Audiobooks · Books · Review

Audiobook Review: Black Girl Unlimited by Echo Brown (Spoiler free)

 

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Hello guys, long time no see. Hope you’re all staying safe and well!
I haven’t had the motivation to blog recently but I’m feeling a bit more motivated now and I just had to share this book with everyone.

 

*I was sent this ALC from Libro.fm in exchange for an honest review

CW: Trauma, abuse, rape, child sexual abuse/pedophilia, mentions of suicide, racism, death 

Synopsis:
Echo Brown is a wizard from the East Side, where apartments are small and parents suffer addictions to the white rocks. Yet there is magic . . . everywhere. New portals begin to open when Echo transfers to the rich school on the West Side, and an insightful teacher becomes a pivotal mentor. Each day, Echo travels between two worlds, leaving her brothers, her friends, and a piece of herself behind on the East Side. There are dangers to leaving behind the place that made you. Echo soon realizes there is pain flowing through everyone around her, and a black veil of depression threatens to undo everything she’s worked for.

Heavily autobiographical and infused with magical realism, Black Girl Unlimited fearlessly explores the intersections of poverty, sexual violence, depression, racism, and sexism—all through the arc of a transcendent coming-of-age.


My thoughts:

Heartbreaking and painful – definitely not a light read. It deals with very heavy topics, please check the content warning for this one before reading.

I have no idea where to begin this review – it’s definitely not what I expected. I thought it was pure fantasy but it’s based on Echo Brown’s life. How she managed to make trauma magical, I have no idea. I had no idea what to expect going in, I assumed it was a fantasy story, purely fantasy. How wrong I was. The fantasy/ magical realism is heavily metaphorical, ‘wizards’ are not how you would expect.

It gives insight into the treatment of black people, especially women in the USA. It was harrowing to read, I can’t even imagine living through it. Brown doesn’t skimp over any details. The harsh truth is shown and devastating consequences but ultimately the hope that remains.

Everything is incredibly well written and well narrated. The author reads the audiobook herself, which is just amazing. She’s amazing! This is the most unique memoir/autobiography I’ve read. I haven’t heard anyone talk about this book but it is an incredibly important and powerful read.

Sidenote – the cover is insanely beautiful. The artwork is outstanding!

Highly, highly recommend picking this one up!

Rating: 4 Stars

Books · Review

Review: Starsight by Brandon Sanderson (Spoiler Free)

 

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“A hero does not choose her trials. She steps into the darkness, then she faces what comes next.”

 

****MAY contain spoilers for book one: Skyward. Spoiler-free review of Skyward here!

Synopsis:
All her life, Spensa has dreamed of becoming a pilot. Of proving she’s a hero like her father. She made it to the sky, but the truths she learned about her father were crushing.

Spensa is sure there’s more to the story. And she’s sure that whatever happened to her father in his starship could happen to her. When she made it outside the protective shell of her planet, she heard the stars–and it was terrifying. Everything Spensa has been taught about her world is a lie.

But Spensa also discovered a few other things about herself–and she’ll travel to the end of the galaxy to save humankind if she needs to. Plot:


Plot:

It felt so amazing to dive back into this world, especially after the ending of Skyward.

The beginning and the end were the best parts; it got a little slow in the middle – which I found with the last book too. That didn’t take too much away from the story, I just wish it was all fast pace, but that’s a personal preference.

I love the introduction of a new place and new characters, the world-building, as with every Sanderson novel, was absolutely incredible. I loved diving into this world and learning more about the universe and Spensa’s world and humans in this universe. So many questions I had from the first novel were answered here and some had really surprise twists! I expect no less from Sanderson, his twists are incredibly well written and unpredictable. How he manages to surprise me in every novel, I have no idea! You’d think I’d be used to it by now, this is the 9th book I’ve read by him. He never lets me down!

It really picked up towards the end, I was captivated! I couldn’t put the book down, I just had to know what happened.  Then… OMG, the ending. INSANE.  I am SHOOOOOOOOK. GIVE ME BOOK 3! Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait a long while… *cries*
It leaves off on a KILLER cliffhanger. Brandon, HOW DARE YOU.

Characters:
Spensa:  I love Spensa!! I was so happy to continue her story and journey. I really love her character development over this novel. I have grown more and more attached to her and I’m super invested in her character!
I was hoping to see Spensa interact with the other characters from Skyward more, but they are pretty absent from this book.

M-Bot: Why do I love an AI system so much?

Doomslug: MY BABY! So glad I got what I wanted from this book!! Cannot wait for more Doomslug.

Rating: 4.25 Stars


Have you read Starsight? What did you think?

Anticipated Books · Blogmas · Books

2020 Anticipated Book Releases | Blogmas Day 12

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Happy Boxing Day!
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas (if you celebrate)

Final Blogmas post! It has been good, but I for one will be glad for a break. Well done to anyone who did Blogmas daily, you’re amazing!

