31 January 2016

Sunday Summary: 31.01.2016

Sunday Summary
I am exhausted! Normally we have a bit of downtime at work but it has just been non-stop this past month and I am exhausted. I’m not complaining, but I’m looking forward to being able to relax at work next week. At least for a day or two.

Unfortunately, this week I discovered that my phone is having a tantrum over my alarm going off. This has meant I’ve been waking up every couple of hours as I’m paranoid my alarm will disappear once more. It’s gone off three days in a row (which seems positive) but I’m still not fully convinced I’ve fixed the issue. This is one of the few times I’m glad to live at home so my mom can bang the door open and moan at me for not getting up before she leaves the house. It’s a good job we all leave the house before 7:30 otherwise I would definitely not get to work on time.

Apart from the drama of a phone alarm not working, I’ve done little. My brother has offically moved out, he has furniture and has done his first food shop. It’s all very exciting, but it means the dog is moping around the house because he knows one of us is missing. What is exciting is that I’ve learnt my brother own Ready Player One and I am totally stealing that book off of him.

What I’ve Been Reading

I’ve felt a bit off with reading this week. I read Match Me If You Can and was disappointed, which was annoying. I think that then set the tone for my other books. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to read, but I figured a Netgalley book may be necessary and so started reading The Girl From Everywhere, my bad bookish mood almost overflowed into this book, but thankfully the story picked up after the first third of the book and I was hooked. I really enjoyed it and decided a reread was necessary in the form of Nowhere But Here, I always forget how much I love Katie McGarry books until I read one and I’m glad this is my first reread of the year. My last book is one which has been on my shelf for a good two years, I think, and it’s called Half Bad. It’s interesting and I’m enjoying, although I wish books with first person narration would come with a warning, I’ve never been a fan of it.

New To Me

I know, I should have bought these books, but I’ve been dying to read When Joss Met Matt for a while and so when the price went to under £2 I had to swoop in and invest. As for Fated, I don’t have the second book in the Servants of Fate series, but I did read the first and liked it, so I bought this as an investment. It was £1 and I figured once I get the second one I can continue reading.

And that is my extremely dull week, even payday has not helped me be more exciting. I’m just too mentally drained to function lately. I am currently doing lots of home planning though, and I’m optimistic a trip to Ikea may be in my future (yay Ikea!).

How have you spent your weeks? Does anyone have any terrible stories about phone alarms not going off? And am I the only person in the world who isn’t woken with a cup of tea from their mom when at home, because that’s how everyone else at work is woken by their mom?

27 January 2016

Make Me Stay // That Romance I Didn't Know I Wanted

Published: 1st December 2015
Source: Headline Eternal
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
My Rating:
The fifth novel of heartwarming passion in the Hope series, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Play-By-Play. Perfect for fans of Jill Shalvis, Rachel Gibson and Bella Andre.

Sometimes love has a plan all of its own... Only the challenge of renovating a historic building could persuade architect Reid McCormack to return to his hometown of Hope. And once the job is finished, he's heading right back to Boston...no matter how drawn he is to beautiful florist Samantha Reasor. Samantha watches over her elderly grandmother and pours a piece of herself into every floral creation she designs. However sexy she finds Reid, she's resisting acting on her crush. Samantha's not in the market for a temporary fling - she wants something real, permanent...and forever. With such different outlooks, how can these two possibly work? Yet as their attraction grows deeper, Samantha and Reid realise that maybe love is the one thing they can build a future on.

Want more gorgeously romantic love stories? Don't miss the rest of this steamy series which began with Hope Flames . And check out Jaci's sexy sporting romance series beginning with The Perfect Play.
This book was the perfect romance read and I wasn’t expecting it, in more ways than one actually. I genuinely didn’t expect this book when it turned up in the post, I’d requested it on BookBridgr about 2 months ago because it’s a Headline Eternal book (they are my romance publisher in the UK, I love them, marry me?) but also because it was sold as being perfect for fans of Jill SHalvis, Rachel Gibson and Bella Andre, well that made it sound perfect for me. THe other reason I wasn’t expecting it, though, is because it’s the fifth book in the series and I’m always a bit wary of how I’ll take it. In some case it ends beautifully, but other times you live to regret it. I loved it and will be reading the other books in this series.

What’s It About And What Makes It Work?

The book is another smalltown romance, it’s set in the town of Hope and it’s all about Reid McCormack returning home for the refurbishment of an historic building and the connection he has with flower shop owner Samantha. Look, the romance is obvious, it was hinted at in other books, and it’s fun. It’s about a pair of people who were in no way looking for love (but who is in a romance novel) and end up forming a connection despite their mountain of reasons why they really shouldn’t and why the relationship between themm can’t possibly work. There are two major obstacles for the pair, one is Reid lives and works in Boston, and the second is Sam needs to stay in town as she is running her Gran’s business and she absolutely refuses to leave the last of her family.

The premise doesn’t sound original, but what romance does? This story works because of the characters Burton creates. Sam is a strong independent woman who wants to have fun, but spends a lot of her time feeling like a parent with an unruly teenager with the way she has to look out for her gran, and Reid is eager to remain unattached. He isn’t staying in town and doesn’t want to hurt anyone, he just wants to get a job done in restoring a building he loves, but it’s never easy to stay unattached in a smalltown, every reader knows that. ANd it’s the story and the entire cast of characters which really makes this book for me.

I liked the entire thing, I love a good romantic misunderstanding and this book was fun. I think fun in a romance read is important and you got that in spades with this one. You have a man in denial about what he wants in life, a woman committed to her family over her own needs, and most importantly, a dog called ‘Not My Dog’, what more could you ask for in a book?

But, Will You Like It?

