Category Archives: Book review

Runes by Ednah Walters Review

I have been in a bit of a reading slump recently and for me normally the best cure for a slump is a good YA novel with a decent love interest. I had seen Runes bouncing around Booktube and in my need for something YA, light and fluffy I gravitated towards it, it also helped that it’s currently free for Amazon Kindles! I was also drawn to Runes because it was about mythology and I love books about myths, legends and fairytales.

This book focuses on Norse mythology and it was interesting learning more about Norse Myths as I was only really aware of them in relation to Vikings.

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Runes follows Raine Cooper a teenage girl whose mysterious black-haired, blue-eyed neighbour  has just moved in next door. Raine is having a hard year, her father is missing and her mother  is losing the plot, but she always has her two best friends Cora and Erik and her trusted swim team. When mysterious and accidents start to happen in her life always surrounding her swim team Raine starts to wonder if her mysterious new neighbour and his creepy friends have something to do with these strange and dangerous goings on.

Sadly, although I have seen many positive reviews for this book I felt this was just a mash up between really poor versions of The First Mortal Instruments Book and a bad Twilight and other common YA tropes that I’ve seen time and time again.
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This book has insta-love by the bucket load and all the stereotypical bad boy cliches that YA is known for… this is the kind of book that gives YA a bad name. BUTTTT slightly redeemed by a pretty decent cliff hanger but I won’t be moving on to book two.

Paint and Butterflies Rating – 1/5 Stars

I hope you enjoyed my Runes book review, happy reading everyone!

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Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell- Review

I have had this book on my radar for a long time, I added it to my TBR back when it was first released and I remember it was surrounded by a lot of hype. I am going through a bit of a reading slump at the moment and unsure of what to read I picked up Fangirl, it had been on my shelf so long it seemed about time I gave it a go.

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Fangirl is the story of Cath and her twin sister Wren, they are off to university for the first time and while Wren is out and about making new friends, experiencing life Cath locks herself in her room with only her moody room -mate and her Simon Snow Fanfiction (aka Harry Potter) for company.

On one hand,  I liked Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell is great at creating characters who you really feel are real. On the other, I hated it, more I hated Cath. When I’m reading a book, any book I love to have a main character to root for, to recognise part of myself in them, or just like them in some way will do. I found Cath so hard to relate to, she is at university away from home for the first time and what?

Nothing, she doesn’t go to parties, make friends, or talk about boys (or girls) instead she is the ultimate Fangirl and quite afraid of real life, anything that isn’t her Fanfiction. Although I’m not Cath’s biggest fan her character gives a voice to the writing of Fanfiction which can only be a positive thing. After all, there are real books out there that started as fanfiction (I’m looking at you  Fifty Shades of Grey).

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Overall Fangirl is a well written humorous book, with a cute love interest, who wouldn’t love Levi?

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But for me it was a bit of a non-starter, I skipped most of the Carry On sections of the book and found Cath a bit of a bore.

I know this is a well-loved book but we can’t all Fangirl over the same things now, can we?

Paint and Butterflies Rating 2/5 Stars

Happy reading everyone!

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City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare- Review

Stop. If you have not read all the books in The Mortal Instruments Series and The Infernal Devices then this review will spoil things for you- step away now!

This month has been the month of The Mortal Instruments for me (and Shadowhunter Academy and Lady Midnight) This book was such a great round up to a series that I started reading three years ago with City of Bones. I went on a bit of a Shadowhunters hiatus when I finished City of Glass because (and I know some of you will agree) it does feel like a finale. When I started watching the Shadowhunters t.v show on Netflix it all came back to me, this world, this wonderful, wonderful world and what I was missing but not finishing the rest of the series.

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City of Heavenly Fire is so clever the way it interweaves new characters Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn right at the start. We get to know Emma, Julian  and the rest of the Blackthorn children from the beginning of book all ready paving the way for them to take over as the new protagonists in the Dark Artifices.

