Thursday, 12 January 2017

A Quiet Kind Of Thunder - Review

Book Review:
Title: A Quiet Kind Of Thunder
Author: Sara Barnard
Publisher: Macmillan Books
I received an early copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Steffi doesn't talk, but she has so much to say.
Rhys can't hear, but he can listen.
Their love isn't a lightning strike, it's the rumbling roll of thunder.

Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life - she's been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He's deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she's assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn't matter that Steffi doesn't talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she's falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it. 

What an adorable book!
Having never read a book that dealt with selective mutism before and not knowing much about it, I was excited to read A Quiet Kind of Thunder and broaden my knowledge on the disorder.
But, as well as teaching me about selective mutism, this book managed to teach me more about the deaf community and BSL, which I loved. It also got me thinking about how much we take our voices and hearing for granted. Imagine how difficult life would be if you couldn't speak or hear.
Any book that can teach me something new and important and get me thinking is, in my mind, already a fantastic book.

Steffi is a selective mute. Rhys is deaf. In theory, it should be hard for these two communicate, but thanks to BSL and their perseverance they managed to fight through the barriers. Their relationship is what really made this book for me. It was cute, funny, awkward and no way near perfect.
No relationship is ever truly perfect. There's always going to be some miscommunication. There's always going to be some struggles. But the main thing that matters is if both parties are able to overcome these hurdles to keep their love alive, which both Steffi & Rhys managed to do.

Alongside the romance, I really enjoyed the friendship between Steffi and Tem. There is something so empowering about female friendships. In a lot of YA books, girls are always pitted against each other which I loathe, so when I read a book with a strong friendship, I can't help but fall in love even more. 

Also, I just want to say that even though this book focuses on Steffi and her arc mainly, I loved that Rhys had his own arc as well. In AQKOT, Rhys is the love interest, but he is actually so much more than that. He had his own battles to face, the main one being, feeling helpless when it came to 'looking after' Steffi. He constantly felt inadequate and it broke my heart.
I think Sara Barnard dealt with both characters and their disorders extremely well - you can easily tell that a lot of research went into writing this book, which I appreciate so much!

Overall, I completely adored A Quiet Kind of Thunder & I highly recommend picking this book up - it's heart-warming, thought-provoking and has a realistic depiction of social anxiety.
This was my first book by Sara Barnard, but it certainly won't be my last!

4 Stars

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Mafiosa - Review

Book Review:
Title: Mafiosa
Author: Catherine Doyle
Publisher: ChickenHouse Books
I received an early copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

"We pealed into a fit of laughter, his amusement ringing in my ears, my smile so big it could have broken my face, because we were both cheating just for one night - we were both wearing masks belonging to other people, and it was exhilarating"

A blood war rages on the streets of Chicago. Protected by an infamous Mafia family, Sophie is living a dangerous lie, pretending to lead a normal life. But the deceit can't last for ever. Her heart belongs to a killer and Sophie's the prime target of a rival clan. She's determined to seek revenge on her mother's murderers, but can she pay the price - can she be a Mafiosa?

I’m not going to lie, writing this review is going to be very hard for me. Finishing a series you absolutely love is so bittersweet – on one hand, the moment you’ve been waiting for has arrived, you get to know how the story ends and the fate of every character, but on the other hand, you may never see the characters you’ve become so attached to *cough* Luca *cough* ever again. It’s quite the weird feeling...

But, enough of that babble - let’s get into my thoughts of this finale!

Normally, going into a finale/sequel, there’s always a part of you that is worried that it is never going to live up to its predecessor, but I completely trusted Cat to write the most epic, and explosive finale – and boy did she! THIS. BOOK. WAS. PHENOMENAL! The whole trilogy is phenomenal!
The Blood For Blood Trilogy is the kind of series where the writing, plot and characters get better and better with each book. I enjoyed Vendetta, I loved Inferno, but Mafiosa is without a doubt my favourite of the three – it was pretty much close to perfection!