I can tell you why I like this books easy, but, really, the only thing you want to know in a review is whether or not you should buy it. Well, I can’t really guarantee you a good read, because I don’t know all of you and your reading tastes, what I can tell you is if you like your romance funny and with a few obvious, but interesting, obstacles to the happy ending then this is the book for you. It does begin a bit dry as you get to know the characters, but once it gets going you find it hard to stop reading. All decent romance keeps you interested, and with the new developments and twists which happen in the book it’s difficult not to. As such, I would say any romance reader will enjoy, the summary is accurate, fans of Jill SHalvis and Bella Andre will enjoy this book.

This book was a perfect mid-series read, it had the perfect level of story and just another backstory on any characters that had popped up in previous books for you to not feel lost. The best thing is you get to see the forshadowing for future books, as any good romance series does. I love a good level of foreshadowing in a romance book, I want to know who I should be looking forward to visiting next, and I am most definitely excited to see what happens with Brady and Megan.

Have you read any of the Hope series, what did you think? And am I the only one who likes the ‘for fans of’ recommendations on books? They make me roll my eyes, yet they still draw me in.

25 January 2016

Does Anyone Else Sometimes Wish You Could Re-Review Books?

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My Thoughts is a feature where I attempt to write bookish discussions. If you had spent any time with me in real life you would learn I have this habit of blurting out random thoughts from time to time when I allow my mind to wander. It’s from these random thoughts these posts emerge as I attempt to write some coherent thoughts about what’s been on my mind. I am trying to combine this with my attempts at participating in the Discussion Challenge this year.

Do You Wish You Could Re-Review Books?

I recently read a review for Lair of Dreams by Genevieve at The Reading Shelf and I liked the review but it made me think about the book some more. I had read that book about 6 months ago and I remember struggling to fully formulate my thoughts after reading. I had enjoyed the story but a lot of things felt off from the first books and I felt a little let down after the long wait. I couldn’t fully pinpoint why, but after reading that review and thinking about the book I could identify the introduction of so many new characters and too many storylines being the source of my unhappiness with that book.

Now this isn’t a re-review of that book, so I won’t go into detail, but it did spark my thoughts now. Is is it ever okay to amend your review of a book? I know Rachel at Confessions of a Book Geek asked this question last year about reviewing your reviews but I am asking the same question now. Should we be able to go back and add an amendment to our original review because I know your thoughts change with time.

Maybe we should all wait a couple of weeks to write our reviews? This would give the book time to settle in our mind and our initial intense emotions to die down, allowing for logic to prevail. Who wants a logical review, though? The great thing about being a book blogger is that we are passionate about our feelings, that wouldn’t come through if we waited.

The other issue is we may forget significant points about the books, or even forget the story altogether. Surely that says something about the book if the story is so forgettable? But that happens to me all the time, because I read so much, sometimes books blur together, writing reviews actually helps me retain the story better. Sure, not all books are memorable and the story utterly unique, but that doesn’t mean they were any less good and enjoyable. Maybe what my reviews really need is a little amendment at the end with how memorable the story has been and whether or not I would reread. Rereadability is a thing I can not always say straight off, I have to wait and see if I am having cravings for that story once more.

I don’t know, it's just a silly thought I’ve been having, partially inspired by reading a review for a book I read a while ago, but also from listening to a Smart Bitches podcast where it was raised as a thought when looking back on their year of reading. At the time of reading and reviewing, with the book fresh in your mind, you do love (or hate) a book and have a lot of strong emotions about it, but in six months or a year later you may not even remember that book and I wish there was a way to tackle such a thing.

Does anyone else contemplate re-reviewing books? Do you add amendments to your reviews for anyone who may go back through your reviews? Tell me your thoughts on this matter.

24 January 2016

Sunday Summary: 24.01.2016

Sunday Summary
I have had a bit of a hectic week. I’ve been busy both with work and seeing friends and haven’t had as much of a chance to spend on my blog as I had orginally planned. I know it was partly me putting time aside for reading instead of blogging (that is not a bad thing) but I just lost all motivation this week. It’s probably due to the craziness of things at work (I won’t go into because I am bored of hearing about work, so I’m sure you guys are as well) and with some stuff going on with a friend that has kept my mind busy and left me wanting a bit of book escapism.

Let’s move on from the excuses and move to more positive things. My brother had finally had his house go through and is now a proud home owner! In my family, you don’t go and rent if you can avoid it so my brother and I have been saving money and living at home. He is lucky enough to be moving out in the next couple of weeks, once he’s sorted some basic furniture out. I am lucky enough to be helping him and clean and sort the house with what stuff he already has, aren’t I just so lucky? It’s good, though, I know he’s been antsy to get his own place so it’s good the older one of us can act like a real adult now.

What I’ve Been Reading

I have been a little reading machine this week… until I stalled this weekend. I read Not If I See You First on Sunday and I simply could not put it down, even when I wanted to. It was so interesting reading a book where there are no true visual descriptions as the main character is blind. Who knew how unessential that was with the details given from all the other senses. I read The Other Me at the beginning of the week I was looking for something different and enjoyed that. I then craved some romance in the form of NA book Last Will & Testament and then I read Before You thinking I would get some interesting romance with the culture difference but ended up a bit disappointed instead. I finished this week with Veronica Mars and The Thousand Dollar Tan Line and it was great, it felt like I was watching the TV series and I can feel a long rewatch in my future.

New To Me

Yes, that’s right, only one book added to my shelves and it’s a book I won on Twitter from Maximum Pop Books (again) it is signed and I am excited to read it… but also a bit concerned as it’s so different from my usual book. I’ll let you know how it goes.

And that is my week. I’m off to plan how I can make next week better, and also to plan my birthday celebrations next month. I’m thinking a trip somewhere, a spa day maybe, or some retail therapy. We shall see.

What are your plans for this weekend, done anything interesting? And does anyone have some good ideas of how to celebrate a birthday, I don't need to know specifics, just general ideas.

