Book Review: A Thousand Nights by E.K Johnston

August 15, 2016

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: A Thousand Nights by E.K JohnstonA Thousand Nights on 6th October 2015
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 324
LO-MELKHIIN KILLED THREE HUNDRED GIRLS before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

I can’t resist beautifully written books, full of gorgeous imagery that I’m happy to delve into for a good few hours, and A Thousand Nights definitely delivered. I feel like a lot of the hype for this book was due to the comparisons to fellow Arabian Nights retelling, The Wraith and the Dawn, which I haven’t yet read. From what I can gather though, the two are very different. A Thousand Nights is not a love story. There is a romance in it, but it is so much more. It’s a book about faith and spirituality, about sisterly love and how one sister can save the other. Beautiful and exquisite, this is a book I could reread over and over again.

Lo-Melkhiin is portrayed as a bad man, a ruler who takes a different wife each night and murders them all before sunrise. Our heroine refuses to let her sister follow the same fate, and takes her place as Lo-Melkhiin’s new bride, knowing what the sacrifice means, knowing that her death is imminent, but not caring because it means her sister will be safe. Talk about a selfless act of love. I love that the main theme of A Thousand Nights, for me at least, was the bond that the two sisters had, and how it carried on through the book.

I also loved how Lo-Melkhiin was shown to be a good man by his mother, who had watched her son change and become the monster he currently was, and how it helped the heroine save the day, as it were.

Seriously, just pick up a copy of A Thousand Nights and read it. Thank me later.

Book Review: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

March 21, 2016

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke NijkampThis Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on 5th January 2016
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 285
10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

The auditorium doors won't open.

Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

I’m going to state the obvious in saying I’ve never read a book like This Is Where It Ends. I don’t pick up these kind of contemporaries normally, I stick to the more fluffy realms of the genre, aiming for feel-good romances instead of the read hard-hitting stuff. But This Is Where It Ends is a book that needs to be read. Saying I enjoyed it feels like the wrong thing to say – because a book with this kind of topic shouldn’t be enjoyed. It should be absorbed, thought about and make you face the facts about topics you don’t normally have at the forefront of your mind.

This Is Where It Ends was an intense read, and sucked me in right from the start. It’s literally the best definition of a page-turner that I’ve read recently, I was constantly flicking through the pages, desperate to find out what happened next. To say the course of the book takes place over less than an hour, the writing was full of description that transported me right to the auditorium, and that made it all the more terrifying to read. At times I felt like I couldn’t breathe with fear over what was going to happen to the students. This Is Where It Ends is scattered with various points of view, which add to its depth and gave us an insight into how so many different students were affected, and how they reacted to it.

This Is Where It Ends does not have a happy ending. It’s cruel, heart-breaking and so necessary. It wouldn’t have been right for it to all be neatly tied up with a bow at the end, because how many school shootings in reality end with a happy ending? They don’t. And a happy ending wouldn’t have done the story, and the message of This Is Where It Ends justice. I applaud Nijkamp for writing this book realistically, and how she refused to shy away from those extra details that were hard to read but ultimately made the book better.

Book Review: Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

October 15, 2015

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Extraordinary Means by Robyn SchneiderExtraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider
on 4th June 2015
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 336
A bitter-sweet, coming-of-age novel that's perfect for fans of John Green and Stephen Chbosky.

When he's sent to Latham House, a boarding school for sick teens, Lane thinks his life may as well be over.
But when he meets Sadie and her friends - a group of eccentric troublemakers - he realises that maybe getting sick is just the beginning. That illness doesn't have to define you, and that falling in love is its own cure.

Extraordinary Means is a darkly funny story about true friendships, ill-fated love and the rare miracle of second chances

As I write this review, I’m sitting on my lunch break. I finished Extraordinary Means an hour ago, and I still feel like someone’s punched me very hard in the stomach. When I started reading this, I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with Extraordinary Means. I didn’t think I would connect with the characters. I underestimated Schneider’s ability to make me fall in love with them.

It’s not difficult to imagine such a thing as total drug resistant TB. And Schneider did such a fantastic job at making it seem so real. I can imagine somewhere like Latham House existing. And I can imagine how society would react to those staying there. And Schneider captures this perfectly. It could be easy to forget what these teens are going through, but Schneider makes sure that we don’t. And that’s important. It’s remembering why these teens are at Latham that makes Extraordinary Means so powerful.

