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Monday, 27 March 2017

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Ten authors I'm dying to meet

(Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish!)

I haven't met many authors, but there are a lot that I want to meet. I'm eagerly waiting for YALC to announce which authors they've invited to take part in their convention this year, because I'm hoping some of these ten will be on the bill. I couldn't get the time off work to go last year, which is when most of them were in attendance: otherwise I would have met them already!

10) Katherine Webber
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'Wing Jones' feels like one of my best friends. I can't stop thinking about her, and I want to reread that book more than I want cake or chocolate (and I love cake and chocolate!) but I won't let myself because I have so many other books that I NEED to read.
I want to meet Katherine so I can try and get her to share some information about her next book: I can't wait, and I need it in my hands right now.

9) Sally Green
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'Half Bad' is amazing. There are no other words for it. I've never read anything like it, but I've also never read anything written in the same way - the style is utterly unique, the characters are all brilliant, and every page is gripping so it's impossible to put the book down. I haven't been able to read the rest of the series yet in case I end up being disappointed, but wowee, the first installment gets better every time I read it.

8) Jessica Spotswood
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The world needs more people like Jessica Spotswood. She's outspoken on Twitter, always putting the world to rights in the most adorable and completely unannoying way, and all of the books of hers that I've read have left me feeling warm and fuzzy inside. I still need to finish the Cahill Witch Chronicles, but I'm scared in case the last book disappoints me because I loved the other two so much!

7) Maggie Harcourt
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Maggie is the queen of writing slow burn romances, and I want to meet her and shake her (gently) while (politely) demanding that she writes a sequel to 'Unconventional' which is nothing but Lexi and Aiden being adorable, infuriating each other and making out a lot.

6) Alwyn Hamilton
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I adored 'Rebel of the Sands', and though I haven't read 'Traitor to the Throne' yet (COME ON, IT'S OVER 500 PAGES!) I think she's a wonderful writer, and her characters are so well crafted.

5) Holly Bourne
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Holly made feminism cool for teenagers, and I'd love to meet her and get her opinion on EVERYTHING. I want Holly Bourne to be my mum, my cool aunt and my big sister, all at the same time.

4) Cat Clarke
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'Entangled' and 'Torn' revived my love of reading when I thought it was dead and buried, so this blog probably wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Cat. I haven't read all of her books - I couldn't bring myself to finish 'Undone' because the beginning killed me - but I still want to express my gratitude.

3) Becky Albertalli
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'Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda' really helped me through a confusing period of my life, so I'd like to be able to thank Becky personally for writing such a beautiful novel. I definitely need to read 'The Upside of Unrequited' soon - I know I'm going to love it just as much as her debut.

2) Sara Barnard
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Sara has quickly become one of my favourite authors: she's released two books so far - 'Beautiful Broken Things' and 'A Quiet Kind of Thunder' - and I've loved both of them. I've had a few conversations with her on Twitter, so she feels like a friend... Hopefully that means I won't make a fool out of myself when I do meet her!

1) Angie Thomas
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'The Hate U Give' was one of the most anticipated debuts of 2017, and after release it proved itself a hit by topping the New York Times bestseller list for three weeks in a row (and counting!). Not many debut novels get that kind of reaction, and I'd love to be able to meet the mind behind it (after I read the book, which isn't out in the UK for another two weeks).
If you're also excited about reading 'The Hate U Give', you can pre-order a copy here.

I hope you enjoyed this Top Ten Tuesday! If you could meet any author in the world - living or dead - who would you choose, and why?

