Mayhem by Estelle Laure – Blog Tour Review

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51171648Mayhem by Estelle Laure

Series: N/A

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Expected publication: July 14th, 2020

Genres: YA, Fantasy, Contemporary

Pages: 304

Format: ARC

Buy: Amazon | BookDepository

* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*

The Lost Boys meets Wilder Girls in this supernatural feminist YA novel.

It’s 1987 and unfortunately it’s not all Madonna and cherry lip balm. Mayhem Brayburn has always known there was something off about her and her mother, Roxy. Maybe it has to do with Roxy’s constant physical pain, or maybe with Mayhem’s own irresistible pull to water. Either way, she knows they aren’t like everyone else.

But when May’s stepfather finally goes too far, Roxy and Mayhem flee to Santa Maria, California, the coastal beach town that holds the answers to all of Mayhem’s questions about who her mother is, her estranged family, and the mysteries of her own self. There she meets the kids who live with her aunt, and it opens the door to the magic that runs through the female lineage in her family, the very magic Mayhem is next in line to inherit and which will change her life for good.

But when she gets wrapped up in the search for the man who has been kidnapping girls from the beach, her life takes another dangerous turn and she is forced to face the price of vigilante justice and to ask herself whether revenge is worth the cost.

From the acclaimed author of This Raging Light and But Then I Came Back, Estelle Laure offers a riveting and complex story with magical elements about a family of women contending with what appears to be an irreversible destiny, taking control and saying when enough is enough.

Captura de ecrã 2017-06-30, às 18.09.21Mayhem is kind of a retelling of The Lost Boys with a witchy side and a feminist touch in the #MeToo era. 

Set in 1987, Meyhem Brayburn runs away with her mother Roxy from an abusive stepfather to Santa Maria California, where Roxy lived as a kid. At the Brayburn farm Mayhem meets her aunt and the three kids she kind of adopted. But that place harbors much more than Mayhem could have expected.

If you like The Lost Boys you are probably going to enjoy this, the setting and the pacing is the same, but it has some cool differences that I quite enjoyed.

I really liked May and her new friends (the kids her aunt adopted – Neve, Jason and Kidd), it was interesting to see them together although some friendships were a bit too much – which is where I totally saw The Craft, which I read to be something this was inspired by too.

Neve was wild. She definitely was a bad influence on the others, but I also couldn’t necessarily not like her. She was definitely an interesting character and in her own way she did help May… But one of my fav characters has to be Kidd, she is super sweet and she still has a touch of innocence for how young she is and that really balanced their group. I loved their interaction with “magic”, I always love reading about new magical ways and this was super interesting! I’m not going to say more about it, but although it’s simple, I loved it and it really worked well with the story.

The abuse described in the book was quite heavy and could be triggering. However I did really like how it was approached and it made the end as sweet as can be. It showed that there’s help to be given, there’s hope and it’s possible to get better even if its not easy. No means no and everyone should respect that.

As for what I didn’t like so much…

As I said, the pace is pretty much the same as the movie, and being something that already irked me in the movie, in a book is a bit too much. I would have preferred a bit of a faster pace. I think it would have really worked with the story and made it more compelling.

The story could have gotten a bit more changes too. Half of the book was pretty much the same as the movie, which it didn’t necessarily need to be just to see the inspo. I would have liked a bit more differences because I loved everything that was different in this book and I would definitely want to check out more by the author.

Overall this book was quite enjoyable, I loved the main character and to see her relationship with her mom and her family evolve and change. It deals with abuse and its hard to read at times, but its definitely important, and the end really gives hope.

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What did you think of it? Have you read it? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!

 

Blog Tour: Foul is Fair Review

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The year just started and we’re already getting some amazing books! Foul is Fair is a book you should for sure get your hands on, so make sure to check my thoughts on the novel and the amazing things this book has to offer! Welcome to my first favorite book of 2020!

Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin

Series: Foul Is Fair #1

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Expected publication: February 4th, 2020

Genres: YA, Contemporary, Retellings, Murder

Pages: 336

Format: ARC

Buy: Amazon | Book Depository

* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*

Hannah Capin’s Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.

Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target.

They picked the wrong girl.

Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.

Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.

Captura de ecrã 2017-06-30, às 18.09.21Do you know when you read that book and after that everything changes? That’s how I feel about this book. I will forever compare everything else with this to find favorites…

I can’t believe I almost didn’t read this book. This was recommended to me and I didn’t even know about its existence. I couldn’t have been happier to participate in my first ever blog tour with this book. I literally devoured this as much as Elle devoured her prey. This book is epic. I loved this read so much and I can’t possibly wait for the next one!

This book is heavily based in Macbeth, the meaning “Fair is foul, and foul is fair” – from where the name came from – is a big part of the book, as are some character’s names and many moments in it which I loved comparing to the original story. For those who don’t know, Macbeth is one of my favorite Shakespeare novels for how brutal and intense it is, so I had high hopes for this book.

Like Macbeth, at the beginning of that story, we have a prophecy from a trio of “witches” that say that one day Macbeth will be king. Now, put that into an amazingly hard and gruesome contemporary story with wealthy boys, amazing (and slightly sick) friendship, hierarchies in highschool, maniacal plans, lies, and suspense and you have Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin which I predict to be one of my favorite books of the year.

This story like I said, is kind of a contemporary retelling of Macbeth. When a group of wealthy untouchable boys rape Elle at a party, the plan is to make them pay with their lives. Elle and her coven of best friends – Summer, Jenny, and Mads – create an elaborate plot that starts when Elle, now going by her middle name Jade, moves to these boy’s school and slowly but surely, by manipulating another boy, turns them all against each other and no one is safe anymore. 

Overall, this is a book about revenge, about justice and about taking matters into your own hands. It tackles some heavy topics in a very different and gripping way. The plot is extremely fast-paced and it feels like you’re there every second of it. It’s impossible to put down and it engrosses you in this beautifully gruesome plan where heroes and villains are one and the same. It’s intoxicating and I can’t possibly have enough of it. 

Something I really liked was how close Jade and her coven were. They were ruthless, powerful, unapologetic and as close as close can be. They are friendship goals and nothing less, no matter what could come between them. They fight and might not always see eye to eye, like anyone else, but they don’t let that destroy them or their goals. It was beautiful to see them in action and I loved how much they were there for each other. 

As for the girl’s parents, they are present too, and although they might not seem very conventional for everyone, it worked well with the type of families present. They are not as tight with each other, but you can see their love and how much they try to help by letting their kids find their way. They don’t protect them in the way of doing everything for them but they give them the knife and teach them how to fight (I especially loved Mads family so much!).

It was amazing to read about Jade and her plot. And as the plot progressed so did my emotions. I wanted her to win, to seek her revenge to be free and make me feel free too. She is not exactly a likable character but one can’t help but admire her fire. She is fierce and won’t go down without a fight. I thought Jade was going to be that typical mean wealthy girl but she is so much more than that! She is the most complex and unique character I’ve read about and I will never forget her. Sure, her plan is completely nuts and that probably says a lot about herself but I was rooting for her all the way!

It was SO beautifully written and in the most incredibly clever way possible. I just couldn’t wait to see “Who’s next” and how everything would unfold. I did see certain things coming but my enjoyment didn’t change one bit. 

I will put here the publisher’s note because I think it’s quite important: “The primary thematic material of Foul is Fair centers on sexual assault (not depicted), rape culture, and violence. Additionally, the book includes an abusive relationship, a suicide attempt, and a brief scene with transphobic bullying. For a more detailed description of sensitive content, please visit hannahcapin.com/foulisfair.” This book can be triggering in parts, but seeing Jade create her own justice is quite liberating and empowering too. This is an extremely dark story where revenge is the goal, but it gave me so much more than that…

I highly recommend this one if you love very dark, wicked and empowering stories. It’s violent and even tho it doesn’t really show the assault, everything evolves around it in the most gruesome of ways. This is the most haunting book you will ever read and you will love every second of it. I can’t stop thinking about it!