22 January 2016

25 Bookish Facts About Me

Rachel at Confessions of a Book Geek tagged me to give 25 bookish facts about myself. It took me a while to actually finish this post so I am so pleased to finally be posting it! It was really fun to write, though, to think about bookish me and what I’m like as a reader was weird and strangely interesting. I’m not completely sure I should reveal some of these bookish things to you guys, I am not always a great bookish person it seems. But you guys judge for yourselves.

#1. I am a book hoarder. I didn’t used to be, I had a huge book cull when I left for uni and upon my return, but I don’t like getting rid of books even slightly. I find it hard because I used to be massively into rereading old favourites, partially due to financial reasons (I was a poor student for 3 years and unemployed for a while after that) but also because rereading old favourites can be one of the most comforting things to do. As such, I hate to get rid of books because the urge to reread one of them will strike from time to time and I don’t want to not have it available.

#2. I hoard books digitally too. I am such a sucker for a Kindle deal it is ridiculous. I basically just need to pass my wages over each month to Amazon, I should have shares in the company considering the amount of Kindle books I buy. I don’t seem to be able to stop myself.

#3. I’m very particular about my GoodReads shelves. I like to have the corresponding cover to what I have on my shelf, it has to be the correct edition, and I am very particular about any read books having the right start and finish dates.

#4. Despite having OCD in regards to my digital GoodReads shelves my actual shelves are so disorganised. I actually did do a big clean of them recently, but you know how people have things alphabetised and organised by genre and cover? Yeah, that hasn’t happened. I have four shelves I can house my books on (and plenty of floor space) and so I have a general category for those shelves. Top is adult/romance, second shelf is fantasy of all types, third shelf is YA (except YA fantasy, unless it doesn’t fit on the fantasy shelf) and the bottom is miscellaneous. Yes, miscellaneous is a perfectly appropriate category.

#4. My shelving disorganisation extends to the digital realms too. You know how you can create collections on your Kindle and make it look all nice and pretty? Yeah, I don’t do that. I delete off what I read and just leave my unread editions and have to redownload if I feel the need to reread. About the only organisation I have is I have a finished collection (in case I forget what I’ve read already… it’s happened) and I have a favourites collection (because it makes them easier to find when the reading urge takes over). If you can advise of a better way to sort it would be appreciated as currently I have over 100 unread books (did I mention my book buying problem?)

#5. I am an impulse book buyer. I’ve said it before and I will say it agin, I have a book buying problem. To my shame I am an impulse book buyer who doesn’t always read the books she impulse bought. I have books which have been on my shelves since uni. Since Uni! I graduated 3 years ago, why have I not read these books?
#6. I get the worst book envy. It is the reason for my many impulse book buys. I see what people have and want it, I want all these pretty books and overflowing shelves and I want to claim them for myself. My jealousy leads me to buying books left right and centre because I want to enjoy the too, except I find my book buying impulses are very much aspirational because I have very little hope of catching up on this reading anytime soon.

#7. I am terrible for carrying on reading a book even when I’m not enjoying myself. DNF? What is that concept? I frequently begin and put down books after the first chapter, or page, but I never put down a book if I’ve actually committed significant time to it. I think I’ve DNF’d about 2 or 3 books this entire year. Really, I’m far more likely to skim read a book to see what happens than put it down. No matter how much I’m not enjoying it. It may be a waste of precious reading time, but I don’t want to be a quitter.

#8. I am a cover snob. Not only do I get major book envy  but I also get cover envy. I want the prettiest edition of a book, not just the one that’s available easily or the cheapest option. Sure, sometimes I will pick the cheap option for convenience, but I continually want to add the nicest looking books to my shelves. It’s why I own more books than I have the chance to read.

#9. I am the worst about going to the library. I know I should borrow rather than buying, my bank balance would thank me immensely, but I’m not big fan of them for some reason. I should support my local library more, especially as they are cutting funding and jobs and handing a lot of control over to a volunteer organisation due to budget cuts, but still I can’t bring myself to go there often.

#10. I don’t like the idea of picking favourites. It’s a thing, I’m a poor decision maker anyway so favourites is a difficult concept for me. I have lots of favourites depending on mood and genre.
#11. I am an easy to please reader, as shown by my star ratings. Honestly, if I like a book there is very little difference in my rating. It’s all about how much I enjoy it, if I’m bored it’s bad, but everything else gets 4 stars.

#12. I used to read exclusively on my Kindle (for price and convenience) but now I’ve become a major physical copy owner. Seriously, it’s strange having so many piles of books. It used to be small and manageable but as I said before, blogging ruined things for me.

#13. Whilst we’re on the topic of how I like to read, I am a massive fan of hardbacks. I’m terrible at reading them (they’re heavy!) but they look just beautiful on your shelf and they feel like how books should, thick and heavy and luxury. The price is the only other issue.

#14. I abuse books. I used to be terrible for dogearing pages and the amount of food and crap I get on my books is shocking, it’s only recently I’ve begun to look after them like a sensible person.

#15. Sometimes I get the idea of a book I want to read in my head, but it doesn’t actually exist. I will watch TV and get an idea in my head of the story I want to be reading and it’s awful because normally I can’t find a book which fits my idea. I know, maybe I should write my idea instead… but that is just a ridiculous idea for too many reasons.
#16. I read a lot of YA but for some reason I find it hard to read MG. I know it’s all basically determined by your MCs age, but if my character is too young I find it hard to connect to them. There are exceptions, of course, I love Harry Potter, Phillip Pullman’s Golden Compass series was fantastic, I really enjoyed The Glass Sentence, so MG can work, but I’m far more wary of it at the same time.

