The Murderer’s Ape – Jakob Wegelius

30153285Sally Jones is a gorilla. Smart and resourceful, she lives with her friend, the Chief, working as an engineer on his cargo boat. But when the Chief is convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, and Sally Jones finds herself alone and on the run. In an adventure that crosses continents, Sally Jones meets new friends and powerful enemies and must use her many talents to find the one person who can clear the Chief’s name.

The Murderer’s Ape is a true delight. Brilliantly written, and with beautiful illustrations, I enjoyed every second of this book. The story is pretty long, but incredibly well told and very easy to follow with short chapters and quite a simple writing style. I’m not sure if the simplicity is due to the original writing or the translation, but it is really effective because it adds a layer of authenticity that the book is written from the point of view of a gorilla.

There are a lot of different locations and characters, all of whom were interesting to read about and bought something unique to the story. Overall, this book was a lot of fun and a pleasure to read.

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Everless – Sara Holland

36475035In a land where time is used as currency, the rich live for centuries while the poor bleed themselves dry. For Jules and her father, every day is a struggle. To stop her father from draining away the rest of his life, Jules takes a job at Everless, a grand estate owned by the rich and cruel Gerling family. Once there, Jules discovers secrets she never could have imagined and learns that friends and enemies are sometimes difficult to tell apart.

I liked the concept of time being used as currency and, although this is definitely not the first time I’ve come across that idea, this is probably the most effectively I’ve seen it executed. The characters and world-building are classic YA-fantasy perfection, complete with evil royalty, family secrets and a budding hate-to-love storyline.

Probably the only aspect of this book that I didn’t like was Jules’ absolute determination to go against everything her father ever told her, and her decision to do the one thing that he gave his life to ask her not to do. The poor man literally died telling her to stay away from the queen, so what does she do? Obviously she nabs herself the job as close to the queen as possible. Girl, come on.

The plot moves quite fast and immersion into the story is excellent. I’m looking forward to Book #2. All I want is a little bit more from Liam (my favourite character is, of course, the bad guy).

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

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I Was a Bitch – Emily Ruben

32585553.jpgAfter a serious accident, Lacey Jones wakes up from a two-month coma, only to discover that she’s lost her memory of the last two years. In that time, she has somehow become the stunning, sexy queen bee of high school, dating a super-hot footballer and best friends with the most popular girls in school. But if Derek is her boyfriend, who is Finn, the sweet, perfect guy who seems to know her better than anyone else and claims to love her? Lacey now has to figure out who she is and put her life back together, without revealing to anyone that she’s forgotten the past two years of her life.

Okay, so, this book was pretty enjoyable, but seriously flawed. Firstly, the entire premise is questionable. I don’t know how realistic it is for someone to lose such a random and specific time period from their memory, but it doesn’t feel very believable in this book. It was frustrating to read because Lacey creates every problem for herself by refusing to tell anyone (except her extremely unhelpful parents – more on that later) that she’s lost her memory.

Secondly, the writing is very rudimentary. It is basic, and very, very repetitive. This made it quite tiresome to read at times. It was also difficult to make any connection between post-coma Lacey and pre-coma Lacey. In the two years that she’s lost, Lacey seems to have developed an entirely different (and kind of awful) personality that has no bearing on the person she was and is again now.

Finally, as I mentioned earlier, Lacey’s parents are unbelievably useless. To begin with, Lacey doesn’t even really recognise them which makes no sense because in her head she has only forgotten two years and her parents have been there her entire life. Then it turns out they’ve split up and even live apart but they never at any point think it might be a good idea to mention this to their daughter, who they know doesn’t remember their split. As some of the only people who know Lacey has lost her memory and who love her and care for her, you’d think they might try to help fill in some of the gaps in her memory, even if they can’t help her with everything. Instead, they are barely around. They don’t even take her to physical therapy. Like, come on parents, your child nearly DIED, where are you?

Basically, this book has a lot of problems. However, I liked it. I Was a Bitch is very enjoyable, in a trashy, teen kind of way. And there is definitely a place for those kinds of books.

