The Unexpected Inlander Book Review

This book was giving to me by the Author, Kellyn Thompson, in exchange for an honest review. I’m so glad she did because I really enjoyed this book.

The Unexpected Inlander is filled with drama, action and romance. However, it’s not over the top. Instead, it’s a perfect blend of all three genres. It’s not too graphic or too forced, it’s woven excellently into the story being told.

The story is set in a fascinating dystopia where the world has been split into sectors and people are judged purely on their genetic and geography. In this new world, people are modified by their parents to make sure they contain traits and genetics that will be useful to society rather than harm it. There’s also a division between the upper class people who live on the Coast and those who live Inland. These divisions seemed to reflect our modern world filled with divisions and prejudice. I found this whole idea original and thoroughly interesting.

The narrative often changed between the two main characters; Chris Rockford, an assassin for the Government, and Jenna Macklemore, a purebred with a hidden history. However, I loved these switches in perspective because it felt like I was listening to someone tell me an oral story. Also, it was entertaining to read Chris and Jenna having similar thoughts about each other but not realising the other was thinking the same. I found this really amusing because you’re not dating someone don’t we all feel like this? Unsure but the other one is feeling the same. Even though, it’s set in a futuristic world the story related to the contemporary world.

Thompson manages to create two main characters that had me completely hooked. It was interesting to read about Chris and how he had been learned to profile people since he was a teenager. It was fascinating to read about Jenna’s undiscovered and hidden past when it came to light. Thompson really created rich and engaging characters that I couldn’t help but root for.

Thompson not only creates fascinating characters but managed to use their history, their beliefs and careers as way to build this world. She doesn’t overload the information to the reader. Her writing is concise and clear therefore this future world becomes far more understandable. The world was detailed. It was also very thought provoking as I found myself asking what would my opinion be if I lived in this setting? The book wonderfully demonstrated how we all need our flaws and how we are all different, that’s the way it should be.

Kellyn Thompson created a complex novel filled with action, a forbidden romance and exciting twists that kept me hooked.

I definitely recommend it.

Thanks for reading!

Twitter- @laurenknapper

Instagram- LozzysThings

Advertisements

Heart of Glass Book Review

I was incredibly lucky to have been given this book by Ivy Ngeow before the initial release on June 30. After reading, Cry of the Flying Rhino, I was eagerly anticipating this second novel. I loved Ngeow’s unique and informative style of writing. So, I eagerly jumped at the opportunity to read and review Heart of Glass.

First of all I want to mention the cover of the book. I wasn’t expecting the cover of this book but I absolutely love it. It’s bright and colourful and mirrors the time and setting of the novel. It’s a wonderful cover.

This novel is another compelling read with an original and fast paced writing style. It keeps the story flowing and keeps you hooked on all the action. The twists and turns in the novel leave you shocked and desperately wanting to continue reading.

We follow the heroine, Li-An, as she begins her journey in Chicago during the 1980s. Li-An is a musician and finds herself playing the piano in Macau. However, this escape from her past leads Li-An down a dark spiral that leads to suffering, gambling, injuries and maybe even death?

Ngeow writes in such a talented way that you are completely immersed in the time and setting of her book. Once again I found myself learning about a time and place that I wouldn’t have learned about before. Its one of the many aspects of Ngeow’s writing that I adore. Her writing is incredibly informative but in a subtle way, it’s not over bearing on the reader.

The characters are incredibly flawed and are ultimately bad people, yet it makes such a fascinating read because you have to see what will happen. The heroine, Li-An, is an interesting character. She has a mixed heritage which makes her reading about her past enlightening. She is also incredible naive yet I found myself rooting for her, wanting her to be stronger and make the hard choices. I love reading about flawless characters because it’s more relatable to human life. No one is perfect. It made the book far more endearing to read.

This story is a fascinating literary thriller and incredibly original. I have never read anything quite like it before.

Ultimately, the story is about greed, desire and power.

You should read this book and find yourself back in the drama of the disco 80’s.

Here’s the link for the book trailer on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRDowKLhuW0

Thanks for reading!

