WWW Wednesday: 21st August 2019

The WWW Wednesday meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words and is a great way to do a weekly update on what you’ve been reading and what you have planned.

WWW Wednesday

To take part all you have to do is answer the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently ReadingImaginary Friend

As expected I haven’t quite managed to finish Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky as yet but I only have around 10% left to go so I should be done today or tomorrow. I’ve never read Perks of Being a Wallflower so this is my first book by Chbosky and I’ve been really enjoying it. Given it’s a horror I get the impression it’s very different from Perks but I do like his writing style. At over 700 pages it is a lot longer than the books I usually read but it’s kept me pretty much hooked throughout (to the extent that I almost missed my stop on the train twice). I have read some not so great things about the ending but fingers crossed it doesn’t let me down.Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1)

On audio I’ve been listening to Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. I’ve had a copy of the book for a couple of years now and have tried to read it more than once but somehow never made it past the first few pages. The audio does seem to be working a lot better for me, the narrator is brilliant and really brings it to life, but I suspect I’m going to switch back to the book at some point as I’m going to see Kristoff at the start of September and I take too long with audios to have it (and hopefully Godsgrave) finished in time.

Recently Finished

No books finished this week unfortunately, I blame the cat.

Reading Next

I just realized at the weekend that it’s just over two weeks till I go see Jay Kristoff and I’ve read exactly one of his books (or given he co wrote Aurora Rising, half a book). I’ve therefore decided to make the next two weeks a Kristoff-athon. I for sure want to finish Nevernight and Godsgrave but I also have Lifel1k3 lined up too.

Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle, #2)LIFEL1K3 (Lifelike, #1)

Have you read any of the books on my list this week? Any others you’d recommend? As always please feel free to leave comments and links below.

Happy Reading ❤

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WWW Wednesday: 14th August 2019

The WWW Wednesday meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words and is a great way to do a weekly update on what you’ve been reading and what you have planned.

WWW Wednesday

To take part all you have to do is answer the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently ReadingImaginary Friend

I’ve been jumping around between a lot of different books over the last couple of days as I couldn’t decide what I wanted to read but I think I’ve finally settled on Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky. I haven’t made a huge amount of progress, I’m only around 3% in but so far I’m really enjoying it. I was surprised to discover it was a horror, I should probably read blurbs before requesting, but it did just make me even more excited about it than I was. I’m hoping for something creepy.

On audio I’ve been listening to Daisy Jones and the Six but unfortunately it returned itself to the library an hour ago so it’s now on hold again. Not too fussed as I’ve already read it but I was enjoying the audio version.

Recently Finished

The Risk (Briar U, #2)

I thought I’d finally gotten my reading mojo back at the weekend as I successfully finished two books but my cat seems to be unwell again (he’s off to the vet tomorrow) and work has been a bit nuts so I’ve lost concentration yet again.

The first book I finished was The Risk by Elle Kennedy. I do love Elle Kennedy books and this, the second in the Briar U series, was a lot of fun to read. I loved both of the main characters but Brenna is one of my fave Kennedy characters so far. She’s just so confident and self assured despite not having the happiest of pasts. There are a lot of feels in this story.Sorcery of Thorns

After The Risk I decided to pick up one of the YA fantasy books I’ve had lurking on my NetGalley shelf for a while, Sorcery of Thorns. I had somehow managed to avoid all of the reviews of this and hadn’t read the blurb so didn’t know what it was about but it pleasantly surprised me. I love books about books and libraries and I loved the idea of these magical books that can transform into monsters. Elisabeth makes for a great main character but it was a certain demon who fascinated me the most. There is something holding me back from really loving this (I can’t quite put my finger on what) but I would recommend.

Reading Next

Given Imaginary Friend is over 700 pages and I’ve been struggling to find time to read I suspect I’ll still be reading it next week but in the event I do finish it I suspect I’ll pick up either The Six by Luca Veste or The Lost Ones by Anita Frank.

The SixThe Lost Ones

Have you read any of the books on my list this week? Any others you’d recommend? As always please feel free to leave comments and links below.

Happy Reading ❤

Review: Someone We Know by Shari Lapena

Someone We Know
Someone We Know
by Shari Lapena

Having read and loved Lapena’s previous book, An Unwanted Guest, I was very excited to pick up her latest. Unfortunately while this was an addictive whodunit with a great premise, I never really connected with any of the characters and the whole thing left me a little cold. I do think this was down to my general dislike of books with multiple povs though so I would still recommend to anyone who likes a good plot driven story with plenty of twists and turns.


