Review: Falling Sky (Blue Phoenix #2) by Lisa Swallow

falling skyTitle: Falling Sky
Author: Lisa Swallow
Series: Blue Phoenix #2
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: contemporary romance
Links:

Blurb:
Sky’s world turned upside down when she met rock star Dylan Morgan, and exploded when she discovered his hidden past.

Four months after Sky learns Dylan’s devastating secret, she’s trying to piece her life back together. Without an explanation from Dylan, Sky has no choice but to try and forget him.

Dragged back into the life he ran from, Dylan continues to spiral downwards as he copes with his fame the only way he knows how. Shattered by the revelation Sky knows his darker past, he forces himself to return to England and explain.

Sky and Dylan reconnect, attempting to build on the shaky foundations of their summer. But the outside world continues to conspire against them.

Taking place in the epicentre of the Blue Phoenix world, Sky and Dylan’s story continues amongst the chaos surrounding the band and its members.

My Review:
I raced through this second installment, eager to know how things would end up for Sky and Dylan. I loved how both of them matured and developed as characters and how their relationship changed from being a sort of ‘crutch’ to a true partnership.

I still love this author’s writing though there were parts of the dialog that felt unnatural. Personally, I believe she missed a couple of plot opportunities, especially with Lily and Sky’s break-in. (Partly because I just don’t want their story to end.)

The last quarter of the book I was waiting for something climactic to happen but it didn’t. It was only at the end that I realized this is the last story centering on Sky and Dylan and I’m pretty heartbroken because I am not ready to say goodbye to them yet.

I’ve no interest in reading Liam’s book. We barely got to hear from him in Book 1 & 2 so I don’t feel any connection to him and Honey is just uugghh – a stereotypical gold-digger. I won’t be checking out that book, however, I’m really interested to read Jem’s story. He was a really interesting character – flawed, troubled and majorly hitting the self-destruct button.

Overall, this was a great read and this is a gem of a series.

Blog Tour: The Affiliate (Ascension #1) by K.A. Linde

The Affiliate BT banner
Today is my stop during the blog tour for The Affiliate (Ascension #1) by K.A. Linde. I’ll share my review of the book and there’s a tour wide giveaway!

TA AmazonTitle: The Affiliate
Author: K.A. Linde
Series: Ascension #1
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Fantasy/ Paranormal
Links:

Blurb:
On the day of her Presenting, in front of the entire Byern Court, seventeen-year-old Cyrene Strohm’s lifelong plans come to fruition when she’s chosen for one of the most prestigious positions in her homeland—an Affiliate to the Queen.

Or so she thinks.

When Cyrene receives a mysterious letter and an unreadable book, she finds nothing is as it seems. Thrust into a world of dangerous political intrigue and deadly magic, Cyrene’s position only grows more treacherous when she finds herself drawn to the one man she can never have…

King Edric himself.

Cyrene must decide if love is truly worth the price of freedom. Find out in this first book in USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde’s new Ascension series.

My Review:
This was a great fantasy read and a promising start to a new series.

We meet Cyrene as she is preparing for her presentation in the Royal Castle. Chosen as the Queen’s affiliate, she immediately captures the eye of both King Edric and his sleazy brother Kael. As she tries to adjust to life in the Castle away from her family and without her childhood bestfriend, she becomes embroiled in mystery and intrigue and eventually sets out on a journey that will lead to a shocking revelation about her true identity.

There are some romantic interludes with the King and a couple of close encounters with Kael, but in the main the romance is light in this book.

I struggled to get into this story at the start – there was a lot of information provided initially and I was a little confused. Once I hit the thirty percent mark, this book really took off, and I became thoroughly engrossed in it.

The plot and worldbuilding are imaginative, the characters are complex, the writing is great. A solid read. I look forward to reading the rest of this series when it’s released.

Thanks to the author, publisher, and Inkslinger PR for providing a review copy in exchange for my honest opionion.

kalinde copyAbout the Author:
USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde is the author of The Affiliate, the first book in the Ascension Series. As a military brat, she traveled the world with her family, imaginary friends, and ever-increasing supply of books. She has spent much of her life dreaming up new worlds and characters and forcing them into uncomfortable, usually life-threatening scenarios. After graduating from the University of Georgia with a masters degree in political science, she began spending every waking hour putting those characters onto paper.
When not writing, she spends her time dancing, collecting paperbacks in the hopes of filling a Beauty and the Beast style library one day, traveling to visit her friends who live all over the country, and still reading anything she can get her hands on. She currently resides in North Carolina with her husband and two puppies, Lucy and Riker, where she is hard at work on her next novel.