I think what makes this book so special is the unique plot line. How many YA books can you name that follow the mafia? Personally, this is the only YA mafia book I know of, and because of that I find myself so immersed in this world. It’s new, refreshing and dark. Most definitely dark.

Mafiosa is probably the darkest of the three. There's more guns, blood and murder, you know, pretty much all the good stuff! But on top of that, we get to see a different, more stronger side to Sophie.
Sophie has never been the type to just sit back and stay out of the drama, but she has undoubtedly struggled to cope with the world she has discovered. Well, in Mafiosa, that has all changed. Sophie has accepted who she is and she is ready to fight back.

I really admired Sophie in this book. After everything she has been through, you would expect her to completely fall apart, and although she sometimes did, she bravely held it together most of the time. And I think that is partially due to the two special people she had left in her life: Millie & Luca. Without these two, I honestly believe Sophie would have cracked. They helped bring some normalcy into her crazy life. They kept her grounded. And it's for that reason that they are both my favourite characters of the trilogy. Like honestly guys, try to find a best friend like Millie and a boyfriend/partner like Luca - they will bring so much light into your life!

And I know I've said it before, but after finishing this trilogy you can't help the bittersweet feeling, because you realise there's no more Millie & Luca. There's no more "I don't respect your authority." There's no more random disney references. (I could go on, but I think you get my point.)
But saying that, I'm not completely upset, because I thought that the ending of this trilogy was brilliant. Everything tied up nicely, there were no loose ends, yet it was still left quite open ended, which worked perfectly considering we are dealing with the mafia and you know, 'The mafia never dies.' 
I genuinely couldn't have asked for a better, more realistic ending.

Overall, this was a fantastic conclusion to what has become one of my favourite trilogies of all time!
I cannot wait to see what Cat has in store for us next!

5 Stars

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Top 10 Reads of 2016

It's already that time of year again - the time where we look back at our year in books!
In terms of numbers, 2016 has probably been my best year, having managed to read 103 books! (All while juggling college work!)
But, in terms of the number of 5 stars I've given out, 2016 hasn't been the best. I usually struggle to narrow my favourite reads down to 10 books, but for some reason it was actually quite easy this year and I could honestly just about choose 10 favourite books. This isn't necessarily because I read a lot of awful books (I gave out mostly 4 stars this year,) instead it's because my expectations of a 5 star book have risen.

But anyways, I present to you, in no particular order, my Top 10 Reads of 2016!!

A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness
Firstly, we have the brilliant and heart-breaking A Monster Calls. This book had been sat on my TBR for over a year, just waiting to be read. It wasn't until I saw the final movie trailer did I realise that I NEEDED to read this book right away. It was heart-breakingly beautiful and had one of the most unique ways of portraying grief and loss. (Make sure to have a few tissues on hand when reading this one)

The Raven King - Maggie Stiefvater
Next we have the conclusion to TRC, The Raven King. I read all four books in this series this year, but The Raven King has to be my favourite of them all - I think what I loved most about this book was the relationships, both romantic and platonic. Every time members of the gang interacted with each other, you could see the love that was present. If it wasn't for these characters, I wouldn't have enjoyed this series as much as I did. (Click the cover to read my review)

A Court of Mist and Fury - Sarah J Maas
I don't think anyone is surprised that this is on my list, considering how much I've gushed about it. I loved this book so much. Last year ACOTAR failed to make it in my Top 10 because I felt like it was missing something, well whatever that thing was, ACOMAF has it and much more. Like I said in my review it was an epic, romantic, feminist, fantasy novel. If you didn't enjoy the first book, I recommend you pick up the second, because it is SO much better! (Click the cover to read my review)

The Unexpected Everything - Morgan Matson
The Unexpected Everything is my favourite Morgan Matson book to date! It's the perfect book to read during the summer time or whenever you're in need of a pick-me-up. I guarantee it will leave you with your heart full and a smile on your face. Also, the love interest in this book is just the sweeeetest!! Clark is 100% a cinnamon roll, too pure for this world!

