Heartless

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HeartlessMarissa Meyer

Genre: Fantasy, YA

RATING: ★★★★✩

Goodreads page

This was a real gem. But I expect nothing less from Marissa Meyer, who is the author of, still to this day, one of my absolute favourite fantasy series, The Lunar Chronicles. Now this was no Cinder or Cress so, in that regard, it did fall short. However, this book was still phenomenal and the creative backstory of the Red Queen in Wonderland was extremely enticing. I’m an absolute lover of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Meyer’s work only enhanced my love for the Lewis Carroll’s world – Marissa Meyer is brilliant at taking inspiration from a pre-existing tale and morphing it into her own, all without tarnishing the original. It contains all things baking, forbidden love and magic – sound up your alley? A truly incredible read for most, I’d say.

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How Did We Get Into This Mess?

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How Did We Get Into This Mess? – George Monbiot

Genre: Non-fiction, Politics

RATING: ★★★✩✩

Goodreads page

The best way to describe this book is dense. Not necessarily in volume (although still quite lengthy) but in terms of the weight that each sentence holds. Initially I would have suggested pessimistic is a more apt description but, upon reflection, it certainly isn’t. I think what Monbiot has managed to do is assess the disastrous situation our planet is in in a methodical and, for the most part, digestible way to the general population. Some of the essays failed to grasp my attention while others I was fully engrossed in hence the lower rating. And, although the book was overall quite straightforward in many ways, I did find myself stumbling over a few sections which I think was another weakness as Monbiot’s language would frequently fall into very professional language or contain comparisons to events that I, and I’m sure many others, would have been unaware about so had limited effect in that regard. Even so, the book really just got me thinking. It highlighted aspects of our society that I’d been aware of but knew little about or, even better, opened my eyes to countless other flaws that are causing the deterioration of our planet so, despite titled to be a seemingly depressing book, such brutal facts fundamentally served to create a truly inspiring underlying message to make a change.

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J.K. Rowling & Jack Thorne
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

RATING: ★★★✩✩

Goodreads page

Well, this was something… different. I’m not going to lie, when I first heard that they were releasing the script for the Cursed Child, I did not plan on reading it. I knew that, regardless of how incredible the story might be and how great it would be to return back to my favourite fantasy world ever, reading it as a play just wouldn’t be the same. And, saying that, I wasn’t overly excited by the plot anyway. I only think this worked because we know the world of Harry Potter so well; had I read this alone without background knowledge, I doubt I would have given it more than two stars at best. At the end of the day though, there were some quite endearing and nostalgic parts that, ultimately, leveled out the negatives enough to warrant a mediocre three stars.

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Stars Above

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Stars Above – Marissa Meyer
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-fi, Novellas

RATING: ★★★★★

Goodreads page

I was so pleasantly surprised by this! It’s not often that a novella (or several for that matter) creates a good impression on me. I’m normally left wanting more depth and detail so novellas rarely cut it. That said, Stars Above was incredible! There were loads of short stories which gave a tremendous insight into the past of all the main characters of the series but, without a doubt, the greatest novella was the last one, which was set after Winter and saw the whole team come together again to celebrate Scarlet and Wolf’s wedding. I personally wasn’t a massive fan of Fairest, the prequel to the Lunar Chronicles which gave a background on Levana, so if you’re skeptical to read this collection because the other novella didn’t quite do anything for you, I can assure you that these novellas are incomparable and an absolute joy. Any fans of the Lunar Chronicles would, I am certain, really love this accumulation of epic short stories.

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Warbreaker

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Warbreaker – Brandon Sanderson
Genre: High Fantasy

RATING: ★★★★★

Goodreads page

I can thank my two friends for encouraging me to give this one a go! With a lot of college reading over the summer, I knew a great big fantasy series just wasn’t on the cards but I wanted my fantasy fix and this did just that. If you’ve heard of Sanderson, you’ve probably heard of the Mistborn trilogy and while I sincerely loved that series, this stand-alone had something extra and I was even more impressed. Any fantasy lovers will know the genre has an abundance of epic fantasy series’s but is lacking in some powerful one-offs. Luckily, Warbreaker filled that void and by no half-measure either. Racking up to about 600 pages, it’s still hefty but provides a fast-paced, exciting tale that I guarantee will take an awful lot of willpower to put down!

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone (DOSAB #1) – Laini Taylor
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

RATING: ★★★★★

Goodreads page

I seem to be on a re-reading kick at the moment (and I’m not complaining!). This book was just as good as I remember it with such beautifully crafted characters through some incredible writing. Laini Taylor most definitely knows how to make a dull scene interesting. Great for anyone who is looking for an introduction to the fantasy genre and for those who really appreciate good writing.

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The Girl on the Train

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The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
Genre: Crime, Adult fiction

RATING: ★★★★✩

Goodreads page

I was seriously surprised by how much I enjoyed this! As someone who doesn’t often explore the crime/thriller genre, I was unsure whether it would claim and maintain my interest (and indeed it did!) In all honesty, the main reason I finally got around to reading it was because it was advertised when I went to see Me Before You and the trailer had me hooked. The story is essentially about discovering what happened to Megan, who goes missing at the beginning of the book. The truth is slowly unwoven and revealed through the course of the novel. A very engaging read that I would recommend – hands down.

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