Wildest Dreams Book Box: April Box

I’ve been a follower of Wildest Dreams book box since it’s creation and have been admiring their boxes. I was lucky enough to be chosen as a Wildest Dreams Book Box Rep for the next three months which means I get to receive this wonderful book box and show you guys the goodies within it! I was so excited to receive this box and I’m happy that I get to share it with you! You can check out my rep code towards the end of this box so that you can grab one for yourself!

The April box theme was Hocus Pocus. I was looking forward to seeing what this box would include for that seeing as I tend to to associate the theme with Halloween so I was interested to see how Wildest Dreams Book Boxwould spin it for April. This box included so many fun items! It came with a book, 3 box themed items and some book related surprises! The book is neatly wrapped so even when you open the box, you still don’t know what the book is immediately!

In the picture above, you can see these delicious Borders Golden Oat Crumbles and Witch’s Brew tea made by Rosie Lea Tea (including tea bags). There were two surprise options for which tea you could get, Sweet Magic or Very Cherry. I received Sweet Magic which is made up of premium black tea, vanilla and liquorice with edible gold stars! I’m excited to try this tea although I’m not the biggest fan of liquorice so I’m hoping that it’s not very strong and that the vanilla overpowers it! Either way, I like trying new teas!

Next up is this Hubble Bubble bath bomb made by Becky’s Bath Bombs. I don’t usually take baths just because I mostly don’t have the time but I’m hoping to try this bath bomb soon as a way to destress! It’s bubblegum scented and includes moisturising oils so not only does it look cute and colourful, it’s also fab for your skin!

We had some book goodies come through, including a bookmark, letter, post card and signed book plate!

All in all, I really liked this box! I’m happy with all of the items although I haven’t yet read any of the books in Kate and Liz Corr’s series so I won’t be able to read this book until I’ve done that! I’m really looking forward to diving into the tea whilst getting cosy with a book!

If you were intrigued by this box and would like to buy your own, don’t forget that you can use the code TANGLEDPAGES10 to score 10% off a box of your own! You can grab one here!


April Wrap Up

April has been a pretty bad month for me reading wise. I almost made it to reading 3 books this month, but then I stumbled at the last one. I’m hugely disappointed with how little I’ve read between February to now but I blame working full time, studying and then trying to have a life in the little free time I do have available. I have 5 exams in the next 3 months which I know doesn’t sound like a lot but when there’s so much to learn and revise, it takes up so much time. I just can’t wait for YALC at the end of July because that means it’s finally over for 6 months or so!

Reading total: 2          Books this year: 18

I had a bit of an ambitious TBR for April based on what my reading has been like the past two months. Here are the books I had on my April TBR:

1. Finish Orphan Monster Spy

2. The Smoke Thieves

3. The Beast’s Heart

4. Legendary

5. City of Brass

6. Truly Devious

I managed to read 2 of them! I’m currently just over half way through The Beast’s Heart which is ok, but the narrative style is a little bit too over the top and unnecessary. I’m hoping to finish it relatively soon as I have a couple of other books I’d like to read in May, including Legendary! Whether I will actually read them though, well, that’s another story..

Onto the books I read this month:

Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen – I wrote a review on this that you can find here!

The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green – My review of this book is up now! You can catch the review here. I was pleasantly surprised by this one!

So there’s my April wrap up. How many books did you read this month? Did you have a good or bad reading month?

The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

Title: The Smoke Thieves

Author: Sally Green

Pages: 512

Publisher: Penguin

Published: 2018

Source: ARC (Thank you so much to Team Penguin!

Rating: ★★★★

A princess, a traitor, a hunter and a thief. Four teenagers with the fate of the world in their hands. Four nations destined for conflict.

In Brigant, Princess Catherine prepares for a loveless political marriage arranged by her brutal and ambitious father. In Calidor, downtrodden servant March seeks revenge on the prince who betrayed his people. In Pitoria, feckless Edyon steals cheap baubles for cheaper thrills as he drifts from town to town. And in the barren northern territories, thirteen-year-old Tash is running for her life as she plays bait for the gruff demon hunter Gravell.

As alliances shift and shatter, and old certainties are overturned, our four heroes find their past lives transformed and their futures inextricably linked by the unpredictable tides of magic and war. Who will rise and who will fall? And who will claim the ultimate prize?

The Smoke Thieves is a book that I went into knowing little about. It sounded interesting from the premise, but that is all I had really heard about it. I was also unsure of how much I’d like it as I had never read anything by Sally Green before. I am happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this book.

