Sunday, 26 March 2017

Sunday Post 26th March 2017

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The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted at Caffeinated Book Reviewer, it's a chance to post a recap on the past week, show the books we have received and share what we plan for the coming week. Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and the aim is to show our newest books and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops or downloaded on to their e-reader. As always you can click on any of the pictures to be taken to the Goodreads page for that book if you're interested in finding out more about it or click the title to go to the review.

Films of the Week:

This week I watched Keeping Up with the Joneses and Mr Right which are two action comedies - I'd actually seen the latter before and just fancied a rewatch but I did quite enjoy the first as well. Gal Gadot is always great. 
I also watched Deidra & Laney Rob a Train because I always love crime and heists in films. And it was a great film. Really fun but with amazing and memorable characters and pretty much all the acting (especially from the main characters) was really good. I just wish we could have a sequel.
The Love Actually Reunion happened. Not a movie obviously since it was only like 5 minutes long but I actually loved it. I was a little worried about it ruining the ending but it felt right. And it definitely reaffirmed my belief that Hugh Grant is the best Prime Minister the UK has ever had.
And Beauty and the Beast was MAGICAL! Beauty and the Beast is my favourite Disney film - mostly cause I love Belle so much. And I really feel like the live action movie captured the characters well and honoured the original whilst also bringing in new songs and little touches that made it exciting and unique. I already want to rewatch it!

Last Week on the Blog:


Books We Got This Week:

Ann:
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls, #2)Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover (Gallagher Girls, #3)Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls, #4)Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls, #5)United We Spy (Gallagher Girls, #6)
Cross My Heart & Hope to Spy/Don't Judge A Girl By Her Cover/Only the Good Spy Young/Out of Sight, Out of Time/United We Spy by Ally Carter: Clare bought me these because I've been saying how much I wanted to continue the series! 

Clare:
The Bengal BridegiftDating Sarah CooperThis is Devin JonesKitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency, #1)
The Bengal Bridegift by Anne Cleeland: I read and loved two of Cleeland's other books previously so decided to grab this on Kindle. 
Dating Sarah Cooper by Siera Maley: This is described as a bit like Faking It but better. Which intrigues me a lot.
This Is Devin Jones by Kristen Conrad: I mean this just sounds super exciting and fun. I can't wait to read it.
Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading: I'm super intrigued by this series and the whole series is on Kindle Unlimited so if I enjoy it I can binge read the series!
The Beast of London (Book 1 of the Mina Murray series)Contagion (Dark Matter, #1)He Said/She SaidWhy I Loathe Sterling Lane
The Beast of London by L.D. Goffigan: The author very kindly offered me a review copy of this and I was very interested in it. It's about Mina Murray who is one of those characters I always want to read alternative versions of and just sounds really exciting. 
Contagion by Teri Terry: Received via Netgalley. I am hoping for great things from this. I've only previously read Slated by Teri Terry but I really enjoyed that.
He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly: Received a copy from the publisher for review. This sounds super twisty and intriguing! 
Why I Loathe Sterling Lane by Ingrid Paulson: Received via Netgalley, I'm super excited for this one. It seems like a good Spring/Summer read so hopefully I'll get to it soon.
Under Rose-Tainted SkiesTill DeathBlood Rose Rebellion (Blood Rose Rebellion, #1)Proof of Lies
Under Rose Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall: So many things about this intrigue me - first of all I have severe anxiety so I'm always drawn to any book that deals with that, secondly Vera @ Regal Critiques recommended this to me and I usually love what she recommends and finally - the UK editions of this cover come in three different shades of pink. And apparently cover variations always draw me in as well?
Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout: I love Jennifer's writing generally and I am super in the mood for thrillers at the moment (I honestly don't know why) so I can't wait to read this!
Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves: I am excited for this one although I have read mixed reviews! 
Proof of Lies by Diana Rodriguez Wallach: So, so, so excited for this! I need it to be amazing!
Bad BloodA Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen, #2)The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch, #1)Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)
Bad Blood by Demitria Lunetta: Total cover buy but I am excited for it! It looks so, so good! 
A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi: I liked (didn't love) the first book but I have high hopes for this one as I am intrigued by the characters and have loved the few snippets that I've seen.
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco: My pre-order for this took forever to arrive (this was released on the 7th but didn't arrive until yesterday - what is Amazon Prime even doing?) but it's here now! And I am excited for it! Necromancy is always fun. To read about. Not in reality probably.
Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor: Guys! GUYS! This book is so beautiful. I think after it arrived I spent a good five minutes just staring at it and stroking the cover. The UK first edition has sprayed blue pages, it's signed and it has artwork by Laini on the inside pages. 


