Sampler Sunday- 19/11/2017

Apologies for missing Sampler Sunday last week, I got ill (again!). Anyway, onto this weeks’ Sampler Sunday.

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Broken Sky – Ooo! What on Earth is going on? What on Earth has happened? I love this unique dystopian world that we’re hinted at where horoscopes rule over peoples actions and lives. This sampler has so much mystery that I already feel hooked.  7/10 need

Rebel of the Sands – I didn’t realise what this was going to be about but was pleasantly surprised. The western feel mixed with rebellion works brilliantly and I’m willing Amani on so that she can live the life she wishes to have. I’ve heard so many good things about this book that I’ll definitely have to finish it one day. 8/10 need
Ink Wow! I absolutely love this. I’m already so hooked I’ve moved this to the top of my TBR pile. The obscureness of the markings and the mystery surrounding them is gripping. I can’t wait to find out more about Leora and her dad’s dark secret. 10/10 need

 

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Sampler Sunday – 05/11/17

In today’s sampler Sunday, I’ve reviewed three completely different samplers: The Jungle, Long Way Down and The Last Namsara.

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Long Way Down – I love that it’s written in poetry and although it’s not the usual style/form of poetry I love and am used to, I still really like it. I’m not sure about the ‘plot’ as it doesn’t feel like my cup of tea. However, the poetry is a perfect expression for the narrator’s emotions.

5/10 need
The Jungle – This is different, interesting and eye-opening. I would read this to find out more about refugee’s which unfortunately is such a taboo topic of modern life. Although not my normal read I would love to pick this up. I feel like this book is one to read.

7/10 need
The Last Namsara – I bloody love this (the characters, the myths, the history- all of it) and already can’t wait to pick it up. The only downside is that I love dragons so their death semi-hurts (although I understand that these dragons are nasty ones).

9/10 need

Let me know if you’ve read any of these already (as a sample/proof/published copy) and comment below what you think, I’d love to know.

STAGS – Review

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It is the autumn term and Greer MacDonald is struggling to settle into the sixth form at the exclusive St. Aidan the Great boarding school, known to its privileged pupils as S.T.A.G.S.

To her surprise Greer receives a mysterious invitation with three words embossed upon on it: huntin’ shootin’ fishin’ – an invitation to spend the half term weekend at the country manor of Henry de Warlencourt, the most popular and wealthy boy at S.T.A.G.S.

Greer joins the other chosen students at the ancient and sprawling Longcross Hall, and soon realises that they are at the mercy of their capricious host. Over the next three days, as the three bloodsports – hunting, shooting and fishing – become increasingly dark and twisted, Greer comes to the horrifying reality that those being hunted are not wild game, but the very misfits Henry has brought with him from school…

Greer starts at STAGS, a historic boarding school that is posh af! As she tries to settle in she finds herself invited by the Medievals (the most popular group on campus) to a weekend of blood sports. Little does she know that the animals aren’t the only ones who should watch their backs.

This book is awesome. It’s brilliantly written, with a brilliant plot and amazing characters.  I also love the division of the book into sections for each blood sport. Huntin Shotin Fishin is definitely the worst rule of three/triplet/rhetorical triad ever! I personally think that these blood sports are gross and unnecessarily violent.  The medivals are certainly immoral, evil and self-absorbed. And just plain creepy.

I love that the three ‘misfits’ become good friends. Their friendship really blossoms as they come to the realisation of the true intentions of the weekend. I love their closeness, especially that between a certain two of them. I also loved Greer’s obsession with films even if I didn’t get most of the references to them.

The traditions of the school are weird and out of date so I’m pleased at the changes that are made at the end. We as readers are certainly lead to believe that all is well and then bam! that twist. What a surprise! I certainly wasn’t expecting that.

The different setting of a posh, traditional boarding school certainly helps set the unsettling scene and bring the story to life. Bennett has done spectacularly well to create such suspense, surprise and a whole round brilliant book. If you haven’t read this amazing book yet, I totally recommend you grab a copy as soon a possible and rocket it to the top of your TBR.

Sampler Sunday

Since I had so many samplers from the last three years at YALC that I’ve not read *shame*, I decided that had to change. So, I’ve created this new feature ‘Sampler Sunday’ where I will post mini reviews of the samplers that I have accumulated and finally read.

