Thursday, 20 June 2013

Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Siege and Storm (The Grisha Trilogy #2)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Release date: June 4th 2013
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: eBook
Pages: 448

Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

I'd been dying to read Siege and Storm since I finally read Shadow and Bone last month. I really enjoyed this one, but unfortunately not as much as Shadow and Bone. It's definitely incredible, though! I loved so many parts of it. My highlight? Sturmhond! The stakes are higher in this book, and the suspense is building up to what I know will be an epic finale.

Alina and Mal are on the run after the events of Shadow and Bone, and they find out that the Darkling has survived. When he finds them in almost no time, the two of them are hauled aboard a ship, where they meet the enigmatic captain Sturmhond. From that point on, everything changes. Alina and Mal face things they've never faced before, and find themselves in a whole bucket full of danger. People are not who they seem to be, and even Alina and Mal's relationship takes a turn for the worse.

Alina is definitely a lot more stronger in Siege and Storm, and she's changed quite a bit. She's not the meek little girl she used to be, and her power is growing. There's also a coldness to her later on that I never would have expected. Even though I liked the fact that she's more independent and a lot more tougher, I wish she retained something of who she was... She finds herself doing unthinkable things, and not knowing why. She starts to become power-hungry, but the old Alina is still in there. We see glimpses of her, especially at the end. I know she's going to get even more powerful in the final book, but I really don't want her to turn into someone like the Darkling!

Mal... I'm not entirely sure what to say. He's one of my favourite characters ever, and he still is in this book. It's impossible to not adore him! I really felt for him on account of how Alina was acting. It's pretty obvious how much she means to him, but she doesn't seem to realize that. Most of the scenes between them are spent with them arguing, and I really wanted them to patch things up. They grow distant, and it brought out a sort of desperation as well as indifference in Mal. I really missed the Mal from Shadow and Bone, and I hope he comes back in Ruin and Rising.

One character I definitely and fully loved is Sturmhond/Nokalai. I'm not sure what to call him... Obviously from the two names you can tell that he already has an identity secret in the beginning. And it's a pretty big one! But I won't give anything away. Anyway, Sturmhond (I guess I'll just call him that for now) is like a ray of sunshine in the bleak atmosphere that resides in this book. He's funny, witty, and charming. He has an easy-going attitude, but he can definitely be serious when he needs to be. I like how much he cares for the people of Ravka, and how much he's willing to do for them, and for the country. Also, this little scene between him and Alina made me wonder - is the sort-of love triangle in this  series going to turn into a sort-of love square? Whatever it is, I really hope to read more of him in the final book. Because he's awesome.

Thank goodness the Darkling wasn't in this book much. He was there in the beginning, in all his evil glory. And then there were little glimpses of him later, which made him seem all the more enigmatic. The Darkling is dealing with forces he has no idea about, and he's willing to do anything to control Alina and the power she possesses. One thing I really hope we find out in Ruin and Rising? His name. I find it weird having to refer to him as the Darkling all the time. I can only wonder how annoying it is for the people who are constantly with him. I know a lot of people like this guy, but I can't seem to figure out why! I don't think there are any qualities in him that would make him in any way likeable. And I also don't think he's redeemable. But oh well, here's to hope!

I can't write a review of a Grisha book without mentioning the amazing world building. I think it's even more incredible in Siege and Storm. I really felt like I was there in Ravka, with all the detailed descriptions and the awesome visual imagery (English Lit, woot woot!). There's a lot more in this book, too, since Leigh has developed and explored her masterpiece of a world a little more.

Seriously, if you haven't picked up this series yet, you REALLY need to. I know I was pretty late with it, but at least I got there! There's nothing like it, there really isn't. And Leigh's writing is just beautiful. No other word for it. I loved going into the Grisha world again, and I'm kind of dreading the last one now. I don't want the series to end! But with that end to Siege and Storm, I know Ruin and Rising is going to blow my mind. Even though the climax of this one is a little repetitive, I really enjoyed the book overall. 

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #30: Wild Cards

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick for this week's WoW is...


Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles


Title: Wild Cards
Author: Simone Elkeles
Release date: September 24th 2013
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.

Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?

I still haven't read the Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elkeles (REALLY need to though!) but I'm obviously looking forward to this one. Why? Well, it sounds pretty awesome, and I kinda love YA contemporary right now. Plus I love the cover. And there's quite a bit of hype about this book already, so I have high hopes! September can't come fast enough.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Book Blitz: Triangles by Kimberly Ann Miller + Giveaway!


