Monday, 8 May 2017

Cover reveal - The Salvation Project by Stewart Ross

I'm so happy to reveal the gorgeous cover of The Salvation Project, an intriguing dystopian that I can't wait to get my hands on.

For now, I have some information about the book. I'm also hoping to share a review in the near future!

Humanity’s hope of salvation lies within a single laptop…

A mutation in human DNA means no one lives beyond nineteen. Scientists working to reverse this pandemic died before their Salvation Project was complete, leaving behind the results of their research in a sealed vault – the Soterion.

122 years have passed. The civilisation of the ‘Long Dead’ is almost forgotten, the Soterion has been burned to ashes, and communities of Constants are tormented by brutal tribes of Zeds. Cyrus, Miouda and Sammy flee their burning city with a laptop rescued from the inferno. They believe it contains the key to the Salvation Project. But its batteries are dead, there is no electricity to power it, and murderous Zeds will stop at nothing to get it back…

Information about the Book

Title: The Salvation Project (The Soterion Mission #3)
Author: Stewart Ross
Release Date: 20th June 2017
Publisher: Blean Books
Goodreads Link:

If you like the sound of this, books 1 and 2 are available now!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Beyond the Wall by Tanya Landman - review

Publisher: Walker Books (6th April 2017)

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an open and honest review.

From Tanya Landman, author of the 2015 Carnegie Medal winner Buffalo Soldier, comes a heart-stopping tale of love, corruption and the power of choice. Blood on her lips. Blood on her tongue. Blood that is not her own. Cassia does not fear to die, but for her - for a slave who has maimed her master - there are worse things than death. Yet the mighty Roman Empire has its limits. Beyond her master's estate, beyond the river, far to the north stands Hadrian's Wall. And beyond the wall? Freedom. With dogs on her trail and a bounty on her head the journey seems impossible. But then Cassia meets Marcus - slick, slippery, silver-tongued - a true and perfect son of Rome. And her only hope. (Publishers' blurb)

This seems to be the year that I've finally got into historical fiction and Beyond the Wall is a great example.

One of my favourite things about this book was the feeling of empowerment it gave me. I really liked feeling that the actions of a few can ripple through an empire and the world. That somehow felt very relevant to modern circumstances...

The narrative viewpoint was really interesting, featuring an omniscient narrator that was able to explore the main characters' stories, including the villainous slave owner. This gave the opportunity not only to get to know the different characters, but also to unfold plot points from their perspectives. The only challenge for me was that sometimes this made me feel a bit distant from the characters. 

The historical setting was another real strength. I got a really good sense of the time period through the use of interesting details like the clothing, homes and transport. Although the subject matter was disturbing in places, it felt like this was necessary to capture the horrific life of a slave.

This book took me through different emotions: it was moving, powerful and it made me think. It's my first Tanya Landman book and I'm looking forward to reading more.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Black Knight Blog Tour - Review and Extract

Publisher: Scholastic (6th April 2017)

Maximum security! The world’s deadliest weapons tech needs some seriously beefy guards. So who put Dev and his mates in charge? By now, it’s not exactly news that letting the planet’s scariest weapons get stolen isn’t really the best idea. But how do you go about guarding them from utterly ruthless criminals whose tactics are impossible to predict? The answer is… a new squad of crack agents trained up by Dev and his buddies (yes, really). Their mission: to defend what’s left of the Inventory, and get back the stuff that’s been lost. At least Dev, Lottie and Mase know what not to do. But will they be ready for Shadow Helix’s next strike? (Publishers' blurb)

I've participated in the blog tours for Iron Fist and Gravity, so I was really happy to join the latest tour for the brilliant Black Knight. This is one of my favourite middle grade series, perfect for fans of Alex Ryder and the Cherub books. 

I'll share my thoughts, then below you can find a link to the very intriguing extract from the book. 

This book starts with some new members joining the team, which I thought was a great way to keep the series feeling fresh. The new team members added humour, conflict and new dimensions to the plot. A special mention goes to Riya: the smart, tough new girl that I really would have loved when I was a kid. 

One of my favourite aspects of this series is the villain, Lee. I'm a huge fan of complex, believable villains and it's great that this book delves more into Lee's perspective. 

Another thing I really liked is how much the plot progressed. The stakes were higher, new players were introduced and there was plenty of new and creative tech. I feel like each book in this series provides plenty of action and twists, but at the same time there are definitely mysteries left to be explored in future books. 

