Tag: four star review

BLOG TOUR: Wicked Little Deeds by Kat Ellis

BLOG TOUR: Wicked Little Deeds by Kat Ellis

Hey everyone, and welcome to my stop on the Wicked Little Deeds blog tour. To start off with, I’d like to say a huge thank you to The Write Reads for allowing me to take part in this blog tour, because Wicked Little Deeds ended 

REVIEW: Twitch by M.G. Leonard

REVIEW: Twitch by M.G. Leonard

First things first, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Walker Books, for accepting my request to read and review Twitch via NetGalley. Best known for being the author of The Battle of the Beetles series (and co-author of Adventures on Trains with 

REVIEW: The Boy I Am by K.L. Kettle

REVIEW: The Boy I Am by K.L. Kettle

I’ve been struggling to review The Boy I Am since I read it because it’s hard to sum up how I feel about this book, but I’m going to give it one last try. I read The Boy I Am through NetGalley, so a huge thank you to Stripes for accepting my request to read and review this title.

The Boy I Am is an ambitious debut with the potential to become the first book in a longer series. Following a boy called Jude who is part of the House of Boys, K.L. Kettle’s dystopian world explores the idea of a society where boys are treated as commodities and women hold all of the positions of power.

K.L. Kettle throws you into her world without hesitation. When we meet Jude, he is in the middle of plotting to kill someone called the Chancellor, hoping to get revenge on her for something that happened in the past. Not knowing anything about the House of Boys, the structure of the world or even who the Chancellor is, the start of this novel is so fast that it feels as though it’s trying to give you whiplash.

That’s both a blessing and a curse. If you’re a reader who doesn’t like to be handled with kid gloves and wants to be completely immersed in the world of the story as quickly as possible, this will end up being a new favourite for you. If you’re more like me – someone who finds it much easier to get absorbed by the story once you’ve got the rules and the structure of the world worked out in your mind – The Boy I Am becomes a much more difficult book to read.

That being said, difficult doesn’t mean unenjoyable, and I still gave The Boy I Am four stars. By the end of the story I was wholly invested in Jude’s life and in the world that K.L. Kettle created, and I sincerely hope that she decides to write more books set in this world. As well as the House of Boys there are so many other houses mentioned, and it would be brilliant to be able to take a peek inside them.

Jude’s story feels resolved when the book ends, but there’s still so much to explore in this world. K.L. Kettle has obviously thought long and hard about all of the aspects of the society she’s created, and some of the things mentioned in passing piqued my interest. You can bet your bottom dollar that if this does end up being turned into a series I’ll be first in line to buy a copy of book two. I also think that if I do reread this book, I’ll end up giving it five stars. Even though I was completely bamboozled for the majority of the story, I felt such an emotional connection with Jude. Reading it again and having a prior comprehension of the rules of this world can only increase my enjoyment of this story.

The Boy I Am is K.L. Kettle’s debut novel, and it should be the start of a hugely successful writing career. If you like dystopian novels but want to read one which attempts something completely new and fresh, The Boy I Am is a must-read.

I hope you enjoyed this review, and thank you for visiting The Bumbling Blogger.

See you again soon,

Alyce

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SERIES REVIEW: D.I. Ray Drake by Mark Hill

SERIES REVIEW: D.I. Ray Drake by Mark Hill

It doesn’t look as though there’s going to be another D.I. Ray Drake novel for a while, so I’ve decided to tell you my thoughts about the first two books in this series in this quick series review post. I’d like to say a huge 

SERIES REVIEW: Once & Future duology by A.R. Capetta and Cory McCarthy

SERIES REVIEW: Once & Future duology by A.R. Capetta and Cory McCarthy

I’ve finally finished Sword in the Stars, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on the two books in the Once & Future duology. I’ve already discussed Once & Future over on my Booktube channel, so make sure to check that out as well if 

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 Write Reads for organising this tour and allowing me to get involved.

From bestselling YA rom-com queen Becky Albertalli (author of Love, Simon) comes a new novel about daring to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight in love, life and theatre.

[PRINCIPAL CAST LIST]
Kate Garfield
Anderson Walker

Best friends, and contrary to popular belief, not co-dependent. Examples:

Carpooling to and from theatre rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient.
Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment.
Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway.

But when Kate and Andy’s latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off-script.

Enter Stage Left: Matt Olsson

He is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson.

Turns out, communal crushes aren’t so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson’s friendship…



I featured Kate in Waiting on my most anticipated January to June releases list right at the start of the year. The synopsis for this book is so intriguing – two best friends who fall in love with the same guy – and Kate and Anderson’s story definitely lived up to my expectations.

Kate and Anderson both meet Matt at a theatre camp over the summer, and neither of them can believe their eyes when he walks out of their high school drama classroom a couple of weeks later. They promise that they won’t let their growing feelings for him get in the way of their friendship, but when he’s cast as Kate’s love interest in the school musical – and starts texting Anderson to organise private rehearsals – jealousy quickly rears its ugly head.

I’m a huge fan of YA books which spotlight the importance of friendships (Loveless, First Day of My Life) and Kate in Waiting is another stellar example.

‘People are always saying that if they didn’t know Andy was gay, they’d never believe we were just friends.

It’s such bullshit. First of all, we’re best friends.

Second of all, there’s no just. Friendship isn’t a just. Yes, Andy’s gay. No, we’re not a couple. But Anderson Walker is the most important person in my life, hands down.’

The focus of the story is very much on Kate and Anderson’s friendship, and it’s a brilliant one. They’ve been there for each other through everything – through Kate being bullied for her performing, through Anderson coming out – and they are both determined to protect their friendship, even though they both feel as though they’re falling in love.

