Friday, 11 August 2017

Moonrise by Sarah Crossan


I wanted to read Moonrise after reading the blurb and being captivated. I love how Sarah Crossan writes such a diverse range of stories and this one sounded intriguing. I liked the idea of someone coping with the multitude of emotions that would swirl in your head if someone you loved was accused of a crime and then dealing with the intensity of knowing that meant their life was forfeit.

Ed is on death row. He is charged with murdering a police office, worse the crime occurred in a state that supports the death penalty. Jo, his younger brother has been dealing with the fall out of this for 10 years. Now they’ve finally got the call that gives the official date that Ed will die. Jo decides he needs to go, needs to see Ed to talk, to make the most of time that is steadily ticking away. The emotionally charged journey this takes Jo on is raw and full of pain. It wrecked me and I read the book in one quick sitting.

The style of Sarah's writing in terms of limited amount of words reminded me of her book The Weight of Water, although without the poetic lilt. I was enthralled by the story and found myself holding back tears for most of it. It was exceptionally well written. The fact Sarah can weave such a powerful and deep book in so few words is a mark of what a sensationally gifted writer she is. The characters are well rounded and the story moves at a great pace.

If like me you really like closure the book might frustrate you as I found I could not decide if Ed was innocent or guilty .You get Ed’s story and you have to decide if you trust Ed. For me the story was a harrowing tale fraught with emotion and it stayed with me long after I finished.
*I recieved this book from a Netgalley request for my honest opinion. The book is out on 7th September and is well worth a read!

A truly thought-provoking story

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

To re-read or not re-read!

Oh 31st July!

When this date rolls around in the calendar, my Potter alarm goes off and for the last 16 years, I have re-read Harry Potter. Whatever books were out at the time I would read. In the years where the books were being released it did sometimes mean I read them twice in a year but eventually when they were finally all out I got down to reading them once a year.

Last year I boldly announced to my husband it was time to stop. As much as I really do love the series I needed a break I said, needed a chance to read more books. So when the 31st July rolled around this year what did I do...Well I started re-reading Harry Potter of course! I actually think I am classically conditioned to do it now. The day appears and my brain switches to HP mode. I justified that it had to be done as I have the two stunning new illustrated editions and it would be wrong to not to read them – I don’t want the books to feel neglected and unused.

In truth, though I just love the series. It has long be a firm favourite and each time I read it is like putting on your favourite cosy jumper. Each time I am reminded of the different times in my life I have re-read the series. The newly wed reading, the holidays I read them on, the late night baby feeds, the new house reading. I am just so familiar with them that it really is my normal. This year though I have decided to change the routine of the re-read. I know the series so well that I really do not need to rush through them. Therefore, after I finish each instalment of HP I will be reading another book from my TBR. That way I am not hindering myself with re-reads and plus it motivates me to read another book as then I will be allowed to step back into the next Harry Potter.

So following up from Philosopher’s Stone I read Moonrise by Sarah Crossan which I was over the moon (no pun intended) to get an ARC copy off and now I have finished Chamber of Secrets I am reading Roar by Cora Carmack which I got in my June fairyloot box and it looks like a riveting read. I was in such a reading slump so this has helped me so much!

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas


A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.

This review is going to hurt but like anything metaphorically painful I need to rip off the plaster and get on with it. A Court of Wings and Ruin was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. A book I not only pre-ordered but warned Kev it was coming out so that he could expect me to be missing from life for a while. If A Court of Mist and Fury was anything to go by I knew that I would disappear totally consumed and enthralled...and yet that was not the case. I honestly really enjoyed the first two books and despite some teething issues with the writing I loved the characters and the different courts.

The book starts where book two left off with Feyre in the court of her ex-lover Tamlin playing the ever convincing victim but secret enemy. It should have been tense, it should have been gripping but it was not. I did not connect as I had previously to Feyre. I struggled to feel on her side with the way she was enacting her vengeance. Instead of powerful it came across petty. Instead of justified it was cruel to those who had not hurt her. Instead of well thought out it was young and naive and as the book goes on actually causes quite a lot of issues.

Considering the sheer size of this book Feyre in Tamlin's court is over before you are even a quarter of the way through and the tension just doesn't mount up. Now although I don't mind first person narrative I think it was the issue in this story. There were too many places we needed to be hearing about and being only from Feyre's point of view meant we missed loads of potentially amazing story lines. Without going into too much detail Lucien was wasted because of her narrative. We see him only for the first half or so and then he doesn't get to tell his story and that was just a bit of a let down for me as I really like his character. I get the impression from chats about the story that a novella focusing on Lucien is anticipated. Nessa was another character who we just didn't get to know enough because we were always in her sisters head. I did like the use of Nessa and her dynamic with Cassian added the spark to the book that ACOMAF got from Feyre and Rhysand's relationship.

This leads me on to my other bone of contention. I find Maas uses a disproportionate amount of sexual content and it always feel a bit unnecessary and this book had it again in droves. There was far to much completely out of context mating (I mean immediately after a battle come on guys) in addition the incessant referring to Rhysand as 'my mate' drove me a tad insane. We get it Feyre, Rhysand is your mate. It is just a completely ludicrous way to talk and I imagine the word count for mate was in the thousands. Maybe it was because the build up to their relationship in ACOMAF was so fiery but the same dynamic was flat in this book. Rhysand in-particularly seemed to have lost the bite he had in the previous book and as a result Feyre runs a little bit amok putting herself in dangerous situations and jeopardising other people in the process.

The end was expected for me and not too much of a surprise really so it all felt a little anti-climatic and I just felt we had we lost alot of the story in 'mates' maybe it would have packed a greater punch. Nessa and Elain were awesome at the end though and that saved it a little for me.
Finally I just didn't feel like I was reading a finale. So many lose ends the book is fraying. Everything from Lucien to Elain, Mor and Azraiel, Mor and her father, Mor and Eris, ok so Mor in her entirety. Eris and his bargain, Feyre and her bargain, Tamlin etc. I know Maas had said she's going to write more from the Courts and I do hope she uses some of these characters to conclude their stories.

Now I didn't read this book anywhere near as quickly as I read the previous one. I still liked being back in the different Courts and Maas wrote some cracking scenes with some lesser known characters. Her scenerary description was breath-taking and I love the world she has created.  I just feel that had the story had a different narrative I might have felt more connected. I still have to give it 3 stars as I do love the characters I just felt the writing was needed some more refining a few less repetitive words and scenes and a little more action.

Just didn't feel like the other books.