ARC Review: Everless by Sara Holland

Everless

Title: Everless

Author: Sara Holland

Date: 4th January 2018

Publisher: Hachette Children’s Group

I want to start this review off by saying that I was so happy to find I had been accepted on NetGalley to review Everless by Sara Holland. As soon as I read the synopsis, I knew it was going to be a book that I would enjoy. It has been a while since I read one that captured my attention and managed to keep it, and trust me when I say that Everless easily managed to do that. I was hooked until I had read the last page and some of the twists that this book had were amazing. Sara Holland created such a unique world and I believed all of it.

Set in the land of Sempera, time is the currency and the rich rule over all. The myth of alchemy and sorcery has been around forever, telling of a time when the two bound time to blood and created blood iron coins that time could be bound to. The richer you are, the more time you have and the poor are selling their time to stay alive. Jules and her father are running out of time and can no longer afford to pay their rent and eat. Her father has given everything and she worries that he now longer has the time they need, so she offers to help by going to Everless.

Everless is the stately home that belongs to the Gerlings, a rich family that Jules and her father have history with. Not everything is as it seems though, and as she remembers her past, she is thrown into a world that she doesn’t truly understand. There are consequences to every action and Jules must try to find the truth of why she was told to stay away from Everless and the Gerlings, especially the Queen.

The world that Holland has created had so much mysterious and I was always left wanting more. She writes beautifully and it flowed well, always making me want to read for longer than I should. We are given the history of Sempera and the blood iron early on in the story, and while it is a lot to take in at once it was described perfectly. The legend of the Alchemist and Sorceress was excellent, and it was believable. As I made my way through the book, I found myself becoming more engrossed and I wanted my questions answered. I wanted to find out the truth and when I did, I was shocked. There were twists and turns that I wasn’t expecting and Holland had me gasping out loud in shock.

The characters in the story are wonderful and mysterious. Personally, I loved Jules and how selfless she was to try and save her father. She is just a girl trying to discover herself and learn how to survive in a world that is cruel. I can’t say too much without giving away plot details, and this isn’t the kind of book that should be spoiled for anyone.

I was glad that even though there were a lot of characters, it didn’t feel like there were too many, and Jules’ relationships with them all seemed genuine. Learning about her past with the Gerling brothers was great and being able to see the comparison with the present was interesting. It was great to read a book where a romance wasn’t at the centre of it. I especially loved the mystery that surrounded the Queen and why she was deemed so dangerous, something you will have to find out by reading this incredible book.

Overall, this book was mind blowing. I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am to read the second book when it comes out. Holland has created an original and captivating book that I know fans of YA Fantasy will love. It was so easy to give this book 5 stars and it is more than deserving of them!

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Wrapping Up The Week (4th Dec – 10th Dec)

This week has felt like the longest one in a while. If you didn’t know, I took a week off from blogging due to my boyfriend being admitted to hospital for an operation on Tuesday and I’ve been helping him recover since (you can read more about it here). For that reason I haven’t really got a lot to show on this weeks wrap up.

My brain has been all over the place and the stress I’ve been feeling hasn’t helped at all. I even took a couple days off from writing because I literally couldn’t form a sentence in my head. I needed it though and I am feeling a lot better. So fingers crossed I can get back to blogging more from now on, even if it’s just 3 posts a week until things get back to normal.

Some good news though is that I start my new job tomorrow, which I am super excited about. Now that my boyfriend is able to move around on his own, I can safely go to work knowing he won’t hurt himself. Starting the new job will also offer me a distraction from all the anxiety I’ve been feeling lately (although I know I’ll still worry about him).

As I haven’t done a lot of reading there are no reviews to show, so I’ll go straight onto the next section…

I am currently reading…

For the first time in a while I am actually reading 3 books at once. This is due to the fact that I am still reading Glass Sword and Angelfall, but I also got accepted for a book on Netgalley that I couldn’t wait to read. And the book is…

Everless

I can’t put this book down, I am absolutely loving it and whenever I get a chance I am switching to the kindle app on my phone (until I buy a kindle at Christmas) and I am reading as much as I can. I’m over halfway now and should probably finish it tomorrow if I’m lucky. It is due to come out on January 2nd and is being published by HarperTeen. Also, look how gorgeous that cover is!

Other Fun Stuff…

I wouldn’t say that I’ve had a lot of fun stuff going on for me this week. It’s mainly been filled with trips to the hospital and doctors, giving medication to my boyfriend and generally running around for him like a headless chicken. Not that I’m complaining, it makes a change me looking after him, and I definitely feel that it’s brought us closer.

