The books I read between 15th and 21st June 2020, featuring Aurora Rising

I have a new YouTube video, the first of a new weekly series of videos. Here’s what I read last week (15th – 21st June), featuring my Lewis + Louisa planner.

In this week’s video, I talk about the four books that I read last week:

  • Reaper, by Jonathan Pongratz
  • Haze by Rebecca Crunden
  • The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly
  • Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

This video also features my custom planner from Lewis + Louisa — you can see a flip-through of my book tracker and reading journal in my last video.

I am part of the Adventurer PR Team for Lewis + Louisa, and was given a discount to purchase my cover from them. However, all the opinions here are my own and I love using and showing off my book journal!

Reaper by Jonathan Pongratz

The page for Reaper by Jonathan Pongratz in my book journal
The page for Reaper by Jonathan Pongratz in my book journal

Reaper follows 13-year-old Gregory who is finally given the responsibility of babysitting his younger sister Immy while his parents go out for the evening on Halloween. Unfortunately, things start to go wrong as the basement door opens — a door that’s always locked and out of bounds.

This is a novella and it’s only 96 pages long. It took me about an hour to read. The first half of the book is incredibly eerie and spine-tingling, while the second half is more action-focused. It’s very fast-paced (and it has to be at just 96 pages!) and kept me hooked until the last page. A great choice if you are looking for a short, spooky read.

I was given a free copy in return for an honest review. Read my full review here.

Haze by Rebecca Crunden

The page for Haze by Rebecca Crunden in my book journal
The page for Haze by Rebecca Crunden in my book journal

Haze is a romance with some paranormal elements. It starts with a young couple, Eliza and Erik, who are 19 years old. Erik has had a difficult childhood while Eliza lives in the perfect middle class home. They have just gotten engaged in secret, but when they tell Eliza’s sister Sam, things don’t go the way that they hoped. Sam doesn’t approve and gets angry, trying to start a fight with Erik. Erik then touches Sam to push her away, and she goes flying through the air — and hits a tree and dies. This starts a tragic series of events. We then catch up with Eliza and Erik five years later. Can they figure out the truth about what happened that night?

This book explores grief, mental health and addiction. While the paranormal mystery is engaging, the story is very character-driven — I was rooting for Eliza and Erik throughout the novel. It’s beautifully written, too. All the characters are incredibly relatable and well-rounded.

Rebecca sent me a free copy of Haze in return for an honest review. Read my full review here.

The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly

The page for The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly in my book journal
The page for The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly in my book journal

The Beauty of Broken Things starts with Helen, who is commuting home from her dull admin role in London. She is passionate about photography and loves using a social media site called Galleria (like Instagram). On her journey home, she finally decides to quit her job and go self-employed as a photographer. Unfortunately, she dies in a train accident and is killed instantly. A few weeks later, her widowed husband Luke is going through Helen’s belongings, and finds a gift she had bought for her friend Orla, who she met through Galleria.

This is the first book of Victoria’s that I’ve read, and I loved it! It is beautifully written, and I had so many favourite quotes. I definitely cried in a few points too. But despite that, it is a book that feels very hopeful — Luke and Orla help each other. It validates friendships made through the internet, too — even though Helen and Orla had never met, they changed each others lives. This is a great read and I really enjoyed it.

I was given a free Advanced Review Copy of The Beauty of Broken Things in return for an honest review. Read my full review here.

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The page in my book journal for Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
The pages in my book journal for Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Aurora Rising is a sci-fi novel published in May 2019, and the first of a new trilogy. It follows Tyler Jones, who is just about to graduate from the Aurora Academy. He’s known as the ‘Golden Boy’: he’s handsome, top of every class and an all-around good boy. As he is top of his class, he will be able to choose his Squad members first. The night before, he goes out in a small spaceship to try and clear his head and get some sleep, and ends up responding to a distress call. The ship is the Hadfield, which has been missing for over 200 years. The sole survivor is Aurora or Auri, the girl on the cover of the book. Because Tyler rescues her, he misses the Draft and ends up having a Squad full of misfits instead. The book follows Tyler and his Squad on their first mission and starts to uncover what happened to Auri and the Hadfield.

I loved all of the characters in this and they all have really distinct personalities. We learn a lot about each of the characters and their backstories. I really liked the fast-paced story, which sets the scene for this new trilogy really well. The story itself is a lot of fun, with a heist, lots of danger and a mystery to solve. I have ordered the second book, Aurora Burning, from Illumicrate and I can’t wait for it to arrive!

You can find Aurora Rising on Goodreads.