Friday, 29 January 2016

ARC Review: Can You Keep A Secret?

Title: Can You Keep A Secret? 
Series: Fear Street Relaunch #4
Author: RL Stine
Publisher:  St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: April 12th 2016
Pages: 272

I received a digital copy of this book for free from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review, with thanks to both St. Martin's Griffin and Netgalley. 

Emma and Eddie are from the wrong side of the tracks. 

Emma has nightmares about being a wolf.  *

Eddie's family can barely make ends meet.

But they're in love, so what else could matter? Deciding to take a camping trip as an escape from the lives they lead, they have no idea the drama that they're about to get warped in to. Finding a briefcase with thousands of dollars in it, they decide hide this suitcase filled with money. It could solve all their problems. 

But it might just create some more...

Where did this money come from? 

And where did the money go? 

Going back to the spot where they hid it, the teens quickly discover that the money has went missing, but nobody but the six of them know about it...

(*This is an important part of the story*)

Of course I loved it, let's not beat around the bush here. 

I am a massive fan of RL Stine's books, I've read the whole Goosebumps series, I've read most of the Point Horror books he's written, I'm planning on read spin offs and the main Fear Street series this year...So it's only natural that I'm obsessing over this relaunch series!  Every time I see a new one on Netgalley, I am hands down going to request it. 

Stine's books are so fast paced, and short enough to read in one sitting. They're intriguing and will always keep you enchanted. I'm a fan of these relaunch books solely because they're for my generation now. Things don't seem as outdated as some of the older books do, they read so well and the character building is excellent. 

Another thing that I enjoy about these books is that every story is individual in it's own right, you don't need to read the previous books in the series to read this one. 

I still haven't got my hands on Books one and two in the Relaunch *hint hint to the book gods* 

This book had two stories running through it, which made it slightly different to some Stine books, on one story, it was reading like a paranormal book, and on the other, it was reading as a crime story. Two genres that I love. And at the end they tie together in a brilliantly unique way. 

I didn't see any of the ending coming, and that's exactly what I want from this genre of book!

My final rating is 5 stars. 

QOTD: Have you ever read any RL Stine books? 


Twitter: @conniedalt
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Thursday, 28 January 2016

Review: Cutter Boy

Please be aware that this book tackles the issue of self harm, if that is a trigger to you in anyway, it is the main theme of this book. Please stay safe. 

Title: Cutter Boy
Series: N/A, Stand alone (Possibly Sidestreets.)
Author: Cristy Watson
Genre: YA, Contemporary 
Publisher: Lorimer 
Publication Date: 12th February 2015
Pages: 176

I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley, with thanks to Lorimer and Netgalley. 

Ignored at home. 

Bullied at school. 

Travis' only solace is found in a blade. 

It becomes his dependency to cope with how his parent's don't talk to him, how he has no friends, how his sister's live miles away. It takes away the emotional pain and replaces it with a physical pain that he can control. But every changes when he meets Chyvonne. She breaks the stereotypes of everything around her, she shines like a light, and Travis's parents seem to love her more than they love him. He even discovers a love for art that seems to relieve the urge to cut himself, and rather he cuts the paper.

But will his scars prevent something happening between them? 

Or can she help him? 

Books that tackle self harm are either a hit, or they are a miss. And in this situation, I think it was between the two. In some ways, it missed mainly in the fact it was quite short. However, the author answered a question saying that the publisher had a word count for these "Sidestreets" books at 25,000 words, so I think in the way she tackled this really tough issue in less than 200 pages in simply fantastic. 

I felt as if I was reading a full length novel. 

You immediately felt heartbroken for Travis, it's clear to why he feels so alone from the offset. His parents don't talk to him at all, they just talk to each other when he leaves the room and they seem to tiptoe around him just so they don't have to spend any time with him. His school bullies are also presented in a realistic, but incredibly brutal way. You almost can feel Travis's emotions as you're reading this book. You understand him. 

I just wanted the best for him throughout this book. 

The author arcs this book in such a way that you go up and down, you're sad, then you're happy. Then everything just seems so bleak, but then it gets happier again and towards the end, you can truly see a positive output for Travis. 

My favourite parts left me bittersweet, like when his dad lay in his bed and watched TV with him, or when Chyvonne found out about the self harm. 

My final rating is: 4 stars

If you're struggling with self harm, please don't be afraid to talk to someone about it. A teacher, a parent or a friend. There are anonymous forums and numbers you can ring to just vent about it. Please, stay safe, take care of yourself. 


Twitter: @conniedalt
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Wednesday, 27 January 2016

ARC Review: Not If I See You First

Title: Not If I See You First
Series: N/A, Stand alone 
Author: Eric Lindstrom
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Publisher:  HarperCollins Children's Books
Publication Date: April 28th 2016 
Pages: 400 pages

I received a digital copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review, with thanks to HarperCollins and Netgalley. 

