Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 ~ A Year in Review

HAPPY NEW YEAR'S EVE! I can't believe we are approaching 2016 already. I say this every year but seriously: time flies!

2015 has been a very good year to me and I wanted to reflect on all the awesome that happened - bookish and otherwise.

In February I ventured properly into the real world and became an adult with a proper full-time job (no more uni!!!) and I've met some great people. I've learnt so much and I think I've matured a bit more as a person.

I thought that by working full-time and saying goodbye to uni meant I'd finally have time to blog more and read a LOT more. Alas, this was not the case. Working 9-5 makes Jaz very tired and something something by the time I get home.

Looking back on my 2015 blogging goals post earlier in the year I realised I didn't really achieve much -
Catch up on review copies – have the guts to realise when enough is enough and DNFI did manage to review all the books I request this year, but still haven't caught up on the ones requested from previous years (oops). 
Write posts that aren’t just reviewsI did some discussion posts and features which is all right - but definitely not enough. 
Introduce some new featuresAgain as above. 
Read more diverse booksI'm really happy about this one. I read SO many diverse books this year - I went to expand my horizons and read quite a few LBGT (and Q) books as well as some on mental illness. I'm also happy that quite a few books that came out this year had POC (Winter, The Wrath and Dawn, Magnus Chase just to name a few.) 
Connect with bloggers and non-bloggersI've met so many more people via twitter and bookish events this year so yay for new friends!

I'm actually really terrible with goals so I'm not too fussed about this - we do what we can given the circumstances you get me?

I got the opportunity to participate in fabulous blog tours this year for some of my favourite books
  • The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon hosted by Bloomsbury
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas hosted by Bloomsbury
  • Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas hosted by the Maas Thirteen - this is our pride and joy and we're so happy that this is the second year we're doing these tours!
There were also many gems discovered through unsolicited copies like Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey, Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan, Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Lyla Payne.

Thanks to the lovely Bloomsbury I had the privilege of interviewing Sarah J. Maas for the ACOTAR blog tour, and meeting and interviewing Lyla Payne in person, 

Then there were the amazing bookish events this year
  • Insurgent red carpet premiere thanks to BTCYA (HarperCollins Australia)
  • The DUFF screening thanks to Date a Book (Hachette Australia)
  • TeenCon2015 where the publishers battled it out in the Book Boyfriend showdown AND CHAOL SHOULD TOTALLY HAVE WON but I'm okay with Dimitri winning
  • Paper Towns red carpet premiere with Cara Delevinge thanks to BTCYA (HarperCollins Australia)
  • Hachette YA Bloggers Night with special guest Holly Black
  • Illuminae launch party with Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  • BTCYA Sydney with special guest Jamie Curry
  • MEETING SARAH J MAAS - this was the icing on my cake for an amazing year

And all the cool meetups
  • Dessert with Jess
  • Movies with Joy (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and a few more I can't even remember lol)
  • Catch ups with Kat, Catriona and Amie

Non-bookish stuff wise I saw two ballets this year - Sleeping Beauty which was ok but Swan Lake was AMAZING. I somehow managed to go to 3 K-pop concerts - BTS, Big Bang and my personal favourite BEAST. I got to hi-5 BEAST - ALL THE MEMBERS. Life complete because I touched my bias Yoseob *creyyys*

Special thanks to Mel (your present so gorgeous I love you so much) and Ellis for making my birthday special with your presents *hugs and kisses*

SEE YOU IN 2016!!!

Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 Annual End of Year Survey

Every year, Jamie from the Perpetual Page Turner hosts the Annual End of Year Survey - she's up to the 6th year and I'm up to the... 3rd? I think? Or maybe 2nd haha. Either way, I haven't missed a year since I started blogging!

Number Of Books You Read: 76 (on my 77th and aiming for 80)

Number of Re-Reads: 0 (I don't really do re-reads but I do re-read certain chapters of books I love such as Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout)

Genre You Read The Most From:

1. Best book you read in 2015?

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas hands down.

2. Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn't?

What We Left Behind by Robin Talley. Gah I was expecting some wonderful insight into genderqueer people but I got pretentious self-pitying teenagers instead.

