Daughter of the Burning City – Spoiler Free Review

Daughter Burning City

Author: Amanda Foody

Length: 404 pages (UK paperback edition)

Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star

Summary

This story follows sixteen year old Sorina who lives with a travelling circus. Sorina is a very rare illusion-worker and has the ability to make illusions that can be seen by others and have their own characteristics. She and her illusions are the family that make up the Freak Show. Sorina believes that her illusions are not actually real until one of them is murdered.

Review

Daughter of the Burning City is a beautifully written, magical and mysterious novel about a girl living in a travelling festival. I absolutely adored the use of imagery and description to present the extravagancy of the setting and the characters and I felt that the plot was very original.

I loved the relationship between Sorina and her family of illusions and I really enjoyed reading the banterous back-and-forth dialogue that happened between all the family members. I thought that each family member was so different from each other and, more importantly, I was happy to see that all the family members were very different to Sorina as I was worried in the beginning that they would all have very similar characterisations which would have made the story bland, however, I was happy to find that this was very much the opposite and all the characters were very original. The only downside to this was that the very quirky characteristics of the illusions made Sorina seem a bit mundane. I liked the way that each of Sorina’s illusions took on the role of family members that Sorina did not previously have in her life.

I felt that the plot of this book was unlike any book I have read before and I loved the combination of fantasy and murder mystery that Amanda Foody presented in her story. I thought that the drip feeding of information throughout Daughter of the Burning City was done very well and really emphasised the mystery of the story which made this read all the more enjoyable. I delighted in the setting of Gomorrah and its beauty. I really liked the idea of Gomorrah being a home for outcasts with many different and unusual abilities.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a dark yet magical story with a fast paced plot, beautiful imagery and loveable characters. Praise to Amanda Foody for writing such a great book!

July Wrap-Up & August TBR

I’m quite happy with what I’ve read this month, but I definitely did NOT follow my TBR. I took part in the Read-A-Thon by Zoe which helped increase the amount I read this month a lot.

 

July Wrap-Up

when dimple met rishi

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon: ★★★★☆

fantastic beasts

Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling: ★★★☆☆

BYLTHM

Because You Love to Hate Me edited by Ameriie: ★★★★★

Finding Audrey

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella: ★★★★☆

Paper Girls vol 1

Paper Girls Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang (Illustrator) and Matthew Wilson (Illustrator): ★★★☆☆

 

August TBR

Zenith

Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

Alex & Eliza

Alex & Eliza by Melissa De La Cruz

Daughter Burning City

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

 

The Makeup Book Tag

Hey! I’ve been seeing this tag around booktube and various blogs for a while now and really wanted to give it a go!

I believe this tag was created by lifeloveandbooks over on YouTube.

 

  • Primer – Pick a book that left a lasting impression on you

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I am using the Benefit Pore-fessional primer at the minute however I think I am going to change primer after I finish this tube because it just hasn’t lasted very long at all.

The book that has left a lasting impression on me is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I read this book for my GCSEs in high school and it was the first school book that I ever really ended up loving. I loved that this book was written from the point of view of an innocent child with an unbiased opinion of the cruelty that she saw was happening around her. This book was the greatest introduction to classics that I could have wished for.

  • Foundation – Your favourite book in a series

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I have used the Nars Sheer Glow foundation for years now and I don’t plan on changing this any time soon. This foundation gives the perfect amount of coverage as it is quite light but still evens out my skin tone and covers what needs to be covered. (My colour is “Santa Fe”).

The book that I chose for this is A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. This book was just addictive and I couldn’t put it down. I love the characters, the setting and the plot and although I have some issues with the lack of diversity presented in this book I couldn’t not read it. I have never fallen in love with a group of characters in the way I have with the characters in this book (especially Cassian) and this book made me feel all the feels.

  • Concealer – Pick some characters you wish didn’t exist

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I use two concealers on my face. I use the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer in the shade “Cool Medium” to cover the ever present dark circles under my eyes and I use the Charlotte Tilbury Retoucher concealer & treatment stick for any blemishes on my face.

