30 April 2017

Sunday Summary // 30.04.2017

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I bring you this Sunday Summary on a Sunday… I almost moved it to Saturday so I could have my monthly post on the last day of the month… then I decided a wrap up in May instead would be fine. I’ll just mix up my usual blog routine.

Anyway, it’s been a crazy hectic week. I was out Tuesday seeing friends after work (at the pub, yes, they recognise us there and I have no shame) but I left early from that because I was tired. I then was out with work on Thursday. We had a launch party for our new office at a bar in Birmingham. It was all paid for and a girl was leaving from my department the next day so a couple of us decided to use it as her leaving drinks. Let me tell you, never attend something where you get free drinks. You feel a strong need to always say yes to another drink and end up going to a club on a school night and staying out until 3am. I got 2 hours sleep and was sat at my desk Friday morning dying a little inside. I’ve never attempted going to work after a night out and I wouldn’t recommend that experience again. It was a laugh, though, and I’m glad I went. It was insanely fun even if I only stayed as late as I did because you don’t leave drunk work friends out in the city alone. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the hangover that killed me, either. I hardly had one, it was the lack of sleep that made me want to die. I was surprisingly productive if a little short with folks.

After all that rowdiness I’ve not been doing a whole lot of reading, both blog reading and book. I am catching up this weekend, though, as it’s a bank holiday. I got myself 10 hours sleep Friday night to make up for my late night Thursday and I am all prepared to sit in my pyjamas and just read everything. I need the relaxation as next week is the beginning of a new month and we’ve officially closed our other offices and are taking on all their work. Work will be crazy and I’ll need the break. Especially as someone else has handed in their notice, she’s worked there for a long time though and she has a job offer to be paid more with less hours and more holiday and it’s closer to home. I begrudge no one for leaving in those circumstances. It will leave us with too much work and not enough staff, though. Hopefully, it will work out alright. If not, well, you’ll get see the drama unfold each Sunday so keep you’re eyes peeled.

I have to say, I don’t know if you guys really care about these life updates of mine but I enjoy sharing them. It also is nice to talk about stuff which isn’t the awful state of the world and how I am fed up we’re having another general election in the UK and I hear people saying Theresa May is the most popular prime minister and I’m thinking really? The woman has gone back on basically everything she’s said ever. I should be happy we have another female prime minister but all I think is that she honestly has no political position she is happy to stick to and comes out with stupid comments like ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ when it comes to Brexit and all you can think is ‘really, Theresa May, that is the stupidest thing you’ve said ever’ but people eat it up. Just, ugh, I am disillusioned with politics and I want to hide under a rock for about ten years and let the stupid blow over (or get worse).

What I’ve Been Reading

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This week began as a slow reading week. It took me near enough 5 days to finish Uprooted and that was a reread. I liked It Happened on Love Street but since I was quite looking forward to that romance it ended up being almost disappointing. It was sweet and made me laugh at weird things and puppies! So, there is that. I began my reading of the weekend with The One Real Thing and let me tell you, this will not be the last Samantha Young book I read. It was so good! Why did I wait 6 weeks to finally start reading this library book? I then got in reading Never Trust A Pirate, which was a crazy quick read for me and so much fun. Will it stay in my memory? Maybe not, but I had a great time while it lasted.

New To Me

A Conjuring Of LightThe Last Herald MageFlat Out LoveHow to Flirt With A Naked WerewolfThe Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires26037638
I know, considering I’ve been out of the house a lot this week I’m not sure how I found so many new books. I did, though. I managed to stop myself buying all of Molly Harper’s books when they went on sale at 99p… barely. I just got a kindle edition of How To Flirt With A Naked Werewolf as I borrowed a copy a while ago and enjoyed it and got The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires. I may regret that decision, but they are still on offer. I could back for them all and it wouldn’t come to much more then a tenner. Ugh, why is it payday time when I feel rich? I did also get the next Lucky Harbor collection, this is volume 3 and I am determined to have all the books in that series. Jill Shalvis brightens any bad day.
Spandex and the CityThe Forever HouseDuke with benefitsWhen Dimple Met RishiCome Sundown
I also have a few new review copies to get started on. I don’t know which to begin first. I mean, they all look so good. Spandex and the City was a bit of an impulse but if it’s as good as it sounds I know I'll have might a right decision. I loved the last Veronica Henry book I read so when I was emailed about it I had to say yes. I’ve got a review scheduled for next month so I will be reading this very shortly. I know I had a lot of doubts about the first book in the series by Manda Collins so you may be questioning my having the second book… I am always willing to give a second chance so hopefully it’s better than the first. I’ll let you know. I basically squealed when I got approved for When Dimple Met Rishi so you know I cannot wait to get reading that. And Come Sundown, I cannot wait. I may have only read one Nora Roberts book so far but this sounds like a fantastic read I cannot wait to start.

Anyway, how has your week been? Please tell me all and tell me which book to begin first because I am bad with choices.

28 April 2017

My Blogging Problems // How Do You Feature Books You’ve Already Reviewed?

