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TOP TEN TUESDAY: Ten most recent reads

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Ten most recent reads

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is focused on the ten books I’ve read most recently. I’m proud to say that I’ve already reviewed a few of them (for once!), so if you’re interested on 

BOOK REVIEW: Heaven Has No Regrets by Tessa Shaffer

BOOK REVIEW: Heaven Has No Regrets by Tessa Shaffer

First things first, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Smith Publicity for accepting my request to read and review this book via NetGalley. Heaven Has No Regrets tells the story of cousins – and best friends – Makenzie and Faith. Jumping between 

BOOK REVIEW: The Ruby Locket by Melissa Wray

BOOK REVIEW: The Ruby Locket by Melissa Wray

To start this review, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Henry at Odyssey Books for reaching out and contacting me about reviewing this title. This has had no impact on my review, which remains fair and unbiased.

The Ruby Locket is an Australian YA dystopian following two characters called Saxon and Kerina. Saxon finds Kerina on the outskirts of town and he believes that she’s dead, but when she rouses and asks for help he finds himself dragged into her story. Kerina cannot remember anything, but she’s a rambler – an outsider – and her existence will cause Saxon no end of trouble if she’s discovered.
However, as Kerina’s memory begins to return, Saxon discovers that he might be connected to her story after all, and solving the mysteries of her past may bring him closure of his own.

The beginning of The Ruby Locket is very gripping. I couldn’t wait to find out more about Kerina, and the way that her memories come back so slowly – just a glimpse into her past returning at a time – added to the intrigue. Unfortunately, once Kerina’s memories have returned my interest in the story waned dramatically.

My main issue with The Ruby Locket is that the chapters are too short. We flip back and forth between Kerina and Saxon’s viewpoints, but some of their chapters were only a couple of pages each. They could have been combined together, reducing the amount of chapters (which numbered over 100 by the end of the book!) and fleshed out a bit further, and it would have made me feel more connected to the characters and more interested in the events that were unfolding.

However, because of the constant viewpoint switching I ended up being frustrated and bored. As soon as something interesting began to happen to one of the characters, we would suddenly move across to a less interesting event happening with the other. It should have made me want to read faster to get back to the action, and it probably would have had this effect if the technique had been used infrequently, but because it happened continually throughout the story it didn’t work very well.

Something which isn’t reflected in my rating is the fact that this book needed a bit more editing. I try not to account for that in my ratings of novels, because there are many reasons that grammatical errors can slip through the net, but at times this story veered from first person perspective to third person perspective in the same sentence, and it threw me out of the story completely. I’m hoping that these issues were only present in the review copies, but when there was a lot of action playing out it did make it hard to understand who was doing what, adding to the disjointed feeling which began with the constant viewpoint switches.

I really liked the idea of the Okodee. Melissa Wray has created a world in which a vaccine has led some people to develop superhuman strength and unnaturally fast healing. Kerina discovers she is part of these people – known as the Okodee – and that’s the reason she finds herself running from her past. I wish there had been more focus on this aspect of the story, because the focus feels much more political than personal. I would have loved a bit more exploration of how Kerina feels about her identity.

I also wanted more from this world. There genuinely is enough content in this novel to turn it into a duology, which is strange for me to say! I normally find myself feeling as though a duology could easily be compressed into a standalone with a bit more editing. However, the world of the Okodee (and the story of the Burn, which was the catalyst for the beginning of this dystopian world) deserves more exploration. Although I’m sure most readers will love this book because it’s fast-paced, it would have been a bigger hit for me if it had been slowed down and savoured a bit more. This is particularly true about the last few chapters: the action resolves with a breakneck speed, and I hadn’t expected it all to be over quite so quickly.

I’m giving The Ruby Locket 3 stars. I was tempted to leave it at 2.5 stars, but the Okodee idea really did intrigue me, and I found myself caring about the (rather large) cast of characters that Melissa Wray created, even though I did find myself getting restless at points while reading this novel.

Once again, a huge thank you to Odyssey Books for allowing me to read and review this title.

See you again soon,

Alyce

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BLOG TOUR: Kate In Waiting by Becky Albertalli

BLOG TOUR: Kate In Waiting by Becky Albertalli

Hello, and welcome to my stop on the Kate in Waiting blog tour! I honestly can’t tell you how excited I am to be taking part in a blog tour for a Becky Albertalli novel, and I’d like to say a huge thanks to The 

Did I read 25 Before 25?

