Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

book-review

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon 5/5

6tag_200917-072801My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Review:

This book is everything, everything! It was heart-wrenching, inspiring, beautiful, and refreshing. I found myself wrapped up in Maddie and Olly’s interactions, and I had my heart in my mouth whilst reading most of it. There was always the ‘what if?’ hanging over the pair, and that ‘what if?’ made me want to stop reading once they got to Hawaii. I had that terrifying, amazing feeling that I was about to get my heart broken. This book always kept heart break hanging over my head like an anvil.

That ending, though. I didn’t see it coming, but it was plausible, and I dont think I took a breath throughout. It’s been a long while since I have read a book that put me through my paces like this book. I can’t deal with all the feels I have.

The gorgeous illustrations add beautifully to the narrative. The lay out of the IM’s, and Maddie’s handwritten lists/ schedules offered a nice rest-bite, and continued to add realism to Maddie’s bubble world.

The film better do this book justice!


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

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Review: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E.Schwab

book-review

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab 4.5/5

6tag_070917-204220It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift–back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games–an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries–a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

Review:

Book two surpassed book one and left me wanting more. Once again, Schwab’s world building and character development is spot on. Building on the foundations laid in book one, this book took us deeper into the life of the Antari, the royals, and the magic.

The relationships in this book are subtle yet solid, heartfelt yet not fluffy. The anticipation of Kell and Lila meeting again was almost too much for me. I was pretty happy with the outcome. *No spoilers*.

The Essen Tasch was brilliantly flamboyant. It made me think of the Triwizard Tournament and the Quidditch World Cup rolled into one. The performance, the fights, and the parties are effortlessly written and incredibly visual.

My only niggle was the slow pace at the beginning. I had the same issue with book one. However, when it picked up, it took off like a rocket and I didn’t want to put the book down.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

August Reads Round Up

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Black-Eyed Devils by Catrin Collier

5528155Full Review: Black-Eyed Devils

I rate this book 5/5. Historical truths, teamed with believable characters and back story make for an interesting read. Everything is against Amy and Tom. He is a ‘Blackleg’ brought in by mine bosses to fill the jobs of the striking miners. Amy’s father and brother are striking miners. Need I say more?

A Shining in the Shadows by Beverley Lee

6tag_130817-200747Full Review: A Shining in the Shadows

I rate this book 5/5. A brilliant interpretation on the vampire genre. Effortless plot twists, relationship growth, and character development. Highly recommended, and I can’t wait for book three.

 

Never Too Late by Jane Laird

6tag_190817-073513Full Review: Never Too Late.

I rate this book 2/5. This readd is very short, and left little time for character development. The story is swett, but I found the ending forced.

 

Hellfire by Drew Avera

6tag_190817-073430Full Review: Hellfire.

I rate this book 4/5. This scifi, military tale drew me in and kept me enthralled. I would love to see this addaptedd into a full length novel. The ending was brilliant and unexpected.

 

I Still Love You by Jane Lark

6tag_190817-073804Full Review: I Still Love You.

I rate this book 2/5. The writing was fine, but the topic was far too depressing for my tastes. Don’t get me wrong, the topic is important to highlight, but this book was just not my cup of tea.

 

The God Machine by Mikey Campling, Drew Avera, Christopher Godsoe, and Jamie Dodge

6tag_190817-073558Full Review: The God Machine.

I rate this book 3/5. A unique concept that could easily be expanded. Considering this is the work of four authors, it didn’t jar with me, and the writing styles ran smoothly throughout.

We Have a Winner!!

Thank you to all who have taken part in my 400 followers giveaway. I am pleased to announce a winner of all four ebooks…

Congratulations

Congratulations, Jill Jemmett. Check your inbox! I hope you enjoy Teddie’s, Ezrahli’s, and Dagger’s stories.


Don’t worry if you missed out on the giveaway, you can find all my books on Amazon.


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

4 in 1 Review: Short Stories

book-review

Never Too Late by J.C. Laird 2/5

6tag_190817-073513This story is very short. A sweet story about regrets, love lost, and the afterlife, but not much meat on its bones. I didn’t connect with the characters because of the length, and the ending felt forced.

 

 

Hellfire by Drew Avera 4/5

6tag_190817-073430Another very short story. I thoroughly enjoyed this sci-fi, military tale, and that ending was unexpected. I could invest in it as a longer story. I would love for the author to expand this further. The writing was good, and the character’s felt developed in a short amount of time.