My writing is getting back on track and so far I have 42,000 words, something I am so proud of. I worked out that I’m about halfway through the story I want to tell and the next few chapters that I’ve planned have me excited. Fingers crossed I can have a first draft done before my birthday (which is in March, so quite a while away).

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I hope that your week has been going well and you got lots of reading done! Hopefully you’ll be seeing a little more of me over the next week (as long as work doesn’t take up all my time).

Sorry For Being MIA Lately

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So, I haven’t written a blog post in the last 4 days and I have a very good reason. If you follow me on twitter you might have seen a few of my tweets about the situation.

The last week or so, my boyfriend has been in a lot of pain with an abscess and we knew he would need surgery on it. He could barely walk and finally the doctors said he needed it removing (it should have been done days before, but it wasn’t). On Monday we had to rush him up to the hospital for an emergency operation, so he was kept in overnight and the operation was a success yesterday. He is now home and doing a lot better (I am currently playing nurse with all his medication and making sure he’s okay).

Due to all of this I haven’t been able to have any time to blog, read or even write. I’ve been too stressed to think about those things and even though it shouldn’t, it makes me feel guilty. Now that he is home and I know he’s on the mend I can get back to normal (or as close as possible), but it still may be a little quite on my blog for the rest of the week.

Sometimes unexpected things happen in life and it all grinds to a halt. It’s a part of life. I’m just extremely happy that everything is okay now and he isn’t in as much pain anymore (still a bit of pain from the large hole in his back though). I’ve have realised from this experience that I no longer feel faint from blood, which is great considering I have to look after him and do clean-up when things get a little messy.

I am sorry for the rambling in this post, but it’s also therapeutic in a way. I’ve been feeling a lot of stress and anxiety over the last few days, especially when it came to him staying overnight in the hospital. You always worry if they’re going to be okay and looked after well. Of course, all the doctors and nurses did a great job, especially making sure he was comfortable. And fingers crossed, we don’t need to make any more trips to the hospital.

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I hope the first half of your week has been going a lot better than mine!

November Book Haul & December TBR

I had intended on writing this post yesterday, but I had to go to the hospital with my boyfriend and I was stuck there for almost 5 hours straight (note to self: never get ill because it was awful waiting around). It was a very long day and by the time we got home I didn’t have the energy to write. But fear not, I am feeling much better today after nearly 10 hours sleep.

My book haul for November is slightly less than I would have liked. I did order some books, but unfortunately I missed the delivery and had to reschedule it and now they won’t arrive until Monday. I did think about including them anyway, but I suppose I can just add them onto December’s Haul (that will be a big one with Christmas on the way).

My Haul…

I received two e-books from Netgalley last month, both of which I am looking forward to reading this month, ready to post reviews before they are released in January.

The Sacrifice Box by Martin Stewart (comes out January 11th, 2018)

Sep, Arkle, Mack, Lamb and Hadley: five friends thrown together one hot, sultry summer. When they discover an ancient stone box hidden in the forest, they decide to each make a sacrifice: something special to them, committed to the box for ever. And they make a pact: they will never return to the box at night; they’ll never visit it alone; and they’ll never take back their offerings.

Four years later, the gang have drifted apart. Then a series of strange and terrifying events take place, and Sep and his friends understand that one of them has broken the pact.

As their sacrifices haunt them with increased violence and hunger, they realise that they are not the first children to have found the box in their town’s history. And ultimately, the box may want the greatest sacrifice of all: one of them.

This book definitely gives me IT vibes, so it will be interesting to find out more when I get around to reading it.

Keeper by Kim Chance (comes out January 30th, 2018)

When a 200-year-old witch attacks her, sixteen-year-old bookworm Lainey Styles is determined to find a logical explanation. Even with the impossible staring her in the face, Lainey refuses to believe it—until she finds a photograph linking the witch to her dead mother.

After consulting a psychic, Lainey discovers that she, like her mother, is a Keeper: a witch with the exclusive ability to unlock and wield the Grimoire, a dangerous but powerful spell book. But there’s a problem. The Grimoire has been stolen by a malevolent warlock who is desperate for a spell locked inside it—a spell that would allow him to siphon away the world’s magic.

With the help of her comic-book-loving best friend and an enigmatic but admittedly handsome street fighter, Lainey must leave her life of college prep and studying behind to prepare for the biggest test of all: stealing back the book. 

I’ve heard some really great things about this book and so far it has a 4.2 rating on Goodreads (anything above a 4 is normally something I end up loving).

