Book Review: Afflicted by Susanne Valenti

AfflictedGoodreads Synopsis

Change carries on the wind, flows through the rivers and grows in the heart of the storm. Once it is set free, nothing can stop it from spreading like poison through the Earth and all its creatures. The planet is evolving and anything that wants to remain will have to adapt. The animals are learning to fight back while the plants grow beyond control. Kaitlyn and her friends must find a way to survive while everything around them becomes stronger and stranger. They can’t trust anything they thought they knew about the world. They can’t even trust each other. Rage and violence twists its way into the hearts of the contaminated: shaping them into something new. Something which cannot feel pity, mercy or love. Kaitlyn’s heart draws her towards the one person she knows can help them but can she find him in time? Safety lies just out of reach and they must find the strength to achieve it. 

Seventy years before Maya discovered the Cage of Lies, Kaitlyn’s world is about to change forever. Afflicted is the first book in the Tainted Earth Saga, an action packed dystopian romance filled with love, uncertainty and danger on every page.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Afflicted is the first book in a new series by Susanne Valenti which is a continuation of universe of the Cage of Lies saga but this is the prequel. This takes place seventy years before those events so we’re really diving into the deep end and seeing how everything started.

I was over the moon to once again get the opportunity to read Susanne’s writing as she never disappoints, and that remains true even after finishing this book. She has a way of drawing you in so that you’re curious about knowing where exactly the story will lead.

I must admit that this story started out slow but I understand that since this is the first book and almost the beginning of a new world so speak, some world building needs to take place.

In the Cage of Lies series, everyone was already behind The Wall and living their good lives, but in this book, they still had to get to that point. The contamination was just starting to breakout and no one knew anything. Evolution was rushed by a few years and people as well as the animals were acting totally strange.

I liked the characters well enough but I’m not going to judge them too much as yet because there is plenty room for development. I’ve experienced this author’s amazing character development plots and I can’t wait to go through it again. I liked Lincoln a lot and I know that there’s still a lot he can tell us of the six years he was gone. Katy is a bit…predictable, but as I said, room for development.

I could sense that this was Susanne’s writing because it had the same vibe but at the same time it felt totally different from her other books and I think that’s great. There was nothing repetitive here and I believe that’s what made for an even more enjoyable read.

I can’t wait for the next book but if I must, I shall. I loved every page and the obsession to this series is real!

Read: 8 January 2018
Rating: ★★★.5

Publication Date: 15 December 2017
Publisher: Amazon
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Susanne Valenti

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eARC Book Review: Free by Susanne Valenti

Free: Freedom comes at a price... (Cage of Lies Book 5)Goodreads Synopsis

Alone and surrounded by the enemy, Maya doesn’t know which way to turn. In a prison built of corruption and blind faith, does the truth even stand a chance? All paths lead to this and finding a way through will be the toughest test yet. The might of the city stands against her and she must remain defiant in the face of it. Presented with challenges she never thought possible and changes she couldn’t have imagined, she will need to be stronger than ever before. The fight of her life is coming to an end but will she survive to see her dreams become reality?

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

When I first started this book I had forgotten so much from the previous books because the wait was definitely a long one but I didn’t need to worry because with each chapter I read, the memories started coming back.

The gang is now in The City and they’re working with their contacts within the wall to get the word out that the Outside isn’t as dangerous as they were led to believe. New characters are introduced and you’d think that that’d be weird and hard to get used to so late in the game but Valenti made them blend in so easily it was as if they’d always been around. One of the people introduced is Cutter. He’s a scary dude and you’d actually be smart to stay out of his way but I actually liked his character a lot. I like what he stood for. Family is everything to this guy and he protects his own.

Naturally there were a few…setbacks in the story that of course was supposed to help the plot but I don’t think that all of them made complete sense. I feel that the beginning of the book dragged mainly because it was mostly from Maya’s POV and I was starting to get a bit annoyed with her. I can’t place my finger on what exactly irked me about her but I didn’t mind her at all when she was surrounded by others.

I certainly hope that there’s another book coming because that ending left quite an opening. There’s basically a bridge between the Outside and The City so I hope the new ‘alliance’ between the two is looked at more closely. Certain things in this book did feel a bit rushed and I felt that too much time was spent on the planning and not enough on the action and that played a part in things going haywire.

There have been further developments in both the characters and the story which is always a good thing to see and I’m definitely glad that Susanne one again did not disappoint in that department. Out of all the books in this series, this doesn’t come close to how I feel about Broken and is not my favourite but I did like it a lot.. I can’t wait to see what new ideas Susanne can produce for us.

Read: 8 October 2017
Rating: ★★★.5

Publication Date: 16 July 2017
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Susanne Valenti

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Book Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver (The Giver Quartet, #1)Goodreads Synopsis

“I have great honor,” The Giver said. “So will you. But you will find that is not the same as power.”

Life in the community where Jonas lives is idyllic. Designated birthmothers produce newchildren, who are assigned to appropriate family units: one male, one female, to each. Citizens are assigned their partners and their jobs. No one thinks to ask questions. Everyone obeys. The community is a world without conflict, inequality, divorce, unemployment injustice…or choice.