Reading Update:

Ann:
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, #1)Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls, #2)Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover (Gallagher Girls, #3)Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls, #4)
Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls, #5)United We Spy (Gallagher Girls, #6)Frostblood (Frostblood Saga, #1)
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You/Cross My Heart & Hope to Spy/Don't Judge A Girl By Her Cover/Only the Good Spy Young/Out of Sight, Out of Time/United We Spy by Ally Carter: 5 stars, The first book was a re-read but then I read the rest of the series and loved them! I read through them in only a couple of days because they are really addictive.
Frostblood by Elly Blake: 5 stars, I can't wait for the sequel! I loved Ruby and Arcus!

Clare:
Blood Tide (Paula Maguire, #5)The Valiant (The Valiant, #1)Starfall (Starflight, #2)New York, Actually (From Manhattan with Love, #4)
Blood Tide by Claire McGowan: 4.5 stars, Super enthralling mystery with amazing and relatable characters. I can't wait for more. 
The Valiant by Lesley Livingston: 3.5 stars, I didn't love this as much as I wanted to. But I did like Fallon and I am intrigued enough to want to read the sequel. I also loved seeing historical characters (like Cleopatra and Caesar - both of whom I love) because I miss studying Classics. 
Starfall by Melissa Landers: 4 stars, This was a fun sequel/companion novel to Starflight but I do think I enjoyed the first book more. I'm not sure if this is the last we see of these characters (I really hope not) but it was a good read.
New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan: 4 stars, I really enjoyed this. It was strange not already being familiar with the characters (with each previous book in the series - except the first - we already knew the MCs) but I liked getting to know them and I am definitely looking forward to the next book.
Can't Buy ForeverDone Dirt CheapAngels of Music
Can't Buy Forever by Susan Laffoon: 1.5 stars, I just could not get into the writing of this. I did like Odessa a bit and her friend Elise was interesting but I just struggled with it.
Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon: 5 stars, I absolutely sped through this one. I finished it in one sitting and adored the characters. This is one I will definitely be re-reading in the future!
Angels of Music by Kim Newman: 3 stars, I did enjoy this but I also struggled to motivate myself to read it? I feel so conflicted. It felt a little like a series of short stories rather than one novel in itself which probably contributed to the pace feeling a little off.


Next Week on the Blog:

  • Cover Characteristic: UFO
  • Top Ten Authors I'm Dying to Meet
  • Wednesday Catch-Up
  • Top 5 Future Classics
  • Fairy Loot Unboxing
  • Friday Reads
  • Blog Tour: Close to Me by Amanda Reynolds

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

April Releases!!

My new releases post every month has become one of my favourite posts to put together. Not only do I love spotlighting the books I am excited for - I also inevitably wind up discovering other books to get excited for when I am checking for release dates. I hope you find new books to get excited about or if there are any books I haven't mentioned that are releasing in April please let me know! I love finding new books to add to my wishlist!

4th:

Alex, ApproximatelyDefy the StarsRed Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #1)
Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett: This sounds super cute and perfect for summer so I may not read this until then but I am still really excited for it!
Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray: I actually already have an e-arc of this from Netgalley and I definitely want to read it soon. Claudia Gray's books have been good ones for me in the past and this sounds like a great read!
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence: Again, I have an arc via Netgalley - I've actually never read anything by Mark Lawrence before but I've heard good things and fantasy with assassin nuns is just 100% my thing.

11th:

The Upside of UnrequitedDuels and DeceptionFireworksAlex and Eliza: A Love StoryLiterallyGiven to the Sea
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli: Probably my most anticipated book for the whole month. No definitely my most anticipated. How am I supposed to WAIT??? Simon vs is one of my all time favourite books so I am eagerly awaiting this one!
Duels & Deception by Cindy Anstey: Loved Love Lies and Spies last year and I am always a fan of historical romance so this is sure to be a fun and enjoyable romance!
Fireworks by Katie Cotugno: I've only read one Katie Cotugno book before but I was a huge fan of it and this sounds like another great summer read!
Alex & Eliza by Melissa De La Cruz: This is one of those books I am simultaneously excited for and terrified of! I love Hamilton (although living in Devon I've never actually seen it just listened to the soundtrack a hundred times) so there is always that fear that this wont live up to how much I loved the musical?
Literally by Lucy Keating: A book about a book within a book was how this was described to me. And we all love books about books right? 
Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis: I have loved every Mindy McGinnis book I've ever read (especially The Female of the Species which I just adore) so whilst the plot of this doesn't appeal to me as much as her previous books I am confident I will enjoy it because I love her writing so much!

