February Wrap Up!

February Wrap Up!

July 23, 2019 (6)
February was a pretty great reading month and I managed to read nine books and most of them were four or five stars – which is a massive win! So let’s dive into the books I read in February.

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-15T172843.7751. The Foundling – Stacey Halls
I absolutely adored The Familiars by Stacey Halls so I was super excited about this one. The story of a young woman who has to give up her child to the foundling hospital and when she goes to collect her, they tell her the child was already collected years ago. A beautifully told story that I just couldn’t put down. (5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-15T172928.8382. Belle Revolte – Lindsay Miller
A magical tale of two young women switching places to get the life they’ve always dreamed of. I really love the switch lives trope and it’s incredibly well executed in this story. Full to the brim with magic and adventure, this French inspired fantasy was such a fun read and has definitely made me want to read more from Lindsay Miller. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-02-20T070030.4503. The Golden Key – Marion Womack
A really fascinating historical fiction about a young man who, reeling from the death of a loved one gets caught up in an age old disappearance on the Norfolk fens. Set during the Victorian era with seances and this story has really beautiful writing and a vivid setting. It also had a surprise ending that I absolutely did not see coming. (3.5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-02-27T191324.8134. Havenfall – Sara Holland
The new series from Everless author Sara Holland, I really liked the idea behind this but found the story a bit on the slower side. The story of a young girl who works at an inn between realms and what happens when her uncle the owner becomes ill and she has to save the inn from falling into ruin.  I’m interested in seeing where Sara Holland takes this story next. (3/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-15T173228.2895. This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay
This is absolutely not something I would normally read but I was recommended this book at an event I was at recently and decided to try it. Equal parts heartbreaking and hilarious, this is the diaries of a young doctor in the NHS. It’s a must read and definitely gave me plenty to think about. (4.25/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-15T174316.1036. The Stars We Steal – Alexa Donne
A retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion in space, I loved the glitz and glamour behind this story. It was a really fast paced tale that I just devoured and it has definitely made me want to pick up more from this author. I also think that’s got to be one of the most beautiful covers I’ve ever seen. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-02-16T205726.6097. The Unspoken Name – A. K. Larkwood
This was one of my most anticipated releases and my god it was such a brilliant read. The story of a young orc girl who is set to be sacrificed to the unspoken god when she comes of age. On the day of the ritual she escapes with a mysterious man who offers her the chance to travel the realms and help him get revenge on those who wronged him. A fascinating story with an amazing cast of complex characters, this one is a must read. (5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-15T174925.6048. Witness X – S. E. Moorhead
I thought this debut thriller was a fascinating read and definitely one of my favourites of the month. The story of a young woman who invents technology that allows you to view the memories of another person. When the man who murdered her sister escapes prison, Kyra has doubts if he’s guilty, but will using the technology prove his guilt or drive her over the edge? A brilliant blend of science fiction and crime thriller, this was one of my favourite of the month. (4.5/5 stars)

9. Always Here For You – Miriam HalahmyCopy of book cover - 2020-03-15T174939.477
This thought provoking read focuses on a young teenager who, feeling isolated at home makes friends with a stranger online. She spends all her time interacting with this person she believes is the same age as her but when she goes to meet him she discovers Jay isn’t exactly who he said he is. A really timely and important story on the importance of staying safe online. (4/5 stars)

So those are the books I picked up in February! If you’ve read any of these I’d love to know what you thought and I’d love to know what your favourite reads in February were!

January Wrap Up!

January Wrap Up!

BOOK REVIEW - 2020-02-02T155005.368
January was a really good reading month. I only managed to read eight books, but I gave everything 3.5 stars or above, which I’m really pleased about. I think I’m getting better at knowing if something is going to be to my taste before I pick it up. I also managed to read five of the eight books I put on my monthly TBR so I’m pretty pleased with that. So let’s dive into the books I read in January!