#17. I absolutely love reading, but I don’t talk about books very much in real life. So few of my friends are massive readers so I don’t get much chance to fail about a book I loved. Sometimes I can talk to my brother about them, but as a whole my blog is my fangirling outlet.

#18. I feel guilty when I’m not reading something. Anyone who visits on Sundays here on my blog will have seen my Sunday Summary posts and will see I average 3 or 4 books a week, this is partly because my commute give me major reading time, but it’s also because I feel guilty if I don’t have a book on the go. It’s stupid, but there you go.

#19. If a book takes longer than about three days for me to finish then I worry I’m not enjoying it. I am a speed reader, normally, so if a book is taking me too long to finish I begin questioning my enjoyment. This is also a bit weird, because some books are ones you have to savour and not devour, but my brain forgets this sometimes.
#20. I have the worst book amnesia. It is one of the pitfalls of reading so many books, some really special ones stand out, but too often my books fade in my memory. I remember vague bits about them which drives me to reread them. I think that’s one of the bonuses of book amnesia, you find yourself enjoying books more in rereading because you don’t remember everything.

#21. I never used to understand people owning signed editions or limited editions of books. The content is all the same right, who cares about the rest when we’re all reading the same story? That has changed lately, I want the fancy copies of books and the signed books and who knows where this change of opinion has come from, but there you go. I blame blogging and Instagram.

#22. My books do not leave the house unless under duress. I don’t know why, but my books are house books. I worry too much about damaging their pretty pretty covers (I am a reformed book abuser, it seems) so I can’t take them anywhere.

#23. I love combining books and music, or I like listening to other people’s ideas for combining them. Seriously, bookish playlists are my jam, and I love listening to them.

#24. I am either swept up into reading a book immediately from people’s recommendations, or I put off reading it indefinitely. I don’t know why I’m like that, but I am. Maybe it’s fear of being disappointed in a book, or maybe me being stubborn wanting to stumble across independently. Who knows?

#25. You’ll know when I’ve loved a book because I become a walking advertisement for it. I do it in every aspect of my life, when I love something I learn everything about it and spout off random facts to anyone who will listen. I simply cannot help it.

God, it was both easy and impossibly hard thinking up bookish facts about myself. Who would think writing bookish things about yourself would be so difficult? I hope you’ve enjoyed reading, though, and please feel free to do the tag too. I tag you so I can learn more about you (what is more fun than remembering bloggers are people too).

Do you have any strange bookish facts about yourself? Please tell me about them, I love stuff like that.

19 January 2016

Top Ten Books I've Recently Added To My TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week’s theme is all about the best books I’ve recently added to my TBR list and why I’ve added them.

I am continually adding new books to my TBR and my to buy lists. I am actually doing this post based on the newest additions to my to buy list, which includes old books, new books, and those awaiting release. Just so you’re aware. I’m doing this because my TBR books are those I actually own, and I’m not allowed to buy any new ones (or, I’m not meant to).

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Seed loves you. Seed will never let you go.

Fifteen-year-old Pearl has lived her whole life protected within the small community at Seed, where they worship Nature and idolise their leader, Papa S. When some outsiders arrive, everything changes. Pearl experiences feelings that she never knew existed and begins to realise that there is darkness at the heart of Seed. A darkness from which she must escape, before it's too late.
I discovered this book during the #YAtakeover on Twitter and I have been excited to read ever since. I’ve got a few other books to read first before I buy this one, but I know this is one I want to read. It sounds dark and I’ve been warned to have tissues at the ready, but it just sounds so intense and absorbing that I need it in my life.

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Seventeen-year-old Tamsen Baird didn’t set out to become a teenage widow. All she did was fall in love and get married. But when her nineteen-year-old husband, Noah, dies suddenly in the middle of the night, her whole life changes. Now Tam is forced to return to the existence she thought she’d left behind—beginning with moving back home and finishing high school. But in order to overcome her loss and find her way forward, she’ll need to reinvent herself and reach out to others in ways she never imagined. She’ll need to open herself up to living—and even loving—again.

In Young Widows Club, Alexandra Coutts depicts a teenager whose struggle with grief and disappointment is heartbreakingly real and, in the end, powerfully uplifting.
This is a book that sounds both incredibly appealling and a little bit daunting. It sounds so interesting, though, that I can’t help but want to read it. Even though it hasn’t been published in the UK I am eyeing up copies online to order and I know I shouldn’t but it’s hard to talk myself out of it.

Firsts – Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.
This book sounds like my kind of book. I’ve seen good and middling reviews for it, but I don’t care, I want to read it. It’s another YA contemporary, I know, but that’s what I’ve been browsing lately, you know?

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera
When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn't expecting much. The Wayfarer, a patched-up ship that's seen better days, offers her everything she could possibly want: a small, quiet spot to call home for a while, adventure in far-off corners of the galaxy, and distance from her troubled past.

But Rosemary gets more than she bargained for with theWayfarer. The crew is a mishmash of species and personalities, from Sissix, the friendly reptillian pilot, to Kizzy and Jenks, the constantly sparring engineers who keep the ship running. Life on board is chaotic, but more or less peaceful - exactly what Rosemary wants.

Until the crew are offered the job of a lifetime: the chance to build a hyperspace tunnel to a distant planet. They'll earn enough money to live comfortably for years... if they survive the long trip through war-torn interstellar space without endangering any of the fragile alliances that keep the galaxy peaceful.

But Rosemary isn't the only person on board with secrets to hide, and the crew will soon discover that space may be vast, but spaceships are very small indeed.
I blame Twitter for my strong need to read this book. The cover kept popping up on my feed (I think the puclisher kept tweeting about it) and I thought it was so pretty every time and eventually I just thought, screw it, let’s find out what this book is about. After that I have been obsessively checking the shelves at my local bookshop for it because if I happen to stumble across it on the shelf it would be rude not to buy.

