Film Review: The Conjuring 2


I have a love/hate relationship with horror. Mostly it’s love – I can’t get enough of it – but I struggle to watch a horror film without having to peer through my fingers. There’s something about scaring yourself half to death that is just so much fun.

I saw the first of The Conjuring films in the cinema when it was released and I absolutely loved it. It was terrifying and hilarious all at once and I vividly remember the scene where the old witch is suddenly on top of the wardrobe due to me shrieking ‘WHAT?!’ at the top of my voice in a packed screening. What was she doing up there?! Like I said, terrifying and hilarious.

The Conjuring refreshed a slightly stagnant horror genre where recent films were just no longer cutting it. Paranormal Activity was only truly scary the first time around, and installments like Ouija and the Insidious films just weren’t freaky enough. So, when I heard there was going to be another of The Conjuring films, I was extremely excited. I dragged a reluctant Mark to the cinema with me a week or so ago, ready to be terrified, and I wasn’t disappointed.


For starters, look at that thing. Just look at it. It really creeps me out. The team behind The Conjuring films really know what they’re doing when it comes to horror. One thing they’re especially good at is camera angles. Ever since I studied Media at A-Level, I’ve been a bit obsessed with camera angles, and The Conjuring team are excellent at them. They make you look in dark corners just in case, and they keep the things that go bump in the night just out of shot to ramp up the tension. They also know when is the best time to reveal what the antagonists – whether it be ghost, demon or witch – look like.

As with The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2 is packed full of twists and dread. The twists in this installment aren’t obvious which is great, because that’s quite often how horror films suddenly lose the scare factor. However, whilst the twists were unique, I found the major twist killed the horror a little bit for me. I still liked it, but there was something about it that just didn’t work; I think it could have been handled a little better. This is a spoiler-free review so I don’t want to go into too much detail, but it just didn’t sit quite right with me; it was almost too convenient.

That being said, the film is still very scary. Not quite as scary as the first, though, as I think one of the antagonists, The Crooked Man, didn’t fit. I still watched a vast majority of the film through my fingers, however, and The Conjuring 2 retained that sense of impending dread that made the first film so creepy.


I also enjoyed the fact that it was set in England. I think horror films set in the UK are always just a little bit creepier than ones set in the US, one reason being because the UK still has so many period houses that I think make a better setting for a horror. Ghosts haunting a Tudor house are a lot scarier than ghosts haunting a semi-detached new-build in the suburbs because its just so much more believable, and also provides a much wider scope for horror – all manner of horrible things could have happened in a Tudor house over the centuries.

The setting of The Conjuring 2 is a relatively modern house, in contrast, but this isn’t your average haunting (as you’ll discover). It sounds like I am completely contradicting myself here, but still a British setting is always just a tad creepier for me, period house or not. Perhaps it’s because it just feels closer to home than an American horror.

I also thought Madison Wolfe as Janet Hodgson was excellent, although her North London accent was a bit off every now and then (she’s American). However, I felt the climax of the film was slightly rushed. The evil plaguing the Hodgson family was defeated surprisingly easily and I would have preferred more time between the major twist and the ending. There was a sprinkling of cheesiness in the film that killed the mood a little but, that being said, it was still an excellent horror film and I did enjoy it.

So, if you were a fan of the first film, the second won’t disappoint. Of course, you may like the twist more than I did, but I think that was what let it down a little in comparison with the first film. It just didn’t pack enough of a punch and, like I said, was a little too convenient. Hopefully, the spin-off of The Nun will make up for it. Although I don’t know how I feel about seeing that creepy nun again…

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Have you seen The Conjuring 2? Did you enjoy it? Was it scary enough for you? What did you think of the twist? Let me know in the comments below!

Caitlin (1)


Waiting On Wednesday: Heartland by Lucy Hounsom


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine where you showcase which books you’re looking forward to being released.

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I’ve been a little behind with Waiting on Wednesday so, after a couple of hectic weeks, its nice to get back to it again.

