Books

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

This is one of those books that has been followed by a whole trail of hype, and that always leaves me a touch on the nervous side. In my experience, books that are highly hyped turn out to be either books I love, or books I absolutely despise. This one though did spark my fancy, and I had the great honour of getting to buddy read it with the lovely Ellie over at Hatterell. So be sure to head over there to check out her blog, and her review for The Cruel Prince.26032825

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

I adored Jude’s character growth in this novel, it is always so refreshing to see a young female character grow in strength and become independent and sure of herself. Although this is a common character arc for young adult books, normally they never get to the stage where they are more confident about what they want, than the man they think they want- this was a refreshing twist.

Having both the faerie world alongside the human world showed the distinction in culture; with the separate characters who prefer the way of life of one or the other. One downside though was that I really wanted to see more from Vivi’s relationship with Heather- a human girl. However, without saying too much, I really hope that this is taken advantage of in the following novels, as I feel that The Cruel Prince ended in an ideal scenario to explore this.

All in all, I rated this book a 4 out of 5 stars, but I feel the following books have the potential to be even better and hit the five star boundary.

Going into The Wicked King, I can not wait to see more of Jude and Prince Cardan, I want to see more friction, and complicated attraction.

Have you read The Cruel Prince? What did you think about it?

 

Lifestyle

Moving Update April ’19..

Well if I am quite honest, this is not so much an update, as a post to say WE DID IT!! After months of planning and organising, we have finally managed it.

There has been many hiccups and hurdles along the way, and definitely been moments when we thought it wouldn’t happen, but despite it all we got there. When you live off of only one income, and have half your household unable to work, trying to be independent really does produce its challenges.

We were on a very strict budget from the get go of house searching; yet we had very specific requirements. With Barney needing garden, and then my partners daughter needing a second bedroom; not to mention the need for there to not be stairs and just generally being mobility friendly, our search was not easy.

But we managed it, and found our perfect family home.

Officially we moved in at the start of April, and despite having a bit of stress getting finances sorted, we have not looked back. After only a week, it felt like it was our home; we have gotten into a nice routine, one where we share all the responsibilities and no one does anything more than the other.

We have been in for just over three weeks now, so there is definitely still an awful lot of unpacking and organising to do, but we are getting there together. Slowly I am learning all what is around in our new home; walking Barney regularly is meaning we are learning where there are nice looking pubs, and lovely park for little one, and even a church that do free child groups.

I have two clear favourite things from us now living together; walking Barney together when I feel up to it, and having dinner each night together as a family. It is the simple things that reminds me that this is everything I dreamed of. I am getting to live with the man I love, and its allowing us to start building our future together. We may not own a mansion, or have spare cash to throw around; but I don’t care, I know that we will have dinner together every night, and that we’ll wake up together every morning. I know that I can talk to him about anything at any time.

This is exactly what we wanted when we set out to move in together and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Once, everything is unpacked and organised, I will do a house tour. For now though, here’s Barney feeling right at home in our new house.

Books

The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman

Now if you’ve read my most anticipated book releases of 2019 you will know that this was a feature on that post, and I’ve had the great pleasure of getting to read it early and now share my thoughts. 36535913

After the death of her sister, seventeen-year-old Violet Saunders finds herself dragged to Four Paths, New York. Violet may be a newcomer, but she soon learns her mother isn’t: They belong to one of the revered founding families of the town, where stone bells hang above every doorway and danger lurks in the depths of the woods.

Justin Hawthorne’s bloodline has protected Four Paths for generations from the Gray—a lifeless dimension that imprisons a brutal monster. After Justin fails to inherit his family’s powers, his mother is determined to keep this humiliation a secret. But Justin can’t let go of the future he was promised and the town he swore to protect.

Ever since Harper Carlisle lost her hand to an accident that left her stranded in the Gray for days, she has vowed revenge on the person who abandoned her: Justin Hawthorne. There are ripples of dissent in Four Paths, and Harper seizes an opportunity to take down the Hawthornes and change her destiny-to what extent, even she doesn’t yet know.

