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Waiting on Wednesday #1

Book Review (9)
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly post highlight an upcoming release that you’re excited about. This week my waiting on Wednesday is Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor.

Synopsis

In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep.

Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice—save the woman he loves, or everyone else?—while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the muse of nightmares, has not yet discovered what she’s capable of.

As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel’s near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected: Where did the gods come from, and why? What was done with thousands of children born in the citadel nursery? And most important of all, as forgotten doors are opened and new worlds revealed: Must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead?

Love and hate, revenge and redemption, destruction and salvation all clash in this gorgeous sequel to the New York Times bestseller, Strange the Dreamer.

Thoughts

I imagine this has been on everyone’s waiting on Wednesday at some point. I am 100% dying to read this book. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Strange the Dreamer and I absolutely devoured it. It was definitely one of my favourite books of all time and I’m desperate to know what’s going to happen next. I loved the world that Laini created and I’m so excited to dive back into it. I’m hopeful that perhaps my pre-order might even arrive a little early! Laini Taylor writes so beautifully that I know this book is going to be amazing. Muse of Nightmares is publishing 2nd of October from Hodder and Stoughton.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Autumn TBR

Book Review (10)It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! This week we’re talking about books that are on your autumn TBR. I’m terrible at sticking to a specific TBR but there’s a fair few books I want to get to over the next few months, so let’s dive in!

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1. The Winter of the Witch – Katherine Arden
This appeared in the post the other day and is pretty much my most anticipated book of 2019. I love The Winternight Trilogy and I’m dying to know how it ends so this is definitely going to be on my TBR over the autumn. The Winter of the Witch is coming January 9th 2019.

2. Damsel – Elana K. Arnold36260155
I was lucky to recieve a copy of this at this year’s YALC and it sounds like such a magnificent read. The story follows a young woman who wakes up in the arms of a prince. She has no memory of what has happened previously, but she is told she has been rescued from a dragon, and she will sit on throne beside this handsome prince. She soon learns however, that not everything is as it seems… Damsel is coming out October 2nd and sounds so so good!

418324963. The Girl King – Mimi Yu
This intense fantasy story follows two sisters as they become rivals in a war to become Emperor – ‘All hail the girl King.’ It’s being compared to the likes of Alwyn Hamilton’s Rebel of the Sands and Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes. I’m super excited to read it. This was another ARC that I received at YALC and I have been itching to read it. The Girl King is publishing 10th January 2019 from Orion Books.

4. Sawkill Girls – Claire LeGrand38139409
Sawkill Girls sounds like such a good book and I’ve heard really amazing things about Furyborn too (I have a copy but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.) “Beware of the woods and the dark, dank deep. He’ll follow you home, and he won’t let you sleep.” I’m dying to read this one too so will hopefully get to it soon because it is definitely eyeing me on the shelf! Sawkill Girls is publishing 2nd October 2018 from HarperCollins.

364309245. Beneath the Citadel – Destiny Soria
This was another YALC book that I haven’t had the chance to pick up yet. The cover is stunning and a dark fantasy is definitely what I want to read when it’s dark and cold outside. I’ve seen a few really positive reviews of this already and I’m already predicting that it’s going to be a five star read. Beneath the Citadel is publishing 9th October 2018 from Amulet Books.

6. The Corset – Laura Purcell 39098246
I read The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell last year and adored it. It was the perfect Halloween read and genuinely scared the life out of me. The Corset sounds like it’s going to be just as dark and eerie and although it doesn’t publish until 20th of September, my local Waterstones already had it on the shelves. I picked it up straight away and I’m not I’ll manage to wait till Halloween to read it.

36604545 (1)7. The Familiars – Stacey Halls
The autumn is always my favourite time of year to read witchy stories so I think it’s the perfect time to pick up The Familiars by Stacey Halls. This gorgeous book is a historical fiction about two women accused of witchcraft and looks like it’s going to be a stunning read. The Familiars is publishing 7th February 2019 from Bonnier Zaffre.

8. The Sisters of the Winter Wood – Rena Rossner37854049 (1)
This is another one that I think will be a perfect autumn read. When it arrived in the post I couldn’t stop staring at that stunning cover. It’s described as ‘filled with magic, folklore and the dangers of the woods’ so I think saving it for autumn is the right choice. The Sisters of the Winter Wood  is publishing 27th of September from Orbit Books.