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What did you think of it? Are you excited about this book? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!


Want to know more about the author?

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Hannah Capin is the author of Foul is Fair and The Dead Queens Club, a feminist retelling of the wives of Henry VIII. When she isn’t writing, she can be found singing, sailing, or pulling marathon gossip sessions with her girl squad. She lives in Tidewater, Virginia.

 

No Sad Songs by Frank Morelli

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No Sad Songs by Frank Morelli
Series: N/A
Publisher: Fish Out of Water Books
Published February 20th, 2018
Genres: YA, Realistic Fiction
Pages: 228
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

Following a family tragedy, 18-year-old Gabe LoScuda suddenly finds himself thrust into the role of caregiver for his ailing grandfather. Between the shopping trips and the doctor visits with Grandpa, Gabe and his friend John try to salvage their senior year, meet girls, and make the varsity baseball team. It doesn’t take long for Gabe to realize that going to school and looking after a grandfather with Alzheimer’s is more work than he ever imagined. And when long-lost Uncle Nick appears on the scene, Gabe soon finds that living with Nick and Grandpa is like babysitting two grown men. Aside from John, the only person who truly understands Gabe is Sofia, a punk-rocking rebel he meets at the veteran’s hospital. When these three unlikely friends are faced with a serious dilemma, will they do what it takes to save Grandpa? If there’s a chance of preserving the final shreds of Grandpa’s dignity, Gabe may have to make the most gut-wrenching decision of his life—and there’s no way out.

* Was offered a digital copy* from the Author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.* *I did buy the book myselfRead More »

In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

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In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
Series: Wayward Children #4
Publisher: Tor.com
Published January 8th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Pages: 204
Format: Hardback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

This fourth entry and prequel tells the story of Lundy, a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she’s found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.

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A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa Sheinmel – ARC Review

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A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa Sheinmel

Series: N/A

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Expected publication: February 5th 2019

Genres: YA, Mental Illness

Pages: 352

Format: ARC

Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*

Only when she’s locked away does the truth begin to escape…

Four walls. One window. No way to escape. Hannah knows there’s been a mistake. She didn’t need to be institutionalized. What happened to her roommate at her summer program was an accident. As soon as the doctors and judge figure out that she isn’t a danger to herself or others, she can go home to start her senior year. In the meantime, she is going to use her persuasive skills to get the staff on her side.

Then Lucy arrives. Lucy has her own baggage. And she may be the only person who can get Hannah to confront the dangerous games and secrets that landed her in confinement in the first place.

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Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

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Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Series: N/A
Publisher: Gollancz
First published March 1966
Genres: Classics, Sci-fi, YA
Pages: 224
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

Charlie Gordon, IQ 68, is a floor sweeper, and the gentle butt of everyone’s jokes, until an experiment in the enhancement of human intelligence turns him into a genius. But then Algernon, the mouse whose triumphal experimental transformation preceded his, fades and dies, and Charlie has to face the possibility that his salvation was only temporary.

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TTT: Books I’d Slay a Lion to Get Early

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010 out of a love of lists. It recently changed to That Artsy Reader Girl and that’s where you can find the topics for each Tuesday.

This week’s topic is:

Books I’d Slay a Lion to Get Early (Submitted by Emma)

This is quite a cool topic, there are definitely some books I would do anything to get my hands on.

What are some of the books you would do anything to get your hands on?

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Series: N/A
Publisher: Black Swan
First published 2005
Genres: Historical fiction, YA
Pages: 538
Format: Paperback – 10th Anniversary Edition
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

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