29 November 2015

Sunday Summary: 29.11.2015

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So my first week back at work has been exhausting. I forgot hard work was tiring. What’s worse is that it’s only mentally exhausting, physically I am sat behind a desk doing nothing so I’m brain-dead at home, but not actually tired. It’s a dilemma, right? I’m mentally exhausted but physically I could be doing stuff, but I like the motivation. It’s at times like that I think I should join a gym, running on a treadmill requires no brain power.

 

Anyway, enough about boring things like work, onto more exciting things like Black Friday and shopping! Obviously, unless you’ve lived under a rock, you will have noticed the crazy Black Friday deals happening for the past week (or they have here, we Brits always want to get in a good sale, even if it is for something imported from America). Things went a bit cray-cray in the UK last year on Black Friday, turns out people tend to get a bit violent when it comes to getting more for their money. This year there have been tons of crazy good deals online, and I have been feeding my bookish addiction. I have vowed to have a buying ban in December, I should really keep my money for Christmas and keep books available for Christmas gifts. I have also seen an excellent plan for cutting down your TBR pile proposed by Amy as a part of her book buying ban where you can buy one new book once you’ve read 5 of your own, I plan to implement something similar after Christmas.

 

Sadly, I’ve done nothing else interesting this week, just bought copious amounts of books (mostly for my Kindle) and started playing Pokémon again (I go through phases with it, but I’ve 8 badges so it’s time to train for the Pokémon league… in case you’re interested). The only other thing I’ve done is I’ve been planning for the numerous Christmas meals I’ll be attending this year… why is Christmas made more expensive with social occasions?

 

What I’ve Been Reading

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So, I’m slowly working my way through my books. I have to say I didn’t know what to expect reading Him, I love both the authors but it was my first M/M romance outside of fanfiction so I didn’t know how it was going to go. I enjoyed it. It’s not my usual romance, but it was still fun. I then moved on to a fantast romance because that’s what kind of mood I’ve been in. It was good, but with a frustrating ending which I could totally understand, but it still made me annoyed, so I moved on to a contemporary YA because they are always light and fluffy. It was a good final book to the Superlatives series, even if I did prefer the story of the other two books, it still included my favourite character of the series, Sawyer. My final book of the week is Angel of Storms, it’s a book I’m still reading and I’m enjoying it, although book amnesia has struck again without me realising. I fully thought I remembered more of the first book than I obviously do, luckily Canavan is excellent with recapping without telling the story again.

 

New To Me

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Okay, my bookish shopping is not that ridiculous, not when I think there are only two more books I’m waiting to be delivered. Maybe I didn’t go as crazy as I thought, although I did get spammed with about a billion bookish discounts this week. I restrained myself more than I expected. I am now not allowed to buy anymore books, this was like my last bookish hurrah before the long buying drought. I will attempt to stave off any book buying urges with the occasional treat to myself, we’ll see how it goes.

 

And that is my week. I am now going to do boring stuff like change my bed and vacuum the house before I curl into a nest of blankets because cold weather struck this weekend and I’m in shock because it was so sudden. Tell me about your weeks below and tell me about any new purchases you’ve made during the crazy sales.

25 November 2015

Landline // It Puts Relationships In Perspective And Makes Me Excited For Christmas

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Release Date: 3rd July 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
My Rating:
Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now.

Maybe that was always besides the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?
I have declared my love for Rainbow Rowell already, so it is inexplicable that I haven’t read this book already. This poor book has been left in my pile of TBR books which form my bedside table for a long time now and I don't know why I waited so long to read it. Or... I do, but I don't know why I bothered to let other people’s opinions affect my decision on what to read. This is the very reason for me avoiding reviews for books I am excited to read because I am for too susceptible to others opinions and will let them affect my reading experience. This review demonstrates why this can be a bad thing.

It’s Beautifully Written, Which Should Come As No Surprise To Anyone


In some ways I am glad I waited more than a year to read this book, it meant that when I did finally read it my thoughts were completely my own. This book contains more of Rowell's wonderful words, and as Kaja has said about her writing, it is just like a warm hug, you want to wrap yourself up in her writing and never let it go. If I could have any author narrate my life it would be Rainbow Rowell because her writing is beautiful, even when writing about something as difficult as the potential breakdown of a marriage and all the ways you have gone wrong in your relationship.

Rowell is probably one of the most talented writers I have ever had the pleasure of reading because her writing is insanely easy to read (seriously, this is how all stories should be written) but still so beautiful. She is talented enough to make even the most mundane things seem interesting. I would probably read a shopping list she wrote and find it interesting, I am probably a bit biased.

