[ AD – G i f t e d  f o r  r e v i e w ]

Being a mood reader is not always easy. You get stuck with a genre or a trope and you just want more and more and more! This has been my situation since February: slow burn romance has tainted almost every read of mine and I’m absolutely sure I could name myself the Jessica Fletcher of the slow burn ( I can see that plot twist miles away, bro!(?) ) But, for how much I love being a mood reader and that allows me to be particularly quick and to dive in a book as deep as humanly possible sometimes I have to forcibly tear myself away from my stream so not to miss opportunities, opportunities like Titan books presenting you with the latest instalment of the Warlock Holmes series.

THE SIGN OF THE NINE

“If you ever wondered how much better Sherlock would be if people could hurl hellfire at each other, well this one is for you.” Starburst Magazine on A Study in Brimstone

Warlock Holmes may have demons in his head, but now Dr. John Watson has a mummy in his bloodstream. Specifically that of the sorcerer Xantharaxes, who when shredded and dissolved in an 8% solution, results in some extremely odd but useful prophetic dreams. There’s also the small matter of Watson falling for yet another damsel-du-jour, and Warlock deciding that his companion needs some domestic bliss…

And there is nothing else you can do but thank them and try to stay away from your current obsession long enough to read through it and enjoy it enough even while feeling the pull of your current mood. Because, frankly, some books are simply worthy!

I had never read a book in this series, but I had heard so much about it and so many peoples had recommended it so I couldn’t pass it on! So book in hand I downloaded the rest of the ebooks and I started my reading of this amazing saga and I never laughed so much!

Generally speaking, stripped to the bone this is a Sherlock Holmes retelling, where Holmes is a scatterbrained warlock ( called Warlock) which powers of deductions are more powers than deduction at all! And the only true policemanship is administered by a doctor. Doctor Holmes is a delight and my favourite character all around, even when accidentally or voluntarily dosed in mummy remains! His willingness to accept and move forward, to put himself to work and to make himself useful, his wit and intelligence make him an easy character to love.  Grogson follows him right behind in my list of favourites. His absolute brainless humour makes me just want to hug him! I love every person we encounter, villain and heroes alike, every vision, every supernatural myth or creature that those books shows you and it feels like you are given a window into the past and right into an alternate reality which you can laugh about from the comfort of your own sofa – because if you were there your forehead would be red by facepalming!

C o n c l u s i o n s:

Would I read it again? Yes, maybe in a different mood I will enjoy this books more thoroughly but I will also recommend them hands down, they are lighthearted and outright funny, they’ll make you laugh out loud and that’s a  difficult thing to do for me! The writer has the special talent to be able to take something classical and twist and spin it enough to present you with a delightful new book that still presents the ground bases of the classic work it’s based upon. like coming home and realising you stepped into an alternate universe! It’s funny and Gruesome, cruel and silly, murderous and comic! In fewer words? A delight.

 

3.7/5
Would absolutely recomend


Ladies and Gentleman, I’m here to announce that You’d be mine is coming out today!

I’ve sat on this book for MONTHS trying to get my words together, trying to understand what I actually thought about it and I think I finally am able to do so and just in time!
What took me so long? I had too many emotions about this book, good and bad, but mostly I needed to prove myself with something that only time would tell and I wasn’t wrong.

So where to start? I think need to write a disclaimer first.
I love music, I enjoy it deeply, and Country is one of my favourite genres. I’m not, however, one of those people that can’t live without music, religiously carrying headphones with them or always blasting something in their ears. I’m the type of listener that get fixated with songs or albums and start listening to them in a loop until I know them so deeply that they become white noise.
That said I have enjoyed this book, It shines a light in the ugly and shiny parts of the life on the other side, the backstage and onstage life.
There is some crude aspects in the entertainment industry where you play a persona and nothing else matter to a lot of people, and you only need to remember who you are because no one else will.
I found this book way heavier than the romantic fresh frame it was planned to have. I feel like it should come with some trigger warnings, some pretty big ones if I am to be honest.

But let’s shine a light on it and let’s start with what I loved before getting into more details, shall we?.

  • PUTS COUNTRY ROAD ON PLAY


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Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.

But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.

Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.


 

So, what do I love about this book? I love that the author gifted us with a double point of view, it allowed me to sympathise with characters I otherwise wouldn’t have, why? Because the characters in this story are onions! They have layers and public personas and more layers, they have traumas and charm and charisma and chips and crepe and it’s ok, they are human, they are young but way older than they should be, they are deep thrown into this wide-scale industry full of big names where everyone is tempting them with one or the other vice and not everyone can be strong, hell knows if I don’t know something about it! Clay is running from himself, he’s lost and clueless; Annie is done, a bundle of phobias and fears a set line of self-imposed don’ts that prevent her to ever step out of line. He’s using the damned way to run from his demons she’s using the merry way to stay away from hers, they are the Ying to their Yang and together they’ll find a balance that it’s actually quite perfect.

I Loved how in this book Love takes the centre stage and then bows and take a step aside for self-growth and self-love. I love how they need to be a better person for themselves in order to be so for each other, I just really liked it. It lightened up my Sunday and It trapped me from the very beginning.
I loved the alternate chapters, I think it was the best choice ever, It helped us have an insight on a character that, otherwise, would’ve been simply judged and not truly understood. As well as open our eyes to grief, sorrow and loss.

