Review

Book Review: Just Don’t Mention It by Estelle Maskame

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Hi everyone!

Estelle Maskame is one of those auto-buy authors for me and I always have super high expectations for her books (because they are all just so good, honestly). This book (Just Don’t Mention It) surpassed my expectations and in my opinion this is Maskame’s best book yet. To me, it had a completely different feel to anything she’s done before and I’m going to tell you why I think this over the course of the review.

So in case you are unfamiliar with Estelle Maskame’s work (where have you been?) Just Don’t Mention It is a companion novel to the DIMILY trilogy. It follows the events of book one but instead of Eden’s perspective we are reading from Tyler’s. I’m not going to say much about this book except that the series is a real page-turner. I recommend that you go and pick up the first in the series and come back after!

Rating: 5/5 stars.

Writing style: Fits the book completely. It’s filled with thoughts, feelings and emotions that can connect with readers no matter who you are.

Plot: The plot just kept building and building which is all you can ask for really. Usually when there are two types of chapters (the present day chapters and the five years ago chapters) nearly always I will develop a preference for one of them over the other. That didn’t happen with this book because both chapter styles were of incredible standard. The plot was executed extremely well and I really felt like I was living it alongside the characters.

Characters: The most important thing to me when I’m reading book is that the characters feel real and they definitely feel real in JDMI. Tyler is such a complex character and he has been written in that three dimensional sense which is just so important. What is even more refreshing is that every character felt this way no matter what their role is in the story (big or small). It’s not always the way in books as characters with small parts tend to fall to the sidelines.

Pace: Well balanced and written in a sense that felt real and natural.

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A point I quite liked was that the juxtaposition between the DIMILY books and JDMI. Due to the perspective change there wasn’t a huge focus on the romantic aspect. In DIMILY it made sense that there was a focus on this element as it was from Eden’s perspective and this was her biggest source of conflict, if you know what I mean. Tyler’s main source of conflict comes from elsewhere, mainly his past and so this perspective change allowed Maskame to place greater emphasis on another element of the story. In DIMILY you’re given the impression that Eden saved Tyler and that was it. Close the book. In Just Don’t Mention It you realise that maybe there’s more to it than that. You realise that Eden was simply the catalyst. She posed a change in his life and allowed Tyler to consider over time that maybe that meant he could also change himself. Ultimately Tyler saved himself. So yes, while technically the original statement “she saved him” has some truth, JDMI allows readers to expand on our perspectives and thoughts to realise there is more to it than that one sentence.

Estelle Maskame also has a really powerful talent for weaving subtle messages into her writing. In Just Don’t Mention It she proves the point that you can’t possibly know everything about a person. You can only know what they choose to show you. You can’t always be sure of the thoughts going through a persons head, their emotions and even their actions when you aren’t with them. For example, in DIMILY Eden was often so sure of things and so as a result we were too. When reading JDMI however we realise that sometimes Eden’s thoughts weren’t entirely accurate in regards to Tyler’s motives which were sometimes different than what she believed. The same can be said for how we readers decipher things. For example, in DIMILY Eden may believe something that we think is not true and so we create our own explanations for things because we are all different people from different backgrounds. We tend to base our explanations and judgements of things from our own experiences. Experiences that we may not share with Eden. It can also be assumed that Tyler has different experiences again and so his motives are perhaps entirely different than either of us believed. I think this is part of the reason why I loved JDMI so much because of how Estelle Maskame applies her writing in such a way that is so subtle and perfect. She allows us to consider certain points that are not only important to the story-line but also to our lives in general.

So, I think it’s pretty clear to see that I adored this book. If you haven’t read it yet, i’m jealous because I would love to be able to read it with a fresh pair of eyes. I hope you love it as much as I did! If you have read it then what did you think? I’d love to know!

 

 

Review

ARC Review- Goodbye Perfect by Sara Barnard

goodbye perfect 1*This book was sent to me by the publisher but this not does not affect my review of this book. All thoughts expressed are honest.*

Since Goodbye Perfect was announced it has been on my ‘I’m so excited, eek, 2018’ book list so it isn’t so hard to imagine how excited and thankful I was to receive a copy from My Kinda Book (Thank you so much!).

So, what’s it about?

Well, let me tell you. Eden and her best friend Bonnie have their GCSEs rapidly approaching but Eden isn’t worried about Bonnie. She’s an A star student. That is until she runs away leaving Eden one, ominous message. Even more shocking and surpising is who Bonnie ran away with.