Twitter- laurenknapper

Instagram – LozzysThings

Cry of the Flying Rhino Book Review

This book was brought to my attention by the fantastic author, Ivy Ngeow. She contacted me to see if I would write a review for the novel. I’m so glad she did. This book was captivating! I couldn’t stop reading.

I read the ebook, which I usually struggle to read, but found myself flying through the text. It was based upon a Malaysian Chinese doctor, Benjie Lee, who has a one night stand with the mysterious Talisa. It was refreshing to learn about a different culture and find out about their norms, values and how they approach this situation.

In Cry of the Flying Rhino, Ivy Ngeow captivates the reader entirely. I was enthralled from the first page and curious about the setting of the Borneo. The novel is rich with details on cultural backgrounds and references, so much so, that you find yourself learning whilst reading. This was an aspect that I found fascinating and only compelled me to love the book further.

The novel is told through three different and very diverse characters. It was extremely intriguing to see how all these narratives joined together. It’s told through the Doctor Benjie, Minos, a criminal from Talisa’s hidden past, and Bernard, a priest who has a relationship with Minos. Ngeow’s use of character is creative and engaging, each one is terribly flawed but also has redemptive qualities. She portrays humanity accurately. This novel has the qualities of a thriller but yet it is something far greater! It’s embedded with a mixed cultures that I’ve never seen explored in this way.

This fast paced novel is incredible and had me hooked from start to finish. It’s no surprise that it is a Proverse Prize winner. I definitely recommend that you pick up this novel and read. It’s truly compelling fiction!

I’m also eagerly anticipating her second novel Heart of Glass which, I believe, is due for release next month.

Please get reading this book!

Thank you!

Twitter @LaurenKnapper

Instagram @LozzysThings

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli Book Review

So, hi. I loved this book and I’m still smiling because of this book.

Ever since I read Simon vs the Homo Sapien’s Agenda, I have been impatiently waiting for the arrival of this book. I pre-ordered it from Amazon and it came the day of its release. I was that excited for this book, I didn’t read anything else around the day of its release. I wanted to be able to read the novel as soon as it came in the post. Honestly, I was so excited.

The book definitely didn’t disappoint!

Also, I loved the cover of the book, I know I say that a lot, but it gave me fun summer vibes. The illustration of Leah on the front cover was beautiful. I loved the contrast of the yellow against the blue background.

The blurb allowed a brief insight into the questions and problems that arise in the novel. It didn’t dwell too much on the plot but gave hints of what was going on. It’s perfect because it allows you to read the book without knowing indefinitely what is going to happen.

This novel brought back the much-loved characters that we followed throughout Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. It was brilliant being allowed to be brought back into that friendship group yet see it from a fresh perspective. We got to see what was happening with Simon and Bram and how their relationship has progressed since we last seen them. We get to follow other characters such as Abby, Nick, Norah, etc. It was incredible. I love being able to see what my favourite characters are up to.

Let’s talk about my favourite character; Leah Burke. Leah Burke, I found, is the most relatable character I’ve read in such a long time. Becky Albertalli explored Leah’s personality so thoroughly and I found myself falling in love with her. Her sarcasm, her perception of the world and her relationship with friends was so accurate. I loved her. I found myself laughing with her, getting upset with her and wanting to be her friend. Becky Albertalli creates fantastic modern fun characters.

Also, I loved how Leah was different from most protagonists. She wasn’t thin, exceptionally beautiful, or straight. She is overweight and overthinks everything. I swear, she is me. She’s secretly bisexual and falling in love with one of her best friends. She has raised by her single hardworking mother who has started dating someone, Leah is sure how she feels about this.

This story was so beautiful and it warmed my heart. It was perfect! It was definitely as good as Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, if not better. I don’t know but it’s definitely close between them. In fact, I don’t think you can compare them as they are different novels but they’re wonderfully written books.

I was completely absorbed in the characters and what will happen at the end of Senior Year. I was rooting for Leah to come out and tell her friends that she was bisexual. I was loving the moments between her and the ‘friend’ she’s in love with. It was such a fun book.

There was humour, teen attitude, hilarious accidents, issues with self-identity and a beautifully sweet romance. Becky Albertalli never fails to write a compelling story with characters dealing with issues that have not been explored and written about in such a way before. I love the representation that she has within her books. She’s incredible. I can’t wait to finally read her first novel; The Upside of Unrequited.