I flitted between liking Sadie and Lane and not feeling much towards them at all. I’ve read books with characters similar to these two, and despite their individualities that set them apart, it was difficult to shake that feeling. I loved how Sadie changed Lane and stopped him from living out the life he thought he should be living. However cliche it is, she did breathe life into Lane’s character, which instantly made me connect to him more. I loved Charlie, so the ending tore me into shreds, but it kind of had to be done. It brought the horrors of their reality back to the forefront of my mind, but it still hurt to read. I loved that whilst the thought of a happy ending was there, Schneider didn’t give it to us all neatly wrapped in a bow. A story like this one shouldn’t end with everyone getting their happily ever after, it’s not realistic.

Extraordinary Means is one of the most thought-provoking books I’ve read this year, and certainly a story that will stay with me for a long, long time.

Book Review: One by Sarah Crossan

October 1, 2015

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: One by Sarah CrossanOne by Sarah Crossan
Published by Bloomsbury Children's Books on 27th August 2015
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 448
Grace and Tippi are twins – conjoined twins.

And their lives are about to change.

No longer able to afford homeschooling, they must venture into the world – a world of stares, sneers and cruelty. Will they find more than that at school? Can they find real friends? And what about love?

But what neither Grace or Tippi realises is that a heart-wrenching decision lies ahead. A decision that could tear them apart. One that will change their lives even more than they ever imagined…

From Carnegie Medal shortlisted author Sarah Crossan, this moving and beautifully crafted novel about identity, sisterhood and love ultimately asks one question: what does it mean to want and have a soulmate?

I want to rave about this book forever. How I’ve never read a book by Sarah Crossan before is a total mystery, and I’ll definitely be rectifying that soon, as One is an absolutely amazing, emotional read.

One is the first book I’ve read written in free verse, and it is such a beautiful style of writing. I doubt One would have had such an emotional impact on me if it had been written in regular prose, each word in One is written for a reason, it remains descriptive without using extra words just for the sake of it. I found I really got into Grace’s head a lot easier than I expected, and my emotions quickly became linked to the emotions I was reading on the page.

One is probably one of the most emotionally-charged books I’ve read in a very, very long time. As I just said, everything that Grace felt, I felt. Her despair, her hurt, her frustration all hit me very hard. This really surprised me, and it’s made me love Sarah Crossan for getting me to connect to this book and feel these emotions. One is a book that can’t just be read, it needs to be felt.

Everything about this book felt authentic to me, and it’s clear that a lot of research has gone into One. It really felt read, from how Tippi and Grace go about their daily lives to how the rest of society react to them. I liked how they weren’t accepted by the school (sounds strange, but bear with me), they were made to feel like outcasts, which I reckon wouldn’t be too far from the truth in the real world. I really admired Tippi’s integrity. She refuses to allow the media into her family’s lives until it’s absolutely necessary, until they have absolutely no other choice. And she still protected her family as best as she could. The documentary process was wonderful too – limits were made and respected, certain parts of Tippi and Grace’s journey weren’t touched, and that was the end of it. No ifs, buts or maybes.

The ending of One took a slight twist for me. I thought I knew how it would end, but Crossan threw in a tiny curveball and actually made reading the rest of the book quite painful for me. I can’t say anything else without giving things away, but the ending was, and still is, very raw to me.

One is an excellent book. There’s nothing left for me to say.

Book Review: 13 Days of Midnight by Leo Hunt

September 24, 2015

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: 13 Days of Midnight by Leo Hunt13 Days of Midnight by Leo Hunt
Published by Orchard Books on 2nd July 2015
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 224
When Luke Manchett's estranged father dies suddenly, he leaves his son a dark inheritance. Luke has been left in charge of his father's ghost collection: eight restless spirits. They want revenge for their long enslavement, and in the absence of the father, they're more than happy to take his son. It isn't fair, but you try and reason with the vengeful dead.

Halloween, the night when the ghosts reach the height of their power, is fast approaching. With the help of school witchlet Elza Moss, and his cowardly dog Ham, Luke has just thirteen days to uncover the closely guarded secrets of black magic, and send the unquiet spirits to their eternal rest. The alternative doesn't bear thinking about.

I requested 13 Days of Midnight on a total whim. Something about the book made me drag my cursor over to the request button, and then I promptly forgot about it, which worried me slightly. Until I started reading it.

This is the first book to succeed in totally creeping me out as I was reading it. Leo Hunt managed to suck me into this book so much, that even the slightest creak in the clinic room or whir from my laptop was making me jump. It’s a very dark book, far darker than I expected, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to people who aren’t fans of paranormal books!

