It Started With a Tweet – Anna Bell

35091775Daisy lives her life online. Everything she does is broadcast to the world via Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Then, one day she forgets to log out of her work’s Twitter account and sends a hugely inappropriate tweet, resulting in her immediate dismissal. At a loss, Daisy allows her sister to convince her to go on a digital detox. What she doesn’t expect is to be roped into renovating an old farm in Cumbria. But, as Daisy will find out, it’s amazing what you can find when you switch off.

I came to an important realisation when reading this book: if a book starts at a hen party, I probably won’t like it much. That being said, It Started With a Tweet was not terrible. It’s a light and reasonably entertaining romance, with a meaningful message about our obsession with social media.

The main downfall was the characters. They’re all pretty fickle, and our main girl, Daisy, was quite annoying. She didn’t seem to be able to fully commit to anything. She agrees to do this digital detox, but keeps trying to get back online in secret. Except her attempts are pretty half-hearted. If she really wanted to get online, she just had to try a bit harder and she’d manage; she gave up too easily every time.

The best part of the story was when Daisy returned to London and saw how obsessed all her friends were with their phones, and realised how much she didn’t want to be like that anymore. Unfortunately, after that the ending came on rather abruptly. She went back to her sister’s new farm and everything was sorted out like that *snaps fingers*. It’s like the author finally reached the end and gave up.

It Started With a Tweet was a decent read, but by no means a work of literary genius.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads | Amazon

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Hunted – GX Todd

34209822In book #2 of The Voices series, it seems everyone is searching for Lacey. Albus, a man with no voice of his own, is led by the voice of his lost sister with one goal: find and protect the martyr. He and his friends must find her, before anyone else does. Before Posy, and the evil voice inside him – The Other – can.

This series is so good, omg. I can’t even tell you. I’ve seen surprisingly few post-apocalyptic books around recently, and The Voices is based on a really scary and interesting concept: voices in our heads that caused humanity to break down and drove huge numbers of people to kill themselves. It is terrifying and super interesting.

But not only is the concept great, so is the story. I was a tiny bit disappointed at first that the story wasn’t being told from Lacey’s point-of-view (like book #1 is), but after a while, I realised that this was actually a good thing. Firstly, it gave the book a fresh angle. Secondly, I got a bit of a YA vibe from Defender, although it isn’t a YA book. This time, that vibe was gone. I think this was down to the story being told from the point of various adults so, as much as I love Lacey, that teen-vibe was gone – which, for this kind of book, was a good thing.

The characters in this book are just fantastic. Lacey and Voice in particular, but every single character (even the awful, mean ones) bring important something to the story. Also – no spoilers – but EEK big news regarding one of my other favourite characters! Book #3 right now please!!

Basically, you have to read this book.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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The Girl in the Tower – Katherine Arden

34731459This is Book #2 of one of my favourite books of last year (The Bear and the Nightingale), so I was beyond excited to be offered the opportunity to read an advance copy. I had verrrrrrry high expectations, and I was not disappointed. Vasya, facing the choice between marriage or life in a convent, decides instead to run away and travel. Her adventures soon take her to Moscow, where she finds herself having to defend the city and the Grand Prince from something awful.

Katherine Arden’s writing is fantastic. She weaves clear and enchanting images, and no part of the story is boring. Every single word was a joy to read. There really aren’t many books I’ve come across that are quite as magically well-written. That being said, there was, sadly, a bit less magic in the book than in the first, but there was still just enough to keep it special.

Vasya and Morozko are two of my favourite characters to ever exist. Vasya is strong and determined – and nothing like the usual fantasy heroines – while Morozko is a powerful and compassionate… What a babe. I just love him. And I can’t not mention Solovey: I’m not usually a fan of horses in general, but his connection to Vasya throughout the story is so lovely.

My one and only criticism of this book is the ending. It was abrupt and kind of unsatisfying, I was completely unprepared for it to end when it did (and not just because I enjoyed the book so much I didn’t want it to end). There seemed to be a lot of only partially resolved threads, and the ending just felt very sudden. It was quite a jarring and unsatisfying end to my reading experience.

However, the abrupt ending does not take anything away from the magnificence of the rest of the story. I cannot wait for the next book. 10/10. 5 stars. Full marks.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads | Amazon

Swan Song – Charlotte Wilson

36186766Beatrice Duvall was an iconic and beloved ballerina. When she died, the nation mourned. Sixteen years later, her daughter Ava returns to London for a tribute performance, and to learn about the mother she never had the chance to know. Running the streets of London with her new friend Seb, Ava discovers unexpected things about her mother, and even more about herself.

This is a lovely story about self-discovery and romance. The romantic aspect is actually quite gentle; Swan Song is mainly about Ava’s personal journey of self-discovery and connecting with her mother. It took me a good few chapters to get into it, but I really appreciated the use of London’s iconic scenery and the in-story ballet features. Because the main character is a ballerina, ballet is quite an important part of the story, but it isn’t overdone. There are some ballet terms used but not too many, so someone who knows nothing about ballet can still understand (i.e. me).

Ava was a slightly annoying character, but I still enjoyed the story as the plot progressed.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads | Amazon

Esper Files 3: The Chimera Formula – Egan Brass

36329466.jpgThe steampunk adventure continues! Following the dramatic events of book #2, a crew of evil mutants are wreaking all kinds of havoc across London, even infiltrating the Institute itself. It’s up to the Espers to find out who is behind the creation of these awful creatures, and put a stop to them.

Filled to the brim with action and excitement, The Chimera Formula is another entertaining instalment of the Esper series. It is quite a bit more gory and violent than the previous books, and Egan Brass’ writing is much improved. There’s still too much of the phrase “the latter”, but it flows a lot more smoothly.

Sadly, I really missed my favourite character – Red Cap – but the others did a good job of filling the void. I particularly liked the subtle romantic developments, including a very sweet lesbian relationship between Freya and Reyna (hooray, diversity).

Although it is the third book in the series, this could easily be read as a standalone novel.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.