Like No Other – Una LaMarche
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Fate brought them together. Will life tear them apart? Devorah is a consummate good girl who has never challenged the ways of her strict Hasidic upbringing. Jaxon is a fun-loving, book-smart nerd who has never been comfortable around girls (unless you count his four younger sisters). They've spent their entire lives in Brooklyn, on opposite sides of the same street. Their paths never crossed...until one day, they did.

When a hurricane strikes the Northeast, the pair becomes stranded in an elevator together, where fate leaves them no choice but to make an otherwise risky connection. Though their relationship is strictly forbidden, Devorah and Jaxon arrange secret meetings and risk everything to be together. But how far can they go? Just how much are they willing to give up?
This book was a complete surprise of a discovery and I can’t remember what article I was reading, but I feel it was Book Riot, but I just needed this book in my life like crazy. This book certainly sounds original and I cannot wait to buy it and start reading.

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
A breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer is the story of:
the aftermath of a war between gods and men.
a mysterious city stripped of its name.
a mythic hero with blood on his hands.
a young librarian with a singular dream.
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled.
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.
So, technically this book isn’t out until September and it has been on my radar ever since it was announced Laini Taylor had a new book coming out, but now we have a book tital and a proposed release date and so I will be buying this. This will be pre-ordered I want this book that much. Just so you know.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend – Katarina Bivald
Genre: Chick-Lit, Romance, Contemporary
The International Bestseller

Sara is 28 and has never been outside Sweden – except in the (many) books she reads. When her elderly penfriend Amy invites her to come and visit her in Broken Wheel, Iowa, Sara decides it’s time. But when she arrives, there’s a twist waiting for her – Amy has died. Finding herself utterly alone in a dead woman’s house in the middle of nowhere was not the holiday Sara had in mind.

But Sara discovers she is not exactly alone. For here in this town so broken it’s almost beyond repair are all the people she’s come to know through Amy’s letters: poor George, fierce Grace, buttoned-up Caroline and Amy’s guarded nephew Tom.

Sara quickly realises that Broken Wheel is in desperate need of some adventure, a dose of self-help and perhaps a little romance, too. In short, this is a town in need of a bookshop.
This book I stumbled across a few weeks ago and I really want to read. It looks like there is a UK paperback being released in August so I will wait until then to get reading, but this books appeals to me on so many levels. The main appeal is it is a book about books, I love it!

Infinite Number BGcvr.indd
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
As their senior year approaches, four diverse friends joined by their weekly Dungeons & Dragons game struggle to figure out real life. Archie's trying to cope with the lingering effects of his parents' divorce, Mari's considering an opportunity to contact her biological mother, Dante's working up the courage to come out to his friends, and Sam's clinging to a failing relationship. The four eventually embark on a cross-country road trip in an attempt to solve--or to avoid--their problems.

Told in the narrative style of Akira Kurosawa's RASHOMAN, AN INFINITE NUMBER OF PARALLEL UNIVERSES is at turns geeky, funny, and lyrical as it tells a story about that time in life when friends need each other to become more than just people that hang out.
Look, this book sounds good okay. I know it’s another contemporary, but I have found so many good ones lately I really want to read. ALso, I like the fact thes is all about four friends who play Dungeons & Dragons, the geekiness of the concept appeals to me.

Other Broking Things – C. Desir
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
From the author of Bleed Like Me, which Booklist called edgy, dark, and turbulent with passion comes another compelling and gritty novel about addiction and forbidden romance, starring a fearless, unforgettable heroine.

Natalie's not an alcoholic. She doesn't have a problem. Everybody parties, everybody does stupid things, like getting in their car when they can barely see. Still, with six months of court-ordered AA meetings required, her days of vodka-filled water bottles are over.
Unfortunately, her old friends want the party girl or nothing. Even her up-for-anything ex seems more interested in rehashing the past than actually helping Nat.

But then a recovering alcoholic named Joe inserts himself into Nat's life, and things start looking up. Joe is funny, he's smart, and he calls her out in a way no one ever has.

He's also older. A lot older.

Nat's connection to Joe is overwhelming, but so are her attempts to fit back into her old world, all while battling the constant urge to crack a bottle and blur that one thing she's been desperate to forget.

Now, in order to make a different kind of life, Nat must pull together her broken parts and learn to fight for herself.
This book (another contemporary) just sounds interesting. The concept of a teenager going to AA intrigues me because there are teenagers drinking too much and partying too hard, beyond the point of it being normal teenage rebellion. Then the slightly weird idea of her spednign time with an older guy whilst she is trying to figure out who she’s going to be if not a wild party girl. ALl of it just appeals to me.

Genre: Romance, Contemporary
This just in: romance takes center stage as West End theatre's Richard Troy steps out with none other than castmate Elaine Graham

Richard Troy used to be the hottest actor in London, but the only thing firing up lately is his temper. We all love to love a bad boy, but Richard's antics have made him Enemy Number One, breaking the hearts of fans across the city.

Have the tides turned? Has English rose Lainie Graham made him into a new man?

Sources say the mismatched pair has been spotted at multiple events, arm in arm and hip to hip. From fits of jealousy to longing looks and heated whispers, onlookers are stunned by this blooming romance.

Could the rumors be right? Could this unlikely romance be the real thing? Or are these gifted stage actors playing us all?
This is not, technically, a new addition to my TBR shelf, but it is one that is so high up there on my to buy list that I am pretty sure I will buy it soon regardless of my book buying ban rules because that is how much I want this book in my life. You do not even understand how much I want to read it after all the good thigns I’ve heard about it.

Have you got any books you’re so excited to buy you can barely contain yourself? And do you find yourself getting stuck in one genre when browsing books because that’s what you craving at that moment?