On my TBR List this month…

Apart from these books and the two I am waiting to arrive (which I will include in this section) there are a couple more I want to get my hands on during the holidays.

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Crown Of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

A Court Of Thorns And Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Talon by Julie Kagawa

I am probably being a bit ambitious here, but if I manage to read all of these, plus the two e-books, I will give myself a big pat on the back.

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What books are you looking forward to reading this month?

Wrapping Up November & Getting Excited For Christmas!

We can officially get excited for Christmas now!

I have no idea where the last four weeks went, how is it the last month of 2017 already?! It seems that I filled my November with so many different activities that I didn’t notice it passing by at all. Not only was I searching for a new job (which I will be starting next month), my dad also came to visit and I decided to really knuckle down with my writing efforts.

While I didn’t take part of NaNoWriMo, I was writing throughout the whole month and the last week or so is when I really started churning out my novel at a rapid pace. I started the month with rewriting my first 15,000 words, as it was in first person POV and I wanted it to be third person (btw, so glad I made the change) and at this moment I am nearing 33,000 words. I am very happy with that and worked out that I am about a third of the way through writing (I have an ending in mind, it’s just filling in the gaps). So November has been a very successful month.

I also went ahead and deleted my old twitter account to set up a new one, which you can find here. It would be great if I could connect with more people, especially on different platforms. Also, I reached over 100 followers on my blog in less than two months which is great. While the numbers don’t matter too much, it is great to see that people enjoy what I am putting out there into the world.

Unfortunately, I haven’t done a lot of reading this month (but I am currently reading two books that should have reviews up next week if I’m lucky). So, here are the books I reviewed this November.

Books I Read…

Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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It was so easy to give this book 5 stars after I read it. I cannot believe it took me so long to pick up this series and now I am waiting on the second one to be delivered to me. You can check out my review here.

A Darker Shade Of Magic by V. E. Schwab

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Again, another series I had heard so much about and finally picked up. Once again, I gave a book five stars because this was a perfect read and made me fall even more in love with the fantasy genre. If you want to read my thoughts, you can see my review here.

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Like I said, I didn’t read a lot this month and if I hadn’t hit a reading slump I’m sure I could have managed more (or at least finished Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard). Sometimes life gets in the way and I’m learning to accept that it’s okay. I’m just glad that I haven’t had a writer’s block on my novel in a while (I hope I haven’t jinxed myself).

Now that the holidays are coming up (and I’m away at the end of December in Ireland) I should have some more time to get reading when work finishes for the year.

How has your month been? Let me know in the comments below!

What Are You Reading Wednesday

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What Are You Reading Wednesday was created by RhiannaMarissa, and Kendall. The idea of What Are You Reading Wednesday is to create an online space for bookworms to chat, discuss and recommend their current reads. All you have to do is answer a few questions and link up with one of the host’s sites. So easy!

THE NITTY-GRITTY

Share the book/s you are reading with their author, maybe even the cover, and then answer these questions for at least one of them

  1. Why did you decide to pick up this book–cover or content?
  2. Who is your favourite character so far, and why?
  3. Will you finish this one?
  4. Finish the sentence: This book reminds me of…(other books, movies, tv shows…)
  5. What type of read is this one? (slow but interesting, cannot put it down…)

My Current Read

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I decided to give Glass Sword a break, and I finally picked this up. I bought this a few years ago and wanted something that wasn’t overly big to get me back into reading and at just over 300 pages it was a perfect choice!

1. Why did you decide to pick up this book – cover or content? 

For me this is definitely the content and the hype that was surrounding it that when the book was released. It was originally published as an e-book and then picked up by Hodder. At the time I loved books about angels and this offered an alternative spin on the creatures we love.

2. Who is your favourite character so far, and why? 

I’m just over a third of the way through and we haven’t been introduced to many of the main characters yet. Penryn, our POV, is great and she is strong, often having to fend for herself and her family. She definitely acts like an adult even though she is still a teenager. I am also beginning to like the angel she meets, too. He has some funny and sarcastic lines that annoy Penryn.

3. Will you finish this one?

Most definitely! I want to find out what will happen to her sister and as I know there are two more books in the series, I will most likely carry on reading them, too.

4. Finish the sentence: This book reminds me of…(other books, movies, tv shows…)

As it is set in a post-apocalyptic world, it reminds me of dystopian novels I have read in the past, but with a supernatural twists. Of course, we have the angels who are god-like in appearance, something most angels are in books (thinking back to Patch from Hush Hush). I feel that this book is definitely aimed more towards younger teenagers as the language and writing style seems more simple, with less description.