When we meet Emma and Julian and the rest of the Blackthorns the terrible Sebastian is turning Shadowhunters into his very own Endarkened army getting them to drink from his own sick, Sebastian version of The Mortal Cup. Just replace Angel blood with Demon blood and Sebastian has his very own recipe for zombie, Shadowhunters with kickass fighting skills, all willing to follow him to the end of the world (Evil villain plus evil army sounds like disaster waiting to happen.)

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Now it has taken five and a bit books for Clary and Jace to get their acts together first there was Simon, there was the whole brother and sister thing, then Jace was being all Herondale-y about EVERYTHING. Finally, Clace are in a good(ish) place I mean it is the end of the world after all and Jace is always going to be Jace (aka such a drama queen) but it’s in the blood *coughs Will*.

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My favourite ship was not doing as well, in City of Lost Souls held some dramatic moments for me- the Malec breakup. City of Heavenly Fire continues on in this vein, I cannot tell you how many times I said out loud “Magnus just tell Alec who Will is!” So frustrating, but in the best possible way and when Magnus is taken with Raphael, Josealenne and Luke and our A team (Clary, Jace, Alec Izzy and Simon) go to rescue them I loved the moment Alec broke down to Jace was like how would you feel if Clary had been taken? Poor Alec going out his mind and his Parabatai didn’t notice how afraid he was feeling (Jace why are you always so self-involved?).

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The witty dialogue and character development is something I LOVE about Cassandra Clare’s writing you never feel like you are on the outside looking in on the story but really in the book living it with the characters.

Simon is really the hero of this story for me and City of Heavenly Fire just finishes off the journey he has been through in the novels so perfectly – Mundane, Vampire – Clary, Izzy. He saves Magnus, he might have lost his memories but he saved Magnus  and in my book that makes him a true hero.

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I just want to take a moment to talk about Brother Zachariah after reading Clockwork Princess I knew, I flipping knew he was going to make an appearance now I’m bias Jem’s my favourite character in all of Cassandra Clare’s books (Magnus is chomping at his heels mind you!) Seeing him ‘back’, talk about Tessa about Will *sheds tear* I’m really looking forward to seeing him and Tessa make future appearances in Lady Midnight and Beyond.

Overall this was an epic last instalment, Shadowhunters books are fun, funny and with ships to go down with!

5/5 Paint and Butterflies Stars!

Happy Reading Everyone!

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My Shadowhunters reviews and things

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare – Review

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare – Review

Tessa/Will Reading Challenge

The Mortal Instruments Film vs Shadowhunters TV Show

Let’s Talk About Shadowhunters!

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare- Review

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare- Review

 

 

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare- Review

I’m on such a Shadowhunters kick recently in real time I’m reading Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy right now but this isn’t real time this is review time and this is my review of City of Lost Souls!

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Getting back into this world has been so much fun I had quite a substantial break between reading City of Glass and my reading of City of Fallen Angels which was spurred on when I started watching the show on Netflix. It was brought back to me how much I enjoyed being in this world so the minute season 1 ended I picked up City of Fallen Angels and picked up where I had left off. City of Fallen Angels Review

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By the time I had finished City of Fallen Angels I was totally immersed back in this world and it reminded me of the love and laughs that as a reader you can really have with these characters.

Mild Spoilers for City of Lost Souls Ahead

City of Lost Souls book 5 in The Mortal Instruments Series picks up where City of Fallen Angels left off with Jace missing, abducted by the merciless Sebastian. When Clary finally catches up with him he is not the Jace she had left behind. Jace is now bound magically to her evil, demonic brother Sebastian. Whatever Sebastian wills and wishes are Jace’s are as well when Clary is finally forced to join them in a mysterious demonic apartment that moves so fast to is impossible for the other Shadowhunters to track Clary wonders if she will ever get her Jace back and if that is even possible.