Continue reading “ARC Review- Goodbye Perfect by Sara Barnard”

Review

S.T.A.G.S by M.A Bennett

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I think this may have been one of my favourite books of 2017 so far… Who knew I liked thrillers? I certainly didn’t realise quite how much I loved them until recently. I really am loving the S.T.A.G.S/ One of us is Lying type books I’ve been reading this  year. So if you know of any books similar to S.T.A.G.S please do let me know, I can’t wait to read more of this genre. Continue reading “S.T.A.G.S by M.A Bennett”

Review

Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman

Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke is the sequel to Prisoner of Night and Fog. The genre is historical fiction set in the world war two period. Read my review of book one to see why I recommend it.

Anne Blankman has delivered a fantastic sequel to a fantastic start to a series. Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke begins about a year after Gretchen and Daniel escape to England in search of sanctuary from the Whitestones. We learn of harsh injuries inflicted on Daniel’s cousin back in Germany and how Daniel does not hesitate to get the first train back to Germany. He does this partly due to loyalty and love for his family but also due to his need to do something worthwhile. Something useful. Unfortunately though this also sends Gretchen spiraling back to Germany to face old faces she thought she’d never have to see again.
Continue reading “Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman”

Review

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Lord of Shadows is the second book in Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices trilogy. The first is Lady Midnight.

Why? Why? Why? Why do you do this to me Cassandra Clare? You owe me an explanation at least. It is like she loves to watch her readers suffer, oh wait, she probably does.

After finishing all six hundred and ninety-nine pages (Why couldn’t she have written just a little more to get to 700) of Lord of Shadows I was a fumbling mess. I mean that ending! Even if you haven’t read it yet you’ll know that’s really not a spoiler. At this point it’s practically a given that all Cassandra Clare books leave you a fumbling mess. If by chance you’re reading this and you haven’t read any Clare books at all, well, that’s a cause for concern. It’s not too late to fix it though. Go buy City of Bones and make sure you look up a specific reading order of publication otherwise things get complicated. Well, what are you waiting for? Go! Now!

Continue reading “Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare”

Review

Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

I read this book insanely quickly. By that I mean one sitting. I read it whilst lying in sun on my holidays. I couldn’t think of a more perfect book to start my summer of relaxation.

It took me to the world of Italy which l’ll be honest, I didn’t know a lot about other than its reputation of serving the most delicious pizza in the world. This showed me a vast culture that included not only food to die for but a vast range of beautiful landmarks and idyllic green trees towering over cobbled streets. And yeah I kinda wanna visit now. This book told a beautiful story of, well, love and gelato.

Maybe you want to know a little more? Maybe you want to know what brought our American protagonist, Lina all the way to Europe? Unfortunately the reason is not the nicest. Lina’s reason for visiting Italy is supposedly to live with her father, Howard after the tragic death of her mother. The discovery of her mothers old journal leads her on a magical journey through the streets of Italy.
Continue reading “Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch”

Review

The Broken Trilogy by L.A Weatherly

I bought the first book in this trilogy, Broken Sky back in October when I attended Dept Con 2  and the author L.A Weatherly was there too. I had heard of this trilogy before but I didn’t really know anything about it. Once I read the synopsis though I was hooked. The world just sounded so intriguing to me and it will to you too. The  Goodreads synopsis is as follows:

Welcome to a ‘perfect’ world.

Where war is illegal, where harmony rules.

And where your date of birth marks your destiny.

But nothing is perfect.

And in a world this broken, who can Amity trust?

From the bestselling author of the Angel trilogy comes Broken Sky – an exhilarating epic set in a daring and distorted echo of 1940s America and first in a new trilogy.

Continue reading “The Broken Trilogy by L.A Weatherly”

Review

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

I don’t know what I can say about Prisoner of Night and Fog that will portray accurately how much this book is worth reading. I have so many thoughts and feeling about this piece of writing which I hope to convey to you through this review.

This book tells the truth. The truth of a horrific time period and the point of view is so different from other historical fiction novels set in the Nazi Germany era.

So do you want to know what it’s about?

Our protagonist is a girl called Gretchen who considers Hitler her ‘Uncle Dolf’. Her family has high privileges due to her fathers sacrifice. He took a bullet for Hitler during the Munich Putsch and due to this, our protagonist views Hitler as her father figure but then she meets Daniel, a Jewish reporter.
Continue reading “Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman”

Review

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

“Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world”

There was a lot of hype surrounding this debut by Stephanie Garber and I think it definitely lived up to the high expectations well, in my opinion anyways.

The cover of this book is absolutely stunning which is why I feel obligated to comment on it. I just love books that look pretty on my book shelves and Caraval  one hundred and ten percent falls into that category. In the hardback version there are even special designs underneath the dust cover. I believe there are four different designs so I’ll leave a picture below so you can see the options. I got the clock one which I was pretty pleased with.

Continue reading “Caraval by Stephanie Garber”