5. What type of read is this one? (slow but interesting, cannot put it down…)

This book moves quite quickly and I am finding it easy to make my way through it. It’s a fun read and I’m really enjoying it, a change of pace from Glass Sword.

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Once I finish Angelfall, I have promised myself that I will finish reading Glass Sword so I can move onto the third book, King’s Cage. What book are you currently reading?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Winter TBR

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This weeks topic is asking us to decide which books we want to read the most this winter. I class December through to the end of February as winter, so a couple of the books I am going to feature haven’t come out just yet.

With only 2 days left until the beginning of December, I am definitely starting to feel festive. I’ve got my fairy lights up around my room, my cute little tree on my dressing table and tinsel dotted around. It’s getting cosy in here for sure!

Time to show you my top Ten!

1. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

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I just ordered this book the other day so it shouldn’t be long before it is in my hands. I love all of Cassandra Clare’s books and I can’t wait to read the beginning of this series and I’m sure it will lead me to buying the second one at Christmas.

2. Crown Of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

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In my most recent book order I also bought the second instalment in the Throne Of Glass series and this is one I cannot wait to read. I absolutely loved the first (you can check out my review here) and I just know I will be buying the rest very soon!

3. Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

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This book is being released at the beginning of January and as I follow both of the authors on social media, I keep hearing more about this book and I am so excited to check it out. I don’t read many books that feature sci-fi elements so it will be great to give this a go.

4. Keeper by Kim Chance

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Keeper doesn’t come out until the end of January, but I received a copy of it to read from Netgalley. I am looking forward to checking out this book as it seemed great from the synopsis and I will be reviewing it for the beginning of January.

5. A Court Of Thorns And Roses by Sarah J. Mass

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Like her other series, I have heard great things about this one and will be getting stuck into it so I can then go out and buy the rest (there are a lot of series I need to buy). Plus, I love books centred around faeries so I know I am going to love this!

6. King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

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While I am still making my way through Glass Sword, I will be getting around to reading the third instalment before the final one is released next year. A lot of people say that this book is one of the best in the series so I am definitely excited to get to it.

7. The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

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While I haven’t bought this book yet, it is one that I know I will be buying soon because it sounds amazing. I’ve seen a lot of people loving this book and I am all about the magic! Plus, just look at how amazing that cover is, I love it.

8. Talon by Julie Kagawa

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This book has been sat on my shelf for too long (so long in fact that there are now 4 books in the series with the fifth coming out next year) and I can’t wait to read it. I love a good book that features dragons (my favourite mythical creatures to read about) so I know this will be my cup of tea.

9. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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Another book that comes out in the beginning of January, and one that I first saw on Netgalley, and again it is another book about faeries. It’s been a while since I read books on this topic and Holly Black’s take on them has interested me. You can be sure that I will be buying it once it is out.

10. Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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I can’t tell you how many times I have seen this book being praised by bloggers and I am itching to get my hands on it. I have passed it on to my dad in a list to get me for Christmas so I have a little while to wait, but I am sure it will be worth it.

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So there you have it, my top ten books that I want to read during the cold months (any excuse to stay inside). What books are you wanting to read?

Wrapping Up The Week (20th Nov – 26th Nov)

Why do the weekends always go by so quickly? I cannot wait for the Christmas holidays to come around so we can lounge about doing very little and eating as much as we want (food coma anyone?).

Once again I had a very busy week. I heard back from a couple of jobs who offered me the positions, but I am still holding out on one that I’m hoping will contact me within the next few days. Fingers crossed, because that is the job I want (and it pays really well, too, which always helps).

As well as that I have been getting stuck into my writing and I couldn’t be happier. All of a sudden I have these great ideas pouring into my head, I have come up with the ending of my first book (dramatic twist lined up that no one will see coming…check) and I am so excited. Last night I didn’t get to sleep until half 1 because I was typing away and managed to write 3,300 words, way more than the 1,000 I set myself to write each day. My brain is a little tired today so I’m not expecting to write nearly as much as that.

Books I read and reviewed…

If you are looking for a book review…I don’t have any to offer this week and I can only apologise for that. I am still making my way through Glass Sword and for some reason I am struggling. The book isn’t bad by any means, but I’m just not in the right frame of mind to read it at the moment. I might take a pause with it and start something a little lighter.