So It Was Fantastic And Nothing Like I Expected


I had no clue what to expect going into this book. Sure, I’d read reviews where people seemed uninterested, they brushed it off or said that they didn’t enjoy it for whatever reason, so I probably had lower expectations about this book than I have any other Rowell has written, but I had no real clue about the actual story. I knew to expect a magic phone connecting Georgie to a past version of her husband, but that does not do justice to what this story actually is. It is magic set in the real world, and that is my favourite kind of magic.

If I were to compare this book to any other book I've read I would have to compare it to Cecelia Ahern's writing, more specifically her magical realism books because that is what this book is. It is a normal book in every way apart from that magical phone which connects Georgie with past Neal. Every other element of this book is a contemporary read about a woman who is questioning her relationship when she is unexpectedly alone at Christmas whilst her children and her husband go to his mom's for Christmas. I loved Georgie's questioning and denial and her inevitable acceptance of the impossible which occurs. And I absolutely loved how you saw these characters develop and change, and the continual flashbacks to the past. I just loved all of it and I was sad to see the book end, but at the same time so inexplicably pleased by the ending. I could have happily kept on reading and I doubt I would have gotten bored.

Overall, This Was A Masterpiece


My only question is why hasn't Rowell written more books like this one. I love her YA books, don't get me wrong, but her writing perfectly fits the adult world of writing too. I will always read anything she writes, so I may not be the most unbiased of readers, but Rowell writes a perfect novel with the most wonderful of characters, I found myself falling in love right along with Georgie and I am completely confused as to where the less than stellar reviews came from on this one.

This was probably more a character study than a book. There isn’t so much a story happening as there is an intense piece about characters and how they have changed and grown with life around them. Maybe that’s what people were dissatisfied with, they were expecting more action and instead got wonderful characters with emotional writing, and that is a completely different thing to read. Either way, I disagree with the majority on this one and would happily include this book as one of my favourite books of the year.

Why haven't more people read and raved about Landline? Have you read it, and what were your thoughts?

22 November 2015

Sunday Summary: 22.11.2015

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Isn’t it strange, a week at work can feel like it’s taking a month to finish but my week off has gone by in a flash. It’s sad to see it end, but I am looking forward to having some structure to my week again. You know my grand plan to do a bunch of Christmas shopping this week? Yeah, not so much. I think I’m still in some kind of denial about it getting closer. I do have a few gift ideas, I’m just not committed to buying them yet, I am reluctant to spend money it seems.

 

So what have I done with my week, then? Well I had lunch at the coolest little hipster cafe on Monday with my friend back from Australia before she returned for my volunteering and missionary work (she is off to a country with cannibals, who does that voluntarily?) and that was fun. It’s crazy to think I hadn’t seen her for six months because it feels like just the other day I was saying goodbye to her, it was nice. I love friendships where you can meet up as if no time has passed. She is probably actually my oldest friend so I’ve got to keep her around.

 

Tuesday I was a ‘responsible adult’ for my mother whilst she had a local anaesthetic to have the roots of a broken tooth removed. Let me tell you, it is no fun having a parent acting like their drunk, it’s funny for 5 minutes by the craziness lasts a bit longer than that. It was nice to hear the dental nurse asked my mom if I was over 18, though, and she was surprised to hear I was 24, I love compliments like that and will be sad when the day arrives when I don’t get ID’d to buy alcohol, that’s when you know age has set in for you.

 

Anyone who follows me on Twitter may have witnessed by spam tweets where I was occupying my time when the nice boiler man came to fix out hot water. It was traumatic as he had been the day before and turned it off because it turns out the weird growly noise was a split pipe in the gas line… very concerning, I know. I have to say, though, what do you do when people come around to do these basic things? I offered him a cup of tea and then was at a loss as to what the standard etiquette for entertaining boiler repairman in your home is. I normally hide away somewhere and leave someone else to do the awkward small talk, my stepdad is excellent about chatting away to strangers about boring things, I just want them out of my house as quickly as possible… in the nicest and politest possible way of course.

 

And then the rest of my week has been taken up with me watching copious amounts of TV and very little reading… or very little reading of books, there has been tons of fanfic reading. I have watched a season and a half of Elementary (my love for Jonny Lee Miller knows no bounds… there is just something about him) in the space of a week and I also binge watched Jessica Jones because I love these Marvel Netflix shows. Do I feel bad that I basically haven’t left the house for two days? No, it got cold here in the UK, why would I want to go outside when it wasn’t absolutely necessary?

What I’ve Been Reading

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As you can see, I’ve been reading some, but towards the end of the week books just got forgotten and TV took over. Sometimes you need the break for you to remember why you love reading. That, and my commute tends to be the main time I read and I’ve just not had that this week.

