4 stars

These Things I’ve Done by Rebecca Phillips

These Things I’ve Done by Rebecca PhillipsThese Things I've Done by Rebecca Phillips
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 1st August 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Before:
Dara and Aubrey have been inseparable since they became best friends in sixth grade. However, as they begin their sophomore year of high school, cracks in their friendship begin to form, testing the bond they always thought was unbreakable.

After:
It's been fifteen months since the accident that killed Aubrey, and not a day goes by that Dara isn't racked with guilt over her role in her best friend's death. Dara thought nothing could be worse than confronting the memories of Aubrey that relentlessly haunt her, but she soon realizes it isn't half as difficult as seeing Ethan, Aubrey's brother, every day. Not just because he's a walking reminder of what she did, but because the more her feelings for him change, the more she knows she's betraying her best friend one final time.
 

I hadn’t read anything by Rebecca Phillips before I read These Things I’ve Done, so I took a chance on an unknown (to me) author and it paid off massively. These Things I’ve Done is a tough subject matter. Dara, the main character, returns to her hometown after having spent a year away. Dara spent the past year away from hometown because she accidentally killed her best friend.

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Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny HanAlways and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
Series:
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 2nd May 2017
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?
 

I’ve been a massive fan of this trilogy from the start, but I have to admit that I wasn’t particularly looking forward to the third instalment. It’s not that I was dreading it, but I didn’t think the series really needed to be a series. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before was a cute standalone, ya know? But regardless, I read the sequels because I’m a huge Jenny Han fan (is there a name for us? There should be.) and I ended up enjoying them both. Continue reading

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

The Couple Next Door by Shari LapenaThe Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 14th July 2016
Publisher: Transworld Digital
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Fast-paced and addictive, THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR announces a major new talent in thriller writing. You never know what's happening on the other side of the wall.

Your neighbour told you that she didn't want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn't stand her crying.

Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You'll have the baby monitor and you'll take it in turns to go back every half hour.

Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She's gone.

You've never had to call the police before. But now they're in your home, and who knows what they'll find there.

What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?

I read The Couple Next Door in one sitting after weeks and weeks of battling through a reading slump. Apparently all I needed was a really good thriller. Who knew? I’m really happy with the way this turned out, so much so that I’ve pre-ordered Lapena’s next thriller so I can read it right away when it comes out later this month.

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The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig

The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi HeiligThe Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig
Series: The Girl From Everywhere #2
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 28th February 2017
Publisher: Greenwillow
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Nix has spent her whole life journeying to places both real and imagined aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. And now it’s finally time for her to take the helm. Her father has given up his obsession to save her mother—and possibly erase Nix’s existence—and Nix’s future lies bright before her. Until she learns that she is destined to lose the one she loves. But her relationship with Kash—best friend, thief, charmer extraordinaire—is only just beginning. How can she bear to lose him? How can she bear to become as adrift and alone as her father?

Desperate to change her fate, Nix takes her crew to a mythical utopia to meet another Navigator who promises to teach her how to manipulate time. But everything in this utopia is constantly changing, and nothing is what it seems—not even her relationship with Kash. Nix must grapple with whether anyone can escape her destiny, her history, her choices. Heidi Heilig weaves fantasy, history, and romance together to tackle questions of free will, fate, and what it means to love another person. But at the center of this adventure are the extraordinary, multifaceted, and multicultural characters that leap off the page, and an intricate, recognizable world that has no bounds. The sequel—and conclusion—to the indie darling The Girl from Everywhere will be devoured by fans of Rachel Hartman and Maggie Stiefvater. Includes black-and-white maps.

The Girl From Everywhere was one of my favourite books of 2016, so as soon as I saw this beauty available to review, I nabbed it. I waited a little while to read it because I have been in the worst reading slump of all time, and I wanted to make sure I was a) in the mood to read fantasy, and b) prepared to give it my utmost attention. I’m kind of glad I waited so long, because the way this one ended leaves so much room for a sequel that I’m pretty sure is coming. Or, at least, some sort of follow up story. Because that ending was not okay.

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Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn HamiltonRebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Series: Rebel of the Sands #1
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 8th March 2016
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there's nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can't wait to escape from.

Destined to wind up "wed or dead," Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she'd gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan's army, with a fugitive who's wanted for treason. And she'd never have predicted she'd fall in love with him... or that he'd help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

I’ve been meaning to gush about this book since I read it last year, but due to the Blogging Crisis of 2016, I wasn’t able to. Well, I was, but I didn’t. Because I suck. But anyway, that’s over now and I’m ready to shout about my ship the book just in time for the sequel to come out. By the way, we’ve recapped Rebel of the Sands over on Recaptains so if you have read the book and are anticipating Traitor to the Throne, you can refresh your memory.

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