Sunday, 26 March 2017

WTF Did I Miss This Week? #25 (w/c 20/03/17)

The publishing world:

Don't have enough books? Good, here's some more new releases:
Image result for nemesis brendan reichsImage result for tom leveen hellworld
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A couple of beautiful cover reveals:
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Image may contain: 1 person, standing and textImage result for that inevitable victorian thing

In other news:

The music world:

I finally found some more new releases:
Image result for northlane mesmerImage result for james blunt album 2017Image result for creeper eternity in your arms

Are you ready for some more new music?:


Dead! have had 'Enough, Enough, Enough':

All Time Low unleashed the title track of 'Last Young Renegade' on the world:

As well as releasing 'Mesmer', Northlane have a brand new song called 'Citizen':

There were also new releases from Emarosa, Falling in Reverse, HalfNoise (ft. Hayley Williams), Palisades, Danny Worsnop and As Lions, while twenty one pilots released the third of their Sleepers tour diaries.

Some big tour announcements:
  • With Confidence and Set It Off have announced a co-headline tour in May, before their appearances at Slam Dunk festival.   
  • You Me At Six are headlining dates in America during May
  • As It Is are touring Europe with Roam throughout June.  
  • Taking Back Sunday will be touring the US during July and August. Support comes from Every Time I Die, with Modern Chemistry and All Get Out appearing at select dates.
  • Young Guns are playing six small shows across the UK in September
In other news:
  • I didn't think it was possible, but this week heralds even more festival announcements, with additions to: Camden Rocks, Lollapalooza, Warped Tour, 2000 Trees, Fort Fest and FYF Festival.
  • We The Kings now have their own podcast
  • Jimmy Eat World are releasing a tour EP entitled 'Are You Listening?', which seems to feature a collaboration with Hayley Williams of Paramore. 
  • The list of releases for Record Store Day 2017 has been unveiled
  • Sony Music launched Weekday Records, who announced that Jule Vera are their first signing. The band celebrated this news with the release of their new single, 'Lifeline'...
  • ...while Sworn In have been signed by Fearless Records.
  • Beartooth announced that they're releasing a deluxe edition of 'Aggressive'.  
  • Blessthefall were robbed on tour (again).
  • Knuckle Puck's vocalist, Joe Taylor, took a tumble at So What? festival.
  • Moose Blood revealed that drummer Glenn Harvey is "not currently a member" following sexual harassment allegations. I'm sure this story will develop further in the coming weeks. 
  • Tigers Jaw announced that their new album, 'spin', will be released on May 19th.
  • Cassels will be releasing their "pre-album", 'Foreword', on April 7th. 
  • London Grammar have finally announced their second album, 'Truth is a Beautiful Thing'. It's being released on June 9th. 
  • Gorillaz celebrated the announcement of long awaited album 'Humanz' by performing the entire thing in full. It's being released April 28th.
  • Wrapping up the album announcements, Papa Roach have just announced their ninth (!) album will be called 'Crooked Teeth', and will be unleashed on the world on May 19th. Lots of new music to look forward to! 
I hope you enjoyed this installment of WTF Did I Miss This Week?. Catch you next week (if I don't run away with Geoff Wigington on Friday. A girl can dream, right?!). 

Friday, 24 March 2017

BOOK TAG: You're Not Good Enough

This is my best ever book tag, because I've never been asked to do one before! I feel like my blog has finally made it. I am famous. I am the best blogger EVER.
The lovely A Daily Cloud tagged me: check out her post, because it's absolutely hilarious (and very hard to beat).

In this tag, you pick 30 characters names and put them in a bowl, pick out two and random and decide which fits the situation/question better, and who is just Not Good Enough!

1. You only have one more spot on your Spelling B team, who would you pick to complete the team?
Pudge from 'Looking For Alaska' vs. Meira from 'Snow Like Ashes'

Pudge wins this round. 'Looking For Alaska' begins when Pudge moves to high school, while Meira is so busy learning to fight and being part of a revolution that spelling has to be the last thing on her mind.

2. Both characters want to kill you. Which character would you kill first so you have a better chance of surviving?
Kelsea from 'The Queen of the Tearling' vs. Maddy from 'Everything, Everything'

I'd kill Kelsea, even though the Queen's Guard would then take me out. I just feel like it would be too horrible to kill Maddy - her life's hard enough without getting murdered! 