But also Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee – this was probably the most hyped up book since it was announced and it was so terrible.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – despite it being similar to a lot of YA books out there, it also held its own.

4. Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did)?


5. Best Series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?

Best Series Started: Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff was just so different and what a wonderful experience!

Best Sequel: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas because DUHHH

Best Series Ender: End of Days by Susan Ee had such a perfect ending to the Penryn and the End of Days trilogy.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

Victoria Schwab! I devoured The Archive, Vicious and A Darker Shade of Magic this year.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Lyla Payne – I don’t usually like NA but this was so sweet and swoony.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

QUEEN OF SHADOWSSSSSSS ahaha I could not stop turning the pages. Devoured this thing in a day and a half even with work (but Illuminae comes in at a close 2nd).

9. Book you read in 2015 that you are most likely to re-read next year?

Uprooted by Naomi Novik – my goodness this book. The magic and everything SO MUCH LOVE

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
– who can compete with that cover? WHO?

11. Most memorable character of 2015?

Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas sweet baby jesus this man. *Fans self* I CANNA WAIT FOR A COURT OF MIST AND FURY.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas omg that imagery, especially the Spring Court!

13. Most thought-provoking/ Llife-changing book of 2015?

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – AIDAN the artificial intelligence system was just amazing and brings on the question of can AI develop human emotions? I still say no but AIDAN seemed to come close.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones – the Studio Ghibli movie is my fav ever so I was always hesitant to read the book even though I love Diana Wynne Jones.

15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2015?

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

16. Shortest and longest book you read in 2015?

Shortest: New Music by Paula Stokes 31 page short story

Longest: Winter by Marissa Meyer 824 pages

17. Book that shocked you the most

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon. That plot twist WOWOWOW give me The Song Rising NOWWW.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

CINDER AND KAI from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

19. Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year

Wow Agnieszka and Kasia from Uprooted by Naomi Novik – this is what true friendship looks like.

20. Favorite book you read in 2015 from an author you’ve read previously

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson (I want to say Sarah J. Maas but she’s a given)

21. Best book you read in 2015 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure

Vicious by Victoria Schwab… I already had this and was planning to read it at some point in the future but a friend kept saying how good it is so I bumped it up my TBR.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

Rhys from ACOTAR is a given so Cary White from Sleigh Bells and Second Chances (Mistletoe and Mr. Right) by Lyla Payne!

23. Best 2015 debut you read?


24. Best world-building/most vivid setting you read this year?

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas like wow that imagery

25. Book that put a smile on your face/was the most FUN to read?

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier – I binge read the whole Precious Stones trilogy and just loved it so much! It was so funny.

26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2015?

Casually sobbing my eyes out in Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

27. Hidden gem of the year?

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West – her contemporaries are on point.

28. Book that crushed your soul?

O_O The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh my god the ending.

29. Most unique book you read in 2015?

Sooooo Illuminae is a given because LOOK AT THE WAY IT WAS WRITTEN.

But also Just Kids by Patti Smith because I never read non-fiction and this memoir was astounding and profound and it celebrated the friendship between Patti and Robert Mapplethorpe, and his art beautifully.

30. Book that made you the most mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Dangerous Girls by Abilgail Haas like omg it dragged on so much more me and it wasn’t believable and teenage girls are portrayed as shallow this made me so ANGRY.

My favourite 2015 releases that may or may not have been mentioned in the survey

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Review: Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Lyla Payne

Firstly, thanks to Bloomsbury Sydney for this review copy <3

If you haven't checked out my interview with Lyla, you really should.


Date Read: October 19 - 20 2015
Date Released: December 1st 2015 (this edition)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Australia
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Contemporary (new adult)
My Rating:
Buy Link: Bloomsbury Australia

"In "Mistletoe and Mr. Right," Jessica (not Jessie) takes a flying leap and follows her boyfriend home for the holidays for Christmas break, sure that Ireland will provide the perfect backdrop to the beginning of their happily ever after. But it turns out his family--and his gorgeous ex-girlfriend--don't feel the same way, and the only person making the trip worthwhile is the local farmhand, who has a way of showing up when Jessica needs him most . . . and least.

