The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel – Review

Title: The Roanoke Girls 

Author: Amy Engel

Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton

Book Format: Paperback ARC 

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First of all, I want to thank Hodder and Stoughton for sending me an ARC of The Roanoke Girls, the ARC that I was sent was an absolutely studding edition of the book and this cover is so gorgeous with the roses and the slash across the cover tieing in so well with the story. But, now for the actual review… 

The Roanoke Girls is about a mysterious, rich family and their big mysterious house, each Roanoke Girl over the years either runs away from that house or dies. The story follows Lane Roanoke the daughter of one of the runways, when her mother dies she is sent to live with her grandparents at the grand Roanoke estate a place she has only heard about through the lips of her mother, a woman who ran away from that place as fast as a bullet from a gun.

The novel is told from two perspectives from teenage Lane and Lane ten years later, This book certainly has the ick factor and is not for the faint hearted! I know this book is being marketed as a mystery but really the story is not that mysterious. What is going on at Roanoke is revealed very early on it’s just the layers that get slowly peeled away.

This book certainly isn’t a fun ride it has the serious ick factor and certainly sent my moral compass into a right spin.

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It also has a narrative structure that felt reminiscent to books such as The Girls by Emma Cline and We Were Liars by E.Lockhart. I couldn’t help thinking have I been here before? Have I read this before? Which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing it just felt familiar and sadly I wouldn’t say, The Roanoke Girls wasn’t as good as either of these novels, it wasn’t bad, it just didn’t hit me right in the heart or in the head like some books do, nor did it leave a lasting impression.

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I know this book is being marketed as a mystery but really the story is not that mysterious. What is going on at Roanoke is revealed very early on it’s just the layers that get slowly peeled away.
The Roanoke Girls deals with complex and deeply troubling issues and it’s not self-serving of judgemental to the characters the writer just tells the story and allows the reader to make their minds up for themselves.

The novel has some interesting characters exploring the way we are all human and sometimes the people we think are perfect are the most flawed and the ones we think are the most flawed have the ability to be the most kind.
An interesting exploration of human relationships and the damage that one family can do to itself throughout the ages.

Worth a read.

3/5 Stars

I hope you enjoyed my review, I’ll see you next time!

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Shadowhunters Season 2 Episdoes 1-3 Review

Hi guys, today I want to have a chat about the brand new season of Shadowhunters!

For those of you who don’t know or are stopping by my blog for the first time, I am a huge fan of Cassandra Clare’s books and have been hoping so hard that the Freeform adaptation is going to be a success. This isn’t going to be a negative review but it’s not going to be a glowing one either, it’s just going to be a quick discussion about, which for me are the highs and lows of season 2 of Shadowhunters so far.

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The Good the Bad and the Ugly

Let’s start with the good,  since season one the actors seem like they’re really getting a handle on their characters and coming together as a unit. My problem is not with the actors, I think they were well cast and are it seems a talented lot, my issue is how the writers have chosen to portray the characters from book to screen (but I’ll get to that).

The show is enjoyable with highs and lows and it has something that a lot of shows don’t have, a built-in fan base. If I was watching it having not read the books I would say it had a bit of a Vampire Diaries feel to it, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing it just the way Shadowhunters is shot, the ‘iffy’ dialogue and the interaction between the characters stinks of a teen drama and The Mortal Instruments book series is so much more than that. After all, children’s/young adult literature that can only be read by children is pretty poor quality literature and the same should be said of adaptations of its works should it not? The book series is a hard hitting gritty saga with some seriously mature content, done differently I think the show could have received a much wider audience and I feel the show runners and writers did the show a disservice by putting it in such a pigeon hole.

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Now for the not so great, hardly anything that’s currently happening in the show actually happened in the books. I do not understand, do the writers think they can do better than the author? The author who sold millions of copies of her books, who is beloved by her fans because her world actually makes sense.