3. You're on the bachelor/bachelorette. You're down to these last two characters, which would you give the rose to?
Mr. Darcy from 'Pride and Prejudice' vs. The Darkling from the Grisha trilogy

How am I supposed to decide?! Mr. Darcy is so charming, but also has a bit of a bad boy streak, while the Darkling is an utter bad boy with a hidden soft side... Purely for the magical element, I'm choosing the Darkling

4. You've been chosen for the Hunger Games. Who would most likely volunteer in your place?
Elizabeth Bennet from 'Pride & Prejudice' vs. Alaska from 'Looking For Alaska'

I feel as though Alaska might be self-absorbed, but she's also rebellious and wouldn't mind risking her life. Elizabeth is far more sensible and wouldn't get herself involved. 

5. You're stranded on an island. Which character would you sacrifice to engage in cannibalism?
Morpheus from 'Splintered' vs. Wing from 'Wing Jones'

I don't want to, but I'm going to have to sacrifice Wing. Morpheus would taste like moth, so he'd be no good to cannibalise! 

6. You're the next DC/Marvel superhero (with your own TV show of course), who would be your sidekick?
Darrow from 'Red Rising' vs. Steffi from 'A Quiet Kind of Thunder'

I have to choose Steffi. I would LOVE Darrow to be my sidekick, but he's a leader: he needs his own sidekick, and I wouldn't want to be relegated to the background in my own show! Because of Steffi's selective mutism she's quiet, so she wouldn't be stealing the limelight, but she's quick, intelligent and funny and would make me a much stronger hero by helping me. 

7. You're a manager of an avocado admiring company. Who would you fire for lack of communication skills?
Aria from 'Pretty Little Liars' vs. David from 'The Art of Being Normal'

Aria. That girl is way too used to keeping secrets. 

8. You've just finished a book in which your favourite character dies. Which character is most likely to comfort you?
Damon from 'The Vampire Diaries' vs. Rhys from 'A Quiet Kind of Thunder'

Rhys! Damon's probably the one that killed my favourite character, whereas Rhys would give me a cuddle and make me feel much better about the harrowing events. 

9. Ugh, it's high school. Who would most likely be part of the popular clique?
Toria from 'All of the Above' vs. Ezra from 'Pretty Little Liars'

I feel as though these two could be in the popular crowd in high school, but because of Ezra's bookish nature Toria would be a brilliant and bubbly queen bee. 

10. The day has arrived; you're finally a year older! Who would have the nerve to forget your birthday?
Kestrel from 'The Winner's Curse' vs. Mikey from 'The Rest of Us Just Live Here'

They both have so much going on that I feel I'd  forgive either of them for forgetting my birthday... But Kestrel is more likely to (she's not very considerate towards others at the start of the series!). 

11. You've just found an upcoming Booktube star. Who would it most likely be? 
Clary from The Mortal Instruments vs. Charlie from 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower'

Charlie. Clary would be a Youtube artist, but Charlie is the perfect mix of outspoken and shy to appeal to a wide range of viewers, and he's literally always reading. He'd give such good recommendations!

12. Sleepover time! Unfortunately, you can only invite one person. Who would you invite?
Jace from The Mortal Instruments vs. June from 'Paper Butterflies'

Jace is hunky as heck, so I wouldn't mind having a sleepover with him (winky face...) but I think I'm going to invite June instead. She doesn't have many friends at school but she's so lovely and more people should see that - I'd love to make her feel valued, and we'd have a really fun sleepover. 

13. Bam, you're pregnant. Who is the father/mother?
Holden from 'The Catcher in the Rye' vs. Lara Jean from 'To All the Boys I've Loved Before'


Holden. He's the kind of moody and introspective guy that I'm really attracted to (even if he does really annoy me!) so I could definitely see myself falling for him if he had the time for me. Lara Jean is far too sensible to have unprotected sex! I'm not sure if a kid would go down well with Holden's parents, though, especially just after he's been kicked out of school... 

