ARC Review: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

There's Someone Inside Your HouseThere’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This isn’t quite the scary horror story I was hoping for but it’s definitely an enjoyable read.

There’s lots of diversity, a very sweet romance and just enough action and mystery to keep you reading till the very end. It may not wholly work as a horror story but there are plenty of other things that make it a worthwhile read.


The Blurb

Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.


Review

I have to confess I had my doubts when Perkins announced that she was writing a horror story. She’s my go to author for light and fluffy contemporary romance, so how could she possibly switch over to dark and scary horror. It was going to be either brilliant or terrible.

Having now devoured it in more or less one sitting, I would say it probably falls somewhere in between. There are more than a few problems with the horror side of the story (so it’s not brilliant) but there is a lot to love about it which goes some way to make up for any shortcomings. There is plenty of diversity, our main character is a POC with a friend who is trans, there are wonderfully real family relationships and none of the characters are perfect.

Main character Makani possibly wasn’t the most likeable character in the beginning but she did grow on me through the story. The romantic interest is probably not making my book boyfriend list but there is something kinda sweet (and also mysterious) about him, and the other characters, while not being particularly well fleshed out, are very believable and after only a few pages you get a real sense of them.

The story itself is very Scream-esque, beginning with the brutal murder of a girl from their school, followed by more sudden and seemingly unconnected slayings of their fellow students. Speculation over who the killer could be is rife and with no pattern in the victims anyone could be next. It’s classic horror and is absolutely packed full of all of the horror tropes and themes, something I absolutely loved.

Unfortunately however it lacks the tension and sense of danger to make it a really scary read. The characters who are bumped off are for the most part pretty minor so it’s difficult to care about them, Makani spends most of her time obsessing over a boy (there’s a LOT of kissing) and worrying the dark secret from her past is going to come out and the killings are a little ridiculous at times. I also think too much is revealed too soon and some of the characters motivations and secrets just don’t make sense or aren’t properly fleshed out. 

Despite these problems however, I did find it quite an addictive and enjoyable read, although I have to confess that was probably more for the romance than anything else.

It is a book that seems to be getting some very mixed reviews at the moment but I would recommend you give it a go, and if horror is not your thing I promise, it’s not that scary.

 it pennywise it movie devious scary clown GIF
Is this a face that would lie?

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC. As always all views are my own.

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WWW Wednesday: 13th September 2017

The WWW Wednesday meme is currently 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 ReadingThere's Someone Inside Your House

I seem to have been reading nothing but YA sci fi for the last week (more below) so I decided to abandon my plan to pick up Invictus next and am currently reading YA horror There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins instead. I’m around halfway through and for the most part enjoying it. It’s not as creepy as I hoped, it’s more a slasher style horror (kind of like Scream), but there’s also quite a bit of romance in it which I’m really liking. Perkins does write great romances.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

On audio, I started listening to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. This is actually my next real life book club book but I didn’t have time to read it so I’m multi tasking and listening to it on the move. I haven’t gotten particularly far (probably only a couple of hours in) but I’m really loving it. The narrator is brilliant and I think I’ll be looking out for more of her books as well as the authors.

I’m still fighting my way through ARC mountain so The Fireman by Joe Hill is still on hold for the moment.


Recently Finished

The Dazzling Heights (The Thousandth Floor #2)

I’ve been making great progress on my TBR again this week with three more books finished (let’s not mention the books I added). The first of these was the book I was midway through last week, The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee. This is the sequel to The Thousandth Floor, which finished with a bit of a cliffhanger, so it’s been one of my most anticipated reads and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a futuristic thriller about a group of teens who live in a thousand story high tower in Manhattan. As in the first book the story begins with a death and then flashes back to the events leading up to it to reveal what and why and most importantly who.

It is such a frustratingly addictive read. The author throws so many twists in that you are truly guessing up to the very end and even then expect another red herring. I may have screamed I was soo frustrated at one point. I did however really like how the characters and the relationships developed. One character in particular surprised me. My full review will be up later this week.

Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, #1)The second book finished, Nyxia by Scott Reintgen, was also a YA sci fi, this time with 10 teens on a spaceship heading for another planet. They’ve been chosen for a very special and lucrative job but there’s a snag, only 8 of them will actually get the job and the money. They have the length of the journey to beat the others in a series of individual and team challenges.

As you can probably tell just from this the story is pretty similar to Ender’s Game or that bit in Divergent where Tris has to compete to stay in Dauntless. It is an enjoyable read but it’s not particularly original. You can read my full review here.

Bloody Scotland by [Anderson, Lin, Brookmyre, Chris, Brown, Gordon, Cleeves, Ann, Johnstone, Doug, MacBride, Stuart, McDermid, Val, Mina, Denise, Robertson, Craig, Sheridan, Sara, Thomson, E S, Welsh, Louise]

The final book finished was Bloody Scotland, a collection of twelve short stories by twelve Scottish crime authors. Each story is set in a different iconic Scottish building from Edinburgh Castle to Stanley Mills. There’s murder, revenge, Vikings and even a siege and most stories are exactly the right length for my daily commute 🙂

I should have a review up later this week but in the meantime I posted a Q&A with one of the authors, the brilliant Denise Mina, as part of the blog tour which you can find here. Despite some of her responses I’ve been assured no animals were harmed as part of the Q&A.


Reading Next

For some insane reason I’ve decided to get both a new bathroom and a new boiler installed next week (does it really matter if the boiler’s making weird noises and my shower is leaking) so I suspect my reading and possibly blogging time will be drastically reduced. I am however hoping to get my current reads finished and maybe make a start on one of the following ARCs (I’m determined to hit that 80% feedback ratio this month)

Cold Blood (Detective Erika Foster, #5)The BreakInvictus

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 Wednesday Everyone!!!

Teaser Tuesday: 12th September 2017

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by The Purple Booker. If you want to join in grab your current read, flick to a random page, select two sentences (without spoilers) and share them in a blog post or in the comments of The Purple Booker.


This week my teaser comes from Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. I’m actually listening to this as an audio book rather than reading it so I’ve had to resort to the sample from Amazon for my teaser (I’m usually driving while listening so can’t take notes). I’m not very far in to the story but I am absolutely loving it. It’s a little odd, kinda funny but also a little bit sad and the narrator is brilliant.


My Teaser

I have always taken great pride in managing my life alone. I’m a sole survivor – I’m Eleanor Oliphant. I don’t need anyone else – there’s no big hole in my life, no missing part of my own particular puzzle. I am a self-contained entity.

~ Chapter 1, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman


BlurbEleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?

#BloodyScotland Blog Tour – Q&A with Author Denise Mina (@BloodyScotland)

Today I’m thrilled to be doing a Q&A with Denise Mina, author of McIlvanney Prize winning book The Long Drop, as part of the Bloody Scotland blog tour.

For those of you who don’t know Bloody Scotland is Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival and possibly my favorite event of the year. I only managed to make it to a couple of sessions at the festival this year but had an absolutely brilliant time. The discussions were fantastic and it was so surreal to see my favorite authors wandering around, chatting to people or having a drink in the bar.Bloody_Scotland_mock_03.indd

This year for the first time we also have a Bloody Scotland book. Published by Historic Environment Scotland, Bloody Scotland – the book, matches twelve of Scotland’s best crime writers with an iconic Scottish building. The result is a brilliant collection of short stories.

Denise Mina is one of the authors who contributed to the book with a very disturbing story set in Edinburgh Castle (honestly I may never go there again). She was also the winner of the big award of the festival, the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year, for her latest book The Long Drop. I’ve included a full bio below but this is the latest of many awards and nominations in a hugely successful and varied career.

Needless to say I’m thrilled that she was willing to answer some questions on my little blog.  So without any more of my rambling, on with the Q&A.

(I should add that these questions were asked and answered prior to her winning the McIlvanney)


Q&A with Denise Mina

Denise Mina c.Simona Ciocarlan

Setting always seems to be an important part of your novels, how did you feel about being asked to write a short story inspired by one of Scotland’s iconic buildings for Bloody Scotland: The Book? Did you instantly know what you wanted to do?