This book also upped the anti when is came to Malec ❤ Magnus is my all time favourite character in any of Cassandra Clares books and I felt that we really got a healthy dose of Magnus moments and his story arc with Alec has really grown and developed into something that is just a joy to read about.

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I felt that City of Lost Souls was an amazing set up for City of Heavenly fire (which I have just finished *squeals* ) I  have the biggest book hangover right now but not to worry Lady Midnight is in the post!

Paint and Butterflies Rating 4/5 Stars!

Happy Reading Everyone!

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City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare Review

Mild Spoilery content For The Mortal Instruments Books 1-4 ahead

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After reading The Mortal Instruments books 1-3 and The Infernal Devices 1-3 a couple of years ago almost back to back I have been on a bit of a Shadowhunters hiatus I think I was over loaded by Shadowhuntery goodness (if that can be I thing?) That was until the series began on Freeform (Netflix for me as I am in the UK) the show reminded how much I loved the books and that I need to catch up on the  rest of the series.

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For those who haven’t read The Mortal Instruments or aren’t caught up on the rest of the series City of Fallen Angels focuses quite heavily on Simon, Clary’s best friend and Vampire and since the Mortal War is newly marked with The Mark of Cain. Simon is doing his best to live as a vampire/human/daylighter he’s playing in his band and dating two amazing girls including beautiful, badass Shadowhunter Izzy although two timing them might not be the wisest of life choices. Soon the mark that was a lovely (if not miss guidedly) bestowed upon him by Clary starts to cause him trouble and he has several attempts on his life and soon he sees what bearing the Mark of Cain really means. Protected by comedy double act Jace and werewolf Jordan what could possibly go wrong?

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The City of Fallen Angels is definitely a bridge book between the end of the first three Mortal Instruments books that I believe were originally only meant to be a trilogy. It’s really interesting seeing the beginning of what is now not just Clary and Jace’s story; Simon is now not just a side character he is so much more than that and I really enjoyed being back in the Shadowhunter world with all its usual witty diolague and angsty romance (I’m looking at you Clace!)

My only problem with this book would be, City of Glass was a book that felt very much like a finale and City of Fallen Angels was almost starting from the beginning again in terms of pacing. But by the time it was over I was hooked and in love with the world again and I am already flying through City of Lost Souls, it’s great to be back in this world one of my favourite series of all time.

Side note: Magnus ❤

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I gave this a Paint and Butterflies Rating of 3/5 Stars!

Happy reading everyone!

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Passenger by Alexandra Bracken -Review

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Title: Passenger

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Number in series: 1

Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Rating: 2/5

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Passenger from Netgalley in return for an honest review. 

I have been really excited to read Passenger it has been so hyped up, every review I read of it seems to be a positive one and it is involving one of my favourite tropes – time travel.

Sadly though Passenger really didn’t do it for me. Passenger follows Etta a prodigy violinist who, in the middle of the performance of her life finds out that she is a time traveler. I think this book had the intention of being a swashbuckling, sea- faring, romantic ride. Instead though the ship sank, and the romance was all a bit insta-lovey (eww)

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I personally don’t think the quality of the writing was that great, in regards to the romance these characters love to talk about how each other smell ALL THE TIME which is apparently of the earth and the sea (so dirt and salt then? Sighs).

Passenger is the type of book which is very dialogue heavy- I normally love this in a book because if done well (shout out Cassandra Clare) you can really get into the head and personality of the characters. Etta and Nicholas are the characters who are predominantly speaking to each other; my problem is there is no differentiating between the characters when reading. The dialogue is all really monotone and after a while just blends into one, stunting my ability to get to know the characters on any kind of deeper level.

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I did find Passenger I bit of a slog, I was bored, the story was predictable  and this book is essentially a time travel romance and if you are going to do time travel you better do it well because it has been done soo many times before. (*Shout out Outlander and The Rose Garden*)

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For me this wasn’t great, I didn’t really connect to the characters and I won’t be coming back for book 2.