14. You've just written a super important text. Who would 'see' it but not reply? 
Ivy from 'Wild Swans' vs. Henry from 'Our Chemical Hearts'

Henry. He'd be too busy moping around and pining for Grace to waste even a second of brain time on me. He'd receive a message, see it wasn't for Grace and throw his phone back down on his bed. 

15. You've just woken up and it's time for breakfast. Your mom has been replaced by... who?
Cassie from 'The 5th Wave' vs. Patch from 'Hush, Hush' 


This sounds like the kind of move that Patch would pull, so I'll have to go for him. I also think Cassie is far too childish to be a parent - I'd end up mothering her!

I hope you enjoyed this book tag! I had so much fun writing this post - it makes me want to do lots more tags in the future.


The five people I'm tagging are:
Barb from Booker T's Farm
Tasya from The Literary Huntress
Mariela from Just Us Book Blog
Jo from Book Lovers Blog
and you! (Is that cheating? That's probably cheating...). But if you thought this tag was fun, you should just go ahead and do it. No one's stopping you!

Thursday, 23 March 2017

'Panther' by David Owen

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*This review will contain spoilers!*
'The whole thing didn't make any sense to him. Depression. She didn't have anything to be depressed about. It was her making everyone else's life miserable.' 






'The cookie broke apart in his mouth like smashed concrete.' 
We join Derrick during a binge-eating session as he eats cookies out of the dustbin. He doesn't care about the taste, he just cares about eating as much junk food as he can to fill the void inside of him.






A few months ago, Derrick's sister Charlotte attempted suicide.
Since the incident, Derrick has begun binge-eating.
'Eating was the only thing in his life that he could control. No one held any power over it but himself.'
He's also lost his best friend Tamoor, who abandoned him after he confided in him about Charlotte's depression. Tamoor is now hanging out with the meatheads at school who bully Derrick for his weight, making him feel completely alone in the world.
All he has is the panther, and his dream of wooing his childhood friend, Hadley.
'In all the confusion of the last few months there was only one things that Derrick had stayed sure of: Hadley was his only chance to be happy. If he could break free of this darkness and be with her, things would be ok again.'
The same night there were reports of a wild panther in the allotments that their home backs on to, and Derrick has linked the two events in his mind. He's absolutely convinced that if he can catch the panther Charlotte's depression will be cured, and everything will go back to normal.
Little does Derrick know, depression is the Beast that no one can control...









I loved the fact that David Owen chose to write about a male suffering with an eating disorder, because it's not acknowledged enough in literature or in society as a whole, but it was the only aspect of the book that I appreciated.
It's impossible to empathise with Derrick because he's a hateful character. If that wasn't obvious by the self-absorbed quote I featured at the top of the review, here's another one for you:
'She was so selfish! All he wanted to do was save them and she still treated him like he was useless.
"I'm the only one trying to do anything about it! [...] No one bothers to notice how much it's ruined my life! It's destroyed everything!"'
Hypocrite. He has the audacity to think of his sister as selfish, then makes everything about him. I've never met a character with such a disgusting 'me, me, me' attitude. This kid deserves a punch in the face.
He's also extremely perverted for no apparent reason. I don't know what David was trying to achieve by introducing that aspect of his personality! It doesn't further the plot, it just makes for vastly uncomfortable reading. The book starts with a video of Derrick masturbating in the school toilets being circulated, then later in the story he's hugging Hadley and thinks 'about how he was so much stronger than her. How easy it was to capture her inside his hideous fat arms' and to make matters even worse, he lets himself into her house using a spare key they have for emergencies and he goes and rolls around in her bed, sniffs her underwear and then - because that wasn't creepy enough - he wears them on his head.
WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK.
I have no words for how disgusting, disturbing and depraved this guy is. We're supposed to feel sorry for him because his sister is struggling with depression and it's effecting his entire family, and he's suffering with an eating disorder and no one seems to have noticed because they're all worried about Charlotte, but it's impossible when I found his actions so distressing to read.
I genuinely don't understand how this book has such good reviews. If it wasn't bad enough that the main character is a creep, it's also extremely slow, repetitive and overly stuffed with figurative language. The panther stands for depression - an obvious metaphor - but the book is laced with ineffective similes and metaphor that seem rather pointless.
The only saving grace is that Charlotte's depression is written in a very authentic and heart-wrenching manner. That's the only reason this book managed to scrape a second star from me. As someone who suffers from depression, I could see parts of myself reflected in Charlotte's character: I just wish the book had been more focused on her than on Derrick. I know the point of it was to show how depression impacts upon the family unit, but that might have worked better if Derrick had been more of an average Joe.