A Torch Against the Night - Sabaa Tahir
I cannot explain how glad I am that AEITA wasn't a standalone! I knew from the start that this series had potential to be phenomenal, and Sabaa Tahir has managed to live up to that potential! This book kept me on the edge of my seat throughout - Sabaa might be the new queen of plot twists, because damn, there were so many I honestly did not see coming! I cannot wait to see what Sabaa Tahir has in store for these characters in the next instalment. (Click the cover to read my review)

Some Kind of Perfect - Krista & Becca Ritchie
Next up we have the final book/epilogue to one of my favourite series ever. I think this was the perfect end to the Addicted/Calloway Sisters series - it spans over 10 years, giving us an insight into how life has changed from the core 6 being young adults and finding their footing, to them having their own family. It had everything you'd expect from a KBRitchie book - happy moments, sad moments, funny moments, cute moments, it was the whole package! It was also a great way to introduce us properly to all the children before we get to know them more in the Like Us series.

It Ends With Us - Colleen Hoover
This book! THIS BOOK! I don't think I've ever cried so much because of a book before. While reading this book I was a blubbering mess. Days after reading this book, I was still a blubbering mess. It Ends With Us is raw, painful & sad, but it is such an important book. I don't want to go into the details, because I think it's best to go into this book completely blind, but this is a book everyone should read because of how honest it is. It's completely heart-wrenching, but 100% worth it!

Mafiosa - Catherine Doyle
Third book in the Blood For Blood Trilogy, and my favourite out of the three. This was a pretty fantastic book - It had everything you would want and expect in a finale, especially one to do with the mafia. So much plotting. So much fighting. But, on top of all of that, we had one of the strongest friendships between Sophie & Millie and one of the swooniest relationships. I cannot recommend this trilogy enough - READ IT! (Click the cover to read my review)

Caraval - Stephanie Garber
Caraval is one of the best debuts I have ever read - I loved it so much! The writing was exquisite, so much so that at times I felt as though I was actually part of the world and not just reading about it. The romance wasn't overbearing, there was just the perfect amount to keep any hopeless romantic (aka me) satisfied. And the world-building was truly magical. This book will hook you from page one and by the end you will be begging for more! (Click the cover for 5 reasons to pre-order Caraval)

Crooked Kingdom - Leigh Bardugo
Last, but certainly not least, we have the perfection that is Crooked Kingdom. So the books in my top 10 are in no particular order, but Crooked Kingdom is undoubtedly my favourite book of the year! I simply cannot fault this book at all - it was perfect. My heart went through the blender while reading CK, but I wouldn't have had it any other way, because with those moments of sadness, there were moments of victory, which made it all worth it. I will miss my 6 precious sinnamon rolls, but hopefully we'll see them again in the future *fingers crossed* (click the cover to read my review)

So, there we have it, My Top 10 Reads of 2016!
Did you spot any of your favourites? If so, which ones? If not, what were some of your favourites of the year?

Monday, 28 November 2016

Crooked Kingdom - Review

Book Review:
Title: Crooked Kingdom
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Orion's Children's Book

“I would have come for you. And if I couldn't walk, I'd crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we'd fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that's what we do. We never stop fighting.”

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city's dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

It has taken me two months to be able to write this review. Two months. Now, part of that reason is because I have been swamped with college work, but mostly it's because I honestly have no idea to how to review this book. It's actually ridiculous. You know when you love something so much that there are simply no words to completely do it justice? That's how I feel writing this review. I can rave about this book for hours on hours, yet nothing I say can really express how amazing this book was.

In my opinion, this book is faultless. If I had to name something I didn't like about this book, the only thing that comes to mind is the fact that it ended. I wanted moreeee!!! This is one of the rare series where the author could release a million books and I would read and devour every single one of them. And the main reason for that is because of the characters. I don't think I've ever loved a group of characters as much as I love the Dregs; they're my little Cinnamon Rolls. I fell in love with them during Six of Crows, and then I fell even more during the sequel.