1. The God Game – Danny TobeyCopy of book cover - 2020-01-05T203428.948
This fast paced and clever thriller follows a group of kids who start playing a mysterious game known only as the G.O.D. Game. Do what it wants and you win prizes, but refuse and you could wind up dead. It was action packed and I loved the group dynamic the super intelligent kids working together to defeat the game – definitely a great way to start off my 2020 reading. (5/5 stars)

2. The Last Wish – Andrzej SapakowskiCopy of book cover - 2020-01-20T172205.612
I finally picked up the first book in The Witcher series after having meant to read it for absolutely ages. I really enjoyed this introduction into the world of monsters and magic, and I’m so looking forward to continuing on the series. This book is a short story collection so it was really easy to dip in and out of the book. (4.5/5 stars)

3. Loki: Where Mischef Lies – Mackenzi LeeCopy of book cover - 2020-01-05T203255.309
This is the first in a three part series featuring characters from the Marvel Universe. The story follows Loki as he is sent on an assignment to Earth. It’s a fun read and I enjoyed getting to see more of Loki and really getting to know his character. I did feel the story was a bit on the predictable side and preferred the first half of the book where Loki is in Asgard. (3.5/5 stars)

4. All the Rage – Cara HunterCopy of book cover - 2020-01-05T203203.131
This was my first time reading a book by Cara Hunter and I completely loved this addictive, fast paced thriller. The story follows the abduction of a young girl who escapes her captor. She’s reluctant to talk to police, but another girl also goes missing so she has no choice but to tell the police her secrets. This book had so many twists I didn’t see coming and I can’t wait to read more from this author. (4.5/5 stars)

5. The Unadjusteds – Marisa NoelleCopy of book cover - 2020-01-14T223454.977
This is a fascinating story about a world in which genetic modifications have taken over the planet – but how far is too far? It’s a great action/adventure story featuring a kick-ass main character and plenty of high stakes moments. It gave me serious hunger games vibes and I’m really hoping for a sequel. (3.75/5 stars)

6. Spellhacker – M. K. EnglandCopy of book cover (95)
I’ve always wanted to read The Disasters so I was so excited when I got an ARC of Spellhacker. This unique and engaging story features a heist gone wrong, a brilliant squad of characters and a community helping corporation who might not be as goody goody as they appear. I raced through this because it was just such an addictive read and I’m definitely going to pick up a copy of The Disasters. (4/5 stars)

7. All the Wandering Light – Heather FawcettCopy of book cover (99)
This is the sequel to Even the Darkest Stars a book I absolutely loved when I read it in 2018. The story follows the same characters the really fascinating world that Fawcett has created, but somehow it didn’t grab me quite as much as the first book did. I still really enjoyed it and think it made for a really terrific ending to the story. (4/5 stars)

8. A Queen in Hiding – Sarah KozloffCopy of book cover (98)
A Queen in Hiding was definitely my favourite book of January. I completely fell in love with this epic fantasy tale of Queen Cressa and her daughter, fighting to keep the throne from those who wish to overthrow her. It was full of heart stopping moments, brilliant characters and plenty of epic battles. I’m desperate to get my hands on book two, but fortunately Sarah Kozloff is releasing the four part series over the course of four months, so I won’t have to wait too long for book two! (5/5 stars)

So those are the books I read in January! I’d love to know what your favourite read of the month was, and if you’ve read any of these what you thought!

Six For Sunday – Bookish Habits!

Six For Sunday – Bookish Habits!

BOOK REVIEW - 2020-01-26T133858.017
Today on Six for Sunday the prompt is bookish habits, so let’s dive in!

1. Bookish SpreadsheetScreenshot 2020-01-07 at 21.52.42
I use an amazing spreadsheet made by Kaleena at Reader Voracious. It helps you track pretty much everything from the number of books you’ve read this year, how many ARCS you have outstanding, the followers and stats of your blog and everything in between. It’s brilliant for helping me plan my blog posts and I think I’d be pretty lost without it.

2. Collecting bookmarks
I’m a bit obsessed with bookmarks. If we go on holiday or go to an event I always like to pick one up in the places we’ve visited. To be honest I usually just end up using the same ones over and over again but I have a nice little collection and I love getting new ones.

