Amy’s Thoughts On…Good Girl, Bad Blood and Venom (Mini Review Monday)

Happy Monday! I hope we are all well and ready to start another week. It’s time for another Mini Review Monday – my fortnightly post where I shout about and review a few books I have recently read.

This week I am sharing two 5 star reads, that are also sequels, that I read last month. Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson and Venom by Bex Hogan. Both books blew my mind and I am tempted to reread them both, and that doesn’t happen much to me.

*This post contains affiliate links, this means, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and purchase the linked item.*

Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

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Published by: Electric Monkey

Released: 30th April 2020

Amazon / Book Depository / Waterstones

Pip Fitz-Amobi is not a detective anymore.
With the help of Ravi Singh, she released a true-crime podcast about the murder case they solved together last year. The podcast has gone viral, yet Pip insists her investigating days are behind her.
But she will have to break that promise when someone she knows goes missing. Jamie Reynolds has disappeared but the police won’t do anything about it. And if they won’t look for Jamie then Pip will, uncovering more of her town’s dark secrets along the way… and this time EVERYONE is listening.
But will she find him before it’s too late?

Trigger warnings: Murder, death, sexual assault, catfishing, arson.

I was excited to read Good Girl, Bad Blood after devouring A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder last year. I didn’t think it could get any better than that, but I was wrong! Good Girl, Bad Blood topped all of my expectations and I was blown away!

The story itself picks up straight after the events of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder and you are instantly pulled in by the gritty, atmospheric feel. It was incredibly easy to get immersed in and I found myself hooked on it and I did find it hard to put down. The way the story is told through news articles, transcripts, podcasts and research notes makes you feel like you are investigating the mystery alongside Pip. It does add something to the captivation of the overall story. Also, the mystery within the story does suck you in and takes you on a journey full of twists. Come, the end I was in shock and disbelief with the conclusion, and it’s made me desperate for a third book.

Pip is a character that was written with a lot of passion, and I admire Holly for creating a character like Pip who is determined, brave but also relentless and at times single-minded. Pip isn’t perfect, but she doesn’t need to be. She is made to be this character with flaws and that is okay. Her inner struggle with wanting to go back to investigating this new mystery and being aware of the mistakes caused by her actions make her a full rounded three-dimensional character.

Good Girl, Bad Blood overall, was an incredible read and one that I can’t speak of highly enough. Holly Jackson is making a name for herself as one of the best YA mystery authors in the business. To say I cannot wait to read what she writes next would be a huge understatement.

Venom by Bex Hogan

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Published By: Orion Children’s Books

Released: 16th April 2020

Amazon / Book Depository / Waterstones

Marianne has never wanted to be a fighter, but with unrest and discord threatening the Twelve Islands, she will have to battle threats both inside and out in an attempt to attain peace for her homeland.

Marianne is now the Viper, but her hopes for peace in the Eastern Isles are being frustrated. The corrupt King remains on the throne, bandits are proving hard to stop and Marianne is not sure who among her crew she can truly trust.

For the islands to prosper, the invisible bond that once existed uniting land and sea must be reinstated. There’s only one way that can happen – the return of magic. To do that Marianne must put aside all her fears: she must return to her roots, the Western Isles, and call on the power that runs in her blood.

She must become a Mage.

Only then, can she possibly command the army needed to finally take down the King.

Venom is the highly anticipated sequel to Viper, which I read last year. Now with Viper, I liked it but didn’t shout about it. However, I wanted to give the sequel a go, and let me tell you something I adored it! It’s honestly one of the best sequels to a series I have read in the past few years and I devoured it.

The world-building within Venom was just exquisite and I found myself learning so much more about the Twelve Isles. We get to discover and explore new lands within the isles and learn more about the history. Every single detail about the twelve isles, I lapped up and as far as world-building goes it is one of the best I’ve seen in a very long while. It’s made me want to learn more about this magical, unique world that has been created.

Plot-wise, some could say that Venom does take a while to get going, but in my case, I felt like the pacing was perfectly set up and it builds and builds as a way to keep you engaged and wanting to read on. Venom is a lot darker than its predecessor and you feel a lot of anxiety with where the story is going to take you. If truth be told, it took me on an emotional rollercoaster and it honestly evoked so much passion within me that I just didn’t want this ride to stop. My heart got broken, mended and then broken again all within 464 pages. Oh and the ending will get you going, I was sobbing my heart out.

We also find out a lot more about Marianne in Venom, including her heritage and the magic within her. I loved her character arc! She’s fierce, determined, loyal and just an all-round badass. Yes, she had a lot of responsibility to face up to in Venom and she does make a few decisions that are life-altering not just for her but for the isles. Mind you, you can tell she does it for the good of this world. I am looking forward to seeing how she grows even more as a character in the third and final book.

Venom was an exceptional sequel that had me captivated. It was thrilling, it was gripping and it was shocking, and if I’m being really honest it had everything I could want from a YA Fantasy.

* With everything that is going on in the world right now I couldn’t not talk about it. I am in huge support of the Black Lives Matter movement and am devastated with what I am seeing and hearing on a day to day basis. I couldn’t be silent about it and I urge you if you haven’t already to please donate, sign petitions and get involved. Please don’t stay silent. This link will take you to a list of where you can get information on signing petitions, donating and how you can help.

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