I'm disappointed. I've been looking forward to reading 'Panther' for MONTHS, because David Owen is such a lovely guy and I was certain his book was going to become one of my favourites.
I'm still looking forward to 'The Fallen Children', but I'm not going to hype it up in my head as much as I did to this book.


TRAVEL THURSDAY: A Coke of Luck

It's that time of the week again! I'm handing you over to AJ once more, so he can tell you one of his travel stories...
Travel Stories: A Coke of Luck
"This is no good, it's an absolute tip," I told myself, staring at the Mr. Everest of Coca-Cola bottles tossed lackadaisically onto the ground. Grabbing a bin liner, I made it my mission for the day to see the fabled floor again, and it was during this ambush that I noticed that the labels on the bottles all had a special code. 
Coca-Cola were doing their normal "enter this code on our website and you might win a thing" nonsense, where every code was worth points and you could allocate those points into several different prizes. So, ever the procrastinator, I entered all the codes I found, not expecting to win so much as an appraisal. I used to believe those competitions big companies did were a ruse, to trick the desperate and the needy into buying their product in the hopes of maybe winning a trip to Florida or a new car. 
That was until I woke up two days later and had a new text message, which started with simply "Congratulations!". 
I read the full text about seven or eight times, still disbelieving. "You've won an all expenses paid trip to Auckland to watch 'Christmas in the Park', for you and three friends."
You have to understand: this stuff doesn't happen to me. In fact, the opposite happens. Earlier in the week I opened my wallet and half my coins fell out and into a nearby gutter. I acquired some friends, rang up to give our personal details and right up until the airport I was convinced I was being pranked. 
It was while on the plane that I realised this could potentially be legit, and all my fears were put to rest when we were greeted with a man in a suit with "ANTHONY" written on a board. Jacob's task was to drive us to our accommodations; a five star hotel with its own kitchen suite, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Pretty fly for this white guy! We had two days to explore, so we made a quick movement into the city centre.  
Auckland is bland by nature; the buildings don't have any rustic charm, there's not an awful lot of colour, and there's a few dodgy parts. We stumbled upon a mall complex, and being curious teens at the time, we went full "fuck it" and went exploring. 
First floor was fine, being your standard food court type of deal, but as we progressed further up the building, the dodgier it got. Thai "massage" rooms adjourned the second floor, the third and fourth floors wee barren, and on the top floor was a missing wall, a bathroom with discarded needles and fecal matter smeared on the ceiling, and a run down game arcade with only one occupant, a big burly Maori with face tattoos and a Mongrel Mob gang patch on the back of his leather jacket. We christened that floor the "Stab Attic" and made haste down the stairs (as the elevator was out of commission, shockingly). 
After catching up with an old school friend and doing a little bit of shopping, we made our way to the park in which this Christmas event was happening. We got to meet local celebrity John Campbell, and we were treated to a full televised concert. Sadly, like the televised version, the festival was ultimately skippable. For me, popular Christmas songs are very much like being in the same room as Ramsay Bolton: they make me feel like I'm being tortured. 
Thankfully the show kicked itself up a notch towards the end when headlining local act Broods came on for two songs. The Nelson-born two-piece's melodic tones and soft demeanor gave us a bit of sunshine among the wet weather and bleak moods.
The weather threatened to dampen our day trip, so we bought some alcohol and made our way back to the hotel for drinking games and storytelling. It was around this time that I found out an old friend from Australia was in town, so we gave her a bell and in moments she was at our hotel - the booze quickly vanished soon after. While I'm sure there were stories to tell from this night, I cannot remember most of them, and the consequential hangover (in addition to the muggy weather) made the following day one of desperate coffees, half-asleep shopping splurges, and walking the wrong way all too many times. Come 4pm we met up with Jacob again, who escorted us back to the airport to face my arch-enemy: flight delays!
To this day I consider this stroke of luck to be where life started taking an upwards turn. While the trip was marred by bad weather and a bit of fear, the comradery I shared with my friends is something I'll always remember and be thankful for, and being treated like a celebrity inflated my ego ten-fold! 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

