Monday 30 November 2015

A Boy Called Christmas, Matt Haig

Pages: 266
Publisher: Canongate
Release Date: 12th November 2015
Edition: UK hardback, review copy

Other Titles by this Author: Shadow Forest, The Runaway Troll, How to Be a Cat, The Radleys, The Humans, Echo Boy, Reasons to Stay Alive

You are about to read the true story of Father Christmas.
It is a story that proves nothing is impossible.
If you are one of those people who believe that some things are impossible, you should put this book down right away. It is most certainly not for you. Because this book is full of impossible things.

Are you still reading?


Then let us begin…

A Boy Called Christmas is a tale of adventure, snow, kidnapping, elves, more snow, and an eleven-year-old boy called Nikolas, who isn’t afraid to believe in magic.

A Boy Called Christmas is a great book to read in the run up to Christmas whether you’re 8 or 108; it's full of magic, snow and Important Lessons.

I don’t know if I read this a little too early, but it didn’t quite put me in the magical, Christmassy spirit I was expecting. I actually felt like there were quite a few glaring morality lessons throughout Nikolas’s story that put me off a little and distracted me from the story itself. I'm all for learning and teaching in books, but for me, it works best when it's subtle and it didn’t feel all that subtle in A Boy Called Christmas.

I did love Elfhelm, though. After the betrayal of a human, joy and happiness has been banned, along with dancing and outsiders. It did make me chuckle. I loved the community among the elves and their intrinsic joy at everything. The bits of the novel based in Elfhelm were by far my favourite in the novel and I enjoyed watching Nikolas grow, change and find happiness in Elfhelm. This history of Father Christmas becoming who he is answers all those questions that try and knock your confidence in his existence when you’re little so hopefully it’ll keep the belief going for a little while longer…

Thanks to Canongate for the review copy.


Sunday 29 November 2015

Letterbox Love #114

Letterbox Love is a way to give all of the books I receive for review some exposure. Summaries are taken from the cover, or Amazon/NetGalley/Goodreads in the case of e-books, unless otherwise stated.

The Island, Olivia Levez (proof)

Frances is alone on a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. She has to find water and food. She has to survive. And when she is there she also thinks about the past. The things that she did before. The things that made her a monster. Nothing is easy. Survival is hard and so is being honest about the past. Frances is a survivor however and with the help of the only other crash survivor she sees that the future is worth fighting for.

A gripping and thoughtful story about a girl who didn’t ask to be the person she is but is also determined to make herself the person she wants to be.

So intriguing! Thanks One World!

How Not to Disappear, Claure Furniss (proof)

Our memories are what make us who we are. Some are real. Some are made up. But they are the stories that tell us who we are. Without them we are nobody.

Hattie’s summer isn’t going as planned. Her two best friends have abandoned her: Reuben has run off to Europe to “find himself” and Kat’s in Edinburgh with her new girlfriend. Meanwhile Hattie is stuck babysitting her twin siblings and dealing with endless drama around her mum’s wedding. Oh, and she's also just discovered she's pregnant with Reuben’s baby.

Then Gloria, Hattie’s great-aunt who no one previously knew even existed comes crashing into her life. Gloria’s fiercely independent, rather too fond of a gin sling and is in the early stages of dementia. Together the two of them set out on a road trip of self-discovery – Gloria to finally confront the secrets of her pasts before they are wiped from her memory forever and Hattie to face the hard choices that will determine her future…

Non Pratt’s Trouble meets Thelma and Louise with a touch of Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey, Clare Furniss’s remarkable How Not to Disappear is an emotional rollercoaster of a novel that will make you laugh and break your heart.

So ready to have my heart broken by this. Bring it on! Thanks S&S!

Night Study, Maria V Snyder (e-proof)

Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana’s life has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia or Sitia is safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of war threatens everything Yelena holds dear.

Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he's quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he’s been keeping secrets from Valek…secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. as they uncover the various layers of the Commander’s mysterious plans, they realise it's far more sinister than they could have imagined.

I’m so excited!! After the cliffhanger ending of Shadow Study I am more than ready to devour this. Thanks Harlequin Teen and NetGalley!

