Review: Lie With Me

Lie With MeLie With Me by Sabine Durrant

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

700 pages of “Do I really have to read this?” and 200 pages of “Yep, That’s what I thought was going to happen!” That’s the best way for me to sum up this book. I really had figured out what was going to happen a long while before it happened.

As for the characters, the main character (and also the narrator) was awful. Whether that was intentional or not I’m not sure but he did not make me like him at all. He was conceited and treated women appallingly.
The rest of the characters were equally unlovable. Maybe Tina was the only one that I actually thought was ok. She intrigued me, but we didn’t get to find out much about her.

Set mostly abroad, I felt that many things about the evidence presented and the chain of events didn’t add up.

If you don’t figure out the ending by about halfway through then you’d probably get more out of it than I did. If like me, you do work it out then I wouldn’t recommend bothering because the payout was not worth slugging through 600-700 pages of drivel to get there.

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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: Sinful Cinderella

Sinful Cinderella (Dark Fairy Tale Queen Series - Book 1)Sinful Cinderella by Anita Valle

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’m not who they think I am. A docile girl who meekly obeys her stepmother and stepsisters. Some kind of sick angel who cheerfully bears their mistreatment. That’s what I WANT them to think. Because then they won’t suspect what I’m really up to.
The ball, the prince – it’s all part of my plan to come out on top. Stepmother and her demented daughters will pay for every floor I have scoured, every sneer I have borne. They don’t know about the white magic, how I use it to enhance myself. They can’t see that my heart is black as midnight, rotten as a poisoned apple.
They’re about to find out.

A twist on the timeless tale of Cinderella, Sinful Cinders brings us a darker side to the beautiful princess we all grew up reading (and sympathising with) about.

(Highlight next paragraph to view spoilers)
Cinders uses “white magic” which she gains when she is nice to people (namely her terrible step sisters and step mother) to make wishes. Only small wishes, like changing the size of her feet or the colour of her eyes, but wishes all the same. But at the root of it all, Sinful Cinderella is not that much better than her horrible family members.
A prince who isn’t very princely soon shows her that not everything is as black & white and a revelation from her step mother tells us that maybe Cinders really is bad. What I felt about this was that it was plugged with so little importance that although it was supposed to be the main reason Cinders was dark, nothing more was really built upon it. And it occurs near the end of the story so it seemed to have been thrown in for effect.

This is a short but fairly decent retelling of the traditional story but I wish it was longer, maybe a bit more substance to some of the characters would have pushed this into a higher rating for me. That being said, I have added the second in this series to my TBR pile.
And although I mentioned that it brings a darker side, I would like to have seen this go a bit further, made her truly darker instead of just a little bit mean. I can almost sympathise with her being mean after the situation she has ended up in.

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Review: Clockwise

Clockwise (Clockwise, #1)Clockwise by Elle Strauss

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Casey Donovan has issues: hair, height and uncontrollable trips to the 19th century! And now this –she’s accidentally taken Nate Mackenzie, the cutest boy in the school, back in time.
Protocol pressures her to tell their 1860 hosts that he is her brother, and when Casey finds she has a handsome, wealthy (and unwanted) suitor, something changes in Nate. Are those romantic sparks or is it just “brotherly” protectiveness?
When they return to the present, things go back to the way they were before: Casey parked on the bottom of the rung of the social ladder and Nate perched high on the very top. Except this time her heart is broken. Plus, her best friend is mad, her parents are split up, and her younger brother gets escorted home by the police. The only thing that could make life worse is if, by some strange twist of fate, she took Nate back to the past again.
Which of course, she does

To be honest, the blurb for this book that is on GoodReads and other platforms practically gives the whole story away. There isn’t much left to be discovered when reading it. For this reason, I felt a bit let down by the story in general. There are a few bits that you wouldn’t expect but the majority is already listed.
I like the idea of a time travelling character, that was what drew me to the story in the first place. I also liked the fact that the character could take other people back with her, either on purpose or by accident.
I appreciate that the author would have had to have done some research in order to write the story due to having to cover different time periods. That was obvious in the story, everything seemed to be well planned and thought out.
I felt that the main character was very cliched amongst these type of YA stories. A not-very-popular girl, with lots of quirkiness (and I love quirkiness), has a crush on the most popular boy in school. So many other stories have this similar theme or start to them I am beginning to get a bit tired of it.
A solid 3/5 for me, but I’m not sure whether I will bother reading the other books in the series.

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Review: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Curious Case Of Benjamin ButtonThe Curious Case Of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’ve just finished reading this as my choice for this months theme (Book Club) “Read a book published before you were born”. The original story was published during the 1920s/1930s.

It’s definitely an interesting story and good to put words to the idea that was behind the film. It was also only a very short story.

I did start out listening to it via audiobook through Loyal Books public domain site thinking as it was only around an hour long I would be able to manage it, but I just couldn’t do it, I lasted 18 minutes and 3 seconds. So I found the eBook version via iBooks and continued on there.

I did enjoy it actually even though it was short. Fitzgerald managed to grab my interest right at the start and keep it going until the end.

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