 

The God Machine by Mikey Campling, Drew Avera, Christopher Godsoe, and Jamie Dodge 3/5

6tag_190817-073558One story written by four authors. Sounds like a disaster, right? Actually, I was impressed. I loved the concept of The God Machine; a machine linking scribes to write the universe and all it’s dimensions into existence. I feel it needed to be longer, and more questions needed to be answered, but for a free, short read, it was a unique idea.

 

I Still Love You by Jane Lark 2/5

6tag_190817-073804This is not a standalone. Although free from Amazon, it should still be stated clearly that to fully understand the characters and their history, the reader must read the previous books about Rachel and Jason. This story is pretty depressing for my tastes, but the theme is important and a very real/ important issue for some couples. Can’t fault the writing, just not my cup of tea.

 


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Review: Black-Eyed Devils by Catrin Collier (Short Story)

book-review

Black-Eyed Devils by Catrin Collier 5/5

5528155One look was enough. Amy Watkins and miner ‘Big’ Tom Kelly were in love. But can they keep their feelings secret or face the threat of death in a community torn apart by the miner’s strike? Tonypandy, South Wales, 1911. Starving, striking miners fight soldiers and police on the picket lines for the right to earn a wage that will feed their families, while Irish labourers are brought in the take their place in the pits, for half their pay. Handsome ‘Big’ Tom Kelly, an Irish worker, comes to Wales looking for a better life and believes he has found it when he falls in love with Amy Watkins, the daughter of a strike leader. At night, the miners search out the Irish men, drag them from their beds, beat them and then hang them from the street lamp posts. Can Amy and Tom keep their love a secret forever? All they want is a future together. But in a world full of hatred, anger and violence, their dream seems impossible. Until another strike leader offers them a way out.

Review:

This is short story included in the Quick Reads Campaign. Quick Reads can be read in one or two sittings.

I was thoroughly drawn into Amy and Tom’s story. The Welsh miners in Tonypandy went on strike, and the mine bosses brought in Irish men to fill their jobs. Needless to say, the locals were not happy. One of these Irish ‘Blacklegs’ is Tom, and he falls head over heels for Amy, the daughter of one of the striking miners. The historical truths, teamed with the main characters and sub characters backstories make for an interesting read. You can’t help but root for Amy and Tom, and the ending was perfect.

I would recommend this book as a summer read, and those interested in historical fiction would enjoy this story.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Review: A Shining in the Shadows by Beverley Lee

book-review

A Shining in the Shadows (Gabriel Davenport #2) by Beverley Lee 5/5

6tag_130817-200747Gabriel Davenport has been remade from darkness. Now, he must adapt to survive .

In a small seaside town, Gabriel’s maker unwittingly takes his wards into the throes of a deadly new game. There are rumblings on The Bloodvyne, the mental web of linked vampire consciousness. Whispers about a cleansing, about the ruling council hunting vampires with impure blood.

Gabriel finds himself thrust into a new nightmare, where the hunter becomes the hunted. When his maker is taken, he must battle to untangle the mystifying clues laid out in an uncovered labyrinth to find the only creature strong enough to fight against those that hunt his new-found family.

Gaze long into the darkness, and you’ll find old vampire foes out for revenge, new ones with their own agenda, and a witch who holds the key. But just who is the monster in the middle?

Review:

Another masterpiece from Lee. After relishing Lee’s effortless writing style in book one, I was yet again sucked into Gabriel’s world and led like a sleepwalker through the pages and plot twists with ease. Lee makes writing seem easy. The pacing, narrative, and character development has a superb flow, and as a reader, you wake up at the end wondering where you are and how you got there. Book hangover!

Some points that I have to mention:

  1. The relationship dynamics are on fire. There are some curve balls, and then relationships that blossom organically, despite initial thoughts.
  2.  Plot twists are subtley woven into the narrative. The ending is a weaving together of story pieces. Writing tapestry.
  3. Character development is a huge part of my reading experience. When you’re rooting for anti-heroes of sorts, you know the writer has got it right.

In summary, this is a vampire read that isn’t cliche. The characters and relationships are well crafted, and the story is littered with breadcrumbs that tie up effortlessly at the end. I highly recommend this series.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Review: Short Stories

book-review

6tag_290717-062243

A Sea Change by Veronica Henry 3/5

I was hoping for a bit more romance, but the story was sweet with a happy ending. Jenna is skint, about to be made homeless, and doesn’t want to go back to living with her alcoholic mother. Out of desperation, she goes to the beach to steal enough money to pay her rent. Craig is a police officer on his holidays at said beach. He catches Jenna in the act and has a heart to heart with her.