The Square Root of Summer, Harriet Reuter Hapgood (proof)

My heart is a kaleidoscope, and when we kiss it makes my world unravel…

Last summer, Gottie’s life fell apart. Her beloved grandfather Grey died and Jason – the boy to whom she lost her virginity (and her heart) – wouldn’t even hold her hand at the funeral. This summer, still reeling from twin heartbreaks, Gottie is lost and alone and burying herself in equations. Until, after five years’ absence, Thomas comes home: former boy next door. Former best friend. Forever everything. And as life turns upside-down again, she starts to experience strange blips in time – back to last summer, back to what she should have seen then…

During one long, hazy summer, Gottie navigates grief, world-stopping kisses and rips in the space-time continuum, as she tried to reconcile her first heartbreak with her last.

I can't even begin to articulate my excitement for this book!! Thanks Macmillan!

Waiting for Callback, Perdita and Honor Cargill (proof)

When Elektra is discovered by an acting agent, she imagines Oscar glory can’t be far away, but instead lurches from one cringe-worthy moment to the next! Just how many times can you be rejected for the part of ‘Dead Girl Number Three’ without losing hope? And who knew that actors were supposed to be multi-lingual, play seven instruments and be trained in a variety of circus skills?

Off-stage things aren’t going well either – she's fallen out with her best friend, remains firmly in the friend-zone with her crush and her parents are driving her crazy. One way or another, Elektra’s life is now spent waiting for the phone to ring – waiting for callback.

Can an average girl-next-door like Elektra really make it in the world of luvvies and starlets?

This sounds like so much fun! Thanks S&S!

Underwater, Marisa Reichardt (proof)

In order to move on after a traumatic experience, Morgan must learn to forgive – first someone who did something that might be unforgiveable, and then, herself.

But Morgan can't move on. She can't even move beyond the front door of the apartment she shares with her mother and little brother. Morgan feels like she's underwater, unable to surface. Unable to see her friends. Unable to go to school.

When it seems Morgan can't hold her breath any longer, a new boy moves in next door. Evan reminds her of the salty ocean air and the rush she used to get from swimming. He might be just what's he needs to help her reconnect with the world outside.

Underwater is a powerful, hopeful debut novel about redemption, recovery and finding the strength it takes to face your past and move on.

Another gorgeous proof from Macmillan – thank you!

Changers: Drew, T Cooper & Allison Glock-Cooper (e-proof)

Some teenagers worry who they’ll wake up next to. Others worry about who they’ll wake up as…

Ethan Miller is about to star high school in a brand-new town. He's finally sporting a haircut he doesn’t hate, has grown two inches since middle school, and can't wait to try out for the soccer team. At last, everything is looking up in life.

Until the next morning. When Ethan wakes up as a girl.

Welcome to the world of Changers.

This sounds interesting! But also like it could be too much like Every Day… Thanks NetGalley and Atom!


Saturday 28 November 2015

Blog Tour: A Wicked Old Woman

Today I’m welcoming Ravinder Randhawa to the blog for the tour for A Wicked Old Woman!

A Wicked Old Woman is full of passionate and bruised women, buffeted by life, are also intelligent, caring and powerful. Here are some poems that just seem to fit them.

KULWANT, the wicked old woman of the title, loves this poem from the anthology “A Few Figs From Thistles” by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!

CAROLINE, Kulwant’s old school friend, receives carefully personalized sonnets, from the younger man who’s in love with her.

Had we world enough and time,
This coyness lady, were no crime
We would sit down and think which way
To walk and pass our long love’s day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide
Of Humber would complain.

But at my back I always hear
Time’s winged chariot hurrying near.
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
The grave’s a fine and private place
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Had we world enough and time,
This coyness, my dear Caroline, were no crime.
 (Adapted from the sonnet To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell)

MAYA, who’s called the myopic, nursing a broken heart, carries these three verses with her:

You thought you’d make a fool of me
I was so blind but now I see
So now you’ve had your little joke
Guess I’m just warning other folk

You’d looked at me with those bedroom eyes
But your tender words I now despise
You broke my heart through and through
Well honey I’ve got news for you

Your designer clothes are now in rags
Packed up inside black plastic bags
Your car’s been scratched and it’s got a dent
Your name’s been taken off the rent
 (From “It’s Over” by Jan Allison)

RANI/ROSALIND, full of contradictory emotions and anger, as well as fierce independence, often recites this poem to herself, feeling guilty but not knowing what to do.