TOP FIVE WEDNESDAY: Top five angsty romances

(Top Five Wednesday was created by GingerReadsLainey. Find out more at the Goodreads group!)

I'm not a huge fan of angsty romances anymore. 
Once upon a time, they were my lifeblood. I couldn't get enough of them, and any book that even slightly hinted towards a relationship filled with brooding and difficulty sent my heart racing.
I've had a bloody hard time choosing pairings for this topic, and I've had to delve way way back into pre-blog reading to scrabble together five. 

5) Patch and Nora Grey - 'Hush, Hush' by Becca Fitzpatrick
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I was so in love with Patch when I read this book, and I couldn't stop dreaming about what it would be like to have a bad boy who loved me as much as he loved Nora. Their relationship was intense, but that's what made it true love.
Now, because I read this back in 2008, I can't remember much about it... Other than my intense feelings towards the damaged fallen angel love interest. After having a quick scroll through the Goodreads reviews, methinks I might have been a little too innocent and optimistic when I picked this one up...

4) Anna Oliphant and Etienne St. Clair - 'Anna and the French Kiss' by Stephanie Perkins

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Etienne has a girlfriend, which causes most of the angst in this relationship. Anna wants him, but she can't, because he has a girlfriend. Etienne's girlfriend is horrible, so he doesn't see anything wrong with flirting with Anna at every possible opportunity... But still doesn't break up with his girlfriend.
There are all kinds of communication issues in this relationship, which just ramps the angst up to a higher level than you would have ever thought possible...

3) Jace (Wayland? Morgenstern? Herondale?) and Clary Fray - The Mortal Instruments

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Literally can't remember what Jace's surname ended up being (#sorrynotsorry).
What's more angsty than falling in love with your sister, and then realising SHE'S NOT YOUR SISTER?! 
I should probably finish this series one day, but meh, ain't happening for the foreseeable future...
 
2) Damon Salvatore and Elena Gilbert - The Vampire Diaries

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I can't remember really caring about Damon or Elena (or any of the other characters...) when I read the books, but the TV show adaptation made me ship this pairing harder than I've ever shipped any other. Damon's all moody because he wants Elena and she's in love with his brother, but when he eventually opens up and shows her his soft side, he finally gets his girl.
This should be a lesson to any boy who acts like an idiot to impress the girl he wants: stop. Just be yourself, she'll love you so much more.

1) Tate Langdon and Violet Harmon - American Horror Story: Murder House
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There's no physical way for this relationship to get angstier. Tate is a ghost, Violet is alive (at least at the start of their relationship) and he rapes her mother, becoming the father of her half-brother.
Yeah, this coupling is pretty WTF, but at the time - before all of the reflection on quite how weird it was - I adored them. 

