BOOK REVIEW | THE TRUTH AND LIES OF ELLA BLACK BY EMILY BARR

Title: the Truth and Lies of Ella Black

Author: Emily Barr

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: January 2, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Penguin NZ in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★☆☆☆☆

Summary: Ella Black seems to live the life most other seventeen-year-olds would kill for . . .

Until one day, telling her nothing, her parents whisk her off to Rio de Janeiro. Determined to find out why, Ella takes her chance and searches through their things.

And realises her life has been a lie.

Her mother and father aren’t hers at all. Unable to comprehend the truth, Ella runs away, to the one place they’ll never think to look – the favelas.

But there she learns a terrible secret – the truth about her real parents and their past. And the truth about a mother, desperate for a daughter taken from her seventeen years ago . . .

WHITCOULLS | PAPERPLUS | MIGHTYAPE

Continue Reading

BOOK REVIEW | NEVERMOOR BY JESSICA TOWNSEND

Title: Nevermoor

Author: Jessica Townsend

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: October 10, 2017

Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Hachette NZ in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★★★★

Summary: A breathtaking, enchanting new series by debut author Jessica Townsend, about a cursed girl who escapes death and finds herself in a magical world–but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination

Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks–and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.

But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.

It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart–an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests–or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.

WHITCOULLS | PAPERPLUS | MIGHTYAPE

Continue Reading

BOOK REVIEW | MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, BY AGATHA CHRISTIE

Title: Murder On The Orient Express

Author: Agatha Christie

Series Number: 10

Publication Date: October 30, 2017

Genres: Mystery

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins NZ in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★★☆☆

Summary: What more can a mystery addict desire than a much-loathed murder victim found aboard the luxurious Orient Express with multiple stab wounds, thirteen likely suspects, an incomparably brilliant detective in Hercule Poirot, and the most ingenious crime ever conceived?

WHITCOULLS | PAPERPLUSMIGHTYAPE

Continue Reading

BOOK REVIEW | MIRROR MIRROR, BY CARA DELEVINGNE AND ROWAN COLEMAN

Title: Mirror Mirror

Author:  Cara Delevingne, Rowan Coleman

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: October 3, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Hachette NZ in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★★☆

Summary: Friend. Lover. Victim. Traitor.
When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

Sixteen-year-old friends Red, Leo, Rose, and Naomi are misfits; still figuring out who they are and who they want to be. Life isn’t perfect, but music brings them together, and they are excited about what the future holds for their band, Mirror, Mirror. That is until Naomi vanishes before being pulled unconscious out of the river.

She’s left fighting for her life in a coma. The police claim it was a failed suicide attempt, but her friends aren’t convinced. Will Naomi ever wake up? What – or perhaps who – led her to that hospital bed? And how did Red, the self-styled protector of the group, fail to spot the warning signs?

While Rose turns to wild partying and Leo is shrouded by black moods, Red sets out to uncover the truth. It’s a journey that will cause Red’s world to crack, exposing the group’s darkest secrets. Nothing will ever be the same again, because once a mirror is shattered, it can’t be fixed.

WHITCOULLS | PAPERPLUS | MIGHTYAPE

Continue Reading

BOOK REVIEW | THE LAST NAMSARA, BY KRISTEN CICCARELLI

Title: The Last Namsara

Author: Kristen Ciccarelli

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: October 3, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Hachette NZ in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★★☆

Summary: In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer.

These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.

WHITCOULLS | MIGHTYAPE

Continue Reading

BOOK REVIEW | HUNTING PRINCE DRACULA BY KERRI MANISCALCO

Title: Hunting Prince Dracula

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Series Number: 2

Publication Date: October 10, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Historical

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Hachette NZ in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★★★★

Summary: Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

WHITCOULLS | PAPERPLUS | MIGHTYAPE

Continue Reading

BOOK REVIEW | STALKING JACK THE RIPPER BY KERRI MANISCALCO

Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: October 10, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Historical

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Hachette NZ in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★★★

Summary: Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.

WHITCOULLS | PAPERPLUS | MIGHTYAPE

Continue Reading

BOOK REVIEW | GOTHIC TALES OF HAUNTED LOVE

Title: Gothic Tales of Haunted Love

Author: Edited by  Hope Nicholson and S.M. Beiko. Various authors.

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: January 23, 2018

Genres: Graphic Novels

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from the publishers via netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★★★

Summary: Gothic Tales of Haunted Love is a new comics anthology curated by Hope Nicholson (The Secret Loves of Geek Girls) and S.M. Beiko (Scion of the Fox).

In 1950s Vietnam, a lost soul comes to the aid of his lover’s field under attack by American troops.

In Victorian Boston, a new governess comes to care for the rogueish widower of a stately manor and his charming brood of children.

A fashion journalist lands the interview of her dreams – but it unearths the deadly secrets of Taiwan’s most popular fashion designer.

A Sioux elder revives a recently deceased woman who sets out to recover her lost love.

A Jamaican slave faces the horrors of her hateful mistress, on the eve of her liberation.

A Brazilian writer-in-exile discovers the dark history of an abandoned mansion inhabited by a charming and sensual ghost.

And a young bride spins a story of murder and deceit that paints her husband as a killer . . . but is there any truth to her tale?

Featuring 19 original stories from some of modern comics’ finest talent, Gothic Tales of Haunted Love collects fragments of lovers torn apart, romantic liasons with the unliving, ghostly revenge, and horrific deeds, in the vein of the short-lived 1970s gothic romance comics.

A foreword on gothic romance comics is provided by historian Jacque Nodell, and the collection also features a reprint of the 1970s Korean horror-romance comic “The Promise” by Sanho Kim.

BOOKDEPOSITORY | AMAZON | BEDSIDE PRESS

Continue Reading

BOOK REVIEW | A SEMI-DEFINITIVE LIST OF WORST NIGHTMARES, BY KRYSTAL SUTHERLAND

Title: A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares

Author: Lauren James

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: August 28, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Penguin NZ in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★★★

Summary: Ever since Esther Solar’s grandfather met Death, her entire family has been doomed to suffer one great fear in their lifetime—a fear that will eventually lead each and every one of them to their graves. Take Esther’s father, for instance: He’s an agoraphobe who hasn’t left the basement in six years. Then there’s her twin brother, Eugene, whose fear of the dark goes far beyond the things that go bump in the night. And her mother, Rosemary, is absolutely terrified of bad luck.

As for Esther, she’s managed to escape the curse…so far. She doesn’t yet have a great fear because she avoids pretty much everything. Elevators, small spaces, crowds—anything that might trigger a phobia is off-limits and is meticulously recorded in her semi-definitive list of worst nightmares.

Esther thinks she has it all figured out, until she’s reunited with an old elementary school classmate—and first crush—Jonah Smallwood. The encounter leaves her stranded at a bus stop and swindled out of her phone, all her cash, a Fruit Roll-Up she’d been saving, and her list—not to mention her dignity. But the theft is also the beginning of an unexpected friendship between the two, one that sends the pair on a journey of self-discovery as they try to break the curse that’s consumed Esther’s family. Together they face their greatest fears, one debilitating phobia at a time, only to discover the one fear they hadn’t counted on: love.

PAPERPLUS | WHITCOULLS | MIGHTYAPE

Continue Reading

BOOK REVIEW | THE LONELIEST GIRL IN THE UNIVERSE, BY LAUREN JAMES

Title: the Loneliest Girl in the Universe

Author: Lauren James

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: September 1, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Walker Books Aus in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★★★

Summary: Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?

Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.

Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.

But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?

Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone . . .

PAPERPLUS | WHITCOULLS | MIGHTYAPE

Continue Reading