Blog Tour | Dare to Fall by Estelle Maskame (Review)

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Dare to Fall | Estelle Maskame | Published July 27th, 2017
Rating:
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Goodreads | Book Depository

Blurb

Death.
She was afraid of it.
He was used to it.

There's not much that MacKenzie Rivers is afraid of. In the small town of Windsor, Colorado, she is known for her easygoing, strong personality, some would even say she isn't afraid of anything. But MacKenzie knows that's not true. She's afraid of losing those closest to her. Recovering from a family tragedy, Kenzie is fully aware of just how big an impact death can have on those it leaves behind. Seeing its effects on other people is something she just can't quite handle. From now on, Kenzie is her own priority.

There are not many things that Jaden Hunter can make sense of. He doesn't understand why it was his parents who lost their lives last year. He doesn't understand why his friends don't crack jokes around him any more. He doesn't understand why his teachers still insist on letting him skip assignments. He doesn't understand why MacKenzie, the girl he was falling for last year, has suddenly distanced herself from him.

Too afraid to get wrapped up in Jaden's world as he deals with the tragic death of his parents, Kenzie has stayed away from him as best she can, until one night when they unexpectedly come face-to-face for the first time in months. As old feelings resurface and new memories are made, both MacKenzie and Jaden show each other how to appreciate the little things in life, the moments that are taken for granted. But will MacKenzie dare to fall for the one person she's so afraid of growing close to?


Review

Dare to Fall is one of those perfect YA romance contemporaries that you find yourself becoming completely engrossed in. From the romance, to the drama, the twists and the more serious aspects, it was completely addictive.

Whilst this is a romance novel, serious topics aren't shied away from and are dealt with realistically and delicately. There is an overall theme of grief and how people cope with that in different ways. Each character dealing with grief has their own way of dealing with it. Some cope better than others and some heal more slowly than others. I appreciated that emphasis on how there is no "right" way and that the healing process can be very unpredictable and change a person. There are also lots of lighter, cute moments scattered throughout though. I liked the romance and the slow-burn nature to it and also the interactions between friends and family members which weren't forgotten about in favour of the romance.

Overall, a perfect balance of heartwarming and heartbreaking moments!

This is the first of Estelle's books that I've read but I'm definitely getting my hands on the DIMILY trilogy now. I have a feeling I'll be just as gripped as I was this time around!

P.S. How gorgeous is the cover?!


Make sure you check out all the other stops on the blog tour!


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Review: Now I Rise by Kiersten White

Sunday, 2 July 2017


Now I Rise | Kiersten White | Published July 6th, 2017
Rating:
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Goodreads | Book Depository

I loved this SO MUCH. Whilst And I Darken was a little slow going at the beginning as we were introduced to the world, this was the complete opposite. I was completely drawn in from the beginning.

Everything that I loved about And I Darken is even more prevalent in this sequel: the twists and surprises, Lada's fierceness that other YA characters struggle to rival, the complexity of Radu's character, the politics and the overall darkness.

Now I Rise focuses on the fall of Constantinople and Lada's pursuit of reclaiming the throne to Wallachia. Mehmed (horrible, horrible, Mehmed) sends Radu into Constantinople as a spy but he struggles throughout between his loyalty and what the right thing to do is. It would be easy for such a sensitive character - who doesn't necessarily always do the right thing thanks to being blinded by love - to be branded as weak but that isn't the case here. He elicits sympathy and his complexities make him that much more interesting to read. Lada is on a journey with her men to get back to Wallachia. She has to deal with people who don't think she can do the job because she's female. She's harsh and brutal but she knows what she wants and isn't going to let anything or anyone get in the way. If she wants to win she has to do things differently - her way. She is one of the best written YA female characters and I love her.

And I Darken is such a strong sequel that doesn't drop pace throughout. With an ending that promises there is much more to come in this story, I think we're in for an even more exciting installment to this saga.


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Review: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Monday, 29 May 2017


  When Dimple Met Rishi | Sandhya Menon | Published June 1st, 2017
Rating:
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Goodreads | Book Depository


This was so cute! It takes a lot for a contemporary to become one of my favourite stories but this one does just that.

