not even a gamer and I loved it!

Let me know if you’ve read the book and what you thought!