Read in: February 2018

February is about to give way to March and I’ve got my fingers crossed for some much-needed sunshine. I do have a soft spot for winter but it’s always as it comes to an end that I yearn for warmer weather and some sunny afternoons where I can read outside in the garden. We can dream, eh?

Let’s take a look at the five review books I made my way through in February, as well as what’s on my reading list for March:

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Facts and figures

Published: March 8th 2018, S&S UK

Standalone/Series: Standalone

Genre: Paranormal

Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher

Goodreads // Amazon

What did I think?

I’ve never been a keen paranormal fan but there was something about The Wicked Deep that called to me. I’m so glad I decided to take a change on this one as it had been gripped from beginning to end, the wonderful combination of gorgeous written and a compelling story.

The Wicked Deep has a bit of a throwback feel to it, as if it could slot happily into the paranormal YA boom of 2009-2011, but it stands strong as one of the better paranormal YA novels I’ve read. It feels rooted in reality, which is always important for me, as if the legend of the Swan sisters is part of our history, as if Sparrow is a real place.

If you’re on the fence about The Wicked Deep then I urge you to give it a go – I think you’ll be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

Second Best Friend by Non Pratt

Facts and figures

Published: January 15th 2018, Barrington Stoke

Standalone/Series: Standalone

Genre: Contemporary

Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher

Goodreads // Amazon

What did I think?

I just have to start with a quick shoutout to Kate Alizadeh who is responsible for the gorgeous hand-drawn font and cover artwork (you might also recognise her work from the Unboxed cover).

Now, onto Second Best Friend. This is Pratt’s second novel with Barrington Stoke (Unboxed was the first) and it perfect sums up their tagline ‘Super-readable YA’. It’s a fun, touching story about growing, self-confidence and friendship struggles that so many of us dealt with throughout our teenage years.

Jade is such a relatable protagonist and I don’t think there’s a single reader out there who hasn’t found themselves in a similar situation of comparing themselves to a close friend and letting feelings of being second best manifest and grow into feelings of resentment. Another ace for Non Pratt – roll on the next one!

The Very Short Story Starter by John Gillard

Facts and figures

Published: February 6th 2018, Abrams

Standalone/Series: Standalone

Genre: Non-fiction workbook

Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher

Goodreads // Amazon

What did I think?

Flash fiction is something I’ve always been interested in but never really tried before. The Very Short Story Starter is a great way to give the style a try and isn’t intimidating for those who are new to writing or are working up the confidence to try new styles.

There are 101 flash fiction prompts throughout the book, so plenty to keep you going, and having the ideas already laid out is ideal if you’re ‘too busy’ to write or are struggling to find inspiration. I’ve enjoyed doing one of these before working on pieces of longer fiction to get myself in the zone for writing, or to keep my creativity up when I’m going through a busy patch and don’t have as much time as I’d like to work on longer projects.

Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton

Facts and figures

Published: 1st February 2018, Faber & Faber

Standalone/Series: The final book in the Rebel of the Sands trilogy

Genre: Fantasy

Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher

Goodreads // Amazon

What did I think?

Rebel of the Sands has finally come to an end and it’s as explosive and emotional as you’d think! I have such fondness for this series and still remember the excitement I felt when I received the first press email about it way back when (it feels like a life time ago now).

One of my favourite parts of any series is when the dust settles after the main action and we get a look at how the lives of our main players are forever changed, as so the final chapter of Hero at the Fall might be the favourite chapter of the entire trilogy.

I gasped (at the end of one chapter in particular…you’ll know the part I mean when you get to it), I laughed, I definitely got teary-eyed in places. A gorgeous conclusion to a trilogy that already feels like it has an important place in YA fantasy.

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

Facts and figures

Published: February 8th 2018, Simon & Schuster

Standalone/Series: Standalone

Genre: Contemporary

Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher

Goodreads // Amazon

What did I think?

At the risk of this sound like a backhanded compliment (it’s not, I promise) I enjoyed Far from the Tree so much more than I thought I would.

I was keen to read this one but I’ve been gradually stepping away from contemporary YA for a while so I hoped this would reignite my passion for the genre…and I’m delighted to say that it did.

We follow Maya, Grace and Joaquin’s journey to discover both themselves and their family and these three stories become wonderfully entwined as the siblings find out the true meaning of family. It’s lovely, it’s heart-warming, and you’ll definitely cry. Prepare the tissues!

*

On my March reading list

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *