Reading Slumps and Book Reviews

Reading slumps and book reviews

Reading Slump

I’ve had a bit of a reading slump this year as I’m studying a Digital Marketing MSc and my focus has been that and working. I’m currently working on my Dissertation which focusses on Digital Marketing in Publishing (if you have anything to say about this please let me know in the comments I’d love it!)

BUT in the last week I’ve managed to read 6 books! (5 of those in 4 days).

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I’ve also had a bit of a blog slump so I’ve decided to write a bit of a roundup of the books I’ve read here before writing my more in depth reviews later!

Purge by Kat Ellis – NEW RELEASE September 6th!
Unboxed by Non Pratt
The Territory by Sarah Govett
ARC: The Deviants by C.J.Skuse – September 22nd 2016
ARC: Contagion by Teri Terry – Release date 2017
ARC: Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick – October 6 2016

Book Review Roundup

Reading Slumps and Book ReviewsPurge by Kat Ellis
Published by Firefly Press Ltd on September 8th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 288
Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars

Mason and Noah exist in different worlds, but their lives are about to collide.Mason has a habit of getting into trouble. He's been kicked out of every place he's ever lived in. Moving to the cult-like community of Alteria is definitely a last resort, even if it's better than braving the wastelands outside. But following their strict rules is a hundred times harder when Mason meets Eden, who has a wicked streak to match his own. Caught with contraband, Eden is forced into a programme to purge her bad behaviour. But Mason has seen what happens to people who get purged, and knows he will lose Eden if he can't help her find a way out.Out in the wastelands, Noah has no memory of what happened before he was abandoned in a war zone. All he wants is to know who he is, and if he can trust the strangers who rescued him from the rubble.With lies surrounding them on all sides, Mason and Noah must piece together the truth if they want to escape. Failure is not an option when it means being purged from existence.

I loved this book! It had me gripped from the start, I wanted to know more about the world they lived in and how it differed from ours. I was invested in the character’s stories and I needed to know what was happening.
I loved the structure of the book with different narratives and how they related to each other. Both Mason and Eden aren’t typical YA protags – they have issues and some of them they don’t really ‘grow’ out of, but I won’t say more about that for spoilers.
There was always something more going on beneath the surface and it’s well worth the wait for each reveal! I’d LOVE a sequel to this book…
Definitely recommend!

 

Reading Slumps and Book ReviewsUnboxed by Non Pratt
Published by Barrington Stoke on August 15th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 140
Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars

Unboxed is about four teenagers who come together after several months apart. In previous years, they had put together a time capsule about their best summer with a friend who was dying. Now that their friend has passed, they reunite to open the box.

I LOVED this book! Short and sweet, I really related to the characters. The feelings that arise when confronted by old friends in such a situation were captured beautifully.
This book really got me thinking on diversity and my own experiences of it, it made me see some things in a new light and a book that can do that is brilliant indeed.

Reading Slumps and Book ReviewsThe Territory (The Territory, #1) by Sarah Govett
Published by Firefly Press on May 14th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 202
Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars

Limited Space requires Limited Numbers

The year is 2059. Noa Blake is just another normal 15 year old. Except in the Territory normal isn’t normal. The richest children can download information and bypass the need to study. In a flooded world of dwindling resources, Noa and the other ‘Norms’ have their work cut out to compete. And competing is everything – anybody who fails the TAA exam at 15 will be shipped off to the disease-ridden Wetlands, to a life of misery, if not certain death.

But how to focus when your heart is being torn in two directions at once?

‘Brilliantly plotted, utterly gripping... This is a book you won’t be able to put down. I can’t wait for part two!’ Gemma Malley (The Declaration)

‘A page-turner with cinematic qualities... I gasped an involuntary “No!” when I turned the final page; I really want to find out what happens next!’ Zoe Tuft (Playing by the Book)

‘The Territory had me hooked from page one... The tension was almost too much to bear ... an accomplished and compelling debut.’ SB Hayes (Poison Heart and Don’t Look Back)

I loved the way this book was written, it was almost like diary entries detailing the life of Noa as she got closer and closer to her TAA exams, the exams which would determine whether she would live or die.
This story really gets you thinking, what will those in power decide for us when the decisions are that hard? Who gets to live and who has to die when the land is running out disease is spreading?
It makes you question what you would do, to save yourself or your family. Would you leave?
It also brings up the theme of genetic modification, which is very quickly becoming a reality in our lives.
Amazing compelling story which was well written, cannot wait for the next one!