This week, I’m waiting on the second novel in The Worldmaker Trilogy by Lucy Hounsom, Heartland. My first ever book review on this blog was for Starborn, the first novel in the trilogy (which I gave 3.5/5), and I was lucky enough to meet Hounsom and get a signed copy of the novel at an event at my university, where Hounsom also studied. Whilst the first book didn’t blow me away, I found that there was a lot Hounsom could easily improve on, and I still enjoyed it, so I’m excited to see if she’s made the necessary improvements in Heartland. Check out the review for Starborn here.


UK Release Date: 30th June 2016 (tomorrow!)



Kyndra has saved and damned the people of Mariar. Her star-born powers healed a land in turmoil, but destroyed an ancient magic – which once concealed them from invaders. Now Kyndra must head into enemy territory to secure peace.

She finds the Sartyan Empire, unstable but as warlike as ever. It’s plagued by dissident factions, yet its emperor still has the strength to crush her homeland. The Khronostians, assassins who dance through time, could help Kyndra; or they might be her undoing. And deep within the desert, Char Lesko struggles to control his own emerging powers. He’s been raised by a mercenary whose secrets could change everything – including the future and the past.

But when Kyndra and Char meet, will their goals align? Kyndra must harness the full glory of the stars and Char has to channel his rage, or two continents will be lost.

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When Lucy Hounsom attended the event at my uni, she actually read an exclusive extract from Heartland and, from what I can remember, the writing style sounded as though it had improved since Starborn. I liked the introduction of this new character called Char and I’m excited to see what he brings to the story.

I also think the covers for The Worldmaker Trilogy are really well put together and they’re not cheesy, like some fantasy book covers can be. I’m not the most avid fantasy fan – I have to be in the mood for fantasy and I’m not really a fan of proper high fantasy – but I think Hounsom’s trilogy has the ability to appeal to a wider audience, like with A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones), due to it not neglecting the human aspect for over-complicated magic systems and hundreds of mythical races.

So, if you haven’t read Starborn, I do recommend it as a slightly different fantasy novel although, like I said, there are things that need to be improved. Hopefully the second novel will have done just that and won’t fall prey to the curse that the middle book in a trilogy usually suffers from.

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Have you read Starborn? What did you think? Are you looking forward to Heartland? Let me know in the comments!

Caitlin (1)

The Sunday Post #6


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted at The Caffeinated Book Reviewer in which book bloggers recap their week and look at what’s to come.

My Weekly Recap

So the UK has opted to leave the EU and I am absolutely devastated. I’m not going to go into detail because I don’t want to start a debate, but I’m hearing some seriously frightening stuff about the future of Britain and my own future. I wholeheartedly agree that the vast majority of Leave voters are not racist, but the Leave campaign attracted notable racist and sexist groups such as UKIP and Britain First and now these racists have had their views legitimised by Leave winning. There have already been numerous reports of blatantly racist acts directed at Indians and Pakistanis, as well as Eastern Europeans. I’m struggling to recognise my own country at the moment.

But anyway, enough of that. Here are the posts from this week:

Some of you may not have seen my discussion post because Bloglovin never displayed it! It’s only just become available on Bloglovin but, being a discussion post, I really wanted it to reach my WordPress followers and my Bloglovin followers so I could actually have a discussion with you guys! This has happened before and I’ve e-mailed Bloglovin about it. Anyone else had this same problem?

So, if you’ve only just discovered my discussion post, please do get involved if you have an opinion on it!

Coming Up

I’m just over halfway through Golden Son so hopefully the review will be going up within the next week or two on Ellie Maloney’s Sci-Fi blog. Once again, I’ll post a link to it on my blog when it’s up!

Next books I’ll get to reading after Golden Son will be The Girls and The Next Together.

I missed Waiting on Wednesday this week so hopefully I’ll get round to posting that in the coming week.

I’ll also be posting a review of The Conjuring 2 so keep your eyes peeled for that!


And Finally

I know I featured one of Tinie Tempah’s new tracks a couple of weeks ago, but he’s just come out with another catchy tune and I’m loving it. It makes me want to go to Nandos. You’ll see what I mean when you listen to it.

Caitlin (1)

A Novel Discussion: How Important Are Characters Clothes?