Triangles
Release Date: 06/18/13
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press


A cruise ship. A beautiful island. Two sexy guys. What could possibly go wrong?


Hoping to leave behind the reminders of her crappy life--her father's death years ago, her mother's medical problems, and the loser who’s practically stalking her--seventeen-year-old Autumn Taylor hops on a ship with her sister for a little distraction. When she wakes up in the Bermuda Triangle, she fears she's gone nuts for more than one reason: that loser’s suddenly claiming they're a happy couple... a hot guy is wrapping his arms around her and saying "Happy Anniversary"... and suddenly, she’s full of bruises, losing her hair, and getting IV medication. Autumn visits the ship's doctor, hoping for a pill or a shot to make the craziness go away. Instead, she's warned that these "alternate realities" could become permanent.

She just has to ask herself one question—how the hell is she going to get out of this mess?



 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png  photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg  photo B1426D4C-9EEC-4C0B-A1FB-90524B03C0CA-1855-000001A1E82B3B3E_zps17d98f4d.jpg



***Excerpt***


“Are you all right, honey?”

I opened my eyes. An attractive young woman with red hair and brilliant green eyes was looking at me. What I thought was salt water from the ocean must have been tears because my face was the only one nearby that was wet. I glanced at her concerned expression and smiled. “Yes, thank you. I’m fine.” I swiped away a tear with my finger. “Just…everything’s fine.”

She stepped closer and lowered her voice. “This cruise will change your life. Nothing will be the same when it’s over, but it will be worth it. You’ll see.” Her emerald eyes twinkled, and she nodded her head once.

I forced a laugh to be polite. “Thanks. Enjoy your cruise.”

What a weirdo. What did that even mean? How could a cruise change my life? I moved from my spot to avoid more weirdness from her and found a less populated area at the back of the ship. New York and New Jersey disappeared behind us as we charged toward Bermuda and away from the mess my life had become.

A cloud covered the retreating sun, sending shivers through me. A white-haired lady dropped her purse and lots of change tumbled out. A penny hit my foot and landed on tails.

My cell phone buzzed. I pulled it from my pocket. I had thirteen messages and thirteen texts. How would Nisha survive the next five days without hearing from me? I took care of the messages and told her I’d call her when we got back to Jersey.

Even though I was not very superstitious, a bad feeling crawled into the pit of my stomach and took up residence.


I knew what I was leaving behind, but what was I floating toward?


About the author:


Kimberly Miller received Bachelor's degrees from Georgian Court University and Rutgers University and a Master's degree from The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She is an avid reader and particularly enjoys true crime and young adult novels. She grew up in New Jersey and currently resides in Monmouth County with her husband and three cats. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel to sunny islands where she snorkels by day and stargazes by night. She always takes her Nook with her.

Find 
Kimberly on: 




***GIVEAWAY***


(2)
$10 gift card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble

Spencer Hill Press is also doing a giveaway for a cruise!  Click HERE
to enter to win!


Monday, 17 June 2013

Cover Reveal: Immortals by Ednah Walters + Giveaway

Hey people! I'm excited to share the covers of Immortals by Ednah Walters, the sequel to Runes :) Here they are! (Yes, there are two at the moment)



I love the colour combinations! As well as how the style is similar to that of Runes. I'm so looking forward to this one, and the most awesome thing about this book? It releases on my birthday! :D

Here's the blurb - 



Nothing can stop Raine Cooper when she wants something…

Raine finally knows that her gorgeous neighbor, Torin St. James, is a legend straight out of Norse mythology but that doesn’t stop her from falling hard for him. Torin is crazy about Raine too, breaking the one rule he lives by: Never fall for a mortal. The problem is he no longer remembers her or that she saved him by making a deal with Norns—Norse destiny deities—the same Norns who have now erased his memories of their past together to punish her.


So Raine comes up with a plan...

She will make Torin forget his one rule a second time and fall in love with her all over again. But before Raine can put her plan into action, the Norns return. This time, they demand she protects Eirik Seville, her best friend since childhood, from an evil so dark even the Norns are scared.


But you know what they say about well-laid plans…

Caught between protecting Eirik and convincing the stubborn, cocky Torin St. James that the two of them are meant to be together, Raine's life slowly unravels. Friendships are tested. Enemies become allies. Desperate, Raine makes choices that could not only tear her and Torin further apart, but lead to the destruction of everything and everyone she loves.