However, there were some good moments some moments of light, humor and a handsome (and diverse) male protagonist and that’s why this is a two star rather than a 1-star rating.

I hope you enjoyed my review,

Happy reading everyone!

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Cinder by Marissa Meyer Review

Title:Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)

Author:Marissa Meyer

Publisher:Puffin Books

Edition:Paperback

Genre: Young Adult 

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I have had a copy of Cinder for over a year now it was a birthday gift from a bookish (non blogger friend) but has sat on my shelves patiently waiting to be read. I have to admit I have put of reading The Lunar Chronicles the idea of Cinderella but as cyborg didn’t really appeal to me.

What is it about?

Cinder is more than just Cyborg /Cinderella Cinder is a complex Young Adult Fairytale re-telling with new ideas and a new world to wade through. The story focuses on Cinder a Cyborg living in New Beijing with her adoptive family, her country is swamped by a plague which is killing people within days and has no cure. Her youngest stepsister soon contracts the plague and Cinder’s family blames her. Adri, Cinder’s Stepmother is quick to sell her Cyborg stepdaughter and give her body for medical research. Cyborgs have no rights, seen as less than human Cinder finds she has no choice and is taken away to tested on until her inevitable death.  (Don’t worry though there is still a Prince and a pretty dress and oh yeah a shoe well, a foot!)

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Cinder vs Cinderella

When studying at University part of my dissertation was fairy-tales effect on feminism  and because of this I have spent a lot of time researching fairy-tales and their origins – particularly Cinderella. One thing that I learnt that Cinderella’s most like to have originated from China (not France thank you Brothers Grimm).  So it was really interesting reading Cinder as it is set in Beijing (New Beijing) but still. Having Asian characters felt right for a story which more than likely came from that culture and if nothing else it made for a diverse reading experience and we always want more of that right?

What did I think?

Over all I think Cinder is a great part one to a series, the first one hundred pages or so were slow but after that it picked up and I got really engrossed in the story. There is a love interest which (considering we are reading Cinderella) is not to romance heavy it’s cheeky and cute and I can’t wait to here more from Cinder and Kai.

Definitely going to be picking up Book 2 Scarlet very soon!

3/5 Paint and Butterflies Stars!

Hope you enjoyed my review,

Happy reading everyone!

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The Girls by Emma Cline – Review

The Girls by Emma Cline is loosely based on the infamous US Manson Murders of 1969. When I first heard of this book I was unaware of the murders I had heard of the name Charles Manson but nothing more than that entered by consciousness. So my eagerness to read The Girls was purely based on the premise it’s self. Very quickly I researched the Murders, what happened and having that information became a important part of my reading experience.

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The Girls follows fourteen year old Evie, she is at an emotional time in her life, her parents her divorced and occupied by new partners, boys are just coming into her focus and her best friend is not so best any more. Rejected and alone Evie meets Suzanne a savage, wild and free young girl. Evie is drawn to her magnetic nature, her ruff beauty and the enigmatic girls who surround her.

What Emma Cline has done with the girls is really shown she understands young women and how obsessive they can be, friendships the world of friends and how devastating it can be when you are rejected from that world. Cline pens a tale where girl- hood is every thing and the murders that we know are coming are outside somewhere on the peripheral  of the story and very slowly start closing in all around us as  readers.

I did feel that the story got a little bit lost in the middle but it quickly won me back round. The writing is creepy and sent me on a 60’s trip and kept me morally on my toes, I would recommend this book to everyone it’s deep, hearty and emotional all the while keeping its story rooted deeply in the heart of girl hood.

The Girls has been optioned for a movie so keep your eyes peeled for all up and coming movie news here on Paint and Butterflies Books.

Paint and Butterflies Rating- 

3/5 Stars! 

Happy Reading Everyone!