I am currently reading…

Glass Sword

Like I said in the above section, I am still reading this, but I am going to take a break from it. Maybe letting my own writing takeover isn’t the best thing, but you gotta go with the flow sometimes. I’m sure I will get back into it eventually as I do want to finish these books for when the final instalment is released next year.

Posts from the week…

Having A Huge Book Clear Out

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Thankful For

What Are You Reading Wednesday And Getting My Writing Mojo Back

First Lines Fridays

Writing And Pinterest: An Epic Love Story

I feel that even though I’ve not read a lot this week, I have still stayed quite productive with my blog. Five blog posts isn’t too bad and I enjoyed writing all of them.

Other Fun Stuff…

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Now that it is less than a week until we can begin to open our advent calendars (mine is a Thornton’s Continental one) and I figured it was time to get my little fibre-optic Christmas tree out. I even bought brand new red and gold baubles, and I still have to head out and buy some tinsel for my bookshelf and mirror. Who else is getting excited? I even changed the background of my laptop to become more festive and I love it!

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I am a self-declared foodie and will try anything as long as it is tasty! Indian is one of my favourite cuisines (nothing beats Italian though) and my boyfriend decided to treat us to my favourite Indian takeaway from MaCh. It is a little out of town, but it is definitely worth the trek! We will often eat at the restaurant itself, but as we were a little tired from our late night we settled for eating in. My favourite dish is Sag Aloo, a mixture of spinach and potatoes which is just divine!

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I hope you enjoyed reading about what I’ve been getting up to and that you are getting into the festive spirit as well!

Writing And Pinterest: An Epic Love Story

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I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend so far. Personally, the weekend is the best time for me to really get to work on my novel as I am not up to much else (apart from doing a bit of shopping here and there). Last night I was up late typing away at my keyboard and I was so deep into it that I didn’t want to stop. In fact, I ended up writing a total of 2,700 ish words in total, which is way more than the 1,000 that I set myself to reach every time I sit down at my laptop. So you can say I was ecstatic, especially after feeling weighed down with writer’s block for the week beforehand.

Me and writers block don’t get along. Whenever it sets in I can find it very difficult to escape and let the creativity flow again, something I have mention in my previous posts. I don’t have a lot of ways to get around it, that is, until I watched a video by Sasha Alsberg on her YouTube channel abookutopia and she mentioned that Pinterest really helps her when it comes to receiving inspiration.

I created a Pinterest account a while ago, but it was mainly to look for images that I could use to draw from or even some workout ideas (I do a lot of at home workouts), but I had never thought to use it for my story. So, the other day I set up a secret board that only I could see and I got to work searching for images that reminded me of what I had created in my mind.

In the screenshot above you can see a few of the images that relate to the town that my main characters lives in and the type of landscape that surrounds it. It’s very rural, with a giant forest and mountains, lots of cobbled stones and beautiful scenery. Of course, I have multiple boards for different places that will be in my story (but they would give away some key details so I’ll keep them to myself.)

When it comes to actually writing the descriptive scenes, Pinterest and these images, have been particularly helpful. While I am not writing exactly what I see in the pictures, there are elements of all in my story. And it is obviously working because I have been on a role!

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Inspiration is all around us and we only have to look to find it. So for me, writing and Pinterest work together perfectly and I can’t wait to explore it some more!

Do you like to use Pinterest as well? Let me know in the comments below.

First Lines Fridays

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It’s everybody’s favourite day of the week and that is definitely something to be happy about! I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend after all the stress I’ve been feeling this week and to get on with writing my novel. It’s coming together nicely and I’m laying the foundations down in so many notes (they’re on my laptop, sticky notes, my phone and a notebook).

I love taking part in First Lines Fridays because the books I choose are ones I probably haven’t paid much attention to before and this feature definitely makes me want to read them.

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? It’s pretty simple really, the rules go like this…

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

So here are the lines from the book I have chosen…

“My mother thinks I’m dead.

Obviously I’m not dead, but it’s safer for her to think so.

At least twice a month, I see my Wanted poster flashed on the JumboTrons scattered throughout downtown Los Angeles.”

First Thoughts

Straight away I’m intrigued and I want to know why it is better for people to think our main character is dead. Of course, it could be to do with the fact that they are a Wanted man, but that only leads to more questions. What did they do that was so bad? I really like the start of this book and it makes me want to read on.

And the book is…

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What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

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Fun fact, I actually have this book and the sequel sitting on my shelf…I just haven’t gotten around to reading them. But after featuring the first one, I feel that I might be starting it fairly soon!

Would these lines make you want to read the book?