Links:

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Review: Summer Sky (Blue Phoenix #1) by Lisa Swallow

summer skyTitle: Summer Sky
Author: Lisa Swallow
Series: Blue Phoenix #1
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Sky changed her life for a man once, and she has no intention of doing it again – even if he is a six foot, tattooed rock god who makes a mean bacon sandwich.

Sky Davis is fed up of boyfriend Grant taking her for granted and when she comes home to find him wearing a girl, Sky suspects the relationship is over. She takes an unscheduled holiday and leaves the life (and guy) she hates behind.

Rock star Dylan Morgan is struggling with fame and infamy, sick of his life being controlled by other people. Dylan cuts his hair and walks away from his role as lead singer of Blue Phoenix, leaving chaos and speculation behind.

Outside the English seaside town of Broadbeach their cars and worlds collide.

Sky decides Dylan is an arrogant guy with too many tattoos, and Dylan is amused by the smart-mouthed girl with no idea who he is. Dylan and Sky soon discover they’ve travelled to Broadbeach for the same reason – to escape from reality back to a place with happy childhood memories.

Losing themselves in a world where they know nothing about each other, Sky and Dylan begin a holiday romance that soon heats up their rainy English summer.

Fantasies can’t last forever and when reality crashes the party, Sky isn’t sure she wants to be more than his ‘summer Sky’.

Returning to the real world and public scrutiny isn’t their only problem. Blue Phoenix lead guitar player, Jem Jones, has a reason for wanting Sky out of Dylan’s life, and is determined to come between them. Some things won’t stay hidden, even when they’re paid to ‘go away’.

Summer Sky is a romance where occasionally more than the bacon sizzles. This is the first in the new ‘Blue Phoenix’ series of contemporary rock star romances.

*Please note this is not a standalone and has a cliffhanger – Sky’s and Dylan’s story continues in Falling Sky (Blue Phoenix #2)

My Review:
This book totally sucked me in and I read it in two sittings. Apart from a couple of minor annoyances, I really enjoyed it. Love this author’s writing style and will definitely continue the series.

The author brings you into the heart of the story from the get-go and straight away my interest was piqued. Sky is a likeable MC and I loved Dylan at the start; though later on I became more suspicious of his motives and wondered if he was trustworthy. A hot, troubled rock star god? Yeah, this was definitely my kind of book.

There was a part about a third of the way in where I grew a little frustrated as it appeared that the couple were going round and round in circles and the dialog became a little repetitive. However, it was only a minor speed-bump.

I loved the rock star world in the second part of this book and I felt the author did a great job of presenting it as outwardly glamorous but inwardly quite twisted and full of debauchery. It made for some great reading.

I loved the writing style and it was a very accomplished novel, in my opinion.

All in all a great read and I’d highly recommend it. I think fans of J.Lynn would especially enjoy this series.

I’ve already downloaded Falling Sky and I can’t wait to get into bed tonight and continue the story, especially after that shocking cliff-hanger ending (love it).

Thanks to Lisa Swallow for promoting this book which enabled me to pick up a free copy.

Review: Whiskey Kisses (3:AM Kisses #4) by Addison Moore

whiskey kissesTitle: Whiskey Kisses
Author: Addison Moore
Series: 3:AM Kisses #4
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genres: Conteporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
This book can be read as a standalone.

Izzy Sawyer has always been the it girl. She believes she’s the last person on earth who deserves a happily ever after. Holt Edwards has always been the player that women voluntarily fall to their knees for. When it comes to love, Holt doesn’t believe in fairytale endings.

When Izzy dives back into the dating pool, Holt is right there, ready and willing, to offer tips and tricks to get her through an entire army of blind dates—starting with a bone melting demonstration on how to deliver mouthwatering kisses.

One thing leads to whiskey and Izzy is starting to think happily ever after doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. Holt is starting to rethink his stance on fairytale endings.

But Izzy has a secret that has turned her world upside down. Holt has a secret of his own that cost him far more than he ever bargained for.

Sometimes life doesn’t give you the happily ever after. Sometimes it’s best to leave fairytale endings on the bookshelf where they belong.

Izzy can’t stop thinking about Holt.
Holt can’t seem to quit his favorite new addiction—Izzy.

The mercury is rising—secrets are percolating—and their lust for one another is just about to detonate.