THE BLURB

Maybe you don’t know your neighbors as well as you thought you did . . . 

“This is a very difficult letter to write. I hope you will not hate us too much. . . My son broke into your home recently while you were out.”

In a quiet, leafy suburb in upstate New York, a teenager has been sneaking into houses–and into the owners’ computers as well–learning their secrets, and maybe sharing some of them, too.

Who is he, and what might he have uncovered? After two anonymous letters are received, whispers start to circulate, and suspicion mounts. And when a woman down the street is found murdered, the tension reaches the breaking point. Who killed her? Who knows more than they’re telling? And how far will all these very nice people go to protect their own secrets?

In this neighborhood, it’s not just the husbands and wives who play games. Here, everyone in the family has something to hide . . .

You never really know what people are capable of.


MY REVIEW

I’m afraid I liked the idea of this book more than the execution. It’s a well written and addictive read but for me to truly enjoy a book I have to connect to the characters, to become invested in their story, and in this case it just never happened.

It is a great premise, how well do you know your neighbours, do you really know what goes on behind closed doors? In this story there is a teenage boy who knows more about the neighbours than he really should as he’s been breaking into their homes and hacking into their computers. When his mother finds out she’s horrified and out of guilt she writes anonymous letters to the residents of two of the houses to apologize. Unfortunately one of those houses belongs to the man whose wife’s body has been found badly beaten in the trunk of a car. What follows is a complex and addictive whodunit involving a number of the residents of the street, most of whom seem to have some secret or another.

As far as whodunit’s go this is a pretty good one and I will admit that I never really guessed the murderer. There are lots of clues and hints but there are also more than a few twists and red herrings to throw you off the scent. The story is told from multiple point of views including the victim’s husband, several of the neighbours and the police detectives investigating the case so you get to follow the investigation from a number of different angles and get some insight into the different relationships.

Unfortunately however, I think it was the multiple povs that were the biggest problem for me. It’s rare for me to really love a book with a lot of narrators. I find it difficult to keep all of the characters straight and I never feel like I get enough of them to really connect with them. I don’t think it helped that I didn’t especially like any of the characters and I didn’t even hate them. I just wasn’t emotionally invested at all so while I could appreciate the complex plot and all of the twists and turns I didn’t care who the killer was or whether they got caught.

Regardless of this though I am still a big fan of the author and would recommend this book to anyone who likes a plot driven murder mystery. Even with the problems I had with it I found it very difficult to put down.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with an advance copy. This has in no way influenced my review.

ARC Review: The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare

The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare
The Wallflower Wager
by Tessa Dare

When it comes to historical romance, for me, no one beats Tessa Dare and this is definitely one of her best. It sparkles with all of Dare’s usual humour and wit and the romance is hot, hot, hot. I started this on my way home from work one Thursday evening and had the whole thing finished that night. It was exactly the break from reality I needed after a long and stressful day.


THE BLURB

They call him the Duke of Ruin.
To an undaunted wallflower, he’s just the beast next door.
 

Wealthy and ruthless, Gabriel Duke clawed his way from the lowliest slums to the pinnacle of high society―and now he wants to get even.

Loyal and passionate, Lady Penelope Campion never met a lost or wounded creature she wouldn’t take into her home and her heart.

When her imposing―and attractive―new neighbour demands she clear out the rescued animals, Penny sets him a challenge. She will part with her precious charges, if he can find them loving homes.

Done, Gabriel says. How hard can it be to find homes for a few kittens?
And a two-legged dog.
And a foul-mouthed parrot.
And a goat, an otter, a hedgehog…

Soon, cold-hearted Gabriel, who wouldn’t know a loving home from a workhouse, is covered in cat hair, knee-deep in adorable animals, and bewitched by a shyly pretty spinster who defies his every attempt to resist. Now she’s set her mind and heart on saving him.

Not if he ruins her first.


MY REVIEW

This is the third book in the Girl Meets Duke series so there are some familiar faces from the previous books but it could easily be read as a standalone. If you are familiar with the series, this is the Penny book we’ve all been waiting for (well that I’ve definitely been waiting for). Penny is such a wonderfully unique character I think it would be difficult to not love her. She may be a lady but she avoids society preferring to stick to her close friends and the various wounded and wild animals she has rescued and brought into her home.