18 January 2016

Gone To The Movies: Romancing The Stone

So, as you probably saw the other week, Kaja and I were meant to have two joint posts coming up… but due to Kaja’s busy schedule we have only managed to both fit in Gone To The Movies and Celebrating Cliches is going on the backburner for a little while… but that’s okay because this is the more fun feature. We’re watching films and then telling you about them, how could that not be fun?

Gone To The Movies is a joint feature Kaja and I are doing where we watch romance films and then write a review. It’ll be one film a month to happen in the middle of the month (I think we agreed the third Monday of each month… but don’t take my word for it) and is just a fun feature which gives me an excuse to watch romance films. This feature developed from my review for All I Want, the newest book in Jill Shalvis’s Animal Magnetism series, where I said that the book reminded of the classic 80s romance film Romancing the Stone. Kaja mentioned she hadn’t watched in ages and I felt a strong need to rewatch considering it was New Years and I was drinking last time I saw it and then this feature was born.


Romancing The Stone (1984)

A dowdy romantic-adventure writer is hurled into a real-life adventure in the Colombian jungle in order to save her sister, who will be killed if a treasure map is not delivered to her captors. She is helped out by a brash mercenary, and together they search for the priceless gem located in the map. (From Google)

I didn’t know how to review this. I mean, where do you start when reviewing a film? I write little things down when watching (I know, what a geek) but they don’t exactly help me review this. They are comments like ‘Am I the only one who wants to read a Joan Wilder romance novel?’ and ‘I feel like she planned very poorly for this trip. I mean look at those shoes! And she is so gullible, do not trust a man with a dodgy moustache!’. Those thoughts are not exactly helpful when it comes to a review, it just demonstrates my thoughts throughout the film. And I have 2 pages of these thoughts. These are the things I would have tweeted if I had known where my phone was when watching the film (I was sat on it, but it was under the blankets I was wrapped in so that’s why I couldn’t feel it).

I will begin by saying I cannot recommend this film enough for fans of romance, it’s fun and hilarious and oh so very dated, but oh so very fun. It’s just a fun easy watch, a Sunday afternoon type film. Or better yet, a cold Friday night film to watch in your pyjamas (cocktails optional). I told my mom I sat watching it and she rolled her eyes and asked me why… all I could say is why not? I do not look for groundbreaking storylines when it comes to films, I want some enjoyable escapism for a couple of hours and you get this with this film.

The Story

Does this story make much sense? Well, not really. A romance writer’s sister ends up kidnapped and Joan Wilder must take the treasure map to the kidnappers in Columbia to ensure her safe return? That sounds a bit far-fetched and melodramatic (very old school romance novel) but I’ll go with it. But then she takes poor advice from a suspicious stranger and gets held at gunpoint and then rescued by aanother random stranger who is a mercenary. They then go trapising the jungle chased by the police and an incompetent kidnapper (Danny DeVito) and slowly begin falling for one another.

It’s a ridiculous plot that makes no sense. I did continually find myself having to suspend disbelief with the very obvious plot deivces used to bring the couple closer together. It was such an obvious story… but it was also insanely fun. I think the highlight of the film was when they ended up at the village of a drug lord who was all ready to shoot the couple until he discovered that it was Joan Wilder at his door, he then announced his love for her books (he reads them to his men on Satudays). I loved the idea of this stereotypical tough guy reading her books and being a fan. Also, the car chase which followed was fun as well. That was a highlight of the film for me, along with the crocodile at the end.

The Romance

This is the most obvious part of the review that I knew had to be included. Is the romance any good? Sometimes films do get it wrong, they miscast people and I just don’t believe the romance… this is not one of those cases. I did feel it was a bit rushed, but then they were in a really intense situation so emotions were heightened. That, and Jack was sort of trying to seduce Joan to get the map, but then he changed his mind.

Look, this is a ridiculous romance, but it is the most insanely fun and I loved that it happened like it would in a romance novel. One of those over the top type romance novels Joan Wilder totally writes. I didn’t get frustrated and throw my hands up in despair at the romance, I just got lost in it. This is a ver indulgent romance, not one of those intense ones, just enjoyable and fun. A great place to kick this feature off.

So… Did I Like It?

Well, duh. Of course I liked it. This was the msot ridiculous and fun film I have watched in a while. It was just plain old sugary sweet with a bit of adventure thrown in. I love a good fish out of water tale, and this most definitely describes Joan’s adventure in Columbia. She had no clue what she was doing half the time, but she managed to cope, and not just because Jack came to her rescue, but because she’s strong and can get through anything. I loved it all, I loved the characters and the crazy storyline and the general ridiculousness and I will probably watch Jewel of the Nile because I never seen that and surely it must at least partially compare to the first, right?

Please check out Kaja’s post as well and don’t forget to join us next month where we’ll be watching When Harry Met Sally because how could we not include that film in our watch list?

Have you seen Romancing the Stone? Did the cheesy ridiculous appeal to you or was it just too much? Are you a fan of romance films or they a bit too much and make you roll your eyes right out of your head?

17 January 2016

Sunday Summary: 17.01.2016

Sunday Summary
I think the theme of my week has been me being extremely cold. Like freezing. Places in the UK have had actual snow! I mean, we had a sprinking here, but other places it looked white outside. After having such a mild beginning to winter and mostly just being concerned we’d all be washed out of the UK it came as a bit of a shock to actually need my scarf when leaving the house. I’ve also developed a bit of a cold which leaves me tired and with a sore throat. It’s nothing to complain about (not that that stops me) it just sort of sucks because I am bad at being ill in any way shape or form.

I’ve actually had quite a relaxed week, I intended to try and be present on Twitter (I may have grasped a vague understanding of how the things works) but then decided TV and books were more appropriate ways to spend my time.

