Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The Next Together

The Next Together by Lauren James

How many times can you lose the person you love? 

Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again, century after century. Each time, their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated. 

Spanning the Crimean War, the Siege of Carlisle and the near-future of 2019 and 2039 they find themselves sacrificing their lives to save the world. But why do they keep coming back? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace? 

Maybe the next together will be different... {goodreads summary}

Time travel, romance and an action-packed adventure - what more could you ask for in a novel?

"I don't think there are any true heroes. Just people who ignore their survival instincts long enough to do something incredibly foolhardy."

When Kate meets Matt in a university biology lab, he seems strangely familiar - right down to the Scottish accent she's expecting before he even opens his mouth. The more time they spend with each other, the more they get the sense that they have done this before. Many times. The Next Together follows Kate and Matt as they find and lose each other across various timelines. A brilliant blend of sci-fi, action and romance, The Next Together is a novel not to be missed.

"All throughout history they had been doing this, finding and loving each other and then being ripped apart before they even had a chance to live."

I particularly loved the way the different time lines weaved together; James' ability to keep track of all the threads and keep the pace moving was superb. 

"She had been here before. She knew she had, except she definitely hadn't."

My favourite parts of TNT were the really cute emails/texts/fridge notes between 2019 Katherine and Matthew which were often used to start the chapters. They were funny and gave a great insight into the characters. 

"This conference is everything I want in life: sun, sand and four talks a day about health and safety."

I'm really intrigued to see what happens in the sequel - The Last Beginning (which is a brilliant title!) - as I'm not really sure where the story will go next. 

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Fairytale Retellings

While I continue working on Skin Deep, I wanted to share some of my favourite fairytale retellings on the blog, as there are so many brilliant ones out there.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.  {goodreads summary}

Why would I recommend it? Because this series is a sci-fi retelling of not one, but four different fairytales! Meyer weaves the original tales into her work in unique and surprising ways. 

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.  {goodreads summary}

Why would I recommend it? This is a very loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast but it has some brilliant moments. The sequel - A Court of Mist and Fury - is superb.

The Forbidden Wish

When Aladdin discovers Zahra's jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn't seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra's very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.  {goodreads summary}

Why would I recommend it? This is a novel about friendship as much as romance and Khoury's storytelling is superb. 

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
How can a fairy's blessing be such a curse?
At her birth, Ella of Frell was the unfortunate recipient of a foolish fairy's gift -- the "gift" of obedience. Ella must obey any order given to her, whether it's hopping on one foot for a day and a half, or chopping off her own head! But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. Against a bold backdrop of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella goes on a quest to break the curse -- once and for all. {goodreads summary}
Why would I recommend it? Because it's funny, lighthearted and enjoyable from start to finish. 
Beastly by Alex Flinn

I am a beast.

A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.

You think I'm talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It's no deformity, no disease. And I'll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.
  {goodreads summary}

Why would I recommend it? Because it puts some interesting twists on the original. The modern setting works really well.