Parker doesn't need her eyesight to see right through you. 

There are rules.

She might be blind, but she isn't stupid, and never underestimate her abilities to understand what is going on around her. Don't surprise her. Don't dumb things down for. Don't talk to her as if she's deaf, her hearing works perfectly. Because if you take advantage of her, there will never be another opportunity to win her back. 

No second chances. 

Just ask the boy that broke her heart. 

When said boy appears back in her life, she wants nothing do with him, after all, the rules are there for a reason. So much has changed since they last saw each other, her dad died, she's trying out for track, but he becomes unavoidable, and maybe Parker learns that not all things are as they seem. 

Some rules are made to be broken. 

At first, I didn't know what to think. I had never read a book before where the main character is blind. There was a few short stories here and there, but never a 400 page novel. It took me a few chapters, but suddenly I was immersed within this book and I was so pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. 

It turns out, you don't need the main character to be able to see, you just need a good author to get over that hurdle, and Eric Lindstrom did not disappoint. He presented Parker's blindness as something that wasn't a disablement to her life. She was able to keep living as a normal teenager, breaking all the social norms. She was a runner, she wore colourful scarves, she was everything that the people around her didn't expect. 

I loved the whole idea of the rules that she had about the people around her, and how they slowly began to break down around her. She was a really likeable character who didn't whine, and she definitely didn't rely on a man to carry her through. 

I won't lie though, I didn't really want her and Scott to rekindle their bond, I was a massive fan of Jason, who didn't treat her any differently for being blind, and I kind of wanted them to be a thing in this book. 

Overall, this is a truly brilliant book that will change your perspectives on things. 

My final rating is: 4.5 stars

QOTD: What books have you read that have changed your perspective on things? 


Twitter: @conniedalt
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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Cover Reveal: Gabriel and the Swallows

Those that follow Oftomes on any social media account will know that today, they released the cover for the upcoming book, Gabriel and the Swallows. And by God, it was worth the wait. 

Designed by KimG-designs. 

Here's an overview of the book taken from Goodreads:

A lonely farm boy.
A girl with swallow’s wings.
An ancient city buried in a volcano.
A mystery old as blood and bone.

There is more to Gabriel than the life he’s ashamed of – the son of peasant winemakers, bullied relentlessly on account of his disabled mother. For Gabriel has a secret: the elaborate dream world he descends into at night – a grandiose, vivid existence – is becoming more real than his waking life.

Everything changes for Gabriel when he rescues a wounded creature – a miraculous girl with swallow’s wings – from the voracious pursuit of Alfio Gallo, a dangerous old enemy. Aided by the beautiful and mysterious Orlando Khan, Gabriel is conflicted by unanswered questions: who is the Dark One that dwells in the medieval tunnels beneath their city? Is he just a figment of Gabriel’s powerful imagination? And is the foundling really who she says she is?

Wrestling with manhood whilst beckoned by ancient rites and foreign lands, Gabriel is about to make a deadly decision that changes the course of life as he knows it…as long as he can decide which reality he’s in.

Tell me what you think of the cover! This book is definitely one of my anticipated reads of this year, it's released on March 11th 2016!


Twitter: @conniedalt
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Thursday, 21 January 2016

Series Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

This is my second time reviewing Lauren Oliver on this blog, and the reason would be that I genuinely love her writing. I loved Panic (to a certain extent) and I loved Before I Fall. But until last week I hadn't read probably her most popular series, Delirium. 

The Delirium series is set in a world where love is a disease. And to be immune to the disease, you have to get cured. The story follows Lena whose mother caught the disease when she was a child, and it's how she navigates her way through this dystopian world. 

Here's what I thought. 


95 days to go until Lena gets cured, but obviously things don't go to plan, or else we wouldn't have a book. 

This book is a four out of five, I liked this one quite a lot. At first, I wasn't too sure about Lena, I thought she was a bit too distant for us to become connected to her, but I was quickly proved wrong by how much she really grew throughout this book, she was unique and likable by the end. 

The world for this book was so interesting too, it was very different from any other dystopian book I had read. It was overall a really good read that made me excited for continuing the series. 


This book for me was conflicting, in some ways it was such a step up from book one. It gave us more development, more action and more drama. The ending literally left me speechless and I couldn't make any cohesive thoughts for a few minutes other than OH MY GOD. I really loved some aspects about this book, but there were also sections where this book fell flat. 

I felt that although the ending was incredible, there was something missing, the book was building and building for something that didn't arrive and it left me feeling a bit disappointed. 