Release date: August 5th 
Publisher: Firetrail Publishing



About the author:


EDNAH WALTERS grew up reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and dreaming of one day writing her own stories. She is a stay-at-home mother of five humans and two American short-hair cats (one of which has ADHD) and a husband. When she is not writing, sheÆs at the gym doing Zumba or doing things with her family, reading, traveling or online chatting with fans.

Ednah is the author of The Guardian Legacy series, a YA fantasy series about children of the fallen angels, who fight demons and protect mankind. AWAKENED, the prequel was released by Pill Hill Press in September 2010 with rave reviews. BETRAYED, book one in the series was released by her new publisher Spencer Hill Press in June 2012 and HUNTED, the third installment, will be released April 2013. SheÆs working on the next book in the series, FORGOTTEN.

Ednah also writes New Adult paranormal romance. RUNES is the first book in her new series. She is presently working on book 2, IMMORTALS.

Under the pseudonym E. B. Walters, Ednah writes contemporary romance. SLOW BURN, the first contemporary romance with suspense, was released in April 2011. It is the first book in the Fitzgerald family series. Since then she has published four more books in this series. She's presently working on book six. You can visit her online at www.ednahwalters.com or www.ebwalters.com.

Find Ednah on:


Giveaway!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Frigid by J. Lynn: Pre-order Promo + Chapter Reveal!


Today is an exciting day - we have FOUR HUGE SURPRISES for you! Jennifer L. Armentrout's (writing as J. Lynn) FRIGID is set to release on e-book at the end of July. If you're anything like us, you're probably on pins and needles and just cannot wait to get your hands on a copy of this book.
FRIGID has already been given the honor of being named a Romantic Times Top Pick and we're super excited for you to be able to read it as well!
Well, there's good news! Are you ready for those four awesome surprises? Here we go!
1. Due to all the excitement surrounding FRIGID, we have decided to run a special e-book pre-order promotion. We have worked out a deal with the distributor to release FRIGID a full two weeks early -- on JULY 15th!!! -- if we meet our e-book pre-order goal. EEEEP! That's right, if you are like the rest of us and want to be able to read FRIGID in its entirety before its original release date, all you have to do is PRE-ORDER THE E-BOOK NOW! What are you waiting for? GO! Pre-order it!

Pre-Order Links: Barnes & Noble | Amazon

2. Need something to hold you over until FRIGID releases? Well, starting right now, you can read the first three chapters of FRIGID for free! Just read below! 


3. Can’t get enough of the hot FRIGID cover? Want to see some behind the scenes photos that are sure to make you swoon? You’re in luck! Below you can watch a slideshow of all the behind the scenes photos from the photo shoot! Go on and watch it. We’ll wait, because there is still one more great surprise! 


4. And last but not least, if you live near Philadelphia, PA, you're in for a very special treat -- Jennifer will be in Philly in November signing not only FRIGID but also the last book in her immensely popular COVENANT series, SENTINEL! But that's not all, Adam, the super hot cover model from FRIGID will be there as well! So, yes, you'll get to meet Jennifer and Adam! Plus, there will be other great prizes that you seriously won't want to miss out on (dinner with the author and model, perhaps?)! Stay tuned for more details to come!

We hope you're as excited as we are! So now....Go pre-order FRIGID! Go read those chapters! Go watch that slideshow! And enjoy!

Review: The Shadow Girl by Jennifer Archer



Title: The Shadow Girl
Author: Jennifer Archer
Release date: April 9th 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: ARC
Pages: 325
Source: Author

Sometimes I forget for an hour or two that she's with me. Sometimes I convince myself that she was only a dream. Or that I'm crazy.

For as long as Lily Winston can remember, she has never been alone. Iris, a shadowy figure who mimics Lily's movements and whispers in her ear, is with her always—but invisible to the rest of the world. Iris is Lily's secret.

But when Lily's father is killed in a tragic accident, his cryptic final words suggest that he and Lily's mother have been keeping secrets of their own. Suddenly, Iris begins pushing Lily more than ever, possessing her thoughts and urging her to put together the pieces of a strange puzzle her father left behind. As she searches for answers, Lily finds herself drawn to Ty Collier, a mysterious new boy in town. Together, Lily and Ty must untangle a web of deception to discover the truth about her family, Iris . . . and Lily's own identity.