Dimple and Rishi are both American-Indian but feel very different about their heritage and traditions. Dimple is heading to university and has plans to conquer the technology world. Coding is her life and she's thrilled when her parents allow her to go to a coding convention in the summer before university starts. Rishi wants nothing more than to make his parents proud and find the perfect woman to really begin his life with. Their parents think that they make a great match, and Rishi thinks they could too, but Dimple doesn't know a thing about it..

What I loved most about this book is that it's totally believable. The romance wasn't over the top or unrealistic. Dimple and Rishi are both nerdy and not "cool". Dimple is into tech, particularly coding, and Rishi is a really great artist who creates comic book characters. I like that they are both pretty much evenly matched that way but are both also so unique.

This is the first Indian YA contemporary romance that I have read (I want more!) and I love the way the culture was represented. We get to see two different perspectives as Rishi very much wants to follow in his parent's footsteps and settle down early, whereas Dimple wants to go against that and focus on her education and career first. It was a really positive representation of arranged marriage. I loved the cultural references and the inclusion of Hindi and I feel like I learned some things about the culture along the way. My only small complaint is that I would have loved even more focus on the actual coding aspect of the story. Dimple is developing an app and I think it would have been fun to get more of an insight into what goes into that.

Utterly cute, funny, geeky and with completely lovable characters. You need this book in your life!


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Review: One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Wednesday, 10 May 2017


One Of Us Is Lying | Karen M. McManus | Published June 1st, 2017
Rating:
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Goodreads | Book Depository


Do you love a good mystery that has you gripped from the start? If so then you need this book.

Five students walk into detention at the end of the school day but only four make it out alive. Simon, the school’s biggest gossip and owner of a scandalous website exposing students’ secrets, is murdered. Are one of the other four guilty? Did someone kill him to prevent him exposing their biggest secret? Can any of them be trusted?

I was absolutely hooked on this story from the start. We have perspectives from each of the four students: Bronwyn, the smart girl who earns straight A’s. Cooper, the star athlete. Addy, the popular girl. And Nate, the bad boy. There's more than what first meets the eye to these stereotypical personas, and as the story develops we quickly learn that each of them has secrets and issues. It quickly becomes apparent that any one of them could have had motive to kill Simon.

I guessed the big reveal quite early on in the story and even though I was right, it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story. I still really enjoyed getting to that reveal and there were still a few surprises thrown in along the way to keep me entertained.

One Of Us is Lying is a completely unputdownable whodunnit that mystery and contemporary fans will love. The mystery isn't all that hard to figure out but the story is entertaining and the characters interesting enough to keep you engrossed throughout.


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Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Monday, 8 May 2017


A Court of Wings and Ruin | Sarah J. Maas | Published May 2nd, 2017
Rating:
Goodreads | Book Depository


Oh my god.

When a book is hyped so much and you have to wait a whole year for it to come out, there's always that nervousness about whether it's going to live up to that hype. I loved ACOMAF so much and wanted this to be just as good and... it absolutely was. It was pure perfection.

The book focuses mainly on the inner circle of the Night Court and the battle against Hybern. The courts have to rally together to stand a chance of defeating them and this inevitably results in messy politics and wariness about who to trust.

What makes a great fantasy novel, for me, is when a world is completely immersive and fleshed out. I love when previous plot points come back to the forefront and something that seemed small or insignificant can be integral to the plot later on. When everything is woven together and nothing happens just for the sake of it and there are plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes. Sarah J Maas is a master of creating that type of story and ACOWAR was no exception.

Feyre and Rhys (oh, how I love Rhys) are very much the leads here but the entire inner circle are developed and given ample time for us to learn even more about them. Elain and Nesta also have their own important parts to play. I love their interactions and the bond that they have with one another.

This entire series is one of the best (if not the best) fantasy series that I have read. I thought it would be hard to beat the perfection that is ACOMAF but I should have known better. Sarah knows how to write a bloody good story and I can't wait to see what other stories she's going to give us from this world. 5 stars isn't enough!


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