Prince of Shadows | Rachel Caine

Goodreads {Synopsis}
In the Houses of Montague and Capulet, there is only one goal: power. The boys are born to fight and die for honor and–if they survive–marry for influence and money, not love. The girls are assets, to be spent wisely. Their wishes are of no import. Their fates are written on the day they are born.

Benvolio Montague, cousin to Romeo, knows all this. He expects to die for his cousin, for his house, but a spark of rebellion still lives inside him. At night, he is the Prince of Shadows, the greatest thief in Verona–and he risks all as he steals from House Capulet. In doing so, he sets eyes on convent-bound Rosaline, and a terrible curse begins that will claim the lives of many in Verona…

…And will rewrite all their fates, forever.

Review
Wow… Just… Wow.

Having previously read the first 11 novels in the Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine, when I saw that she was going to be releasing a stand-alone novel, and a retelling of Romeo and Juliet at that, I knew that I was definitely going to buying this one when it came out. I did, and then let it sit on my shelf for a couple of years, as I normally do with all of my books.

When I finally did pick it up, reading it made me wish that I had picked it up sooner. Prince of Shadows is told from Benvolio Montague’s, cousin to Romeo Montague, point of view and boy does it breathe a breath of fresh air into the well-known story.

Seeing the lives of the Montagues and the Capulets through a different set of eyes provides you with more of an insight as to the lead up to, and the aftermath, of the events that take place in Romeo and Juliet.

I found Prince of Shadows to be heart-stopping in places, and I knew that I would not be able to put the book down until I had finished it. Caine just seems to have a way with words that pulls you in from the very first page. It is now one of my aims to read as much of her writing as I can.

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The Girl with All the Gifts | M R Carey

Synopsis {Goodreads}
Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

Review
I will be totally honest when I say, this book was completely and utterly out of my comfort zone, but oh boy did I love it to pieces.

The Girl with all the Gifts was definitely… different from most of the other novels that I normally read. A different take on zombies as these are not the brain-eating, undead zombies that you see in most films. These zombies won’t attack you, if they can’t smell the pheromones that you emit.

I thought that Melanie was such a cute, clever girl, so very different from the rest of the kids around her. More human. I loved Carey’s style of writing, it is that type of writing that gets you hooked, and makes you not want to stop reading until you get to the very end.

Night Owls | Jenn Bennett

Synopsis {Goodreads}
Feeling alive is always worth the risk.

Meeting Jack on the Owl—San Francisco’s night bus—turns Beatrix’s world upside down. Jack is charming, wildly attractive…and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists.

But Jack is hiding a piece of himself. On midnight rides and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who this enigmatic boy really is.

Review
Wow… Just, wow. I bought this book on a whim, as a treat to myself just after Christmas. I was in need of something light to read. And boy did I make the right choice with this one. It was just the light, fluffy book that I needed and, it was that good, I devoured it in one sitting.

Thank you so much Jenn, for such an amazing read. I was unable to stop smiling the whole way through it, even when things went wrong – I knew that they would make it through in one way or another.

I knew nothing about this book going into it, but have found that sometimes, that is the best way to find books that I love.
I cannot wait to get my hands on other books of hers.

On the Other Side | Carrie Hope Fletcher

Synopsis {Goodreads}
Evie Snow is eighty-two when she quietly passes away in her sleep, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. It’s the way most people wish to leave the world but when Evie reaches the door of her own private heaven, she finds that she’s become her twenty-seven-year-old self and the door won’t open.

Evie’s soul must be light enough to pass through so she needs to get rid of whatever is making her soul heavy. For Evie, this means unburdening herself of the three secrets that have weighed her down for over fifty years, so she must find a way to reveal them before it’s too late. As Evie begins the journey of a lifetime, she learns more about life and love than she ever thought possible, and somehow , some way, she may also find her way back to her long lost love…

Review
I have not cried while reading a book in so long, but this one really had it in for me from the very beginning.

I pre-ordered this as soon as Carrie announced that she was going to be releasing her first novel. But then Amazon went and messed up my delivery and I received it over a week later that I was supposed to.
When I did finally get my hands on my copy, I devoured the whole thing in one sitting – which is another thing that doesn’t happen all that often.

On the Other Side is such a beautiful book, possibly the most beautiful that I have read so far. I was hooked from the very first page, and I found that I was unable to put it down.

As the first book of Carrie’s that I read, I am 110% certain that I will be buying anything else that she publishes in the future.

What I Read in 2017

2017 was the year for reading graphic novels.
2017 was the year for reading poetry collections.
2017 was the year for finishing big series.
2017 was the year for too many Netgalley downloads.
2017 was the year that 200 books were read.
I wonder what will come in 2018.