This book made me cry, swoon and feel so much, so… why only 3.5 stars?

[SPOILER- ISH]


·
·
·
·
·
·
I
blame it on the ending.

After months I have Just realised I don’t miss it, I don’t have a clear image in my mind of it, it wasn’t epic, it wasn’t THAT BOOK that I will remember when I think about my books of 2019, that ending felt bland, almost anticlimactic, It was nice as a thought and I applaud the virtue behind it, but didn’t feel like in par with the rollercoaster that was the rest of the book! And that, for me, is the difference between a memorable book and… well, a not so memorable one.

 

3.5 /5 ☆
W
OULD I RECOMMEND IT?
Yes, why not? It’s cute, it’s pretty and It’s well thought, I think a lot of people would love it, especially if they read it while listening to country music!

The e-copy of this book was gifted to me on Netgallery in exchange for an honest review

[ Disclaimer: this arc was gifted to me by the lovely people at Ink Road. I apologise for the different review from my usual self but I might have just re read the book for the second time and cried my eyes out once again and have just a tad bit of a migraine <3 ]

img_5867Have you ever had so many options and ideas in your head not to be able to sort it through? So many emotions, so many thoughts that the clutter becomes indistinguishable? How can you put down on paper in a linear and clear way what you feel about something, and analyse that something for people to understand what goes on in your head? I finished The year after you almost a week ago, I read it in less than Four hours and I honestly am still struggling to bring this review to you. I feel like words– no, I feel like my words and my vocabulary is not enough in the four languages I can speak to sort through the level of love that I have for this book.

The year after you managed in so many things for me that in those three hours I sobbed my heart out and fell in love and was born again. This book managed to make me fall in love with a female character, things that didn’t happen since I was 14 and that made me realise maybe my path was not properly a straight line. This book made me fall in love with a genre that I thought I was maybe getting too old to find relatable. This book managed to position itself in a timeless moment in my heart and gain a position into my favourite pile and I’ve already propositioned it to so many people I lost count. It’s the book I twitted about mid-reading ( things that I rarely do because of obvious reasons – first among them my peculiar relationships with endings and how I seem to never be satisfied with them, but not with this one! ) …

So what makes it so special? What makes this simple newborn not yet published young adult into this gem? Well, This book and its characters are like a diamonds, pressed by the weight of their guilt they’ll find a way to polish themselves and shine… in other words:

character growth.


S Y N O P S I S:

dxiqvmmxgaafwnvNew Years’ Eve, San Francisco. The most promising party of the year ends in a tragic accident. Cara survives. Her best friend Georgina doesn’t.

Nine months later, Cara is struggling, consumed by guilt and grief. Her mum decides a Swiss boarding school will be the fresh start Cara needs. But Cara knows that swapping sunshine for snow won’t make a blind bit of difference. Georgina is gone, and nothing will bring her back.

Up in the Alps, Cara’s old life feels a million miles away. At Hope Hall, nobody knows about her past. And she intends to keep it that way. But classmates Ren and Hector have other ideas. Cara tries to keep her distance, but she’s drawn to the offbeat, straight-talking Hector, who understands her grief better than anyone. Her new friends are determined to break down the walls she has so carefully built up. And, despite it all, Cara wants them to.

The closer Cara grows to Hector, the more Georgina slips away. Embracing life at Hope Hall means letting go of the past; of her memories of that fatal New Year’s Eve. But Cara is quite sure she doesn’t deserve a second chance.


 

R e v i e w :

This book is not simply a journey, doesn’t only have representations, isn’t simply about teenagers in a boarding school in the Alps. this book is about grief, about guilt and self-hatred. This book is about touching the ground and realising you have the strength to push back up. You can’t grasp that possibility while you are falling, gravity will pull you down, but once your feet hit the ground, once you have something to leverage onto you can push through the pressure and come out of it anew. The pain will always be there when you lose someone so important they will always be a hole in the frame of your life, but that guilt, that pain will slowly fade away and you are left with memories. You need to keep on pushing or you’ll die with them.

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This book surprised me, and I’m not easily surprised, every turn every discovery, every piece of honesty was raw and real as a punch in my feels and I felt like I could breathe again only at the epilogue. Feeling for others is easier than feeling for yourself, running away is all good on paper but you need to face things to actually grow, and this book helps you go through a daunting process, feeling every bit of it but without triggering anything that might make my anxiety spike up! It’s a story about acceptance, about people that love with the tools they are given, about teenagers that become adults maybe a tad bit too early. It’s a story about hope, a hope that you didn’t even dream of on the first page.

Would I love another book? Hell yeah! Tell me all about Rae babe! But in general, I’m glad about how this book is, and I’ll treasure it forever.

 

C o n c l u s i o n s: 

what to say, Nina de Pass is now definitely one of my favourite authors and currently my only favourite young adult writer. Her character is vivid and flawless. You start her book and think you see typical tropes but soon you discover that there is so much more.
The ending was flawless, the middle was superb, I love the communication and the total absence of stupid “misunderstanding” Just for the sake of it. This book is outstanding, The cover is amazing, the writing is enchanting, I just want to go on the alps and open a boarding school for kids who might need it now!

 

Would I recommend it?!?
I will personally walk you to the bookshop on the 14th of February
and force you to buy and read it!
Now that’s what I would call a Valentine’s date 😉
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨
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