I loved how Hunt balanced Luke’s desire to fit in with the pressing need for Luke to banish his Host that he unwillingly inherited from his father. There’s a lot of ‘normal’ goings on to counteract the abnormal, which I loved. It made it all the more believable! I loved Elza, she made a refreshing change to the normal love interests of 16-year-old boys. Plus I loved how she took charge of the situation as she knew what she was talking about. And she was so determined! She definitely wasn’t one to just sit about and wait to be attacked. I love how she interacted with Luke, and was gracious enough to apologise when she was wrong.

13 Days of Midnight will be a perfect Halloween read for people who aren’t afraid of things that go ‘bump’ in the night! Am I brave enough to read it alone in the dark? No. But that certainly won’t stop me from recommending this excellent UKYA ghost story to everyone as soon as October comes around!

Book Review: Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas

August 6, 2015

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah ThomasBecause You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas
Published by Bloomsbury Children's Books on 2nd July 2015
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 344
In a stunning literary debut, two boys on opposite ends of the world begin an unlikely friendship that will change their lives forever.

Ollie and Moritz are best friends, but they can never meet. Ollie is allergic to electricity. Contact with it causes debilitating seizures. Moritz’s weak heart is kept pumping by an electronic pacemaker. If they ever did meet, Ollie would seize. But Moritz would die without his pacemaker. Both hermits from society, the boys develop a fierce bond through letters that become a lifeline during dark times—as Ollie loses his only friend, Liz, to the normalcy of high school and Moritz deals with a bully set on destroying him.

A story of impossible friendship and hope under strange circumstances, this debut is powerful, dark and humorous in equal measure. These extraordinary voices bring readers into the hearts and minds of two special boys who, like many teens, are just waiting for their moment to shine.

I’m just going to start this off by saying that this is one of my favourite books of 2015. It needs to be said. Leah Thomas has totally blown me away with this stunning book. I know there’s been some mixed reviews on Goodreads, and that made me a little apprehensive to pick it up because this has been one of my most anticipated reads of this year, but it definitely did not disappoint.

Because You’ll Never Meet Me is told in letters between Ollie and Moritz, two boys who society deem as freaks. Ollie is 14, although I found this hard to remember as he is so switched on and so smart. And he’s allergic to electricity, being close to it can send him spiralling into a life threatening seizure. This isn’t just epilepsy, it’s so much more dangerous. He lives in a log cabin with his mother in the woods. And Moritz is 16, living in Germany with his father. He has a pacemaker fitted, meaning that he and Ollie will never, ever meet. There’s a lot more to Moritz, but I’m not going to share it, as you need to find out for yourself. And so they begin writing to one another. At first, the letters were awkward, with Ollie’s over-enthusiasm sharply contrasting Moritz’s condescendance, but then they suddenly, out of nowhere, become friends. Real, true friends. And it was so heartbreaking to keep reminding myself that they wouldn’t meet.

It almost felt like I was intruding on Ollie and Moritz’s privacy as the letters got so personal, with Ollie having to deal with his mum and the fact that Liz blamed him for something that wasn’t his fault, and Moritz having to deal with horrendous bullying. I’ll be honest, I didn’t like Liz. I thought she was truly awful to Ollie at times. The thing that bugged me the most was when she called Ollie selfish. Because yes, he was. But he didn’t know how to be anything else. He has interacted with a handful of people, he mainly occupies himself. Who wouldn’t be selfish!? Moritz overcame so much thanks to Ollie’s encouragement. He started off as this awful person who was so angry at the world to someone who found people to care for and he cared for them fiercely. He didn’t believe he deserved kindness and good things – but he did. And I’m so glad Ollie made him see that. They helped each other so much, and I loved their friendship.

The ending of Because You’ll Never Meet Me wasn’t my favourite, but I understand it. It was sad, yet hopeful, and made me wish for a bright future for both Ollie and Moritz. At times it wasn’t hugely realistic – but – that is somewhat explained by Moritz – he says himself that he could be overexaggerating. And parts of it were traumatising to read, but not that far from the truth in some awful world, I imagine.

I can only implore you to pick Because You’ll Never Meet Me up. It’s a touching story about friendship, and a stark reminder about how society treats those who aren’t seen as ‘normal’. I loved every page of this wonderful book, and cannot wait to get my own copy for my bookcase.

Book Review: Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen

July 23, 2015

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. JensenHidden Huntress by Danielle L Jensen
Series: The Malediction Trilogy #2
Published by Angry Robot on 2nd June 2015
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 464
Sometimes, one must accomplish the impossible.

Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power. Or his manipulation.

Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high.

