Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Book review: Alice by Christina Henry

Title: Alice (Alice Chronicles #1)
Author: Christina Henry
Publisher: Titan Books
Release date: 28th June 2016
Synopsis: In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo with the screams of the poor souls inside.In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blonde, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn't remember why she's in such a terrible place-just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood...Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.

Review: I think its safe to say one of the books we can all agree on loving at DarkReader is Alice in Wonderland..there's just something about the books and the way in which the characters have become part of our lives that shouts out to me. I also love a good transformation book and after the dreadful film this year I need a good surge of something to make up for it. Enter Alice. Henry has taken all the key elements of Alice in Wonderland, and rather than retelling the story has taken the story on and put them into her own world and her own frameworks. 

The great thing about stories like this is that we already have opinions and feeling towards characters, we know how they act and react so then for me it becomes interesting to see how this is...or in a lot of cases isn't in this book. Like the Rabbit for instance...I think power went to his head because woooah! I also love how the character have these anthropomorphic states of form (boom there's my english a-level in full use) so rather than just being animals that have human qualities they are actually human and you can imagine each on vividly, like Cheshire I imagine as a male Hepzibah Smith, plump and enjoying all the things around her. 

This isn't a happy tale though it's dark and full of grit...more adult than the world alice finds herself in originally, more madness and vice to corrupt and anger to give her drive, along with Hatch. 

They were an interesting pair. Alice having been confined in an asylum for so long doesn't have the assurity and the boldness that she once did and this is something she rally has to grow into with the book. Then you have Hatch whose characters is mad in a complete different way...its more raw and rough than the hatter we are all used to. But his character was strong and protective so there was a really nice balance between how we viewed him based on what we knew of him and how Alice fed into this. 

This was a whole new take on going down the rabbit hole and I'm very very excited for the adventure to come. In the way the Wicked really build that world, I feel like this has really strong potential to do this for Alice, to keep this world going in a whole new way!

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Monday, 20 June 2016

BLOG TOUR | One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

                    One True Loves 
              By Taylor Jenkins Reid

Title: One True Loves
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid 
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Format: Paperback, 352
Release Date: June 7th 2016
Rating: 5/5 stars

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancĂ©, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.

* I recieved this book in exchange for an honest review.
Let me start by saying that this is my very first book by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I cannot believe it took me this long to read one of her books, but boy am I glad. I've never been so completely torn in a “love triangle” before. I as well loved them both! Jesse was so insanely charming and adorable with Emma. Their relationship had been literally perfect from the beginning. They fell in love, explored the world and got married. It was beautiful in every way, until the tragedy hit. It broke my heart being in Emma's head. I mourned her loss along with her. You knew how much she loved him, but the reality is you must move on for your own sanity. She was so strong throughout everything. Eventually, you notice she is slowly coming back to life again, and trying to move on without her husband.

Then Sam comes back into her life again, and everything changes. I remember him coming in briefly in the beginning of the story and I wasn't too fond of him. It's almost like I was so much in Emma's head, and all I kept thinking about was Jesse. I got so giddy when they finally got together, that Sam hardly ever crossed my mind. Years later, here he is again, and he's the same exact person, but you were able to see how much he grew up to be a real man. I was like Jesse who?! He gave her a rope to grab on to, and he pulled her out of the gutter to believe in love again. The writing in this book was wonderful. There were a few chapters where Taylor's writing would change, and it would match so well with the emotion in a particular scene. There was a lot of joy for me reading about Emma Blair over the course of her life. From her teen years all the way up until her 30’s, she went through a lot of life's ups and downs. It was overwhelming at times for me, because it was like I was by her side the whole way through. The amount of strength and maturity in her was very empowering. It got me thinking about so much in my life, and how we need to all enjoy and appreciate the little things that come our way, and that home is where the heart is. Ultimately, this has been such an enjoyable and positive read. I remember being so sad when it was over because I craved for more. Emma touches me so much, and her life definitely puts mind in perspective. THESE ARE FICTIONAL CHARACTERS, WHAT THE HELL! But that's how you know you've read a well written piece of work. 

Xo, Nicole

Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author and essayist from Acton, Massachusetts. She is the author of Forever, Interrupted, After I Do and Maybe In Another Life. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alex, and her dog, Rabbit. You can follow her on Twitter @TJenkinsReid.
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Saturday, 11 June 2016

Looks On Books | Kindling Flames by Julie Wetzel + Swag Bag Giveaway!

Hey readers! I did a makeup tutorial inspired by the Kindling Flames book cover. Would love for you all to check it out! Plus, theres an awesome swag bag giveaway going on, so watch the video to find out how to enter!!

Xo, Nicole

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