I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine.
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden stole
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.
 (A Poison Tree by William Blake)

I love the magic of words, both in prose and poetry.

Ravinder Randhawa


Friday 27 November 2015

Wolf by Wolf, Ryan Graudin

Pages: 379
Publisher: Indigo
Release Date: 5th November 2015
Edition: UK trade paperback, November Illumicrate book

Other Titles by this Author: The Walled City

Once upon a different time, there was a girl who lived in a kingdom of death. Wolves howled up her arm. A whole pack of them – made of tattoo ink and pain, memory and loss. It was the only thing about her that ever stayed the same.

Germany, 1956. Over ten years since the Nazis won the war.

Seventeen-year-old Yael is part of the resistance, and she has just one mission: to kill Hitler.

But first she’s got to get close enough to him to do it.

A captivating and unforgettable story from The Walled City author, Ryan Graudin.

Even though lots of my friends have said Wolf by Wolf is one of their favourite books of the year, I was a still a little hesitant to read it, but I'm glad I did.

I don’t like reading about wars, but particularly WWI and WWII – I think my brain has been oversaturated with them at school. I'm sure we studied WWII at least four times? So Wolf by Wolf being an alternate history set in 1956 where Hitler and Axis won the war and the Nazi regime is still going strong, I wasn’t sure if my curiosity would be enough to make me want to read it. Luckily for me, it was the November Illumicrate box so I had no excuse but to give it a go!

The whole premise behind this novel is fascinating. The ramifications of Hitler taking over Europe and spreading into Asia, while the US standing by and declaring no sides, is a terrifying idea, and one that doesn’t feel too impossible with the way of the world at the moment. All of the horrors we’ve learned about in classrooms for the last 70 are still going strong in Yael’s world and she's one of the persecuted. The cruel experiments carried out on prisoners are famed, and without the end of the war, they carried on and got more and more terrifying, and Yael’s has developed the ability to skin shift. It saved her life over and over again and helped the resistance beyond measure, and know she’ll be putting it to the ultimate test.

The motorbike race from Germania to Tokyo is a test of endurance, strength, skill and the ability to survive, and though Yael’s journey was fraught with danger from the sabotage of other contestants, the drama of someone doing everything in his power to protect her and the fear of not succeeding in her task to kill Hitler at the victory ball, I rarely felt the desire to pick up Wolf by Wolf. I was fascinated by the premise, I thought that Yael and her backstory were really well-drawn and interesting, Ryan Graudin has some really beautiful turns of phrase, and yet I didn’t feel anything. Until the final 100 pages.

I was blown away by the last quarter of Wolf by Wolf. Yael had come to the last section of the race and the tension was insane. Sabotage, danger, emotional manipulation and fear flooded the final pages and at 10 pages from the end, I legit had to put the book down for ten minutes to get my sh*t together before I carried on. It was almost painful tension and I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time a book had such a visceral effect on me. And in those last few pages, I was so shocked by what happened that I immediately looked to see if there was a release date for the sequel yet (sadly not). The ending completely turned this book around for me and left me wondering that maybe I was just in the wrong mood for the first 280 pages?

Wolf by Wolf is an alternate history that you won't forget: clever, unexpected and terrifying real.


Thursday 26 November 2015

Blog Tour: The Iron Warrior Playlist!

Today I have the very lovely Julie Kagawa sharing a playlist to celebrate the final (*sob*) book in The Iron Fey series, The Iron Warrior!

Bulletproof Heart by My Chemical Romance

This song shows both the desperation and the defiance Ethan is feeling, wishing he could run away from everything, but knowing the Nevernever will never let him go.

If I Die Young by The Band Perry

This is Kenzie's song, perfectly showing how she feels about the possibility that she might not have long in the world.  It's sad but hopeful, as Kenzie has made her peace with it.

