Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Starfish

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

 

… but how a person feels on the inside apparently has nothing to do with how they look on the outside.

Starfish is a treasure chest, bursting with succulent emotions which spread over the reader trapping them within the words.

I paint a girl with wings instead of arms, flying along the border where darkness becomes light, unsure of where she’s supposed to be.

I fell in love with the cover and then with Kiko who I identify with more than I want to admit. I was with her on this journey, all the way. With her insecurity and anxiety combined with honest, edgy emotions result in a powerful book which swept me up and kept me awake long into the night.

I draw a girl with arms that reach up to the clouds, but all the clouds avoid her because she is made of night and not day.

Kiko has her own inner running dialogue expressed through her art which reminded me of Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun. This sensitive insight brings the book alive and binds us to her heart.

I draw a girl without a face, drawing somebody else’s face onto her own reflection.5 Star

 

 

 

Title: StarfishStarfish

Author: Akemi Dawn Bowman 

Publication Date: 26 September 2017

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Source: Review copy

 

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Kiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin.

But then Kiko doesn’t get into Prism, at the same time her abusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the west coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. And now that she is finally free to be her own person outside the constricting walls of her home life, Kiko learns life-changing truths about herself, her past, and how to be brave.  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my review copy and may not appear in the final version.

Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović

Wicked Like a WildfireWicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović

 

Wicked Like a Wildfire is the first book in Lana Popović’s Hibiscus Daughter series and what a way to start. As you know I am not a huge fan of tackling series until all the books are published (seriously no patience #bookwormproblems), but when I saw this one I couldn’t resist. The cover and title are begging to be read and I am so happy the story didn’t disappoint.

She was alone when she woke and the waking hurt.

I found it difficult to get into the story at first, almost as if the weight of the rich, descriptive writing forms a barrier and I was easily distracted. The story sat just beyond the brink, so I could reach out and touch it but not quite able to submerge into the words.

An electric warmth swept through me, like I’d swallowed one of the lightning bolts that still flickered above the water.  

The change over to a dramatic, gripping and mesmerising story was so smooth, I didn’t notice until I realised the day had gone while I was buried within the pages.

Turning girls’ blood into glitter happens to be my specialty.

The story is as lyrical as it is melancholy. I love the focus on the complexity of the relationships between the sisters and their mother as well as the secrets, the twists and the dark, simmering magic.

We had been so beautiful together, reflecting each other like a family of mirrors.

Now I am just going to have to recover from the ending and hope Ms. Popović is kind enough to write with speed.4 Star

 

 

 

Title: Wicked Like a WildfireWicked Like a Wildfire

Series: Hibiscus Daughter #1

Author: Lana Popović 

Publication Date: 15 August 2017

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Source: Review copy

 

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All the women in Iris and Malina’s family have the unique magical ability or “gleam” to manipulate beauty. Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, while Malina interprets moods as music. But their mother has strict rules to keep their gifts a secret, even in their secluded sea-side town. Iris and Malina are not allowed to share their magic with anyone, and above all, they are forbidden from falling in love. 

But when their mother is mysteriously attacked, the sisters will have to unearth the truth behind the quiet lives their mother has built for them. They will discover a wicked curse that haunts their family line—but will they find that the very magic that bonds them together is destined to tear them apart forever?  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my review copy and may not appear in the final version.

The Law of Tall Girls by Joanne Macgregor

Law of Tall Girls

The Law of Tall Girls by Joanne Macgregor

 

When I am queen of the world, the second thing I’ll do is pass the Law of Tall Girls.

The Law of Tall Girls is a magnificent story from Joanne Macgregor. Her writing is flawless and with a string of brilliant books behind her, this one stands out as her best yet!

We freaks were the ones that belonged.

Don’t be put off by the slightly whiny, repetitive ‘setting the scene’ beginning, the story needs a chance to warm up. As you get to know the characters and begin peeling back the strategically placed layers, the Law of Tall Girls very quickly breaks out into a gripping story, stuffed full of humour, grit and sizzling romance.

Look, is there any way I could persuade you to kiss me?

Peyton is a complex character and my thoughts of her changed dramatically along the way and were pushed over the edge when her dark secrets are revealed in an unpredictable twist. Brilliantly done Ms. Macgregor!

I was good at keeping secrets. I had to be.

I love this book! And eeek! Have a good look at the stunning cover, which I am proud to say I voted for on her Facebook cover concept choice post

5 Star

 

 

 

Title: The Law of Tall GirlsLaw of Tall Girls

Author: Joanne Macgregor 

Publication Date: 2 September 2017

Publisher: Joanne Macgregor 

Source: Gift

 

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Seventeen-year-old Peyton Lane is a tall girl. So tall, it’s the only thing most people notice about her.