3. Reading more than one book at once
I’ve got a terrible habit of reading more than one book at once and then it takes me even longer to finish them. I currently have two on the go at the moment – which is actually pretty good at the moment.

4. Reading in the car
This is a new habit I’ve picked up since I started driving to work rather than commuting on the train. I’ve started leaving a bit earlier so that I get to work in plenty time and then I can spend thirty minutes in the car just chilling out and reading some of book. It’s a great way to start the day and always puts me in a good mood.

5. Always having an overflowing TBR Cart
I bought one of those adorably cute TBR carts and it’s great for putting the books I haven’t read yet. Trouble is when I take one off and read and it leaves a space it pretty much means I’ll go out and buy another book – I don’t think I’ll ever have a cart that’s half empty.

6. Reading with my cat82920045_166658737938387_4138736297239904256_n
My favourite place in the world to read is on the couch with the cat. It’s become something of a routine at weekends for me to grab a blanket and she’ll sleep while I read. It’s really relaxing, the only trouble being that it’s a bit distracting when she starts to snore!

So those are six of my bookish habits, what are some of your bookish habits?

Backlist Bookathon TBR!

Backlist Bookathon TBR!

BOOK REVIEW - 2020-01-14T013018.610

I saw this readathon pop up on Twitter and thought it sounded like a really fun way to really kick off my reading for 2020. The readathon is lasting a month, starting on the 15th of January. I’m trying to do this as well as read all the books on my January TBR, so I’m not sure I’ll hit all the prompts, but I’m going to try my best. If you want to find out more about the readathon, you can check out the Twitter here!

Copy of book cover - 2020-01-13T224236.808
Read a title published before January 2020

I got The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware for Christmas and I’m dying to read it so figure this would be the perfect opportunity.

Copy of book cover (50)
Read an older anticipated release 

Bloodchild by Anna Stephens was pretty much my most anticipated sequel of 2019 and I have no idea why I haven’t picked it up yet. Definitely a high priority.

book cover (49)

Read a book that’s been on your TBR at least six months
Finale by Stephanie Garber has been on my TBR for ages and I still haven’t gotten around to it yet so I would definitely love to get to this one.

Copy of book cover - 2020-01-13T224212.909

Read a book you have been avoiding because it’s an older backlist title
I’m not avoiding it but I couldn’t think of a book I was avoiding. Stormtide is a book I really want to get to so thought I would pop it in here.

book cover - 2019-04-03T110151.500
Read, reread or completely unhaul a book you’re still not sure you want on your shelf

For this I’m going for Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh – I’ve heard kind of mixed things and I’m not sure if I’ll like this one so I’d love to get to it and know for sure.

book cover - 2019-04-16T211642.383
Read a book you’ve been wanting to read but haven’t gotten around to for some reason – no excuses this time!

Crowfall by Ed McDonald was one of my high priority reads for 2019 that I didn’t get to – definitely looking to remedy that as soon as possible.

Copy of book cover - 2020-01-13T224151.097
Read the book that’s been on your TBR the longest

Truthwitch probably hasn’t been on my TBR the longest but it has been on there quite a while and I would love to get started on this series because it sounds amazing.

Copy of book cover - 2020-01-13T224134.920
Read a book you’ve been avoiding that intimidates you

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. I loved The Handmaid’s Tale so so much and I’ve sort of been putting this off in case I don’t like it, because honestly I think it will break my heart if I don’t.

Copy of book cover (43)
Re
ad a book you’ve been avoiding because of mixed/bad reviews

These Rebel Waves by Sarah Raasch. I’ve heard mixed things, some saying it’s not quite what it makes itself out to be. I’ve never read anything by this author so I’d be interested to finally get around to this one.

Copy of book cover - 2020-01-13T224224.847
Read a book that was a gift or recommendation you’re not sure you’ll like

I was gifted a copy of The Family Upstairs and I’m not massively into crime fiction so I’m not sure if this will be for me but I’m excited to give it a go!