The holiday hijinks continue in "Sleigh Bells and Second Chances," when Jessica's best friend makes her own way across the pond! Christina Lake does not want to be away at Christmas, but it's her duty to babysit one of London's hottest bands at their last-minute concert on Christmas Eve . . . even though she had a fling with Cary, the band's lead singer, that never officially ended. Now forced to reconnect, Christina is starting to think that maybe London is exactly where she's supposed to be to get the perfect New Year's kiss--at least until she finds out that he's been lying the whole time. Can Cary find a way to prove himself before the clock strikes twelve? Or will the New Year ring in a new romance?

Lyla Payne wraps up two perfect holiday novellas, ties them with a ribbon of romance, and tops them with a light dusting of snow. Perfect to curl up with under the tree. Just add hot cocoa!"


I don’t think I’ve been so pleasantly surprised by a new adult book since KB Ritchie's Kiss the Sky. I always expect the same tropes in new adult and my only hope is that the writing is good and the characters bearable. Payne exceeded all my expectations with a sweet romance that just had me feeling all the warm and fuzzies for Christmas.

Mistletoe and Mr. Right

Americal gal Jessica decides to surprise her Irish boyfriend Brennan by following him home for Christmas break. Even before she gets to his cottage in the countryside, it's like Ireland is against Jessica. Fear not though, Jessica is a tough girl and she perseveres. That's one of my favourite qualities about her. A lot of things go wrong for her in Ireland - from their food/culture, to the way people perceive her - but she doesn't let these things get her down. As someone who has been alone for a long time she knows how to take care of herself. I admired the way she kept picking herself up no matter how many times she fell. She's one of those girls that like being in control and I loved that about her. She doesn't drink because of this but as the story progressed I like the way she learnt to trust others and take risks.

In comes Grady the gruff farm hand/assistant to Brannan's family who seems to always begrudgingly come to Jessica's rescue. He's sweet and caring when he wants to be, and most of the time he's really funny. There's definitely some chemistry between the two. Ah but Brannan is Jessica's boyfriend and he's a decent guy too. What I loved about this book is that everybody felt so real. They all have flaws but they have good qualities too. Brannan and Jessica are honest people and they try remain faithful to each other no matter what.

There's also Brannan's ex-girlfriend who is actually a nice girl. She's not bitchy and she's not mean to Jessica. Katie acknowledges the decisions she's made but there's also the undeniable history between her and Brennan. Despite Katie and Jessica both being jealous of each other at times (Jessica more so), they are able to remain civil most of the time which I found to be realistic. I mean, you meet your boyfriend's ex, sure you're going to be slightly jealous if you don't know their history, but if she's genuinely nice to you then why can't you be nice back?

However, underneath all this toing and froing between these 4 lads and lasses, are secrets. Every one of them carries burdens and I loved how these unfolded with the countdown to Christmas as everybody got to know each other better. All this is set against the backdrop of the Irish countryside which Payne beautifully describes - craggy boulders, smashing waves and dark ocean. Ireland's definitely one of the places I want to visit.

Everything about Mistletoe and Mr. Right is just so sweet and cute. Great layered characters with a deeper plot, lots of Christmas cheer and snow, and the quest for true love.

Sleigh Bells and Second Chances

In Sleigh Bells and Second Chances, Jessica's best friend and sorority sister Christina ventures to England on an internship. She's event managing one of the most popular bands and won't let her fling with lead singer Cary get in her way. Although it's way obvious Christina isn't over Cary she's dedicated to her job. She's a very driven person and knows what she wants in life career-wise. While she runs around making sure the band went to all their events on time, she was also forced to face her history with Cary now that the two are face to face. She deals with things in a very mature fashion - putting her job first and trying to push her personal life away. I just love reading about people who care about their careers - it's rare in new adult books and I think we need more of this as a role model for young readers.

