3 stars

Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Invictus by Ryan GraudinInvictus by Ryan Graudin
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: 26th September 2017
Publisher: Little Brown Young Readers
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far's birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he's ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far's very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.

I was really excited for Invictus because I’m a sucker for time travel in books and shows, plus the book starts off at a gladiator match in Ancient Rome. What more could I ask for? I was, however, left a little disappointed by the world building, which is a shame.

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Love and Other Train Wrecks by Leah Konen

Love and Other Train Wrecks by Leah KonenLove and Other Train Wrecks by Leah Konen
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 2nd January 2018
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Noah is a hopeless romantic. He’s heading back home for one last chance with his first love, whom he broke up with when he went off to college.

Ammy doesn’t believe in true love—her parents being prime examples. She’s escaping from a mom who can’t take care of her to a dad who may not even want her. That is, until one winter night when Noah and Ammy find themselves in the same Amtrak car heading to Upstate New York.

After a train-wreck first encounter between the two of them, the Amtrak train suddenly breaks down due to a snowstorm. Desperate to make it to their destinations, Noah and Ammy have no other option but to travel together. What starts off as a minor detour turns into the whirlwind journey of a lifetime, and over the course of the night they fall in love. But come morning their adventure takes an unexpected turn for the worst. Can one night can really change how they feel about love...and the course of their lives forever?

Love and Other Train Wrecks is one of those books that is simply alright. There’s nothing standout about it, in my opinion, but it was an easy read. The two main characters (stupidly) get off a train to Hudson in an attempt to get to their destinations faster, but almost everything that could go wrong does go wrong along the way.

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The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances

The Girlfriend by Michelle FrancesThe Girlfriend by Michelle Frances
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 4th May 2017
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances is a gripping and chilling debut psychological thriller, based on the fall-out following an unforgiveable lie. It looks at the potentially charged relationship between girlfriend, boyfriend and his mother, which most women can identify with, and locates it in an extreme but believable setting.

Laura has it all. A successful career, a long marriage to a rich husband, and a twenty-three year-old son, Daniel, who is kind, handsome, and talented. Then Daniel meets Cherry. Cherry is young, beautiful and smart but she hasn't had the same opportunities as Daniel. And she wants Laura's life.

Cherry comes to the family wide-eyed and wants to be welcomed with open arms, but Laura suspects she's not all that she seems.

When tragedy strikes, an unforgiveable lie is told. It is an act of desperation, but the fall-out will change their lives forever.

The Girlfriend is more of a soap than a thriller, which surprised me because it had been pushed so hard as the next big thing. I felt like I was watching an episode of Footballer’s Wives or something because of all the family drama that was going on. I have to be honest, I didn’t particularly enjoy this one. I didn’t hate it either, and I kept reading it because it kind of captivated me, but I didn’t really like it. It’s a tough one.

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The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren JamesThe Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: 7th September 2017
Publisher: Walker Books
Source: Gift
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

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 . . .

I’ve got mixed feelings about The Loneliest Girl in the Universe because on the one hand, I read it in a single sitting and I did enjoy it. On the other, I think the book could have been improved in a few different ways. It’s a real mixed bag for me.

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Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Speechless by Hannah HarringtonSpeechless by Hannah Harrington
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 28th August 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.

Speechless wasn’t a bad book, to be honest, but it was a little underwhelming. It was such a short book, and a lot happened in those 200 or so pages, that I felt almost disconnected from the story. It did make for a really quick read, though, which is what I was after.

I liked Chelsea, the main character, well enough. There was a lot of character growth there, which is always a sign of a decent book. She acknowledges that she stays silent for far too long, and she also learnt from her mistakes. The protest itself was silly, really, so I’m glad that it played out the way it did in terms of Chelsea’s character growth. Also, Chelsea was attractive and she knew it. It was really nice to read about a main character who knew she was good looking. I love that confidence.

I am probably going to remember the beginning with the assault more than anything. This isn’t the most memorable book but it definitely had bits that will stick with me.