I was delighted to be asked.

But I was believe it or not (!), not really on the ball in the admin department and had agreed to do it but forgot to choose a building. The castle was chosen for me because I got last dibs. I was given a fantastic private tour of it for the book, saw into all the creepy corners and historic cells. It was pretty amazing.

Your story, Nemo Me Impune Lacessit, is set in Edinburgh Castle and is one of the most disturbing short stories I’ve read. Was there anything you found particularly challenging about setting a story in such a popular tourist attraction?

It’s interesting writing about somewhere as iconic as the castle because everyone there is in their own little narrative. It’s the highlight of a tour, not a stop off point. I was struck by the contrast between the bloody history of the place and the cheery atmosphere.

Bloody Scotland includes stories set in twelve different iconic buildings in Scotland. Is there another iconic building, featured in the book or not, that you’d love to use as the location for a story? Is there one you’ve considered in the past and decided not to use?

Glasgow Uni, Kelvingrove, Hill House, any one of the giant castles that are melting back into the land in the highlands. I could reel off a list of favourite buildings but I don’t know if I’d like to set a story in them, especially the ones I love.

Your novels are mostly set in and around Glasgow. What do you think it is about the city that makes it such a great location for a crime novel and what is it about Scotland in general that’s created so many brilliant crime/thriller writers?

It’s a story telling city. Everyone tells stories here and I think crime fiction is closer to oral story telling than literary narratives so it’s a perfect fit. It is also quite a chaotic city, violent and used to be very dark. A wonderful setting for noir!

Bloody Scotland McIlvanney Prize 2017 Winner 2Your most recent novel, The Long Drop, is a finalist for Bloody Scotland’s McIlvanney Prize [edit: it won!!!] can you tell us a bit about it and the inspiration behind it?

I read in a true crime novel that Manuel and the father of some of the victims went out for a drink together. It seemed so odd that I had to explore it.

This is the first novel you’ve published that’s based on real events and people. A lot of local people of a certain generation, my parents included, remember that time well. Did you feel a pressure to get the story “right”? Did this influence your writing process?

Honestly, only after it was published did I feel the pressure, so it didn’t affect me while I was writing it. I just got really lost in it. It is a contested story but not as much as I would have imagined. Most people are concerned about the ethics of telling a story so recent rather than the correctness of the facts.

You originally wrote the story as a play. What made you decide to turn it into a novel?

I was told in no uncertain terms that I had told the story wrong.

Pensioners stopped me after the show and told me that the story in Glasgow at the time was not the official story. The twist they told me was so much better that I had to write the novel.

As well as writing short stories, full length novels and plays you’ve also written graphic novels. What is it about these different forms that appeals to you? Is there one you prefer or find more challenging?

I love prose more than anything. It’s the most fulfilling for me and always feels like a home coming but all these other forms feed into that and help me think about narrative and storytelling in different ways.

Your stories tend to be quite gritty and dark and you really get into the heads of some very disturbing and troubled characters. How easy do you find it to switch off from your writing? Do you have a routine you follow when you’re writing?

I usually get up, drink coffee, strangle a cat and go for a run. Then I sit at the desk and squash ants and think about the work of the day.

Seriously, I just think in quite dark terms. I’m not one of those lovely people who doesn’t spot the violent undertone of conversations, or the crime story at the edge of the page of news about Kate Middleton.

In addition to being a finalist for the McIlvanney, you’ve won three awards and been nominated for many more. It must be great to get recognition for your work but what do you personally consider to be your biggest achievement? What are you most proud of?

A sentence I wrote for a give away book called ‘Scotland’s 100 best books’ about Orwell’s 1984. It had perfect rhythm and concision.

Is there anything you regret or wish you’d done differently in either your career or writing?

Enjoyed it all a bit more. I’m very shy and being in the spotlight was incredibly uncomfortable. Some people do it so well and I should have accepted that ambivalence was my natural state and gone with it instead of pretending.

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

Read good stuff and keep writing. Write every day.