Please, go buy this book. You’ll love it especially if you’ve read, Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. As soon as you open the first page, it feels like you’re coming home. I hope there is more of my favourite Creekwood students in the future.

Read this book this summer and I guarantee that you won’t be able to stop smiling.

Thank you.

Twitter-  @LaurenKnapper

Instagram- LozzysThings

Why I’m not doing a TBR this month

So, last month I set myself a TBR list and you’re probably wondering, well you probably don’t care, where this month’s list is. It’s non-existent. Last month, I set myself a list of five books to read and ended up reading ten books.

I was proud of that achievement considering I was in the midst of handing in final assessments and preparing for my exam. I was swamped with deadlines and lists of to do things which is why I don’t have a TBR this month.

This month I’m taking time to myself and going to read books based on what I’m feeling at the time. I’m honestly curious to see if this will lead to me reading more books or less. I can’t wait to see how much reading I get done.

Also, I want to spend this month writing. I want to write all the ideas that are floating around in my head and get them down on the page.

What about you? Have you set a TBR or are you a mood reader?

Comment below.

Happy reading!

Twitter- @LaurenKnapper

Instagram- LozzysThings

Everything, Everything Book Review

This book was so creative.

I loved the writing, the fast brisk pace of the text and the small illustrations and doodles in the novel that made me feel like I was reading Madeline’s diary. I haven’t read anything quite like it in a very long time. I’ve mentioned before how much I love when writers experiment and do new things that I haven’t necessarily come across in writing because it makes it a refreshing read.

This book, like so many others, have been sat on my shelf for way too long. I wasn’t kidding when I said I buy too many books and never have time to get through them all. Honestly, it’s insane. I am so motivated this year to read and get through my monsterous TBR pile.

The cover is so beautiful. I love how wonderful the illustrations are in this book. The cover completely pulled me in and made me want to read the book. I have never read a book, where the protagonist, actually lived in a bubble for her entire life. She’s so sheltered until Olly moves in next door.

The blurb didn’t give too much away. Once I read the book, I realised that the blurb told me the very basic plot for the story. I was incredibly grateful for it because there’s so much more to the story than what the blurb mentions.

I read this story in the space of two hours. I loved it. It was so incredibly beautiful! I love Madeline’s character and how vulnerable Olly was. It made for an interesting dynamic between them; both of them becoming stronger for each other.  It was such a heart warming and thought provoking read. I wasn’t expecting it.

It made me question my life and what I wanted from it. Am I doing what I want to be doing? I wasn’t expecting to think this during the book but I kept thinking it and found Madeline quite inspiring.

This book is such a wonderful, beautiful, quick read that you should read. If you haven’t already.

Happy reading!

Instagram – LozzysThings

Twitter- @LaurenKnapper

Will Grayson, Will Grayson Book Review

John Green you’ve stole my heart again and David Leviathan you’ve done it again too.

For some reason this particular book has been sat on my shelf for a while (at least a year) and I can’t give you a good explanation for it. There isn’t one. Now, that I’ve read the book I’m so mad at myself for not reading it sooner.

Besides, Turtles All The Way Down, this is the only book I haven’t read of John Green’s. His characters and plots are so creative, fun, and fills me so many emotions it’s impossible not to love his books. David Leviathan is the same for me, I need to read more of his books. I’ve only read How They Met and Other Stories which was one of the best modern short story collection that I’ve read. The stories were beautiful and unexpected.

I loved the cover to this book. So simple but colourful and I think that’s such a good representation of this book.

I was completely in awe of this book, however, and how they accomplished it by collaborating. They were the perfect combination. I loved how different the two Wills were. The first Will Grayson keeps to himself, quiet despite his best friend being a very loud character. The other Will Grayson is intrevorted, he’s gay but keeps it to himself. He doesn’t think it’s anyone’s business. I loved this attitude.

The story is surrounded in fun, love, friendships and families. It’s so modern and contemporary. I loved how original the second Will’s narrative. I love it when writers play and experiment with writing. It makes it far more exciting.

Also, the concept of the story? Its great. Like, can you imagine meeting someone who’s a similar age to you with the same name? I would be completely freaked out but I would love it.

