Five Quick Reviews

Welcome back to Five Quick Reviews. This segments allows me to share my thoughts on books that I have purchased myself or borrowed without having to type out a fully fledged review. Be sure to let me know if you have read any of these books!

  • Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella 
Title: Surprise Me
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Bantam Press
Publication Date: 08 February 2018
Source: Book Club (borrowed)
Format: Tradepaperback (ARC)
Pages: 350
Rating: DNF

Goodreads Synopsis:

After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have all the trimmings of a happy life and marriage; they have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other's sentences. However, a trip to the doctor projects they will live another 68 years together and panic sets in. They never expected "until death do us part" to mean seven decades.
In the name of marriage survival, they quickly concoct a plan to keep their relationship fresh and exciting: they will create little surprises for each other so that their (extended) years together will never become boring. But in their pursuit to execute Project Surprise Me, mishaps arise and secrets are uncovered that start to threaten the very foundation of their unshakable bond. When a scandal from the past is revealed that question some important untold truths, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all. 

Book Review:

I've never read a Kinsella book before and I am so sad that I missed the Shopaholic series written bu because I definitely think I would have loved it when I was younger. However, I thought I would give this one a shot because it is one of her newest releases. Sadly, I think that this book is just not for me. I believe that this is book is 100% not targeted towards me as I am not married and nor do I have kids. I definitely think that this book would be perfect for people who are older than me. The book had its high points, it was humorous and entertaining. The dialogue was interesting and flowed naturally. It is definitely clear that Kinsella is practiced in writing novels.

  • Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Title: Nevernight
Author: Jay Kristoff
Series: The Nevernight Chronicle #1
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publication Date: 25 July 2016
Source: Purchased
Format: Trade paperback
Pages: 434
Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

Destined to destroy empires Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death. 

Six years later, the child raised in the shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything. 

But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult. 

The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student. The shadows loves her. And they drink her fear.

Book Review:

I loved Nevernight when I read it last year and this year is no different. I love the book because of its complexity and its ability to draw you in. This book is honestly one of my favourites because of its flawed characters that are on the grey side and its plot that only thickens with every twist. This book will have you contemplating whether you should keep reading it over and over again or if you should just buy all of the merch and collect every edition of this series out there. The other thing that I like about this book is the footnotes. I like to believe that they are optional, they're probably not but in all honestly reading them will add value to your reading experience. The footnotes help by giving the reader background and increasing the world building aspect of the novel. At the end of the day, I cannot recommend this book more. If you love fantasy, read this. If you would like to get into fantasy, read this. If you just like strong female characters, read this. Just read this book.

  • A Darker Shade Of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Title: A Darker Shade of Magic
Author: V.E. Schwab 
Series: Shades of Magic #1
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date: 27th February 2015
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, 
once upon a time, Black. 
Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they'll never see. It's a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they'll first need to stay alive.

Book Review

A fantastic start to a new series. As always (I say this as if I have read a lot of Schwab's books), the world building was amazing. It was rich with detail and colour which aided in created separate images for the different Londons. I loved the diverse characters that found themselves off of the page and in front of me. The plot was slow but the ending had me wanting more. Lila and Kell are definitely favourites of mine and I cannot wait to see where their journey's go. Even if I am completely unprepared for it. A Darker Shade of Magic is the perfect book for those who want adventure and are always looking for a little something more.

  • Again, But Better by Christine Riccio
Title: Again, But Better
Author: Christine Riccio
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: 07 May 2019
Source: Netgalley
Format: eARC
Pages: 384
Rating: DNF 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane's made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that? 
Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time's a ticking, and she needs a change—there's nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She's going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure! Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart. Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.

Book Review:

There is a lot of controversy surrounding booktubers getting publishing deals. This controversy also stems from popular youtubers getting publishing deals due to their large following. My stand point in this debate is essentially that I don't necessarily care. It gets people to read and that is cool. I will be completely honest and say that I had high hopes for this book. I don't really know the specifics of my expectations but I expected something good and maybe even something that would go onto my favourites list. Unfortunately, this book let me down big time. There writing lacked flow and the dialogue was awkward and not in a good way. The plot had something going for it in the beginning but then it just stopped going. I read 200 pages of this book and I felt as if I wasted my time because the plot, for me, didn't go any where. I was intrigued to see what would happen between Shane and Pilot but when we jumped six years I lost hope. I definitely expected a lot more from this book and I was definitely let down by it. Thank you so much to Netgalley and Wednesday Books for providing me with a copy of this book.

  • Agent Without License by Andrew Lane
Title: Agent Without Licence
Author: Andrew Lane
Series: AWOL #1
Publisher: Piccadilly Press
Publication Date: 12 July 2018
Source: Jonathan Ball Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pages: 267
Rating: DNF

Goodreads Synopsis:

Kieron and his friend Sam are shocked to see a man kidnapped in a Newcastle shopping centre right in front of their eyes. The boys quickly realise that the kidnapped man left something behind in the scuffle - an earpiece and glasses. Kieron puts them on and realises he can see not what is front of him, but a busy, tourist city, somewhere very hot - in Mumbai...

Kieron has accidentally stumbled upon the undercover world of Rebecca 'Bex' Wilson - a freelance agent working for the British Secret Intelligence Service. And without her handler Bradley (the man who was kidnapped), Bex is in trouble. She doesn't know who of her usual contacts she can trust, and like it or not, she is going to have to use teenage Kieron to get her out of danger. Before Kieron and Sam know it, they are part of a mission to stop a weapon of mass destruction from falling into the wrong hands...

Book Review:

Before jumping into this novel, a lot of my interest originated from the fact that it would be a spy novel and there would be a lot of action. And whilst the book had a lot of actions (from the 100 pages or so that I read), I found that it got lost in between the details. The detail made this short book and in some ways, difficult to read. I found myself skimming over the pages in hopes of working my way through the description-heavy text. In addition to the heavy writing, the chapters were on the long side. As a personal preference, when it comes to novels that have a lot of action, I prefer the chapters to be shorter to help with the pacing of the writing. The combination of both the heavy writing and long chapters didn't quite allow me to connect with the story as much as I wanted to. However, with that being said, I think that what I read was fun and almost had me reading further. Thank you so much to Jonathan Ball Publishers for providing me with a copy of this book!


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