If you haven't already, I'd definitely recommend starting this series from the beginning and treating yourself to a fast-paced adventure. 

Now for the main event - the extract. This chapter focuses on Lee, the villain and one of my favourite characters. Click here and enjoy!


Andy has extensive experience working on multinational co-productions and has worked in comics, books, TV, film and trans-media projects.

Andy wrote and Executive Produced Legendary, currently the most successful independent UK/Chinese co-production. Released in China and grossing $5 million in the first week, with a theatric US release in 2014. With his brother he worked on Hollywood features such as Judge Dredd and Freddy vs. Jason and TV shows for the SyFy Channel and Netflix.

He wrote and co-created Secret Agents, a trans-media interactive spy experience for children, currently on at the Discover Centre, Stratford. He has 16 books and graphic novels published in the UK and around the world.

He has written 20 books and graphic novels published in the UK and around the world. In 2016 his latest feature, Crowhurst, will be released.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak - review

Publisher: Faber and Faber (6th April 2017)

​Three young friends are desperate to get a copy of the latest Playboy featuring Wheel of
​Fortune hostess Vanna White on the cover. The trouble is, no shopkeeper is going to sell
​something so scandalous to three fourteen year-old gaming nerds. The only thing for it is a full ​scale heist. As they set out on their mission to steal the most wanted images in America, they​ ​have no idea of the danger that lies ahead. Or that a girl named Mary Zelinsky, ​and a competition to design a Commodore 64 video game, might change one of their world's forever. (Publishers' blurb)

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This is technically an adult book but it has definite crossover appeal.

I’m a big fan of 80s movies and this blurb got me very excited. I’ve read other books set in the 80s and this was the first one that accurately captured what it felt like to be an 80s kid. Although I didn't grow up in 1980s America, the small town setting felt very authentic and the 80s references were well selected (and really fun to look out for!) There's a cinematic quality that made me feel like I was watching a really great 80s movie.

Another thing I really enjoyed was the video game references. I found the programming fascinating, and not too complex to follow! I enjoyed following Will and Mary designing their game and you can even play it here.

The plot of this book was really strong. There were familiar, extremely heartwarming coming of age elements but the plan to steal the Playboy added another layer of urgency and action. It was also a realistic portrayal of being a teenager: glorious one minute and awkward the next.

I also got very attached to the characters. They were fleshed out well, with interesting back stories, but they had unique qualities that made them feel real.

This is my favourite debut of the year so far and I strongly recommend it for anyone who wants fun, humour and an abundance of feels.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Dream Magic by Joshua Khan - blog tour

Publisher: Scholastic (6th April 2017)

In a world ruled by six ancient Houses of Magic, a girl and a boy begin an epic and dangerous journey of discovery . . . Lileth Shadow, princess of darkness, is struggling with her growing powers. Castle Gloom is filling with ghosts, zombies roam the country and people throughout Gehenna are disappearing. Then Lily is attacked in her own castle by a mysterious sorcerer known as Dreamweaver and his army of jewel-spiders whose bites send victims to sleep. Thorn, and his giant bat Hades, must save Lily from the realm of sleep and help her overcome the evil Dreamweaver in order for her to reclaim her kingdom. (Publisher's blurb)

I wish this series had been around when I was a child. It has all the horror, humour and fantasy that I ever could have wanted. I loved Shadow Magic, the first book in the series, and if anything I enjoyed this one more. 

Sometimes, I have a problem with sequels. I like being introduced to new worlds and am disappointed if there are no new ideas or conflicts. This book explores the world's mythology in more depth and creates new elements. The Gothic feel of the first book really hooked me into this series and I enjoyed how this book was even more inventive with the horror. I found it genuinely scary and disturbing in places, but no so much that I'd worry about a child reading it.

The characters are another part of this series that I really enjoy. Lily is an excellent hero, who revels in the darkness that she has inherited and isn't always virtuous in how she handles it. Her friendship with Thorn is great and I find the chemistry between them really entertaining. The secondary characters are also very strong. In what other series would my favourite character be a troll called Dott?

If I had to say one thing I wasn't keen on, it's the idea that women are forbidden to use magic. I understand that this was included to provide additional conflict, which it did successfully, but this is a fantasy trope I'm not a big fan of. I think it was Samantha Shannon who said that if you're creating your own fantasy world, there's no reason why men and women can't be equals.