Izzy needs just one more hit of Holt and his late night Whiskey kisses, but deep down she knows that will never be enough. She wants all of him—every bone melting kiss he ever has to offer.

Izzy wants Holt
Holt worships Izzy.

Summer in Hollow Brook just heated up.
Sparks are flying.
Together Izzy and Holt are unstoppably electric.

My Review:
Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

This is my first Addison Moore book and I haven’t read the other books in this series.

I really enjoyed reading this and it was quite a quick read. However, I did have a few issues with it that stopped me from rating it higher.

Izzy is a like-able MC and I really felt for her the whole way throughout the story. All she has ever tried to do is abide by her father’s last wish – to make sure her mom isn’t alone, her sister is looked after, and to write to him. I had a feeling that her father would reappear at some point. One of the sweetest parts of this book were the letters that Izzy wrote to her Dad – these parts were exceptionally well written.

Holt is smoking hot and also a really nice guy. Quite mature for 22, except for his actions at the end of the book which were uncharacteristically immature and also not relevant to the plot. Overall, I really loved him though and one can’t help but fall for him, particularly when he is so protective of Izzy.

There was some very witty dialogue between Holt and Izzy, and Izzy and her mom. But in other parts I felt the dialogue was cringe-worthy, cheesy and very unnatural. A little inconsistent.

Izzy’s mom and sister were extremely irritating characters and so selfish, particularly Laney. I really didn’t like her at all. Holt’s dad is a prize jerk, yet in the emotional reveal at the end he seems to have developed into the persona of what a man his age should be – but it wasn’t in keeping with how he acted in the rest of the story.

Izzy has been struggling to deal with the aftermath of a hugely traumatic experience and consequently she has shut herself off to love and relationships. I felt the author handled this very well, and I could feel Izzy’s pain. However, when Izzy and Holt finally get it on she had no doubts and appeared overly confident for someone who was supposed to be a troubled virgin. In reality, I think she would have been way more apprehensive.

There is a plot-line around the fact that Izzy is 5 years older than Holt and there are a few scenes where she worries about this and one scene where others petty prejudices come to the fore. I’m not sure that it’s as current or relevant nowadays but I could relate to Izzy’s sentiments as I met my husband when he was 21 and I was 26 and I initially turned him down because I felt he was too young, and I worried what others would think. However, that was sixteen years ago, and I thought it was more acceptable nowadays? So not sure in current times how big of a deal it would actually be.

The ending was too neatly wrapped up to be believable, and I was incredulous for the most part. But it didn’t dent my overall enjoyment of this book. I will definitely check out more of this authors work. However, I’ve no interest in reading about Lainey and Ryder or Cole and Roxy so I will probably check out Bryson and Baya’s book.

I’d like to thank Addison Moore for running a free promo on this book which allowed me to pick up a complimentary copy.

Review: Awoken (The Lucidites #1) by Sarah Noffke

awokenTitle: Awoken
Author: Sarah Noffke
Series: The Lucidites #1
Rating: 3 stars
Genres: Fantasy/ Paranormal
Links:

Blurb:
Around the world humans are hallucinating after sleepless nights.

In a sterile, underground institute the forecasters keep reporting the same events.

And in the backwoods of Texas, a sixteen-year-old girl is about to be caught up in a fierce, ethereal battle.

Meet Roya Stark. She drowns every night in her dreams, spends her hours reading classic literature to avoid her family’s ridicule, and is prone to premonitions—which are becoming more frequent. And now her dreams are filled with strangers offering to reveal what she has always wanted to know: Who is she? That’s the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out. But will Roya live to regret learning the truth?

My Review:
I was gifted a copy by the author in exchange for my honest review.

Awoken has a very interesting premise, and that – along with the beautiful cover – is what attracted me to this book. Overall I did enjoy reading it, but I had some issues with the plot and pacing which stopped me from rating it higher.

The whole notion of dream travelling is very intriguing and it was imaginatively thought out and described. It was very creative and I really enjoyed that aspect of this book. I also liked the author’s style of writing; her prose is decent and it is in keeping with other books in the YA genre.

It took me a while to warm to Roya and I blew hot and cold on her a few times. She is thrown into an impossible situation and I can completely understand how challenging it would be to wrap your head around that. However,she was very whiny for far longer than necessary in my view. As the story progressed I liked her more but some of her actions with the love interests irritated me.

I enjoy a strong romance thread and the romance was a little light in this book for me. I’m sure that will appeal to others, though. Aiden was cute from the get-go.