Crooked Kingdom picks up roughly where we left off from. Inej has been taken and the rest of the Dregs are formulating a plan in order to get her back and get the money that they rightfully earned.
And then of course, once they start carrying out their plan, shit goes down! No joke, this book gave me heart palpitations! At one point, I'd be letting out a squeal of victory, and then, I would suddenly be screaming in frustration. At one point I'd be crying tears of joy, but then I'd be crying tears of sadness. My emotions were played like a fiddle.
I just wanted my Dregs to be happy. And safe. And well-fed. And getting enough sleep.
But honestly, even though this book messed with me, I wouldn't of had it any other way. I believe that the truly amazing books are the ones that can evoke raw emotions from the reader.

(sits for 10 minutes and tries to think about what I can write about without spoiling the entire book. sighhh...)

Okay...lets talk romance!
I find that with most YA novels there's always a hint of insta-love *shudders* and for me, insta-love can really ruin my reading experience. Personally I love a good slow-burn romance, where you can feel the build up of passion; well in Crooked Kingdom, I got exactly what I love. All of the romances in this book progressed beautifully and I constantly found myself swooning (you know, at the few times when shit wasn't hitting the fan.) All of the relationships in this book were beautiful in their own way. Nina & Matthias had a passionate romance. Wylan & Jesper had a banter-filled and adorable romance. Kaz & Inej had a angsty and intense romance. All different, yet they were all just as equally as precious to me.
Also, props to Leigh Bardugo for keeping the relationship between Kaz and Inej realistic. As much as I would have loved seeing them doing all the typical romancy stuff, I'm glad they didn't and that their relationship is progressing at a slow pace. And you know what, even though their relationship is moving at the slowest place, I without a doubt swooned at their moments the most *remembers that one scene...sighs blissfully*

Well, I think I've rambled on enough.
Basically, in short, I absolutely loved this book and I hope that at some point in the future Leigh decides to revisit this world and these characters, because I can never have enough!
Without a doubt, one of my Top 10 Reads of 2016 (or even possibly ever!!)
5+ Stars (ALL THE STARS) 

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

5 reasons to pre-Order CARAVAL & GIVEAWAY [CLOSED]

So, a couple of months ago, I was lucky enough to receive an (two) early proof(s) of CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber. It was, without a doubt, the prettiest proof I had EVER received. Far more prettier than even some finished copies of books. I was in AWE! (If you don't believe me, look at these pictures!)

I was immediately tempted to pick it up and devour it straight away, but then I realised that the release date was quite a while away (Jan 2017,) so I managed to restrain myself...for two months.
I succumbed to the temptation and I DON'T REGRET IT AT ALL! This book was glorious!
After finishing it, I was going to write a review, but it felt too soon for that, so instead I'm going to give you 5 reasons why I loved this book so much and hopefully persuade you to pre-order a copy for yourself.

Before I begin, here's the synopsis:
Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.
Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organiser, Legend.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Reason One - The Premise
From reading the synopsis above, you can learn the basic gist of what this book is about. What really drew me into this book was the whole concept of a magical game where everything seems real, but isn't. I have never read anything like it. I mean I've heard some people (positively) compare it to The Night Circus, but I have not read that book, so this was such a unique and interesting read for me.
While reading I was constantly thinking to myself, 'wow, this is so cool.' 'Why can't this be a real thing?!' I've become so obsessed with the world of CARAVAL, all I want to do is read about previous games and see how they panned out.

Reason Two - Sister Relations
Another thing I love about this book is that although we do have some romance in this book, the main relationship we focus on is between the two sisters, which is very refreshing. In a lot of YA books, I find that the most common type of relationship we focus on is the romantic relationship rather than familial ties and that can sometimes become a bit frustrating. YA characters are usually about 16-17 years old, yet we hardly ever see any family which I don't understand, because strong family relations, like Scarlett and Tella's, are so beautiful to read about.

