InstaReview: My Lady Jane

[Caption] ✨Take history🇬🇧, magic and just a bit of comedy, and you’ve got the formula for My Lady Jane. Written by three authors – Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows – the story is told from three different perspective – King Edward, Lady Jane and Lord Gifford (call him G🐎). There are shapeshifters (Eðians), a dastardly plot, a jealous older sister, a lot of blueberries, a trip to France🇫🇷, quite a few misunderstandings, a tad too much of Edward’s perspective, but at its core, a love story.

It sounds like a lot, and it is a rather long book, but it went by surprisingly fast. In addition to the layer of fantasy, it takes a lot of liberties with the actual storyline of Lady Jane Grey and of King Edward. 👑

On a whole, it’s highly comical. The most endearing part of the story is the relationship between Lady Jane and G, I wish I knew who wrote their perspectives because I’d go out and buy their novels right away – especially G’s!

✨Take history🇬🇧, magic and just a bit of comedy, and you've got the formula for My Lady Jane. Written by three authors – Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows – the story is told from three different perspective – King Edward, Lady Jane and Lord Gifford (call him G🐎). There are shapeshifters (Eðians), a dastardly plot, a jealous older sister, a lot of blueberries, a trip to France🇫🇷, quite a few misunderstandings, a tad too much of Edward's perspective, but at its core, a love story. It sounds like a lot, and it is a rather long book, but it went by surprisingly fast. In addition to the layer of fantasy, it takes a lot of liberties with the actual storyline of Lady Jane Grey and of King Edward. 👑 On a whole, it's highly comical. The most endearing part of the story is the relationship between Lady Jane and G, I wish I knew who wrote their perspectives because I'd go out and buy their novels right away – especially G's! #bookstagram #books #bookish #booksofinstagram #instabook #booklover #bookworm #igreads #ilovebooks #bookaholic #readingaddict #bibliophile #instaread #reader #reading #read #readingaddict #bookphotography #bookphoto #instareview #bookreview #bookrecommendation #amreading #myladyjane #CynthiaHand #BrodiAshton #JodMeadows #youngadult #historicalfiction #ladyjanegrey #fantasy

A post shared by Shanella (@ishanella) on

Advertisements

InstaReview: Dream On

The second book in the Silver Trilogy by Kerstin Gier, Dream On, continues with the dream travels of Liv and her new friends.

From the author of my one of my favourite time-travel series, Dream On (book two in her Dream series) is a different type of travel – dream travel. Continuing from the first book, (spoilers ahead!) Liv spends time in the dreams learning to manipulate her surroundings and self with Henry. This book is a little bit sinister mystery -who's sharing Liv's personal life with Secrecy, and why is her sister sleepwalking into dangerous situations? It's also got that cheeky humour that I'm beginning to notice as Kerstin Gier's style. It keeps you tuned in and turning the pages (especially towards the end). However, it does leave quite a few loose ends which I'm assuming will be wrapped up in book three. Loved the idea of dream sharing, and very curious to see it all tied together in the last installment. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

A post shared by Shanella (@ishanella) on

[Caption] From the author of my one of my favourite time-travel series, Dream On (book two in her Dream series) is a different type of travel – dream travel.
Continuing from the first book, (spoilers ahead!) Liv spends time in the dreams learning to manipulate her surroundings and self with Henry. This book is a little bit sinister mystery -who’s sharing Liv’s personal life with Secrecy, and why is her sister sleepwalking into dangerous situations? It’s also got that cheeky humour that I’m beginning to notice as Kerstin Gier’s style.
It keeps you tuned in and turning the pages (especially towards the end). However, it does leave quite a few loose ends which I’m assuming will be wrapped up in book three. Loved the idea of dream sharing, and very curious to see it all tied together in the last installment. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

InstaReview: The Sun is Also a Star

Every since I read the NTY article on it, I have been intrigued with the 36 questions that gave you an intimate look into anyone’s life – even strangers. Just the idea of it was really intriguing, so, after reading rave reviews about The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, and the fact that she integrated this study in her story, I had to add it to my TBR pile. Then, after seeing that it was one of the BOTM picks, I had to get it!

✨ The Sun is Also a Star, ☀️ by Nicola Yoon is part humour, part tear-jerker and overall brilliant. It's told from the perspectives of Natasha 🇯🇲 and Daniel 🇰🇷🇺🇸, with a smattering of stories from the people who shifted their paths during the day they first met. There were times where I found myself wondering about the seemingly endless day of traveling around Manhattan – no "train traffic up ahead"? – and a few times where I had to go back to see who was telling the story; but after getting into the rhythm of the storytelling, I found myself engrossed, until the last tearful sentence. Seriously, read the last few chapters at home. This book is more than just a romantic tale (cheers on the great use of the 36 Questions to Fall in Love article). The characters are diverse and their interactions felt real, and that's what makes me love it so much. It could be the story of someone I know. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ . . . #bookstagram #books #bookish #booksofinstagram #instabook #booklover #bookworm #igreads #ilovebooks #bookaholic #readingaddict #bibliophile #instaread #reader #reading #read #amreading #review #igreviews #bookreview #nicolayoon #thesunisalsoastar #immigration #romance #weneeddiversebooks #diversecity #jamaican #korean #manhattan #botm

A post shared by Shanella (@ishanella) on

[Caption] ✨ The Sun is Also a Star, ☀️ by Nicola Yoon is part humour, part tear-jerker and overall brilliant. It’s told from the perspectives of Natasha 🇯🇲 and Daniel 🇰🇷🇺🇸, with a smattering of stories from the people who shifted their paths during the day they first met.