The biggest issue I had with this book was the first and last 15-20%. I was quite confused the first few chapters and it felt like we were just dropped in the middle of a story; there was no build up or gradual weaving into the plot. I honestly hadn’t a clue what was going on at first. I enjoyed the middle section the most and it flowed well. The plot was building up to this epic confrontation with Zhuang (the villain of the piece) and when it arrived it was rather anti-climactic, and also quite confusing.

In summary, this is an interesting concept and the story will appeal to fans of YA fantasy who aren’t keen on strong romance sub-plots. While parts are confusing, it is still an enjoyable read.

I’d like to thank Sarah Noffke for providing me with a complimentary copy, and I wish her every success with her writing.

Review: Calling California (Hunter Hill University #1) by J.P. Grider

calling californiaTitle: Calling California
Author: J.P. Grider
Series: Hunter Hill University #1
Rating: 3 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Cali Parker is poor. She has a lot on her plate – her father is dying, she’s working to help pay the rent, and she’s two-years behind in college.

Griffin Brooks is rich. He has not a care in the world – he’s acing his engineering courses, his hobby is restoring his fifty-thousand dollar classic car, and he has a different girl on his arm every week.

When Cali sees Griffin on her first day of class, she’s immediately smitten and thinks she’s found the perfect guy. When Griffin sees Cali at the bank, he immediately forgets the blonde he was with that morning. Then they meet, and their worlds collide.

Cali doesn’t belong in Griffin’s world, and he doesn’t understand hers. But just when Griffin convinces Cali that their two different worlds can blend, a secret is revealed that tears them apart.

Is their love strong enough to bring them back together, or will their worlds drift further apart?

My Review:
Cali has had a tough life, with one knock back after another. Money has never been in great supply in her household and she’s had to defer college to save up enough money to go. Then her dad gets sick and her mom is pulling two jobs to try and meet his medical bills. Griffin has had it cushy and never wanted for anything. A major player, he’s never met any girl he felt like settling down with, until he meets Cali.

Cali has a chip the size of a planet on her shoulder over money. On one level, I could feel her pain and empathize, but on another level I wanted to give her a swift kick in the butt and tell her to get over herself. She allows it to control and ruin basically every aspect of her life. I have to say, after a while, it became tedious to read it, and by the end of the book any sympathy I had for her had been erased.

The redeeming element in this book is undoubtedly Griffen. All he does is try his best to support and please Cali, and all she does is constantly push him away. There is an inciting incident at the start, when they are kids, that brings the whole ‘soulmates’ premise into play. I loved that and it helped me believe in their love, because without that I really didn’t see what attracted Griffen to whiny Cali.

There’s a really good twist about half way through the book. I suspected there was something coming, but not that! I love when a book surprises me. Again, Griffen acts in Cali’s best interests in helping to bring the secret out into the open. Cali feels betrayed by him and her mom (which is initially a natural reaction) but then she forgives her mom for a lifetime of lies and kicks Griffen to the curb even though he only concealed it for a few days, and only to do the right thing. That was the part where I started screaming at my Kindle.

The writing is consistent with other books in this genre and we get our HEA in the end. It’s an enjoyable enough read even though I wish some of the characters ( and Cali in particular) behaved differently.

I received a review copy of this book via Lola’s Blog Tours in exchange for my honest review.


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Review: The Legacy Human (Singularity #1) by Susan Kaye Quinn

the legacy humanTitle: The Legacy Human
Author: Susan Kaye Quinn
Series: Singularity #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Science Fiction
Links:

Blurb:
Spiritual successor to the bestselling Mindjack trilogy…

When transcending humanity is the prize, winning the Game is all that matters.

Seventeen-year-old Elijah Brighton wants to become an ascender—a post-Singularity human/machine hybrid—after all, they’re smarter, more enlightened, more compassionate, and above all, achingly beautiful. But Eli is a legacy human, preserved and cherished for his unaltered genetic code, just like the rainforest he paints. When a fugue state possesses him and creates great art, Eli miraculously lands a sponsor for the creative Olympics. If he could just master the fugue, he could take the gold and win the right to ascend, bringing everything he’s yearned for within reach… including his beautiful ascender patron. But once Eli arrives at the Games, he finds the ascenders are playing games of their own. Everything he knows about the ascenders and the legacies they keep starts to unravel… until he’s running for his life and wondering who he truly is.

The Legacy Human is the first in a new young adult science fiction series that explores the intersection of mind, body, and soul… and how technology will challenge us to remember what it means to be human.