I read this book on holiday and I couldn’t put it down. Also, the end was fantastic! I was completely hooked on the story. I could have read more and more. I’m so angry that I made myself wait to read this fantastic book. It’s original, fun and a beautiful story with so many interesting characters.

Instagram – LozzysThings

Twitter @laurenknapper

April TBR

I have loads of books. My bedroom is filled with them and so is my room at my grandparents. Every now and then, one of my family members find another floating around in a drawer or the top of a cupboard. So, I’ve made a commitment to myself that I’ve found very hard.

I must go through each sections of books and read them all before I begin buying masses of books again. It’s very hard. I’m constantly walking into bookstores and buying new books. However, I have managed to refrain so it’s not as much anymore.

TBR is a term I recently come across through booktubers and book bloggers. I had no idea what it meant until I researched it. It was pretty obvious once I saw that it meant To Be Read. I was struck with the idea then to write a list each month and read books from that list. This way I’m getting through my books and reading the ones I want much faster.

So, for this month from the 6th April to the 6th May. My TBR is:

1. Poor Unfortunate Soul by Serena Valentino

How did the sea witch, Ursula become so twisted and filled with hatred?

Determined to be with her new love, Ariel makes a dangerous deal with Ursula. Will the cost of losing her enchanting voice and nearly her soul prove too high for Ariel, or will the power of good prevail.

This is book three in Valentino’s series. Read my review of The Beast Within Here: https://lozzysthings.wordpress.com/2018/03/14/the-beast-within-review/

2. Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson and Robin Wasserman.

This book is a collection of stories from Simon Lewis as he enters the Shadowhunter Academy. This is a sequel of sorts from Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones series. It takes place after the last book, City of Heavenly Fire. This is one of my favourite series and I honestly can’t believe I still haven’t read this book!

3. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don’t quite seem to be working. But tonight is different. Tonight, when he wakes, there’s a visitor at his window. It’s ancient, elemental, a force of nature. And, it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.

4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

‘I, Willy Wonka, have decided to allow five children to visit my factory this year. These lucky five will be allowed to see all the secrets and magic.”

This may seem like a random choice but I have never read the book and I’ve always wanted to, haha.

Bonus:

I doubt I’ll be able to read this within the the month as well but, if I do, I’ll be reading There’s Someone Inside Your House by Shannon Perkins.

Makani Young thought she left her dark past behind her in Hawaii, settling in with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska. She’s found new friends and has even started to fall for mysterious outsider Ollie Larsson. But her past isn’t far behind.

Then, one by one, the students of Osborne High begin to die in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasingly grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and her feelings for Ollie intensify, Makani is forced to confront her own dark secrets.

Wow. This list seems so small. The only reason the list is short is because I have three end of year assignments due this month and one exam at the very beginning of May. Student life. Yay.

I’ll be reviewing each book once I’ve read them. Let me know what you’re reading this month in the comments below!

-Lauren

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister Book Review

I was highly anticipating reading this book since I bought it. I love retellings of fairy tales and found Gregory Maguire. I was in awe when I realised he wrote Wicked, my favourite musical, but I have yet to read the book.

The story wasn’t what I was expecting when I began reading. The theory of Changelings in a Cinderella story? Bizarre. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it.

However, the more I read and developed a relationship with the characters I became immersed in the head of Iris. She was captivating, smart, intelligent, wittier and much more relatable than I would have believed. I sympathised with her, looking after sister, Ruth, putting up and listening to the plans of her mother and ultimately trying to help Clara (Cinderella) with her teaching.

Maguire manages to retell the story so much so that it becomes the original story and the tale we’ve heard is through rumours and gossip of others. It was interesting to see the story told in such a way. I enjoyed it.

I was touched by the theme of beauty in the novel and the relationship with art. It was somewhat ironic that the two girls who had kinder hearts were ugly on the outside whilst Clara was beautiful yet spoiled.

The ending had me completely hooked. I couldn’t stop reading. It was a sensational retelling of a story that we all know so well and have been retold so many times. It was original yet maintained all the same elements of Cinderella.

If you’re a fan of this genre. Read this book!