18th:

Missing
Missing by Kelley Armstrong: Kelley Armstrong is pretty much an auto-buy author for me. I don't even need to know what her books are about half the time. I just want them. This is another YA thriller from her I believe and after I loved The Masked Truth (highly recommend btw) I know I have to read this as well!


You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading. 

Friday, 24 March 2017

Friday Reads 24th March 2017

Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice and Book Beginnings is hosted by Rose City Reader. The idea is to share a sentence or so from the first page and the 56th page of the book you are currently reading!

Angels of Music
Book Beginning:
"Towards the end of the seventies - that colourful, hectic decade of garish clothes, corrupt politics, personal excess and trivial music- three girls were sent to the Paris Opera."

Friday 56:
"She picked up an apple from la Presidente's basket, flicked out her nails and rolled the fruit in her hand, letting the peel slither away from the flesh in an unbroken ribbon, then crushed it to juice with a sudden, powerful squeeze."

I am really confused about how I feel about this book so far. The prose can be very dense in places but at the same time the action scenes are very fast paced so the overall pace keeps getting changed up which is a bit jarring. But if you've ever wondered what Charlies Angels would have been like 200 years earlier then this is probably a good book for you. I am really enjoying the characters and the badassery - I really think that as a TV show this would be incredible and I would be glued to the screen but its slightly harder to get into as a book. I am enjoying it though and excited to continue. 
(Also - Irene Adler is my favourite so far and I need more of her please?)


You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading. 

Clare Reviews: Blood Tide by Claire McGowan

Blood Tide (Paula Maguire, #5)Title: Blood Tide
Author: Claire McGowan
Series: Paula Maguire #5
Format: Paperback
Source: Received from the publisher for an honest review
Pages: 352
Rating: 4.5/5
Blurb: Called in to investigate the disappearance of a young couple during a violent storm, Paula Maguire, forensic psychologist, has mixed feelings about going back to Bone Island. Her last family holiday as a child was spent on its beautiful, remote beaches and returning brings back haunting memories of her long-lost mother.
It soon becomes clear that outsiders aren't welcome on the island, and with no choice but to investigate the local community, Paula soon suspects foul play, realising that the islanders are hiding secrets from her, and each other.
With another storm fast approaching, Paula is faced with a choice. Leave alive or risk being trapped with a killer on an inescapable island, as the blood tide rushes in...



Blood Tide is the fifth book in the Paula Maguire series. I haven't yet read the first four books in the series but I didn't find this to be a major obstacle in my enjoyment of this book. I did find it took me a little while to sort out Paula's friend and family dynamic but once I had I found myself intrigued about the previous books in the series and excited for this book. 

The story itself is following a few different threads. The first of which is a missing couple on a remote island. This aspect was easily my favourite and I was so enthralled by the mystery. We get glimpses into the minds of one of the missing people (Fiona) in little snippets throughout the book telling her story before she went missing and these added so much tension and intrigue to the experience of reading. I found myself coming up with ever more wild (and frankly unlikely) solutions to the mystery and my mind was whirring even when I wasn't reading - I was desperate to find out how this all came together! Plus islanders who don't trust outsider/being trapped on an island during a storm are two of my favourite plot devices so that was already a win! 

At the same time we are also following Paula's personal problems - a missing mother and a fiance in jail for a crime he (maybe) didn't do. These were the parts that, though intriguing, would likely have been more so to me if I had read the first four books in the series and they're why I do recommend reading the series in order. We get some bits of her mother's story through the eyes of someone who knew her before she went missing and it paints an intriguing picture of her mother and the life she led. When it comes to her fiance (or ex-fiance?) I felt the emotional punch of it even without the background. 

That was another one of the things I most loved about this book - my emotional connection to the characters. So often when reading thrillers or crime I find myself detaching from the characters and focusing on the action. Here we had both. Paula felt so, so real to me and I was thoroughly absorbed in her life but I also felt for the side characters. Even characters we only spent a short time with managed to leave an impact on me.

I will definitely be going back and reading the first four books in this series. Because I need more of Paula and more of Claire McGowan's writing. This book appealed to me a lot and it definitely followed through on the promise of its blurb - there was so much tension throughout and I do highly recommend this book. If you've already read the previous books in the series you probably don't need me to tell you that you will love it - but if you haven't I do recommend picking this series up (and maybe be smarter than me and start at the beginning).

About the Author:


Claire McGowan grew up in a small village in Northern Ireland and now lives in London, where she runs an MA in creative writing at City University. BLOOD TIDE is Claire's sixth crime novel, and the fifth in the highly-acclaimed Paula Maguire series. She also writes women's fiction as Eva Woods.

 You can find out more about Claire on her Website or follow her on Twitter













And don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour! 

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.