380879129. Vicious – V. E. Schwab
This is on my TBR because Vengeful is coming out and I still haven’t read Vicious yet. I know so many people love this book and I’m desperate to read it and see if it lives up to the hype. I haven’t read any of Victoria’s other books apart from City of Ghosts so I’m really looking forward to trying this one out.
10. We Sold Our Souls – Grady Hendrix37715859 (1)
Grady Hendrix writes the perfect Halloween books (if you haven’t read My Best Friend’s Exorcism get on it!), and We Sold Our Souls is no exception. The story follows a lead singer who sells his soul for stardom. When the band he left behind finds this out they embark upon an epic journey to confront the man who ruined their lives. This sounds dark and intense and such an amazing read. We Sold Our Souls is publishing 18th September 2018 from Quirk Books.

So that’s the top ten books on my autumn TBR. I’m dying to read all of them but I’m so bad at sticking to TBRs so honestly if I manage to read half of them I’ll be pleased. What books are you dying to get to during the autumn?

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Review: Puzzle Girl – Rachael Featherstone

Book Review (8)
Release Date: 2nd August 2018
Publisher: The Dome Press
Pages: 320
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones
Souce: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review.

Synopsis

Clued-up career girl Cassy Brookes has life under control until one disastrous morning changes everything.

When she finds herself stuck in a doctor’s surgery, a cryptic message left in a crossword magazine sends her on a search to find the mysterious ‘puzzle-man’ behind it.

Cassy is soon torn between tracking down her elusive dream guy, and outwitting her nightmare workmate, the devious Martin.

Facing a puzzling love-life, will she ever be able to fit the pieces together and discover the truth behind this enigmatic man?

Review

This is a fun and enjoyable read and one that I absolutely raced through. I enjoyed it because it was a fresh take on the finding Mr right story.

The story centres on a surprise conversation through a puzzle book, and the protagonists subsequent attempts to find out who the person writing back is. I don’t read an awful lot of chick-lit but I this struck me as a really interesting and unique take, so I was really excited to pick it up. It was definitely worth it, I really enjoyed Cassy’s antics as she attempts to juggle her work life and find out who this mystery man is.

As for Cassy herself she’s the perfect protagonist. Fond of making lists (much like myself) and prepared for almost every occasion, it’s really fascinating to watch as her obsession with solving the puzzle begins to take over her life. She spends less time with her friends and family, and begins to lose sight of what is really important, in order to solve the puzzle. She’s also far from perfect, she makes mistakes does things wrong and definitely lands herself in a few tricky situations.

I really enjoyed the work place rivalry within the story too. Cassy is up for a big promotion, but she’s not the only one. Her and Martin don’t really get along and it’s fascinating watching the plot develop as they attempt to undermine each other and get ahead.

Puzzle Girl is also set in London, and the mentions of the DLR and other little London landmarks make for a really nice touch, and add to the overall feel of the book.

The story develops at a good pace, and gives the reader time to come up with different theories, without being too obvious at who the mystery man is. For me that is often the down-fall of chick-lit reads, I can guess the ending before the first few chapters are over and that somewhat spoils my enjoyment. That didn’t happen with Puzzle Girl, you pick up little pieces of information along the way, and that makes for a really fantastic story.

If you’re looking for a fun and clever book to read – especially now the that the sun is shining a bit more – this is definitely one to pick up!
untitled-design-4.jpg*This post originally appeared as part of the Puzzle Girl blog tour in August. I recently lost a lot of my content when I migrated sites and so am reposting as many of them as possible!
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Contemporary-athon TBR!

Book Review (7)
So last month I managed to read thirteen books. This month has been pretty busy and I was ill for a week so I haven’t gotten through that many books yet (current tally is 5 books). I’ve also been really enjoying reading contemporary books recently which is absolutely not my usual genre. I figured the perfect solution then was to join in with the contemporary-athon, which is happening from the 17th to the 23rd of September and is hosted by @BookHangover_ on Twitter and Youtubers Page and Pens, Chelseadolling and MyReadingIsOdd.

There are seven challenges and I doubt I’m going to manage all seven but I will try and see where we end up!