Everyone is the same.

Except Jonas.

At the Ceremony of Twelve, the community’s twelve-year-olds eagerly accept their predetermined Life Assignments. But Jonas is chosen for something special. He begins instruction in his life’s work with a mysterious old man known only as The Giver. Gradually Jonas learns that power lies in feelings. But when his own power is put to the test—when he must try to save someone he loves—he may not be ready. Is it too soon? Or too late?

In The Giver, things such as inequality, conflict…choice in general are foreign concepts. Everything and everyone are assigned to what and who they’d be best suited with. No one argues with this because that would ruin the image of perfection.

After I finished this book I had to take a few days to gather my thoughts because I honestly had no idea how I felt about the story as a whole. Lois Lowry wrote what is in my opinion a great book. The idea of the plot is just so…out there. Like, imagine a perfect world. Imagine if people could achieve this perfect world, where being ‘different’ isn’t a thing. Everyone looks the same, acts the same, and there’s no room for judgement, rudeness or conflict.

I didn’t read the synopsis, which is not unusual for me so I went in not knowing anything really. The idea did occur to me that yes, a world where there’s no hate, no war…no hunger, would be perfect and amazing. I found myself wishing for just that but then I stopped to think: at what cost would all of this be possible? And that right there is the punchline to the joke that in actual fact is not a joke at all.

This book is categorised as ‘Middle Grade’ and I personally believe that that’s only because of how old the main character, Jonas, is. He’s eleven when all this starts so he’s starting to see the world in a new light. Asking more questions that in this community, one is not supposed to ask. There’s nothing middle grade about this book though. I found this to be horrific but not in a scary close-your-eyes way, more like…when the image is put in your mind, and you think of what goes on behind the scenes, it’s frightening. I think this is where the term ‘ignorance is bliss’ comes in. These people don’t know what they’re missing, so it’s not a problem for them.

I did like that this was told from a child’s point of view. Jonas has this innocence about him. He starts out as a curious kid and in the end, he’s fighting for his life. All because of him knowing the truth. Not many people like change, but I think this was taking it to a new level.

Heaven alone knows why I took so long to get to this book because I thought it was amazing. Once I had a free moment, I finished it and I couldn’t decide where I stood with everything. I’m still in a state of- I want to say confusion.

Lois Lowry did an excellent job with this book. I greatly enjoyed her writing style and look forward to continuing The Giver Quartet.

Read: 13 May 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 1 July 2014
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Lois Lowry

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Top 10 Favourite Reads of 2016


A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

Beauty and the Beast is my favourite fairytale of all time so when I see something related to it, I immediately see what it’s about. Reading ACOTAR brought me such joy- as I knew it would- and I couldn’t stop reading. SJM seems to speak to me on a spiritual level and I am forever grateful that she put her writing out there for us to enjoy.


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë17411385

I’m not a fan of the Classics but I am definitely a fan of Jane Eyre! I started out intrigued and I came out in love. This is now my ultimate favourite book. I want to read it over and over again, but I think it’s best to put intervals in between. Jane Eyre seems to be one of those that has a permanent resting B- face except when it comes to emotions. There were times I laughed out loud and I teared up at the end because of how happy I was.


Attachments by Rainbow Rowell Attachments

I did not want to read this book because it sounded creepy and stalker-ish and just plain weird. I didn’t fancy reading about some creep who read in on two peoples’ emails and then promptly fell in love with one of them. I decided to give Attachments a chance anyway because Rainbow Rowell. I was sorely mistaken because I loved this book. I can see myself reading it again.

See my review here.


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8)Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne & John Tiffany

I wasn’t expecting a new Harry Potter book to come out but I welcomed this one with open arms. I got pre-ordered it and got it on the day it was released and finished it in just over 2 hours. I read it twice in that first week and I wasn’t so impressed that second time but it’s Harry Potter and Harry Potter is love.

See my review here.


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I finished this book in a few hours. I read through the night and was thankful when the sun started rising. Even though this is a middle grade novel, it still has that creepy vibe. I had shivers at the description. The pictures freaked me out and that’s why I held off on reading this book. I can’t wait to pick up Hollow City.



Divergent (Divergent, #1)Divergent by Veronica Roth

I wasn’t keen on reading The Divergent series any time soon but I did a silly thing and bought the trilogy and since my money was used for it, I had to read it… I don’t know why I waited so long, I loved this first book so much. I’ve watched the movie too and while there were noticeable differences, I enjoyed that too.


The Bone Collector’s Son by Paul Yee The Bone Collector's Son

I had a feeling that I was going to enjoy this book and I was not wrong. The synopsis drew me in and when I finally sat down to read the book I finished it in mere hours. I’ve always been interested in the workings of other cultures and this book touched up on the Chinese culture just enough to satisfy my curiosity.

See my review here.