So those are the books I would love to get to for Backlist Bookathon. If you’re participating I’d love to see your TBR, and if you’ve read any of these I’d love to know what you thought. 

A Very Late May Book Haul!

A Very Late May Book Haul!

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-07-01T231037.979.png
Once again I’m majorly late with hauls but here are all the books I picked up in May!

Copy of book cover (15)Perfectly Preventable Deaths – Deirdre Sullivan
Everyone in Ballyfran has a secret, and that is what binds them together…

Fifteen-year-old twins Madeline and Catlin move to a new life in Ballyfran, a strange isolated town, a place where, for the last sixty years, teenage girls have gone missing in the surrounding mountains.

As distance grows between the twins – as Catlin falls in love, and Madeline begins to understand her own nascent witchcraft – Madeline discovers that Ballyfrann is a place full of predators. Not only foxes, owls and crows, but also supernatural beings who for many generations have congregated here to escape persecution. When Catlin falls into the gravest danger of all, Madeline must ask herself who she really is, and who she wants to be – or rather, who she might have to become to save her sister.

Nexus – Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings
Copy of book cover (17)Her ship is gone, her crew is captured and notorious mercenary Androma Racella is no longer the powerful Bloody Baroness, but a fugitive ruthlessly hunted across the Mirabel Galaxy. The bloodthirsty Queen Nor now rules most of the galaxy through a mind-control toxin and she’ll stop at nothing to destroy her most hated adversary.

Andi will risk anything, even her precious freedom, to find a cure. Stranded with her unlikely ally, Dex, on the unforgiving ice planet of Solera, their plan to infiltrate a black-market city proves dangerously irresistible.

Back in Arcardius, Nor’s actions have opened Mirabel to invasion. As Andi’s crew fights to regain their freedom, Andi and Dex discover a threat far greater than anything they’ve faced before.

Only by saving their mortal enemy can the crew of the Marauder make one last desperate strike to save the galaxy—unaware that a shattering, centuries-old secret may demand the most wrenching sacrifice of all.

Copy of book cover (16)Broken Throne – Victoria Aveyard
Return once more to the deadly and dazzling world of Red Queen in Broken Throne, a beautifully designed, must-have companion to the chart-topping series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Aveyard.

The perfect addition to the #1 New York Times bestselling Red Queen series, this gorgeously designed package features three brand-new novellas, two previously published novellas, Steel Scars and Queen Song, and never-before-seen maps, flags, bonus scenes, journal entries, and much more exclusive content.

Fans will be delighted to catch up with beloved characters after the drama of War Storm and be excited to hear from brand-new voices as well. This stunning collection is not to be missed!

Wastelands – John Joseph Adams
Copy of book cover (18)The brilliant new post-apocalyptic collection by master anthologist John Joseph Adams, for the first time including new stories by the edgiest modern writers.

New short fiction by many of the edgiest modern authors, offering tales of life after the apocalyptic event or events that end society as we know it today. In addition to a selection of newly reprinted works, WASTELANDS 3 will feature original, never-before-published stories by a group of writers hand-picked by master editor John Joseph Adams. Original stories by Veronica Roth, Hugh Howet, Elizabeth Bear, Seanan McGuire, Tananarive Due, Wendy N. Wagner and many more. Reprints will include works by Carmen Maria Machado, Charlie Jane Anders, Paolo Bacigalupi, Ken Liu and Cat Valente amongst others.

The Plague Stones – James Brogden
Copy of book cover (19)From the critically acclaimed author of Hekla’s Children comes a dark and haunting tale of our world and the next. 

