Book Reviews · Books

Other Words for Smoke

Book Review: Other Words for Smoke by Sarah  Maria Griffin

Published: 2nd April 2019 by Titan Books Ltd

Keywords: YA, Fantasy, Ireland, LGBTQ, Witches, Paranormal, Mystery, Horror

Synopsis

The house at the end of the lane burned down, and Rita Frost and her teenage ward, Bevan, were never seen again. The townspeople never learned what happened. Only Mae and her brother Rossa know the truth; they spent two summers with Rita and Bevan, two of the strangest summers of their lives… Because nothing in that house was as it seemed: a cat who was more than a cat, and a dark power called Sweet James that lurked behind the wallpaper, enthralling Bevan with whispers of neon magic and escape. And in the summer heat, Mae became equally as enthralled with Bevan. Desperately in the grips of first love, she’d give the other girl anything. A dangerous offer when all that Sweet James desired was a taste of new flesh…

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Book Reviews · Books

Book Review: Recent Reads #4

hotelirisHotel Iris by Yoko Ogawa

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My Rating: 4/5 stars

‘In a crumbling, seaside hotel on the coast of Japan, quiet, seventeen-year-old Mari works the front desk as her mother fusses over the off-season customers. When, one night, they are forced to eject a prostitute and a middle-aged man from his room, Mari finds herself drawn to the man’s voice, in what will become the first gesture of a long seduction.

Mari begins to visit the mysterious man at his island home, and he initiates her into a dark realm of both pain and pleasure. As Mari’s mother and the police begin to close in on the illicit affair, events move to a dramatic climax.’

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Book Review: Frankenstein by Junji Ito

frankensteinReleased: 16th October 2018

Junji Ito meets Mary Shelley! The master of horror manga bends all his skill into bringing the anguished and solitary monster and the fouler beast who created him with the brilliantly detailed chiaroscuro he is known for.

Also included are is the Oshikiri story cycle—a high school student who lives in a decaying mansion connected to a haunted parallel world. Uncanny doppelgangers, unfortunately murdered friends, and a whole lot more are in store for him.

Half of this manga is the story of Frankenstein while the other half is made up of short stories all revolved around a creepy house and the character of Oshikiri. I havn’t read the original story of Frankenstein so I can’t really compare it to that unfortunatly but it was very well done and enjoyable. I liked how the monster was portrayed and just wanted to fit in with this strange world and be understood but kept being regected by everyone. Who is the real monster? As with every Junji Ito book, the art is amazing.

The short stories were great, chilling, terrifying and entertaining. Ito never fails at making me cringe with how well he portrays his stories with his artwork. A haunted house, multiple dimensions with multiple versions of people. Haunted swamps and killer pen pals, people buried in walls and the dead coming back to life. Experiments gone wrong and people with long necks? Pretty much everything that could be horrifying is included in here and things you never knew you didn’t want to know about.

This manga is deffinitly not for everyone! If you love horror, gore and generally messed up things then this is for you. But how scary and gross can a manga be? ha!

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My Rating: 4/5 Stars

this book was purchased by myself
Book Reviews · Books

Book Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

acursesodarkandlonelyReleased: 29th January 2019

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

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Book Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

evelynhugoReleased: 13th June 2017

Reclusive Hollywood icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant to write her story, no one is more astounded than Monique herself.

Determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career, Monique listens in fascination. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s – and, of course, the seven husbands along the way – Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. But as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Written with Reid’s signature talent for creating “complex, likeable characters” (Real Simple), this is a mesmerizing journey through the splendour of Old Hollywood into the sobering realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means – and what it costs – to face the truth.

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Books On My Physical TBR That I Want To Read Soon

Like many other book lovers, I have quite a large physical TBR pile just waiting to be read. I’m really trying to not buy more books until I have read more of the books I already own. Here are the ones I want to read the most and will hopefully get to soon.

thehazelwoodThe Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

This one people either tend to love or not really like, I want to read it to see which side I fall. Plus I really love the synopsis for it, people traveling to fantasy realms is always up my alley. It has been sat on my shelves for at least 6 months now and it isn’t that long so I really to get to it.

 

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Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

adarkershadeofmagicKell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.
Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.
Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

Released: 27th February 2015

The start of my ‘read everything by V.E. Schwab in 2019’ resolution. I know readers that love this trilogy and some that didn’t enjoy it much so I went in to this with an open mind and just tried to enjoy it for what it is. It took me a while to really get into the world as there are quite a lot of points to the world to explain but once I had that sorted I was free to enjoy the ride, and I did! I really seemed to bond with Kell as the main character and I cared about what happened to him, and eventually Lila as well although she did take a bit longer for me to really like her character. The villains in this book were excellently evil and seeing the difference between the Londons was fascinating. It felt like a nice mix of Adult and YA, the story is definitely a dark one and not suitable for younger readers.

The magic seems like a bit of a weird one, one that the reader isn’t really sure of the limits of which can lead to some nice surprises. I’m interested to see where the series leads and will be completing it at some point this year. I’m really glad that I enjoyed it!

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My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

this book was purchased by myself