Some Nights by Fun

This song can be for both Ethan and Keirran, as they struggle to understand what they're doing and what they're fighting for. 

I See the Light by Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi

A sappy love song that shows Ethan and Kenzie's strange, magical relationship in the Nevernever.

Hand of Sorrow by Within Temptation

Prophesized to bring destruction to the Nevernever, Keirran has become the enemy and the champion of the First Queen.  This song shows his struggle within, even as he accepts that he must wage war on his family and everything he loved.

The Iron Warrior is in shops now!

Share your #TheIronWarrior experience
@Jkagawa @MIRAInk

Thank you so much to Midas PR and Julie Kagawa for a cool post! If you haven’t read The Iron Fey series, you really should – it’s brilliant!


Wednesday 25 November 2015

Barbara the Slut and Other People, Lauren Holmes

Pages: 272
Publisher: Fourth Estate
Release Date: 13th August 2015
Edition: UK e-proof, NetGalley review copy

A fresh, honest, darkly funny debut collection about family, friends, and lovers, and the flaws that make us most human.

One woman takes a job selling sex toys in San Francisco rather than embark on the law career she pursued only for the sake of her father. Another realises she much prefers the company of her pitbull – and herself – to the neurotic foreign fling who won't decamp from her apartment. A daughter hauls a suitcase of lingerie to Mexico for her flighty, estranged mother to resell there, wondering whether her personal mission – to come out – is worth the same effort. And Barbara, a young woman with an autistic brother, a Princeton acceptance letter, and a love of sex navigates her high school’s toxic, slut-shaming culture with open eyes.

Fearless, candid, and incredibly funny, Lauren Homes is a newcomer who writes like a master. She tackles eros and intimacy with a deceptively light touch, a keen awareness of how their nervous systems tangle and sometimes short-circuit, and a genius for revealing out most, vulnerable, spirited selves. With heart, sass and pitch-perfect characters, Barbara the Slut is a head-turning debut from a writer with a limitless career before her.

I've recently become really intrigued by short story collections so when I spotted Barbara the Slut and Other People on NetGalley, I snapped it up. And I really enjoyed it!

The ten stories in this collection aren’t really stories; they’re what the title implies – snapshots of people and their lives. None of them have a particularly strong plot or a distinct beginning or ending which makes them kinda hard to review really! The collection covers people of all ages, different lifestyles, situations and personalities, and even the POV of a dog… Every voice was distinct and unique and they sat apart so strongly that I had to have a little Twitter break between each story to be able to move on.

With the exception of the final story, the titular Barbara the Slut, I enjoy the stories in the first half of the collection a lot more than the second half. I loved the brutually honest way they approached sex, love, loneliness, the fallout of living by someone else’s wants for you and not having a distinct path in life. They were bold and refreshing, even if I never fully connected to the characters. The second half was a lot more experimental in narrative and I felt a lot more disconnected from the stories. It felt like Lauren Holmes was trying to experiment and push the boundaries, losing the organic feel of the earlier stories.

Barbara the Slut and Other People is a fascinating collection and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on Lauren Holmes in the future, she has a lot of promise.

Thanks to Fourth Estate and NetGalley for the review copy.


Tuesday 24 November 2015

Blast From the Past: Rebecca

Originally published in 1938 by Victor Gollancz

My edition: the beautiful YA paperback reissue from Virago Modern Classics

What's it about?
On a trip to the South of France, the shy heroine of Rebecca falls in love with Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower. Although his proposal comes as a surprise, she happily agrees to marry him. But as they arrive at her husband’s home, Manderley, a change comes over Maxim, and the young bride is filled with dread. Friendless in the isolated mansion, she realises that she barely knows him. In every corner of every room is the phantom of his beautiful first wife, Rebecca, and the new Mrs de Winter walks in her shadow.

Why now?
I loved the first of du Maurier’s novels I’ve read, Frenchman’s Creek, and I was eager to read more. Rebecca seemed like the perfect, atmospheric read for this time of year.

The verdict:

*SPOILER ALERT: I really want to talk about this properly so there’ll probably be a few spoilers here and there in the review.*

After reading Frenchman’s Creek in the summer, I knew I wanted to read more from Du Maurier and I figured where better to start than with her most famous novel? And boy is it famous for a reason!