Inkheart by Cornelia FunkeInkheart

I took such a long time to pick up this trilogy and by chance I decided to read the book this year since I’ve owned it for a while now. I watched the movie ages ago and thought it was so amazing. Peoples, let me tell you! This book was so much better than that movie. I loved both of course but after reading the book, there’s no way they could’ve covered over 500 pages in a nearly 2 hour movie.


The Book Of Shade (Shadeborn 1)The Book of Shade by K.C. Finn

I received this book from NetGalley and at the time I didn’t understand the cover but now I do. The synopsis was interesting enough to get me to actually request the book. This was one of those books where you’re glued to the pages and have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen but for the life of you can’t seem to turn away. 2017 is going to consist of me finishing this trilogy.

See my review here.


Did I Mention I Love You? by Estelle MaskameDid I Mention I Love You? (The DIMILY Trilogy, #1)

I didn’t expect to come out of this book loving as much as I did. I thought it was going to be sappy and filled with too much romance, which it was but the way that Estelle wrote it was so amazing that I didn’t even mind that this book fell in a genre I wasn’t a fan of. Not to mention that cover. As pink as it is, I love these designs in particular.

See my review here.

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Wrap Up: November 2016 (and December TBR)

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Artemis Fowl and the Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl, #3) Prodigy (Legend, #2) Inkheart The Optimist's Handbook: A Companion to Hope; The Pessimist's Handbook: A Companion to Despair Jane Eyre

The Eternity Code by Eoin Colfer

I’m slowly making my way through this series. I liked this book a lot more than I did The Arctic Incident. I’m actually excited to read The Opal Deception and maybe this time I won’t leave a year between each book.

Prodigy by Marie Lu

I barely remembered anything that happened in Legend but I know I liked it enough to want to continue the trilogy. This book was really good but it’s the ending that made me really want to pick up Champion.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

544 pages ya’ll! I think this is the biggest book I’ve finished this year. I loved this book so much. I’m still on the fence about whether I’ll review this or not but I guess we’ll see. Btw, the movie has absolutely nothing on this book.

The Optimist/Pessimist Handbook: A Companion to Hope/Despair by Naill Edworthy & Petra Cramsie

This was a strange book and I enjoyed parts of it. It’s not my usual go-to read but I had it and thought I should give it a go.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

My favourite book. This has been confirmed, by me, the one and only. I can’t wait till I read this again but I think I’ll put some time in between before I pick it up again.

Total Read: 5 Book(s)

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  • Unfinished Books: (We’re getting somewhere)

This section is not going to be done for a while and that’s okay. I’m a bit busy where reading is concerned but some time I’ll get through them all and this section will have a completely new set of books. :)


  • ARCs to get through:


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Wrap Up: October 2016 (and November TBR)

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Not a good month for me once again but a sudden urge to read till my eyes bleed has struck so I’m going with it. Here’s to November.

Hockey Karma The Realm of Possibility

Hockey Karma by Howard Shapiro

Liked this book a lot. Great finale and wonderful closing piece. Loved seeing the characters I grew to love develop so amazingly. See review here.

The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan

I’m still not a fan of David Levithan’s works and I’m not a fan of poetry either. I wanted to skip this month’s challenge and not read anything but I caved.

Total Read: 2 Books


The Kill Order (Maze Runner, #.5)

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  • Unfinished Books:

This section is not going to be done for a while and that’s okay. I’m a bit busy where reading is concerned but some time I’ll get through them all and this section will have a completely new set of books. :)

Prodigy (Legend, #2) Artemis Fowl and the Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl, #3) 11/22/63 Inkheart Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1) The Optimist's Handbook: A Companion to Hope; The Pessimist's Handbook: A Companion to Despair 3008

   685403 Two Brothers

  • ARCs to get through:


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Wrap Up: September 2016 (and October TBR)

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I didn’t read much this month (barely at all) because I didn’t feel like it. I focused more on life but I hope to catch up this October.

Circles of Hell (Little Black Classics, #25) Captain America: The Death of Captain America Sindbad the Sailor (Little Black Classics, #54)

Circles of Hell by Dante

This was a weird read for me and I didn’t understand everything but I got the gist. That torture those souls face does not seem like fun. At all.

Captain America: The Death of Captain America Complete Collection by Ed Brubaker

I finally managed to finish this one! I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. Ed Brubaker never fails with the awesome writing.

Sinbad the Sailor by Anon

I watched a movie called Sinbad the Sailor many years ago but I can’t remember if it’s the same story. I enjoyed this one though and it is my opinion that Sinbad should have just stayed at home.

Total Read: 3 Book(s)

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  • Unfinished Books:

This section is not going to be done for a while and that’s okay. I’m a bit busy where reading is concerned but some time I’ll get through them all and this section will have a completely new set of books. :)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1) Prodigy (Legend, #2) Artemis Fowl and the Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl, #3) 11/22/63 Inkheart Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1) The Optimist's Handbook: A Companion to Hope; The Pessimist's Handbook: A Companion to Despair

3008   685403 16181775 Two Brothers

  • Official TBR:

The Realm of Possibility

  • Goodreads Genre Challenge: Alternate Universe

  • ARCs to get through:

Heartborn Hockey Karma