Not book content related but there is a actually a slightly funny story about this book. This book has different covers for the UK and US, like many books. For some reason, every time I saw the US edition of it, I’d think to myself ‘oh, that looks like a cool cover’ and then I’d look it up and I’d realise that I actually already had it and at one point, was actually reading it! I blame it on a tiring week but honestly, I’m just a bit stupid!

The Smoke Thieves started off with us meeting the actual smoke thieves of this book, or rather smoke catchers. At first, I thought the story would follow our first main character, Tash, throughout the book but I was wrong. This book had multiple points of view, 5 to be exact. There are some PoVs that don’t feature as much, which works for this story as there were some PoVs that were more important than others. Alongside meeting the smoke thieves at first, we are also introduced to the brutal Brigantine Kingdom where we meet a Princess who is most definitely not like her cruel Father and Brothers. We were introduced to other characters from other locations in this book. I liked that we had a variation of locations and that the characters were diverse.

The writing in this book was a good pace once it got going. I did find it a little slow getting into the book at first but it started to pick up once I got 100 pages in. The chapter that had me intrigued was Chapter 2 (I believe), which was not nice but also had me asking questions which I then needed to know the answers too and that kept me reading on.

As mentioned before, there are a few locations in this book that we get to see which I really liked. Although there is jumping between places because of characters being in different places, I loved that we got to see so many different parts of the world that Sally created. I found that this really helped to create a solid place in my mind where all of these different Kingdoms existed and that it helped me to imagine things a little better.

The reason why this book wasn’t a 5 star read for me was because it took me a little while to get into the book, and it wasn’t until the last 100/150 pages where some of the twists really came out which really captured my interest and pushed me through to the end of this book.

This book ends on a little bit of a cliffhanger but it does set up for the next book nicely. I’m looking forward to seeing where Sally takes this story and the characters in the following book!

You can see more of my pictures (like above!) here!

Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen

Title: Orphan Monster Spy

Author: Matt Killeen

Pages: 400

Publisher: Usborne

Published: 2018

Source: ARC (Thanks TeamBkmrk!)

Rating: ★★★★

After her mother is shot at a checkpoint, fifteen-year-old Sarah–blonde, blue-eyed, and Jewish–finds herself on the run from a government that wants to see every person like her dead. Then Sarah meets a mysterious man with an ambiguous accent, a suspiciously bare apartment, and a lockbox full of weapons. He’s a spy, and he needs Sarah to become one, too, to pull off a mission he can’t attempt on his own: infiltrate a boarding school attended by the daughters of top Nazi brass, befriend the daughter of a key scientist, and steal the blueprints to a bomb that could destroy the cities of Western Europe. With years of training from her actress mother in the art of impersonation, Sarah thinks she’s ready. But nothing prepares her for her cutthroat schoolmates, and soon she finds herself in a battle for survival unlike any she’d ever imagined.

Orphan Monster Spy was a book that had intrigued me when I was first sent it. I hadn’t heard of it prior to receiving it but it sounded like an interesting read. Since finishing my History degree in May last year, I haven’t done much research or learning so sometimes historical fiction books will help fill in the gap and satisfy not only my reader heart, but also my history loving heart. One of my particular interests is World War Two so I knew that I just had to read this one.

Orphan Monster Spy is set in 1940s Germany. It follows the story of Sarah, a young Jewish girl but not who a Nazi German may stereotypically deem as Jewish. Sarah has the picture perfect look of the desired Aryan race – blonde hair and blue eyes. Sarah is able to use this to her advantage as she enters a Nazi boarding school and poses as a ‘little monster’. The story is an interesting one and although it’s fiction, I felt that there was truth in parts of it.

When I started this book, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to think of it. It took me a couple of chapters to get into it but once I had found my way and got to know the characters a little more, I was away. We follow our main character, Sarah, who is a young Jewish German girl. She looks younger than she actually is so uses this to her advantage at the beginning of the book. I found that Sarah was quite an intelligent girl, who really began to find her strength throughout this book. By the end, I was quite surprised with how far she had come although she was always destined to be a strong and powerful character once given the tools to be. Sarah has lost everything in her life and so she has nothing to lose. She is a strong willed and clever character in how she is able to use all of her skills and her upbringing to their full advantage.

The primary setting for this book is an all girls school. The setting tries to demonstrate that no matter where the Nazi’s were and even if they were teaching their own, they were brutal in everything they carried out. One of the teachers was particularly brutal in her handling of students. The book also had cliques in and showed a hierarchy at school. The social hierachy of the country during the Nazi period was translated into this book, with the powerful at the top and the weak ranked at the bottom.