Holy crap! This book was nothing like what I expected. The Shadow Girl is such an unpredictable and therefore incredibly captivating book. There are so many secrets that we don't find out until well past the halfway point. In fact, we find all the answers close to the end of the novel. So basically the whole novel builds up to that point. And man, did Jennifer Archer do a great job with the suspense!

The Shadow Girl revolves around secrets, and Lily's kept one her whole life. She hears someone inside her head. Iris. They can feel each other's emotions and are connected to each other on a completely different level. But Lily has no idea who Iris really is, where she came from, and why the hell she resides in Lily's head. When a stranger comes to town and Lily's father is killed in an accident, she thinks the weird things that are happening are related. Lily feels that Ty knows something about her family, but she can't get it out of him. On top of all that, she's starting to feel something more for her best friend, Wyatt, and it confuses the hell out of her. The more Lily discovers about the secrets that were kept from her, the more she realizes that she's in for a huge shock.

The one little issue I had with this book was Lily. On the whole, I liked her, but there were a few things that really bugged me. Lily spends the entire book complaining that no one's honest with her. Well, why can't she be honest with people? She hides so much from Wyatt and her mom. I get that she wouldn't want her mom to know, but Wyatt's always been there for her and she knows she can trust him. But no, she chooses to trust a complete stranger who is one of the most enigmatic characters I've read about. I've got nothing against Ty, though. I actually really liked him. It's just Lily's reaction to him I didn't like. The love triangle was a little annoying, when Lily kept alternating between the two guys. But it didn't dampen my enjoyment of the novel much, so it's all cool.

But that brings me to Wyatt and Ty. They both have their own amazing qualities, but I have to say I gravitated towards Wyatt. I tend to go for the dependable best friend instead of the mysterious stranger, I'm not sure why. Anyway, Wyatt is absolutely the sweetest guy ever. I loved him immediately. He's always got Lily's back, no matter what. Even though they fight and have misunderstandings, he'll always go back to her. In the book, someone tells Lily that Wyatt is the 'safe' option, but I don't think that's true. The reason Lily doesn't want to take things further is because she doesn't want to ruin their amazing friendship. So being with Wyatt is definitely not safe. Worth it, though, I believe.

Ty is completely different from Wyatt. Lily seems immediately drawn towards him, ever since he helped her right after the car accident with her father. As Lily gets closer to Ty, she realizes he knows more than he's letting on. And her anger sparks up when she finds out what exactly he knows, and what he's doing in their town. I liked the chemistry between Ty and Lily, something she didn't have with Wyatt. He got her through a lot, and she could really depend on him. I liked him a lot better towards the end of the book. At the beginning, I wasn't so sure. But Ty did end up winning me over. Though I'm still Wyatt all the way!

This book, guys. I never saw any of it coming! Not until we were right on the edge of the metaphorical cliff. And when everything falls over, BAM. Amazing climax! I'm serious, before starting the book you definitely won't know what it's all about. Throughout reading the book, I was dying to find out all the answers. And that's why there's so much suspense in it. The build-up is awesome. The plot is fast-paced and intense, and it even started out that way. Usually I don't like it when books start out slow, because in my opinion an interesting beginning is what keeps you reading on. And The Shadow Girl definitely has one.

Bottom line? Read this book. If you haven't already, that is. The plot twist came as a huge surprise to me, and even though there were tiny hints in the novel, I seemed to have overlooked them. But that made it all the more intense when I reached that point! Jennifer Archer has created such an epic story with this one, and I really hope there's more. I'd love to know how everything plays out!

*Thank you to Jennifer Archer for providing a copy for review*

Rating: 4.5/5

Sunday, 16 June 2013

In My Mailbox #13


In My Mailbox is a meme previously hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren and now hosted by The Mod Podge Bookshelfwhich allows us to share the books we’ve bought, borrowed and received.

So I know I haven't done an IMM post in quite a while, because I just haven't had the time. School's been so crazy this past term! Anyway, I just had to post this weekend, since I got a couple of AWESOME ARCs that I've really been looking forward to! Plus, this will be my last IMM in like a month since I'll be off on vacation for the next few weeks. (See my Blogging Update post)
Anyway, here's what I've got in the past few weeks!