Let’s get onto the books, in no particular order:

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas

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I am dying for more SJM. Her books are insanely addictive and I just drink them up. I am so excited to read something Adult by her!

Out March 3rd
Preorder here: Amazon UKKindle |Hardback


The Stars We Steal by Alexa Donne

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I love Alexa Donne’s first book, so I’m excited to get this one too!
I don’t know much about this, which is fine – I prefer to go in blind. I hope it’s as good as her debut!

Out 4th February
Preorder here: Amazon UK Kindle| Paperback


Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

I bloody adored Get a Life, Chloe Brown and this is the sequel following another Brown sister. I cannot wait for this!

Out June 23rd
Preorder here: Amazon UK Kindle | Paperback


The Girl and the Stars by Mark Lawrence

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Have I finished Mark Lawrence’s other books yet? No. Will that stop me from being excited/being this? Also, no. The books I’ve read so far have been great. This one sounds amazing, so I’m definitely picking it up!

Out April 30th
Preorder here: Amazon UK Kindle|Hardback


The Switch by Beth O’Leary

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I absolutely loved The Flatshare, it was one of my favourite reads of 2019. I will now pick up anything this author does. I pray that I love this as much as The Flatshare. The premise of this sounds SO cool! I cannot wait to pick this up!

Out 30th April
Preorder here: Amazon UK Kindle | Hardback


What 2020 releases are you looking forward?

Books · Tag

The Spotify Book Tag

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Hey guys, I’m back with another tag!
I’m not sure who created this tag but if you know please let me know!

Let’s begin:

1. Hit Rewind: a book you go back to again and again?

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

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My favourite book! This has always stuck with me and I could honestly keep reading it over and over.


2. Romantic Ballads: a book that gives you all those fluttery feels?

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

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I’ve read this 3 times and it never fails to give me all the fluttery feels.
Such a swoon worth book.


3. Release Radar: a new release book you are excited for?

The Burning White by Brent Weeks

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I am both excited and terrified for the last book in the Lightbringer.


4. Discover Weekly: a book you haven’t read yet but want to discover?

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

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This year I’ve been getting into graphic novels and loving them. Everyone talks about how amazing and cute Heartstopper is so I definitely need to discover this series!


5. Alone Again: your fave book genre to read on your own?

All of them. I don’t really get this question, do people read with others?


6. Alternative: an indie book or author everyone should read!

I don’t read many indie books/authors but I read The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey and enjoyed it. I really need to continue the series.

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7. Cheesy Hits: a book full of cheese that you just love?

I’m not a big fan of cheesy books. It will make me cringe.
However, The Kiss of Deception  could be considered a tad cheesy but I absolutely loved it. Devoured it so fast.
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8. Summer Hits: a book you re-read every summer?

None. I tend to re-read when I feel like it not specifically in the summer…
I did read Warbreaker two summers in a row before.


9. Power Hour: an empowering feminist book or character you adore?

I’ll go with character(s) – I can’t just say one so here are a few:
Aelin (ToG)
Lia (TRC)
Cinder (TLC)
Siri (Warbreaker)
Ferius Parfax (Spellslinger)


10. All Out 10’s: list ten banging books!

Warbreaker 
The Final Empire
Spellslinger
Kingdom of Ash
The Kiss of Deception
The Flatshare
The Black Prism
Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Hold Back the Stars
Vicious


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Audiobooks · Books · Review

Audiobook Review: Crownbreaker by Sebastien de Castell | Spellslinger Finale (Spoiler free)

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Reviews for the others: Spellslinger | Shadowblack | Charmcaster | Soulbinder | Queenslayer

Synopsis:
Kellen and Reichis are settling into their new lives as protectors of the young queen and dealing with the constantly shifting threats to her reign and to her life. For the first time in his life, Kellen feels as if he’s becoming the kind of man that his mentor Ferius had wanted him to be. Even Reichis has come to appreciate having a noble purpose – so long as no one minds him committing the occasional act of theft from the royal treasury.

But what seems to be a simple card game between Kellen and an old man is soon revealed to be a deadly game of wits in which a powerful mage has trapped the queen’s spellslinger in order to kill him.


My Thoughts:

I have no idea where to begin.
I am SO SAD this series has ended. BOY has it been good though. Although not my favourite book in the series, this is a worthy conclusion to what has been an amazing series.

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Side note: the synopsis does not do this book any justice nor is it completely accurate. A lot of stuff goes on, which I won’t spoil, all of which completely surprising after reading the synopsis. It’s definitely a bit misleading but if anything, the book is way better than it sounds from that description.

This book picks up immediately after Queenslayer, as per, we see Kellen causing trouble and being hunted. He’s up to his usual shenanigans, narrowly escaping death constantly with help from Reichis, his murderous Squirrelcat business partner.

This being the last book there are some returns of character, which I loved!(!!!)
Some of my favourite side-characters appear and I was delighted. This book had me on edge, I was dying to know what happened constantly. I was very emotional (I didn’t fully cry but I was super close.) – it was an emotional rollercoaster.