I really liked Lena's character development and the introduction of Julian in this book. He was actually a character that I loved. 

Four out of five stars. 


It's always the last book in a trilogy that disappoints me. 

I felt cheated by this book. I was so into it until the last 20% and then it just died. It faltered and I couldn't get back into it. The whole thing with her mum in this book kind of messed me up because I wanted more. I feel like we were promised more from the beginning books in this series than this book gave us. 

I liked some parts about it, I liked getting to know Hana. I liked the little touches on relationship throughout this book but by the end of it I was just so cheated and disappointed that I found the ending anti-climatic and too vague for my liking. 

Three out of five stars. 

Overall Review: 

I wanted to love this so badly. 

But with hyped books, you always have to be careful and with this series I just gave it my heart for it to not live up to my expectations and the last book kind of just ruined it all. 

Overall series review: 3.5 stars. 

QOTD: Have you read this series, did you like it? If not, can you imagine a world without love? 


Twitter: @conniedalt
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Thursday, 7 January 2016

Review: Blackheath

Title: Blackheath
Series: N/A, Stand alone as of now
Author: Gabriella Lepore
Pages: 284
Publication Date: 20th January 2015
Publisher: Oftomes Publishing
Overall Rating: 5 stars


You can’t live in Blackheath and not know about the Tomlin boys. The boys with an absent mother, a creepy old house and mysterious powers. The whole town knows that they’re witches.

And Maggie has been plagued by bad luck lately.

When a psychic tells her she has been cursed, she decides to go right to the source…Joel. It makes sense, right? He’s a witch and the two have had their fair share of run-ins in the past. But when Joel begins to help her, breaking all of his coven rules to do so, he finds that this curse is more than they could have imagined. This curse means that there’s another witch in town…

Another witch who wants to claim Maggie as his own, and claim the Chosen One’s power. Unlucky for this other witch, Joel isn’t about to let Maggie or his brother be taken without a fight.

But to interfere with another witch’s spell might mean war…

I really loved this book!

I’m a massive fan of Gabriella Lepore, I’ve read just around half of her books and I’m yet to be disappointed. Blackheath was no exception to that! Not only was the plot fast paced enough to be able to read in one sitting, it was very eloquently written and it flowed incredibly well.

My favourite thing about Lepore’s writing is her ability to create characters that you care about. When I started reading this book, I was drawn to Joel immediately. His surly attitude and his thoughts made me really want to mother him. I love characters that have really strong emotions, and Joel definitely had some strong emotions.

I even liked Maggie, although at first I was a bit weary of her, but she had a lot of depth and I loved how she and Joel’s relationship flourished throughout this book. I love relationship development, I liked the humour and how it was based off a dislike at the beginning and how it developed into something so powerful and poignant.

Although I loved the things I’ve mentioned above, my favourite thing about this book was the emphasis on family. I feel that sometimes it takes a witch book to truly show the power of family as it’s something that can be overseen in YA. I loved Evan and Joel’s relationship, and I loved the little flashback of Joel finding Pippin, I really would read a whole book just about the brothers.

I’m so happy with this little surprise book release and I can’t wait to read more from Gabriella in the future! P.S. Major shout out to the cover designer for this book and keeping with the theme of long beautiful dresses and haunting buildings, I love it! 

(I also hope these characters come back at some stage because I’m incredibly selfish and love Joel far too much.)

QOTD: What are your favourite witchy read?


Twitter: @conniedalt
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Monday, 4 January 2016

New Year, New Me? Probably Not, but also Book Anticipation.

People that know me know that I am not an advocate for change. 

I don't like change, but this is going to be the year that I embrace all things new, improved and maybe old too. 

This is the post where I talk about 2016;

  • Expect to see me a lot more in 2016, I'm currently organising a timetable and putting posts in schedule, so expect to see me from two to three times a week.
  • I will also be talking about some non bookish related things on this blog e.g. Makeup, Music, stuff like that!
  • I will also be trying to actually review a lot more books this year, so expect more ARCs and other reviews!
I also joined the Oftomes street team, if you don't know what Oftomes is, it is a micro-publishing company set up by youtuber, Benjaminoftomes. 

And tomorrow, they're re-releasing Rising by Jennifer Wilson with a new cover! 

    Photo cred to @oftomes instagram

The story follows Phoenix, who witnessed her parents murder at a young age. She has spent her life since then obeying her mother's last words -Stay Strong and Survive. But to survive outside of the Sanctuary is close to impossible, a harsh city ruled by the motto, "Join or Die." 
Who can she trust?

I am personally very excited for this re-release and I'm pumped to get into this dystopian series! 

As always, talk to me below, and let me know your New Year's Resolutions! 


Twitter: @conniedalt
Instagram: @conniedalt

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