ARC Review: And I Darken by Kiersten White

And I Darken by Kiersten White

Series: The Conqueror’s Saga #1

Publication: June 28th 2016 by Delacorte Press

Format: eBook Pages: 498

ISBN13: 9780553522310


And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a 

place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point. – Goodreads

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The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Series: The Selection #1

Publication: April 24th 2012 by HarperTeen

Format: eBook Pages: 336

ISBN13: 9780062059932

‘For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks. 

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.’ Goodreads 


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London Belongs to Us by Sarra Manning

London Belongs to Us by Sarra Manning

Publication: June 2nd 2016 by Bonnier Publishing Fiction

Format: eBook Pages: 272

ISBN13: 9781471404610

Twelve hours, two boys, one girl . . . and a whole lot of hairspray. Seventeen-year-old Sunny’s always been a little bit of a pushover. But when she’s sent a picture of her boyfriend kissing another girl, she knows she’s got to act. What follows is a mad, twelve-hour dash around London – starting at 8pm in Crystal Palace (so far away from civilisation you can’t even get the Tube there) then sweeping through Camden, Shoreditch, Soho, Kensington, Notting Hill . . . and ending up at 8am in Alexandra Palace. Along the way Sunny meets a whole host of characters she never dreamed she’d have anything in common with – least of all the devilishly handsome (and somewhat vain) French ‘twins’ (they’re really cousins) Jean Luc and Vic. But as this love-letter to London shows, a city is only a sum of its parts, and really it’s the people living there who make up its 

life and soul. And, as Sunny discovers, everyone – from friends, apparent-enemies, famous bands and even rickshaw drivers – is willing to help a girl on a mission to get her romantic retribution. A fast-paced, darkly funny love letter to London, boys with big hair and the joys of staying up all night. Netgalley 

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A Mother’s Secret by Renita D’Silva

A Mother’s Secret by Renita D’Silva

Publication: April 07th 2016 by Bookouture

Format: eBook Pages: 352


‘What if you discovered that everything you knew about yourself was a lie?
When pregnant Jaya loses her mother, then her baby son Arun in a tragic cot death, her world crashes down. Overcome by grief and guilt, she begins to search for answers – to the enigma of her lonely, distant mother, and her mysterious past in India.

Looking through her mother’s belongings, she finds two diaries and old photographs, carrying the smoky aroma of fire. A young boy smiles out at Jaya from every photograph – and in one, a family stand proudly in front of a sprawling mansion. Who is this child? And why did her mother treasure this memento of a regal family lost to the past? 

As Jaya starts to read the diaries, their secrets lead her back to India, to the ruin of a once grand house on a hill. There, Kali, a mad old lady, will unlock the story of a devastating lie and a fire that tore a family apart.

Nothing though will prepare Jaya for the house’s final revelation, which will change everything Jaya knew about herself. ‘ Goodreads

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The May ‘Did Not Finish’ Pile

I like to consider myself a realist so when there’s a book that’s not getting any better by the time I’m 15% into reading it, I am very likely to chuck it into my DNF pile. Admittedly, there are times when a book improves around halfway through but honestly, if it takes around 100-200 pages for a story to get me interested, it’s a shit effort. I don’t want to waste time waiting for a book to finally appease my tastes.

Mind you, I used to be one of those readers who would finish a book no matter what. But I was wasting time by forcing myself to read books I didn’t like, and this led to multiple slumps. Once I snapped out of this mentality, I found myself finishing far more books on average per week because I was actually enjoying it. If you find yourself hitting reading slumps frequently, it might be because you’re trying too hard to read something that isn’t right for you. Put it away and pick something else up instead.

My reading habits mean that a couple of books usually make it to my book wasteland each month, which is why I’ve decided to do monthly DNF posts with brief explanations instead of full reviews. So, here’s the books I did not finish in May.

Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet by H.P. Wood


I read around 15% and couldn’t get into this story; there wasn’t even a story at this point, and the characters were boring.

The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg narrated by Amy McFadden


Audiobooks like these are the reason I’m glad Audible lets you return what you didn’t like. This was such a terrible narration with no emotion or interest from the narrator!

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift narrated by David Hyde Pierce


I love Gulliver’s Travels but this narration didn’t do much for me. I couldn’t keep myself interested in listening so I never got around to finishing it.

What did you throw in your DNF pile this month?