I absolutely fell in love with Cary! I thought I liked Grady but while he was a bit gruff Cary is the sweetest soul. He's not rude or pretentious and he never let his fame get to him. He really tries to interact with Christina and ahhhhhh FEELS because he's not like most NA guys who are troubled or feel the need to swear to show their manliness. He's like the smiling boy next door who offers to help you carry stuff, the one who will give up his hat and mittens for you in the cold and grab you hot chocolate to keep you warm. Where on earth can I find a Cary for myself?

The realistic style continues in Christina's book with her step-family. She's got issues with her father but doesn't blame her step-family for any of it. Not all stepfamilies are bad and I loved the way Christina's was portrayed. Again, they're not perfect but they're real people and I loved the way one of her stepsisters provides wisdom and support for Christina. There was this homey vibe that really added to the Christmas cheer.

More secrets though! That history between Christina and Cary I mentioned? Well something certainly happened all those years ago and shit gets real. Like epic-showdown-family-gets-involved real. It was so well done I didn't expect it and I was like PLOT TWIST and sort of mind blown.

Keeping with the Christmas theme though, Payne also takes us around London with Christina and she paints this gorgeous picture of Christmas in England what with ice skating and Christmas shopping (MY FAV). There's just this wonderful balance of dark plot with happy festive season.

Can you tell I loved these two Christmas novellas? Payne really has a knack for writing new adult and I wish there were more books like this out there - ones with characters that are all flawed and realistic, guys that are sweet rather than possessive/abusive, girls that can make mistakes and still be who they are, no cussing and to top it all off, great writing. GIVE ME A CARY NOW.


Now for my gift to you. I loved these novellas so much I'm giving away an e-book copy as my Christmas present to you!

The giveaway is international and the winner will receive 1 e-book of Mistletoe and Mr. Right: Two Stories of Holiday Romance on either iBooks or Amazon Kindle (the winner's choice). Sorry, I'm not sure how to gift on other e-book platforms as I don't have these :c

Winner must provide me with their email address within 48h of me emailing, to redeem the e-book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Interview with Lyla Payne

All the way back in October, I was given the great opportunity by Bloomsbury Sydney to interview US new adult author, Lyla Payne. Thank you so much to Sonia for organising and Genieve for working after hours supervising!

I've been saving this interview + book review (keep an eye out on the blog tomorrow for review) of Mistletoe and Mr. Right for the festive season because well... duh?

Joy @ Thoughts by J has her interview up, we both asked different questions so you should definitely check out her post.

I admit that I was binge reading MaMR the night before the interview because I hadn't read any of Lyla's stuff before (guilty as charged) but after reading it I was so pleasantly surprised. You can see why in my interview with Lyla as she has a very different take on new adult.

Q: The “new adult” genre has gained lot of traction in the past few years, what does this categorisation mean for you?

Lyla: I think it’s really interesting, I think a lot of people assume it means hot, romance, with hardly any rules. But to me it’s more like, when you write young adult fiction it’s more about figuring out who you are, what you want to be but you still have a safety net right because you still live at home, still have your parents if you get in trouble. In college it’s different, you’re kind of transitioning into adulthood and figuring out how to take care of yourself and how to do things for yourself when you don’t have a safety net. There’s more risk involved. I think it can be funny too like you can’t make macaroni and cheese with water and things you learn when you have to make your own food.

Q: NA is sometimes known for its angsty and at times violent relationships. How do you feel about this?

Lyla: None of my new adult books have that and I think it kind of bothers me – I don’t really like the anticipation of the possessive, jealous, violent guys. A lot of people loved [this book] but I had to really make myself read it. I think part of it is that my first husband was really emotionally abusive so I don’t think that’s hot. I could see how people who haven’t lived through it could think that’s somehow like sexy if he’s super possessive. So it’s partially a personal thing but I don’t think we should perpetuate that as something romantic but people argue that’s escapism and fantasy and that’s fine too – it’s just certainly not for me.

Q: Reading Mistletoe and Mr. Right, I found you broke this stereotype with a bittersweet but light hearted read, how else do you break the NA stereotype?