 

New To Me

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Not too many purchases this week. I do also have another book due to arrive next week, but let’s not count that until it arrives. I’m attempting to restrain my shopping as it turns out I have way more unread books than I ever thought. I reorganised my shelves this week and unearthed an entire hidden layer of unread books. I shouldn’t even be allowed to look at another book until I’ve tackled the piles. I’ll show you on Instagram, then you will understand.

 

How have your weeks gone? Does anyone else make plans and then completely fail to follow through, like me and my grand Christmas shopping plans? And am I the only one who seems to hide their unread books away only to unearth them again a year later?

15 November 2015

Carry On // Wherein Rainbow Rowell Reminds Me Why She Is Such A Flawless Author And Makes Me Want To Read A Lot Of Fanfiction

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Carry On – Rainbow Rowell

Release Date: 8th October 2015

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Fanfiction

My Rating:

Simon Snow just wants to relax and savour his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he'll be safe. Simon can't even enjoy the fact that his room-mate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can't stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you're the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savour anything.


Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you'd expect from a Rainbow Rowell story - but far, far more monsters.

I’ve already said the Rainbow Rowell can do no wrong in my eyes, even when she does, but now I’ve read Carry On and I want to regale you all with my love for her. I loved her after reading Fangirl… and then I didn’t like one of her books as much as everyone else did, then I doubted her (before she brought it back with the last third of the book) when I was reading another of her books

 

 

You Don’t Have to Have Read Fangirl… But It Might Help

 

One thing I have to say about this book is I don’t think I would have been as eager to keep reading if I hadn’t already read Fangirl and developed some kind of investment in the Simon/Baz ship already because it’s a bit of a slow start. It takes a while for Baz to even show up in the book, and he was always going to be one of my favourite parts of this book. I think, if you hadn’t read Fangirl you might have given up on reading because not all that much happens to begin with. You’re introduced to the characters and the basic premise of the Simon Snow story, and whilst the background is important, it drags when your other main character is missing (quite literally).

 

It’s not even like I felt the story dragged to begin with, it’s more it takes a while for the main storyline to being clear, and I loved the initial intro and character introduction and general world building, because Rainbow Rowell writes so masterfully that it’s hard to get bored with her, but I could see how people may have gotten a bit impatient. As such, I do think it would have helped if you’d read Fangirl and the small snippets of the characters you get because then you’re already invested.

 

Simon+Baz 5eva <3<3<3

 

Okay, so we’ve established I loved Simon and Baz in Fangirl, in their little scenes scattered throughout that book, and found myself becoming inexplicably invested in this relationship. I was thrilled with the announcement of Carry On and adored all their interactions throughout this entire book. I ship Simon Snow and Tyrranus Basilton Grimm Pitch so hard it’s not even funny. They are the perfect love hate couple and this entire book was about them and I wish it had never ended.

 

I admit, I wanted to punch Simon Snow in the face a little bit from time to time, he is one of those characters which you like and are continually annoyed with at the same time, a bit like you are with Harry Potter (or at least I was) and I liked that, but the stand out character for me in this relationship was Baz. I am completely in loved with Tyrranus Basilton Grimm Pitch and all he was. He was a poor misunderstood character to begin with, but as soon as we got to see things from his perspective I fell hard because he was completely fantastic. I will mention this more in another section, but all those wanting to draw parallels between him and Draco Malfoy, you shut your dirty mouths right now, they are nothing alike personality wise.

 

Carry On Isn’t Harry Potter Fanfic, Stop Saying It Is

 

Look, we all know that Simon Snow in Fangirl was very loosely based upon Harry potter and the immense fandom that those books had. Probably for various reasons we couldn’t actually have Cath being a Potterhead, but that’s where the roots of Simon Snow are. That being said, that does not make Carry On Harry Potter fanfiction. I am annoyed that people are mentioning that. Carry On is a book all of it’s own, despite where it’s roots may lie.

 

Look, I can draw up all the similarities between the two worlds right along with you. I get it, they are crazy similar, but you can’t think about it like that, because they are also completely different. The characters share similarities but they are different, Baz has way more backbone and personality than Draco was ever given in Harry Potter, Simon Snow isn’t quite as funny as Harry was in his self-righteous indignation and deadpan delivery of lines. Snow also lets his self doubts rule him in a lot of ways, but he is also willing to see those he previously distrusted in a new light, unlike Harry. And Penelope was not Hermione, and I am fed up of seeing fanart of Penelope as a Weasley coloured white girl when she is very blatantly of Indian heritage, as shown by the name thing when Simon and Penelope first met.

 

But enough with complaining about that.