A real strength of this book was the plotting. The compelling mystery and unexpected events kept my interest in a way that will appeal to adults and children. There was something very fresh and original about the plot that made it very hard to predict!

This has become one of my favourite middle grade series and I can't wait for the next instalment. Dream Magic comes out today, so if you like what you've read you can buy it now!

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Arrowood by Mick Finlay - review

Publisher: HQ

London Society takes their problems to Sherlock Holmes. Everyone else goes to Arrowood.

1895: London’s scared. A killer haunts the city’s streets. The poor are hungry; crime bosses are taking control; the police force stretched to breaking point. While the rich turn to Sherlock Holmes, the celebrated private detective rarely visits the densely populated streets of South London, where the crimes are sleazier and the people are poorer.

In a dark corner of Southwark, victims turn to a man who despises Holmes, his wealthy clientele and his showy forensic approach to crime: Arrowood self-taught psychologist, occasional drunkard and private investigator.

When a man mysteriously disappears and Arrowood’s best lead is viciously stabbed before his eyes, he and his sidekick Barnett face their toughest quest yet: to capture the head of the most notorious gang in London. (Publishers' blurb)

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an open and honest review.

When I read about this book on Twitter, I had to have it. It was such a creative idea to explore a less famous contemporary of Sherlock Holmes and the book has received great reviews. This is an adult book, instead of my usual YA, but I'm really glad I read it.

The world building was stunning, evoking the time period and London setting in detail but without weighing down the narrative. There was a real sense of unease with the recent, unsolved Jack the Ripper murders still playing on people's minds.

I also really liked Arrowood and Barnett, his sidekick and the novel's narrator. Their characters and relationship between them provided light relief but also touched on some emotional subjects.

The case was well-plotted and built to an exciting conclusion. I possibly missed some of the Sherlock Holmes references that other reviewers have mentioned but I still really enjoyed unpicking the mystery.

This was a promising start to a series and one that I'll definitely continue reading.

Monday, 20 March 2017

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus - review

PublisherDelacorte Press (30 May 2017)

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide. (Extract from the Publishers' blurb)

I received this book on Netgalley in exchange for an open and honest review.

I was so excited to read this book and it started off well. I found the premise of The Breakfast Club with murder so intriguing and the tension mounted throughout. However, there were elements of the plot that I didn’t enjo
y and I would give a definite trigger warning about the treatment of depression.

The main characters were interesting and well-developed, though some of them defied stereotypes and others reinforced them. I liked reading about the events from four viewpoints and thought the four distinctive voices were very strong.

In terms of the thriller aspects, I found this book exciting and I enjoyed trying to work out the clues. It was so fun trying to decide who was lying and who was responsible. Unfortunately, there were plot points that I found disappointing and that stopped me from giving the book a higher star rating overall.

This book had great potential but for me it didn’t quite match up to the exciting premise and title.

Monday, 13 March 2017

The Square Root of Summer review - British Books Challenge

Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books

Author: Harriet Reuter Hapgood

This book deals with subjects of grief and loss in a very sensitive manner but it may be triggering for some people.

Last summer, Gottie's life fell apart. Her beloved grandfather Grey died and Jason, the boy to whom she lost her heart wouldn't even hold her hand at the funeral. This summer, still reeling from twin heartbreaks, Gottie is lost and alone and burying herself in equations. Until, after five years absence, Thomas comes home: former boy next door. Former best friend. Former everything. And as life turns upside down again she starts to experience strange blips in time - back to last summer, back to what she should have seen then . . .
During one long, hazy summer, Gottie navigates grief, world-stopping kisses and rips in the space-time continuum, as she tries to reconcile her first heartbreak with her last. (Publisher's blurb)

The Square Root of Summer has been on my TBR pile for ages so the British Books Challenge was the perfect opportunity to read it. The challenge involves reading at least one British book per month. You can read more about it or sign up here.

This is a fantastic book with a lot of unique qualities. My favourite aspect is that it's about a girl who is a genius at Maths and Science. I wish that wasn't such a rarity in fiction and I hope this book encourages more authors to cover these subjects. 
The book was also based on a very original concept. I love how it was inspired by Harriet Reuter Hapgood's German mathematician grandfather and her obsession with YA romance. I thought that these passions came across in the writing and that the deep issues were complimented well by the romantic story lines.