It felt a little unbelievable, even though the situations Jenna faced are very real in everyday life. There was also a lot of unnecessary description: a long list of the ice cream flavours she sold, and everything in Craig’s grocery shop.

I wonder if there is/ will be a sequel to this short, as the situation between Craig and Jenna is left open for readers to assume the outcome.

After the Love: Guardian’s in Love (Newsletter Exclusive Short) by Brianna West 5/5

This short is exclusive to West’s newsletter. Sign up here: Subscribe.

I’m already a huge fan of West’s Promiscus Guardians, and have read Victor’s personal love story. This short carries on from that story, and gives a steamy, sexy glimpse in Victor’s relationship with Lilly, and shows how Victor deals with his jealousy. I loved it. I can’t wait for more.

Love is Blind by Kathy Lette 2.5/5

I wasn’t sure what to make of this story. It started off a little ridiculous, and the two sisters argued for pages. Neither seemed like relatable people- or good people for that matter. As the story continued, and Anthea went to meet Jane in Australia, it picked up a little. I think I would have preferred it more if the author didn’t fill it with every insult that she thought was remotely funny.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Review: Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

book-review

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff 4/5

6tag_210717-204649Arashitoras are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shõgun, they fear that their lives are over – everyone knows what happens to those who fail the Lord of the Shima Isles. But the mission proves less impossible and more deadly than anyone expects. Soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled arashitora for company. Although she can hear his thoughts, and saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her. Yet trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and the beast soon discover a bond that neither of them expected.

Meanwhile, the country around them verges on collapse. A toxic fuel is choking the land, the machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure, and the Shõgun cares for nothing but his own dominion. Authority has always made Yukiko, but her world changes when she meets Kin, a young man with secrets, and the rebel Kagé cabal. She learns the horrifying extent of the Shõgun’s crimes, both against her country and her family.

Returning to the city, Yukiko is determined to make the Shõgun pay – but what can one girl and a flightless arashitora do against the might of an empire?

Review:

I went into this book with an open mind. I had read 5*, glowing reviews, and 1*/2* slating ones. Most of the 1*/ 2* reviews are based on what the readers felt was a lack of thorough research into the Japanese culture, or stereotyping of the same. I haven’t much knowledge on Japanese culture, and decided to read this book knowing it is a fantasy novel, and not actually in set Japan, but Shima, a fictional location.

Another thoroughly enjoyable read from Jay Kristoff with characters to love. Yukiko and Buruu’s relationship was well crafted and had me giggling at times. The sub-characters were all perfectly flawed, and added to the narrative.

I found the beginning a little hard going, but one advantage of lots of description and  slow, world-building is an indepth, immersive read. Seriously, it is worth ploughing on. Steam-punk twinned with Japanese elements was an interesting mix, and the two worked well together to create a vivid world.

The ending was worth the journey: surprises, shocks, and oh, my poor heart. I have book two, Kinslayer, to read, and I doubt it will be long before I have to return to Yukiko’s world. The title makes me a little worried, though. Kinslayer… Kin-slayer…. I hope I’m thinking on it too much.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

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Review: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

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The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson 4/5

6tag_160717-063147In this harrowing tale of good and evil, the mild-mannered Dr. Jekyll develops a potion that unleashes his secret, inner persona—the loathsome, twisted Mr. Hyde.

Review:

Dr Jekyll’s friends are worried about him. Should he die or vanish, the civilised doctor has bequeathed his entire fortune to a man who oozes evil, Mr Hyde. How are the two men acquainted, and how can they make Jekyll see sense?

Let me first state that I know this story, but I have never actually read the book until now. Various retellings, shows/films etc ensure that no one can grow up without at least hearing of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and the narrative basics. It’s bizarre to start a story knowing the story. Does that sound as weird to you as it does to me?

I was pleasantly surprised to feel as though the story was fresh to me. This book explores the different sides to identity, and how both good and evil are intertwined in us all, but if you allow it, the evil in us will win.

Despite the fact that this book is short, and nearly the entirety of the book is told from the friend’s perspectives, Stevenson does a brilliant job at character development for both Jekyll and Hyde. Jekyll’s statement at the end is brutally honest and logical, and although he realises the mistakes he made, he isn’t entirely remorseful. It is a chilling ending to a chilling read.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review