One of the things about this book is that nobody really knew the extent of what was happening to those that the Nazi race targeted. It is known that the Jewish German citizens have it rough (an understatement really), as experienced by Sarah herself and it is known that Jewish people have been taken away but, like people at the time, the characters are unaware of what exactly is happening to these people. Kristellnacht has also happened. The prejudice against Jewish people and others is obvious but what we now know happened because of History and the past, the characters in our books had no idea what was really going on. I felt that this was quite important in giving an accurate representation of the period.

The last 50 pages or so of this book are where many things are revealed. I was quite surprised by what happened in these last 50 pages as I hadn’t expected it at all, and it made me feel sorry for one of the other characters that Sarah had started to become close to. I know it’s fiction, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if what one of the Nazi’s did in this book actually happened.

I did find this book interesting but felt like it dipped off a little in the middle. I think this is potentially more me than the book itself as I have been like this with quite a few books over the past two/three months. Despite feeling like this, the book didn’t quite keep my attention as much as I would have hoped in the middle of it.

I feel a little like I’ve written an essay on this book mostly because it’s history related and anything I write that is even just a little history related feels like I’m back in University and writing an assignment.

To round off what feels like an essay correctly…In conclusion, I enjoyed this book. I liked Sarah, our main character, and watching her character progression. I thought that the writing was quite decent and that it tackled the historical topic of Nazi Germany in an interesting way that would appeal to the YA community.

You can see more of my pictures (like above!) here!

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman



Title: The Dark Days Club

Author: Alison Goodman

Pages: 482

Publisher: Viking Books 

Published: 2016

Source: Bought

Rating: ★★★

London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?

I was really unsure of what to expect from this book. I had it on my shelves for about a year roughly and although I was aware that it was a paranormal historical YA, I didn’t know much more than that.  I may struggle to write this review as I did read it back in July as I was being transported across Europe on a train during my travels, but I will try to recall as much as I can! Based on that fact, this will be quite a short review.

This book reminded me quite a lot of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (the movie, I am yet to read the books). The book is set during the 1800s so this is more than likely why it reminds me of P&P&Z. It also reminded me a little of The Mortal Instruments (a series I have only read the first two books of) because of the paranormal activity and the secret society called The Dark Days Club. The paranormal side of things was an interesting take on the underground world of demons.

There is an obvious dislike between two of the characters at first, but this dislike seems to change and grow to something more of a friendship and further. Again, this reminded me of P&P&Z (I think it’s also in Pride and Prejudice seeing as Zombies is based on P&P) as Elizabeth and Mr Darcy are not fans of each other at first but end up confessing their undying love for each other by the end of the book.

I gave this book 3 stars because although I liked it, I felt that it was a little too long at some parts and that it could have been written to be a bit shorter than it was. The book comes in at just short of 500 pages. Judging by the fact that I read it in July and I’m finding it a little difficult to recall exactly everything that happened, I can safely say that the book was not totally memorable.

Although I liked this book, I’m unsure if I will continue with the next book. I sort of do want to continue but I am slightly blinded by the fact that the second book doesn’t match the first. I just cannot seem to find a hardcover copy of it anywhere! I also don’t feel like I remember the story well enough to carry on with the next book now.

You can see more of my pictures (like above!) at here!

A Shiver of Snow and Sky by Lisa Lueddecke



Title: A Shiver of Snow and Sky

Author: Lisa Lueddecke

Pages: 341

Publisher: Scholastic

Published: 2017

Source: ARC from YALC!

Rating: ★★★★

Red, red, the lights glow red
Beware the danger up ahead…

On the frozen island of Skane, the sky speaks. Beautiful lights appear on clear nights, and their colours have meaning: Green means all is well, and the Goddess is happy. Blue means a snow storm is on the way.

And then there’s red. Red is rare. A warning.

Seventeen years ago, the sky turned red just as Ósa was born, unleashing a plague that claimed the lives of hundreds of villagers, including her own mother. This time, when the night sky once again bleeds crimson, she must discover how to stop the onslaught before so many lives are lost again.

‘A shiver of snow and sky and everything that made Skane the fierce and beautiful island it was.’

I was so happy and very lucky to snag a copy of this at YALC back in July last year, by choosing a little colourful pebble thingy out of the box which just so happened to be the correct one. I’d heard some good things about this one and had learnt about the author via her candle business last Christmas. Lisa is a debut author so I wasn’t sure what to expect but I wasn’t disappointed.