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

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The Chalk Man – C.J. Tudor

31936826In 1986, Eddie and his friends spend their days riding their bikes, looking for any excitement they can find. They use chalk figures as a secret code to communicate with each other in a way nobody else can understand. What they don’t expect is for the chalk men to lead them to a dead body. Fast forward to 2016 and Eddie thinks he’s put the past behind him. But when the chalk figures make a reappearance, he realises that the only way to truly be free of the past is to figure out what really happened all those years ago.

It’s almost impossible to believe that this is C.J. Tudor’s first book. Her writing is so atmospheric and skilled, creating constant creepiness and suspense without overdoing anything. The entire story is captivating, told through two alternating timelines: 1986 and 2016. The plot progresses fairly slowly, but with a lot of small, shocking events (especially during the 2986 timeline) which keeps things interesting. Instead of being slow or dull, The Chalk Man has a sort of slow burn as the suspense and intrigue builds.

This is an excellent book, expertly written and perfect for thriller and mystery fans. Shocking, and shockingly good.

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

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The Perfect Girlfriend – Karen Hamilton

31113934.jpgJuliette loves Nate. They belong together, even if he doesn’t realise it yet. She’s been giving him space, just like he wanted, but she’s nearly ready to get things back on track. She even got a job at the same airline he works for. Juliette is the perfect girlfriend, and no one will stop her from getting what she wants.

I did enjoy this book. It’s always fun to read from the point of view of the ‘psycho’ but, despite clearly being a little bit crazy, Juliette isn’t really portrayed as ‘the baddie’. She has been wronged in the past and is only trying to get what she thinks she deserves. She was a surprisingly likeable and relatable character, and completely sinister.

Unfortunately, a lot of the book was kind of boring. There is a huge amount of build-up with very little bang. Overall, the plot developed too slowly and there were large sections filled with information that didn’t actually add much to the story.

The best thing about The Perfect Girlfriend was probably how real it felt. All of the characters and situations were entirely believable. Most people probably have a little bit of Juliette in there somewhere.

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

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Truthwitch – Susan Dennard

29588505.jpgAfter an unfortunate run-in with a dangerous Bloodwitch, young witches Safiya and Iseult are forced to flee their home and hide. When things take a turn for the worse, the girls have no choice but to accept the help of Prince Merik of Nubrevna, a Windwitch. Together, they sail to Nubrevna to escape the Bloodwitch, the emperor, and anyone who would use Safiya’s Truthwitchery for their own gain.

This story is exciting and action-packed. It’s a true YA fantasy adventure, with witches, magic and a lot of fighting. It all sounds pretty awesome, but was sort of, not.

For starters, the writing style was very repetitive. This is a weird complaint, but the author used the girls’ names too often in the narrative. It stopped the story from flowing smoothly and was just kind of irritating.

I loved the focus of the story being on a female friendship. There are romance elements within the story, but it is in no way the main feature. It was nice to read about girls sticking together instead of falling out and taking each other down. However, the characters were just alright. Safiya and Iseult both had potential to be kick-ass and awesome, but they were both a bit hot-headed and lacking. And far too reliant on each other. My favourite by far was Aeduan, just because he’s pretty cool, but on the whole I didn’t care much for the other characters.

I did enjoy Truthwitch, but it seemed to take a really long time to read (and it’s not that long a book). When I love a book, I get through it really fast. This was just not one of those. It was good, but it dragged. I didn’t love it. I will be giving Book #2 a go, because I already own a copy. If I didn’t have one already, I’m not sure if I’d bother.

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Bad Girls with Perfect Faces – Lynn Weingarten

36674451.jpgSasha loves Xavier. She would do anything to protect him, especially from his manipulative ex, Ivy, who has wheedled her way back into his life. Posing as a hot guy on Instagram, Sasha does her very best to prove that cheaters never change, but things are about to go horribly, irreversibly wrong.

I don’t really know how to talk about this book. It is silly and unrealistic, and I loved it. There were plot twists here, there and everywhere (some predictable, some not) most of which were completely improbable. I was hooked.

The story starts out as your generic high-school, angsty romance: well-written but predictable and a bit dull. But, after lulling you into a false sense of security, everything flips. Bad Girls with Perfect Faces is thrilling, immersive and addictive. The relationships featured within the book are complex and authentic, even if the plot is rather farfetched.

Surprising, and much, much better than I was expecting.

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

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