Can you tell us anything about the projects you’re working on just now? What’s next?

It’s about a woman who becomes obsessed with a true crime podcast and goes off to try and solve it. It’s about why these stories captivate us.

Finally, what are you reading right now?

A biography of Derrida by Beniot Peeters.


Thank you so much Denise for taking the time to answer some questions. Bloody Scotland the book was launched at the festival over the weekend and is available from Amazon UK here.

I’ll post a review later this week as I haven’t quite finished reading it yet but I can honestly say I’ve been really enjoying it and would definitely recommend.

The blog tour for Bloody Scotland is running from the 7th September till the 18th and includes guest posts, Q&As and other fantastic content from those involved in the book so it’s worth following along. I’ve included details of this, the book and an author bio below.

 


Denise Mina – Bio

Denise Mina headshot.jpgAfter a peripatetic childhood in Glasgow, Paris, London, Invergordon, Bergen and Perth, Denise Mina left school at 16 before doing her law degree at Glasgow University.She subsequently studied for a PhD at Strathclyde.

Her first novel, Garnethill, was published in 1988 and won the CWA John Creasy Dagger for Best First Crime Novel.

She has published 12 novels including the Garnethill series, Paddy Meehan and Alex Morrow series’. She has been nominated for many prizes including the CWA Gold Dagger and has won the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award twice.

In addition to novels, Denise has also written plays and graphic novels including the graphic novel adaptation of The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo. In 2014, she was inducted into the Crime Writers’ Association Hall of Fame and was a judge for the Bailey’s Prize. She has also presented TV and radio programmes as well as appearing regularly in the media. She lives and works in Glasgow.


Bloody Scotland – The Blurb

In Bloody Scotland a selection of Scotland’s best crime writers use the sinister side of the country’s built heritage in stories that are by turns gripping, chilling and redemptive.

Stellar contributors Val McDermid, Chris Brookmyre, Denise Mina, Ann Cleeves, Louise Welsh, Lin Anderson, Doug Johnstone, Gordon Brown, Craig Robertson, E S Thomson, Sara Sheridan and Stuart MacBride explore the thrilling potential of Scotland’s iconic sites and structures. From murder in an Iron Age broch and a macabre tale of revenge among the furious clamour of an eighteenth century mill, to a dark psychological thriller set within the tourist throng of Edinburgh Castle and a rivalry turning fatal in the concrete galleries of an abandoned modernist ruin, this collection uncovers the intimate – and deadly – connections between people and places.

Prepare for a dangerous journey into the dark shadows of our nation’s buildings – where passion, fury, desire and death collide.


BloodyScotland-blog-tour-small

ARC Review: Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, #1)Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

An enjoyable and read with a brilliantly diverse and complex cast of characters. I found it quite an addictive read and incredibly difficult to put down.

It’s let down a little by having too many similarities to other books and not moving the story on quickly enough but it’s definitely worth reading.


Synopsis (GoodReads)

Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.

Forever.

Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden–a planet that Babel has kept hidden–where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.


My Review

This book seems to get a lot of rave reviews but I have to confess I’m not sure it lives up to the hype.

It’s kind of like a mash up of Enders Game and Divergent with a little bit of Ready Player One thrown into the mix. As a result there isn’t much that’s really original about it. There is a diverse cast of characters and it is an enjoyable read but I doubt I’ll remember it in a month or two and I just don’t have that pressing need to get my hands on the next book in the series.

The author has created a brilliant main character in Emmett. He’s not the type of hero you usually find in these kinds of stories. He’s a POC for a start. He’s not the smartest, the strongest, the fastest or even the one with the most troubled upbringing. He’s actually pretty average and I’m sure relateable to a lot of people.

He’s agreed to compete because his mom’s ill and they have no money for treatment. Similar to most of the others, he’s desperate and this makes for fascinating reading as he tries to decide how far he’s willing to go to win.

The other characters are similarly diverse and complex and many are not what they initially appear to be. What’s especially great is the way that they develop and change over the course of the story. This is a group of teens in exceptional situations and the author does a fantastic job of making their actions seem very real and completely believable.