The Gray is growing stronger every day, and its victims are piling up. When Violet accidentally unleashes the monster, all three must band together with the other Founders to unearth the dark truths behind their families’ abilities—before the Gray devours them all.

This book turned out to be a solid three out of five star read for me, which as you can probably guess was not as high as I had been expecting, however in many ways I still loved this novel.

I felt like this left me wanting to know so much more about Harper and the full extent of her power. Although it does finally get touched on, its just not enough in my eyes. I feel that so much more could be made the back story to many of the characters to be fair, but Harper was definitely the one the peaked my interest the most.

However that being said, this is the first in a series- although I don’t know how many books are going to be involved in the series- and this definitely sets the series up to be amazing. This book gives you a good understanding of the world setting, and a nice introduction to the characters. It touches on what they are up against, but it certainly does not give anything away.

I found this to be a very fast paced quick read, that I flew through in just a few days, and was constantly wanting to pick it back up. That is definitely the making of a good book.

So although The Devouring Gray was only a three star read to me, I am definitely anticipating the sequel to be a four or five star read. It just holds so much potential, that I feel its been left at a place where the next book should be able to just take off into the action.

This releases in April this year, so I highly recommend you get it pre-ordered!

Books

ABC Book Challenge – Letter E

Time for another entry in my ABC book challenge series; if you are new here you can have a look at the first post I did for the series that explains it all and links to the blog that gave me inspiration. But otherwise, lets get started with the letter E.

Memorable Books I have read beginning with the Letter…

One of my recent reads just has to be included in this, and its one of the books that seems to of gotten me out of one of my worst ever reading slumps. That book is Everless by Sara Holland. A fantastic fantasy duology that I flew through in about a week, it is a must read for YA fantasy lovers. 35883046

Then, a historical fiction series that has stuck in my memory, Eagles at War by Ben Kane. I read these first two books back to back and then the final in the series in just one day! It is an amazing, gritty, emotional medieval historical fiction. And this isn’t even my favourite of Ben Kane’s work. 23527576

Books on my TBR beginning with the Letter…

Quite a recent release I believe, that I can not wait to get my hands on, Enchantee by Gita Trelease. This is a historical fiction based in Paris with fantastical elements, and its a Young Adult novel. I have definitely not read many young adult historical fiction books, but I feel like its something I would really love; even better with it having fantasy magical elements. 36613718

Finally, an absolute classic, The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. If I’m honest, I don’t really know what this is about, but it is a high epic fantasy series, that is one of the all time originals. Been told in the past that its a staple read for any and all fantasy fans- that’s enough about it for me, as a big fantasy fan.228665

And that is it for another addition to the ABC book challenge series, make sure to check back next week for the letter F.

Books

April TBR ’19

As you will of noticed, I split this months Wrap Up and TBR into two separate posts, and this is the second half, the April TBR. So while I am away for the last week of March, I am not expecting to get much time to read, but I have got Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo, and Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan on my Kindle along with some other books, so I have options.

I am planning on being rather ambitious for April, which could go one of two ways. Supposedly we are meant to be moving, but as of writing this, we still don’t know what is happening- but if it happens then I probably wont be able to read as much. Or I could continue the great month of reading that I had in March and actually achieve everything I want to.

For quite a while I have been meaning to do a reread of Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. I read the first book quite a while ago, and never continued with the series; but now I have a signed edition of Bloodwitch, I really feel that I need to reread the first one and then continue on with the series. Plus while I am loving my fantasy books, it makes sense to keep getting through them.21414439

Continuing on with the fantasy theme, are two arcs I have, one which I believe is already out, and the other out 2nd of April. They are The Tesla Legacy by KK Perez, and Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin. I do believe that the Tesla Legacy is actually a sci-fi, but either way, I am very excited to read both of these and have a feeling that they will be quick reads.29239189

Then a bit of a different one for me, is The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston. This is a companion novel to her first book Geekerella, but I have been reassured that I am okay reading it without reading the first book. Normally contemporary isn’t really my thing, but lately I have really been feeling the need for easy light hearted reads, and this sounds like its the perfect fit!39725622

Onto this months poll, I promise that I will try and prioritise the poll winner this month as I generally seem to never actually get around to it. So for this month I have gone with a theme of continuing on with a series, as I feel like this will make me more likely to pick it up. Your options are; Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs, Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman, and Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes. Be sure to check my twitter to have your say. 17342700

What are you hoping to read this month?