I thought the slow burn feelings that Kate developed for Matt were very realistic. There’s no insta-love here. She thinks that he’s kind and sweet so her crush develops quite quickly, but as they’re working as co-stars in the intimate setting of the musical it makes a lot of sense.

There’s also no sense of a love triangle. Although Anderson and Kate both have feelings for Matt, he doesn’t develop romantic feelings for both of them. There is no battling for attention or affection (although it would have been interesting if Becky Albertalli had considered exploring a polyamorous relationship with these three, because they all care for each other so intensely!).

I was a bit apprehensive about reading this book because I thought that there were so many ways that it could have gone wrong, but it actually blew me away. I did find it a little bit predictable at points, but I was happy with the way that Becky Albertalli directed the story. It’s definitely a feel good, autumnal romance! I’ll be rereading this one if I feel the need for a comfort read, because not only was it a very quick read but there are also some hilarious moments. Albertalli’s dialogue in particular is a shining aspect of the story: it reads as though it’s been taken straight from a rom-com script, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this book ended up getting adapted to the screen and becoming a runaway success to rival Love, Simon.

Another thing I’d like to quickly mention is the diversity in this story. Raina, one of Kate and Anderson’s best friends, is trans, while Brandie is Latina and Anderson is Black. Kate herself is Jewish, and there are quite a lot of references to different aspects of Jewish culture (such as synagogue and bat mitzvahs). These inclusions make the cast of characters far more memorable, and I would happily read a companion novel. I’d love it if Albertalli decided to follow Kate’s brother Ryan as he decides where he’s going to go to college, or follow Raina and her boyfriend Harold (he is one of the sweetest characters and I just wanted to see more of him!).

Kate in Waiting gets four stars from me!



About the author:




Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (film: Love, Simon), The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. She is also the co-author of What If It’s Us with Adam Silvera. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta. You can visit her website, find her on Twitter or check out her Instagram.










Once again, I’d like to thank The Write Reads for allowing me to get involved in this blog tour, and I’d also like to thank you for checking out my review. If you’ve read any of Becky Albertalli’s other novels, let me know which is your favourite down in the comments!

See you next time,

Alyce

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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 

REVIEW: Rules For Being a Girl by Candace Bushnell and Katie Cotugno

REVIEW: Rules For Being a Girl by Candace Bushnell and Katie Cotugno

First things first, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Macmillan Children’s Books for accepting my request to read and review Rules For Being a Girl via NetGalley. Rules For Being a Girl is a book I wish I could give to my 

REVIEW: It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood

REVIEW: It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood

It’s hard to review It Sounded Better in My Head, because the reality is that not a lot happens in this book. That being said, I bloody loved it.

Main character Natalie gets a nasty surprise for Christmas when her parents announce that they are getting divorced (and that they’ve actually been separated for almost a year, even though Natalie had no idea).

Natalie isn’t quite sure what’s going to happen next. She’d been planning on living at home with them while attending university in Melbourne, but now her dad is moving out and her mum is planning to sell their childhood home. Natalie doesn’t know where that leaves her.

One thing she does know is that she’s rapidly developing feelings for her best friend Zach’s older brother, Alex. After attending a party with Alex he quickly becomes all she can think about. However, Alex is popular, charismatic and works in a pub. Meanwhile, Natalie’s an introvert who doesn’t drink and suffers with serious self-esteem issues (mainly thanks to the acne she’s been dealing with throughout her teenage years, caused by her polycystic ovarian syndrome).

Their relationship seems doomed before it’s even begun, but will Natalie take a chance on love or avoid the potential for heartbreak?

The main thing I loved about this book was how much I related to Natalie. I never suffered with acne, but I did suffer with constant spots and oily skin. I empathised with how she felt about herself due to her skin condition, and the lengths that she went to to protect herself from judgment.

Teenagers can be horrible – I distinctly remember getting soap thrown at me on my birthday as a ‘present’ – so I believed every moment of agony Natalie had experienced throughout high school, from strangers commenting on her skin to other teenagers screaming obscenities at her on public transport.

Yes, it made me revisit some terrible experiences in my life (a trip down memory lane that I probably could have done without!). But Natalie’s shrewd, hilarious commentary on her life made me find my memories less painful. This book would have helped me a lot if I’d read it as a teenager.

Hilarious really is the best word to describe this book. If a book is described as ‘funny’ I normally end up hating it, but It Sounded Better in My Head was exactly my kind of humour. Natalie quizzing Alex over his past sexual experiences was a particular highlight. I’m embarrassed to say that I did the exact same thing with my partner, but if you can ask the awkward questions at the beginning of your relationship it’s a good sign! I lost count of the amount of times I giggled at this book, and I properly cackled at least twice.

I also really liked the Australian setting, and it was a novelty to read a book set at Christmas which was filled with descriptions of trips to the beach and hot summer days!

The only reason I didn’t give this book five stars is because – as I said at the beginning of the review – not an awful lot happens. It’s extremely short, coming in at under 300 pages, and although I enjoyed the writing style and fell in love with Natalie’s character, I wanted more from it. There’s a lot of potential for a sequel following these characters into the future, and I hope Nina Kenwood decides to write it. Even if she doesn’t directly continue this story, she’s certainly an author that I’m going to be looking out for in the future, as she has a talent for writing authentic YA experiences.

Have you read any funny YA novels that you’d recommend I pick up? Leave your suggestions down in the comments!

Thank you for reading,

Alyce

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REVIEW: Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

REVIEW: Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

There have been quite a few books inspired by King Arthur published in recent years. Here Be Dragons by Sarah Mussi, The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White, Once and Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy, Seven Endless Forests by April Genevieve Tucholke… The