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I have come to learn there is nothing better than rereading an old favourite. Don’t get me wrong, I love how utterly gripped and absorbed you are in a new book. Everything is new and shiny and interesting and you don’t know what will happen and the characters are different. But rereading an old favourite with familiar characters and a vaguely familiar plot is like coming home. The familiarity of it is just perfect and it can be just as gripping as the new shiny on your shelf is. What’s difficult, and what I want to talk about today, is how on earth do you feature rereads on your blog?
For me, the whole point of book blogging is that I love books but none of my friends really read all that much anymore so I had to turn to the internet to fill that hole. I like to be able to flail and rave about new books. I like discovering lots of new books to fill my already full shelves. As such, I like to talk about the books I’ve loved, regardless of when they were released or how long it’s been since I’ve read them. It’s great rereading an old favourite from my pre-blogging days, or a book I forgot to review and having a chance to feature it like it deserves. But what about the books I’ve already reviewed and loved so much I want to review again? I can’t reasonably review them again, that would be weird, so how do you go about featuring books you’ve reviewed before?

I know I’ve asked a similar question before but what other ways can we include books on our blogs? We’re not all reviewers. It’s not something everyone enjoys doing, so what else can you do to feature a book? I suppose I need help in ways to be creative and would love your suggestions. I mean, blogging is about coming together and flailing about books together, right?

So, what do you do when you want to feature a book again? Do you try and feature books again or is it a one time thing only? I’m curious because after three years of blogging I’m bound to wanting to look at a book again, I know some people wouldn’t even notice but I would so what should I do?

26 April 2017

Borrowed Books // Where I Realise I Need More Fantasy In My Life

Borrowed Books
Borrowed Books is a feature I started when I first began visiting the library again. I wanted to try and make sure I spoke about the books I borrowed and figured this was the feature to do it in. I normally review and say my thoughts on them. What makes it different from when I write my mini reviews in Bite Sized Books? Absolutely nothing, I just like to confuse folk. Anyway, these are the latest couple of books I’ve borrowed and loved because libraries are brilliant, you should go visit yours and see what you can find.

The Rook
Published: 1st August 2013
Source: Library
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Mystery
My Rating:
The body you are wearing used to be mine.

So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.

She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own.

In her quest to uncover which member of the Chequy betrayed her and why, Myfanwy encounters a person with four bodies, an aristocratic woman who can enter her dreams, a secret training facility where children are transformed into deadly fighters, and a conspiracy more vast than she ever could have imagined.

Filled with characters both fascinating and fantastical, THE ROOK is a richly inventive, suspenseful, and often wry thriller that marks an ambitious debut from a promising young writer.
This was such a surprising read and I don't know what to say exactly to explain why. I’d had it on my radar for a little while and expected to enjoy it, but I wasn’t sure what to expect from it. I knew it was meant to be a Harry Potter spy top book but I was completely unprepared for what I got.

I couldn’t out this book down once I started. I was fully absorbed in the book and Myfanwy’s story as she tries to figure out who she was, who she is, and who on earth has it out for her. I loved the fact that there was a whole cast of characters and it was a complex world set in the modern day. I was continually trying to figure out who had wiped Myfanwy’s memory and who put her in her predicament. The fact I hadn’t a clue whodunnit until the end just demonstrates how well it was written. I suspected everyone!

I did have some gripes, I felt like the whole book was extra confusing and could have been made a touch clearer. But that may have been because I didn't figure things out until the end and once it got explained to me I felt like smacking my head and going 'duh'. The other thing is that Myfanwy should have figured out how to pronounce her name far sooner. Anyone that knows even a bit of Welsh names, as in able to correctly pronounce Welsh towns, would know how to say her name right. I wish that had been corrected immediately because I was saying it right in my mind but I knew that wasn’t how she was saying it. What a nightmare!

Apart from minor gripes I adored this book. I loved how intricate the world was and how it was written to be slightly hilarious and everything was a little weird and it totally worked for me. I loved the fact it kind of addressed the concept of nature vs nurture with the whole memory thing with the way Myfanwy’s personality changed completely with all her former memories removed she was a totally different person which leads you to question does that mean personality is formed by experience as much as being part of who you are? I just really liked what was done with this book. Now I need to try and get my library to get the second one.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Published: 3rd September 2013
Source: Library
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
My Rating:
Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.
This book has been on my radar for a very long time, essentially since I first began blogging. I was even more interested after reading The Darkest Part of the Forest because that book showed me she is a fantastic author yet still I didn’t pick this up. When I saw it at my local library I knew I had to commit and enjoy it. I realised it had been a good long while since I’d read any kind of vampire book so I knew this would feed my craving for the paranormal. I just wish I knew why I always wait to read books I know I’ll enjoy.

This book did an excellent job of being a love letter to the vampire genre without romanticising vampires too much. It was a sharp dose of reality about vampires a lot of the time and didn't fall into the Twilight trap. There were no sparkling vampires and gentle creatures feeding only on animals. All vampires were deadly, they were monsters and whilst folks romanticised them when they came face to face with them it was all very different. This is the book I'd want to give to teenage girls thinking of reading Twilight.

Tana has grown up in a world where vampires have become public knowledge. They accidentally revealed themselves and now the world must put up with them whilst trying to prevent the spread of the vampire infection. Coldtowns have emerged where vampires and those infected with vampirism are expected to seclude themselves and anyone is allowed to enter, but no one is allowed to leave. Tana ends up at a party where everyone is slaughtered by vampires and her, her ex boyfriend and a boy she has never met are forced to flee. She ends up going to a coldtown believing herself to be infected so it’s the only way to go

It is an excellent YA book but I'd expect no less from Holly Black. More importantly it's a good book outside of the YA genre. It hooked practically from the start and I was constantly thinking about reading. It reminded me that I don't read anywhere near enough vampire or paranormal books and that it's not hard to make me fall in love with secondary characters.

Have you read either of these? What did you think? I read two fantasy books from the library. What was the last book you borrowed?