The post-script was amazing. 

I have loved watching Kellen grow as a character through all 6 books, it has been quite the journey! This series will forever stay in my heart and be one of my all-time favourites. These books seriously make me happy, they’re so much fun, the humour is amazing. I look forward to reading more from Sebastien de Castell in the future.

Rating: 4 Stars

*Purchase on Amazon UK: Kindle | Hardback 

The audiobook is AMAZING. The narrator makes this story truly come to life, his voice is incredible. I highly, highly recommend the audiobooks. They really are an amazing experience.
*Free trial of Audible here.


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Books · Top 5 Wednesday

Books I Want to See as TV Shows| Top 5 Wednesday

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Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme, GoodReads group here with all the topics + discussion!

It has been FOREVER since I did a Top 5 Wednesday; I miss it. But, alas, T5W is still on a hiatus, so no new topics; I’ll be revisiting an old one today!

The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E Pearson

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I read this series during the summer and it quickly became a favourite. I would die for a tv show of it! There’s so many elements to the story, it would be SO good as a tv show.


The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

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I know this show is actually in development but it isn’t out and there hasn’t been any updates in a while! I neeeeeeeed this show! If done right it could be absolutely incredible.


Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

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I’m pretty sure everyone knows how bad the film adaptations of PJ are. Does not do the books an ounce of justice. Rick Riordan is a GENIUS. The story is amazing. In my opinion: there’s just too much for a film, it would work so much better as a TV show! If done right, with a good writer and a good cast, it could be insanely good; I wish this would happen!


The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
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This series is so incredible, it needs an adaptation ASAP. I think it would make such a fun, entertaining TV show!



The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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I’m not the biggest Evelyn Hugo lover. *gasp*
The story is interesting enough, I just honestly think it would work better in a visual format. It reads like it should be a documentary. I think it would work so well as a TV show, in the style of a documentary!


chatWhat book would you like to see as a TV Show?


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Books · Review

ARC Review: Kingdom Of Souls by Rena Barron (Spoiler Free)

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Finished cover:

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Synopsis:
Magic has a price—if you’re willing to pay.

Born into a family of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. But each year she fails to call forth her ancestral powers, while her ambitious mother watches with growing disapproval.

There’s only one thing Arrah hasn’t tried, a deadly last resort: trading years of her own life for scraps of magic. Until the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, and Arrah is desperate to find the culprit.

She uncovers something worse. The long-imprisoned Demon King is stirring. And if he rises, his hunger for souls will bring the world to its knees… unless Arrah pays the price for the magic to stop him.


My Thoughts:

I really wanted to love this book, I wanted it to be a new favourite but it wasn’t. I was a little disappointed overall.

The worldbuilding – by far the biggest strength of this book. The world was AMAZING. Like seriously great to read about. I loved learning about the world, the religion/beliefs and the magic. It was so cool! Completely different from the typical Medieval Europe type worlds we typically see in fantasy, this African inspired world was so refreshing to read about.

However, the plot was non-existent, for about 200 pages nothing happened. Nothing. It was a bore. I kept hoping it would get better so I pushed myself through it. The vast majority of the book felt like filler, it could’ve been edited down so much.
This book is over 400  pages and everything that happened could’ve been done in half that. It doesn’t pick up until the last 70-80 pages. It just isn’t worth forcing yourself through 350ish pages for it.

The pacing is all over the place, it’s extremely slow and boring for the most part and then when things start to get interesting it’s over in a page or two. It was odd.

Also, I find the arc to be misleading it says: ‘My Grandmother said I will be a powerful witchdoctor someday. I cannot wait that long’ – which is completely wrong and irrelevant?? Her Grandmother never says that and it’s never implied she’s going to be a powerful witchdoctor, it’s quite the opposite? Very misleading.

The concepts and the ideas in this book were really good, I really wish it had worked out well but overall, it was just meh. I don’t know if I’ll continue on with the series or not.

I really wanted to love this. I want to love fantasy by POC authors, with POC characters but this just didn’t do it for me, sadly.

Characters:
Arrah: Bland. I honestly didn’t even remember her name for half the book. Her name is hardly mentioned and she’s such an unmemorable character. She has non-exist character development, not much of arc going on and there’s no uniqueness to her at all.
I just couldn’t connect to her, which is a shame and pretty much a deal-breaker for me.

Side characters: Meh. There were some okay ones. None particularly stand out or are memorable.

This book is another Children of Blood and Bone for me, high expectations, good concept but doesn’t play out well at all. If you liked COBAB, you’d probably like this too. I wasn’t a fan.

Trigger warnings: Blood magic, rape, violence, abusive parents, victim-blaming & trauma.

Rating: 2.75 Stars

Kingdom of Souls is out this Thursday; September 19th!

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Purchase the book here: Amazon UK  | Book Depository


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