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Uprooted by Naomi Novik – Review

Author:Naomi Novik 

Genre:Fantasy /Young Adult

Standalone or Series: Standalone 

Publisher: Del Ray

Uprooted is the story of Agnieszka – she is a young woman who lives in a small village with her family and her best friend the beautiful and enigmatic Kasia but there is a dark side to Agnieszka’s world. Her village is on the edge of a dark, magical wood, a wood that destroys and kills everything it touches. Agnieszka and her people are protected from the wood by the Dragon. A fearsome wizard employed by the King to live in a tower on the edge of the wood and protect the people with magic but the Dragons protection comes with a price. Every ten years he will come to the village and take a girl to go and live with him in the tower. Ten years he will keep her and after that the girls are let go, often they try to go back to live with their families but they can’t. The girls are much changed and each girl has left the village never to return.

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“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka knows that Kasia will be taken by the Dragon, he always picks the most beautiful, most talented girl Kasia is all those things. When the day of the choosing arrives and all the girls a rowed up for the Dragon’s choosing the Dragon takes a look at Kasia but instead he chooses Agnieszka-scruffy, plain Agnieszka. Agnieszka will soon learn that everything in the Dragon’s tower is not as it seems and it is not just Agnieszka who will learn- the Dragon will also find himself. (And if you like a Wizard with an attitude problem you will love the Dragon!)

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What did I think?

I really enjoyed Uprooted it is a slow paced, fairy tale which felt to me to have Russian influences. Agnieszka and the Dragon have a really interesting love/hate (mostly love…confusion,sometimes disgust <3) relationship and something I really enjoyed about this book was their slow burning romance . It wasn’t to intense, or to in your face it was just there, sadly though I felt the relationship (for me at least) was never quite fore-filled and was disappointed by their lack of conclusion.

The story and character development in Uprooted is very well done and I really enjoyed Noami’s writing style. Her style is quite slow but as I read on I could really feel the story building around her words and as I turned each page was desperate for a conclusion.

Over all I would give this a Paint and Butterflies rating of 4/5 stars I would highly recommend for anyone who enjoys a fairy-tale with Russian influences, Wizards and Witches and a Dragon with a serious attitude problem!

Happy reading everyone!

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children- by Ransom Riggs- Review

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a series I have wanted to start for about two years and this December I finally got round to it making it my final book of 2015.

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This creepy YA Fantasy-Mystery is both aesthetically pleasing and beautifully written it is the story of Jacob a young boy who has a close relationship with his Grandfather. This Grandfather has always told him stories and Jacob has come to an age when he realises than his Grandfathers tales are more like fairy-tales then the rock solid truth he had always believed them to be. With his Grandfather’s health failing and his own fathers difficult relationship with his Grandfather all tied in with Jacob’s mental heath issues, Jacob visits his Grandfather in search of answers. Only to witness something on his arrival that is so shocking it will change his life forever.

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Jacob is lead by the stories he was told as a child to England and a creepy, dead deserted house with nothing there but burnt belongings and the ghosts of a past long gone. But Jacob soon finds that this house is more than it seems, that the world from his Grandfathers tales might not be gone after all and it might be his destiny to be part of it after all.

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Told with genuine antique photographs the pictures add to the creepy feel of the story and help Jacob’s Grandfather’s tales come to life bringing the Peter Pan esk world into reality of Children who live forever, who never die.

I really enjoyed Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children I felt great empathy for Jacob’s story I loved learning about the Peculiar Children and I can’t waited to jump right in with book 2. To find out what will happened to Miss Peregrine, Jacob and the rest of the Peculiar gang! The Miss Peregrine series is being adapted to film for 2016 – Directed by Tim Burton this is something to look forward to in the up and coming year the film stars Eva Green, Samuel L. Jackson and Asa Butterfield as Jacob.

This first book in the series has 4/5 Paint and Butterflies Rating!

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Happy reading xoxo