4.5 stars

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

Lair of Dreams by Libba BrayLair of Dreams by Libba Bray
Series: The Diviners #2
Genre: Paranormal
Release Date: 25th August 2015
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-half-stars

After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O'Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. Now that the world knows of her ability to "read" objects, and therefore, read the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title, "America's Sweetheart Seer." But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners' abilities...

Meanwhile, mysterious deaths have been turning up in the city, victims of an unknown sleeping sickness. Can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld and catch a killer?

I’ve been looking forward to Lair of Dreams ever since I read The Diviners nearly two years ago *sobs* This sequel to Libba Bray’s fantastic The Diviners (I love this book so much I would actually marry it if I could) isn’t as compelling as her first but it’s still an outstandingly good read and definitely one of my favourite books this year. Continue reading

The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith

The Alex Crow by Andrew SmithThe Alex Crow by Andrew Smith
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: 5th March 2015
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-half-stars

Once again blending multiple story strands that transcend time and place, Grasshopper Jungle author Andrew Smith tells the story of 15-year-old Ariel, a refugee from the Middle East who is the sole survivor of an attack on his small village. Now living with an adoptive family in Sunday, West Virginia, Ariel's story of his summer at a boys' camp for tech detox is juxtaposed against those of a schizophrenic bomber and the diaries of a failed arctic expedition from the late nineteenth century. Oh, and there’s also a depressed bionic reincarnated crow.

The Alex Crow is a fantastically weird and fun book that still managed to make me cry several times. I mean, that’s not hard to do considering I once cried at a Lloyds TSB advert but the point still stands; Andrew Smith is really good at making the reader cry even while laughing. Continue reading

The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian by Andy WeirThe Martian by Andy Weir
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: August 28, 2014
Publisher: Del Rey
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first man to die there.

It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him, and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he's stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive--and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to get him first.

But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills--and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit--he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Goodbye, my friends, I have been killed by a book.

Continue reading

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin TalleyLies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
Genre: Historical
Release Date: October 3, 2014
Publisher: MIRA Ink
Source: Gift
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-half-stars

It's 1959. The battle for civil rights is raging. And it's Sarah Dunbar's first day of school, as one of the first black students at the previously all-white Jefferson High. No one wants Sarah there. Not the Governor. Not the teachers. And certainly not the students – especially Linda Hairston, daughter of the town’s most ardent segregationist. Sarah and Linda have every reason to despise each other. But as a school project forces them to spend time together, the less their differences seem to matter. And Sarah and Linda start to feel something they've never felt before. Something they're both determined ignore. Because it's one thing to be frightened by the world around you - and another thing altogether when you're terrified of what you feel inside.

Tatum read Lies We Tell Ourselves back in the autumn, and I had been wanting to read it for the longest time. I love historical fiction, and the Civil Rights Movement isn’t a topic that I’ve touched upon in fiction before, so I was very excited to read this book. Not to mention it’s also LGBT and the two main female characters fall in love. I absolutely devoured this book, as I knew that I would!  Continue reading

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Genre: Historical
Release Date: September 8, 2007
Publisher: Black Swan
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-half-stars

HERE IS A SMALL FACT - YOU ARE GOING TO DIE.

1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.

Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.

SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION - THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH.

It's a small story, about: a girl, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.

ANOTHER THING YOU SHOULD KNOW - DEATH WILL VISIT THE BOOK THIEF THREE TIMES.

I read The Book Thief earlier last year and I don’t think I made a full recovery. In fact, I think Death has visited me several times. Judith and Tatum had warned me about it, and I went into the book knowing it was going to tear out my soul, but that still wasn’t enough preparation. The Book Thief is one of the best heart-wrenching books I have ever read. Continue reading