ARC reviews · Book Reviews

Book Review ‘Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts)’ ~ L.C. Rosen

9780241365014Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) by L.C. Rosen

Publication Date: February 19th 2019

Publisher: Penguin

Blurb: ‘My first time getting it in the butt was kind of weird. I think it’s going to be weird for everyone’s first time, though.’

Jack Rothman is seventeen. A solid student with a talent for art, he likes partying, makeup and boys. Sometimes all at the same time. His active, unashamed sex life makes him a red hot topic for the high school gossip machine, but Jack doesn’t really care too much about what the crowd is saying about him. His mantra is: ‘It could be worse.’

And then it is.

When Jack starts writing a teen sex advice column for his best friend’s website, he begins to receive creepy and threatening love letters. His ‘admirer’ is obsessed with Jack – they know who he’s hanging out with, who he’s sleeping with, who his mum is dating. And while they say they love Jack, they don’t love his lifestyle. They want him to curb his sexuality and personality. And if he won’t, they will force him.

As his stalker starts to ratchet up the pressure, it’s up to Jack and his friends to uncover their identity, before their love becomes genuinely dangerous.

★/5

Continue reading “Book Review ‘Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts)’ ~ L.C. Rosen”

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ARC reviews · Book Reviews

Book Review ‘Lady Smoke’ ~ Laura Sebastian

40702154Lady Smoke by Laura Sebastian

Publication Date: February 12th 2019

Publisher: Pan Australia

Series: Ash Princess Trilogy #2

RRP: AU$16.99

Blurb: The Kaiser murdered Theodosia’s mother, the Fire Queen, when Theo was only six. He took Theo’s country and kept her prisoner, crowning her Ash Princess and humiliating her for ten long years. That era has ended. The Kaiser thought his prisoner weak and defenseless. He didn’t realize that a sharp mind is the deadliest weapon.

Theo no longer wears a crown of ashes. She has taken back her rightful title, and a hostage-Prinz Soren. But her people remain enslaved under the Kaiser’s rule, and now she is thousands of miles away from them and her throne.

To get them back, she will need an army. But securing an army means she must trust her aunt, the dreaded pirate Dragonsbane. And according to Dragonsbane, an army can only be produced if Theo takes a husband. Something an Astrean Queen has never done.

Theo knows that freedom comes at a price, but she is determined to find a way to save her country without losing herself.

★/5

Continue reading “Book Review ‘Lady Smoke’ ~ Laura Sebastian”

Book Reviews · Mini Reviews

Mini Review ‘Ash Princess’ ~ Laura Sebastian

38126009Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Publication Date: April 24th 2018

Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia

Series: Ash Princess Trilogy #1

Blurb: Princess. Prisoner. Orphan. Rebel.

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s land and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess – a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword.

And power isn’t always won on the battlefield. 

★★★★★/5

Review

You know those books that sound amazing but sit on your tbr pile for ages until you finally pick it up and it’s like HOW HAVE I NOT READ THIS BEFORE?! Ash Princess is one of those.

In the wrong hands Ash Princess could have ended up being a generic YA fantasy about a princess and her stolen crown but in Sebastian’s hands it was an epic tale of survival imbued with magic.

What makes Ash Princess so amazing is how character focused it is and how well it handles what the characters have faced. Theo has PTSD, she watched her mother die, she has been tortured by the Kaiser, the only one to have shown her any kindness is the daughter of the man who killed her mother. The Prinz isn’t let off the hook for the things he has done under his father’s commands simply because he’s a handsome, royal love interest. All of these things are examined with a depth and complexity that isn’t always seen in these types of fantasies.

Ash Princess is a dark tale of invasion and igniting the embers of a rebellion, the cost of staying alive and the desire to fight back. It’s about hope and persevering when all odds are against you.

“We are not defined by the things we do in order to survive. We do not apologize for them,’ she says quietly, eyes never leaving mine. ‘Maybe they have broken you, but you are a sharper weapon because of it. And it is time to strike.”

Content Warnings: reference to torture & one on-page whipping scene, unspoken threat of rape against the main character towards the end, mention of war atrocities, invasion.

Find Ash Princess
Goodreads ~ Pan Macmillan Australia ~ Dymocks ~ QBD ~ Booktopia ~ Readings

Find Laura Sebastian 
Goodreads ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Goodreads Author Page

ARC reviews · Book Reviews

Book Review ‘A Curse So Dark and Lonely’ ~ Brigid Kemmerer

9781681195087A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Publication Date: February 4th 2019

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Series: A Curse So Dark and Lonely #1

Blurb: Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

☆(4.5)/5

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Blog Tour · Book Reviews

Blog Tour + Book Review ‘Emergency Contact’ ~ Mary H.K. Choi

emergency-contact-9781534425934_lgEmergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

Publication Date: January 1st 2019

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia

Blurb: From debut author Mary H.K. Choi comes a compulsively readable novel that shows young love in all its awkward glory—perfect for fans of Eleanor & Park and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him. 

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other. Continue reading “Blog Tour + Book Review ‘Emergency Contact’ ~ Mary H.K. Choi”