The story itself is pretty familiar. Bunch of teens have to compete against each other in a series of individual and team challenges. There’s a leader board to track their progress (although I couldn’t follow the scoring) and if by the end you’re below a certain point on the board you get cut. The contest is however run by a massive corporation with highly dubious motives who keep changing the rules.

From the very beginning the whole contest thing and the reasons for it seemed very unconvincing. They’ve discovered another earth like planet that they want to go strip mine but the native aliens aren’t happy about it unless it’s children as they like children and will let them do whatever they want….hmmm. Unfortunately that is not the only unconvincing thing in the story.  There were a few things that just didn’t make sense to me (what the heck is Nyxia?) and I think there could have been a bit more explanation of elements but I suppose you’re supposed to feel as clueless as the competitors.

I did really enjoy the whole competition aspect. I loved the changing dynamics of the group as they form and break alliances and friendships, stab each other in the back and hold grudges. There’s even some romance between competitors. I do think however it was dragged on a little too long (it’s literally all that happens in the story). I wanted some answers and it looks like the only way I’m going to get them is to read the next book in the series. Unfortunately I’m not sure I care enough.

Overall an enjoyable and quite a quick read but just too many similarities to other stories to be a stand out.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC.

Review: Charlotte Says by Alex Bell

Charlotte Says (Red Eye)Charlotte Says by Alex Bell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Those creepy little dolls are back and they’ve got some new games they want to play.

This, the prequel to the wonderfully chilling Frozen Charlotte, is just as good if not better. The Edwardian setting really brings something to the story and it’s packed with all of the best horror tropes to keep you reading late into the night (with all of the lights on of course).

(Note: While this is the second book in a series there’s very little overlap so no spoilers in the review or syposis)


Synopsis

Following the death of her mother in a terrible fire, Jemima flees to the remote Isle of Skye, to take up a job at a school for girls. There she finds herself tormented by the mystery of what really happened that night.

Then Jemima receives a box of Frozen Charlotte dolls from a mystery sender and she begins to remember – a séance with the dolls, a violent argument with her step-father and the inferno that destroyed their home. And when it seems that the dolls are triggering a series of accidents at the school, Jemima realizes she must stop the demonic spirits possessing the dolls – whatever it takes.


My Review

I’m always on the lookout for a creepy horror story but despite someone recommending Frozen Charlotte to me ages ago it was only after I was approved for an ARC of Charlotte Says that I finally got around to reading it and I’m so sorry I didn’t pick it up sooner. That book is seriously creepy and I literally couldn’t put it down.

Needless to say as soon as I finished it I couldn’t resist getting stuck in to prequel Charlotte Says and do you know what, I think it might be even better. I don’t know whether it was just that by reading them back to back I was more into the author’s writing style or if it was the change in time period that worked better but, while this had possibly fewer chills (I knew what to expect so was prepared), the writing just seemed so much better. There was less bluntness to it and consequently it seemed less forced and more natural, drawing me into the story completely.

It’s predominantly set in a girl’s boarding school in 1910, so we have a much wider cast of characters but there is still this very real sense of isolation and remoteness which brings a chilling atmosphere to the story.

The story is told from the point of view of Jemima Black, a wonderfully complex character who makes for some fascinating reading. She comes across as weak and subservient a lot of the time but there’s a real strength, determination and slight deviousness within her which, combined with the mystery of her past, make her very unpredictable. From the very beginning when she wakes from a nightmare of fire and blood to arrive alone at the boarding school to take up her post you know there is something dark in her past.

Some of the other characters do feel a little bit stereotyped, there’s the tyrannical head teacher, the pretty but mean maid, a pupil who sees things no one else does (and no one believes) and the love interest who’s too good to be true but these are part of what makes it such an enjoyable (and creepy) read.

For those who have read Frozen Charlotte you will know pretty much what to expect when the dolls arrive at the school, strange noises in the middle of the night, odd behavior, violence and death and some of the events of this story are uncovered in the previous book but there are still some surprises and twists in store.