 

I Loved This Book And You Might Too

 

Look, this was never going to be my most coherent of reviews because I loved this book too much to put into words how much I adored it. This book was everything I wanted, but nothing like I expected. I’d been excited about it for a year. A year! That’s an awful long time to be anticipating a bookish release and too often that leads to you building it up to impossible heights in your mind. I may have done that with this book, but it doesn’t even matter because Rainbow Rowell smashed it out of the park with this book.

 

The writing is beautiful, the characters are fantastic and the story is solid and enjoyable. This book was absolutely perfect and I wish there were more books written as beautifully as this one. It demonstrates why Rainbow Rowell is one of my favourite authors and she needs to publish more books.

 

Now don’t mind me, I want to dive head first into the world of fanfiction… or start rereading this immediately. Have you read Carry On, what did you think? Was it a Harry Potter rip-off or is it a fantastic book all of it’s own?

Sunday Summary: 15.11.2015

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I have another week off of work! Yay, let’s pop the party poppers and crack out the helium balloons and get this party started.
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Or… you know, get my pyjamas on and prepare to hibernate because that British autumn/winter that didn’t seem to be starting has finally arrived and it is cold! I would be quite happy to stay in bed for the next week because every time I leave that cosy little nest I am cold. Shivering, want to hug a radiator to myself, cold. i could definitely do that, I own enough books, but sadly I booked this week off to do that dreaded thing which turns up every year… Christmas shopping.

I know, it’s too early to think about Christmas… but it also really isn’t. I need to get a head start because I only have one more pay cheque before Christmas (well… I have two, because they always move the December one forward, but that one has to last me all the way to the end of January, so let’s not talk about that) so I need to get shopping.

Who else likes the sense of satisfaction you get from giving a really good present? I get that feeling too… but finding that really good present is hard. Like spending hours wandering around a shopping centre with aching feet and heavy bags hard. That is my plan for the coming week, though, and I am not too enthusiastic about such a prospect because I am terrible at shopping if I am not in the mood for it.

What I am excited about (apart from not working for a week) is one of my best friends is back from Australia for one week only! I am so excited to see her, it turns out I haven’t seen her for six months, which is a crazy long time. I fully expect her to be tanned and to have lots of wonderful stories, so I can’t wait to meet up with her for a few hours next week.

This week has mostly been me being excited for my pending time off of work, but has also been me getting ready for two Christmas meals next month with work, why do they all arrive at once? I am mostly looking forward to them, and I also remind myself that if they’re terrible there will be alcohol at hand for both until I can politely excuse myself (I am a pessimist when it comes to social occasions).

Actually, whilst we’re on the topic of social occasions, it has come to my attention that YALC 2016 tickets are on sale for July next year. I know Hannah’s going but I am dithering about going because they have yet to announce anyone who will be there, but also I am terrified about going to London alone (I like to never turn up alone to anything because I like to guarantee I will know at least one person wherever I go) but then I think I’ve never attended any bookish thing and it would be a really cool thing to do. This is definitely something I will appreciate your input on and I will now talk about books.

What I’ve Been Reading

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I read The Duke and I in a couple of days and loved it. The Bridgertons are my favourite historical romance family, at least for now, and I don’t know why I waited so long to purchase that book. I am now going to slowly accumulate all of the books in paperback and hopefully find space on my single set of shelves for them. I also finished Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore and enjoyed it, although it probably isn’t love. It was a strange read that one, it’s hard to describe because it cannot fit into one genre. I then returned to historical romance with Wicked Designs, this was not as good a read, but it still amused me. I think my issue was it was too over the top, I love ridiculous plotlines, but I just couldn’t suspend my disbelief enough to fully enjoy this. I finally read Landline and I am shocked I waited so long for such an enjoyable read. This is less story and more wonderful writing and excellent character growth. I don’t understand why more people didn’t enjoy it though. And I began The Glass Sentence last night, it’s fun but this is probably my 20th attempt so fingers crossed for me.

New To Me

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So, my purchases continue, but I only paid for two of them so that’s good, right? My three historical romance books were all free for Kindle and I was just craving that genre after finishing The Duke and I, that is my only excuse. I bought Some Kind Of Normal because I loved Juliana Stone’s other book, Boys Like You, and have been wanting to read this one for a while. Finally, we have Wolf by Wolf, a book I have heard a few things about but have been pretty much oblivious to until it arrived in the first ever Illumicrate box. I am now quite excited about it and will let you know.

As for Illumicrate, I think this may be my favourite bookish subscription box I’ve ever received. It filled with enough stuff and it’s quarterly so I don’t feel the pressure to read this random book every month. I will probably review the box sometime soon for you, if you want that is.

How about you guys, read anything good lately? And don’t forget, I want to know what you think about going to YALC 2016? Has anyone been before, is it worth me going? Tell me all!