There were times where I found myself wondering about the seemingly endless day of travelling around Manhattan – no “train traffic up ahead”? – and a few times where I had to go back to see who was telling the story; but after getting into the rhythm of the storytelling, I found myself engrossed, until the last tearful sentence. Seriously, read the last few chapters at home.

This book is more than just a romantic tale (cheers on the great use of the 36 Questions to Fall in Love article). The characters are diverse and their interactions felt real, and that’s what makes me love it so much. It could be the story of someone I know. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

~*~

InstaReview: By Your Side & On The Fence

[Caption – formatted] A look at two @kasiewest novels that I read recently – By Your Side & On the Fence. 💏 

In By Your Side, Autumn, who has protective parents, managed to gain their approvals to go away with her friends for the long weekend. Unfortunately, she’s stuck in the library 📚 with no phone 📵, and Dax – the anti-social assumed violent guy 💪 from her school.

It was EXTREMELY difficult to believe that one could be stuck in a public place like this. Won’t doors open from the inside? Regardless, the story was engaging and the situation allowed them both to be vulnerable with each other. Of all the Kasie West novels I’ve read, this one saw a lot more character growth – them having to reveal parts of themselves to each other that no one else sees, and in Autumn’s case, to her friends

–#–

On the Fence was a “girl/guy next door” read. Growing up without a mother and in a house filled with a cop father and brothers, Charlotte (call her Charlie 🏀) was accustomed to being one of the guys. 🏈 Even with Braden – their next door neighbour. But, things change when they start having late night chats by the fence.

This particular plot was perpetually moving, never a slow/dull moment. Some of the characters from previous Kasie West novels made an appearance. There was that trademark banter that I’ve come to enjoy from Kasie West’s novels, but I also loved the family dynamics in this one

Overall, I’d call both of these “adorable beach reads”. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ .

A look at two @kasiewest novels that I read recently – By Your Side & On the Fence. 💏 In By Your Side, Autumn, who has protective parents, managed to gain their approvals to go away with her friends for the long weekend. Unfortunately, she's stuck in the library 📚 with no phone 📵, and Dax – the anti-social assumed violent guy 💪 from her school. It was EXTREMELY difficult to believe that one could be stuck in a public place like this. Won't doors open from the inside? Regardless, the story was engaging and the situation allowed them both to be vulnerable with each other. Of all the Kasie West novels I've read, this one saw a lot more character growth – them having to reveal parts of themselves to each other that no one else sees, and in Autumn's case, to her friends. . On the Fence was a "girl/guy next door" read. Growing up without a mother and in a house filled with a cop father and brothers, Charlotte (call her Charlie 🏀) was accustomed to being one of the guys. 🏈 Even with Braden – their next door neighbour. But, things change when they start having late night chats by the fence. This particular plot was perpetually moving, never a slow/dull moment. Some of the characters from previous Kasie West novels made an appearance. There was that trademark banter that I've come to enjoy from Kasie West's novels, but I also loved the family dynamics in this one. . Overall, I'd call both of these "adorable beach reads". ⭐⭐⭐⭐ . . #bookstagram #books #bookish #booksofinstagram #instabook #booklover #bookworm #igreads #ilovebooks #bookphotography #bookaholic #readingaddict #bibliophile #instaread #reader #reading #read #bookphoto #readingaddict #kasiewest #onthefence #byyourside #youngadult #ireadya #romance #contemporary #addictedtoreading #instareview

A post shared by Shanella (@ishanella) on

 

InstaReview: Jackaby & The Distance Between us

Starting the year with a good read really sets the tone for the rest of the year. So, I was very pleased that this year started with two very good reads in two completely different genres!

 

Started the year with two great reads! . . First, The Distance Between Us by @kasiewest. 💏 This is my second read from Kasie West after reading P.S. I Like You. I was nervous. I rather YA fantasy novels, so when I read contemporary I'm always a little cautious going into it. Luckily, The Distance Between Us did not let me down. It was adorable and, even though it had its angsty moments where I wanted to kindly ask Caymen to please speak to her mom, it was overall believable and quite enjoyable.⭐⭐⭐⭐ . . Then there was Jackaby by William Ritter. ✨🤔 🕵️‍♀️ If you took today's BBC Sherlock, changed the setting to America, changed the time back to the time of the original Sherlock Holmes. Keep the cleverness and repartee, but add just the right amount of fantastic creatures, then you've got Jackaby. It was enthralling from beginning to end. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ . . . #bookstagram #books #bookish #booksofinstagram #instabook #booklover #bookworm #igreads #ilovebooks #bookaholic #readingaddict #bibliophile #instaread #reader #reading #read #amreading #thedistancebetweenus #jackaby #williamritter #kasiewest #review #igreview #bookreview #ebook #kindlereads #kindle #reading #sherlock