Gabe also makes for a suitably dashing hero. He may have come from the slums and have a reputation for ruining the aristocracy but he’s surprising sweet and protective of those around him. He may be gruff and rude at times but he’s incredibly honourable and very conscious of the importance of reputation.

Put them together and they are the perfect match. There is some wonderful banter between them and their chemistry is amazing. They just seem to compliment each other so well. If only they could overcome the usual obstacles that get in their way.

Speaking of obstacles my only slight niggle with this book is that I felt these were resolved a little too easily. I won’t go into details due to spoilers but things that were supposedly major impossible challenges to be overcome were sorted out in a couple of pages.

Who really cares about little details like that though when a story is this much fun to read. I just wish Dare would write faster so I could have the next book now. I suspect we may be getting Nicole’s book next.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advance copy. This has in no way influenced my review.

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

WWW Wednesday: 7th August 2019

The WWW Wednesday meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words and is a great way to do a weekly update on what you’ve been reading and what you have planned.

WWW Wednesday

To take part all you have to do is answer the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently ReadingThe Risk (Briar U, #2)

I’m still struggling a little with focus this week due to horse, house and cat drama but I did start reading The Risk by Elle Kennedy on Monday and seem to be making reasonable progress with it. I love Kennedy’s sports romances  and this one is proving to be pretty addictive and just what I need to take my mind off things. I am loving main character Brenna and Jake is not so bad either 😉

Recently Finished

Someone We Know

I really haven’t had a lot of time for reading over the last week as I’ve been running around all over the place and driving to work rather than taking the train. I did however manage to read thriller Someone We Know by Shari Lapena over the weekend.

I’ve read one of Lapena’s books before and very much enjoyed it so was looking forward to this but I’m afraid it ended up being a bit of a disappointment. There’s nothing really wrong with it, as who dunit’s go it definitely keeps you guessing, but I never really got invested in the story. It may just have been the mood I was in when reading it but I didn’t really care who dunit. I know it probably shouldn’t factor into it but the victim didn’t come across as a particularly nice person and I didn’t really like any of the other characters either. It didn’t help either that there were multiple pov’s, as I often struggle with that style.

Reading NextThree Women

I managed to snag a copy of Three Women by Lisa Taddeo from the library so I suspect I’ll be picking it up next (there are a lot of people waiting on it). This is one of those books that seems to have a lot of buzz around it which is something that usually puts me off but it sounds like my kind of read. We’ll see though.

Have you read any of the books on my list this week? Any others you’d recommend? As always please feel free to leave comments and links below.

Happy Reading ❤

Review: The Possession by Michael Rutger

The Possession by Michael Rutger
I can’t remember the last time a book gave me chills the way this one did. I will admit to never really having read Stephen King so I can’t say if it’s as perfect for his fans as the cover claims but for me – who used to devour James Herbert and Dean Koontz books, was a huge fan of shows like X-Files, the Twilight Zone, Poltergeist the Legacy and pretty much any and every horror film – this was right up my street. It’s a lot of fun but so, so creepy and atmospheric. I loved it.


THE BLURB

THEY CAME LOOKING FOR ANSWERS

A group of explorers arrive in the remote town of Birchlake, Northern California, to investigate the appearance of mysterious stone walls.

WHAT THEY FOUND WERE QUESTIONS

A teenage girl has disappeared without a trace.

FOR NOT EVERYONE IS AS THEY SEEM

Soon it becomes clear that the two events may be connected in the most terrifying way. Because sometimes the walls we build end up closing us in . .


REVIEW

I didn’t realize when I started reading this that it was the second in a series but honestly it didn’t matter one bit. Yes there are a few references to the first book (which are mild spoilers if like me you plan to go back and read it later) but I didn’t really feel like I’d missed much. Hell, I was around 150 pages in before I even discovered it was the second in a series (and that was only when I was looking it up on Goodreads).

The blurb is a little lacking in detail but the series is about a team who investigate myths, urban legends and unexplained phenomena, filming it for a YouTube show. When the team’s leader and presenter, Nolan, discovers his ex wife Kristy is in a small town in Northern California investigating the disappearance of a teenage girl he convinces his team that now’s the perfect time to visit that town to look into the mystery surrounding miles of walls in the area. No one knows who built these walls but they’re incredibly old, are scattered throughout the area and often run for miles with no discernible purpose.

