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 the 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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dreads

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.

 

Adding to Your TBR September 2017

Adding to Your TBR September 2017

Adding to Your TBR September 2017

Welcome to the September edition of Adding to your TBR (To Be Read List/Pile). These are the books I am most looking forward to and it’s a great month for covers!

What is it about Tuesdays and publishing? I’ve just noticed that most of these are due for release on a Tuesday and the first Tuesday of thr month is the most popular…

Have you read any of these? What’s on your TBR for September?

 

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Expected: 5 September 2017

 

A Snow White retelling? I am in.

Adding to Your TBR September 2017

 

At sixteen, Mina’s mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all. – Goodreads

 

 

A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland

Expected: 5 September

Oh, I think I am going to love Esther! I have an extensive a short list of phobias too.

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Adding to Your TBR September 2017

 

Ever since Esther Solar’s grandfather was cursed by Death, everyone in her family has been doomed to suffer one great fear in their lifetime. Esther’s father is agoraphobic and hasn’t left the basement in six years, her twin brother can t be in the dark without a light on, and her mother is terrified of bad luck.

The Solars are consumed by their fears and, according to the legend of the curse, destined to die from them.

Esther doesn’t know what her great fear is yet (nor does she want to), a feat achieved by avoiding pretty much everything. Elevators, small spaces, and crowds are all off-limits. So are haircuts, spiders, dolls, mirrors and three dozen other phobias she keeps a record of in her semi-definitive list of worst nightmares.

Then Esther is pickpocketed by Jonah Smallwood, an old elementary school classmate. Along with her phone, money and a fruit roll-up she d been saving, Jonah also steals her list of fears. Despite the theft, Esther and Jonah become friends, and he sets a challenge for them: in an effort to break the curse that has crippled her family, they will meet every Sunday of senior year to work their way through the list, facing one terrifying fear at a time, including one that Esther hadn’t counted on: love. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Friend Request by Laura Marshall

Expected: 5 September 2017

I am warily anticipating this book, I am so over Social Media danger stories. But the idea of a dark past with cruel secrets – that’s what I am talking about!

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Adding to Your TBR September 2017

 

1989. When Louise first notices the new girl who has mysteriously transferred late into their senior year, Maria seems to be everything Louise’s other friends aren’t. Authentic. Funny. Brash. Within just a few days, Maria and Louise are on their way to becoming fast friends.

2016. Louise receives a heart-stopping email: Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook. Long-buried memories quickly rise to the surface: Those first days of their budding friendship; cruel decisions made and dark secrets kept; the night that would change all their lives forever.

Louise has always known that if the truth ever came out, she could stand to lose everything. Her job. Her son. Her freedom. Maria’s sudden reappearance threatens it all, and forces Louise to reconnect with everyone with whom she’d severed ties in order to escape the past. But as she tries to piece together exactly what happened that night, Louise discovers there’s more to the story than she ever knew. To keep her secret, Louise must first uncover the whole truth, before what’s known to Maria-or whoever is pretending to be her-is known to all.  – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld

Expected: 5 September 2017

Again, the lost child in a forest theme has been done to death, but I like the sound of the link between the past and present.

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Adding to Your TBR September 2017

 

Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She would be eight years old now—if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as The Child Finder, Naomi is their last hope.

Naomi’s methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest, and into her own fragmented past. She understands children like Madison because once upon a time, she was a lost girl too. As Naomi relentlessly pursues and slowly uncovers the truth behind Madison’s disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce the defenses that have protected her, reminding her of a terrible loss she feels but cannot remember.  – Abstract from Goodreads

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Copycat by Alex Lake

Expected: 5 September 2017

This psychological thriller sounds very good. I can’t wait for the sleepless nights. I think?

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Adding to Your TBR September 2017

 

Your stalker is everywhere.
Your stalker knows everything.
But the real problem is that your stalker is you.

Sarah Havenant discovers–when an old friend points it out–that there are two Facebook profiles in her name.

One, she recognizes: it is hers. The other, she has never seen. But everything in it is accurate. Recent photos of her and her friends, her and her husband, her and her kids. Even of her new kitchen. A photo taken inside her house.

She is bemused, angry, and worried. Who was able to do this? And why? But this, it soon turns out, is just the beginning… – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett

Expected: 5 September 2018

This YA fantasy has been popping up all over the blogging world and I love spies so can’t wait. Holding thumbs it comes with a beautiful map too.

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Adding to Your TBR September 2017

 

Kamzin has always dreamed of becoming one of the Emperor’s royal explorers, the elite climbers tasked with mapping the wintry, mountainous Empire and spying on its enemies. She knows she could be the best in the world, if only someone would give her a chance.

But everything changes when the mysterious and eccentric River Shara, the greatest explorer ever known, arrives in her village and demands to hire Kamzin—not her older sister Lusha, as everyone had expected—for his next expedition. This is Kamzin’s chance to prove herself—even though River’s mission to retrieve a rare talisman for the emperor means climbing Raksha, the tallest and deadliest mountain in the Aryas. Then Lusha sets off on her own mission to Raksha with a rival explorer who is determined to best River, and Kamzin must decide what’s most important to her: protecting her sister from the countless perils of the climb or beating her to the summit.  Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

The Taste of Blue Light by Lydia Ruffles

Expected: 7 September 2017

A broken artist. That sounds a little too close for comfort. Oh well hopefully I can be put together again!