Reason Three - The Characters
Every character in this book, and I literally mean every character, was brilliant! Whether they had a major or minor role, whether they were a player or performer, they all added something extra to the story and were fascinating to read about. The main protagonist, Scarlett, was especially fantastic! She was brave. She never lost focus of the task at hand. And she was relatable! Everything you would want in a main character.
Reason Four - The Writing
Stephanie Garber has got a way with words. Her writing in this book is pretty much flawless. The story flowed excellently. It had vivid and imaginative imagery. And the world-building was phenomenal
Also, getting deeper into the story, I didn't feel like I was reading a book, I felt like I was actually part of the game, trying to uncover all the secrets and win, which is such a rare experience for me.
I honestly cannot fault the writing at all!

Reason Five - The Cover 
Now, I know people like to say 'don't judge a book by its cover' but let's be honest, we all do it. You're more likely to buy a book if it has an aesthetically pleasing cover because it draws you in and, if buying the physical copy, you want something that's going to look pretty on your bookshelf. 
Well let me just say that as well as having a glorious inside, this book also has a glorious outside.
Feast your eyes on the beautiful final covers!! 
US Cover
UK Cover

How can you not want this book?!

So, hopefully I've managed to persuade you to pre-order this magnificent book! It releases on the 31st January 2017! (Click one of the covers for an Amazon pre-order link!)
If you are unable to wait that long to get your hands on the book, here's your chance to win an UK ARC...


Since I somehow ended up with two ARCs of CARAVAL I have decided to give one away to one of you lucky people. 
This giveaway will unfortunately be UK only, since I will be paying for postage.
To be in with the chance of winning follow me on twitter HERE and RT this tweet HERE  
The Giveaway will end on October 14th. GOOD LUCK!

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

A Torch Against The Night - Review

Book Review:
Title: A Torch Against The Night
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: HarperVoyager
Release Date: 8th September (UK)
I received an early copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

“So long as you fight the darkness, you stand in the light.” 

A Torch Against the Night takes readers into the heart of the Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront the treacherousness of their own hearts.
In the city of Serra, Helene Aquilla finds herself bound to the will of the Empire’s twisted new leader, Marcus. When her loyalty is questioned, Helene finds herself taking on a mission to prove herself—a mission that might destroy her, instead.

An Ember in the Ashes was one of my favourite books of 2015, possibly even of all time, so going into the sequel I had extremely high expectations, but also wariness in case of second-book syndrome (nobody likes second-book syndrome.) But honestly, there was no need for the wariness, because this book matched - no wait - exceeded my expectations and was just as good as the first.

This book picks up right where we left off. Elias and Laia are on the run trying to escape the martial soldiers, as well as trying to break her brother out of prison. Like the first, we have both Elias' and Laia's POV, but we also have a new POV that belongs to Helene where we follow her journey as the new blood shrike. In AEITA, I liked Helene's character, but I didn't love her (her love and obsession(?) towards Elias irked me a bit). But after ATATN, I can say without any hesitation that I love Helene and that she is now definitely one of my favourite characters! I have so much respect for her. She is so brave and strong and a complete inspiration.

My feelings for Laia on the other hand were a bit different. I loved her in AEITA, and I do still love her, yet there were a few times where her actions and decisions annoyed me a bit. I mean I sort of understood her reasoning for these things, but they were still annoying. (I wish I could go into more detail, but I don't want to spoil anyone...)
And Elias? My love for Elias is eternal! He is such a great person. His choices are almost never to benefit himself, everything he does, he does for others. If I had only one word to describe Elias, I would choose 'selfless', because he is by far one of the most selfless characters I have ever read about.

Sabaa Tahir really knows how to write such brilliant and complex characters. And her world-building as well as story telling skills? Amazing! This book is essentially a journey book, of getting from point A to point B, and usually these kind of books feel filler-like and are 90% of time boring. But this book is in the other 10%! While getting from point A to point B, there was truly never a dull moment. We were constantly meeting new characters, finding out new information (some real crazy stuff!) and I loved it! The majority of the book was read in one sitting where I was literally at the edge of my seat. At one point in the story I literally closed the book and just sat there for 5 minutes thinking WHAT THE HELL! (To be fair, this happened about 3/4 times in total) My emotions were put into a blender and it was turned on full speed. I was happy, then angry, then sad, then shocked, then annoyed, then happy again. By the end of this book, I was emotionally drained - I think I still might be!

