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).

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!

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?

What Are You Reading Wednesday And Getting My Writing Mojo Back

We are halfway through the week already and I hope you are all having a great one so far. I know that I definitely am, as I’ve had a couple of job offers. Before I make a decision on which one I want to accept, I have to wait to hear from one more (the one I actually want). Fingers crossed that it is before Friday as that is my deadline for telling the others my choice.

My other good news is that I have my mojo back! For a little while my writing was struggling. I was rewriting my story, changing it from first person POV to third person and it was draining me. Then, the other night, all these light bulbs went off in my head and the ideas just kept coming. I managed to write a full document detailing the beginning, middle and end of my novel with a total of 2,000 words. I have to say, I felt very productive afterwards and now that I have finished the rewriting part, I can get to the fun bit.

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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

Glass Sword

This is the second instalment in the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard.

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

Definitely the content, as I read the first book not that long ago. Although, the covers of this series do look beautiful as well (especially the fourth book, War Storm).

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

After having read the first novel, I still think that Mare is my favourite character for lots of reasons. She is stubborn and witty, getting stronger every day even when others would have crumbled.

3. Will you finish this one?

I wasn’t so sure in the beginning because I was struggling to get into the story again. But I’m only 100 pages in and I have to give it a chance to get better. After the last chapter I read, I will definitely be trying to finish it (I have the third one of my shelf, one that a lot of people liked).

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

In a way it reminds me of lots of dystopian books (The Hunger Games and Divergent for example) with the different factions, how people are separated and the war stricken world. They have a lot of the same features, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

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

I am finding the second book a little slower than the first and it definitely seems more serious to me. I don’t want to give away too much in case someone hasn’t read it, but I am hoping that there will be more action later on as it started with a couple great chapters.

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What book are you currently reading at the moment? #whatareyoureadingwednesday

When Life Gets Stressful And The Writing Halts

 

This is a visual representation of how I am feeling.

You know that feeling when life is so crazy and stressful that you just wish you could sleep and have everything be okay when you wake up? That’s me at the moment.

The last week has been so busy that my brain feels fried. I’m currently looking for a new job which involves attending a lot of job interviews (I had 4 in a week), researching the companies and registering with recruitment agencies (which means filling out lots of paperwork). I feel that all my spare time is being taken up by those activities and I have no energy left for my writing.

Somehow I have managed to keep writing blog posts over the last week (how, I don’t know, but I won’t question it). Unfortunately, my novel has fallen to the wayside because I simply don’t have the energy. My brain doesn’t want to work and it’s frustrating. I have all these ideas that I keep writing down on little notepads and the story is coming together perfectly in my head. Just not on my open Word document. Which is constantly open.

I’m sure a lot of you have felt this way at some point when it comes to your own writing. Last night I managed to write a little, but as I was forcing the words out I felt that they weren’t working for me. So for the next couple of days I’m going to try and rest my brain. I will plonk myself down to watch some Outlander, exercise to get my blood pumping and pray that my motivation returns.

I wish I could say it was just my writing that was suffering, but I haven’t wanted to pick up a book to read either. It could be that I’m just not that into the one I currently have so I may be changing it soon. Either way, it’s not a great situation.

This may have been a little bit ranty (something I wasn’t sure I should post, but maybe you all have some advice for me), however I feel so much better talking about it. It’s amazing how easy it is to fall into a slump, but I am determined to get myself out of it.

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How has your week been going? I would love to know so leave me a little comment down below so we can chat!

Review: Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass

Title: Throne of Glass

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Date: August 2nd 2012

Publisher: Bloomsbury

After turning the last page of this book I asked myself one question…Why on earth had I not read this book before now? It has been sat on my shelf for years, gathering dust since I bought it in 2013. For some reason I had put off reading it and then I went through a period of not picking up books at all. Finally I noticed it and made myself promise to read it and I am so glad I did. Fantasy is quickly becoming one of my favourite genres and I’m afraid I’m going to have to buy the rest of the series very soon (apologies to my bank account).

Throne of Glass follows Celaena Sardothien, a deadly assassin who has been locked up in Endovier serving a life sentence, until suddenly she is offered a deal by the Captain of the Guard. If she represents the Crown Prince in a competition to become the King’s Champion, she can have her freedom back. But first she has to win the competition and that will not be an easy feat. All in all there are twenty three contestants, all of whom have been offered the same deal and who would kill for the chance to be free again. Celaena is thrust into a world where politics rule and things are not what they always seem. All she knows is that she has to win, no matter what.

After reading so many amazing reviews of this book, I am happy to say that, for me, it lived up to the hype. I didn’t want to stop reading once I had started. There were so many elements that I loved, the first of which is the world that Maas created. Her writing style made me believe that this Erilea could exist and her descriptions of the castle and the landscapes helped me picture it so vividly. This book was so addictive and I can only imagine that the rest of the series will get better with each book. It took me on an adventure that I didn’t want to end.

I can’t even begin to describe how much I love the character of Celaena. She is everything I want in a female protagonist. She is strong, witty, she knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go for it. I saw myself in her at times, making her all the more relatable and more than once I found myself smiling while reading. She may seem hard and cold on the outside, the killer assassin, but she is also kind and charming, more vulnerable than the other characters realise. I was rooting for her the whole way through and I am left wanting to know more.

Celaena wasn’t the only character that I loved. The Captain of the Guard, Chaol, grew to also be one of my favourites, even though he can be a tough nut to crack, you can see that he is caring to the people around him, especially his friend, the Crown Prince, Dorian. I can’t figure out who I prefer, Chaol or Dorian. The latter is definitely not what I expected and isn’t a shallow Prince by any means. He is complicated, not nearly as complicated as Celaena though, and I couldn’t help but love their encounters. All the friendships and relationships in the book seemed genuine and realistic, there was nothing forced about it.

I could go on and on about this book! I have a feeling that more of the world Maas has created will be explored and I am looking forward to seeing where Celaena’s story takes us. An incredible novel that I only wish I had read sooner. It gripped me from the beginning and was simply magical. And with no glaring faults, I think that this is going to be my first 5 star review on this blog!