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Adding to Your TBR September 2017

 

Sometimes you have to find the truth
Before you lose yourself

These are the things Lux knows:
She is an Artist.
She is lucky.
She is broken.

These are the things she doesn’t know:
What happened after the party.
Why she ended up in hospital.
Why she is dreaming in red and screaming in the dark.

Desperate to uncover the truth, Lux’s time is running out. If she cannot piece together the events of that fateful night and regain control of her scorched and splintered mind, she will be taken away from everything and everyone she holds dear.

If the nightmares don’t take her first. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George

Expected: 19 September 2017

I am in it for this gorgeous cover! *Grabby hands*

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Adding to Your TBR September 2017

 

After she gets kicked out of boarding school, seventeen-year-old Beatrice goes to her uncle’s estate on Long Island. But Hey Nonny Nonny is more than just a rundown old mansion. Beatrice’s cousin, Hero, runs a struggling speakeasy out of the basement—one that might not survive the summer. Along with Prince, a poor young man determined to prove his worth; his brother John, a dark and dangerous agent of the local mob; Benedick, a handsome trust-fund kid trying to become a writer; and Maggie, a beautiful and talented singer; Beatrice and Hero throw all their efforts into planning a massive party to save the speakeasy. Despite all their worries, the summer is beautiful, love is in the air, and Beatrice and Benedick are caught up in a romantic battle of wits that their friends might be quietly orchestrating in the background.  – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

 

Stolen Secrets by L.B. Schulman

Expected: 19 September 2017

WWII books always catch my eye and this sounds brilliant. I am dying to know why it’s all a secret.

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Adding to Your TBR September 2017

 

When Livvy’s mother abruptly moves the family across the country to San Francisco, sixteen-year-old Livvy is shocked to find that she’s been lied to. Instead of working for a bakery, her mom is actually taking care of Adelle, Livvy’s grandmother who she thought was long dead. Suffering from Alzheimer’s, Adelle begins to shout strange things, mistake her own name, and relive moments that may have taken place in a concentration camp. When Livvy and her new friend, Franklin D., find journal entries from the Holocaust in Adelle’s home, Livvy begins to suspect that her grandmother may have a shocking link to a notable figure – Anne Frank. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Expected: 26 September 2017

I have had my eye on this beauty for so long. Just look at this cover! I really hope the Japanese culture is brought to life in Kiko’s story.

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Adding to Your TBR September 2017

 

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

Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield + Cover Poll

Paper Butterflies

Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

 

There are too many years of things left unsaid…

Paper Butterflies is a richly compelling, emotional read which took me on a rollercoaster of feelings leaving me exhausted, wrung out and broken.

Friends I broke the dog

Because a butterfly with a broken wing can still fly.

I missed all the subtle clues and didn’t even stop to consider what the more direct prompt, the labeling of the chapters ‘before’ or ‘after’, might indicate so the twist hit me hard. Right in the gut. I don’t think I have felt a reaction this strong to a book ever.

And my heart breaks into a million tiny pieces.

I read a book recently that tried to sucker punch the reader into a strong reaction. It is a very popular book that fell flat for me, but I can’t give more details without a spoiler alert.

Spoiler Alert!

Spoiler

The book I am referring to is They Both Die in the End by Adam Silvera which failed to give me the emotional punch I suspect it was trying to. If, like me, you have the crazy idea that crying in books is a good thing then Paper Butterflies is the book you should read ASAP

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I’ll keep them safe and they can beat their wings and no one will know that they’re there.

I was so caught up in the story that I forgot to take notes and postmark possible quotes so this morning before writing this review I paged through the book again. Suffice to say the quotes here were paid for in tears. Yes again.

There’s no point in me saying anything more.

There was one small thing that has been niggling at the back of my mind. A detail that I couldn’t quite believe was true. I did some research online and found out that although fairly unlikely the detail is very possible. It is a huge spoiler though, so tread carefully and be very sure before opening the spoiler alert below.

Spoiler Alert!

The spoilery detail ...

was the death sentence given to a 16yr old character. From online research, I discovered that it is possible (although extremely rare) in some US states. Book blogger jassyfizzle interviewed Lisa Heathfield on this topic. The post ‘Spoilery Paper Butterflies Q&A with Lisa Heathfield’ is available at: https://jassyfizzle.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/spoilery-paper-butterflies-qa-with-lisa-heathfield/

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I let his words hold me. They fold around me and I try to let them keep me safe.

There is one character that needs special mention: Blister is the best friend I never knew I needed.

And then I remember.

My review copy is the new 2017 edition, published by Carolrhoda Books but Paper Butterflies was first published in 2016 by Electric Monkey with a different cover. Now I really like the older 2016 cover, but I would love to know what you think. Survey at the bottom of the post.

Holding on to it will only poison you.
5 Star

 

 

Title: Paper Butterflies 

Author: Lisa HeathfieldPaper Butterflies

Publication Date:
First published: 30 June 2016
New edition: 1 October 2017

Publisher:
2016 Edition: Electric Monkey
2017 Edition: Carolrhoda Books

Source: Review copy

 

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June’s life at home with her stepmother and stepsister is a dark one—and a secret one. She is trapped like a butterfly in a net. 

But then June meets Blister, a boy in the woods. In him, she recognises the tiniest glimmer of hope that perhaps she can find a way to fly far, far away from her home and be free. Because every creature in this world deserves their freedom… But at what price?   — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a complimentary review 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.

 

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