To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cécile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted…

I’m trying to write this review minutes after finishing Hidden Huntress and let me tell you: the feels are strong. Very strong indeed. I honestly thought there was no way I could want book 3, Warrior Witch, more than I wanted Hidden Huntress. I was wrong. So very, very wrong.

Hidden Huntress pretty much drops us where we left Stolen Songbird, although Cecile has now left the forest for Trianon, and is juggling her desire to find Anushka with trying to fill the role her mother has created for her on the stage. And I was hooked almost instantly. It was like I’d never left the world that Jensen had created, and I was surprised over how many of Stolen Songbird’s details had stuck with me.

The plot to this trilogy is so much bigger than I originally expected. I honestly didn’t believe that it would develop much further past Cecile trying to find Anushka, but wow, did I underestimate that! And that’s what I love about fantasy – there’s always a bigger picture, even if you don’t spot it straight away. Hidden Huntress isn’t just the second book in a series. This isn’t a filler book, this is important. Big plot movements happen here, and that’s what made it such a compelling read.

I don’t really want to talk about the book too much as I’m so worried I’ll divulge an accidental spoiler! All I can do is urge you to pick this series up, even if you’re not a huge fantasy fan. The romance between Tristan and Cecile is exquisite, and they’ve fast become one of my favourite couples in YA. These books really offer something for everyone, and that’s why I love them so much. Now just the totally agonising wait for Warrior Witch.

Book Review: Conspiracy Girl by Sarah Alderson

May 20, 2015

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Conspiracy Girl by Sarah AldersonConspiracy Girl by Sarah Alderson
Published by Simon and Schuster Children's Books on 12th February 2015
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 320
Everybody knows about the Cooper Killings – the Bel Air home invasion that rocked the nation.
There was only one survivor - a sixteen year-old girl.
And though the killers were caught they walked free.

Now eighteen, Nic Preston - the girl who survived - is trying hard to rebuild her life. She’s security conscious to the point of paranoia and her only friend is a French Mastiff bulldog, but she’s making progress. She’s started college in New York and has even begun dating.

But then one night her apartment is broken into and the life Nic’s worked so hard to create is shattered in an instant.

Finn Carter - hacker, rule breaker, player – is the last person Nic ever wants to see again. He’s the reason her mother’s killers walked free from court. But as the people hunting her close in, Nic has to accept that her best and possibly only chance of staying alive is by keeping close to Finn and learning to trust the person she’s sworn to hate.

Fleeing across a snowbound New England, frantically trying to uncover the motive behind the murders, Nic and Finn come to realize the conspiracy is bigger than they could ever have suspected. But the closer they get to the truth and the closer they get to each other, the greater the danger becomes.

To survive she has to stay close to him.
To keep her safe he has to keep his distance.

I’m kicking myself so hard for not reading Conspiracy Girl sooner. Had I known such a fast-paced, high octane read was waiting for me, I would have definitely picked it up quicker! Conspiracy Girl is a total gem of a book, and one that I feel has been a little overlooked, but I don’t know why because it is absolutely fantastic.

I did have a few issues with the formatting, but honestly, because the book had such an incredible plot, I could easily overlook this as I blasted through the pages. I found myself absorbed into Nic’s story immediately, and really felt sorry for her when I learnt just how much trauma she’d gone through. And that trauma just kept on coming throughout Conspiracy Girl, I found myself reading and thinking ‘Nic cannot possibly go through ANYMORE. She’s dealt with too much already!’ but Nic was one tough cookie, and she wasn’t going to be destroyed without a fight. She was incredibly guarded but I enjoyed seeing her walls slowly come down, especially around Finn.

I thought the chemistry between Finn and Nic was amazing. I didn’t think I’d enjoy the romance in Conspiracy Girl, I thought it would be a little out of place but I actually loved it. I loved Finn’s character, seeing him wrestle with his feelings for Nic against his determination to keep her safe and not let the demons of his past come back to haunt him. I feel like because they were in such a highly charged situation their emotions were also highly charged and that just led to them being unable to fight the attraction they both felt.

There was a lot of mystery surrounding Conspiracy Girl which kept me guessing throughout the entire book, although I did cotton on who the FBI leak was pretty early, but I understood why Finn and Nic didn’t work it out straight away. I literally daren’t say any more because I really don’t want to give anything away accidentally!

Conspiracy Girl was an absolutely ace read that I enjoyed reading from start to finish, and I cannot wait to tear into the rest of Sarah Alderson’s back catalogue. I already have Out of Control waiting for me, and it certainly won’t be long before I pick it up!

