A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Author: Patrick Ness

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Horror, Fiction

Description: The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.

STAR RATING: 5/5

Hi everyone!

This book is a book that finished today, and it has hit me hard. This review might contain spoilers so please read with caution!

The story circulates around a young boy called Conor, who’s mother has cancer and he has to take care of himself whilst she is ill. However, he keeps on having the same nightmare, and every night at 12:07, he wakes up from it. One night he hears the monster say his name, but as he goes to investigate the monster, it’s not the one he is expecting. Sat in his back garden is the old yew tree from the graveyard up by the hill, and the monster goes by the name Cernunnos. He has come to Conor to deliver 3 stories, and receive a 4th – Conor’s true nightmare.

Damn this book had me in tears by it. It is sad but also has some incredibly valuable life lessons in it. I fully expected Cernunnos to be a bad guy, but he wasn’t at all. He helped Conor explore his true feelings and helped him realize his true feelings.

This book is essentially a cancer story. But it isn’t the conventional type, because it’s a very intricate story which sets it apart from books such as TFIOS.

I did judge this book by its cover. I thought it would be a scary novel, when in reality it was a harsh, hard hitting novel. This is the first book that I have read by Patrick Ness, and what a good choice it was.

I gave this book 5 stars because I couldn’t fault it. The plot was so delicate and is something that people have to live through. The characters were flawless – I really empathized with Conor, I felt his Grandmother’s pain, I then understood how tough this situation was for his father, and I really respected the mother for how brave she was throughout.

If you take away the fact that this is a cancer story, it is still a beautiful tale about letting go and being honest with yourself and the others around you, because it will take a big weight off of your chest.

Please make sure you have this book on your bookshelf, you will not regret it.

TheFictionalWanderer x

The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

 

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Author: Dawn Kurtagich

Genre: Psychological Thriller, Young Adult

Description: Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High School burned down. The blaze killed three and injured twenty, and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. For two decades, little was revealed about what became known as the Johnson Incident.

Until now.

A diary has been found in the ruins of the school. In this diary, Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s twin, tells of the strange and disturbing sequence of events leading to the incident.

But Kaitlyn doesn’t exist. She never has.

Chilling, creepy and compelling, THE DEAD HOUSE is one of those very special books that finds all the dark places in your imagination, and haunts you long after you’ve finished reading.

STARS: 5/5

Hello everyone!

Now, this book review is about a book that I started around 3pm yesterday and finished at 8pm the same day. This review will contain spoilers so please read with caution!

We were introduced to the storyline almost straight away. A fire at a school left some dead and some missing. Obviously, the true events of it would get revealed as you gradually read the book, but it was extremely inviting and intriguing nonetheless. Additionally, a separate storyline introduced the two (?) female characters; Kaitlin and Carly. Their parents died and they did not know what happened, so they were sent to a psychiatric ward to a) help them remember, and b) get rid of one of them.

I cannot even begin to fathom what actually happened in this book! Firstly we had Carly and Kaitlin who shared a body but were two different souls, then part of the book was a therapist Dr Lansing who was trying to get Carly to supress Kaitlin, and then we discovered that Kaitlin was the real person!

I loved how this book was structured and presented. It wasn’t set out as a normal book. we read this story by reading Kaitlin’s journal and ‘watching’ Naida’s camera footage, plus we were able to read interviews. This really intrigued me about the book and it was what made me want to continue reading it in the first place.

Then we were able to meet some characters; Kaitlin, Carly, Scott, Naida, Brett, Ari, John, Haji, and Dr Lansing. They’re all bloody amazing characters. They’re all weird and mysterious, and they’re all quite secretive in their own way. I honestly loved Kaitlin and Naida – Naida especially. She helped Kaitlin straight away and didn’t think twice about it.

Another thing I loved about the characters was that I couldn’t tell who was the Shyan, the ‘villain’. At the beginning I thought it was Dr Lansing because I really did not like her, but I was proven wrong. When I read who it was I thought ‘ah yes that makes some sense’, but I ended up questioning all of them. Ari was the obvious choice being the love interest, but would you really class him as a victim? Yes he killed Brett and Haji but he did want to save Kaitlin and he did die trying to control the demon.

Leading from that, I did not expect that ending! All this time we thought that she was being controlled by an Olen, when in fact it was a bad-ass demon. To be fair, this did make a lot of sense when you looked back at things and thought about the ending; Kaitlin did kill Juliet but she didn’t realise, it was the demon thingy. I can’t help but feel incredibly sorry for all of the characters – Naida lost her tongue, Scott was a major suspect in the case, Ari was crazed with love, Brett didn’t really know the damage he had done, and Haji did really help them.