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Look, the Shadow World like all the best words out there (Narnia, Middle Earth, The Wizarding Word and so on) has rules, break those rules and everything around you starts to crumble. I laughed out loud watching episode three, Clary all of a sudden having a rune that gives her the same powers as Tessa Grey? Come on writers, there is no such Rune that’s one of the reasons Tessa (A character from The Infernal Devices for all who don’t know) is so special, she is unique and all of sudden, what she isn’t unique, she isn’t special? And don’t get me started on the whole Stele swipe thing, what is that seriously?

I am not opposed to writers changing a few things when books are adapted for the big and small screen, look at A Game of Thrones and Outlander they are both fantastic examples of book to television done really, really well and changes have been made in both shows without damaging the integrity of the core material.

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I also want to talk about the character of Magnus, what the hell have they done to him?!Book Magnus is funny, sexy, sassy and full of one-liners, t.v Mangus is sooo serious and a bit needy for my taste. For me there is no comparison it’s like the writers have sucked all the life out of the character. Harry Shum Jr who plays him does a good job but the lines he is given are not a lot to work with.

Overall I am giving Shadowhunters a 3/5 stars it’s not bad, but it’s not great either. I believe the show runners are changing for the second half of the season so we will see what happens going forward.

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Mild Spoilers for Lady Midnight and Episode 3 of Shadowhunters ahead

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I don’t want to end this review on a negative note to I would like to mention something that I loved. In Cassandra Clare’s most recent book Lady Midnight she talks a lot about Parabatai and what they mean to each other and at one point explains how the Parabatai ceremony is almost like a wedding. When Jace saves Alec I really felt that we got a good idea of just how bonded Parabatai are and how if one of them dies a part of the other would die too, it was a beautiful scene.

That’s it for today I hope you enjoyed my Shadowhunters chat! I’ll be back with more Shadowhunters later in the season, see you next time!

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My Top Reads of 2016!

Hi Guys!

Can you believe it it’s already 2017! 2016 has been a pretty hit and miss reading year for me but all in all I have read some great books.

I didn’t really plan my reading last year or have any goals I just read what I felt like reading at the time which was okay but the problem is I’m always looking for a book or feeling or vibe in a story (and it never comes along when I want it to.)

Perfect example- I  have been looking for a modern written romantic, gothic tale forever but everything I found seemed to be a classic (eg Northanger Abby, Dracula etc.) Then, just when I’d stopped looking The Essex Serpent was published! (It’s on my January TBR- TBR post coming soon…)

I wouldn’t say my lack of planning made my reading year unsuccessful but I do have plans for more productivity this year but my plans are coming to you in another blog post all togther.

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My Favourites of 2016!

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare 

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I had a Cassandra Clare filled year in 2016! I re-read the second half of The Mortal Instruments series and read The Shadow Hunter Academy short stories for the first time both were brilliant. But I have to say, it was so much fun reading Lady Midnight, Cassandra Clare is one of my favourite authors, I get so drawn into her characters and the Shadow World and I can’t wait for the second book in this series to be released later this year!

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Bodies of Water by V.H Leslie 

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In my hunt for something gothic I discovered Bodies of Water, a short book barely 300 page. It’s ghostly, gothic and filled with betrayal and romance! I Loved it! (All both this books main characters are LGBTQ+)

My Review

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 

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I had heard the hype okay? If you haven’t where have you been living? I never had any plans to read this novel until one day a friend

I never had any plans to read this novel until one day a friend and I were feeling particularly maudlin and watched the movie. The script and the words use in the movie intrigued me, let me tell you this, if you haven’t read the book and are putting off for what ever reason, John Green has it, he has a real command of the English language, every word, every sentence is worth reading in this book it’s all so beautifully constructed.

My Review

The Girls by Emma Cline 

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Loosely based on the Charles Manson killings The Girls is about a fourteen-year-old girl who gets wrapped up in a cult and it’s eventual tragic end. This book was fascinating to read because I didn’t know a lot about the original murders so while reading I researched the original killings which, from a reading perfective allowed me to enjoy the book to its full potential.

Uprooted by Noami Novik

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I really enjoyed Uprooted, normally when I read fantasy I need the book to be huge or a series to I get everything I can out of the world and the characters but Uprooted was the perfected example of a standalone fantasy done well.

I hope you enjoyed my top reads of 2016 see you next time!

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