I do feel like I should add a little warning here that as you would expect from a horror there are some violent scenes and abuse. Some of the descriptions are pretty graphic, particularly around violence towards animals (I don’t consider myself to be squeamish and I found a couple of scenes difficult). It might be better avoided if this is likely to be a trigger (or go read Frozen Charlotte which isn’t quite as bad)

You can get away with reading this if you haven’t read Frozen Charlotte as while there is some overlap between the two stories they are set in completely different time periods with minimal crossover. I would still recommend Frozen Charlotte first though as Charlotte Says explains away a lot of the mystery (and it’s a great read too).

Overall a wonderfully creepy read and definitely one I’d recommend if you’re a fan of the genre and not too squeamish.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC. As always all thoughts are my own.

WWW Wednesday: 6th September 2017

The WWW Wednesday meme is currently 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

The Dazzling Heights (The Thousandth Floor #2)Yet again I seem to be in the position of juggling a few different books at the moment but I’m mostly reading The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee which I received from NetGalley. It’s the follow up to The Thousandth Floor which I read last year and really enjoyed. It’s classed as a YA sci fi as it’s set in New York in the year 2118 but really it’s all about social maneuvering and back stabbing with a bit of blackmail on the side. I’m not sure I particularly like any of the characters but it definitely makes for some interesting reading.

Bloody Scotland by [Anderson, Lin, Brookmyre, Chris, Brown, Gordon, Cleeves, Ann, Johnstone, Doug, MacBride, Stuart, McDermid, Val, Mina, Denise, Robertson, Craig, Sheridan, Sara, Thomson, E S, Welsh, Louise]I was asked last week to join the blog tour for Bloody Scotland, the book, so I’m also working my way through it at the moment. For those who don’t know Bloody Scotland is an annual crime writing festival held in Stirling. This year they’ve joined up with Historic Environment Scotland to produce a collection of short stories. Twelve of Scotland’s top crime writers (including Chris Brookmyre, Stuart MacBride, Val McDermid and Denise Mina) were asked to write a short story set in one of twelve iconic Scottish buildings. I’ve been dipping in and out of this and very much enjoying. There’s a good mix of stories and I can confirm that the story set in Edinburgh Castle is seriously disturbing.

I’ve had to prioritize ARCs over the last week so I’m afraid I still haven’t made any progress with The Fireman by Joe Hill. I’m not abandoning it but it does look like it’s on hold for a bit.


Recently Finished

The Border

I seem to have got my reading mojo back this week and finished off four books. The first of these was The Border by Steve Schafer, a story about four Mexican teens forced to try and make the crossing into America. Illegal immigration is definitely a hot topic at the moment so this book seems particularly relevant. It definitely makes you see things from a different perspective and I’m sure challenges a few people’s views. It’s a dangerous journey that a lot don’t make so there are more than a few harrowing moments but there’s also hope, a few laughs and even some romance. I didn’t expect to like this as much as I did. You can read my full review here.

Alex and ElizaNo one can say my reading tastes are not diverse as after a contemporary story about Mexican teens just trying to survive I moved on to historical romance Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz. It’s a fictional account of the romance between Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schulyer and is quite a sweet and enjoyable read with a surprising number of similarities to Pride and Prejudice (but obvs not as good).

The third book finished this week was completely different yet again. I’d been anxiously watching the letter box and at long last my copy of Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart finally arrived from Readers First. Genuine FraudNeedless to say I couldn’t resist starting it more or less immediately and as it’s one of those books that you can’t put down I ended up finishing it the same day. I think I still prefer We Were Liars but this is a really great read. You can read my full review here.

The fourth and final book finished was the audio book of the final part of the Hunger Games series Mockingjay. It’s been fantastic listening to these books, there was so much I’d forgotten. It may however have been a mistake to listen to the end while driving (I may have gotten a little upset).


Reading Next

A ridiculous number of ARCs sitting on my NetGalley shelf seem to be getting released this month so I think my next reads are going to be the following:

Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, #1)The BreakThere's Someone Inside Your HouseCold Blood (Detective Erika Foster, #5)

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 Wednesday Everyone!!!