Check out Susan Kaye Quinn’s website for information about The Legacy Human everything Singularity.

My Review:
This is my first Susan Kaye Quinn book but it most definitely won’t be the last.

Imaginative. Creative. Exceptionally well executed. Beautifully written. WOW. I’m blown away.

The Legacy Human challenges the reader to explore what it actually means to be human. I found it very thought-provoking and deeply spiritual in parts. What happens to our soul if in the future we manage to transcend humanity? Do we still have one? Is there a way to maintain that essential component of what it is to be human? And if the opportunity was there would you aspire to ascend? These are some of the questions I asked myself, and some of the issues that Eli has to face on his self-developmental journey. Throw in some untrustworthy characters and a hefty dose of suspense and you end up with a roller-coaster ride of a read.

Eli is very easy to warm to. His willingness to place his mother’s safety above his own was very endearing. Cy, his best-friend-slash-brother, is fiercely loyal and a brilliant side-kick. I felt a strong emotional connection with both characters and they were very well written and developed as the book progressed. I have a feeling I know who Eli’s father is and if I’m correct it is going to shatter his world. Can’t wait for the next books in the series to find out!

The world-building is superb and I could easily picture the Ascender and Legacy cities. I would love to see this made into a movie; I think it would be visually stunning.

Susan’s writing is breath-taking and so inspiring. She is truly amazingly talented.

I felt the pacing was a little slow in the first part of the book, but it’s only a minor complaint. It didn’t deter from my overall enjoyment of this book.

A friend who is a big fan of Susan’s recommended that I read this book and I’m so glad I did. I have the Mindjack Trilogy on my Kindle already and I look forward to reading some more of Susan’s work.

In summary, this is an exceptionally well written book with stunning world-building, imaginative plot, like-able characters and a promise of great things to come with the rest of the series. Highly Recommended.

Review: Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth

insurgentTitle: Insurgent
Author: by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: dystopia
Links:

Blurb:
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth’s much-anticipated second book of the dystopian DIVERGENT series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

My Review:
I’ve just re-read this in advance of the movie (I have tickets booked for Friday, cannot wait!).

I love Veronica’s writing style and the story flows nicely. Tris is suffering from PTSD in this book and it’s painful to watch her unraveling. Four is emotionally damaged due to his background, so he isn’t able to support her in the right way. He tries to intervene, but all he achieves is to push her further away. It was frustrating and heart-breaking to read at times. On several occasions I wished I could reach into the book and shake both of them!

I love how Veronica subtly builds up to Caleb’s brutal betrayal. I never liked him as a character and in Insurgent I finally realize why.

This book was action packed but also an emotional roller-coaster ride. I loved every bit of it, and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read it now.

If you haven’t checked out this series yet then you must!

Review: Fire Country (Country Saga #1) by David Estes

fire countryTitle: Fire Country
Author: by David Estes
Series: Country Saga #1
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Dystopia
Links:

Blurb:
In a changed world where the sky bleeds red, winter is hotter than hell and full of sandstorms, and summer’s even hotter with raging fires that roam the desert-like country, the Heaters manage to survive, barely.

Due to toxic air, life expectancies are so low the only way the tribe can survive is by forcing women to procreate when they turn sixteen and every three years thereafter. It is their duty as Bearers.

Fifteen-year-old Siena is a Youngling, soon to be a Bearer, when she starts hearing rumors of another tribe of all women, called the Wild Ones. They are known to kidnap Youngling girls before the Call, the ceremony in which Bearers are given a husband with whom to bear children with.

As the desert sands run out on her life’s hourglass, Siena must uncover the truth about the Wild Ones while untangling the web of lies and deceit her father has masterfully spun.

My Review:
This is an accomplished book; beautifully written. I’m a fan of this vernacular-style of writing and David is clearly a talented author. It reminded me (a little) of the Dustlands series by Moira Young, though it’s still a unique story in it’s own right.

I struggled to engage in the story at the start. However, that’s happening me a lot at the moment, so it probably says more about me than about any of the books I’ve been reading recently. I became invested about a third of the way in, and I felt the pace and plot picked up then.

It took me a little while to warm to Sienna. While I could empathize with her predicament, some of her actions infuriated me. By her own admission she is weak (physically at least) yet that doesn’t stop her from throwing herself into situations that she can’t handle. Her actions continually put those she loves at risk, and she never seems to learn that lesson. That grated on me a little. Circ was instantly like-able and I thought my heart would break when that twist occurred mid way through. I spent the rest of the book praying it wasn’t as it appeared to be.