A Novel Discussion

I recently reviewed Carrie Ryan’s YA Mystery Daughter of Deep Silencewhich I gave 3/5 due to its lacklustre characters and plot. However, one thing I didn’t like about the novel that I didn’t actually mention was the style of one of the characters. Sounds petty, I know, but as soon as Greyson Wells, the love-interest, was described as wearing ‘pressed khakis and a light pink button-down shirt’ to a posh fundraiser, I knew I would never grow to ‘swoon’ over this supposedly handsome love interest. Not a chance.

Who wears khakis to a respectable event? What are you do wearing those monstrosities? I immediately imagined the short khakis, not the long trousers, which I’m presuming he’s wearing because it’s summer and they’re by the beach, but still. Unacceptable. And khaki with pink? Don’t even go there.

Yes, I am well aware that I sound like the fashion police right now, but of course I’m exaggerating (just a little). I’m pretty sure ‘pressed khakis’ are much more popular in the USA (where the novel is set) than the UK, so khakis might sound extremely normal to any American reader. In fact, when I google ‘pressed khakis’, there are only results for American retailers, no British ones. But for me, it just sounds like a fashion disaster. Invest in some nice suit trousers, Greyson Wells, not khakis. I think of khakis and I see Donald Trump, and I really don’t want to imagine the love-interests in novels as young Donald Trump’s.

So, this got me thinking; how important are the clothes characters wear? Clearly Greyson Wells’ fashion sense was enough to put me off him a little, but his personality wasn’t great either. Sure, if he’d had a great personality, I’d have forgiven the khakis, because I read novels to learn about and enjoy these fictional people, not lament over their dress sense. But still, it clearly affected my overall attraction to him as a character.

Of course, in Fantasy or Sci-Fi novels, clothes are often used to convey status, such as the use of flashy armour, family insignia’s, jewellery. Even today, clothes still convey status. A man wearing an Armani suit? Must be rich. Maybe a businessman. Or a celebrity.

Let’s use a TV programme as an example here. Arya Stark in Season 1 of Game of Thrones wears a thick cloak, a fresh dress, her hair clean and plaited. Arya Stark in the most recent Season is wearing rags, her hair limp and greasy, her skin dirty. You don’t need to watch Game of Thrones to understand that something bad has happened to Arya between these two stills. Clothes show status, but I don’t like Arya any less for being dirty and in rags. So why did Greyson Wells’ outfit put me off him?

Maybe I expected him to dress well because his father is a rich senator, but wealth doesn’t equate fashion sense (yes, Donald Trump, I mean you). Or maybe, because he’s the love-interest, I expect him to dress in a style that I like on men. Just a normal suit would have sufficed. But I can’t expect every girl in every book to dress how I do, or every boy to dress how my boyfriend does.

However, you do expect a love-interest to be one thing: handsome, in some way or another. I don’t expect every man in every novel to look like Tom Hardy, although I can dream, but they do need to have something that’s attractive about them. Whether that be their face, their personality, their physique or style, you want to be attracted to them, you want to root for them to end up with the other main character, be they man or woman, if there’s a romance.

Let’s take another example from a TV series, Peaky Blinders:


Now, let’s ignore the fact that Cillian Murphy is very pretty and focus on the clothes. Clean, sharp (I’m not talking about the razor blades in their caps here), layered. You know they’re organised, that they care about looking good, that they have money. Their suits say power and confidence. Clothes tell us immediately what someone is like before they’ve even opened their mouth. John, on the left, hat slightly askew – what does that imply? That he breaks the rules? You’d be right about that, but then again they all do. Tommy, in the middle, hat straight, arguably a nicer waistcoat than John’s – he’s the leader. Arthur, right, coat buttoned-up – things he wants to hide? Yes, but I do watch the show, so I’m probably just reading into it. But still, you see what I mean, their clothes can tell us what they’re like. And also, those suits are way more attractive than khakis and a pink shirt. I’d make my boyfriend dress like the Peaky Blinders if I could (yes I would, Mark).

So how important are the clothes that characters wear? In my opinion, quite important. They tell you something about the character. Even if it’s a knight in armour, you know they’re strong and respected. Clothes will tell you if someone conforms or rebels, what their personality may be like, how much they value their appearance.