Book Review: Me Being Me is Exactly as Insane as You Being You by Todd Hasak-Lowy

May 11, 2015

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Me Being Me is Exactly as Insane as You Being You by Todd Hasak-LowyMe Being Me is Exactly as Insane as You Being You by Todd Hasak-Lowy
Published by Simon Pulse on 24th March 2015
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 656
A heartfelt, humorous story of a teen boy’s impulsive road trip after the shock of his lifetime—told entirely in lists!

Darren hasn't had an easy year.

There was his parents’ divorce, which just so happened to come at the same time his older brother Nate left for college and his longtime best friend moved away. And of course there’s the whole not having a girlfriend thing.

Then one Thursday morning Darren's dad shows up at his house at 6 a.m. with a glazed chocolate doughnut and a revelation that turns Darren’s world inside out. In full freakout mode, Darren, in a totally un-Darren move, ditches school to go visit Nate. Barely twenty-four hours at Nate’s school makes everything much better or much worse—Darren has no idea. It might somehow be both. All he knows for sure is that in addition to trying to figure out why none of his family members are who they used to be, he’s now obsessed with a strangely amazing girl who showed up out of nowhere but then totally disappeared.

Told entirely in lists, Todd Hasak-Lowy's debut YA novel perfectly captures why having anything to do with anyone, including yourself, is:

1. painful
2. unavoidable
3. ridiculously complicated
4. possibly, hopefully the right thing after all.

3 Perfectly valid reasons why you should read Me Being Me:

1) The Format
It’s written in list form, which I absolutely loved. (And obviously inspired the style of this review!) It made reading Me Being Me such a breeze, and made it super easy to slip in and out of the book, although I found myself struggling to put the book down with the promise of “just one more list” all too alluring! The lists are a nice mixture of short and sweet and chunkier points, and these really helped with the pacing of the story.

2) The Characters
Darren is a wonderful narrator and I couldn’t help but like him. He has a ton of shit to deal with, he’s trying to cope with his parent’s divorce, his brother has gone away to college and he doesn’t really have any friends. Then his dad drops this huge bombshell and it’s understandable why Darren reacts as he does. Darren’s relationship with both his parents is so well written and just plain wonderful, it’s realistic, natural and both his parents are so present. There’s no missing parent syndrome in this book, they play a huge role in Darren’s life, and you have no idea how wonderful it was to read. I also want to give a huge shoutout to Ray, because he was a character who Darren should have struggled to get along with, but he didn’t. I wish there had been more Ray in the book, because I loved him. And Zoe, who isn’t all that present throughout the book, but has a huge role in the story anyway was a character who I probably should have hated, but I didn’t. I can’t talk too much about her, but I just loved her character and her interactions with Darren. I wanted to see more of them together, but I understand why we weren’t given that.

3) The Ending
There was this wonderful openness about the ending, which I normally hate with a passion because I want to know EVERYTHING about the characters’ futures, but with Me Being Me, the open ending worked perfectly. I already know what will happen with Darren and Zoe, in my head at least, and I love how Hasak-Lowy ended it.

1 Thing I’d like to say to Todd Hasak-Lowy:

Book Review: Love Hurts by Various Authors

February 4, 2015

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Love Hurts by Various AuthorsLove Hurts by Various Authors
Published by Corgi Children's on 29th January 2015
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 576
Malorie Blackman brings together the best teen writers of today in a stunningly romantic collection about love against the odds. Featuring short stories and extracts about modern star-crossed lovers from stars such as Gayle Forman, Markus Zusak and Patrick Ness, and with a brand-new story from Malorie Blackman herself, Love Hurts looks at every kind of relationship, from first kiss to final heartbreak.

Love Hurts contains a fantastic mix of authors and genres, and it’s a book perfect for people wanting to try out an author without committing to a whole book that they may not enjoy. As a head’s up – it does contain quite a few excerpts from already published books that you may have already read, which was something that I didn’t expect, but on the whole, I’d say it’s well worth a read.

There is so much diversity in this book! It’s absolutely excellent to see so many different topics tackled with so many different characters. It really fits in with the theme of the entire book. Love it’s black and white, it’s extremely diverse, so it’s right that the book reflects that.

If you only read one story from Love Hurts, make it Gentlewoman by Laura Dockrill. Such an important story with such an important message, and it made my heart hurt with everything Dani was going through both mentally and physically.

Love Hurts has made me desperate to pick up some books, and cemented the fact that I won’t be picking certain ones up, and that was what I really enjoyed about it. I was able to revisit some old favourites (both stories and authors), and added new authors to my list who I can’t wait to read more from.