has always been the problem,
the cursed habit
of seeing what doesn’t exist
and fabricating lies to
make a good story.
I spin the tale,
to make it romantic
or turn it to magic.
Ignorance is bliss,
reality is harsh,
better to make believe,
within my own head.
Ever since I read The Places I’ve Cried in Public by Holly Bourne. I have wanted to read everything by her. I pre-ordered Pretending which was released earlier this month.
He said he was looking for a ‘partner in crime’ which everyone knows is shorthand for ‘a woman who isn’t real’.
April is kind, pretty, and relatively normal – yet she can’t seem to get past date five. Every time she thinks she’s found someone to trust, they reveal themselves to be awful, leaving her heartbroken. And angry.
If only April could be more like Gretel.
Gretel is exactly what men want – she’s a Regular Everyday Manic Pixie Dream Girl Next Door With No Problems.
The problem is, Gretel isn’t real. And April is now claiming to be her.
As soon as April starts ‘being’ Gretel, dating becomes much more fun – especially once she reels in the unsuspecting Joshua.
Finally, April is the one in control, but can she control her own feelings? And as she and Joshua grow closer, how long will she be able to keep pretending?– Goodreads
Pretending by Holly Bourne is the second novel I have read by her. It’s also her second adult novel.
The first book I read by her completely changed my life. The Places I’ve Cried in Public is YA, and deals with a teen dealing with abusive relationship.
Pretending has similar themes. However, Pretending is for an adult audience and we follow April as through her emotional journey as she deals with her trauma. Holly Bourne’s writing is brilliant as she writes for an older audience. She conveys the complexities of being an woman, society’s expectations, romance and adulthood so well.
Our protagonist April is 33 years old, however, I completely resonated with this character. I am only 22 years old but Holly Bourne creates these female characters that are timeless. She writes the problems, the trauma, the violence that woman experiences in a way that is incredibly relatable to the author. As a woman, I don’t think you can feel anything but understood and sympathetic when reading.
Pretending follows April as she pretends to be someone else, a woman that all men “want.” She’s also pretending that she is completely fine to the trauma that she experienced two years ago. Her character journey throughout this book is incredible. I don’t what to say too much about it because I want you all to experience it firsthand. Just know, this is an emotional journey filled with empowerment, heart break, friendship and romance. This is definitely emotional ride.
Holly Bourne writes about domestic violence and sexual violence with care. She understands these issues and that people react differently to their own experiences.
This isn’t a book that hates men. This is a book about overcoming trauma, learning to live with the trauma, and trying to find hope in a world with so many flaws.
Pretending is a fantastic adult contemporary that will have you smiling, laughing and crying. Holly Bourne has done it again and I can’t wait to read more of her books.
Have you read any books by Holly Bourne? If so, what were your favourites?
If not, what’s some of your favourite adult contemporary fiction?
Thanks for reading! I hope you’re all safe and well.
House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas is the first book in her new fantasy series, Crescent City. This book is new adult and follows Bryce Quinlan, who’s searching for her best friend’s murderer.
Bound by blood. Tempted by desire. Unleashed by destiny.
Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.
Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.
As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.
With unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom—and the power of love. (goodreads)
My Non-Spoiler Review
House of Earth and Blood is a sensational new adult fantasy that has a diverse supernatural beings; fae, angels, witches, werewolves. Sarah J Maas creates a complex rich world that uses modern technology. The use of modern technology such as CCTV, cameras, computers and mobile phone’s add a contemporary aspect to this world that makes it more accessible. I love the layers to this world, it’s incredible how intricate it is.
Bryce Quinlan is the main protagonist of this captivating novel. She’s an excellent female character who is headstrong, determined and completely fierce. Also, at the beginning of the novel she’s incredibly flawed and makes poor decisions which only adds to her appeal. These qualities truly bring the characters to life and make her extremely relatable. Throughout the novel, we watch her character grow and it’s remarkable reading her journey.
Every character in this novel are so well developed and endearing characters. As the novel progresses, we learn more and more about each individual character. We’re constantly learning. I love Hunt, who is angel that finds himself working with Bryce. I can honestly say, I LIVED for the scenes between these two. They had such an endearing dynamic that always makes for an interesting read. Also, I loved Prince Ruhn, Prince of the Fae, who’s so kind and interesting. I loved watching his and Bryce’s relationship develop as well.
This novel kept me interested from the first page. I was pulled in by the characters and the world. Sarah J Maas truly has a talent for writing incredible characters.
Not only, does this incredibly story keep you reading and hooked throughout. It offers so much, there’s romance, mystery, and fantasy all in one book!
House of Earth and Blood is a fantastic first novel in this series. I couldn’t put the book down, I was fascinated by the characters, the mystery and the world. Truly exceptional!
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a new fantasy that will you entertained.
Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare is the first book in the brand new The Last Hours series. This series takes place in the Shadowhunter world and after, The InfernalDevices.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars!
Welcome to Edwardian London, a time of electric lights and long shadows, the celebration of artistic beauty and the wild pursuit of pleasure, with demons waiting in the dark. For years there has been peace in the Shadowhunter world. James and Lucie Herondale, children of the famous Will and Tessa, have grown up in an idyll with their loving friends and family, listening to stories of good defeating evil and love conquering all. But everything changes when the Blackthorn and Carstairs families come to London…and so does a remorseless and inescapable plague.
James Herondale longs for a great love, and thinks he has found it in the beautiful, mysterious Grace Blackthorn. Cordelia Carstairs is desperate to become a hero, save her family from ruin, and keep her secret love for James hidden. When disaster strikes the Shadowhunters, James, Cordelia and their friends are plunged into a wild adventure which will reveal dark and incredible powers, and the true cruel price of being a hero…and falling in love. ( – goodreads )
My Review (Non-Spoiler)
Chain of Gold was my top most anticipated releases, along with Crescent City by Sarah J Maas, and it didn’t disappoint!
Honestly, I think this one of the best first books in the Shadowhunter world. The plot, the pacing, the characters all added together made for a fantastic story.
The YA fantasy is told through multiple perspectives; James, Cordelia, Lucie , Matthew and others. This multiple narrative only added to the charm of this novel. Clare’s characters become so strong and vivid in your mind that the narration isn’t confusing or too much. Also, each character is dealing with different issues that keeps each perspective unique and interesting.
Not only we do have multiple perspective, the story is also told through flashbacks. These flashbacks explore character’s relationships and past events that helps us understand where the characters are now.
Despite being set in Edwardian London, we have a set of diverse and LGBTplus characters. For example, our protagonist Cordelia is Persian, Anna Lightwood dresses up in men’s clothing and is know to break women’s hearts. There are other characters too but I don’t want to mention them and give too much away. You need to go into this book without much information to gasp, cry and shout out your frustrations when reading. Cassandra Clare knows how to play a reader’s emotions!
The plot of this book was delivered brilliantly. There was so much going on, even in small amounts that helped make this book such a fantastic read.
This is one of my favourite reads of the year!
I highly recommend reading this book!
Have you read Chain of Gold? What were your thoughts? Please let me know in the comments.
In the month of February, I read a total of 14 books! I have been reading so much this year and it makes me happy. I am finally getting through my TBR and I am loving the majority of the books I’m reading.
However, because I’m reading a lot I have split this wrap into two posts. I will be posting the audio book wrap up later this week.
From now on I will be posting Recent Read posts for every five books I read. Otherwise these posts become too long.
Joker: Death of the Family by Scott Snyder
Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Heartstopper Volume 3 by Alice Oseman
Legend by Marie Lu
A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
These were all the physical books that I read in February.