The Damned – Renee Ahdieh


Published Date – 07/07/2020

This story follows on from Renee Ahdieh’s first book ‘The Beautiful’. Bastein has awoken cursed and immortal. A treaty has been broken, and his life as he knows it, is about to change forever. Celine has paid the highest price though, and attempts a life without Bastien, but her dreams terrorise her and keep her awake at night. But what do they mean? She is also about to learn the truth about herself and her past…

Firstly, thank you to NetGalley & Hodder & Stoughton for allowing me to read an ARC of The Damned!

I wasn’t too optimistic about reading this book to begin with after not really enjoying ‘The Beautiful’, but I can definitely say I was pleasantly surprised! This book had a lot of what the first lacked, suspense, mystery, and action.

The book begins exactly where the last ended, with Bastien coming back around – and Celine, gone. It’s unclear whether Bastien will survive his transition, and they can only hope!

I just felt like there was so much more to this than ‘The Beautiful’. It was fast paced, and had me keep wanting more and more from it! I enjoyed how the vampire characters were explored more, and that it was more about the vampire side of the story.

There’s a bit of romance in this, but not nearly enough to be considered cringey *cough* TWILIGHT.

I also like how there’s more to Celine’s story in this book too, I felt like in the last she was a little ‘wishy washy’ and quite a flat character. In ‘The Damned’ Celine’s past is explored and things come to light that make sense, and make the story that much more interesting. Especially as it turns out that her bloodline is a known enemy to vampires. And I think this will make it an interesting story for the next book, if there is to be one. There is still a lot of unanswered questions that I’d like answers to, and I feel as though the story could definitely go on, as it was kind of a ‘cliff-hanger’ ending!

Now I’m all for lots of different characters in a book, and I LOVE reading from the perspectives of them, but when reading like ten characters thoughts it gets a bit much. I felt as though sometimes it was unnecessary for certain parts to be included, and at times it got confusing working out who was who, who was good, who was bad…

I do also think that the story perhaps dragged just a little longer than I felt it necessary, but overall I did enjoy the book. And based on this one alone, I look forward to reading the next in the series!

We Are Bound by Stars – Kesia Lupo


Publish Date – 09/07/2020

We Are Bound by Stars is the follow on to We Are Blood And Thunder, the story follows Livio, who is destined for great things. He is destined for a life he has worked so hard to stay away from, but it is time for him to inherit the family legacy. The story also follows Beatrice, who is one of three sisters, who are all mask-makers. It isn’t until an assassin cause great problems for both Beatrice and Livio, that the two finally meet. There is great tragedy in both of their lives, but can they stop what caused it?

So firstly, thank you to NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing for allowing me to read the ARC for the above book.

The story has the same kind of feels for me as the last one, although this is a sequel, I think that it can be read without having read We Are Blood and Thunder. I don’t feel as though their is really a link at all between the two, apart from the relations between Constance & Livio. So it isn’t entirely necessary to read the first beforehand, but it does make sense when the character Constance is mentioned.

Again I feel like a lot lacked in the book, there wasn’t much suspense, and I felt like it was also a bit of a chore to finish and it’s not the kind of feeling anyone wants to have with a book. It just didn’t grasp my attention as much as I would have hoped, and it wasn’t a particularly fast paced book either. But also, like the last I felt like the end is incredibly rushed when it could have perhaps been delved into a little more.

I did like the relationship Beatrice has with her sisters in the book, it’s a very love hate kind of relationship, which I can completely relate to, being the oldest of my siblings, we can definitely have that in our household! And also how Beatrice was kind of the ‘black sheep’ out of the three, she wanted freedom, whereas her sisters would much rather prefer to have the easy life they currently had. The life that was CHOSE for them.

I also liked Livio as a character, where at the beginning of the book he is someone else to the world, but at home he is almost royalty and now destined to take over with the death of his cousin coming to light.

Both characters long for freedom but neither can have it, as their futures were already determined long before either were born, and I think that’s the most grasping part of the story for both characters, alongside the tragedy within Beatrice’s life as the book goes on.

It may be because it is a YA/Fantasy that I didn’t particularly enjoy it as much as I would have hoped, therefore I would probably recommend this to anyone below the age of perhaps 16? It’s definitely a book that I would have perhaps been more invested in maybe five or so years ago! I know a lot of my readers enjoy a lot of YA – so perhaps I’m even growing out of it now! Who knows? – I personally hope I haven’t!!!

Girl, Serpent, Thorn – Melissa Bashardoust

‘Sometimes the princess is the monster…’


Publish Date – 07/07/2020

This was another @netgalley read, so thank you for allowing me to have an Advanced Reader Copy to review!

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book if I’m honest. The first few chapters had me thinking it could be a did not finish as the setting is different to what I would usually read, I believe it’s set with a Persian twist to it so was unsure of whether I would understand what some things we’re. But this ended up being okay, you get the gist of it as you go throughout the story.

The story is about a young girl who is ’cursed’ to the touch, and anything she touches dies. All the girl wants is to be rid of the curse so that she can live a happy, normal human life, like the rest of her family. She feels like an outcast and is locked away to ensure peoples safety. Little does she know that her curse is what is actually keeping her safe…

The story definitely has some Sleeping Beauty/Rapunzel/fairy-tale type feels to it, with a curse and being locked away from humanity. But I did enjoy this book, maybe not as much as I thought I would, as fantasy is one of my favourite genres but it was a good read.

It was a little slow in the beginning, then it sped up pace in the middle, and slowed again. It was very predictable what was to happen in the end. It was still a fun read though, I wouldn’t say it’s a bad book at all! The writing style was easy to follow, and it is a good story, just not 100% my cup of tea but as I said it wasn’t a book I would usually pick up and I liked being able to try something different!

Dead To Her – Sarah Pinborough

Being the second wife can be murder…


Publish Date – 04/06/2020

Firstly, thank you to Harper Collins UK/HarperCollins Fiction & Sarah Pinborough.

Dead To Her is a thriller that is based on two females, Marcie and Keisha, who are “second wives” of their current husbands, that are in an elite group of friends. Their friends are seriously rich, with whom they envy, they all seem to have the most perfect lives. The story is told from both Marcie and Keisha’s perspectives, and you learn a lot about their backgrounds. The two of them came from nothing, so to marry into the lives of their husbands was like a dream come true for them. Keisha manages to grab the attention of Marcie’s husband, Jason, and she refuses to be pushed to one side… The lengths Marcie will go to, to get what she wants, who knows how far she’ll really go…

I actually really enjoyed this book; I was literally hooked from the first chapter which isn’t very common for me. There is so much suspense throughout the novel that I just couldn’t put it down and managed to finish it in less than a day! It’s a book full of lies, sex, deceit and murder, what’s not to enjoy?

It’s the kind of book where you’re constantly guessing who did what and what’s going to happen next, and it turns out to be completely wrong! There are so many twists and turns throughout the book from the beginning right until the end, and I constantly found myself thinking “wow, that was completely unexpected”! I wouldn’t say it’s your typical thriller that is very predictable, its actually quite the opposite.

With the book being released in the next two days I highly recommend anyone to read this! Definitely won’t disappoint.