[BOOK REVIEW] The Furies by Katie Lowe #TheFuries

Ever since I first saw the buzz about The Furies on Twitter I became obsessed with it! It has such a mesmerizing and spooky cover that immediately attracts your attention. I won a giveaway hosted by lovely Laura from SnazzyBooks and you can guess what my pick was! Regarding the look of the book: all I can say is that the UK hardback looks absolutely fantastic!

I’ve finished reading this book over a month ago and just now got around to writing a review for it so if I make some mistakes, apologies! The Furies is Katie Lowe’s debut novel and it’s centered around four girls living in a small town where a strange thing has happened: a girl has been found dead on Elm Hollow Academy’s grounds. Immediately after the prologue we’re introduced to Violet, a new girl who joins Elm Hollow where she meets three other girls who invite her to become part of their group. Robin, Grace and Alex are a very intriguing bunch of girls who Violet finds interesting. As she joins the Academy she becomes enrolled into Art class which is led by Annabel. (As far as I remember) Violet likes drawing things and unrelated to this she gets invited to Annabel’s secret classes on ancient rites and rituals. There she finds the same three girls in her group and learns many things about the dead girl (how she looks like her and how she was Robin’s best friend). The girls begin practicing witchcraft and soon everything they knew changes.

The synopsis other than the cover made me very intrigued because it reminded me of The Craft which is a fantastic movie revolving around four witches and the dark side of magic. Before reading this book I’ve come upon mixed reviews but I did my best to read it with fresh eyes. I really liked the beginning of the book where the reader got introduced to the Academy and the girls. I liked the writing in the book because it gave life to the book. The characters weren’t what I was expecting them to be and at some points in the book I found them to be annoying. I would also mention that judging by the synopsis I was expecting a lot more from the book but it didn’t fully live up to my expectations because I was craving something more – more action, more story, just more. I feel like the synopsis made me expect more from the book in a way and it sadly didn’t fully live up to it. I have to mention that the issue of rape is something I didn’t expect being mentioned in the book and that is great but I wish it was better executed that the character’s psyche was better explored and that the character dealt with it in a better way. In the end, yes, I did find certain things that bothered me but I wouldn’t scare people away from reading The Furies because it was such an interesting read and while reading I found myself reading on and on because I wanted to know more.

Again, my wish to read this book was granted by Laura, so thank you!

My rating:

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Katie Lowe is a writer living in Worcester, UK.

A graduate of the University of Birmingham, Katie has a BA(Hons) in English and an MPhil in Literature & Modernity, and is returning to Birmingham in 2019 to commence her PhD in female rage in literary modernism and contemporary women’s writing.

The Furies is her first novel.

Find her on: Website, Goodreads and Twitter.

[BOOK REVIEW] Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin @TitanBooks #OtherWordsforSmoke

The synopsis for Other Words for Smoke reminded me of The Diviners by Libba Bray with its supernatural element. Having read the book, I can still say that it gave me The Diviners vibe which I loved!

Other Words for Smoke centers around two twins – Mae and Rossa – who spend two summers with their aunt Rita and her teenage ward Bevan in an unusual house. Having spent two summers in the house they’ve been looped in on its happenings. During their first summer with Rita and Bevan, Mae finds out that they’re witches who also have a talking cat… but that’s not all, evil lurks in this house in the form of a spirit that lurks behind the wallpaper called Sweet James. Sweet James has an effect on Bevan and he whispers things he can do for her but only if she brings him gifts. Mae begins to fall for Bevan, not knowing what secrets she holds, and Sweet James becomes intrigued by the new flesh that has come to the house.

Although I wouldn’t call this book amazing, I did find it very enjoyable and it offered me escape when life was hectic. I love how the author has gorgeous writing skills and certain scenes she created made me escape this world. The twin characters were great although annoying at times but that’s understandable since they’re almost-teenagers (if not already). The whole mystery surrounding Sweet James was so enjoyable to read and creepy as well! I loved reading about Bevan and the trance in which Sweet James put her in order to get his way. I found the storyline to end very abruptly because I wanted more from it – I wanted to be lost in it fully. I felt like certain parts ended abruptly which made me frustrated because I was enjoying them. I love how the author included an LGBTQ+ character to her story and made us experience that feeling of first love. The story in itself was very enjoyable for me and I really had a great time reading it.