I rarely ever wish that characters didn’t exist in books because I mostly believe that even the awful characters help drive the plot of books. But Martin Addison from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli is just the WORST. I know that if he wasn’t in the book most of the plot wouldn’t have happened but still. I really dislike him.

  • Powder – Pick your favourite last book in a series

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I use the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder on my face because, I don’t know, people said it was good and in all fairness it keeps my face matt and it keeps my makeup in place.

I was tempted to put Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as my answer to this one but I decided that it would have been the obvious choice so instead I went for A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (I know that there will be more books in this world but this is the last in the series that tells this story). By this point I was already in love with the characters and the world so I felt like I was able to just read and enjoy this (sort of) finale whilst hardcore shipping Nesta and Cassian.

  • Eyebrows – Pick a book you think everyone should read

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I use the NYX Tinted Brow Mascara in the colour “Brunette” to just keep my eyebrows in place.

I feel like everyone and their mother has already read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak but if you haven’t read it, do it, now, and don’t come back until you have read it. This book is funny, endearing and heartbreaking all at the same time.

  • Eyeshadow – Pick a book with your favourite colours on the front

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I will usually use one or two of the shades from either the Naked 2 or Naked 3 pallets by Urban Decay on my eyes. I’m not very good at eyeshadow so I will mostly just stick to one neutral colour.

The obvious choice for this is The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon, I mean look at those gorgeous colours! I haven’t read this book yet but I want to get to it very soon.

  • Eyeliner – Pick a dark and mysterious book

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My eyeliner changes every time it runs out but a the moment I’m using Charlotte Tilbury’s “The Feline Flick” eyeliner and it does a pretty good job.

I tend to stay away from really dark books as I scare easily so the only one I could think of for this was We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. This book had elements of mystery throughout. This is one of my favourite books that I have read this year.

  • Mascara – Pick a long book

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I use Benefit’s “They’re Real” mascara and it makes my eyelashes look long and full without looking clumpy because I don’t like having clumpy eyelashes.

Any of the books from the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson would work for this one. They’re all long and intimidating and I will get to them one day I just need to ready myself.

  • Highlighter – Pick a book that brightens your day

img_0219I either use the Kylie Cosmetics “Kylighter” in the colour “French Vanilla” or the Jefree Star Skin Frost in the colour “Lavender Snow” depending on my mood or what I’m wearing. They’re both good but the Kylie one isn’t nearly as blinding as the Jefree one.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell makes me so happy. I really felt like I could relate to Cath and Levi is just the absolute sweetest! I think I need to do a re-read of this book soon.

  • Lipstick – Your favourite book kiss

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I usually use the Mac lipstick “Whirl” with the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick “Lolita” over it in an attempt to make my lipstick stay on throughout the day. This is just my day-to-day lip colour as my lipstick varies for different occasions.

I don’t really think much of book kisses, they’re just “meh” for me. However, I thought that the kiss between Lila and Kell in A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab was quite funny.

 

There you go! I’m definitely not a makeup expert but I hope you enjoyed this post and please comment below a book cover that you think matches your favourite lipstick. ♥

 

 

When Dimple Met Rishi – Review

WDMR

Author: Sandhya Menon

Length: 378 pages (UK paperback edition)

Rating:Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star

Summary

Dimple and Rishi are complete opposites. Dimple is far from traditional and wants to focus on her career before even thinking about settling down and getting married whereas Rishi wants to make his traditional parents proud and thinks that the idea of an arranged marriage is romantic. When Dimple and Rishi meet through a quite intentional mix-up their lives are changed forever as they begin to question their futures and their views on tradition.

Plot

I love the plot of this novel, it is well developed and touches on some very important subjects such as people being bullied because of their beliefs and traditions. I think that this book is very important as I have never read a YA book that represents children of Indian immigrants so well. I think that the plot was a bit slow in the beginning but became very fast paced as the story developed. I found some parts of the book to be a bit predictable but this is easily forgiven by the general loveliness of this contemporary.

**SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT ON**

Dimple and Rishi

Dimple and Rishi go through so much character development throughout this story as they learn to understand the world through each other’s perspectives and make compromises for the sake of their relationship. I think that their clashing views on tradition effectively shows readers that not everyone will have the same opinions about tradition and everyone’s views should be respected and should not be diminished because they are different. Dimple and Rishi both have imperfections which just shows how complicated their characters are.