Even though I’ve heard the famous opening line many, many times, it still never occurred to me that Rebecca would be a story told in retrospect (I know, duh) and I was thoroughly surprised to find Mr and Mrs De Winter moving from hotel to hotel, hiding from the repercussions of a traumatic event. And then we go back to the protagonist meeting her future husband.

Other than the opening line, the only other thing I knew about Rebecca is that the protagonist has no name. She is nameless until she marries Maxim and becomes Mrs De Winter. She is a shy, nervous and exists purely to serve her husband. Every word, every action, every thought operates in relation to Maxim and making him happy and making him love her. And she’s haunted (metaphorically) by the memory of Maxim’s first wife Rebecca, constantly comparing herself to her and she fades in her remaining light. This novel is almost the death of two women instead of just Rebecca as Mrs De Winter becomes embroiled in the life and death of Rebecca and her marriage to Maxim. It’s a really interesting dynamic and I already want to reread it and see what else I pick up on the second time around, knowing how everything plays out.

Maxim is a strange character, and even as the protagonist’s husband, I can't see him as the hero. He's twice Mrs De Winter’s age and treats her as such for at least ¾ of the novel. He's patronising and sexist and so dismissive of our heroine who’s so desperate for his love and affection; it's all she wants. It’s not until after Maxim makes his confession – a confession that blew my mind so thoroughly I started rambling my shock and disbelief to the cat; she wasn’t interested – that he changed his demeanour. He was suddenly confessing his love for Mrs De Winter, giving her affection and depending on her, just as he changed their lives forever. I couldn’t help but wonder which was the real him. Is he sexist and patronising or had he been holding himself back in fear of losing Mrs De Winter when he confessed? I wasn’t sure, and yet I was still championing him to get away with murder, even though I never felt he was good enough for Mrs De Winter. I think she should have married Frank!

Rebecca lingers in every aspect of Manderley, but most prominently in the memory of Mrs Danvers, the head housekeeper of Mandereley and confidante of Rebecca. She's a vile, vile woman and the main antagonist of the novel; I hated her so much. Mrs Danvers refuses to let Rebecca’s memory die out, manipulating Mrs De Winter into upsetting Maxim and making her life at Manderley as difficult as possible. I ended up wondering if Mrs Danvers had feelings for Rebecca; the strength of her grief and determination to destroy the De Winter’s marriage. I think Rebecca was the type of woman to pick up that and not be afraid to use it…

Clearly, I have a lot of thoughts about Rebecca and I could go on, but I’m going to stop here with a final declaration of love. Rebecca completely and utterly blew me away. I loved every word of it and I was already ready to re-read it. This is one of my very favourite novels of this year and I can't believe it took me so long to get around to it.

Still not convinced?
- It’s a genre mash-up: Gothic, mystery, ghost story, love story.
- It’s one of my favourite books of the year.
- You’re seriously missing out if you don’t pick this up.


Monday 23 November 2015

An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir

Pages: 448
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: 4th June 2015
Edition: UK proof, review copy

For years Laia has lived in fear. Fear of the Empire, fear of the Martials, fear of truly living at all. Born as a Scholar, she’s never had much of a choice. But when Laia’s brother is taken she must force herself to help the Resistance, the only people who have a chance of saving him. She must spy on the Commander ruthless and deadly overseer of Blackcliff Academy.

Elias is the Academy’s finest soldier – and secretly it’s most unwilling. He has seen too much at on his path to becoming a Mask, one of the Empire’s elite warriors and is desperate to escape the Academy. If he succeeds, he will be named a deserter. If found, the punishment will be death.

With the Masks’ help the Empire has conquered a continent and enslaved thousands, all in the name of power. Now they must find a new Emperor to rule over them. And before Elias can escape he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to the death that will decide the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

In the ashes of a broken world one person can make a difference. One voice in the dark can be heard. The price of freedom is always high. Sometimes it’s life itself.

Sabaa Tahir’s debut has been raved about since long before it even came out in June and I was a little put off by the hype. I'm clearly an idiot sometimes because An Ember in the Ashes is brilliant.