Reading Slumps and Book ReviewsThe Deviants by C.J. Skuse
Published by Mira Ink on September 22nd 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 320
Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars

When you set out for revenge, dig two graves

Growing up in the sleepy English seaside town of Brynston, the fearless five – Ella, Max, Corey, Fallon and Zane – were always inseparable. Living up to their nickname, they were the adventurous, rowdy kids who lived for ghost stories and exploring the nearby islands off the coast. But when Max’s beloved older sister Jessica is killed, the friendship seems to die with her.

Now years later, only Max and Ella are in touch; still best friends and a couple since they were thirteen. Their lives are so intertwined Max’s dad even sponsors Ella’s training for the Commonwealth Games. But Ella is hiding things. Like why she hates going to Max’s house for Sunday dinner, and flinches whenever his family are near. Or the real reason she’s afraid to take their relationship to the next level.

When underdog Corey is bullied, the fearless five are brought back together again, teaming up to wreak havoc and revenge on those who have wronged them. But when the secrets they are keeping can no longer be kept quiet, will their fearlessness be enough to save them from themselves?

Cliche I know but I couldn’t put this down. I picked up up last night and stayed up to finish it. I had no idea what the book was about when I started and I was just so gripped right from the first scene!
I loved the way the narrator tells the story, prompted by a question at the end of each chapter, which draws you further and further in until you can’t escape.
It was beautifully harrowing, touching upon such sensitive topics so well. I kept thinking I knew what was happening/going to happen/had happened but I was shocked each time!
It left me in tears, my soul sore from their pain.
The way it was written was brilliant and realistic – with a lot of things I could relate to in terms of the language they used etc.

I would definitely recommend this book but it’s not for the faint hearted!

 

Reading Slumps and Book ReviewsContagion (Dark Matter, #1) by Teri Terry
Series: Dark Matter #1
Published by Orchard Books on May 18th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 464
Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Callie is missing.

Her brother Kai is losing hope of ever seeing her again. Then he meets Shay, a girl who saw Callie the day she disappeared, and his hope is reignited.

Their search leads them to the heart of a terrifying epidemic that is raging through the country.

Can Kai and Shay escape death and find Callie?

This book was brilliant. I love virus narratives and I was not disappointed with this one. There were definitely more than a few surprises in this book, needless to say you’re kept guessing a lot in it.
It combined the very real threat of virus outbreak with futuristic theories on dark matter and physics which was really interesting.

I’ve always been fascinated by the curing and creating of disease in fiction – where science is messed around with to disastrous consequences. This fits the bill completely. Definitely add it to your TBR pile!

The only negative I have about this book is the ending. It is a severe cliff hanger, almost to the point where they story feels cut off short. I definitely cannot wait for the next instalment!

Reading Slumps and Book ReviewsSaint Death by Marcus Sedgwick
Published by Orion Children's Books on October 6th 2016
Pages: 260
Goodreads
one-half-stars

A potent, powerful and timely thriller about migrants, drug lords and gang warfare set on the US/Mexican border by PRINTZ MEDAL winning and CARNEGIE MEDAL, COSTA BOOK AWARD and GUARDIAN CHILDREN'S FICTION PRIZE shortlisted novelist, Marcus Sedgwick.

Anapra is one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the Mexican city of Juarez - twenty metres outside town lies a fence, and beyond it, America - the dangerous goal of many a migrant. Faustino is one such trying to escape from the gang he's been working for. He's dipped into a pile of dollars he was supposed to be hiding and now he's on the run. He and his friend, Arturo, have only 36 hours to replace the missing money, or they're as good as dead.

Watching over them is Saint Death. Saint Death (or Santissima Muerte) - she of pure bone and charcoal-black eye, she of absolute loyalty and neutral morality, holy patron to rich and poor, to prostitute and narco-lord, criminal and police-chief. A folk saint, a rebel angel, a sinister guardian.

Admittedly I didn’t read what this was about before I started it, if I’d had I probably wouldn’t have read it.
The writing itself was great, however the plot itself just did not appeal to me. I didn’t feel particularly invested in the characters and didn’t feel particularly satisfied at the ending of the novel.
Don’t let my review put you off though! I’m sure to someone who’s interested in this type of thing would love it!

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Have you guys read any of these? Let me know what you thought! I think my reading may slow down again a bit now but at least I’m out of my slump!

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