On the other hand, some authors never tell us what their characters are wearing. Do I mind? No, I just imagine them how I like, or how I think best fits their personality. Yet this still proves the importance of clothes; not just as something to cover people up with, so characters aren’t running about naked in our heads as we read a book, but so that we can project what clothes we like and want onto them. It gives us a sense of ownership, makes us like them more. In the end, clothes, to me, are an important factor of characterisation. But does it matter a lot? No, unless your character is personality-less and dresses like Donald Trump, in which case, yes, it matters a lot.

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So, over to you; how important are the clothes characters wear? Let me know in the comments below, whether you agree or disagree with me, I’d love to hear some other opinions!

Caitlin (1)

Reader Confessions Tag


Thanks to Beth at Betwixt the Pages for the tag! Definitely go check her blog out if you don’t already follow her!

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1. Have you ever damaged a book?

Yes, but always by accident. I hate hate hate books that aren’t in a good condition. I can’t even stand creases in the spine from where a book has been opened.

Once, though, when I was about 12, I took Eclipse from the Twilight Saga (I was obsessed like any other teenage girl at the time) to Guide Camp. It was in perfect condition and then I dropped it and one corner of the spine was all bent and wrinkled upwards from the impact and I’m pretty sure I cried.

2. Have you ever damaged a borrowed book?

No, and I would know because, like I just said, I hate damaged books. I don’t really borrow books though; I like to have my own copy.

3. How long does it take you to read a book?

Depends on whether I’m loving it or hating it, and how busy I am. At the moment, up to a week. But I’ve never been a really fast reader anyway because I like to savour a good book; I don’t want it to end.

4. Books that you haven’t finished?

Lots. I had a bad habit in my early teens of skipping ahead to the end of books because I was impatient and so I’d end up spoiling the book for myself and giving up. Nowadays, I don’t give up unless the book is horrific. 

There are some series I don’t think I’ll finish though, like:

  • The Divergent series. I liked the first book but I didn’t really enjoy the second one and, after I heard bad things about the ending of the final book, I decided not to bother. I like Veronica Roth though so I think I’ll give her new series a go.
  • Harry Potter. I’m sorry but I’ve tried and I can’t even get past the second book! I really enjoy the films and I respect Rowling immensely but I don’t know, I just can’t get into the books.
  • The 5th Wave series. I enjoyed the first novel but I just don’t know if I’ll ever read the second and third books.

And I suppose this leads onto…

5. Hyped/Popular books that you don’t like?

  • Divergent series by Veronica Roth. Like I said, enjoyed the first book, but it went a bit downhill.
  • Harry Potter by JK Rowling (please don’t kill me).
  • The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare (also please don’t kill me).
  • I think John Green is massively over-hyped. He’s good but not that good. And the manic pixie dream girls in his books annoy me beyond belief.
  • Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. It started off creepy and I enjoyed it, but then insta-love happened and it lost me, which is a shame because I love wolves. I know everyone loves Maggie Stiefvater’s new series though so maybe I’ll give it a try.
  • Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Just no. I’m sorry, but no.

I could probably go on but I don’t want to be universally hated!

6. Is there a book you wouldn’t tell anyone you were reading?

Nope, I don’t see why you should be ashamed of what you’re reading!

7. How many books do you own?

I don’t have a clue. Definitely hundreds, especially if you count all the books I needed for my English degree. Plus I hate giving books away so I hoard them like there’s no tomorrow.

8. Are you a fast reader or a slow reader?

Somewhere in the middle. I like to enjoy a book but I’ll read fast if it’s really gripping (or if I just want it to end).

9. Do you like to buddy read?

I honestly don’t know what that is! I prefer to read a book by myself to be honest, so no one can rush ahead and make it feel like a contest, or spoil it for me.

10. Do you read better in your head or out loud?

In my head, definitely, so I can do the voices. I can craft a perfect Welsh accent in my brain but try and make me read that out loud? You’ll find yourself being spoken to by Apu from The Simpsons. (That’s the Indian shopkeeper, by the way. Don’t ask why my Welsh accent always becomes Indian).

