Recommendations

My 2018 Bookish Favourites

favourites of 2018

Well, hasn’t 2018 just flown by us? I wish you a happy beginning to 2019 with a look back at the past reading year 2018. This was my first year of properly logging my reading on Goodreads. I have to say, I really did thoroughly enjoy taking part in the challenge myself this year rather than simply cheering everyone else on from the side lines (although I do still love seeing how everyone else is getting on!). When I set my challenge back on January 1st 2018 I didn’t know Continue reading “My 2018 Bookish Favourites”

Advertisements
Review

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

jdmi banner

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.

jdmi

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!

 

 

To Be Read

Summer: What to Read?

summer reads.png

I’ve put a small list of books that I definitely want to read over the summer at some stage! Now that exams have stopped taking over my life I am ready to get lost in the world of books again. Bring it on!

1. Scythe and Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Goodreads:

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

This series has been raved about my pretty much everyone in the book world for quite a while now. Particulaily Christine over at Polandbananasbooks on booktube made me want to read this!

2. The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye

27211901

Goodreads:

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

I read the first book in this duology The Crown’s Game and I loved it!  The Russian fantasy setting is so interesting and whimsical.

3. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Goodreads:

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

I am a big fan of Sarah J Maas and I know she’s friends with Susan Dennard who shares some incredible writing advice online. I’ve always wanted to get around to reading some of Dennard’s work.

4. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

cnv

Goodreads:

Oct. 11th, 1943 – A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

I’m a big fan of historical novels. I’ve been in the mood for one quite recently and I heard that this one is really good!

5. A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews

Goodreads:

Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music – because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence.

When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it?

I love C.G. Drews’ blog Paper Fury and I remember reading the announcement for this book and being so happy! I’ve been looking forward to reading it ever since it’s announcement and I have heard nothing but good things about it.

6. Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Goodreads:

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.

I’ve read all of Matson’s previous novels and I’ve always really enjoyed them! I think their perfect for summer as well so I can’t wait to see what I think of this one!

7. Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian
Ash Princess

 Goodreads:

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess–a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

This book just sounded really intriguing to me and it’s been a while since I read a good fantasy so I want to get a few of those in! Again, I’ve heard nothing but good things so yes, I’m excited.

8. Just Don’t Mention It by Estelle Maskame

jdmi

Goodreads:

Alternating between past and present, Just Don’t Mention It is narrated from Tyler’s perspective. We see his life as a twelve-year-old boy suffering physical abuse at the hands of his dad.

Estelle Maskame is an auto-buy author for me. I’ve met her a few times a DeptCon and she is such a genuine person with such a talent for writing that I always want to support her. Plus, I just love her books what can I say?

There will definitely be more for this list but this is all I have planned at the minute! Have you read any of these? What did you think?