Lyla: My other new adult series is the Whitman University series and I kind of gender flip it. Mostly, my girls are worse than my boys. Not in the first one though, Broken at Love is about a broken kind of guy. The first and the fifth book are about bad boys but the three in the middle are all just girls that have issues; girls that have abuse issues, girls that have confidence issues, things like that. So they’re kind of the ones struggling. What’s really interesting about it is that readers will not forgive the girls. Like for the same things they’ll forgive the boys for – a double standard. They judge the girl a lot more harshly for having problems and taking time to get over them. But I feel like that does make mine a little bit different ‘cause it’s not just the bad boys. My boys are pretty sweet actually.

[Joy and I sort of expressed our opinions on society/double standards/sexism about the readers not forgiving girls thing.]

Q: I like how Jessica chooses to abstain from alcohol. Was this a theme you really wanted to drive separate to Jessica’s control issues?

Lyla: Yeah I don’t necessarily have a problem with characters that drink but for Jessica it was more like she didn’t like the idea of not being in control. I feel like the scene in the book where she does drink too much is kind of like a growth for her character and to trust somebody else to get her home and take care of her.

Q: What makes sororities so popular in the US? Is it normal for someone not to join one?

Lyla: I think it probably depends on the school. I went to a really small university, there were only 7500 students when I was there and so it was a huge part. I think the bigger the university the less popular Greek life is ‘cause there’s more options for finding your tribe. A lot of girls join and then quit by senior year because you’ve made your friends. It was where I met my friends and segued into parties and stuff.


I loved Lyla's opinion on writing new adult and the way she breaks the stereotypes we've all come to know. We talked about some light hearted stuff like sororities and differences between college in the US and uni in Aus (how we have societies over here). There's also some pretty deep discussion too about abuse.

Thank you so much to Lyla for your time and thank you again Bloomsbury Sydney for this opportunity.

Also keep an eye out tomorrow for my review and a little Christmas something with it.

About Lyla

Lyla Payne has been publishing New Adult romance novels for a little over a year, starting with Broken at Love and continuing with the rest of the Whitman University series. She loves telling stories, discovering the little reasons people fall in love, and uncovering hidden truths in the world around us – past and present. In her spare time she cuddles her two dogs, pretends to enjoy exercising so that she can eat as much Chipotle as she wants, and harbors a deep and abiding hope that Zac Efron likes older women. She loves reading, of course, along with movies, traveling, and Irish whiskey. Lyla’s hard at work, ALWAYS, and hopes to bring you more Whitman University antics and at least one more Lowcountry ghost tale before the end of the year.

Lyla Payne is represented by Kathleen Rushall at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Aussie YA Bloggers Secret Santa Blog Hop

I love Secret Santa. I try to do as many as possible every year (within budget LOL). One of my favs is the Aussie YA Bloggers Secret Santa!

1. What are your top 5 favourite books this year?

  • Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
  • The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
2. How did you go with your Goodreads challenge?
Still going! 70/80 I don’t think I’ll get there sadly.
3. How many times did you post a week on average? Do you think you'll post more/less in the future?
Like 1-2 posts a week on good weeks. Took some hiatuses lol. It’ll be the same in the future.
4. What is your favourite blogging moment/achievement of 2015?
For all the books I requested this year, I posted all my reviews on time (shocker I know). Also, meeting Sarah J Maas FINALLY. I’ve been waiting since ToG was released!
5. Did you read mostly review or non-review books this year?
Mainly non-review because I buy so many and wanted to catch up!
6. What are your blogging goals for 2016?
Struggle is real. No real goals. Just attempt to do what I did this year and I’ll be good HAHA.
7. What books are you looking forward to in 2016?
ToG 5 and A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas, The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon, Passenger by Alex Bracken,  Illuminae 2 by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye, PS I Like You by Kasie West, The Last Star by Rick Yancey, The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh, A Gathering of Shadows by VE Schwab, Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard, The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey, Truthwitch by Susan Dennard, Firebird 3 by Claudia Gray.
Based on the answers above, have you been a good or naughty blogger this year?
I posted. That’s good enough for me.