11. If you were only allowed to own one book, what would it be and why?

I don’t even know where to begin with this. This is like a mother having to choose a favourite child. Maybe something like Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Big book, spans different centuries from the 1800s to the future. You get a bit of everything: historical fiction, sci-fi, contemporary, romance.

I tag:

Annika @ Hiding Books

Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

Lea @ A Shelf of Dreams and Tales

Of course, you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to, but have fun with the questions if you do!

Caitlin (1)

Book Recommendations: If You Liked That, You’ll Love This #2


I just wanna start this post by quickly saying that I am over the moon to find out I’m gonna be graduating from Royal Holloway with a 2:1 in BA Hons English! So that’s all my stressing over and done with and I have to say it is a huge relief. Now just to become the next JK Rowling and earn my millions…

Anyway, this post is another ‘If you liked that, you’ll love this’. In the same vein as the last post, my recommendation is Sci-Fi/Apocalyptic. So, without further ado:

If you liked Never Let Me Go or Our Endless Numbered Days, you’ll love The Ship

It’s probably about a year and a half since I read The Ship by Antonia Honeywell. There are bits of the plot I’ve forgotten, but other parts have stayed with me. It’s a bleak and mysterious novel, characterised by the innocence and curiosity of a young girl growing up in a harrowing world, much like Peggy in the forest with her father, and Kathy, Tommy and Ruth in their dystopian boarding school. The protagonists in all three novels are forced to make their own way in life, carving a path for themselves in a treacherous landscape.

Lalla in The Ship draws comparisons especially with Peggy in Our Endless Numbered Days. We meet them as children and watch them attempt to traverse adolescence themselves; both inhabit a harsh, dying world; and both have overbearing father’s with a God complex. You can also find my review for Our Endless Numbered Days right here on my blog.

I loved The Ship when I read it and struggled to put it down. The same can be said for Never Let Me Go and Our Endless Numbered Days. And, like both those novels, The Ship has an excellent twist. It’s stark, lyrical and chilling. There’s also romance, but it’s not cheesy and it doesn’t overpower the plot.

So, here’s the synopsis of The Ship:


Oxford Street burned for three weeks. The British Museum is occupied by ragtag survivors. The Regent’s Park camps have been bombed. The Nazareth Act has come into force. If you can’t produce your identity card, you don’t exist.

Lalla, sixteen, has grown up sheltered from the new reality by her visionary father, Michael Paul. But now the chaos has reached their doorstep. Michael has promised to save them. His escape route is a ship big enough to save five hundred people. But only the worthy will be chosen.

Once on board, as day follows identical day, Lalla’s unease grows. Where are they going? What does her father really want?


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If you liked Never Let Me Go or Our Endless Numbered Days, I really can’t recommend The Ship enough to fill the hole those books may have left in your life (I know Never Let Me Go definitely left a hole in mine).

Do you agree with my recommendation? Have you read The Ship? Let me know in the comments below!

Caitlin (1)

My Long-Awaited Film Review for X-Men: Apocalypse


I used to occasionally watch the X-Men cartoons as a kid, but all I vaguely remember is really liking Rogue. It wasn’t until Bryan Singer’s first X-Men movie that I could officially call myself a fan. If you don’t love superheroes and/or want to be them, then I think there’s something a bit wrong with you. And even though some of the X-Men movies have been a little hit and miss (X-Men: The Last Stand anyone? Although I did still really enjoy it…) they’ve still been fun.

Now, X-Men: Apocalypse was always going to struggle to top its predecessor Days of Future Past, especially since that film brought together the cast of the original trilogy with the new X-Men cast, satisfying all of the fans at once. Undoubtedly, Apocalypse fails to outshine Days of Future Past, and doesn’t maintain that bleak, ‘all hope is lost’ atmosphere that the previous film did so well. But it’s still an enjoyable film and, whilst being a fan of the original trilogies, I’m enjoying the new direction the franchise is going in after Days of Future Past reset the timeline.


