Fairytale Retelling · fantasy

The Sisters Grimm – Menna Van Praag ★★★★

Blurb; Once upon a time, a demon who desired earthly domination fathered an army of dark daughters to help him corrupt humanity . . .

As children, Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea dreamed of a strange otherworld: a nightscape of mists and fog, perpetually falling leaves and hungry ivy, lit by an unwavering moon. Here, in this shadowland of Everwhere, the four girls, half-sisters connected by blood and magic, began to nurture their elemental powers together. But at thirteen, the sisters were ripped from Everwhere and separated. Now, five years later, they search for one another and yearn to rediscover their unique and supernatural strengths. Goldie (earth) manipulates plants and gives life. Liyana (water) controls rivers and rain. Scarlet (fire) has electricity at her fingertips. Bea (air) can fly.

To realize their full potential, the blood sisters must return to the land of their childhood dreams. But Everwhere can only be accessed through certain gates at 3:33 A.M. on the night of a new moon. As Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea are beset with the challenges of their earthly lives, they must prepare for a battle that lies ahead. On their eighteenth birthday, they will be subjected to a gladiatorial fight with their father’s soldiers. If they survive, they will face their father who will let them live only if they turn dark. Which would be fair, if only the sisters knew what was coming.

So, they have thirty-three days to discover who they truly are and what they can truly do, before they must fight to save themselves and those they love.

My Review; This is one from my library pile and I must admit I picked it for its beautiful cover. This is a huge book for me at 482 pages long and I must admit again that the thickness really did put me off it. I actually had to take a few days break from it half way through and it did wonders for helping me continue with the book. The book has had many mixed reviews and a lot of DNF (did not finish) but I’m so glad I persevered.

It’s a brilliant story told through each of the characters and in a countdown style towards the grand finale/event at the ends. The end is where it all heats up and will have you turning the pages for fun. The story focuses on four ‘sisters’ (not biological). Bea, Goldie, Scarlet and Liyana. There’s also parts from a bot named Leo who turns out to be the enemy, well working against the girls.

A brilliant other world/other life fantasy story. Really enjoyed it after all that. A well deserved four stars from me. Highly recommend.

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Graphic Novels · romance

Heartstopper: Volume 2 – Alice Oseman ★★★★

Blurb; Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. An LGBTQ+ graphic novel about life, love, and everything that happens in between: this is the second volume of HEARTSTOPPER, for fans of The Art of Being Normal, Holly Bourne and Love, Simon.

Nick and Charlie are best friends. Nick knows Charlie’s gay, and Charlie is sure that Nick isn’t.

But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is discovering all kinds of things about his friends, his family … and himself.

Heartstopper is about friendship, loyalty and mental illness. It encompasses all the small stories of Nick and Charlie’s lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us.

This is the second volume of Heartstopper, with more to come. Volume two collects all of chapter three from the ongoing web series.

My Review; I dived straight into this one after finishing volume one due to the cliffhanger ending of the first. We begin this one with apologies and new starts. This book focuses more on the growing friendship/relationship between Charlie and Nick. These both made me smile reading them full of love, hope and friendships. Nick is still figuring out what is going on with himself and is scared of the outcome and ‘coming out’. A brilliant ending to this one and I cannot wait to see where volume three takes us with these two. I love both their characters.

Beautiful illustrations. Beautiful story. Another easy, light read. Devoured this on in half an hour too. Perfect. A well deserved four stars from me. Highly recommend. Now I’m off to read volume three.

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Graphic Novels · romance

Heartstopper: Volume 1 – Alice Oseman ★★★★

Blurb; Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…?

Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn’t been too great, but at least he’s not being bullied anymore. Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He’s heard a little about Charlie – the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months – but he’s never had the opportunity to talk to him.
They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner…

My Review; I decided to try these as I’ve seen them all over instagram. Now when I got them they were not what I expected. These are graphic novels and extremely easy to read, took me around half an hour. Brilliant. I actually enjoyed them. Easy, light reading. Something different. Beautiful illustrations throughout.

The story itself focuses on Charlie and Nick both at a boys school. Charlie is out being gay and has a huge crush on Nick however, Charlie is 100% Nick is straight and doesn’t have a chance. Further along we get Nick starts giving mixed signals to Charlie which confuses him further. The ending broke me… I literally dived into volume two to see what would happen. Major cliffhanger.

A story about finding out about yourself. Your sexuality. Love and friendship. A well deserved four stars from me. Highly recommend if you need some light reading. I’ve fallen in love with both Charlie and Nick.

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