10 November 2015

The Emperor’s Edge // A Book Where The Humour Doesn’t Try Too Hard, The Characters Are Perfect, And The Cover Doesn’t Do It Justice

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Release Date: 22nd December 2010
Genre: Fantasy, Steampunk, Adventure, Mystery
My Rating:
Don't miss out on the best-selling Emperor's Edge series (2013 Goodreads Choice Awards Nominee).

The adventure starts here...


Imperial law enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon is good at her job: she can deter thieves and pacify thugs, if not with a blade, then by toppling an eight-foot pile of coffee canisters onto their heads. But when ravaged bodies show up on the waterfront, an arson covers up human sacrifices, and a powerful business coalition plots to kill the emperor, she feels a tad overwhelmed.

Worse, Sicarius, the empire's most notorious assassin, is in town. He's tied in with the chaos somehow, but Amaranthe would be a fool to cross his path. Unfortunately, her superiors order her to hunt him down. Either they have an unprecedented belief in her skills... or someone wants her dead.
I loved this book. It was a recommendation from a fellow blogger, and I take recommendations very seriously when it comes to books. I was a bit bored of romance reading and fancied a good fantasy read, but not any old fantasy, a steampunk fantasy. Oh boy, did this book deliver on an interesting and different story for me.

#1 Don’t Judge a Book By It’s Cover


I would never have picked this book up (or gotten it free on my Kindle) if it hadn’t been for the recommendation I received on this from Amy at Pages of Starlight but thank God I did! I really enjoyed it and it helped to remind me (again) that book covers do not always reflect the contents of the book and I need to stop being so judgmental.

#2 Humour In A Book Is Important


Look, I like my books to be funny. But I don’t like them to be trying too hard to be funny because that grates. It needs to be deliberately funny, but appear as if it isn’t trying to be funny. Did I say I made sense?

Thankfully this book is the perfect balance of serious and humorous and I loved it for that. I never felt like Buroker was trying too hard to be funny, which as an achievement given the style of writing in this book reminded me of a couple of books I’ve read before where the humour grated, so I was impressed that I liked this style in this one.

#3 Your Characters Aren’t Always Likable Individually, But As A Group It’s Love


The characters in the entire series are not exactly the best in society, a few of them are down right unlikable. You have Amaranthe Lokdon, one of the few female enforcers in the empire, who is very proper and strict and could come across a bit plain if it wasn’t for the events of the rest of the book. Then you have a well-known assassin, Sicarius, who is pretty damn unlikable with his lack of emotion and lack of remorse for his killings, but he is in someway likable without actually doing much of anything. And the ragtag bunch of people they accumulate around them? There are a few redeeming qualities in the bunch, I suppose, but somehow this cast of character, when put together, create such a lovely (if rather dysfunctional) family that I grew rather attached to.

#4 A Gripping Story is Important When You Go Into A Book Blind


I didn’t actually know what this book was about when I started reading. I knew there was something about an assassin and the rest I didn’t retain. The summary is brief, so it doesn’t exactly give too much away, so I was clueless about what to expect. I am normally a firm believer in reading a book summary before starting because I get bored far too easily otherwise, I need to know what to expect. With this book I liked not knowing, it was nice to be surprised. And more important than being surprised, the story was good. I didn’t have chance to think I was getting bored because there was so much going on in each page that I didn’t want to stop reading.

#5 But Being Aware It’s Part Of A Long Series Is Also Important


I read the first two books in this series in a matter of days, I still have the third and fourth book waiting for me on my Kindle and there are still a bunch more to buy after those. It is a long series. I discovered this when I started browsing Amazon to find the rest of the books. It’s good to be aware that you’re committing yourself to a series. I hate having series surprise when I pick up a bok expecting it to be a standalone, this time I knew it was part of a series, I just didn’t realise how much of one.

Final Thoughts


I’m not going to even convince you otherwise, I loved this book and hope others will read this and fall in love too. It’s a fun fantasy read with action, adventure, mystery, humour and some of the most likable characters I’ve read in a long time. And whilst there are hints about romance, there is no romance taking over the story

Have you read a really good recommendation lately, aren’t they the best? And have you been pleasantly surprised by a book you weren’t certain about? What makes us have these bookish doubts going in I wonder?

09 November 2015

Autumn Thorns // A Book With A Good Mystery, If Only The Characters Had Developed Personalities Sooner

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Autumn Thorns – Yasmine Galenorn

Release Date: 27th October 2015

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Mystery

My Rating:

Enter Whisper Hollow at your own risk, for in this town spirits walk among the living, and the lake never gives up her dead.