A post shared by Shanella (@ishanella) on

[Caption] Started the year with two great reads!First, The Distance Between Us by

First, The Distance Between Us by @kasiewest. 💏 This is my second read from Kasie West after reading P.S. I Like You. I was nervous. I rather YA fantasy novels, so when I read contemporary I’m always a little cautious going into it. Luckily, The Distance Between Us did not let me down. It was adorable and, even though it had its angsty moments where I wanted to kindly ask Caymen to please speak to her mom, it was overall believable and quite enjoyable.⭐⭐⭐⭐  

Then there was Jackaby by William Ritter. ✨🤔 🕵️‍♀️ If you took today’s BBC Sherlock, changed the setting to America, changed the time back to the time of the original Sherlock Holmes. Keep the cleverness and repartee, but add just the right amount of fantastic creatures, then you’ve got Jackaby. It was enthralling from beginning to end. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

~*~

 

… written by Libba Bray

 

5795564720_98a2bc4e19_z

Libba Bray @ The Scholastic Store in SoHo

 

After reading the Gemma Doyle trilogy, I was absolutely enthralled with Libba Bray‘s storytelling style. It was imaginative, it was magical, it sucked me in and made me struggle to take my time to savour the tale because I wanted, so badly, to devour it.

Later, I picked up her Going Bovine standalone and was both impressed and perplexed. Perplexed with the surrealness of the story itself (what’s real/what’s in his head), and impressed by her ability to string the absolutely absurd together in such a way that makes you want to keep on reading.

Then, Beauty Queens was released by Scholastic and I was privileged to attend a signing done at the Scholastic Store (pictured above). Beauty Queens was satire and wit. There are a lot of characters, but they never felt flat. It’s definitely absurd, but that absurdity helps to expose the reader to a thoughtful narrative on popular culture, and modern society.

From this point, I pretty much vowed to buy everything Libba released, so when The Diviners came out, I was ready for anything. The Diviners had a lot of things I loved; the roaring 20s, mystery and a touch of the supernatural. Ok, a lot of the supernatural, so much so that I stopped reading this book before I went to bed because it was hard to turn off my imaginings. The main protagonist (Evie) was self-centered, and while I am not a fan of books with main characters like that, she didn’t annoy me as much as I thought she would (though she tried to really hard in the end).

So, after reading an 1800s fantasy series set in England, a surreal dark comedy set in NOLA, an absurd satire, and a 1920s paranormal/historical series set in New York, I think it’s safe to say that Libba Bray is a versatile author; and I’m probably still going to read everything she publishes.

~*~

InstaReview: Poison Study

Poison Study, by Maria V. Snyder, was a thrilling fantasy novel. It's got mystery, a brilliant assassin and a protagonist who is witty, loyal and just trying to stay alive. While it was long, it was never boring. Yelena was a strong female lead, capable of looking after herself. Valek, a complex and brilliant partner to Yelena. He was ruthless until the end and completely loyal to his Captain and cause. Absolutely no insta-love, no love triangle, no hyper-focus on romance while Yelena is fighting (often times, literally) to survive. Which left ample room for character development and world-building. My only complaint is General Brazell. As an antagonist he was cartoonish, and I'm still puzzled why he bothered educating his orphans, especially after we see how he got away with a few other incidences that I cannot get into because, spoilers! I have my theories, but I'd be curious what other readers think. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ . . #bookstagram #books #bookish #booksofinstagram #instabook #booklover #bookworm #igreads #ilovebooks #bookaholic #readingaddict #bibliophile #instaread #reader #reading #read #readingaddict #amreading #bookaddict #review #bookreview #poisonstudy #mariavsnyder #fantasy #strongheroine #leadingfemale #needmorefantasylikethis #thankgoodnessnoinstalove #absolutelynolovetriangles #seriouslygoodread

A post shared by Shanella (@ishanella) on

[Caption] Poison Study, by Maria V. Snyder, was a thrilling fantasy novel. It’s got mystery, a brilliant assassin and a protagonist who is witty, loyal and just trying to stay alive. While it was long, it was never boring.

Yelena was a strong female lead, capable of looking after herself. Valek, a complex and brilliant partner to Yelena. He was ruthless until the end and completely loyal to his Captain and cause. Absolutely no insta-love, no love triangle, no hyper-focus on romance while Yelena is fighting (often times, literally) to survive. Which left ample room for character development and world-building.

My only complaint is General Brazell. As an antagonist he was cartoonish, and I’m still puzzled why he bothered educating his orphans, especially after we see how he got away with a few other incidences that I cannot get into because, spoilers! I have my theories, but I’d be curious what other readers think. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

~*~