This is really an excuse to keep an eye on his ex (and maybe rekindle something) but as both Kristy and Nolan and his team start to experience some very strange things it seems both mysteries may be connected and there may be something very wrong in this town.

It’s a classic creepy horror story with everything that entails – think Blair Witch (dark woods, mist, deserted streets, strange noises in the middle of the night, objects turning up in places they weren’t left and a strange figure only certain people seems to see). Basically there were moments when it scared me witless and yes I did have to put it down to go check the doors were locked (more than once).

What makes it a great fun read though is how the author mixes these genuinely chilling moments with a lot of humor. One second I’d be wanting to hide under the covers and the next I’d be chuckling at a one liner. I loved the relationships between Nolan and his team (Ken, Molly and Pierre). Ken and Nolan in particular are clearly close friends with a long history and there is some great banter between them to break the tension when it all starts to get a bit much.

The story itself fascinated me too. Initially I was probably in a pretty similar place to Nolan’s team when he said walls, I mean how excited can you really get about some walls? But, the more that’s revealed about them the more intriguing it gets and it turns out these walls are a real thing (I googled). I was probably less interested in the missing teenager side of the story (sorry missing teenager) but when the things happening get increasingly strange and spooky it was definitely hard to put the book down.

I do think the first half of the book was the strongest as the mystery around what’s going on in the town, whether supernatural forces are at work or there’s a more rational and scientific explanation, keep you glued to the pages. For me the unknown is almost always scarier than known so once the reveal was made it lost a lot of the tension and on occasion wandered into the slightly bizarre and confusing. As for the ending, I think it worked but was maybe a little too easy or maybe I mean too resolved.

Regardless of this though I loved the author’s writing style and the tone of the whole book. The characters are likeable and the humor just worked for me. Was it a little slow in places? Maybe, but the other parts had enough tension and atmosphere to more than make up for it.

Overall a great read and one I’d recommend if you love a creepy horror story and don’t mind a wander into the weird. I’m off now to read the first book in the series as I think Rutger could become a favourite author.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I won a copy of this book in a Readers First Giveaway. This has in no way influenced my review.

WWW Wednesday: 31st July 2019

The WWW Wednesday meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words and is a great way to do a weekly update on what you’ve been reading and what you have planned.

WWW Wednesday

To take part all you have to do is answer the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

Ummm….

Well I said I’d have a lot going on this week so I’d either be reading tons or nothing and it seems I’ve ended up on the nothing side. I’m getting a lot of building work done in the house so have been staying at my parents off and on since Sunday (for some reason they expect me to speak to them and not spend all my time reading). Have also been having both horse and cat issues so yeah… been struggling to find the time or focus to read anything.

Recently Finished

I had a few days off work at the end of last week and the weather was a little too hot for me so did manage to get a couple of books finished before the house/animal chaos started.The Girl in Red 

First up was The Girl in Red by Christina Henry, a book I’d been looking forward to for ages and it totally lived up to all expectations. Inspired by red riding hood it’s a post apocalyptic story about a girl called Red who’s making her way across the country to get to her Grandma’s cabin in the woods. From the very first page I was hooked and I can’t remember the last time I flew through a book like this so quickly. It reminded me a little of The Walking Dead (albeit without the zombies) and Red is such a brilliant character.

I also took Deanna’s at A Novel Glimpse’s advice and picked up Max Munroe’s Banking the Billionaire, the second book in their Billionaire Bad Boys series. I really enjoyed this but I have to admit I still liked the first one better.

Reading Next

Building work looks like it’s going to continue until the middle of next week so not sure if or what I’ll be reading next but I did manage to get a couple of books from NetGalley (I know, so much for the ban) that I’m really excited about. Both Adam Silvera and Tess Gerritsen are favourite authors.

Infinity Son (Infinity Cycle, #1)The Shape of Night

Have you read any of the books on my list this week? Any others you’d recommend? As always please feel free to leave comments and links below.

I will apologise in advance if I’m slow in coming back. I don’t really have access to my laptop and don’t have wi-fi at my parents so am dependent on my phone’s data which isn’t always that great.

Happy Reading ❤