Just over 100 years ago, the brutal, military-led Empire conquered the Scholars and pushed them to the bottom of the pile, enslaving them, raping them and killing them for sport. Blackcliff trains boys to become soldiers of cruelty, ruthlessness and loyal to the Emperor. Laia is a Scholar whose parents were part of the Resistance and killed, and now her grandparents have been as well and her brother imprisoned. She's all alone.

The world is unusually brutal, more so than I’ve ever come across in YA fantasy before. Murder, rape, sexual assault, torture – everything horrible happens in An Ember in the Ashes, and usually at the hands of the Masks. The brainwashing that takes place at the academy is scary and although it’s based on an Ancient Roman Empire, it’s not hard to imagine that kind of state spreading across our world, especially when coupled with the technology we have. It made Elias’s beliefs about Blackcliff, the Empire and how people should be treated so unusual and dangerous for him to possess, and I loved him for it and the mental chaos it caused him.

Laia is a fierce protagonist, but she grows into fierceness. She makes mistakes, has regrets and worries incessantly about doing the wrong thing, but she learns and grows against the atrocities she experienced inside Blackcliff. As Laia discovered more and more, I became suspicious about the Resistance and their true motives and just wanted Laia to get out as quick as she could. But she made it to the end, stronger and more determined than ever and I was genuinely proud of her. And the same goes for Elias.

I usually find that in a dual narrative fantasy novel the two protagonists meet almost immediately and their stories become so intertwined that the dual narrative seems only serve as a glimpse into the minds of the characters, but Laia and Elias’s stories felt like separate stories, even living in the same place. I loved it. They don’t meet until at least 150 pages in and their paths don’t really interlink properly for a long while and I loved speculating on how they would meet again and what would happen between them.

Thanks to Harper Voyager for the review copy.


Sunday 22 November 2015

Letterbox Love #113

Letterbox Love is a way to give all of the books I receive for review some exposure. Summaries are taken from the cover, or Amazon/NetGalley/Goodreads in the case of e-books, unless otherwise stated.

Lily and the Christmas Wish, Keris Stainton (paperback)

Can one little girl and her dog make a town’s Christmas wishes come true?

Christmas is fast approaching, and the town of Pinewood has decided to do something really special to celebrate. Each person will write down a secret wish and tie it to the town’s Christmas tree!

Nine-year-old Lily isn’t quite convinced. She's not sure that she believes in wishes coming true – although she really wants to.

But then a strange storm blows in, scattering the wishes…and Lily wakes up the next morning to find that her adorable pug puppy, Bug, can talk! It's a wish come true…only it isn’t Lily’s wish.

It seems the storm has sent the Christmas magic awry, and now it's down to Lily, her youngest brother James and Bug to sort out the mixed-up wishes. But can they fix things before Christmas Eve?

This was completely and utterly lovely! Thanks Hot Key!

Seven Ways We Lie, Riley Redgate (e-proof)

In Seven Ways We Lie, a chance encounter tangles the lives of seven high school students, each resisting the allure of one of the seven deadly sins, and each telling their story for their seven distinct points of view.

The juniors at Paloma High School all have their secrets, whether it’s the thespian who hides her trust issues onstage, the closeted pansexual who only cares about his drug-dealing profits, or the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal. But it’s Juniper Kipling who has the furthest to fall. No one would argue that Juniper – obedient daughter, salutatorian, natural beauty, and loyal friend – is anything but perfect. Everyone knows she’s not a saint, not a sinner; but when love is involved, who is Juniper to resist temptation? When she begins to crave more and more of the one person she can't have, her charmed life starts to unravel.

Then rumours of a student-teacher affair hit the fan. After Juniper accidentally exposes her secret at a party, her fate falls into the hands of the other six sinners, bringing them into one another’s orbits. All seven are guilty of something. Together, they could save one another from their temptations – or be ruined by them.

Riley Redgate’s twisty YA debut effortlessly weaves humour, heartbreak, and redemption into a drama that fans of Jenny Han and Stephanie Perkins will adore.

I’m SO looking forward to this! A student-teacher relationship and a pansexual character! Thanks Amulet Books and NetGalley!