August 23, 2018

See All the Stars by Kit Frick

Cover Art Courtesy of Goodreads
There's nothing like a story with a good, unexpected twist. Pair that with a contemporary high school scene and you have a win in my book. See All the Stars by Kit Frick was just that. This part love story, part thriller follows high school student Ellory both at present in her senior year and in flashbacks to her junior year. Something clearly happened that split Ellory's friend group apart and destroyed her life, but what?

While one part of this story was incredibly predictable, the main twist came out of left field and completely took me by surprise! If you read my blog regularly, you'll know that's rare for me! I really enjoyed the characters and was especially intrigued by Ret. With characters like her, I'm always fascinated by what makes them so attractive that people can't help but want to be in their orbit. I honestly can't say I've ever met a person so charismatic in real life, so these types of characters are some of my favorites!

Overall, I enjoyed how unique and truly realistic the characters were. I appreciated that Ellory was into metalworking as an art form. I found that so unique and wish I could have seen some of her pieces. The writing in this novel was absolutely beautiful and poetic, and the story just flowed off the page. The last chapter was good closure, and I felt satisfied with the ending. And can we talk about this cover - it's gorgeous!

Fans of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart will absolutely love this read! It's one of those books that you will want to read over and over again to get your questions answered and discover more details.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Thanks so much to Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster for a finished copy of this thrilling read! See All the Stars by Kit Frick is out now, so be sure to pick up a copy!

August 20, 2018

Giant Days by Non Pratt

Cover Art Courtesy of Goodreads
I've heard so much about the Giant Days graphic novel series, but I've never managed to pick it up and see for myself. This was somewhat remedied when I found out that there was a novel based around the same characters. Giant Days by Non Pratt follows the same three girls as the graphic novel: Susan, Esther, and Daisy, as they navigate their first year of college (university). I'm not quite sure where on the timeline this story takes place, but it definitely isn't the very beginning of their friendship.

The story is about these three girls trying to find themselves and their place in the world of college. Esther tries to befriend an ultra-cool goth girl and bends over backwards trying to impress her. Susan throws herself headfirst into her medical studies to escape her past. And Daisy joins every club possible hoping to find something that sticks. Chaos ultimately ensues leading the girls to need each other more than ever, and really learn the value of true friendship in the process. I do want to put a trigger warning on this for roofies and a scene that could have led to rape.

As much as I wanted to love this book, unfortunately I just didn't. The only real action happened in the last few chapters, so it was hard to push through until then. Normally I'm fine with this in character-driven novels, but the characters didn't even really change or develop enough to keep me interested until that point. The main characters were fine, and while I liked Esther and Susan, Daisy really rubbed me the wrong way. And the side characters were just awful in my opinion, and didn't really serve a purpose until the very end. I also don't understand the title. Maybe it makes more sense if you've read the graphic novels. I'm glad I took a stab at this book, and am still definitely interested in learning more about the Giant Days world as a whole, but this isn't a memorable read for me.

If you're a fan of the graphic novels and love these three girls, definitely pick up this read! But if you're new to the Giant Days world, you should probably start with the graphic novels then segue over to this novel. I think it would be a great addition to an already established world, but as a stand alone it unfortunately fell flat for me.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

Thanks so much to Amulet Books for sending me an advanced copy of this read! Giant Days by Non Pratt comes out TOMORROW, August 21st, so if this sounds up your alley or you love the graphic novel series, be sure to pick up a copy! 

August 6, 2018

The Bespokist Society Guide to London by Jeremy Liebster



Synopsis

You have in your hands one of the most curated city guides ever created. As the first travel book produced by the hugely influential Bespokist Society, this handy guide takes you to a London you’ve never seen: a London of challenging Etruscan restaurants, edgy branding parlours, emoji hotels and hidden Icelandic communities; a London where 8-ply toilet paper is a thing.

On the way, meet an eclectic band of inspiring Londoners - from scriveners to socialites via urban wordsmiths and coffee preachers - and see why London is now the global epicentre of Bespokist consciousness, community and culture.

"sparse... some glaring omissions” FoodPorn London

“only page 23 is of mild interest” http://www.londonpetlover.com

“Wow!!! A genuinely bespoke city guide!!!” Tommy Sponge, Chairman, The Bespokist Society

My Review

As you guys probably know, I recently got to go to London, and absolutely fell in love with the city. Knowing I had this trip planned, I jumped at the chance to take part in this blog tour. But big disclaimer here: this is not just any city guidebook. No, this is a satirical, uproariously funny guidebook, poking fun at niche hipster culture.

Each page had me cracking a smile if not all out belly laughing. The wit and cleverness just roll off the page, but I do have a very dry and sarcastic sense of humor. Many of the entries are accompanied by a high quality and Instagram-worthy image, further emphasizing the overall "extra-ness" of everything in this guide.

This was a fast, funny, novelty read that I really enjoyed. It was very short, and I would have liked to see a little more content.

Just know going into this that this guide will not help tourists make their way through London. This fantastic work of fiction belongs in the humor section of the bookstore, rather than the travel section. 

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

About the Author

The Bespokist Society Guide to London is a work of fiction written by born and bred Londoner, Jeremy Liebster. Somewhat surprisingly, Jeremy is also a city lawyer - formerly at DLA Piper and now a General Counsel within a large private equity group. Jeremy is utterly obsessed with travel books and although he might poke fun at urban fads, hipster fried chicken is his guilty pleasure. He also has an unusual interest in clothes hangers.

You can follow The Bespokist Society on Twitter, or visit the website here.

Thanks so much to Rachel's Random Resources for a copy of this read! If satirical travel books are right up your alley, be sure to pick up a copy!


August 3, 2018

The Letting Go by Deborah Markus

Cover Art Courtesy of Goodreads
This book is so unique and different, and I had no idea I would enjoy it as much as I did when I decided to read it. The Letting Go by Deborah Markus is a thought provoking story about a girl who believes she is not allowed to have anyone or anything she loves.

Emily is a loner, not because she wants to be, but because she has to be. You see, everyone (and everything-pets included), that she loves, is brutally murdered. Emily has finally figured out the rules: don't get too close to any living thing, or if you do it will be killed.

Holing herself up in an artistic boarding school, Emily is viciously cruel to everyone that crosses her path. But this is for their own benefit. She doesn't want them to end up like her mother, father, best friend, or dog. At school, Emily focuses on the one thing that she loves that cannot be taken away from her: Emily Dickinson. Emily Dickinson is already dead, and words cannot be killed, so this is the one thing Emily allows herself to embrace and love.

But when a dead body turns up on the steps of the boarding school, Emily is convinced that it has to do with her, even though she never knew the dead man. Has she made a mistake? Was she wrong about the rules? And just as this is happening, another girl at the school insists on getting close to Emily at the possible expense of her own life. What can Emily do to stop all the death around her?

I loved everything about this book. From the poetry interspersed throughout to Emily's introspective and meticulous thought process, I was captured from the first page. It actually took me a while to get through this read, not because it was dull or boring, but because it made me think so much and I had to keep putting the book down to reflect.

I was a huge fan of the lesbian romance in this book, and loved that it was subtle and not at all pushy. This is definitely not a love story, and this element was not the focus of the plot. The twist really got me as well, and normally I can see these things coming from a mile away! Overall, this was a very unusual and unique read that I can definitely see myself revisiting in the future.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

A huge thanks to Sky Pony Press for an advanced copy of this fantastic read! The Letting Go by Deborah Markus was just released this week, so be sure to pick up a copy!