The Aberzombies

I thought that the Aberzombies were such amazing antagonists. They were a complex group which brought many currently important topics to light as the boys were the clear “leaders” of the group and really had no respect for women or people with different traditions and beliefs to them. Isabelle is a difficult character to label as she is very reluctant to go along with what the boys do and she obviously does not approve of how they treat others, especially women, however she lets them get away with their awful treatment of others and lets herself be humiliated for their gain so I wouldn’t call her an antagonist but she is still far from a hero.

I generally thought that the characters were very well written with very strong character development and a good variation in characterisations.

Recent Controversy

People have recently argued that Dimple was wrong to throw her coffee at Rishi when they first met which I completely disagree with. Dimple’s reaction is very normal for someone who had just been approached by a complete stranger telling her that they were going to marry. If that happened to me I would probably do worse than just throw my coffee at them as I can imagine I would be very shocked and scared.

Overall Thoughts

I think that this book is very important especially for people with Indian heritage as it is something that is not represented very often in Young Adult books. The story line is done very well and the characters are complex and go through a lot of development. I commend Sandhya Menon for writing such an amazing debut novel and giving the world such a delightful summer read!

June Wrap-Up & July TBR 2017

Again, this has been a slow reading month for me but I’ve finally finished college so now I have all the time in the world to read!

 

June Wrap-Up

always and foreverAlways and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han: ★★★★☆

 

Ari and Dante

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz: ★★★★☆

 

liars

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart: ★★★★★

 

July TBR

Harry Potter 3

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (re-read)

 

when dimple met rishi

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

 

city of ashes

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (re-read)

 

northern lights

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

 

jane eyre

Jane Eyre by Charotte Brontë

Always and Forever, Lara Jean – Spoiler Review

always and forever

Author: Jenny Han

Length: 325 pages (UK paperback edition)

Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary

The conclusion to this beautiful series follows Lara Jean Covey through her senior year of high school as she has to make some tough decisions about where she wants to go to college and what her decision will mean for her relationship whilst her family goes through some changes.

Lara Jean

I felt like I could really relate to Lara Jean in this book as she has had the same thoughts and feelings that many of us have probably had about going to university or college. Where you want to go to university is a huge decision that comes with a lot of excitement and worry about whether you will get in and how it will change the different relationships in your life and I felt that Jenny Han portrayed these feelings very well through Lara Jean.

However, I felt that this made Lara Jean quite controlling over the people in her life especially when it came to her Dad’s and Mrs. Rothschild’s wedding and Peter and his Dad.

Peter

I’m not going to lie, I did not like Peter at all in this book. I thought that he was so unsupportive of Lara Jean and her decision to go to UNC. Peter seemed very insecure in immature (especially towards John Ambrose McClaren) and if he had been my boyfriend I would have no faith in our relationship lasting through college. A part of me hoped that Lara Jean would break up with him and go out with John Ambrose McClaren.

Kitty

Kitty was a sassy queen as usual and I will always love her character. She knows what’s what and thinks in such a straight forward way that makes me wonder why all the characters can’t have Kitty’s logic. Her relationship with Peter is very cute and it is the only thing that gives me any faith in that boy. If Kitty likes him he must be good.

Margot

Okay, I understand why Margot was thrown off by her dad’s relationship escalating so quickly whilst she was in Scotland but she can’t have just expected her family’s life to stand still whilst she was away and she should have made more of an effort to make Mrs. Rothschild feel welcome and get to know her. I can forgive Margot for this though as she always encouraged Lara Jean to go for what she really wanted and to not let concerns about her relationship stop her from going to UNC.

Overall Thoughts

this book is a perfect summer contemporary read and although i had issues with some characters *ahem* Peter *ahem* I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I am so happy that Jenny Han added this book to the series because I love reading about the Song Girls and I love how much this series focuses on Lara Jean’s relationship with her family.