Leave 3 clues to help your santee guess who you are!
1. You recently posted a wrap-up for PTA Live.
2. You weren’t a huge fan of Mockingjay Part 2
3. One of your favourite books this year was Heir of Fire (yes I went for the Sarah book LOL)

#LoveOzYA? Join the Australian YA Bloggers on Goodreads and Facebook to join in the fun!
Follow the Aussie YA Bloggers Secret Santa blog hop below!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Review: Their Fractured Light (Starbound trilogy #3) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Firstly, thanks to Allen & Unwin for this review copy <3


Date Read: November 12 - 20 2015
Date Released: December 1st 2015
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Sci-fi/fantasy
My Rating:

"A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness for their planet, and protect them from destruction. Some say Flynn’s a madman, others whisper about conspiracies. Nobody knows the truth. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were rescued from a terrible shipwreck—now, they live a public life in front of the cameras, and a secret life away from the world’s gaze.

Now, in the center of the universe on the planet of Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players, who will bring the fight against LaRoux Industries to a head. Gideon Marchant is an eighteen-year-old computer hacker—a whiz kid and an urban warrior. He’ll climb, abseil and worm his way past the best security measures to pull off onsite hacks that others don’t dare touch.

Sofia Quinn has a killer smile, and by the time you’re done noticing it, she’s got you offering up your wallet, your car, and anything else she desires. She holds LaRoux Industries responsible for the mysterious death of her father and is out for revenge at any cost.

When a LaRoux Industries security breach interrupts Gideon and Sofia’s separate attempts to infiltrate their headquarters, they’re forced to work together to escape. Each of them has their own reason for wanting to take down LaRoux Industries, and neither trusts the other. But working together might be the best chance they have to expose the secrets LRI is so desperate to hide."


Their Fractured Light satisfying ties up the Starbound trilogy and the overall arc while introducing Sophia and Gideon to the story and their interconnectedness to the other characters. While I enjoyed this book overall I do admit it was my least favourite of the series. For some off reason I felt that a lot of the revelations and plot twists were obvious and that any confusion was miscommunication by the characters. What TFL did was bring all the characters together and smooth out everything so they were on the same page for an epic showdown.

Sophia is probably the character I’m least invested in out of our three heroines. To me, she was very average and I found her back story lacking. Compared to Lilac and Lee, Sophia felt… bland. The other two had so much unknown history to be discovered but what was revealed about Sophia was basically what we got in This Shattered World. I did like the concentration on her personality though, and her very serious trust issues that obviously come with her being a con artist. And what a fantastic con artist she is. It was fascinating watching her slip into any number of personas at will, back and forth. I loved the way Sophia could make a guy putty in her hands and manipulate him to her doing. Qurrlllll power! She had pretty decent character growth as the book progressed and I liked that she learned forgiveness.

Gideon was definitely my favourite of the two with his mad hacking skills. While at times misplaced I liked how, when he put his mind to something, he went for it. He was so driven and I admired that about him. I could also really relate to his cheerful personality to hide all the pain he held within himself. I really liked his backstory and the connection he held with everybody else. I appreciated how he tried to understand Sophia and the reasons why she didn’t trust. I’m going to mention again how much I loved his backstory and the threads woven throughout.

Following the style of the trilogy, the romance is slow burn but with this one there’s attraction from the beginning. I didn’t feel this romance as much as the previous books as I felt there was so much other stuff going on. What I did feel though was this back and forth of trust and distrust between the two as they slowly worked their way around each other. It was more a development of understanding each other’s goals most of the way, rather than a focus of love. I liked this progression as they both had walls so it was an interesting dynamic.

While their respective POVs showed all the action, I felt that a lot of the plot and backstory was told through the chapter breaks which are absolutely fabulous. They were my favourite parts of the book. In so little words, so much was revealed and these few lines managed to reveal so much despair, pain, joy, hope and heartbreak.

As always Kaufman and Spooner don’t disappoint on the world building or detail. Corinth is splendour and modern. Tech savvy and luxurious with glamorous skyscrapers reaching as far as the eye can see as they stretch across the horizon. Corinth is filth and poverty. Black markets and hidden secrets with layers of undercities stacked upon each other. I loved the shiny surface of LRI covering so much and everything unravelling.

It all builds up to an epic showdown that I’ve been waiting for since the first book.