I gave this book 5 stars because I couldn’t fault it. The characters were spectacular, the layout of the book was flawless, and the plot was so complicated and detailed. Dawn Kurtagich, you have written a book that I will read probably 20 more times this week. Full respect!

thefictionalwanderer x

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini



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Author: Josephine Angelini

Genre: Young Adult, Mythology, Fantasy

Description: Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it’s getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she’s haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they’re destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.
As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

STARS: 4/5

Hello everybody!

This post marks my first post on WordPress! So I thought that I should write about one of my all time favourite books, which is also in my opinion a very underrated book and book series.

I read Starcrossed about two years ago and it is my most read book. The storyline to this is so perfect. Helen believes that she is an outcast and that she isn’t ‘normal’, and there is a very good reason why! I think she is such a strong character who grows throughout this series, let alone this book. The storyline revolves around Helen meeting the Delos family, who she instantly wants to kill. She wants to kill one of them in particular: Lucas. With the help of the Delos family, she now comes to terms with her being a demigod, which turns her life on its head.

The characters in this book are the type who you instantly connect with. The Delos family are welcoming but mysterious, Helen is nervous but strong, Claire is sweet but stern, and Matt is lovely but protective. You won’t forget them for a long time.

I didn’t give this book 5 stars because I found that the opening was quite slow, and even though it’s one of my most loved books, I still feel just as bored reading the beginning as I did when I first read it. But that is a minor improvement when compared with the sheer wonder of the book.

I would definitely recommend that this book is on your shelf immediately!

Love, TheFictionalWanderer x

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson




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Author: Jandy Nelson

Genre: Contemporary

Description: Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to centre stage of her own life – and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in town, with a nearly magical grin. One boy takes Lennie out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But the two can’t collide without Lennie’s world exploding…

Star Rating: 4.5/5


Hello everyone!


Last week’s book review was one of my favourites, so I decided to write another review about Jandy Nelson’s first book, The Sky is Everywhere. I hope you enjoy it! Also, there may be a few spoilers!


This book hit me just as hard as I’ll Give You the Sun did. Jandy Nelson’s debut novel focuses on the life of Lennie, who has just lost her older sister Bailey, whom she relied on heavily. The book tells the story of how she, and her family members Gram and Uncle Big, deal with that grief.


It’s really interesting to see who and what can affect how she grieves. This is done by introducing two love interests: Toby, who was Bailey’s boyfriend, and Joe who’s the new guy in town. Toby seems to console and comfort her grief, whereas Joe actually helps her out of her grief.


Two other characters who are quite key to the plot are Gram and Uncle Big, who constantly help Lennie to face her grief. They link quite nicely to the themes of the novel as well; a key theme in the novel is nature, and Gram has a ‘Lennie Plant’, in which Gram believes can see what emotions Lennie is feeling. Little details like this that link into the themes make the novel even more brilliant, as everything links together, which is something that Jandy Nelson does with perfection.


Another theme that is recurring in the novel is music. Lennie has an extortionate amount of love for her clarinet and band class, and she bonds over music with Joe, who has a love for his trumpet and guitar. Music is also featured in a key turning-point in the novel, where Lennie duets with Joe. It’s such a beautiful and special moment for the characters and the readers, as it shows that they grow closer and bond over something that they both share a passion in, which makes it even more spectacular.


Death is also an obvious theme in the book, with Bailey’s tragic death and Gram’s flowers dying. Bailey’s death is so tragic, and even more so when her death is foreshadowed by her playing Juliet in her school play. To me, this is something that adds to the extreme and poignant meaning of the event that occurred. Bailey’s death leads into Toby’s and Lennie’s grief-filled love, which is such a sad element to the book as you can clearly see both of them carrying Bailey’s death like a burden, and it brings them closer together, which in my opinion may not be a good thing but it’s heartbreaking to watch.


After saying all of this, I think my favourite element of the book are the poems that Lennie leaves across her town. To me, this signifies the sheer amount of sadness that Lennie has inside of her; people typically write feelings down in a diary so they can keep it with them. By writing these poems on anything she can find just shows that she isn’t writing it so she can keep it, she’s writing it because she has to have it as an outlet – it’s not something that she wants to keep as a memory.


