Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she’s a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in ‘Elsewhere’, she has never understood Brimstone’s dark work – buying teeth from hunters and murderers – nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn’t whole.
Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.”

Karou’s story starts off in Prague, she also visits Marrakesh and Paris running errands for Brimstone. The first quarter of this book was a hard slog for me, I nearly gave up on a few occasions but as I had heard nothing but great reviews I decided to stick it out. It did pick up after that, the build was a bit too much all at once for me which is why I think I felt the hard slog so much. The last quarter of this book was also a hard slog for me. I really struggled to get through the last few chapters, only reading because I’d come this far.
The middle two chapters were some of the best reading I have done in a long time. It flowed well, the characters and story were interesting and it kept my attention throughout. Had I felt like this all the way through then I probably would be rating it higher.
The attention to detail of the settings and characters was fabulous throughout, I couldn’t fault the author for anything. She makes fantasy seem real. Like the line between fantasy and reality is none existent.

I’m undecided as of yet whether I would go on to read the next book in the series.

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Review: Through The Woods

Through the WoodsThrough the Woods by Emily Carroll

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Through the Woods is a beautiful collection of stories in graphic novel format.

The illustrations are visually striking and also beautiful. Each of the five stories is illustrated to the same high quality. The colours used are very fitting to both the environment they are supposed to be setting and the story being told.

The stories themselves are creepy. Horror story for minors creepy. Yet as a fully fledged adult and horror enthusiast, they still managed to give me the heeby-jeebies.

I’d definitely recommend reading this if you like horror stories and you like graphic novels, you will not be disappointed.

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Review: Counting Wolves

Counting WolvesCounting Wolves by Michael F. Stewart

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Breakfast Club meets Grimm’s Fairy Tales in the lair of an adolescent psych ward. This line alone was enough to get me super excited to read this book. I love The Breakfast Club AND I love any books that are re-tellings, re-imaginings or even just linked to/crossed over with standard fairy tales.
Michael F Stewart brings us Milly’s world. Milly and her counting. Milly and the Wolf. Milly and the Psych Ward. Milly and her fellow patients. It’s all about Milly. Milly suffers from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and is a counter. It keeps the wolf away.

Firstly, the main character is really intriguing right from the beginning. She is a fascinating girl who is coping in her own way with her wolf. The side characters, Pig, Red & Vanet (to name a few) are equally fascinating. They all have their own issues and their own ways of dealing with what life throws at them.
The book is a really quick read. It pulls you in from the first chapter and I, for one, felt like I was in the psych ward with all the characters.

An absolutely fantastic book that has gone straight into my favourite reads list. I can’t wait to read something else by this author.

This book was recommended to me by a fellow netgalley member and I was accepted by the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for a review (through netgalley).

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Bargain Buys – Charity begins with BOOKS

You’ve probably all heard the saying Charity begins at Home? And if not, you more than likely will at some point in your life. Well, I have taken that saying and changed it to fit my lifestyle.


The reason for me doing this is because:

  • I work in a charity shop
  • I love a bargain and giving back to people that need it
  • I love love love buying books from charity shops.

Buying a book from here is a fabulous way to fill my collection as the books are generally very reasonably priced (most of the UK Charity Shops sell an individual book for anywhere between the 50p and £2 mark). You can sometimes find books that would have cost you a lot more to buy from an actual bookshop, or even in eBook format. Due to this, I am unable to walk into a charity shop without at least checking the books.

I wanted to showcase some of my Charity Shop buys and the bargain prices I paid for them.


The entire Game of Thrones series of books (so far), boxed, in near perfect condition for a grand total of £3.50. This is probably my best bargain due to the current popularity of this series.

I got these 5 books as part of a 5 for £1 offer. An absolute bargain of a price. The Buffy book wasn’t already on any of my TBR lists but I had to get a fifth to make it up to £1.

All of the books here were priced at £1 each. The Dodger book by Terry Pratchett was definitely the best buy as its a first edition British printing. 

These 4 were all priced at 50p or less, To Kill A Mockingbird only cost 20p.


This manga version of Beautiful Creatures is my favourite of all my charity shop buys, due to 1) it being quite elusive in the UK, not available in any book shops and 2) so expensive on sites like Amazon. I snagged this, purely by accident, for £1.79.

What about you? Have you had any good charity shop book buys? Which are your favourite or best bargains?




Writing From A Prompt #4

The second one for today, as all previous ones comes from Book Club. This was one of my favourites to write and if everything goes to plan, I’d like to go back and write more on this one day.


You can imagine what I first thought of when I saw the yellow brick road. I tried to extend on this without copying the original story and this is what I came up with.

Susan wondered what on earth had happened. She had woke up as normal this morning to the sound of her alarm. She got dressed, had breakfast and set off on her journey to work. Coming up to Farrington Park, she noticed that the entrance had a strange ethereal feel to it. Something definitely wasn’t the same as it was on her way home yesterday. Upon approach, she started to notice a shimmer from the path. Getting closer, Susan was surprised to see that the bricked path had been painted yellow. Not just your normal, run of the mill yellow but golden. Shiny golden bricks adorned the way to her work place. Looking at her watch and not wanting to be late she ventured warily onto the bricks. The ground didn’t open and she felt that they were as solid as they normally were so she continued on her way. After walking along the golden floor for a while she started to wonder whether she was actually going to end up at work. All of a sudden she noticed a white rabbit in a waistcoat go running past her in the same direction. The rabbit appeared to be talking to himself, but he was moving so fast that she couldn’t tell what he was saying. Confused, but still not wanting to be late, Susan carried on walking. A little further down the path and she noticed she had reached the boating pond. Only now it seemed bigger. More like the sea than a pond. Squinting so she could see properly, in the distance, Susan was absolutely sure there was a ship flying the jolly roger, and a boy flying after it. Shaking her head and pinching herself to see if she was dreaming, she carried on. What a weird day today was turning out to be. After continuing for a while longer, she looked straight ahead, as far as she could see the path seemed to end just a few yards ahead. Reaching the end, she noticed a pair of sparkly red shoes. The shoes didn’t seem to be attached to anyone, just there, in the middle of the path. Susan loved the shoes but really wasn’t sure what was happening. She had seen too many strange things today. Feeling curious, she bent down to inspect the glittery footwear in more detail. They seemed to have a piece of paper underneath the toes of one of the shoes. Lifting the shoe to retrieve the paper, she stood back up and read it out loud “Wear Me” the paper said.

(428 words)