Fleeing from a traumatic break-in, Londoners Paul and Tricia Feenan sell up to escape to the isolated Holiwell village where Tricia has inherited a property. Scattered throughout the settlement are centuries-old stones used during the Great Plague as boundary markers. No plague-sufferer was permitted to pass them and enter the village. The plague diminished, and the village survived unscathed, but since then each year the village trustees have insisted on an ancient ceremony to renew the village boundaries, until a misguided act by the Feenans’ son then reminds the village that there is a reason traditions have been rigidly stuck to, and that all acts of betrayal, even those committed centuries ago, have consequences…

Fear the Stars – Christopher Husberg
Copy of book cover (20)Many forces converge on the great city of Triah, bent on its destruction. By sea, Empress Cova of Roden sails with her armada, determined to bring the rival nation under her yoke. From land, Winter, the Chaos Queen, brings her tiellan army, set on revenge. And their advance brings a yet more terrible army still: awoken by the Chaos Queen’s powers, daemons mass on the border between worlds, waiting for a way in.

Caught between the encroaching foes, as mall group holds the key to saving the Sfaera from destruction: Knot, the former assassin, Cinzia, the exiled priestess; and Astrid, the vampire-child. But the only way to do so is to step into the Void beyond worlds–from which no one can return unchanged.

Copy of book cover (2)The Red Abbey Chronicles – Maria Turtschannoff
Maresi came to the Red Abbey when she was thirteen, in the Hunger Winter. Before then, she had only heard rumours of its existence in secret folk tales. In a world where girls aren’t allowed to learn or do as they please, an island inhabited solely by women sounded like a fantasy. But now Maresi is here, and she knows it is real. She is safe.

Then one day Jai tangled fair hair, clothes stiff with dirt, scars on her back arrives on a ship. She has fled to the island to escape terrible danger and unimaginable cruelty. And the men who hurt her will stop at nothing to find her.

Now the women and girls of the Red Abbey must use all their powers and ancient knowledge to combat the forces that wish to destroy them. And Maresi, haunted by her own nightmares, must confront her very deepest, darkest fears.

A story of friendship and survival, magic and wonder, beauty and terror, Maresi will grip you and hold you spellbound.

The Collective – Lindsey Whitlock
Copy of book cover (21)Stuck in the traditional community of Badfish Creek, Elwyn longs for change. When his uncle offers him the chance to leave his rural roots behind, he jumps at the opportunity, eager to move to Liberty to gain an education and become part of a flourishing world. Finally, life seems to be opening up to him. 

But it is not long before he understands that all that glitters is not gold: there are things going on in Liberty that Elwyn cannot ignore. Things that profoundly threaten the world he has rejected and things that he has to fight against. 

The Collective is a richly realised debut novel about tradition, change, the meaning of home and the struggle to be true to yourself.

The Deathless – Peter Newman
Copy of book cover (23)From one of fantasy’s biggest recent breakthrough authors comes an exciting, brand new series.

The demons…

In the endless forests of the Wild, humanity scratches a living by the side of the great Godroads, paths of crystal that provide safe passage and hold back the infernal tide. Creatures lurk within the trees, watching, and plucking those who stray too far from safety.

The Deathless…

In crystal castles held aloft on magical currents, seven timeless royal families reign, protecting humanity from the spread of the Wild and its demons. Born and reborn into flawless bodies, the Deathless are as immortal as the precious stones from which they take their names. For generations a fragile balance has held.

And the damned…

House Sapphire, one of the ancient Deathless families, is riven by suspicion and madness. Whole villages are disappearing as the hunting expeditions holding the Wild at bay begin to fail.

Then, when assassins strike, House Sapphire shatters.

Nothing lasts forever.

Soul of the Sword – Julie Kagawa
Copy of book cover (22)One thousand years ago, a wish was made to the Harbinger of Change and a sword of rage and lightning was forged. Kamigoroshi. The Godslayer. It had one task: to seal away the powerful demon Hakaimono.

Now he has broken free.

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.

Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos. 

The Girl in Red – Christina Henry
Copy of book cover (24)It’s not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. She is just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that doesn’t look anything like the one she grew up in, the one that was perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.

There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. Men in uniform with classified information, deadly secrets, and unforgiving orders. And sometimes, just sometimes, there’s something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined. 

Red doesn’t like to think of herself as a killer, but she isn’t about to let herself get eaten up just because she is a woman alone in the woods….