342204801. Read a book with orange on the cover
I toyed with a few different books – my first instinct was to go with I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman but I spied Another Place by Matthew Crow on my shelves and I have been meaning to read it forever. I tried to go with shorter books so I can get through all seven, but this sounds like a really gripping read and it has orange on the cover!

2. Read a book that is dark/taboo/spooky
39018329I found it difficult to pick just one book for this because I have quite a few spooky books I’m dying to read. I decided to go with Easy Prey by Catherine Lo as it’s coming out in October and means I can get a review up when I’m done. Easy Prey is a mystery following three high school students who are suspected or releasing racy pictures of a teacher online. Each of them has a motive, but which one is guilty? This sounds so intriguing and I can’t wait to read it!

352477693. Read a diverse book
I first picked up The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas because I still haven’t read that yet (I know I’m terrible), but I’ve really been loving the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before books so I thought I could round off the series with Always and Forever Lara Jean. I really enjoyed the first two and I raced through them so hopefully that will help with reading seven books in such a short time period!

4. Read a book in a non-traditional format34613312
I was a bit unsure about what this meant but the description says it can be anything whether that’s a graphic novel, an audiobook or a ebook. I had a look at my audiobooks and I didn’t have anything that fit the bill but I do have a ebook of Sarah Nicole Lemon’s Valley Girls, so I picked this. I loved Done Dirt Cheap so I’m hoping this is just as good! I’m not a big ebook person as they tend to give me headaches, but I do also have a physical copy and can cheat a little!

38185855 (1)5. Read a book with your initials on the cover
For this I’m going with The Con Artist by Fred Van Lente. I was sent this by the lovely folks at Quirk Books a couple of months ago but I haven’t had the chance to pick it up. It looks so cute and fun that I thought it would be the perfect choice. My initials are NLS so they all appeared on the cover too.

6. Read a book by a new to you author36389267
Pretty much every book I picked up for this readathon fitted this category. I’m hopeful that if I don’t get all seven read I can double up with this challenge as well. In case I manage to fly through them all I’ve gone for A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews. I got this in an Illumicrate and have been meaning to read it ever since.

359608147. Read a predicted five star read
This was another that I had loads of choice for but I ended up going with The Accidental Bad Girl by Maxine Kaplan. I’ve been meaning to read this for ages and it sounds so good. After getting caught hooking up with her best friend’s ex boyfriend, Kendall just wants to keep her head down and graduate but she is drawn into a web of drug dealing after her online identity is hacked and used to steal from a dealer. It sounds so intense and gripping and I really hope it will be a five star read!

So that’s my Contemporary-AThon TBR. Are you participating in the readathon? If you are what are you reading? And if you’ve read any of these let me know if you enjoyed them or I should swap them for something else!

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Book Review: The Humans – Matt Haig

Book Review (6)
Release Date: 23rd April 2014
Publisher: Canongate Books
Pages: 304
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones
Source: I picked a copy of this up from a second hand bookshop.

Synopsis

 After an ‘incident’ one wet Friday night where Professor Andrew Martin is found walking naked through the streets of Cambridge, he is not feeling quite himself. Food sickens him. Clothes confound him. Even his loving wife and teenage son are repulsive to him. He feels lost amongst a crazy alien species and hates everyone on the planet. Everyone, that is, except Newton, and he’s a dog.

Who is he really? And what could make someone change their mind about the human race. . . ?

Review

I read How To Stop Time by Matt Haig and absolutely loved it. I’ve heard amazing things about The Humans so picked it up as soon as I saw it in a local bookshop. Our narrator is an alien sent to planet Earth to erase any mention of a mathematic equation that will far advance the human race. What follows is a set of awkward encounters as the alien attempts to navigate life on Earth.

This book was completely different to what I expected. There were plenty of really funny moments as the alien attempts to understand why we do the things we do and I really enjoyed this unusual concept, however the main focus of this story is what it means to be human. It read like an in depth study into human nature.

This is a really profound and original novel and one that will stick with you. It’s quite a short book and I read it very quickly, but I was still talking about it a few days afterwards. So many people love this book and have rated it really highly however I had a few minor issues that made me rate this book a bit lower. I in no way think this is a bad book, I was felt really put off by the incredibly short chapters – some are only a page. It felt a bit jarring to the story and that lessened my enjoyment. My second issue was the vague ending which I didn’t really like. I won’t say too much about that because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but it definitely wasn’t how I wanted things to end.