Wow, angsty relationships are irritating. Is it any wonder I haven't been able to reread any of these books (or watch any of the shows again) for fear of discovering I actually hate them now?!

I hope you enjoyed this Top Five Wednesday! Do you like angsty relationships, or do you want your romance to be free of brooding?

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

'The Monstrous Child' (Mortal Gods #3) by Francesca Simon

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*This review will contain spoilers!*
'I really hate children. They're cruel, and they mock. I hate grown-ups too, of course. Actually, don't get me started. I hate everyone.'





'You'd think after my brother the snake was born they'd have stopped at one. But no.' 
Rapidly introducing Jormungand and Fenrir, Hel's voice is instantly snarky and bitter - the perfect tone for a girl who is born half dead.






'Corpse baby. Carrion tot. The third monster.'
When Hel is born, she's half dead.
Her bottom half, specifically.
Her legs are rotted flesh, putrid and decayed despite the fact that she's less than a minute old. Her mother is distraught: having already given birth to a snake and a wolf she'd hoped it was going to be third time lucky. Loki, her father, thinks they should just finish her off.
Hel doesn't have the easiest family situation.
When the Fates predict that Jormungand is going to kill Thor and Fenrir is going to kill Odin, the monstrous children are kidnapped and taken to Asgard. Jormungand is thrown into the Midgard sea. Fenrir is bound by magical means to a rock.
Hel? She gets thrown to Niflheim, commanded to become the Queen of the Underworld, host to all dead spirits.
Doesn't that just sound like fun and games.
That's not the worst part, though. When Hel was in Asgard, she met a god. She finally felt love.
All she wants is to be reunited with her beloved Baldr. But not even Hel can leave the Underworld, and gods don't die...









After finishing this book, I found out that it's the third book in a series, which baffles me. Widely advertised as Francesca Simon's 'first foray into teen', why did she decide to switch target market? If you're writing a middle grade series, commit to it being middle grade. Don't suddenly try and branch out.
That being said, this read like a middle grade book. Yes, Hel is a teenager, but her attitude is far more childish than most teenage narrators. I can understand why she whines and complains - she is half dead, abandoned by her family who detested her, and despised by most of the living - but it's more draining than anything I can remember reading before.
I really like Norse mythology, but hardly any backstory is given. This is probably due to it being the third installment, but with that fact being so under-acknowledged I can imagine a lot of people have been caught out in the same way.
I haven't read anything focusing on the Norse gods for quite a while. I'm much more accustomed to the Marvel counterparts of Thor, Loki and Odin, and it took a lot of effort to readjust. I might have found things easier if Francesca wasn't name-dropping seemingly irrelevant gods and goddesses on every page.
It's obvious that Francesca is primarily a children's author. I've commented on my apprehension towards author's who write across multiple genres before, and this just justified my fears. Yes, some of the descriptions of Hel's rotting body are gruesome, and I don't think Loki's sexual adventures could be as openly discussed in a middle grade novel, but everything screams that this isn't teen. The instalove Hel feels towards Baldr is enough to turn off the majority of teen readers. Everyone I know is tired of attraction starting that fast, but it's made worse when you find out Baldr is married. Hel acts like a child in the middle of a temper tantrum to control him and try and make him hers, and it made me uncomfortable and irritated in equal measure.
Then there's the fact that Hel feels much better when she's given lip gloss. WHAT?! Seriously? She's been wallowing for years - possibly hundreds upon thousands of them - and a human gives her lip gloss and suddenly joy returns to her world. GROAN.
To make matters even worse, the actions starts right before the book ends. There's finally the opportunity for some plot, rather than repetitive and irritating teenage rambling, but then the book ends. I genuinely felt like crying when I got to the last page: out of sheer frustration, not from any kind of emotion.