Lovers of fantasy, magic, witchy kind of books will definitely devour this book!

I would like to thank the publisher Titan Books for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions written here are my own and weren’t influenced by the fact that I got this book from the publisher.

My rating:

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Sarah Maria Griffin lives in Dublin, Ireland, in a small red brick house by the sea, with her husband and cat. She writes about monsters, growing up, and everything those two things have in common. Her first book, SPARE AND FOUND PARTS, is out now.
Find her on: Goodreads and Twitter

[BOOK REVIEW] Suspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond @arrowpublishing @Rachel90Kennedy #SuspiciousMinds

When I saw this book on Twitter I just fanboyed so hard and had to request a copy! My wish was granted which I’m so grateful for! I love Stranger Things as a TV show and was very excited to read Suspicious Minds because of that reason.

Suspicious Minds is set in Hawkins, Indiana, in the summer of 1969. We are introduced to Terry Ives, who finds out that her friend Stacey is going to a mysterious lab to be a subject in an experiment. Stacey doesn’t want to do it anymore because it’s very weird and she doesn’t like it so Terry volunteers to do it in her place and see what it’s about. The experiment she’s taking part in pays enough for her to be even more motivated to join in. Terry gets signed into the experiment and has the privilege of being a part of something great but that ‘something great’ has a cost she’ll soon find out about. In Hawkins Laboratory she’ll meet people who will become very important part of her life:  Alice, Gloria, Ken, Kali (008) and Dr. Martin Brenner. Each of the named characters play an important role in this experiment. Soon, Terry finds out that this experiment isn’t what it seems and she begins questioning why has Dr. Brenner said almost nothing about the experiment. Terry with the cast of her new friends will have to find out what secrets Hawkins Lab and Dr. Brenner are hiding.

This story isn’t completely linked to Stranger Things [it doesn’t follow the original cast] but it does feature a well-known character Dr. Martin Brenner. Suspicious Minds could be described as a prequel to the whole Stranger Things franchise. I’m honestly very surprised that this book has a 3.50 rating on Goodreads because it’s actually quite an enjoyable and quick read. The chapters are not that long and keep your attention as well as the story. I found myself feeling very attached to Terry, Ken, Gloria and Alice and found their friendship to be quite awesome. My only critique would be that although chapters were short and quick to read, there could’ve been more to them. I appreciated the shortness of the chapters but wanted to stay longer on certain parts of the book. Bond makes a great story-teller and I enjoyed her writing. I especially loved how towards the end Bond linked Suspicious Minds to Stranger Things [I fanboyed!]. Being a Stranger Things fan I must say that this was a good read – although different from the original. I was reading this book a week before exam chaos started and it provided me an amazing escape and my mind was racing through it because I was so invested in the characters’ lives.

If you’re a fan of Stranger Things then it’s a no-brainer that this one should be on your TBR!

I would like to thank the publisher Century (Penguin Random House UK) for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions written here are my own and weren’t influenced by anything.

My rating:

Add ‘Suspicious Minds‘ to your TBR:  

*Purchase ‘Suspicious Minds‘ here:

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**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Gwenda Bond is the author of many novels, primarily for young adults. Among others, they include the Lois Lane trilogy, which brings the iconic comic book character front and center in her own YA novels, and the Cirque American trilogy, about daredevil heroines who discover magic and mystery lurking under the big top. She and her husband author Christopher Rowe also co-write a middle grade series, the Supernormal Sleuthing Service. Her first mystery project for adults, Dead Air, a novel and podcast written with Carrie Ryan and Rachel Caine, is out now, and in 2019 she’ll release a Stranger Things prequel. She co-hosts the weekly podcast Cult Faves.…more.
Find her on: Website, Goodreads and Twitter