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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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?

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?

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?

The Writer’s Tag

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I love seeing new tags pop up and when I saw this over on The Orangutan Librarian I just knew I had to take part. And if you like the look of the questions and want to give it a go, you can always take part as well!

While I am not taking part in NaNoWriMo (I’m unable to commit to something like that at this moment in time) I am currently writing a novel, one that I hope to be able to publish one day.

WHAT GENRES, STYLES, AND TOPICS DO YOU WRITE ABOUT?

All the books that I’ve written and completed (a total of 3) have been Young Adult and all had elements that were supernatural to some degree.

The first novel I ever wrote was about Angels and Demons (and a girl stuck between the worlds) although if I read it back now I would probably cringe myself to death. My second novel was about ghosts and the afterlife, with a girl dying and being able to see the other side (I even had a sequel in the works). The last one I finished was partly dystopian as well, with the main character being able to control the elements and being whisked off to a secret site to train with the best to fight the evil in the world.

So as you can see, there’s a mixture. My current novel will be Fantasy as that is what I am loving at the moment and I cannot wait to get more into it.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING?

I first started writing when I was 14, as I was 15 when I finished my first novel. Before then I had written short stories, until one day my mum challenged me during the summer holidays to write my own novel (she even wrote her own so you could say it runs in the family). I’ve always been a fan of the make believe when I would play dress up with my sister and pretend we were witches in a special school (like Hogwarts but better in our opinion).

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO WRITE?

For some reason I always get the urge to write at night, which isn’t the best as I get tired quickly. Coffee is my best companion at that point. I’m trying to train myself to write when it’s still light outside but it’s not really working for me.

WHAT PARTS OF WRITING DO YOU LOVE AND HATE?

I love…

  • The beginning. When I’ve just started to create the world that I am picturing in my head and introducing my characters, putting a little bit of my soul into each. While they are never a true reflection of myself there are always elements in them, making them unique to me.
  • When I can clearly see where the story is going to go, the growth of the characters, the twists and turns that they will encounter. It makes writing so much easier when it’s clear.
  • The feeling I get when I write, like I’m doing something that matters. I’m not saying that I’m going to change the world, but I want people to one day read my work and love it as much as I do. I want to see my name on a bookshelf in Waterstones or on the Book Depository and know that I made it.
  • When I don’t have to think too much and by that, I mean the words just flow and they sound right. When I get to that point I can write for hours.

I dislike (because hate is a strong word)…

  • Writer’s block. And for some reason it always happens to me and it is so difficult to get out of.
  • When I can’t get it perfect the first time round. I know that the first draft you write is never the one that gets published, but I am a perfectionist and it’s the worst.
  • Never being able to commit to one novel. I am trying to break the habit of me writing a finished novel, forgetting about editing it and moving on to another because I got a brand new idea. That way of thinking won’t make me a published author.
  • When I get embarrassed. I don’t know why I do because I am proud of my work but whenever my boyfriend reads it over my shoulder I can’t help but try and hide it. I need to work on my confidence.

HOW DO YOU OVERCOME WRITER’S BLOCK?

I can’t. I just have to wait it out or read over what I’ve already written, hoping for a light bulb to go off in my head and the ideas to spring forth. I need a better way of dealing with it and if anyone has any suggestions I will be eternally grateful!

ARE YOU WORKING ON SOMETHING AT THE MOMENT?

Yes, my new fantasy novel (with a twist). And it isn’t actually Young Adult. I’m having a go at the New Adult genre and my reason for this is that I am the age of my characters. I don’t want them to be 16 and having their first kiss or first boyfriend. My female protagonist is living her life, going out for drinks with her best friend, having one night stands and making mistakes. I want her to be strong, independent, imperfect and fearless. Something she will have to be to survive in a strange world. I hope I’ve piqued your interests.

WHAT ARE YOUR WRITING GOALS THIS YEAR?

Considering 2017 is almost over (how has it gone by so quickly?) I’m going to do them for 2018. I want to finish my current novel, edit it, send it off to an editor and get it published. While that last one may not be accomplished within a year (stranger things have happened though) I have the drive to do the rest. I am feeling motivated like I never have before. This is my dream and I want it.

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I’m not sure who to tag really, but if you are a writer and want to take part then make sure to link back to me and comment your answers for me to see. I love reading what other people put so have fun!