I was actually at a family party on Saturday afternoon, it was my cousin’s birthday… she’s two. And she’s not actually my cousin, she’s my second cousin twice removed or somthing like that, but it was a family party regardless. All I can say is I felt a bit awkward (as I do at most social occasions) but I also had not realised how touchy feely my family is. I have not been hugged and kissed on the cheek co much in my life, and considering I see these people about once a year, if that, it made me feel incredibly uncomfortable. I felt like announcing I was implementing a personal bubble but it turns out you aren’t allowed to do that with family. I can’t be the only one who would much prefer an awkward wave across the room to a full embrace from that great aunt you haven’t seen for five years?

What I’ve Been Reading

My reading this week has been really enjoyable. I read The Immortal Rules and really liked this flawed character and her journey as a vampire. I even bought the second book in the series and was looking at reviews on GoodReads to see what the next two books were like, and then spoiled myself completely (my own fault there) with what happens in the third book and it was something that made me roll my eyes so much they could have fallen our of my head. It was such a massive cliche and it genuineally put me off, so I returned the second book and decided to pretend the first book was a standalone so as not to ruin things for myself.

The rest of the books I’ve read this week have, thankfully, not been so frustrating. I finished the Inheritance trilogy and the third book was good, but definitely not as good as the first two. I read Everything Everything, a book I never intended to read until it came in my Ravenpost box, and loved it. I started reading it at 8pm and sat reading until the end. It’s a surprisingly quick read, but so enjoyable. As for When We Collided, it’s fantastic, I expected no less from Emery Lord and will eventually write a review in time for the release in April, so I may even get a reread in.

New To Me

Look, I am fully aware I shouldn’t be buying any more books. I bought I book I’ve already read, which is one way I am tackling my book buying ban. By buying books I’ve read previously (normally ARCs or library books I’ve read and want to own), I am buying new books to me, but not new unread books. It makes sense, right? I did buy one new book, but I got it for £7 for a hardcover and I just couldn’t resist. I’ve read three physical books so far this year, it’s almost five right? I will not even look at books (mostly) next week and until the end of the month because I can now tell I get paid early in December and January is turning into a loooong month for me money wise.

There you have it, I haven’t been thrilling but I’ve been slightly social (and not hungover) this week. How have your weeks been? Does anyone both dread and love family parties with the fun, if occasionally awkward, moments that come along with them? And does anyone else try buying old books to feed their book buying addiction?

14 January 2016

The Warrior Vampire // Proof That Series Get Better As They Go

Published: 1st December 2015
Source: Publisher (Headline Eternal)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
My Rating:
The vampire was built for sin, every inch of him tight and bulky with corded muscle. A killer, that much was apparent, and she couldn't help but wonder if his appetite for violence would rival his appetites for other...things.


Naya Morales is no ordinary mortal. Born with a shaman's power, she has devoted her life to tracking down stolen magic—and punishing those who take it. But one fateful night, she follows the alluring call of a sensual magic that is too glorious to be true—and finds herself face to face with a stunningly handsome thief who is too magnificent to resist...


From the moment he sees her, Ronan knows Naya is his mate. Driven by a deep, almost mystical connection, he aches for her body, hungers for her blood, and swears their souls are anchored together. Naya refuses to believe the words of a vampire—or risk the wrath of her tribe. But when she tries to make Ronan her prisoner, neither chains of silver nor fires of hell can help her escape the truth: she is the one who's been captured...
I read The Last True Vampire a few months back after making an impulse request for it on BookBridgr and I enjoyed it, but it didn’t make me fall in love with the paranormal genre. You would think I wouldn’t want to read the next book in the series… and you would be wrong.

Let Me Explain How I Struggle Through And Refuse To Give Up On Anything… Ever!

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I don’t find it easy to give up on things. Be it people, books, or that really annoying level in a game which I just can’t get past but I will relentlessly keep trying even after I’ve very loudly announced I’m giving up. I will frequently say I will be giving something up… but then just don’t. It’s why my book buying bans go so poorly, and it’s why I am still playing Candy Crush long after everyone else has given up. It’s because I am stubborn, so when I begin a book series I tend to like to persevere, even if I wasn’t thrilled by the first book. I, at least, have to attempt the second before I consider abandoning, and even then it doesn’t mean I won’t continue reading, I’ll just complain loudly that I am even though I said I wouldn’t.

What was the point of my long ramble about my stubbornness? The point is I may not have been completely enamoured with The Last True Vampire, but I could see the potential in the story, so I obviously went and requested the second book The Warrior Vampire for review. It’s at moments like this I am glad for my unwillingness to give up because this was a really fun book. Is the story groundbreaking? No. Is the entire concept original? No. Do I care either way? Hell no. This is a great paranormal romance with really enjoyable characters… what more do I need?

The Romance Was Awesome, Why Did I Not Notice Ronan Sooner?

So, this book is a continuation of the first book, but following a different character’s story. You are now learning about Naya and Ronan. Ronan was an awesome-sauce guy from the first book who really solidifies his greatness in this book, although he also amnesia, so that was a bit annoying. As for Naya, she is totally new and you get to learn about a whole other part of this paranormal world with shamans who follow the spirit road (yeah, still not totally clear on that one) and they also happen to have shapeshifters and the shamans and shifters live in tribes?

Okay, so not all of it is totally logical, but did I sign up for logic? Hells no, I signed up for a steamy romance and boy does Baxter deliver in spades. Naya and Ronan have sizzling chemistry in this book and I was cheering them on every step of the way. Naya had her own issues to deal with, predominantly the sheer lack of control she’s had in her life thus far (and it’s longer than you think) and Ronan is dealing with the fact he has total amnesia from arriving in town and he really doesn’t know what’s going on but he needs to find his sister. It’s all a bit crazy so you can see why the two struggled to get together. When they were together though it was good. I love romance, and their romance is perfect, definitely better than the romance in the first book, there was barely any eye rolling (high praise for romance… I love the genre but it deserves an eye roll now and again).

