ARC Review: Keeper by Kim Chance

Keeper

Title: Keeper

Author: Kim Chance

Date: 30th January 2018

Publisher: Flux Books

I am so thankful that I was approved on Netgalley to review this book because as soon as I read the synopsis, I knew it would be my cup of tea and I was right. Keeper was the first book that I read on my Kindle and I really enjoyed it. Kim Chance created a book that is fun, entertaining and gripping, with a hint of danger. There were a few plot twists I wasn’t expecting (some I did) and I was left wanting to read more. While it isn’t the best book I’ve ever read (I think it has to do with the fact I’m more used to older characters so a 16 year old girl was a bit different) I did enjoy reading it and found myself laughing out loud at some parts.

Lainey Styles is your average 16 year old girl, until she is attacked by a 200 year old witch who won’t leave her alone. It seems impossible and as hard as she tries to convince herself that it isn’t real, she has to face the reality she is being haunted. With the help of her comic-book loving best friend Maggie and street fighter Ty, they piece together the mystery and realise that Lainey is also a witch.

She isn’t just any old witch though. Lainey is a Keeper, just as her mother was, and she has the ability to unlock and use the Grimoire her family has spent centuries trying to protect. But the Grimoire was stolen by the Master, a dangerous and malevolent man who is hell bent on ruling the supernatural world. It’s Lainey’s job to get it back.

I will start off by saying that it does take a little while to get into the action of this book. I felt that it took a bit of time to get to all the witchy magic, but once we do it is great. There is action, drama and fighting scenes (I love those), as well as twists and turns that made me gasp (yes, they were that shocking). The writing was fun, bubbly and easy to read. Kim Chance perfectly captured the way a 16 year old girl would react to being told she is a witch and the language she used was perfect.

The characters in this book are just as good! Lainey was wonderful, smart, funny and unique. It was great to be in her mind and experience the emotions that we would be feeling in her situation. She doesn’t just accept what is happening to her and I loved that. I also enjoyed seeing her relationship with her Uncle Gareth and his girlfriend who is a seer (Lainey’s parents died when she was young) and how much they cared about her.

As for Lainey’s best friend Maggie, well…how can you not love someone who always uses superheroes for analogies (I’m a big Marvel fan). She also says ‘holy crapkittens’ which made me chuckle, and she will do anything for Lainey, something I could definitely appreciate. Ty was a little mystery that captured my heart the more we learned about him. He’s charming, a total kickass and kind towards Lainey. While they may have seemed a little cheesy and cliche, I ended up loving the characters, especially our mysterious 200 year old witch.

Yes, there are some YA tropes thrown into this book, but I felt that they were different to others and it was refreshing. I found myself flying through Keeper, especially after the halfway mark and the last quarter was my favourite part. There is a lot of action, magic usage and problems that Lainey and her friends encounter. We have an interesting villain who wants magic for himself and is ruthless when he doesn’t get his way.

Overall, Keeper was an engaging read and it has left me wanting to read the next one (let’s home Kim Chance does write it because I need answers to some things). It is not the best YA book I have read and even though it is a little similar to others, I ended up enjoying it. When it comes to giving this book a rating, I am deciding between 3 1/2 stars and 4 stars, so I’ll give it the higher one!

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My January TBR Pile

At the start of the year I headed to my Goodreads account and set my reading goal as 50 books for 2018.  On average that is one a week, but we all know that sometimes you fly though books and with others it can take an age to complete them. 50 is a good number and hopefully I can reach it by the end of the year.

For January, there are a lot of books that I want to read (especially as I got a lot in the month of December). It was very difficult to choose the main four, but here they are:

I received an e-ARC of Keeper by Kim Chance from Netgalley and have already finished reading it, so keep an eye out for my review of it in the next few days.

Currently I am reading Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas, the third book in the Throne of Glass series. Every time I pick up this series to read I get excited (I’m just lucky I have the one after as well).

The other day I pre-ordered Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings and as soon as it arrives you can be sure that I will be reading it. While there are mixed reviews out there already, I want to be able to make up my own mind about the first book in the Duology.

I first started reading Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard a couple of months ago and put it on hold while I tackled some others. January will be the month that I finish it and can finally move on to Kings Cage, just in time for War Storm to come out this year.

Anything else that I manage to read this month is a bonus! As long as I can read these four, I will be happy and on track to reaching my goal of 50 books.

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What books are on your TBR pile for this month?

Wrapping Up The Week (11th Dec – 17th Dec)

It’s nearly one week until Christmas! How excited is everyone about that fact? I have finished all my Christmas shopping and everything is being delivered in the coming week (the postmen are going to hate me). I don’t know about you, but I always feel more relaxed once I have everything organised and all that’s left to do is to wrap the presents and stock up on the drink.

The past week has been much better than my previous ones. My boyfriend is on the mend and we will be able to travel to Ireland after Christmas, something we didn’t think would happen. He’s healing extremely quickly and it’s safe to say that we are over the moon. As well as this, I also started my new job and I couldn’t be happier. It’s makes all the difference when you love what you do and as I get to write for a living in a marketing role, it’s a dream. My new team is great and so friendly, they even got me a few gifts in their secret Santa (something I didn’t think would happen at all). You can see them in the image below (and yes, I did open the wine the other night).

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I especially love the mug, which I will be using everyday for my morning coffee. Not only did I have a great week at work, I finally finished reading a book (cheers in the background) and I will explain about it in the section below.

Books I read and reviewed…

Everless

This, by far, is my favourite read of the year. I was accepted on NetGalley to read Everless by Sara Holland (something I prayed would happen) and as soon as I picked this book up, I didn’t want to put it down. I was hooked from the beginning and it has become one of my favourite YA Fantasy books. It was easy to give this 5 stars and you can read all my thoughts here. 

I am currently reading…

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I put Angelfall on hold while I read Everless, but I am planning on finishing this hopefully (fingers crossed) before we’re halfway through the week. I am over halfway now and I’m really liking it. Angelfall is such an easy read, it’s lighthearted and fun, just what I need at the moment.

Posts from the week…

Unfortunately the only post I wrote this week was the review of Everless, but I will try to do a couple more this week. With the new job, I think I needed time to adjust because I was way more tired in the evenings than I realised I would be. I didn’t even have to energy to write (I’m very sad about this fact).

Other Fun Stuff…

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A few weeks ago Peaky Blinders returned to the BBC for its fourth season and I have been loving it. Season 3, for me, wasn’t as good, but this one just blew everything out of the water. The season finale will be shown on Wednesday, so I am looking forward to that. If anyone hasn’t watched this series then you have to check it out. It’s so addictive!

I haven’t really been doing much else. I’ve been spending some more time on Twitter and connecting with the community there, so if you haven’t given me a follow it would be great if you could (I follow back, too). My novel is coming along, just a little bit slower now that I’ve got my new job. As I will have more time over Christmas I am hoping to knuckle down and churn out at least 1,500 words a day (just 500 more than my normal target).

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I hope that you have all had a great week and that you are enjoying the lead up to Christmas!

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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