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1423 QI facts to blow you over

I normally love QI but although these facts were really interesting, it’s just not the same without the brilliant banter. Some of the facts were really fascinating with my favourite fact about a German airline that allows an extra free kilo of hand luggage provided it’s books. How cool!!

1/10 need as non-fiction books aren’t my thing although it does sound interesting

The Boy who drew the future

Wowzers! I absolutely love this and the characters. I really need to know about their gifts and lives; past and future. A really interesting premise that I need.

10/10 need

Otherworld

This is such a cool concept. Was a curious world. I feel bad for ‘caged’ Simon but do think he’s a bit creepy. I’d love to know more about the Otherworld. I hope his relationships improve and that he can fully explore this Otherworld.

9/10 need

The Treatment by C.L.TAYLOR – Review

the treatmentAll sixteen year old Drew Finch wants is to be left alone. She’s not interested in spending time with her mum and stepdad and when her disruptive fifteen year old brother Mason is expelled from school for the third time and sent to a residential reform academy she’s almost relieved.

Everything changes when she’s followed home from school by the mysterious Dr Cobey, who claims to have a message from Mason. There is something sinister about the ‘treatment’ he is undergoing. The school is changing people.

Determined to help her brother, Drew must infiltrate the Academy and unearth its deepest, darkest secrets.

 

The opening chapter was just wow. It certainly gripped me with the immediate whirlwind of mysterious events. We see Drew delve into the mysteries of The Academy after receiving a fearful note from her brother. She gets caught up in the mysterious events to try and unravel the dark secrets of The Academy.

I really liked this plot and the concept of The Academy and their secrets. The tag line ‘Welcome to the Academy. We’re here to cure you. OF EVERYTHING’ really had me hooked. I thought the book was good but I felt that the action was sped up, with significant plot points happening too quickly.

Drew is very brave to have gone after her brother at a school she knows little about that is surrounded by weirdness.  I was very proud of her; overcoming her fears and control. As a reader you find things out in real time as Drew does which made my heart feel like it had been ripped out when I thought things had gone wrong.  I was rooting for her all the way through and was so pleased when things eventually went to plan.

The Treatment itself is probably my worst nightmare, being stripped of myself and having everything take away. It’s certainly no cure and just a brutal, immoral ideal so I was glad that the ending was good but due to having some little peeps of unsettledness, I do wonder if there will be a sequel.

A bit of a fast paced story but none-the-less a good one.

Freshers – Review

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I’ll admit that trying to write a spoiler free review of this was so hard but I persevered and here it is…

After being recommended this from the lovely bunch at #SundayYA, I popped to my local library to borrow a copy so I could read it before I started as a Fresher on the 23rd September. I’m glad I did as despite all the cringey and weird situations, it surprisingly made me feel better about going to university.

This book follows Phoebe and Luke as they tackle their first few months at university. The split narrative was brilliant as it allowed multiple view points to this transition period in their lives. The book was laugh-out-loud funny and really cringey. It covered some awkward situations in a delicate but not cotton wool way.

Luke and Phoebe’s complex relationship had many twists and turns and I have so many spoilery feels about it (message me if you really want them). My feelings towards Luke also twisted and turned but ultimately although I feel he often got the wrong end of the stick, he was also equally to blame for being a bit of a dick.

As for the other characters, I love Phoebe’s close relationship with her flat mates, I thought it was adorable. I also loved Josh – a second year that helped Phoebe settle in.

Overall, not only was it a great read, it taught me a few things, mainly to hide my Nutella in my bedroom. If you’re off to uni soon or at some point in the future I would definitely recommend reading this brilliant book.

 

Fresher Friday #2 – Moving

Hi guys! So it’s Friday again and the last week has flown by and the big day has finally come round. I actually move to university tomorrow and due to an early start, I’m spending today packing. I’ve started throughout the week but today will be neatly stuffing, folding and Tetris-playing to fit my things into boxes and suitcases.

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It’s an overwhelming task so I have a big bag of chocolate and Ed Sheeran on repeat, as I try not to get upset that I’m moving tomorrow.

I’m afraid that this is all for today as I’m super busy. I’ll see you all with my next (hopefully longer) update next Friday from university.