I gave this book 4.5/5 stars, only because I feel like the ending came a bit too soon. I don’t think that Joe should have forgiven Lennie as quickly as he did. It was a beautiful moment, but I don’t feel it should have happened as early as it did, judging by what Lennie actually did to him. Excluding that, I loved the book. Everything came together and it was written in a beautiful style. Out of the two novels that Jandy Nelson has written, I have loved both of them and I cannot wait to read more of her later novels.

I really hope that you enjoyed this review, happy reading!

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

 

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Author: Jandy Nelson

Genre: Fiction, Young Adult

Description: From the author of The Sky Is Every­where, a radiant novel that will leave you laughing and crying – all at once. For fans of John Green, Gayle Forman and Lauren Oliver. Jude and her twin Noah were incredibly close – until a tragedy drove them apart, and now they are barely speaking. Then Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy as well as a captivating new mentor, both of whom may just need her as much as she needs them. What the twins don’t realize is that each of them has only half the story and if they can just find their way back to one another, they have a chance to remake their world

Star Rating: 5/5


Hey everybody!


Today’s book review is going to be about one of my favourite books of all time. I’ll Give you The Sun has two main protagonists; Noah and Jude. The novel follows their lives, through flashbacks and in present day. We get to know each of the characters from a young age, when nothing bad happened in their lives, and when they’re older and something tragic has happened to them, which has caused both of them to deal with it in different ways. Jude is dealing with the ghosts from her past – literally – and she has a massive burden from that, whereas Noah has distanced himself from his fraternal twin Jude.


The thing that I find beautiful about this book is how art is the central theme of it – it is literally the glue holding every little storyline and fragment together. Art brought Noah and Jude close to people before they even knew it, and it’s a coping mechanism for them when they mature. Other characters revolve around art as well; Oscar is someone who we get to know from both perspectives, and Guillermo is an artist who Jude seeks comfort in, but needs that comfort himself. It’s honestly so beautiful and refreshing to see art as something that has naturally brought every storyline and character together.


The book also highlights different aspects of mourning and coping, as well as secrets being a burden on people. That’s another thing that makes this book special – seeing it from different perspectives gives the book such a refreshing storyline. Amongst the main storyline, there are so many other things that they have to cope with; sexuality, jealousy, and finding a purpose, to name a few.


I’ve given this book 5 stars because there isn’t a single flaw that I can pick out of it. Every little detail connects in ways that you don’t even realise when you first read it. I re-read it straight after I finished it and I realised how many insignificant things actually linked, which added to the detail and thought-out storyline. Another factor that was incredibly fascinating was that both the characters had half of the story, which you didn’t realise until you delved deeper into the book. The characters were people that you could connect to, and honestly when I was reading the book it didn’t feel like I was actually reading, it felt so real that you forgot they were just words on paper. Sometimes, when you read a book you have to push yourself through a slow and sombre beginning/middle/end, and I was delighted when I didn’t have to push myself through it at all – I managed to read it with a comfortable ease due to the number of captivating storylines.


As I said before, this book has to be one of my favourite books I have ever had the fortune to read. If you have read the book then I sincerely hope you share my view, if you haven’t read the book then I encourage you to read it, and I hope you enjoyed reading this post.


Happy Reading!

Bethan

New Year, New books!

Hello everybody!

Due to the fact I have been horribly lazy with this blog, this is well overdue – I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and a wonderful new year.

We are one month into 2016 and it has been cold, wet and miserable here in England – nothing new here! However, I did the impossible and finally downloaded the Goodreads app! It has opened my eyes to the many new books that are going to be released this year, and this post is about some of the books I am especially looking forward to buying!

****SPOILERS MAY BE PRESENT HERE****

Lady Midnight 

 

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Author – Cassandra Clare

Release date – March 8th, 2016

Genre – Fantasy, young-adult fiction

 

Description – Los Angeles. It’s been five years since the events of the Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to discovering exactly what it was that killed her parents and getting her revenge.

Raised in the Los Angeles Institute with the Blackthorn family, Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian Blackthorn. A series of murders in the city catch her attention — they seem to have the same characteristics as the deaths of her parents. Could the murderer be the same person? And her attention isn’t the only one caught: someone has been murdering Downworlders as well. The Fair Folk make a deal with the Institute: if the Blackthorns and Emma will investigate the killings, they’ll return Mark Blackthorn to his home. The catch: they have only two weeks to find the killers. Otherwise it’s open war between faeries and Nephilim.

The Shadowhunters of the Institute must race against time to catch the killers, even as they begin to suspect the involvement of those closest to them. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with the one person in the world she’s absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica.