I loved the world-building, and I could easily visualize the derelict, primitive environment they lived in. David is very skilled at invoking emotions in his characters, and I particularly felt Sienna’s heartache in the second half of the book. This was extremely well written in my opinion.

Overall, I think this is a good addition to the YA Dystopian genre, and I would recommend it. I’d like to thank David for running a free promotion which enabled me to pick up a complimentary copy of this book. I’ll definitely be checking out some of his other work.

Blog Tour: The Counting-Downers by A.J. Compton

Counting Downers BT BANNER
Today is my stop during the blog tour for The Counting-Downers by A.J. Compton! I am really excited to be part of this tour and will share my review with you. There’s also a tour wide giveaway!

Counting DownersTitle: The Counting-Downers
Author: A.J. Compton
Series: standalone
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Fantasy/ sci-fi Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
The stunningly poignant and life-affirming debut novel by A.J. Compton

Imagine if we could see how long everyone around us had left to live. But we weren’t allowed to know our own numbers…

Trying to make sense of life after the death of her beloved father, free spirit Matilda Evans meets Tristan Isaacs and discovers a marrow-deep connection with him.

No stranger to grief himself, lonely artist Tristan is in awe of Matilda’s fun and philosophical approach to life. With every second spent in her presence, he finds his views on life and loss changing, and begins to embrace the beauty of being alive.

As their friendship turns into something deeper, lessons are learned, memories are made, and legacies are created.

But with both of them knowing how long their soulmate has left in this lifetime, important questions have to be asked and tough decisions have to be made before time runs out.

The Counting-Downers is an inspiring story about life, loss, love, and making the most of every moment.

My Review:
This is an exceptional debut novel by a very talented author. I will even go as far as saying it is one of the best books I have ever read. It has touched me on a cellular level and I’m still trying to compose myself after finishing it. It’s both hugely entertaining and deeply profound. Wow.

The Counting-Downers is a thought-provoking book about life and death, love and loss, fear and bravery. Matilda lives in a world where everyone has a ticking clock over their head confirming when they will die. They don’t know how they will die and individuals aren’t aware or allowed to be told of their own date of demise. Imagine living with the very real shadow of death always hanging over you in such a transparent way? I absolutely loved this premise and the way the author dealt with it. People often flippantly throw out comments like ‘life is too short’ and ‘live life in the moment’ without properly thinking of the meaning behind the words. This book really raised a lot of inner questions and I’ve been in such a reflective/philosophical mood since I finished reading it.

The story is also a beautiful love story and it highlights the importance of family and friendship. Matilda meets Tristan the day of her father’s funeral and they form an instant connection. Unbeknownst to them, they both have the same date of death. That was never explained, but I took it to mean they were true soulmates who would not only share the joy of life together but die together. After their initial meeting, they don’t meet again for two years, but once they do they start spending a lot of time together and very soon realize that they are meant for each other. Their relationship is quite deep and spiritual at times, but also juvenile and funny at others. The dialogue between them is snappy and witty and there were plenty of LOL moments. Matilda is a real free spirit and she helps Tristian overcome the pain of his past. It was a joy to read and I really loved both characters.

The writing in this book is OUTSTANDING. It was so poetic, eloquent and downright beautiful. Award worthy in my opinion. I cannot believe how young this author is because she writes like a seasoned professional, and with such insight. If this is what she is bringing to the table as her debut novel then she is definitely an author to follow.

In a note at the back, A.J states how she wants every page to resonate with the reader. Well, she definitely achieved that in my case. Every word was imprinted on my heart and my mind. Here are a couple of quotes I liked:

“Love is giving someone the power to destroy you and trusting that they won’t.”

“Nobody sees me like you do, and without you, I’d be invisible. I exist because you see me.”

I am highly recommending this book. It is different, original, thought-provoking, and beautifully written. I hope it’s a huge success for the author because it’s an exceptional piece of writing.

AJ Compton Author PicAbout the Author:
A.J. Compton is a 23-year-old Londoner, professional dreamer, and full-time over-thinker. She is the author of The Counting-Downers and a dozen other unfinished manuscripts which will hopefully see the light of day soon.
A University of Cambridge graduate, A.J. is currently in a polygamous relationship with an embarrassing number of fictional book boyfriends.
Those two facts are not related. Honestly.
She loves people-watching and exploring her observations in her writing.
She really hates writing about herself in the third person.

Links:

There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
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