Health

Having Chronic Illness and being in a Relationship…

This isn’t the normal post that I publish on here, my relationship is a rather private thing that I don’t always talk about. But when I started seeing posts about this, I just knew that I had to have my say. As someone who battles a number of chronic illnesses, I can tell you for a certainty that successful relationships are possible.

I first saw this on Instagram, when @chronically.ams posted about it. If you don’t already you really should go and check out her YouTube and Instagram, she is a fellow zebra that is just amazingly inspiring.

‘100 out of 100 relationships that involve caregiving fail’ – Dr Phil

I have been with my partner through the major decline of my health, and we are in the process now of moving out to our very own home.

During our time together he has had to rush my to A&E, visit me on bed rest during my two and a half month stretch of infections, and take me to countless hospital appointments.

He’s been by my side when I was blacking out cold and losing hour long chunks of my memory.

He has learnt how to sort my medications for me, how to strap unstable joints, and even how to do my hair for the days when my hands just wont work.

Now I would count much of that as ‘caregiving’, and we are most certainly in a relationship. And yet, it is not failing?

I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it makes us stronger, because I don’t feel that it makes a difference. It is something that has been part of my life for a long time, and he knows no different. We have learned about things as they’ve come up together, and its just part of who we are.

But apart from this, if you take chronic illness out of the situation, isn’t caregiving all a part of any healthy relationship?

My partner doesn’t have any chronic illnesses, and yet I still care for him. I often cook, do the laundry, and am there for him when he needs to talk through his day. We regularly have phone calls on his way home from work when he just needs to off load, or if something with his daughter is worrying him.

Relationships are a two way street, you both care for each other in various different ways no matter whether there is chronic illness involved, just because you care for those you love.

I would love to hear what your thoughts are with this. Do you have a chronic illness that effects your relationship? Do you think caring puts a burden on a relationship? schizo

Books

ABC Book Challenge- Letter D

I promised you two editions to this series within one week, so here you go. Today the letter is D, though if you know your alphabet then you probably could of worked that out- maybe I should mix it up and confuse you all.

Memorable Books I have read beginning with the Letter…

I couldn’t possibly only choose two books for this one, it turns out I read a lot of books that start with D. But I have managed to cut it down to three, which I am quite proud of, so lets get started.

First of all, I have to mention a book that was from a new found favourite author of last year and that was Mary E Pearson, with her new book Dance of Thieves. I adored this fantasy novel, and the sequel is one of my most anticipated books for this year. It truly is a book that I think all fantasy lovers will enjoy, its got a great romance, lots of action, and tons of political tension. 40864720

Another fantast novel but this time actually from one of my favourite historical fiction writers, Darien by C F Iggulden is a fabulous epic fantasy, with a super magic system and lots of history and politics. I adored this book, and it got me out of my big reading slump of 2017.33245839

Then finally, one of very few sci-fi novels that I have ever deemed to be a favourite, The Diabolic by S J Kincaid is an amazing duology about a modified being having to take the place of her human in a dangerous court setting. Seriously, even if you aren’t a sci-fi lover, you should look at picking this up along with the sequel The Empress. 26836910

Books on my TBR beginning with the Letter…

I love a good retelling, and Damsel by Elana K Arnold looks to be a sleeping beauty retelling. I cant say I’ve ever read one of those so its definitely high on my list of books to get to. It is just sitting on my shelf waiting to be chosen. Probably be the next retelling book I pick up.37859715

And then another retelling of sorts, I would have to say Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige. This is a book I have had for a while, but for some reason I have been struggling to get hold of the rest of the books in the series so I don’t want to start it until I have them all. A Wizard of Oz retelling definitely sounds like something that I will want to marathon through. 18053060

So that is it for the letter D, make sure to check back for E. Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and what you thought about them.