The Humans is an interesting look into human nature with a fun and humorous twist. If you’re a fan of science fiction novels this is definitely one to be on your wishlist.
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August Book Haul

Book Review (5)
I say every month that I’m going to buy less books because my TBR is out of control (it’s in the high hundreds) but looking at this book haul I have another massive bundle of books to haul. So let’s dive in!

390990671. Labyrinth of the Spirits – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
I nearly screamed when this appeared through my letterbox. This mammoth book is the next in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series, and it was definitely one of my most anticipated reads of 2018. I’m planning a full reread of the series in September because it’s been a while since I’ve read the others. Labyrinth of the Spirits is coming September 18th from W&N.

2. Anarchy – Megan DeVos40214283 (1)
I was on the blog tour for this gorgeous Dystopian novel and Megan kindly wrote me a guest post which I will have up again soon. I’ve heard terrific things about this book and it was massive hit on Wattpad before it was traditionally published. I can’t wait to see what’s in store! Anarchy is out now from Orion Books.

234034023. A Darker Shade of Magic – V. E. Schwab
I recently went to an event at Waterstones with V. E. Schwab, Christina Henry and Sarah Maria Griffin. I had a copy of Vicious with me but I ended up picking this up to get signed also. So many people adore this book so I’m hoping it lives up to the hype.

4. Darksoul – Anna Stephens36896810
This was another book that I was absolutely dying to read. HarperVoyager kindly sent me a copy and I tore through it in a few days. It gave me such a book hangover and now I’m so upset I need to wait so long to find out what happens to my favourite characters. You can read my full review over here!

401703115. Sleeper: The Red Storm – J. D. Fennell
This is the second book in the Sleeper series from J. D. Fennell. I really loved the first one and was featured on the blog tour, so I was so excited when this came in the post. Even more exciting was to find I was quoted inside! Sleeper: The Red Storm is publishing October 25th from The Dome Press.

6. Catwoman: Soul Stealer – Sarah J. Maas29749098
I ordered a copy of this from Waterstones and then ended up getting a copy in my August Illumicrate also. I really enjoyed Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman and thought Marie Lu’s Batman was okay so I’m excited to find out how Sarah J. Maas handles Catwoman.

401273697. The Gilded King – Josie Jaffrey
The author kindly reached out to obtain a review for this gorgeous book and as soon as it arrived I picked it up. I’m almost finished it and I’m enjoying it so much. This paranormal fantasy is such an addictive read. She kindly signed it for me too so I can’t wait to add it to my favourites shelf!

8. Cold Iron – Miles Cameron30344847
This was another blog tour that the publisher kindly sent me a copy for. I’ve never read anything by Miles Cameron but really enjoyed this original fantasy that plays on the themes of the traditional farm boy turned hero trope.

377158599. We Sold Our Souls – Grady Hendrix
Grady Hendrix writes these fantastic stories that are just perfect for Halloween. I so loved My Best Friend’s Exorcism so I can’t wait to get stuck into this one. I might even save it for closer to Halloween so I can have a bit of a readathon. We Sold Our Souls is coming 18th September from Quirk Books.

10. Impostors – Scott Westerfield37825397
This is a new book set in the world of the Uglies series. I’m really excited to read this as it has been a long time since I read the Uglies books and I’m looking forward to diving back into Scott Westerfield’s writing. Impostors is coming 11th September from Scholastic.

2555860811.  A Torch Against the Night – Sabaa Tahir
I honestly picked this up because I’ve heard such amazing things about this series and it was a gorgeous hardcover that I couldn’t resist. I have (but haven’t read) An Ember In the Ashes so I’m hoping now I have another in the series it will guilt me into reading them.

12. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han15749186
I think everyone bought a copy of this book in August. I picked mine up from Waterstones and read it really quickly. It was fun and light and I’m definitely planning on picking up the rest of the books in the series.

3601629713. Falling Creatures & The Magpie Tree – Katherine Stansfield
I have been admiring these beautiful covers on Twitter when the publisher offered me the chance to review them. This historical fiction series seems very mystery focused and I’ve read some really terrific reviews about them. Falling Creatures is out now and The Magpie Tree is coming 19th November from Allison & Busby

14. Smoke and Iron – Rachel Caine38471929
Allison and Busby also kindly sent me the next instalment in Rachel Caine’s Great Library series. I’ve really been enjoying this fast-paced series and I’m looking forward to finding out what the fourth book in the series has in store!