Random Notes From My Phone

  • Hamilton references yes yes yes!
  • This proposal is so cute
  • STORMY NO
  • Margot be nice
  • Bless Ravi for trying to get on Dr. Covey’s good side
  • Peter stop being such a stupid head

The Hamilton Book Tag

**SPOILER WARNING FOR THE BOOKS MENTIONED IN THIS POST**

For my first post I thought I would combine my two favourite things, Hamilton and books. I saw that Polandbananasbooks did this tag by maureenkeavy on youtube and instantly wanted to do it myself.

The Room Where It Happens – A book world you would put yourself in

HP

I would definitely, without a shadow of a doubt put myself in J K Rowling’s Wizarding World. It’s magical, mysterious and has most of my favourite characters in it. I’ve been waiting for my Hogwarts letter since the day I turned eleven.

 

The Schuyler Sisters – An underrated female character

ACOTAR

For this one I’m going to say Nesta from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas. Nesta seems to be shallow and mean in the first book and even in the second book but in A Court of Wings and Ruin she proves to be such a strong female character.

 

My Shot – A character that goes after what they want and doesn’t let anything stop them

a darker shade

My mind instantly went to Lila from A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab for this one. She wants adventure and her pirate ship and she doesn’t care what she has to do to get it.

 

Stay Alive – A character you wish was still alive

Fred_Weasley

Need I say more?

 

Burn – The most heartbreaking end to a relationship you’ve ever read

crown of midnight

I ship Celaena and Chaol so much and when their relationship ended in Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas I was absolutely heart broken. Chaol was trying not to worry Celaena whilst also doing his job but this caused a huge rift between them after devastation struck.

 

You’ll Be Back – Sassiest villain

city of bones

I wasn’t really sure who to pick for this one but in the end I went for Valentine from the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra because he is pretty darn sassy.

 

The Reynolds Pamphlet – A book with a twist you didn’t see coming

everything everything

Usually I’m pretty good at predicting plot twists but I really did not see this one coming. I was shocked when I found out that Maddy didn’t actually have SCID to the point that I had to re read the page to check I had read it right.

 

Non-stop – A series you marathoned 

twilight

I’ve marathoned a fair few series but the first series that I marathoned was the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer back in the day. I was obsessed with these books.

 

Satisfied – Your favourite book with multiple POVs

allegiant

Allegiant by Veronica Roth is the only book that I can remember reading with more than one POV but it definitely is not one of my favourite books. My dislike can be summarised with two words. Tris’ ending.

 

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story – A book/ series you feel will be remembered throughout history

hp series

Definitely the Harry Potter series by J K Rowling. This series is iconic.

 

Helpless – A relationship you were pulling for from the very start

throne of glass

I’ve shipped Chaol and Celaena since they were both introduced to us in Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas which is why my heart was shattered into tiny little pieces in Crown of Midnight.

 

Ten Duel Commandments – Your favourite fight scene

ACOWAR

For this one I’m going to go for the first battle scene in A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. This battle was so powerful as we really got to see Feyre be the High Lady of the Night Court as she did what she had to do to protect her people and her friends.

 

Say No To This – A guilty pleasure read

anna and the french kiss

I wouldn’t really call this a guilty pleasure read because plenty of people have read and enjoyed this book but Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins is such a mushy and lovely book. It’s really good if you’re struggling through a reading slump.

 

What Comes Next – A series you wish had more books

the hunger games

I wish that Suzanne Collins had written The Hunger Games trilogy with four books instead of three. I would have preferred it if Mockingjay was two books just to make the series last longer.

 

Right Hand Man – Your favourite BROTP

ACOMAF

My favourite BROTP is definitely the one between Rhys, Cassian and Azriel from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas. Their relationship is so sweet because they would literally do anything to protect each other and their back story is brilliant.

 

What’s I Miss – A book series you were late to reading

percy jackson and the lightening thief

*Ahem* I’ve only just started reading Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan and I am so late on this band wagon.

 

Wait For It – A book worth waiting for

when dimple met rishi

I’m still waiting for the release of When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon but I know it will be worth it because I have never read a book where an Indian American character is the protagonist before.

 

Thanks for reading! There was very much a Harry Potter and Sarah J. Maas theme going on in this tag but at least now it’s clear who my favourite authors are!

I tag anybody who wants to do this tag.