(these are just the print copies)

For Review




ARC of These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
ARC of Alienated by Melissa Landers
ARC of Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts (from NetGalley)
ARC of Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund (from Edelweiss)
ARC of Blurred by Tara Fuller
ARC of Resist by Sarah Crossan (from Edelweiss)
ARC of Once We Were by Kat Zhang (from Edelweiss)
ARC of How to Love by Katie Cotugno (from Edelweiss)

GUYS OMG. You have no idea how excited I am to read These Broken Stars and Alienated!! I started jumping up and down when they arrived in the mail. I know there's loads of time for them to come out, but I want to read them ASAP. I'm also excited to read Tumble & Fall, as well as How to Love. As for the rest of them, well I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't read the first books in any of those series (these ARCs are all the second books in their series). I've heard so much about them, though. But I will definitely do that this summer, so I can get to these amazing books :)

For Books That Glow: YA & MG 2013


ARC of The Shadow Girl by Jennifer Archer
ARC of Written in Stone by Rosanna Parry (from NetGalley)

I'm currently reading The Shadow Girl, and it's pretty good so far! Look out for my review soon. Written in Stone seems like an interesting read. Nothing like I've read before, so I wonder how I'll like it.

Alright, that's it for now! I will be having a very book-filled summer :)
What do you think of my haul and what did you guys get this week? Leave me a comment!

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Cover Reveal: Ghost Hold by Ripley Patton


Hola people! As many of you know, Ripley Patton's first novel, Ghost Hand, is also the first book in a series known as The PSS Chronicles. While Ghost Hand has been getting rave reviews on Amazon and was recently chosen as the June Book of the Month for a Goodreads Book Club with over 1300 members, Ripley has been hard at work writing the second book, Ghost Hold

Ghost Hold is in the final stages of publication, which will ultimately be funded through the GHOST HOLD KICKSTARTER PROJECT, just as Ghost Hand was funded last year. The current Ghost Hold Kickstarter project was 41% funded in the first week, and when it reaches the halfway mark of $1250, Ripley is going to release the first chapter of the new book to all backers, with more chapters to come later as funding builds. 

So, in order to celebrate, and perhaps entice you to back the project and help make Ghost Hold a reality, Ripley is revealing the cover of Ghost Hold this weekend here and all over the internet.

AND HERE IT IS!


This compelling cover, featuring main characters from the book, Olivia Black, Marcus Jordan, and Passion Wainwright, was designed by Scarlett Rugers Designs of Australia. I love it! Especially how it fits so nicely with the cover of Ghost Hand.

Curious to know what the book is about? Here's the blurb - 

Olivia Black is back.


Only this time she's not the one in need of rescue.



Samantha James, rich, popular, and an award-winning composer at age seventeen, is the next target on the CAMFers' list. And in order to convince Samantha to come with them, Olivia and Passion must pose as cousins, blend into the most affluent high school in Indianapolis, and infiltrate a mysterious cult known as The Hold.




Olivia doesn't expect it to be easy, even with the PSS guys backing them up. But what she discovers over the course of the mission will call into question everything she ever believed about herself, her ghost hand, and especially about Marcus, the guy she is undoubtedly falling in love with.



Be sure and visit Ripley's Kickstarter Project and let her know what you think of the cover there, or here in the comments. But don't delay. The project ends July 1st and is the only way to pre-order the book before its September release. 

Haven't read the first book, Ghost Hand, yet? Well you're in luck. Ripley's gift to you -  6/14/2013 - 6/18/2013, Ghost Hand is FREE for Kindle, so please go grab a copy.

Blogging Update #2

Sup, home skillets!

So it's currently the last weekend before the end of Grade 11 (woot woot!). I still have three more days of school (yeah, school ends on a Wednesday. We're cool like that), but after that? I'll be off to the US on a College Tour with a bunch of friends! I'll be leaving next Thursday, the 20th. The tour lasts until the 29th, where we visit a bunch of US universities in the Northeast, like NYU, Harvard, Boston University, Brown, Tufts, etc. And I can't wait! But the thing is, I won't be able to blog or even read during that time. Also, I will be staying with cousins in Boston for about 10 days after the tour ends, and then going straight to the UK to meet up with my parents, and stay in London for another week. I'm so excited about that, because I was two years old the last time I was in London! We will also be visiting a few universities around there. Which means even after the US tour, I will be extremely busy.