Whisper Hollow is no ordinary place. In this haunted town, people don't stay buried.


Kerris Fellwater isn't your usual human. She's a spirit shaman who drives the dead back to their graves.


Fifteen years ago, Kerris ran away from her hometown. But now she's back, and there are deadly magical forces at work, wreaking havoc.


Whisper Hollow holds painful memories for Kerris, but a lot has changed. There's a mysterious new guy in town, Bryan, who Kerris feels powerfully drawn to. Together they unearth a horrifying family secret, and unravelling the mystery means working with - rather than against - the dead. Can they defeat Whisper Hollow's enemy, before it destroys them?

 

I received a free copy of this for review from Headline Eternal.

 


I was intrigued by the book summary on this one. I had heard nothing about the book but a town where there are supernatural creatures and someone forced to go back to fulfil some kind of destiny? That sounded exactly like the kind of book I wanted to buy.

 

The Mystery Is The Hook Which Keeps You Reading

 

I think the main reason I got through the entirety of this book (yes, I did contemplate putting it down) is the fact that I needed to know about the mystery in this book. I won’t reveal the ‘horrifying family secret’ but Galenorn successfully teases you with just enough detail to interest you without giving everything away in the book.

 

Is the big reveal all that surprising? In some ways it isn’t, clues are dropped throughout the book both about Kerris’s parents and her grandparents (I'm not spoiling anything by telling you there are mysteries related to both of these couples) and so you are not stumped by the revelations, but it is the way in which they are done in this book which are intriguing. I wanted to know what happened to both parents and grandparents, but also the whys. It’s the motivation behind everything which happened that really kept me reading I think. It’s probably the reason I will pick up the next book in the series as well. It’s not often you get a decent mystery in a book which includes romance, so that was nice.

It’s Just Too Bad I Didn’t Connect With The Characters

 

Sadly, the characters weren’t as interesting as the mystery, they instead fell a bit flat. They all felt a bit too two dimensional and I often left questioning why I should care about the characters. I think it was partially the fact this is a first book in a series, they are always a bit hit or miss, which led to this distance I felt with the characters. By the end of the book I had found myself caring, the characters felt less flat and had grown into people who may potentially possess personalities which I had previously missed, I just wish I’d cared about them more at the beginning.

 

One fault of Galenorn’s is that she does a lot of telling about the various characters without writing anything which backs up what she’s said. Take Kerris’s best friend, for example, Peggin is said to be a flirtatious larger than life character with curves and a charming personality which entices any man in… but I didn’t get to see that in the book. I am fully convinced she is that kind of character, there were hints that she is a retro bombshell with her fashion choices and the fact she was watching an old Hollywood film with Cary Grant in, I can believe she is intended to be that retro pinup girl which you just don’t see too often, but I wasn’t shown it in the book. That is true of all the characters, I was told facts about them but didn’t see a lot to support it in the book.

 

And poor Kerris, she goes on about her fantastic photographic memory when it comes to reading, yet as she wondered around town she seemed to forgotten half the people who lived there. I get people can have a better memory for certain things (such as reading) but this woman seemed to have forgotten half her life with no explanation as to why. I understood some of her memories being fuzzy from her formative years, who can claim to remember their entire life at 5 years old? But I didn’t understand why she forgot things from when she was older, it made no sense.

 

Maybe I’m being too critical, I did occasionally find myself caring about these characters, but it did feel a bit ‘too little, too late’ as it didn’t happen until the last portion of the book when the action began. As I said, it wasn't enough to drive me away, I know the first book in any series gets waylaid in having to set everything up for the rest of the series, but it’s not often you find the set up leading the characters to fall flat.

But I Did Like The Character Interaction

 

I know, I’ve said I felt the characters fell flat, but when I did start caring about them I did find myself enjoying their interaction. Kerris and Peggin were great frineds, I actually liked their friendship. They managed a long distance friendship and I totally believed their reunion as friends. Peggin was left as a bit of a secondary character who didn’t get enough time to be fleshed out into a person, but it was nice to see a good female friendship.

 

We get a whole lot of insta-love (mating anyone?) but it fits to the genre and there is set up for the instant romance that made me forgive it. I admit the romance is not the best I’ve read, though, poor Bryan never truly gets to develop beyond romance interest, sadly, but I hold out hope for him.

 

Basically, there is potential in all the relationships in this book, I will reserve further judgement for the future.