So let’s start with the villain. I enjoyed Apocalypse as the antagonist. I really like Oscar Isaac, he’s a brilliant actor, and he delivers Apocalypse’s grandiose rhetoric well. However, whilst I didn’t find him cheesy, I wasn’t all that afraid of him; I was never too worried that he was going to succeed. Of course, we always know the X-Men are going to triumph, after all that’s what we’ve paid to see, but I was never too worried that maybe, just this once, the villain might succeed. Even though the superheroes always win, we should still feel that fear that maybe they won’t.

However, I did enjoy the new cast of characters in this film, the next generation of mutants. Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique really bores me now and I’m glad she probably won’t be coming back for another film, even though I liked her in the last two films, and especially liked the character in the original trilogy. Unfortunately, Lawrence as Mystique just doesn’t have any of that mysteriousness; the clue is in the name after all, and she proved to be pretty useless in this film. As such, I’m glad this film gave time for other characters to shine.

One of these characters was Evan Peters returning as Quicksilver. He provided some great comic relief, and also some depth. Will Magneto find out Quicksilver is his son, or won’t he? Peters plays the character exceptionally well and I hope he holds a central role in the upcoming films as he did in this one.


As for some of the others, I enjoyed Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, which was great because Jean Grey is one of my favourite X-Men and her powers were allowed to shine in the climax of the film. However, I had to force myself to remember the X-Men timeline has changed and that Jean Grey doesn’t become the Phoenix and pretty much kill everyone, as she did in The Last Stand. I think it’ll be interesting to see what lies in store for the Phoenix in the future. I hope they’ll allow Jean to reach her power’s potential without going batshit crazy again.

I also liked Tye Sheridan as Scott Summers. He encapsulated the cockiness of Cyclops, as seen in the original trilogy, but also his vulnerability. However, sometimes the rudeness just got a little bit annoying and I wondered how Jean would ever end up with such an arsehole. Hopefully that was just teenage bravado.


Yet, as I said before, what let this film down a little was the fact that I never felt like the X-Men were truly in peril. However, it was still a really enjoyable film and it didn’t shy away from some dark themes. I’ve seen this film get mixed reviews, but I don’t think it deserves the panning that some critics have given it. It was still fun and sets up the future installments for the next generation of X-Men that we know and love from the original three films, as well as the comics (obviously) and the animated TV series. So I’d say don’t pass up on this film just because it got some bad reviews; form your own opinion instead.

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Have you seen X-Men: Apocalypse? Did you enjoy it? Let me know in the comments below!

And sorry it took me so long to review it!

Caitlin (1)

The Sunday Post #5


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted at The Caffeinated Book Reviewer in which book bloggers recap their week and look at what’s to come.

My Weekly Recap

Not a lot happened in my life this week, it’s been pretty uneventful. There have been a ton of storms here in England so many of my plans have been put on hold, which is annoying because I have adventures to tick off my list before I move back home for good from university!

Blog posts this week:

Coming Up

I keep on forgetting about doing my review for X-Men: Apocalypse! At this rate I may as well just write a quick review in my Sunday Post because it’s the only time I remember it.

However, I do have some other posts planned for the coming week, if I can fit them all in. I’m going to get started on Golden Son by Pierce Brown, and the review will be going up on Ellie Maloney’s blog! I’ll post the link to it on here when it’s live.

I have another On Writing post planned, as well as another If You Liked That, You’ll Love This post, and the usual Waiting on Wednesday.

And Finally

Another weekly music recommendation. This week, I’m loving the new The Temper Trap album. Whilst I loved their debut, their second album was a bit hit and miss for me. However, their third release is back on form. Check it out:

Caitlin (1)

Review: Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

51czgiezualDaughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

Genre: Young Adult / Thriller / Romance / Contemporary

Publisher: Dutton Books

My Rating: 3/5

Synopsis: In the wake of the deadly devastation of the luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story – and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace, rescued from the ocean after torturous days adrift with her dying friend Libby, knows that the Persephone wasn’t sunk by a rogue wave as survivors Senator Wells and his son, Greyson, are claiming – it was attacked.

To ensure her safety from the obviously dangerous and very powerful Wells family, Libby’s father helps Frances assume Libby’s identity. After years of careful plotting, she’s read to expose the truth and set her revenge plans into motion – even if it means taking down the boy she’d once been in love with: Grey Wells himself.