On impulse, she accepts a bet to prove she can be as attractive and desirable as other girls. Now she just needs to go on four dates (including the prom) with one of the guys on her very short list of very tall boys.

Number one on the list is Jay Young – the new guy that Peyton already likes way more than she should. Because not only is Jay already taken, he’s also breaking her Law of Tall Girls, and he’s determined to discover the awful secret she’s been hiding for most of her life.

Funny and romantic, The Law of Tall Girls is a feel-good, heart-warming read for anyone who’s ever felt different, or like they just don’t belong. — Abstract from Goodreads.com

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

They Both Die at the End

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

 

They Both Die at the End… Is it contemporary or is it sci-fi? This is the question that plagued me throughout the story. Obviously, it doesn’t matter. The story certainly emanates the intended message of seizing the day and I think that’s the most important thing. But… I found myself constantly distracted by the futuristic approach and this affected my enjoyment of the story.

Death-Cast is calling with the warning of a lifetime – I’m going to die today.

I also battled to connect with the characters whose lives on paper lacked depth, so I didn’t feel the emotional impact of their fate. This is crazy for me as I am probably one of the most sensitive readers, frequently sobbing over characters and ruining the pages of my books.

I turn around to tell Mateo everything but he’s gone.

The Decker element is also repetitive, explained over and over, and detracts from the characters personal stories. I liked the interaction of Mateo and Rufus’s friends throughout the story, but the periphery characters and they way they interweave through their last day seems contrived and, unlike their friends, ultimately didn’t add anything to the story.

And just like that, my last hope is obliterated.

This is my first Adam Silvera read and I am underwhelmed.  I gather from the outpouring of love on Social Media that mine is not a popular opinion *ducks*, and I am glad the book is well-loved by most even if it didn’t work out for me. I will definitely try another one of his books. Any recommendations?

It sucks that was the last time I’ll ever dream.

On a positive note; I love the personal note from Adam Silvera preceding the story giving perspective to the book – I wish more authors did this.

…I’m going to die today, and I am more alive now than I was then.2 Star

 

 

Title: They Both Die at the EndThey Both Die at the End

Author: Adam Silvera

Publication Date: 5 September 2017

Publisher: HarperTeen

Source: Review copy

 

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On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my advanced review copy and may not appear in the final version.

Gilded Cage by Vic James

Gilded Cage 

Gilded Cage by Vic James

 

Gilded Cage is a dark fantasy full of political intrigue, espionage, rebellion and powerful magic. The exceedingly rich, deeply layered world building sets the stage for the intricate dance of the many characters.

Have a quick ten years. . . 

Before you start reading, buckle yourself in for the ride. You’ll need it, there are more twists, shocking discoveries, and spins than any roller coaster can boast.

Trust was what made everything possible.

As I got to know the characters my own allegiances twisted and turned again and again. No one is who they seem and everyone has an agenda… or do they?

There’s no magic more powerful than the human spirit.

There are two shortfalls:

The first is really more of an omission:
A key guide to the multiple characters is desperately needed. I found myself turning back and forth trying to work out which character belonged to which family.

Someone’s been doing housekeeping inside your head without your permission?

The second is that I struggled to connect with the characters. They were interesting but remote. I felt we really didn’t get to know them enough to form any connections. Perhaps because there are so many? Of all the characters Silyen is the one I am looking forward to reading more about. He is so very clever, sly, calculating, evil, all-powerful. A true dark warlord… I think?3 Star

 

 

Title: Gilded Cage Gilded Cage 

Series: Dark Gifts #1

Author: Vic James

Publication Date: 26 January 2017

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Source: Giveaway

 

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In modern-day Britain, magic users control everything: wealth, politics, power—and you. If you’re not one of the ultimate one-percenters—the magical elite—you owe them ten years of service. Do those years when you’re old, and you’ll never get through them. Do them young, and you’ll never get over them.

This is the darkly decadent world of Gilded Cage. In its glittering milieu move the all-powerful Jardines and the everyday Hadleys. The families have only one thing in common: Each has three children. But their destinies entwine when one family enters the service of the other. They will all discover whether any magic is more powerful than the human spirit. — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I won a copy of this book from the author in a giveaway does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Gilded Cage

 

 

A huge thank you to Vic Jones for my prize of a paperback copy of Gilded Cage, a themed scented candle and a personally signed postcard.

 

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