Before I wrap up this review, I want to quickly touch upon the romance aspect of this book. So, in AEITA, I shipped Elias & Laia together, but I wasn't completely invested into it, because there was a lot of room for things to change, which in turn could change my feelings. Now, after finishing ATATN, I have two firm ships that I'm positive I will stick with till the end of the series. I'm not sharing them because once again, spoilers, but I feel like the majority of people who also read this book will feel the same as me (or at least I hope they do.)

Overall, this was a fantastic sequel and I can't wait to see where Sabaa Tahir takes this story, because if you haven't heard already, AEITA is now going to be a FOUR book series! I'm so excited!

5 Stars

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Nevernight - Review

Book Review:
Title: Nevernight
Author: Jay Kristoff
Publisher: HarperVoyager
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

“I’m a rumour. A whisper. The thought that wakes the bastards of this world sweating in the nevernight.”

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 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 love her. And they drink her fear.

What a book!
When I first became aware of Nevernight, there were three key words I constantly heard over and over again that stuck with me. Three words that ultimately drew me into this book and made me realise that this is a book I NEED to read. What were those three words you say? Assassins, Revenge & Murder. Otherwise know as my kind of book. Honestly, what more could I even ask for?! (Okay, maybe some more romance because I'm a sucker for a good romance, but it still had basically everything I love)
This book managed to deliver on everything it pitched - there were assassins, there was revenge and there were a lot of murders, some of which are still a bit too raw to talk about *sobs* (Jay Kristoff is ruthless!)

So we have our main protagonist, Mia Covere, who at the tender age of 10 was made to stand and watch as her father was murdered right in front of her eyes. Since that life changing moment, six years ago, she has lived her life with one goal in mind, avenge her father's death. And once Mia sets her mind to something, she ensures that she sticks to it and doesn't let anything or anyone get in her way. And trust me when I say, you would not want to get in her way. She will cut you! It's one of the main things I admired about her; she was a head-strong and all-around intriguing, complex character. I mean, she has the power to control the shadows!! How cool is that?! I loved learning more about her ability throughout this book and seeing how she can command the shadows and bend them to her will. Forget flying, super strength & all those other powers, I want to control the shadows!

Also while we're on the topic of shadows, I just want to quickly share my love for Mister Kindly who is Mia's very own shadow cat and definitely one of my favourite characters of the book!
To be honest, I loved every character in this book. They were all so fascinating and each of them added something special to the story. We had Tric, Ashlinn and Jessamine to name a few.

As a whole, I really enjoyed this book, but there were two things that unfortunately stopped this book from being a 5 star read. (Bear in mind that these are my personal opinions and that they may differ from other people)
  1. It took quite a bit of time to really get used to the writing and be able to fully immerse myself into the story. The ARC I had was 640 pages and I believe it took about 150 pages for it all to really click with me.
  2. The footnotes didn't work for me. They were actually very interesting and funny at times, but every time I read one, especially the longer ones, it ended up distracting me and pulled me out of the story.  
But other than those two points, this was a fantastic read!
On a different note, I've seen a lot of discussion on whether this book should be classed as young-adult or adult. Everyone has their own different view points, which is great, but personally rather than classing this as one or the other all I'm going to say is, that this book is a dark & gritty read. It has graphic violence, sexual scenes and a lot of swearing. If these don't bother you, then I really recommend you pick this book up.
In my opinion, as a young-adult, I actually found it quite refreshing to see a teenage character swearing. So many authors when writing about a teenager tend to refrain from including swear words and dirty deeds, but in some ways, it makes the story unrealistic for me, because who are we kidding, teenagers swear a lot! (Though I do understand and respect that it may make some feel uncomfortable when reading)

Never Flinch. Never Fear. Never Forget.

4 Stars