Review: Killer Game – Kirsty McKay

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3 out of 5 stars
(Spoilers ahead…)

Published in 2015, Killer Game is a YA mystery novel written by Kirsty McKay. Set in a boarding school isolated on a private island, the story follows new student Cate as she is invited to play the school’s traditional game – Killer. The rules are simple: amongst the Guild of Assassins, there is one chosen Killer whose job it is to secretly murder the rest of the guild through a series of pranks until there is either no one left or they are caught out. Unfortunately for Cate, this generation of the game begins to feel like more than just a prank – there is a real killer on the loose and Cate is the next target.

There was something about the synopsis of this story that really drew me in when I first found this book in the store. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectations.

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Review: Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List – Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

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1 out of 5 stars

(spoilers ahead)

Any great friendship can be as confusing, treacherous, inspiring and wonderful as any great romance.

First published in January 2007, Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List is a young adult novel written as a collaboration between Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. It follows the friendship of titular characters Naomi and Ely, how it’s changed and reached a breaking point as they learn how to be apart.

I really wanted to like this book. I really, really did. I bought it purely because I watched the film adaptation on Netflix and loved it. In many cases, I have enjoyed the source material more than the film adaptation but this was the exception that proved the rule. This book was desperately bad.

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Review: Dream House – Marzia Bisognin

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2 out of 5 stars
Spoilers ahead

“I’ve never noticed this house before, and yet it’s always been right where it is. I know that.
Somehow.”

Published in April of 2016, Dream House is the debut novel from YouTuber Marzia Bisognin. The story follows protagonist Amethyst as she finds herself outside of a house she has never seen before but feels drawn to for reasons she can’t explain. Caught in a storm, she is invited inside by the owners of the mansion to stay until the weather’s calmed down. However, when she wakes the next morning, she discovers the owners have left and she is alone, trapped by a feeling that she can’t leave.

I had relatively high hopes for this book; the general concept was something that I found interesting the minute I saw on Marzia’s channel that she was going to be writing a horror novel. Horror is pretty much my favourite genre of all time, and I’ve found some of her short stories she’s made videos of to be pretty creepy. But this fell flat so hard.

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Review: Heir of Fire – Sarah J. Maas

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5 out of 5 stars
Spoilers ahead.

She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.

First published in September 2014, Heir of Fire is the third novel in Sarah J. Maas’s acclaimed series, Throne of Glass. Following the separate adventures of multiple protagonists both old and new, HoF serves as a fantastic continuation of an already amazing series.

Celaena Sardothien returns, but now has one extra trauma following her as she travels to a new continent under the guise of assassinating one of the King’s rival leaders, to seek the aid of the Fae queen, Maeve. Whilst she is away learning the true extent of her powers, Dorian and Chaol find themselves caught up in a plot within the glass palace of Adarlan as Dorian’s newly discovered magic grows and Chaol learns more about the rebel’s plans to help find and raise the missing princess of Terrasen back to power.

A LOT happened in this book, but I was exceptionally pleased to find that at not a single point did I ever feel bored whilst reading it.

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Review: I’ll Give You The Sun – Jandy Nelson

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5 out of 5 stars

(Slight spoilers)

Published in 2014, I’ll Give You The Sun is the second award-winning novel written by Jandy Nelson. The story is told in two intermingling parts by twin siblings, Jude and Noah, during two periods of their life. Once as thick as thieves, a series of events leads to the twins separating – though each of them only know half of the story. Only by reconnecting can they finally learn the entirety of their story and move forward from the tragic event that completely split them apart.

It’s not often that I find a book that I fall in love with immediately and this was definitely one of those rare moments.

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Let It Snow – Maureen Johnson, John Green and Lauren Myracle

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2 out of 5 stars

Spoilers ahead.

First published back in 2008, Let It Snow is a festive collaboration featuring three stories by Maureen Johnson, John Green and Lauren Myracle. Though each story follows a different protagonist and their friends, they all take place in the same town, at the same time and merge towards the end.

This is honestly the worst book I have ever read.

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Asylum – Madeleine Roux

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3.9 out of 5 stars

Spoilers ahead…

Asylum is a 2013 young adult supernatural-thriller novel written by American author, Madeleine Roux. It is set in the location of New Hampshire College Prep – a college which was established on the site of an abandoned mental asylum. Sixteen-year-old loner Dan Crawford has been sent to attend a summer program for prospective students and soon meets two friends, Abby and Jordan, with whom he discovers the secret of the dorm house. Local whispers and an unlocked off-limits room reveal that their dorm house was once the building used to hold the criminally insane, and as the trio dig deeper into the mysteries surrounding why they were really drawn to this school, a murder takes place in the style of the institutes most famous patient. He’s supposed to be dead though. With no memory of what really happened on that night, Dan begins to question his own sanity and tries to seek the truth before the killer strikes again.

My time reading this novel was quick but each time I picked it up, I did tend to question why I was even reading it.

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Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

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5 out of 5 stars

Spoilers ahead

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is the debut novel of American author, Ransom Riggs, and was first published in 2011. The novel centres around the narrating character, Jacob, and his search for answers after the death of his grandfather. First believing that his grandfather had been mauled by wild animals in the woods beside his home, Jacob is soon travelling to an island off the coast of Wales at the advise of his psychiatrist to find the orphanage is grandfather said he had once stayed in near the beginning of World War Two. Jacob soon learns that the stories his grandfather told him as a child and the photos he had shown him of all the children he had met were in fact true. The children are alive, Miss Peregrine is real, and so are the monsters they have been hiding from.

I went into this novel with mixed opinions. For my part, I was intrigued by the idea of a novel written around vintage photography – especially as those inspiring images were included in special annexes throughout the book. The synopsis drew me in and I wanted to know more. But there were also reviews out there saying this novel was poorly executed and a waste of a good idea.

After getting through the novel in a fairly quick time, I have to say that I disagree. This novel was fantastic.

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Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood – Oliver Bowden

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3.5 out of 5 stars

Spoilers ahead.

First published in 2010, Brotherhood is the second book in the novelization of the Assassin’s Creed game series. The games were published by Ubisoft and the novels were written by British author, Oliver Bowden. Brotherhood continues the story of Ezio Auditore de Firenze, an Italian Assassin who joined the Order in his teens and is now in his early forties. It continues straight from the end of the first novel making it doubly important to have read Renaissance or to have at least played Assassin’s Creed 2.

It was good but it wasn’t great…

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Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour – Morgan Matson

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5 out of 5 stars

Spoilers ahead.

First published in 2011, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour is the debut novel of Young Adult author Morgan Matson. It centres around the narrating character, Amelia Curry, and her unwilling road-trip from California to Connecticut to get mother’s car to their new home. Unfortunately, Amy’s father had not long passed away from injuries sustained in a car accident so Amy is not keen to get behind the wheel too soon. Enter Roger Sullivan: an old family friend who is given the task by their mothers to drive Amy all the way across the country.

This book absolutely exceeded my expectations.

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