If you can't be bothered to read all of that up there, basically I'll be absent from social media and won't be able to blog from the 21st of June to the 15th of July. That's almost a month, and I'm kinda freaking out, but I'll be kept very busy with visiting universities and sightseeing, so I think I'll be okay :) I'll be around on Twitter and Facebook sometimes, but I doubt I will be posting anything up on here during that time. Unless I schedule stuff, of course. But yeah, that's basically it. So if you actually read all of this, thank you! You're a very patient person :D

Alright, I think I'm done. PEACE OUT. Here is a GIF of dogs playing Table Tennis, as a thank you for reading the above unorganized and mostly unnecessary rambling. P.S. I love Table Tennis. And dogs. Hence the GIF, which I love too.


Friday, 14 June 2013

Review: Nobody's Secret by Michaela MacColl



Title: Nobody's Secret
Author: Michaela MacColl
Release date: April 30th 2013
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Format: ARC
Pages: 231
Source: Author

It's 1845, and for fifteen-year-old Emily Dickinson, every day follows the same pattern: chores, chores, and more chores. So when she meets a mysterious, handsome young man, she's intrigued. Surprisingly, he doesn't seem to know who she or her family is. And even more surprisingly, he playfully refuses to divulge his name. Emily enjoys her secret flirtation with "Mr. Nobody" until he turns up dead in her family's pond.

Stricken with guilt, Emily sets out to discover who this enigmatic stranger was before he's condemned to be buried in an anonymous grave. Her investigation takes her deep into town secrets, blossoming romance, and deadly danger.



Nobody's Secret is a must-read for all historical fiction lovers. It's captivating and pretty much unputdownable. I loved how Michaela MacColl told a partly-fiction partly-true story of the famous poet Emily Dickinson. The author note at the end tells you exactly what was true and what was made up for the story. The plot, of course, is entirely fiction. The mystery woven between the plot was great, and reminiscent of the countless mystery novels I used to read as a kid. I loved it!

When Emily is out trying to get a reprieve from the endless amount of chores she has, she meets a young stranger who has no idea who she is. And who she is is pretty important, because the Dickinson family founded Amherst College, and is very prestigious. Emily and "Mr. Nobody", as she calls him, understand each other on a level that no one else does, and Emily finds herself really liking this guy. Imagine her shock when she finds out he's the body she found floating face-down in her family pond. She takes it upon herself to find out exactly who he was, and her search leads her to some deeply guarded secrets.

It was so pleasurable to read about Emily's life. I don't know much about the poet, but apparently her personality was very similar to the Emily in this novel, so I definitely need to search her up now. I loved how Emily creates beautiful poetry out of little mundane things she experiences. I'm no poetry buff, but this really is some great poetry. All the lines at the beginning of each chapter are from her actual published poems, and I found it amazing how Michaela could find lines relating to each chapter of her novel. Emily has a wild spirit, and can't stand being cooped up at home. So she tries to get out in every way possible. Emily has to balance who she really is and who she's supposed to be in front of her parents, and that seems really tough in my opinion. I loved her strong will and her intelligent mind. It really is beautiful to see how Emily uncovers the mystery of Mr. Nobody.

Emily has a little sister, Vinnie, who is basically the opposite of her. She's a few years younger, extremely pretty, and conforms to the social norms of girls in that time. But her loyalty towards Emily is admirable. Vinnie volunteers to help Emily when she finds out what Emily is trying to do, and she's very earnest about it. I quite liked her character, too. Mr. Nobody's identity will remain anonymous in this review, of course, since I don't want to give anything away. We didn't get to see much of him, but what I saw, I definitely liked. He's different from the people Emily usually encounters, and he's a total enigma. Slowly, as Emily finds out who he was, we get to know more about him. And how I wish he was still alive by the end! I grew to like him more as the novel progressed, but of course he was already dead.

Nobody's Secret is written beautifully, and I feel that Michaela really captured the essence of the nineteenth century. This is a really enjoyable novel, with a great and spunky protagonist. There's a lot of suspense, and danger too. It's very well-paced, and there was never a dull moment. This one is a real page-turner! All in all, I really liked this one. Especially the mystery part. I just wish we could have known Mr. Nobody for a little but longer! But maybe that would have made me miss him all the more, and I wouldn't want that. I think. Anyway, the writing in this book is incredible, especially the end. It might even squeeze some tears out of you!

*Thank you to Michaela MacColl for providing a copy for review*

Rating: 4/5