Let’s Summarise

I know, I’ve been so negative in my review and I really didn’t want to, but there were things which bugged me in this first book. I hated the fact that the characterisation wasn’t stronger and there wasn’t enough demonstration of the characters personalities, instead I was left to be told about it. I also wasn’t a massive fan of the romance, but that didn’t stop me from liking other aspects of the book. I maintain that the mystery was solid and really drove the story along and there are plenty of questions left to be answered to help keep readers wanting to continuing on (like me). And as much as I hate on the characters personalities (or lack thereof) I did like the friendships in the book and that helped to bring out some personality in these characters. I am optimistic that a second book will help overcome some of my reservations as I feel like with all the introduction and explanation in this book meant it didn’t have enough chance to flow properly, a second book where there is less to explain may mean a fun and easier read for all.

 

I know it sounds like I hated everything about this book, but I honestly didn’t. Once I was halfway through I no longer wanted to put the book down, the mystery and story of this town had interested me enough that I couldn’t possibly stop reading. That is the sign of a good read, I just wish that feeling has happened sooner and I am fully convinced my grumbles about this book are what stopped it from happening. Here’s hoping book 2, Shadow Silence, has better luck.

 

Have you read any books where you feel like the story didn’t chance to get on it’s feet as it was bogged down with explanations and world building? And do you think it’s possible to dislike things about a book but still enjoy it at the same time?

08 November 2015

Sunday Summary: 08.11.2015

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Well, we’ve officially had our welcome to Autumn this week. We’ve had wind, rain and generally miserable weather. All I’ve wanted to do all week is hideaway in the warm, I would have had the fire on but it’s been unseasonably warm for November. This basically means I’ve been wandering around in summer clothes with a flimsy jacket getting drenched to the bone every time I go outside, but at least I’m not a red-faced sweaty mess when I get to work… the drowned rat look is in, right?

Enough about the weather, though, I now you’re not all British and interested in our strange fascination with the weather. On to other things, I am going to tell you all now, I have been at a bit of a reading loss. It took me near enough a week to finish Throne of Glass and then the other couple of books I’ve picked up this week have left me feeling a bit ‘meh’ and isn’t that just the worse feeling when reading a book? The feeling of being uninspired, or unattached to it so you feel you’re mind drifting. I know it’s probably me not finding the right book to fit my mood, but it’s still annoying. The I read Carry On by Rainbow Rowell and I honestly could not put it down. I thought maybe I'd lost that need to keep reading until you reach the end of a book, it was gone all week. There are so many things I want to say about that book, but they can wait.

What I’ve Been Reading

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I complain about my reading rut, but I am still reading at least. I remembered things I loved about Throne of Glass during my reread, but I also remember the things which bothered me when I originally read, and they still bother me after another read through. I’m going to be picking up Crown of Midnight in the next couple of weeks; it was the second book which solidified my love for the series. I am still nervous about the other books, I’ve seen spoilers and I’m not ready! I think that’s why I haven’t picked up the next two books, I don’t know if my heart can take it. When I choose a ship, I ship hard, I don’t cope well with others.

As for the rest, Autumn Thorns was a very middling book for me, it has the potential to be a good fun series, so I’ll be reading the next book when it’s out before I make a proper judgement on that. I’ve barely delved into My Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, so I will not reveal my thoughts yet, I’m not gripped, though, I will say that. And as for Carry On, there aren't words yet. It was just... it was the perfect book for the mood I was in and I kind of want more but know I can't have it.

New To Me

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As you can see, I am still slowly (or not so slowly) accumulating new books to read. Three are freebies, so I can at least say I’m not spending all that much money. Gateway to Fourline was my Kindle First choice for November, and it sounds interesting, it’s a fantasy book with different worlds? Count me In. 

I requested a copy of Jill Shalvis’s book for review from Headline Eternal (the UK publisher) about a month ago and it turned up in the post this week, that was exciting for me. I know I’ve not read the rest of the Animal Magnetism series, but I’m willing to sample one of the later books first (it goes against all my reading principles, though, I don’t read books out of order). I have to say, though, Headline Eternal is fast becoming one of my go to romance publishers when searching out new books to read

And it looks like My Life Next Door is getting published in the UK (yay) and so when I saw it available on NetGalley I had to request, I’ve been meaning to read a Huntley Fitzpatrick book for a while, it seemed like fate.

My other two books? Well, I was experiencing a need for some historical romance and these were the two books I chose. I found The Duke and I used for £2 and I can’t turn down that kind of bargain, and I saw an interview with Lauren Smith over at Hello, Chelly which inspired a quick Kindle purchase. Hopefully, I’ll enjoy them.

And there is my bookish week. I am currently contemplating buying a graphics tablet, so if I disappear for a few days it’s because I’ve decided drawing is going to be my new favourite hobby. (It actually was my favourite thing to do a few years back, but somehow I decided I didn’t have time for it… I’m changing my mind on that front.)