I only read this book because it's on the YA Book Prize shortlist, and I innately knew I wasn't going to enjoy it.
Thankfully it's a quick read. It's just under 300 pages, but it's filled with illustrated letters at the start of each chapter. Those take up a lot of room, meaning a lot of the pages have hardly any text on them, and if I'd been enjoying this more I would have flown through it in one sitting. As it is it only took me two attempts to get it finished, but there was a lot of eye-rolling and groaning throughout. 
I'm always going to wonder if I'd have felt differently towards this installment if I had actually read the first two books in the series first, but I have no inclination to pick them up now.

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Ten books to read in one sitting

(Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish!)

I love being able to sit and read a book in one go, because you get swept away, become best friends with the characters, and feel more invested in the story if you're not being dragged away to do things in the real world.
These books are ones that I've read in one sitting, and which I'd highly recommend for it. Some of them are tougher subjects, some of them are more fun and enlightening: there's a book for every mood, all you need to do is put aside some time!

Image result for divergent veronica roth
I have literally no idea how I read this book so quickly, but it was done and dusted within two hours. If only I could read that fast now! There's just something about this series opener that drags you in.

Image result for sue wallman lying about last summer
'Lying About Last Summer' is one of those contemporary YA novels that encompasses both romance and mystery. My heart pounded more times than I could count while I was reading this, but it wasn't just from the threatening stalker: Sue writes a beautiful blossoming teenage relationship. Aw. 

Image result for asking for it o'neill
This book is the definition of gripping. I wanted to stop reading it because it was so harrowing and such a difficult read, but I couldn't physically stop myself. I've never felt so many emotions while reading a book before, and I don't know if I ever will again. 

Image result for wing jones weber cover
I had to put 'Wing Jones' down because I was at a concert, but it was SO DIFFICULT. I couldn't stop thinking about the story, and as soon as the show was over I started reading it again. If you like realistic characters that you're dying to be friends with, this is the book for you. 

Image result for fangirl rainbow rowell
'Fangirl' was the first Rainbow Rowell book I read, and I was amazed by how much I loved her writing. I picked this up back when I had no intention of going to university, so I can't wait to reread it now I've been offered a place! 

Image result for beautiful broken things barnard
I was ill when I decided to pick up 'Beautiful Broken Things', and it made me feel so much better. Sara Barnard's writing is a dream!
I also highly recommend 'A Quiet Kind of Thunder', but that one took me a little longer to get into. 

Image result for wintergirls laurie halse anderson
I wasn't sure whether to put 'Wintergirls' or 'Speak', because I read them both in one sitting... But I've read 'Wintergirls' in one sitting twice, so there was no way I couldn't talk about it.
I've had struggles with my weight over the last few years, and the first time I read 'Wintergirls' when I was in a very bad place. I almost decided not to read it because I thought it would hurt far too much, but it helped me so much. 

Image result for half bad sally green
'Half Bad' is one of the longer books I'm featuring in this list, but because Sally Green has such a unique way of writing and telling Nathan's story, it flies past. The first time I read it it took me a few days because I found it jarring, but when I read it again I couldn't put it down.

Image result for juno dawson all of the above
I still haven't read many books featuring bisexual characters, so this one is a refreshing change from all of the hetero contemporary romances. This is the only one of Juno's novels that I've read, and it's one of my favourite books of all time - I need to get a move on and read some of her other writing (especially 'Margot & Me'.)

Image result for entangled cat clarke
'Entangled' is the first book that I can vividly remember reading in one sitting. 
It was back at a time when I didn't read much at all, so the fact that I sat completely still for a few hours and didn't look up until I turned the last page was mind-blowing to me at the time.
I'm scared to reread it, because I related to it so much at the time and I'm in a very different place now... But it was exactly what I needed back then. 

I hope you enjoyed this Top Ten Tuesday! 

I'm now an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in purchasing any of the books I've recommended, click on their title to check them out on Amazon. If you decide to buy them and you purchase using my link, I'll get a small amount of income. 
Thank you!