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My Review

I really wish this book had been better. I’ve made it clear on my blog that I’m a big fan of Carrie Ryan’s zombie YA trilogy The Forest of Hands and Teeth. The setting was unique, the characters likeable, the writing bleak and full of tension. Yet, unfortunately, Ryan just couldn’t carry this over into her new YA novel, and it really pains me to say that.

As a YA thriller, this novel just didn’t thrill me. At times Ryan’s writing was poetic as I’d remembered it from The Forest of Hands and Teeth, but mostly it wasn’t anything special. The main character of Frances, who assumes Libby’s identity, was a bit hit and miss; sometimes I liked her and was rooting for her, other times she just really annoyed me. I think Ryan handled Frances’ identity confusion and ruthlessness well – who even is she anymore? She isn’t carefree Libby, she isn’t shy Frances, so who is she? – and I did enjoy that aspect of it but, like the writing, the protagonist wasn’t anything special either. Neither did the twists shock me; there just wasn’t enough punch behind them, most probably because I wasn’t too enamoured with the characters or the plot.

As for the romance, it also fell flat for me. It didn’t feel real. Grey was just, well, a bit of a wet fish, and I found their insta-love to be unbelievable. Which is also a shame, because I felt Ryan handled romance pretty well in her previous trilogy. But here, it just didn’t work for me. I wasn’t rooting for them to be together and, when Frances tells Grey an important truth (I don’t want to give away any spoilers), his reaction seemed very rude and spoilt to me; after all, we know from the blurb that he’s been lying about the true fate of the Persephone, so I don’t think he really has the right to be angry at someone else for lying!

The only characters I did like were Shepherd and Detective Morales. They were the only ones who felt realistic to me and they were secondary characters.

So, overall, a bit of a disappointment. I think Ryan is better suited to Horror and really ramping up the tension. I think Contemporary just isn’t her forté so, as a fan of her zombie trilogy, I’m hoping she’ll return to Horror and Sci-Fi in the future.

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Have you read Daughter of Deep Silence? What about any other novels of Ryan’s? Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments below!

Caitlin (1)

Stacking the Shelves ft. my Hamster


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme from Tynga’s Reviews where you showcase the books you’ve received or purchased.

This week, I bought three books from Amazon:

The Girls by Emma Cline

Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown

The Next Together by Lauren James

Both Golden Son and The Girls I’ll be reviewing as guest posts on other blogs, at Ellie Maloney’s excellent Sci-Fi fiction blog and at Tommye’s thoughtful writerly blog respectively. Check both of them out if you can! I’ll also post links on here to the reviews once they’re up.

I’ll be reviewing YA time-travelling romance The Next Together here on my blog.

The Girls was only released this week here in the UK and has been receiving rave reviews so I’m excited to read it. I think the UK cover, pictured above, is much prettier than the American cover; it definitely captures the ethereal yet toxic romance of a cult, as is depicted in the novel. It’ll also be great to dive back into Darrow’s world in Golden Son.

I haven’t had time to set up a nice looking book photo-shoot so I just got my uncooperative hamster to model my purchases instead

And four more from Waterstones book shop today, two YA and two adult, because I can’t resist the ‘Buy one, get one half price’ deal:

Illuminae by Jamie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Nightfall by Jane Halpern & Peter Kujawinski

Nod by Adrian Barnes

The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien

Hamster Model Part Deux

I’ve always hummed and hawed about reading Illuminae but I’m finally giving it a chance. Nightfall and Nod are novels I’ve both had my eye on recently. The Little Red Chairs, however, was set up in a big display in Waterstones. The cover is gorgeous and any novel that gets praise from Philip Roth is a novel worth reading, in my opinion, so I’m excited to see what it’s like.

Page Break

What have you been stacking your shelves with this week? Have you read Golden Son or The Next Together? Or have you even already devoured The Girls? Let me know in the comments!

And also, here’s an outtake from the “photo-shoot” that makes me giggle. 

No hamsters were harmed in the making of this photo-shoot, he’s just really clumsy

Caitlin (1)