Has anyone got any spoiler-free words of advice to help prepare me during my Throne of Glass reread? And does anyone else buy books from a completely different genre than you’re reading for no other reason than you’ve got a craving for those books?

06 November 2015

Looking Forward: November

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Looking Forward is a regular feature on the blog where I let you know which books I’m looking forward to in the month. I won’t buy all the books featured (especially with my little spending ban, I shouldn’t even be allowed to look at books right now) but they are all books I’m looking forward to being released and want to know if you’re excited about them too.

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The Girl With The Wrong Name - Barnabas Miller
Release Date: 3rd November 2015
Genre: Mystery, Young Adult, Contemporary
Ever since The Night in Question left her with a hideous scar and no memory of what happened, Theo Lane has been hiding. An aspiring filmmaker, she uses a hidden button cam to keep the world at bay. She spends the entire summer in a Manhattan café, secretly documenting random “subjects.”

Once school starts, Theo finds her best friend has morphed into a flirtatious, short-skirt-clad stranger. Everyone ignores the scar. As if that will make it go away. The café remains her lunchtime refuge.

Her most interesting subject is the Lost Boy, a stranger who comes in every day at the same time. When she finally gets up the courage to talk to him she discovers why: the Lost Boy, Andy, is waiting for someone who said she’d meet him there . . . four days ago. Intoxicated by Andy’s love for this mystery girl, Theo agrees to help him find her, and her unhealthy obsession pulls her into a perilous, mind-bending journey. But is it really Andy’s world she’s investigating? Or is it her own?

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Release Date: 3rd November 2015
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Vada Bergen is broke, the black sheep of her family, and moving a thousand miles away from home for grad school, but she’s got the two things she loves most: her art and her best friend—and sometimes more—Ellis Carraway. Ellis and Vada have a friendship so consuming it’s hard to tell where one girl ends and the other begins. It’s intense. It’s a little codependent. And nothing can tear them apart.

Until an accident on an icy winter road changes everything.

Vada is left deeply scarred, both emotionally and physically. Her once-promising art career is cut short. And Ellis pulls away, unwilling to talk about that night. Everything Vada loved is gone.
She’s got nothing left to lose.

So when she meets some smooth-talking entrepreneurs who offer to set her up as a cam girl, she can’t say no. All Vada has to do is spend a couple hours each night stripping on webcam, and the “tips” come pouring in.

It’s just a kinky escape from reality until a client gets serious. “Blue” is mysterious, alluring, and more interested in Vada’s life than her body. Online, they chat intimately. Blue helps her heal. And he pays well, but he wants her all to himself. No more cam shows. It’s an easy decision: she’s starting to fall for him. But the steamier it gets, the more she craves the real man behind the keyboard. So Vada pops the question:

Can we meet IRL?

Blue agrees, on one condition. A condition that brings back a ghost from her past. Now Vada must confront the devastating secrets she's been running from—those of others, and those she's been keeping from herself...

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The Marble Collector – Cecilia Ahern
Release Date: 5th November 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Chick Lit
The poignant new bestseller from Cecelia Ahern.

The Marble Collector tells the story of a woman who discovers a collection of marbles in her father's belongings. On learning that part of the collection is missing, she embarks on a quest to relocate the missing marbles to complete the collection and also to understand and complete the picture of a man she realises she never fully knew. As she uncovers the story of a damaged childhood, she also comes to understand what is missing in herself.

Moving, thought-provoking and uplifting, The Marble Collector is a love story between a daughter and her father, and a man and his memories.

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Release Date: 10th November 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

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Number 9 – Colleen Hoover
Release Date: 10th November 2015
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Release Date: 12th November 2015
Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy
International No.1 bestselling author Trudi Canavan returns with the second novel in the Millennium's Rule series - her most powerful and thrilling adventure yet.


Tyen is teaching mechanical magic at a school respected throughout the worlds. News arrives that the formidable ruler of all worlds, long believed to be dead, is back and enforcing his old laws - including the one forbidding schools of magic. As teachers and students flee, Tyen is left with no home and no purpose... except the promise he made to Vella, the sorcerer imprisoned in a book. Tyen must decide what he is willing to do to free her.

After five years among the tapestry weavers of Schpeta, Rielle's peaceful new life has been shattered by a local war. As defeat looms, the powerful Angel of Storms appears and invites Rielle to join the artisans of his celestial realm. But what will he require in return for this extraordinary offer?

Strangely enough there aren’t any books I’m super excited about due to be realeased at the end of the month. If there are, I’ve forgotten about and please remind me about them below. I do admit, those last four books are definite buys for me, although they may get added to my Christmas list first as I never know what to ask for off of my family.

Do you think I’ve forgotten any books? Tell me about them below. And are you excited for any of the books on my list?