Copy of book cover (12)Limited Wish – Mark Lawrence
One choice. Two possible timelines. And a world hanging in the balance.

It’s the summer of 1986 and reluctant prodigy Nick Hayes is a student at Cambridge University, working with world-renowned mathematician Professor Halligan. He just wants to be a regular student, but regular isn’t really an option for a boy-genius cancer survivor who’s already dabbled in time travel.

When he crosses paths with a mysterious yet curiously familiar girl, Nick discovers that creases have appeared in the fabric of time, and that he is at the centre of the disruption. Only Nick can resolve this time paradox before the damage becomes catastrophic for both him and the future of the world. Time is running out—literally.

Wrapped up with him in this potentially apocalyptic scenario are his ex-girlfriend, Mia, and fellow student Helen. Facing the world-ending chaos of a split in time, Nick must act fast and make the choice of a lifetime—or lifetimes.

Game on.

What Lies Around Us – Andrew Crofts
Copy of book cover (1)It is possible that since this book’s publication you will have heard that I have died in ‘suspicious circumstances’. Obviously I hope that will not be the case, but I believe it is worth taking the risk in order to get this story out there.

Why would one of Silicon Valley’s most powerful billionaires offer a British ghostwriter a million dollars to write the autobiography of Hollywood’s biggest star?

Only once he is living and working among the world’s richest and most beautiful people does the ghost realise that there is way more than a publishing deal at stake.

The ghostwriter must face the dark underbelly of the tech industry. He must face corruption and manipulation, come to blows with people who will do anything to remain at the top of their game and uncover the dark truth behind what it really means to be an influencer . . .

What Lies Around Us takes the reader into a world of myth-makers and power-brokers and reveals who is really running the world. Who is telling the stories and controlling the way we all think with a mixture of old media, social media and fake media?

So those are all the books I picked up in May! What books have you been buying recently?

O.W.L.S. Magical Readthon TBR!

O.W.L.S. Magical Readthon TBR!

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-04-03T111358.945.png
This was supposed to go up earlier in the week but as I’m late to everything that’s about right!

The Magical Readathon is a readathon run by G over at BookRoast which sees students taking their Ordinary Wizarding Levels at Hogwarts. The readathon runs for the month of April and this time around there are 12 subjects with prompts for each one however the readathon also includes a list of future careers in the Wizarding World. Students are encouraged to pick subjects based on the career they are most interested in. (You can see all the careers here)

I’m making a TBR for all twelve prompts because after a disastrous reading month in March I’m hoping this will help me power through some books. The career I’ve chosen is Magizoologist because I’d love to hang out with all the amazing creatures. So for this career I need to complete the following subjects: Care of Magical Creatures, Charms, Herbology and Potions. These will be my priorities for the readathon! (I’m not sure how well I explained all that but if you head over to G’s channel she has all the details)

So to the TBR!

book cover (46)
Ancient Runes: A Retelling

book cover (77)
Arithmancy: A book written by more than one author

book cover - 2019-04-03T105924.120Astronomy: A book with ‘star’ in the title

shame
Care of Magical Creatures: Land animal on the cover (there’s a meerkat in there I promise)

book cover - 2019-03-24T181054.124
Charms – Age-line: read an adult work

book cover - 2019-04-03T110151.500Defence Against the Dark Arts – Reducto: title starts with an R

book cover - 2019-04-03T110403.651
Divination: Set in the future

book cover - 2019-04-03T110546.818
Herbology: plant on the cover

book cover - 2019-04-03T110722.015
History of Magic: published at least 10 years ago

book cover - 2019-04-03T110806.863Muggle Studies: Contemporary

book cover - 2019-04-02T135442.190Potions: Next Ingredient: Sequel

bldthTransfiguration: Sprayed Edges or Red Cover

So those are the books I’m hoping to read for the Magical Readathon! If you’ve read any of them already definitely let me know your thoughts and if you’re participating let me know what you’re planning to read!

Book Swap Haul!

Book Swap Haul!