There was an interesting cast of supporting characters and I particularly liked Gottie's family. The descriptions of their relationship and their grief were dealt with in a very real, sensitive manner. I find this a difficult subject to read about and I thought this book handled it really well.

Another great thing was that Gottie felt like a real teenager. I think some YA books have the message that all romantic encounters are perfect and they don't always deal with the day to day reality of being a teenager. Gottie's relationships felt real and messy, and a standout moment for me was when she unexpectedly had her period. This was a definite theme of my teenage years and I'm so glad this book dealt with this subject so honestly.

This book has wide appeal in terms of the sci-fi and romantic elements and I'm looking forward to more books by Harriet Reuter Hapgood.

If you liked the sound of this, now try The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor - review

Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton (28th March 2017)

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around - and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he's been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries - including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo's dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real? (Publishers' blurb)

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Laini Taylor is my favourite YA author, so reading this book could have gone either way. How could anything live up to the rich and devastating world of Daughter of Smoke and Bone? Somehow, I loved this book just as much and it left the same lasting impression on me. Days after I finished reading, I'm still flooded with emotions whenever I think about it.

One of my favourite things about this book is the writing style. The descriptions are consistently beautiful and evocative, whether dealing with a dream landscape or the mysterious city of Weep. Laini also infuses her writing with witty dialogue and humour, which was a refreshing contrast to the lyrical descriptions.

Another strength of this book is the characters. I can only think of Philip Pullman and JK Rowling who create characters that I care so deeply about and that are so multifaceted. The shifting third person perspective between Sarai and Lazlo worked really well and by the end I couldn't decide which character I responded to more. I appreciated the secondary characters, especially the warrior leader Eril Fane and Lazlo's antagonist Thyon Nero. (I even love their names...)

The plotting in this book is also really on point. Laini Taylor is a master of writing books that don't resemble anyone else's, and I loved trying to work out where this was going.

This book will give you a full emotional workout and suck you in to a dazzling world. It's one of the best YA books I've ever read. 

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - review

I received this book before publication in exchange for an open and honest review.

Publisher: Walker Books (6th April 2017)

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl's struggle for justice. (Publishers' blurb)

I've read great things about this book online and they are very much deserved. It's not an easy book to read because Angie Thomas deals with the subject of the Black Lives Matter movement exactly as it should be - honestly and without anything held back.

A main strength of this book is the voice. I loved Starr's character so much! She came across as realistic because she didn't have all the answers straight away. The book dealt really well with her struggles over doing what she thought was right and navigating where she fit at school and in her home community.

This book really made me think about privilege and social justice in a way that no other book has done before. I think it's so important for fiction to explore these issues and make people look at their own viewpoints. These ideas came through the narrative at times in ways that were subtle and other times very explicit, but always authentic and with feeling. I thought the link to Tupac's song lyrics added a really interesting dimension, as I'd heard his songs before without realising what they actually mean.

Another strength of this is that the story is thrilling and high stakes, with rising tension, but is also balanced with lighter and sweeter moments. The relationship between Starr's mum and dad was so touching and I really appreciated how there were actually present, important adults in this unlike a lot of YA.

I thought that prejudice was dealt with really well and that it examined different points of view. The terrible event of Khalil's death was dealt with openly and sensitively and the fallout afterwards was heartbreakingly believable.

Everybody needs to read this book. it really made me think and raised the profile of many issues that need to be discussed, especially in the current political climate.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Nowhere Near You by Leah Thomas - review

Publisher: Bloomsbury children's books (22nd February 2017)

Ollie and Moritz might never meet, but their friendship knows no bounds. Their letters carry on as Ollie embarks on his first road trip away from the woods--no easy feat for a boy allergic to electricity--and Moritz decides which new school would best suit an eyeless boy who prefers to be alone. 

Along the way they meet other teens like them, other products of strange science who lead seemingly normal lives in ways Ollie and Moritz never imagined possible: a boy who jokes about his atypical skeleton; an aspiring actress who hides a strange deformity; a track star whose abnormal heart propels her to victory. Suddenly the future feels wide open for two former hermits. But even as Ollie and Moritz dare to enjoy life, they can't escape their past, which threatens to destroy any progress they've made. Can these boys ever find their place in a world that might never understand them? (Publishers' blurb)

Because you'll never meet me was a book that was recommended to me at YALC and I started reading without knowing much about it. It's still one of my favourites and is a book that has really stayed with me. 