I am amazingly excited for this book to be released! I am a massive fan of Cassandra Clare, her previous novels – The Infernal Devices, The Mortal Instruments, The Bane Chronicles – are novels that I have yet to forget. This book features two main characters that we are introduced to in the last Mortal Instruments book, and they intrigued me so much I just needed to know more about them. Cassandra Clare tends to do this wonderful thing with all of her books where she makes them have some sort of key connection to one another. I have no doubts about this book being any less than spectacular, and I cannot wait to read it. Bring on March 8th!

Glass Sword (Red Queen #2)

 

 

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Author – Victoria Aveyard

Release date – February 9th, 2016 (Available on amazon February 11th, 2016)

 

Genre – Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopian

 

Description –

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare’s blood is Red – the colour of common folk – but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from the prince and friend who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by the Silver king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat. Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

I remember how much I enjoyed Red Queen, it’s such an amazing and exhilarating novel with a daring character and an interesting narrative and storyline. There were so many twists and turns during this, and we loathed characters that we initially thought were ‘on our side’. I have waited for this book for a year and, if this book is anything like its predecessor, then there will be no disappointments. Plus, the ending had me cursing the author for making me wait for the second installment to come out, I have been waiting for this!!

Throne of Glass #5 (No current title)

 

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Author – Sarah J. Maas

Release date – September 6th, 2016

Genre – Fantasy, Young Adult, Magic

 

Description – The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don’t.As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear. Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

I initially bought this book series on kindle, but couldn’t get into it at all. I then got the first book for my birthday, and then my boyfriend took me to this cute bookshop in Stamford which happened to have all of the series! I adore the storyline in each book, the main character has developed so much and she has matured an incredible amount. This book series is one to follow, and the fifth installment is going to be incredible, this author really knows how to captivate an audience, which is why I have no doubts about this book living up to the expectations set by the previous books.

This Is Where It Ends

 

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Author – Marieke Nijkamp

 

Release date – January 5th, 2016

 

Genre – Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Thriller

 

Description – 10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

I actually had forgotten that this book had already been released. I just think that the idea of this book is so hard hitting, as school shootings are something we hear about in the news but we don’t know the perspective of the people actually involved, only the media’s perspective of it. Plus the four different perspectives will really bring up the emotion and tension in this book. It’s something I am looking forward to purchasing and reading.

So there you have it, my four books that I am excitedly anticipating and waiting for in 2016. Hopefully the time passes quickly!!

Bethan x

Panic Attacks

Hello everyone,

Okay so this is quite a serious topic that I wanted to share with you and write about, because I just want to let it out.

I get panic attacks quite a lot due to my anxiety, and it is crap. Usually they occur 3 or 4 times a week, so they’re quite regular. Sometimes I just don’t know how to deal with them, and I thought I could write a little memo to myself as to how to deal with them, and share it with you too.

What I’ve learnt about them is that they’re a type of defense mechanism, or like an auto pilot. Do you ever see something really scary you either close your eyes or run? That’s an automatic thing your body does when it senses danger. Panic attacks are another one of those defense mechanisms which your body strangely does.

They also seem to last a lot longer than they actually do. To me it feels like an hour, but then I realise only ten minutes have passed and it’s so weird because such a massive thing happens in such a short amount of time. For me, I get really hot and I feel like my chest is closing up, which starts me hyperventilate and panic more at the fact I’m panicking, which makes zero sense at all.

Everyone always tells me to breathe when I have one, which oddly enough is easier said than done in that type of situation. I know that I need to breathe but I just don’t seem to be able to properly, like a barrier is stopping me from it.

They’re usually caused by something, like something makes you panic. Only if I’d be so lucky. Mine just occur – I’ll be sat down feeling amazing and then ten minutes later it feels like the end of the world.

You gotta remember though that it lasts a matter of minutes. And you have to alert someone of it, because trying to handle it on your own does more damage than good. Talk to a teacher or councillor or friend. ANYONE is better than no one. Also don’t act like it’s something to be ashamed of, because it isn’t. Don’t keep it to yourself, because you’ll find that people act more understanding towards it than if they didn’t know (because some people are just nosy, but it this situation that’s a good trust me).

A method I use to calm down is called grounding. When you’re having a panic attack or feel like you’re on the brink of having one;

Find 5 things you can see

4 things you can touch

3 things you can hear

2 things you can smell

1 thing you can taste

And then get yourself outside and breathe in and out. Drink water and sit down, give your body time to handle what’s happening and let it overcome it.

Always have a friend who will ring you when this is happening, or who will tag you in John Cena videos to cheer you up.

I hope this helps atleast one person reading this, because it’s already helped me just getting it out.

Love,

Bethan x