4089199815. The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides
This book has had so much buzz on Twitter already and I’ve seen a few bloggers say they read it in one sitting because it was so addictive. I was planning to read it a bit closer to the publication date but I’m probably not going to be able to hold off that long. The Silent Patient is coming 7th February 2019 from Orion Books.

16. What Was Lost – Jean Levy40488637
It gets to this time of year and I get really in the mood for psychological thrillers and creepy tales, so when I got offered the chance to review this debut from Jean Levy, I jumped at the chance. It sounds dark and creepy and absolutely what I’m in the mood for. What Was Lost is publishing 13th September from The Dome Press.

3660454517. The Familiars – Stacey Halls
This book is absolutely gorgeous. I love books about witchcraft (I love love loved The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown), so I cannot wait to read this story of two women accused of being witches. This is another one that I know I won’t be able to hold off reading! The Familiars is coming 7th of February 2019 from Bonnier Zaffre.

18. The Flight of Cornelia Blackwood – Susan Elliot Wright40493757
This was a surprise piece of book post that sounds like such a fascinating read. I’ve seen a few reviews already but they have been mixed so I’m excited to see how I find it. It’s described as ‘An urgent and important novel of love, loss, tragedy and daring to hope again.’ The Flight of Cornelia Blackwood is coming 21st February 2019 from Simon and Schuster.

3922753719. Killer T – Robert Muchamore
I received this book through ReadersFirst. I read the first impression and thought it was really intriguing so I’m excited to see how the rest of the book plays out.  The publisher had people dressed up in lab coats at this year’s YALC so that definitely made me excited to read it. Killer T is coming 6th September from Hot Key Books.

20. The Mermaid & Mrs Hancock – Imogen Hermes Gowar37678008
There’s a little second hand bookshop in Pitlochry that I just adore and I go in every time I’m in the area. I popped in during August and I found an ARC of this beautiful book. I’ve heard amazing things about it so I quickly snapped it up and I can’t wait to read it!

So that’s my slightly ridiculous August book haul. Which books did you buy in August and have you read any of these? If you have, what did you think? 

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Book Review: Show Stealer – Hayley Barker

 

Book Review (2)
Series:
Show Stopper #2
Release Date: 2nd August 2018
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 400
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review.

Synopsis

Hoshiko and Ben have been on the run since they burned Silvio Sabatini’s  circus down to the ground at the explosive finale of SHOW STOPPER. But Ben’s mother will stop at nothing to track him down  and get her revenge: backing him into a corner where he is forced  to sacrifice himself to save Hoshiko. The deadliest show on earth  has been resurrected and if Ben thought he’d seen into its dark  corners as an outsider, the true extent of the horrors that lurk  beneath the Big Top are about to be revealed as he becomes the circus’ new star attraction…

Review

Showstopper was one of my favourite books of 2017. As soon as Show Stealer came through the door I was desperate to pick it up and find out what happens next. Picking up just after Showstopper ends, this instalment had me on the edge of my seat and I could not put it down. Hayley Barker’s beautiful writing draws you in deeper and deeper until you completely immerse yourself in the action of this story.

As with the previous book the story is told in alternating chapters from Hoshiko and Ben. I really loved this narration style as you get to see how they both react to certain situations and what is happening to them when they aren’t together. Both characters are really fascinating – they come from completely different worlds but they’re both strong and determined to fight for justice.

One of the things I loved most about Show Stealer is that it really dived into the politics of the world. Things are changing but not everyone is happy about the idea of Dregs getting more rights and freedom. The world that this gripping series is set in is not a million miles away from the society around us. In that respect it makes Show Stealer even more vivid and brutal.

With the new cirque comes even bigger shows, and more horrifying moments. Show Stealer is action packed and you never know who is going to survive the night. After reading about them for two books you definitely become attached to the characters and there were more than a few heart pounding moments where I couldn’t believe what was happening to them.

Show Stealer really is an incredible sequel and I just didn’t want it to end. I have no idea what is going to come next but I cannot wait to see what’s in store. If you haven’t picked up this series yet then get buying because you absolutely won’t regret it.
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