'Nowhere Near You' had just as strong an emotional impact on me. I adored Ollie and Moritz in both books, especially the way they compliment each other. It's a really interesting idea to blend real conditions with science-fiction elements and it was great to see how their characters developed over this book. 

The letter writing format continued to work really well, allowing the characters (especially Ollie) to withhold information and for their stories to unravel in pieces. Their voices are very distinct from one another and also come across as very realistic.

One of my favourite aspects was how this book maintained the emotional highs and lows that characterised the last book. Nowhere near you upped the ante by testing Ollie and Moritz with new circumstances and their continued separation. 

This is a warm, emotional book that made me think and made me love these characters even more. 

If you liked the sound of this, now try Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles - Review

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books (1st February 2017)

For the perfect love, what would you be willing to lose?

It's been a shattering year for seventeen-year-old Zoe, who's still reeling from her father's shocking death in a caving accident and her neighbors' mysterious disappearance from their own home. Then on a terrifying subzero, blizzardy night in Montana, she and her brother are brutally attacked in the woods--only to be rescued by a mysterious bounty hunter they call X.

X is no ordinary bounty hunter. He is from a hell called the Lowlands, sent to claim the soul of Zoe's evil attacker and others like him. X is forbidden from revealing himself to anyone other than his prey, but he casts aside the Lowlands' rules for Zoe. As they learn more about their colliding worlds, they begin to question the past, their fate, and their future. But escaping the Lowlands and the ties that bind X might mean the ultimate sacrifice for them both. (Publishers' Blurb)

I didn't know much about this book when I started it and I found it electrifying from the beginning! One of the best things was that there were high stakes and a lot of conflict from the outset.

I also found the concept of the book unique. I enjoyed the opportunity to explore X's life in the Lowlands and the moral battles he faced. This book went into some very dark places and didn't shy away from difficult subjects. I wasn't keen on a couple of plot points, but overall I found the story very strong and exciting.

Zoe is one of my favourite characters that I've encountered for a long time. I loved her relationship with her friends and found her to be a very complex, well-developed character. The teen voices came across as authentic (and were often very funny!)

I really liked the balance of action and romance in this book and the climax was excruciating (in a good way.)

I loved the contemporary feel blended with original, fantastical elements and I'm already looking forward to the sequel!

Sunday, 5 February 2017

The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom - Review

Publisher: Walker Books (9th February 2017)
When Gwendolyn Bloom realizes that her father has been kidnapped, she has to take matters into her own hands. She traces him from New York City across the dark underbelly of Europe, taking on a new identity to survive in a world of brutal criminal masterminds. As she slowly leaves behind her schoolgirl self, she realizes that she must learn the terrifying truth about herself. To overcome the cruelty she encounters, she must also embrace it.
I didn’t know what to expect from this book, except that I found the blurb super intriguing. The Cruelty is one of the most exciting books that I've read for a long time. It's fast paced, disturbing and utterly gripping.

I've never read a YA thriller that deals with a frightening underworld of criminals in such a believable, visceral way.
Gwendolyn is a brilliant character, who has to explore some very dark places in the world and inside herself to seek her father. It was fascinating to watch her develop and I loved how the book made me think about the moral dilemmas that Gwendolyn faced.

She also meets some fascinating characters on her journey, all of whom felt realistic and well-developed (even those she met for only a short time).

The settings were another real strength. Over the course of the book, there were some incredible locations and the descriptions captured them in vivid and sometimes terrible detail.
This is a dark, unique and thrilling book. At the time of writing this blog, the ebook is only 98p on Kindle - go go go!

If you liked the sound of this, now try the Blood for Blood trilogy by Catherine Doyle.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Cruel Summer by Juno Dawson - Review

Cruel summer.jpg

Publisher: Orion Children’s Books (August 2014)

One year after the suicide of their friend Janey, the rest of the group decide to spend the summer together in a holiday villa in the Mediterranean. They're hoping to get over the terrible events of the previous year, but then a new guest arrives, claiming to have evidence that Janey's suicide was actually murder. When the guest is found dead, it becomes clear that the killer must be one of the group - but who is it? And will they strike again? (Publishers’ blurb)

I read this book as part of the British Books Challenge 2017. I’ll definitely be picking up more Juno Dawson books after reading Cruel Summer!