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-03-29T211603.657.png
Coming to you with part two of my February book haul! I went to visit a friend who was getting rid of a whole load of books, she knew I was unhauling quite a lot of books too so we swapped some! I thought this would be quite exciting because it means I get to shout about some older releases that I’m excited to read!

1. The Unseeing – Anna Mazzolla
book cover - 2019-03-29T194411.418This was giving me The Corset and Affinity vibes when I picked it up so I was definitely intrigued to pick this one up!

Set in London in 1837, Anna Mazzola’s THE UNSEEING is the story of Sarah Gale, a seamstress and mother, sentenced to hang for her role in the murder of Hannah Brown on the eve of her wedding. Perfect for any reader of Sarah Waters or Antonia Hodgson.

After Sarah petitions for mercy, Edmund Fleetwood is appointed to investigate and consider whether justice has been done. Idealistic, but struggling with his own demons, Edmund is determined to seek out the truth. Yet Sarah refuses to help him, neither lying nor adding anything to the evidence gathered in court. Edmund knows she’s hiding something, but needs to discover just why she’s maintaining her silence. For how can it be that someone would willingly go to their own death?

2. The Darkest Minds – Alexandra Bracken
book cover - 2019-03-29T194620.962This is that classic YA that I feel like everyone has read except me so I’m really looking forward to getting the chance to read it.

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living…

3. Night of the Party – Tracy Mathias
book cover - 2019-03-29T205005.619This book feels like a very timely book given all that’s going on in British politics and I am equal parts intrigued and terrified to read it. 

How do you speak out if you have no rights?

After withdrawing from the EU, Britain is governed by The Party, and everyone born outside the country is subject to immediate arrest and deportation. Failing to report illegals is a crime.

Zara is the only one who knows her friend Sophie died. But Zara’s an illegal.

She can’t tell anyone her secrets. Not even Ash, the boy she loves. The boy who needs to know the truth.

As the country prepares for an election, Zara must make an impossible choice.

4. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August – Claire North
book cover - 2019-03-29T205237.941I’ve heard some really amazing things about this book and I’ve always wanted to try Claire North’s writing so I immediately picked this one up.

Some stories cannot be told in just one lifetime. Harry August is on his deathbed. Again.
No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. 

Until now. 

As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. “I nearly missed you, Doctor August,” she says. “I need to send a message.”
This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

5. I See You – Clare Mackintosh
book cover - 2019-03-29T205652.751I saw Clare Mackintosh speak at an event and ever since then have really wanted to read her books. This is one of her older novels and my friend raved about it so here’s hoping I like it!

When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it’s there. There’s no explanation: just a grainy image, a website address and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it’s just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.

Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make…

If you like Shari Lapena, Paula Hawkins, Rachel Abbott, B A Paris, Fiona Barton, Ruth Ware and CL Taylor, you’ll love this gripping psychological thriller.

6. Friend Request – Laura Marshall
book cover - 2019-03-29T205848.753This book had quite a bit of buzz on Twitter when it was released and I thought it sounded like such a fascinating idea, this is probably quite near the top of the new TBR pile!

Maria Weston wants to be friends. But Maria Weston is dead. Isn’t she?

1989. When Louise first notices the new girl who has mysteriously transferred late into their senior year, Maria seems to be everything the girls Louise hangs out with aren’t. Authentic. Funny. Brash. Within just a few days, Maria and Louise are on their way to becoming fast friends.

2016. Louise receives a heart-stopping email: Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook. Long-buried memories quickly rise to the surface: those first days of their budding friendship; cruel decisions made and dark secrets kept; the night that would change all their lives forever.

Louise has always known that if the truth ever came out, she could stand to lose everything. Her job. Her son. Her freedom. Maria’s sudden reappearance threatens it all, and forces Louise to reconnect with everyone she’d severed ties with to escape the past. But as she tries to piece together exactly what happened that night, Louise discovers there’s more to the story than she ever knew. To keep her secret, Louise must first uncover the whole truth, before what’s known to Maria–or whoever’s pretending to be her–is known to all. 