This book! Well what can I say? It’s clearly full of Nordic/Scandinavian inspiration, what with the name of the island, the different names and spelling of words and the folklore too (not that I know much Scandinavian). I’ve been known to pronounce quite a few words from books wrong in the past, but I honestly have no idea if I was pronouncing some of the words or names in this book correctly or not. That’s not a problem, I just wanted you all to be aware that I am the worst at reading things and then pronouncing them incorrectly outloud. OK, ANYWAAAAY….

This book takes you on a journey. Literally. I loved the concept of the lights in the sky being signals for different things that are going to happen. Because of the lights and the threat of a long-term enemy, Ósa, the main character, takes a trip to find out essentially how to stop death in its tracks from destroying everything she has ever known and grown up with. The lights are a constant warning of what is to come and spur her along in her quest to stop whatever is coming on the horizon.

I quite liked Ósa and enjoyed following her along on her journey. She wasn’t a drab character at all and really seemed to have her wits about her which is something that I liked about her. I did feel sorry for her as her relationship with her father and sister weren’t the best, particularly as they blamed her for something that was absolutely not their fault. I felt that by the end of the book, there was an attempt to sort of redeem the bad feelings that had been between Ósa and her family. I don’t think that it would all go back to being ok after years of being blamed, but I think it would be a start.

I enjoyed the world building in A Shiver of Snow and Sky and thought that it had some really interesting elements to it. I also loved the splash of magic that was sprinkled throughout this book and the element of the lights meaning different things. It got me wondering whether the Northern and Southern lights were ever thought to mean different things depending on the colour of them.

This is a great, solid, fantasy debut by Lisa which I would recommend if you’re looking for a fantasy with a quest against time.


You can see more of my pictures (like above!) here!

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi


Title: Children of Blood and Bone

Author: Tomi Adeyemi

Pages: 525

Publisher: Macmillan

Published: 2018

Source: Bought

Rating: ★★★★★

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

Children of Blood and Bone was one of my most anticipated books for 2018. In fact, it was in my top 4 for the year and I was not disappointed at all. It met, and by far, exceeded all of my expectations. I knew that it would be good, especially since a movie adaption is in the works and that was before the book had even been released.

This book was absolutely everything that I wanted it to be and more. I was quite careful to avoid reviews of this book prior to its release as I didn’t want my own opinion to be affected. All I knew was that a lot of people were talking about this book and that I really wanted to read it.

The plot of this book is fast paced and once it’s captured your attention, it doesn’t let you go until the very last line. I felt that the pacing of it was comfortable and that the story was able to move easily along. The writing was just wonderful. The story line of this book heavily features magical elements which I absolutely loved. We get to travel to quite a few places in the world of Children of Blood and Bone which is quite interesting as we get to see how different cities operate. One of the cities that we see reminded me a little of the on the water village in the Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug. I found the settings to be described really well and that I was able to imagine them vividly.

There are a few scenes that I found quite sad to read about with one particular scene making me angry. I honestly wished I could just step into the book and shake one of the characters…well, do a bit more than just shake the character!

It’s hard to talk about this book when I don’t want to give anything away in case some people haven’t read it yet! As a small note, I don’t want to comment much on something that I have not experienced myself, but I feel that it’s important to highlight that echoes of struggles and oppression that many have faced previously in history particularly are weaved throughout this book.

Children of Blood and Bone was full of great characters that had a past that haunted them. I’ve put haunted like it’s a bad thing, but what I mean is that each character had a past that was a prominent part in making them the characters that they were. The book was told from 3 different perspectives; Zelie, Amari and Inan. Although we had these three different perspectives, I felt that Zelie was our main character seeing as we started off with her. Zelie was the perfect character to follow. I felt so much sympathy for her character and her brother, Tzain, and what they had witnessed and been through when they were younger. I felt that their childhood had made them much stronger and had given Zelie more motivation on her quest. Amari is a character who really grows throughout this book and finds her strength. After witnessing a tragedy at the hands of her Father, this really spurs on her desire for vengeance. Inan is a character who I felt was very confused and struggled in a battle with himself. He was constantly torn between wanting to impress his father and going against him.

The ending of this book was a huge cliffhanger. I went to sleep thinking of what will happen in the next book. I have my own theories, which I’d be happy to discuss with anyone who has read this but as this book only came out last month, I don’t want to mention any spoilers!

Children of Blood and Bone is definitely one to add to your TBR list and to get through quickly. I could not recommend it more highly or enough. It was a fantastic book that was the perfect beginning to this series. I cannot wait to read the second book.

You can see more of my pictures (like above!) here!