Did I read 25 Before 25?

Today is my birthday – hooray! Which also means it’s the deadline for me to finish reading all 25 books on my 25 Before 25 list. As I’ve already read 60 books in 2021, of course I must have managed to get every book on 

COVER REVEAL: Stealing Infinity by Alyson Noël

COVER REVEAL: Stealing Infinity by Alyson Noël

I’m so honoured to be taking part in the cover reveal for Stealing Infinity by the NYT-bestseller Alyson Noël! This cover reveal has been organised by Entangled Teen, so make sure to check out their Twitter and Instagram accounts to see more cover reveal related excitement.

Now, without further ado… Let’s get to the cover!







Wow. When the cover arrived in my inbox earlier in today, my jaw literally dropped. The detail is exquisite, and it looks nothing like Alyson Noël’s other novels. I can’t wait to read it.

If you’re interested in learning more about Stealing Infinity, here’s a brief synopsis for you:

When a young girl with an unusual gift is whisked away to an academy for time-travelling teens, she becomes the target for a sinister organization hell-bent on rewriting history in this clever and fast-paced YA that is guaranteed to become your next fantasy romance obsession.

You can already add Stealing Infinity to your Goodreads want-to-read shelf, if you think it’s going to be the perfect book for you!

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Entangled Teen for allowing me to be involved in this cover reveal, and to you for checking out my blog. I’ve got another post coming tomorrow morning, so if you’re interested in finding out what it is make sure to follow my blog or subscribe to my mailing list. I’ll see you there!

Alyce

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TOP TEN TUESDAY: Colourful Books

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Colourful Books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. I’m loving the fact that Top Ten Tuesday are having so many colour-related prompts at the moment. Last week’s topic was book titles that would work brilliantly as Crayola colour names, and this week’s 

REVIEW: Scent by Isabel Costello

REVIEW: Scent by Isabel Costello

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Muswell Press for accepting my request to review this title via NetGalley. Scent tells the story of Clémentine, a perfumer trapped in a failing marriage. Tensions between Clémentine’s son Bastien and his father Édouard have been 

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books as Crayola Crayons

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books as Crayola Crayons

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week’s topic is a lot of fun. Crayola are well known for having some wild and wacky crayon colour names, but can you imagine if some of those colours were named after our favourite books? I took a good hard look at my shelf, and chose ten book titles which would make awesome crayon names.

A Snowfall of Silver by Laura Wood

A gorgeous silver colour, reminiscent of the sheen of snow on the ground (before it’s been trampled on by children and adults alike!).

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Terrify your enemies with this crayon, showing them exactly what will be left when you’ve finished with them.

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

Would this be a pink colour, or would it be the same colour as concrete? I like to think that it would have the rainbow sheen of oil on tarmac.

Fire Colour One by Jenny Valentine

Every shade that you can expect to see in a fire would be present in this crayon. Yellow, orange, red, white, maybe even a hint of blue!

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Glass Sword is in my head because I’m currently reading it, but I’m honestly not sure how this one would translate into a crayon colour. A very light blue? Completely transparent, and therefore the most pointless crayon known to man? Either way it’s an awesome Crayola colour name.

Indigo Donut by Patrice Lawrence

Indigo is one of my favourite shades, so I had to feature Indigo Donut on this list. It was hard to choose between Patrice Lawrence’s novels, though: she’s the author of Orangeboy, Rose Interrupted and Eight Pieces of Silva, all of which would make great crayon names too!

Iron Gold by Pierce Brown

Similar to Concrete Rose, would this colour be grey or gold? I like to think it would be a very snazzy metallic mix of them both, and who can resist metallic crayons?

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

This one is a mouthful, so I’m not sure whether you’d be able to fit it onto a Crayola label, but I’d be willing to try.

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

A gorgeous deep navy colour, with a hint of purple and green showing through in the right light.

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

In an ideal world I would want The Sky is Everywhere to be a reflective crayon, so that you could show the earliest moments of dawn, the setting of the sun at dusk or the deepest night sky. That would probably be too hard to manufacture, though, so instead I’ll settle for a blended blue and white crayon so that you’d always be able to colour the perfect cloudy sky.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! Which book titles do you think would work brilliantly as Crayola crayon names?

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you again soon,

Alyce

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TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books I’d throw into the ocean

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books I’d throw into the ocean

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. There’s a difference between a bad book and a book which is so next-level terrible that you’d gladly throw it into the ocean. These ten books are ones that are so bad that I