7. Everything Everything – Nicola Yoon
book cover - 2019-03-29T210114.680I fancied reading The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon so when I saw this in the pile I figured if I tried this and liked it I could pick up the other book.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

8. World After – Susan Ee
book cover - 2019-03-29T210338.621I had books one and three on my TBR shelf and put them in my unhaul pile but my friend rescued them because she had book two and told me they’re definitely worth reading.

When a group of people capture Penryn’s sister Paige, thinking she’s a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.

Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels’ secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.

Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can’t rejoin the angels, can’t take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?

9. Shattered – Teri Terry
book cover - 2019-03-29T210506.776Teri Terry is an author who I have lots of books by on my TBR, but still haven’t actually read any of her work. So I figured why not add another one?

Kyla is in danger from both the government Lorders who erased her memory and the terrorists who tried to use her. So now she’s on the run. Sporting a new identity and desperate to fill in the blank spaces of her life pre-Slating, Kyla heads to a remote mountain town to try to reunite with the birth mother she was kidnapped from as a child. There she is hoping all the pieces of her life will come together and she can finally take charge of her own future. But even in the idyllic wilderness and the heart of her original family, Kyla realizes there is no escape from the oppressive Lorders. Someone close to her may be one of them, and even more frighteningly, her birth mother has been keeping secrets of her own.

In this stunning series finale, Kyla finally finds out who she really is, and the road to this discovery, and to deciding who she wants to become, is full of dangerous twists and turns that will keep readers riveted.

10. The Travelling Cat Chronicles – Hiro Arikawa
book cover - 2019-03-29T210719.130This isn’t the kind of thing I would normally read but I am a crazy cat lady so I thought I could give it a go!

It’s not the journey that counts, but who’s at your side.

Nana, a cat, is devoted to Satoru, his owner. So when Satoru decides to go on a roadtrip one day to find him a new home, Nana is perplexed. They visit Satoru’s old friends from his school days and early youth. His friends may have untidy emotional lives but they are all animal lovers, and they also wonder why Satoru is trying to give his beloved cat away. Until the day Nana suddenly understands a long-held secret about his much-loved owner, and his heart begins to break.

Narrated in turns by Nana and by his owner, this funny, uplifting, heartrending story of a cat is nothing if not profoundly human.

11. The Fallen Children – David Owen
book cover - 2019-03-29T211322.158I thought this book had a really strange concept and I’m not sure if it will be my cup of tea but I thought it might be fun to try something a bit different.

Young people on the Midwich Estate don’t have much hope for their futures. Keisha has lived there her whole life, and has been working hard to escape it; others have just accepted their lot.

But change is coming…

One night everyone inside Midwich Tower falls mysteriously unconscious in one inexplicable ‘Nightout’. No one can explain what happened during those lost hours, but soon afterwards Keisha and three other girls find they’re pregnant – and the babies are growing at an alarming rate.

As the news spreads around the tower its residents turn against them and the situation spirals toward violence. Keisha’s life unravels as she realises that the pregnancy may not have just ruined her hopes for the future: she might be mother to the end of the world.

The Fallen Children is a story of violation, of judgment and of young people who must fight to defy what is expected of them.

12. Station 11 – Emily St. John Mendel
book cover - 2019-03-29T211159.825This sounds like such a unique book and I’ve seen some booktubers absolutely rave about this one so I’m pretty excited to try it out myself.

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.

Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

13. Splintered – A. G. Howard
book cover - 2019-03-29T210845.213I recently read Stain by A. G. Howard and loved it so as soon as I saw this I knew I had to take it!

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

14. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman
book cover - 2019-03-29T211041.427This definitely isn’t my kind of book at all. My friend pretty much forced me to take this one because she loved it so much. If you’ve read it let me know what you thought because I’m keen to hear!

No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine. 

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. 

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

So those are all the books I picked up from my friend (who then came round to mine and took a big bundle from my unhaul pile too!). If you’ve read any of these definitely let me know what you thought as quite a few are not my normal type of book!