This came highly recommended on Twitter and I was so excited to read a YA horror! It's a fast paced, funny and also very tense book that reminded me of the best Point Horrors.

I loved all of the main characters (especially Ryan). The structure of alternating between their third person viewpoints worked really well, especially as the end drew near and I was trying to work out who the killer was.

This was a very well-plotted book, with good use of clues and flashbacks that left me guessing until the end. There were a couple of plot points that I questioned (such as why they didn’t leave immediately when they realised one of them was a murderer), but overall the plotting was great.

I also liked the fact that Ryan thought of his life like a TV show, as this felt very fresh and it gave the book a cinematic quality.

It only took me a day to read this book because I found it so engrossing. If you want a fun, action-filled horror then this is the book for you!

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Chasing Shadows Blog Tour

This is the last stop on the blog tour for 'Chasing Shadows' by T.A. Williams. Let me tell you a little bit about the book and then we'll get to the review.

Amy had it all – money, brains and beauty. And then the accident happened.
The Present Day: Left blind and without her family, Amy feels she needs to get away. On a trip along the Camino, she is accompanied by the mysterious and troubled Luke. Having been set up to help Amy by a mutual friend, Luke finds he is also running from his past…

1314: A Templar Knight, Luc, is also running. He meets the wife of a former comrade, now blinded in a terrifying attack: Aimee. Taking her under his wing, they must journey together through a dangerous world.

As they travel through the stunning scenery of Northern Spain, this couple, so very like Luke and Amy, emerge from the shadows of time carrying a treasure of inestimable value. (Publishers' blurb)

I don't read much historical fiction but I was really excited by this blurb. I found this an enjoyable, romantic read and I really liked the historical elements. 

My favourite aspect of this book was the modern story line running alongside the historical one. It definitely kept me interested and was easier to follow than I expected. I loved the fact that Amy and Luke were researching the time period and visiting the locations from the time of the Templars.

The historical aspects were threaded neatly into the narrative, without feeling overpowering, and felt well researched. I also enjoyed the modern Spanish setting and found it very authentic.  

Some elements of this book were a little predictable and I found the fixation on Amy's beauty to be distracting at times.

Despite that, I really liked Amy and Luke as characters. It was refreshing to read about a blind character, especially one portrayed as a rounded person where her blindness is only one aspect. On Jess Hearts Books' blog tour spot (which you can read here), I learned that the author T.A. Williams gave a lot of thought to the writing of a blind character and I think this showed.

After reading this, I'm determined to read more historical fiction and I'll check out more of T.A. Williams' books in future. 

Friday, 20 January 2017

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr - review

Publisher: Penguin

Please note that I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest, impartial review.

I read this book as part of the British Books Challenge, which is a wonderful opportunity to read more British Books. If you want to sign up, you can do so here.

I look at my hands. One of them says FLORA BE BRAVE.

Flora has anterograde amnesia. She can't remember anything day-to-day: the joke her friend made, the instructions her parents gave her, how old she is.
Then she kisses someone she shouldn't, and the next day she remembers it. It's the first time she's remembered anything since she was ten.
But the boy is gone. She thinks he's moved to the Arctic. Will following him be the key to unlocking her memory? Who can she trust?

I've recommended this book to anyone who will listen! It's a long time since I've read a book that provoked such a strong emotional response in me. 

One of my favourite parts was trying to unpick the questions posed in the blurb - who can Flora trust? Which memories can she rely on as being true? The book is very cleverly plotted, with the reader trying to work things out as Flora does. It was so interesting and devastating to watch her trying to piece everything together, sometimes with less success than she's had before. 

I loved Flora's sweet, optimistic naivety and I really wanted things to go well for her. The climax of the book is utterly brilliant and made me feel a whole host of emotions. Flora's voice comes through really strongly, creating an authentic reading experience.

Another massive strength was the secondary characters. Flora's relationship with her parents was believable and her mum's struggles were portrayed really well. I also got very attached to her brother Jacob. He was so supportive and lovely!

This is a gorgeous, heartbreaking book that I can't stop thinking about. 

One to five star review

If you liked the sound of this, now try Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas.