Hi guys, I'm so excited to be part of this tour. It was this time last that I began reading The Potion Diaries, and it was one of my highlighted series of the year. I loved just being transported somewhere magical and I couldn't wait to read more from Amy. Today I share my review of Jinxed. All I can say at this point is that you need to buy it, because it's a cracker. 

Lacey Chu has big dreams of becoming a companioneer for MONCHA, the largest tech firm in North America and the company behind the "baku" - a customisable smart pet that functions as a phone but makes the perfect companion too. When Lacey finds out she hasn't been accepted into Profectus - the elite academy for cutting edge tech - it seems her dreams are over. Worst of all, rather than getting to choose one of the advanced bakus, she’s stuck with a rubbish insect one.

Then, one night, Lacey comes across the remains of an advanced baku. Once it might’ve been in the shape of a cat but it’s now mangled and broken, no sign of electronic life behind its eyes. Days of work later and the baku opens its eyes. Lacey calls him Jinx – and Jinx opens up a world for her that she never even knew existed, including entry to the hallowed halls of Profecus. Slowly but surely, Jinx becomes more than just a baku to Lacey – he becomes her perfect companion. But what is Jinx, really? His abilities far surpass anything written into his code or built into his motherboard. He seems to be more than just a robotic pet. He seems ... real.

I have the worst habit which I'm sure all readers do, they compare the authors previous series or book to their latest. It's a curse I think. Ha. When I first started reading Jinxed, I guess you could say I was disorientated because it is so different to The Potion Diaries, and I adored that series. That is no way a bad thing I promise, I guess it shows just how much I love this author and how that series has stayed with me. What was funny was that this time last year, I discovered Amy Alward for the first and I can say that she is becoming one of my favourite authors.

Jinxed, follows a very talented and sassy girl called Lacey. She's been brought up with the inspiration of Monica... and her creation of the baku. A baku is the perfect companion, with real-time apps, texts, phone calls, directions. It's you Apple product as a pet and the best thing if you have allergies it won't effect you. How genius is that? Lacey has finished school and wants to start at Profectus the school that Monica envision creating like-minded individuals like her that want to create and mold their own vision of a baku as they morph with the future. But disappoint strikes when she receives an email. She worked so hard, her stats and exams are the highest, her future of giving her mum a better place than her condo and giving her mum a break is ruined. She doesn't understand until she stumbles on a piece of junk that becomes the best things that ever happened to her...Jinx.

Lacey Chu is an inspiring character, she reminded me of me a little, her determination, her perseverance of not giving up. But also when she works on her companioneering with baku, mending and fixing them, it's like a light is glowing all around her as she immersed in what she loves doing. The rush is like a mystery that needs unfolding until it's solved. That's why she feels she belongs at Profectus because that is where her talent is going to be recognised and challenged and she can't wait. I loved how Amy really touched upon feelings of being a teenager, with her mum that strong relationship she has for her, wanting to protect and make her mum's life ever since her dad left better. That relationship really struck something within me and my relationship with my mum. Her frenships not only with best friend Ally who is just amazing, no matter what she was always there for her. Those of baku team and how they valued her.

Set in a new-agey, near futuristic reality, Amy undoubtedly is a phenomenal writer and her world-building really is quite something. It was a mix between Divergent and Pokemon especially with the baku battles. I have to say I found I was quite jealous of this world, because I would love a baku especially as I have allergies and can't have a pet so having a dog preferably as my companion would be just surreal but that feeling of your not alone. Jinx really made this book, he needs to have a series of his won adventures I think. He's something new but also old, he's got character, humour and sassy-ness.

I really loved this new era of Amy's writing, like I said this is totally different from The Potion Diaries. It's fun, STEM-fueled, addictive, and adrenaline-juiced first novel in this series and really ADDICTIVE should be underlined, because it's a book that is unputtadownable and I really need Book 2 now. Much like Baku's, Jinxed will be your reading companion for life.

Rating - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to Simon and Schuster Children's for providing a copy in exchange for a honest review. 

About Amy McCulloch

Amy McCulloch is the author of The Potion Diaries series (under the name Amy Alward) which has sold in eight languages around the world and was a Zoella Book Club pick in 2016. Her current sci-fi series, JINXED, is out from Simon & Schuster UK in August 2018.

Before becoming a full-time writer and freelance editor, Amy was editorial director for Penguin Random House Children’s Books, where she worked with many YA and MG authors and published the #1 international bestseller GIRL ONLINE by Youtube sensation Zoe Sugg, and its follow-ups GIRL ONLINE: ON TOUR & GIRL ONLINE: GOING SOLO. Previously she was also commissioning editor for HarperVoyager, where she worked with some of the top SF&F authors in the world. In 2013, she was named one of The Bookseller’s Rising Stars of publishing.

An adrenaline junkie with a love of adventure travel, she’s never in the same place for long. Other addictions include coffee, ramen and really great books.

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