So We Have A Solid Story and a Steamy Romance… Any Complaints?

I like to complain, but I am terrible at finding fault with things, but there was one thing which made me roll my eyes. I am going to tell you now… this is a bit spoilery if you haven’t read the first book, but only mildly, the romance in The Last True Vampire is between Mikhael and Claire and Claire is human, a series of events leads to Claire becoming something different altogether and it means she’s no longer mortal. That was annoying that they conveniently got rid of the mortal thing when they already stated she couldn’t be turned, but then in this book Naya is a shaman, I was thinking she would have a normal mortal life… oh no. She gets to live for an indefinite amount of time it seems, and that seemed very convenient.

WHen you’re reading a book about vampires you kind of expect there to be some issue about the fact that vampires are immortal and humans are just not, especially when it’s established that humans cannot be turned. I want some conflict about mortality and the fact that a couple will have a fixed amount of time together. Is that just me wanting a bit of angst and drama? I want things to be more difficult than they have been in these books.

I have to say, that is my only complaint about this story, though. And it’s a minor thing which happens too frequently in books of any genre, authors taking their creative licence a bit far and forcing me to suspend my disbelief. It’s annoying, but it’s not book ruining, it’s just a thing I wanted to open my mouth and gripe about really.

So We’ve Had The Good And The Bad And Surprisingly No Ugly, Let’s Wrap It Up

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I announced my enjoyment on Instagram and I want to tell you again now. This book made me excited for the next book, The Dark Vampire and made me glad I’d persevered. I enjoyed reading this romance and I didn’t cringe or get bored, I wanted to find out the mystery of Ronan and I really wanted Naya and Ronan to get together. Too frequently you can feel like your along for the ride in romances and that it is really just sex scenes interspersed with a basic story, this one is the other way round. You have a solid story interspersed with a steamy romance. It’s great, I love when people put the effort into giving you a story. Paranormal romance is better than most genres for attempting a decent story, I will give it that, and this book definitely delivers.

I know this book won’t be for everyone, what book is? It will suit paranormal romance fans, I reckon so anyway. I think you’ll enjoy the story and the characters… or I hope so anyway.

Have you read this books, or any decent vampire romances really? And what is your favourite paranormal romance, I am slowly exploring the genre and recommendations are needed.

12 January 2016

Top Ten 2015 Releases I Meant To Get To But Didn't

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week’s theme is all about what releases I intended to read last year and simply didn’t I will link to the Goodreads pages for each book and leave you to go looking into what they are all about, I think.
Everyone has been raving about this book, I was aware of it six months before it was released and still didn’t buy it because I was so aware I should wait. It’s okay, though, because I’ve learnt it’s getting released properly here in the UK this year (this month even) so I’m being given a second chance at reading this one.

I have adored Trish Doller ever since I read Where The Stars Still Shine so I was obviously excied for this book. But then it got released (not here in the UK) and I didn’t really hear much mention of it and it basically accidentally slipped off of my radar. I am annoyed at myself for forgetting about it but I definitely plan on buying it… eventually.

This is another book I was so excited for. I loved the sound of it, the premise was so original, but with the Kindle price being so high I just didn’t end up buying it. I am a fan of cheap books and hate paying more for a Kindle copy than you would for anormal book so this book was put on the backburner for the price to drop and it never has (why do you so this to me books?) but hopefully 2016 will be this books year for me.
I was so excited for this book, it had a stunning cover and the idea sounded so original, but then it came out and I saw bad reviews and I was put off. Why do I let other people’s opinions put me off reading so easily? It’s not right and so I do and try to avoid negative reviews whereever possible (only for books I haven’t read yet) so I can form my own opinion first.

Look, I’m going to be honest, this was another case of not being willing to pay more for a book. I am a cheapskate in I don’t like paying too much for an individual book and so I put off reading this book. It was also a case of me simply not being in the mood for this book as well, though. I just haven’t fancied a NA read since it’s been released, and when I have I’ve been trying to read what I own first.

I wanted to read this ever since I read Holly Black’s short story in My True Love Gave To Me and then I got distracted with other books and kepy waiting and waiting for this one saying it would be my next purchase and it never was. I don’t know why I wait so long, but it’s stupid. I will hopefully read this in 2016, but don’t hold me to it.

Look, this book was discovered when I was searching for diverse books and I cannot believe I still haven’t bought it. I am sometimes tempted to do a massive book order of all the books I’m putting off buying and to just indulge, if I did this book would be included. Doesn’t it just sound like the most amazing read? A book about a girl being forced into an arranged marriage sounds amazing to me.
So, this book was released quite recently, so it’s understandable if I didn’t quite get to it at the end of last year, but seriously. I haven’t even looked at buying it yet. Partly because I keep getting put off by the number of pages, but also because I am a shamless lazy person

I stumbled acorss this book completely by accident. I didn’t know a thing about it and I saw it on a roundup post of some sort and once I looked into what the book was about (I was drawn in by the cover, don’t judge me) I was fully convicned this was a book I needed in my life. Sadly, the price and my unwillingness to spend too much an individual book led me to wait and then other books sadly took priority, I will re buying this book, eventually.

This one was released last year (technically) and I do own the first book on my Kindle, before I then bought a paperback copy for rereading (and because I needed a copy on my shelf and for lending purposes) and I really really want to read this book. I loved Seraphina and really want to reread it this year, luckily for me there is a UK paperback copy being released in March 2016 for this book so I can arrange a reread in time for this to be released and I can get reading. I love duologies and I need to get better at finsihing series.

T.ere you have the books I didn’t get to in 2015 and feel bad about. I will prioritise buying all of these books over other (probably).

Do you find yourself put off from buying books for stupid reasons and then begin regretting it later?