Tuesday 31 May 2016

Top Ten Books I Want to Read This Summer

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. We initially struggled with this one a bit. Ann never reads at the beach and whilst I do read at the beach - it isn't my favourite place. In addition to this all the beaches near us are the rocky kind with lots of gusts of wind, so reading is always a bit of a nightmare! So I modified it a bit to the books I want to read this summer - on or off the beach!

1)  Summer Days and Summer Nights by Stephanie Perkins
Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories
Her Christmas collection was perfect for the season and I am excited to get into this one. I will probably read a story a day like I did with the Christmas collection. 

2) The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood
The Square Root of Summer
It has Summer in the title so it must be perfect for the season! I haven't heard much about this book although I have seen it around a lot - I am hoping it will be a great read. 

3) A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)
This is a huge book so at least if I read it on the beach it's unlikely to blow away in the wind! This is a book I know I will be completely absorbed by!

4) Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Klepas
Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels, #2)
Regency Romance is actually my Genre of Summer and definitely the genre I read most often on beach days. Lisa Kleypas is one of my favourite authors and I know this will be a light, fun and romantic read.

5) The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller
The Forbidden Orchid
I actually don't know much about this book but my copy just arrived in the post so it's a bit on my mind. It has a beautiful cover and looks like an exciting historical read!

6) The Second Love of my Life by Victoria Walters
The Second Love of My Life
This is a slightly sadder book - which isn't normal for Summer but the cover seems summery to me for some reason and as a contemporary it should be perfect for summer.

7) Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick
Every Exquisite Thing
I loved Silver Linings Playbook (movie more than the film actually) and I am excited to read this one - it is YA Contemporary and there is a tortoise on the cover - all of which make me think it a beach read for some reason.

8) The Butterfly Summer by Harriet Evans
The Butterfly Summer
Another one with Summer in the title! How could I possibly read this at any other time of year?

9) The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen
The Way to Game the Walk of Shame
The cover and the title all appeal to me. I am looking forward to this one!

10) Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld 
Eligible (The Austen Project #4)
I received this for review on Netgalley and I have been looking forward to reading it ever since. A kindle may not be the best idea on the beach (I am entirely capable of dropping it in a rock pool) but this will definitely be a great read. 

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

Monday 30 May 2016

Cover Characteristic: Benches

Cover Characteristics is hosted at Sugar & Snark. 

How to Save a LifeEleanor & Park
Cracked Up to BeFrom Notting Hill with Four Weddings . . . Actually (Actually, #3)Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)
Our definite favourite cover was How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr although we do also like the Eleanor & Park cover. This week took us a while because for the longest time the only one I could think of was Anna and the French Kiss but after a little rooting around on our bookshelves we found more!

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

Sunday 29 May 2016

Sunday Post 29th May 2016

The Sunday Post STSmall_thumb[2]
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.

Last Week on the Blog:

Books We Got This Week:
Struck (Struck, #1)Shaken (Struck, #3)At First Sight
Struck/Shaken by Joss Stirling: I love Joss Stirlings books - they're light and often a little on the predictable side but they're fun and always a read in one sitting kind of book. These are the first and third books in this series (I've already read the second). 
At First Sight by Jennifer Lynn Barnes: Having read and enjoyed Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes last week I wanted to check out more of her books and this, with assassins, sounds perfect for me.
A School for Unusual Girls (Stranje House, #1)Only Beloved (The Survivors' Club, #7)The Bone Season (The Bone Season, #1)
A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin: I've been wanting to check out this book for a while so finally decided to do so.
Only Beloved by Mary Balogh: This is the last (I think) book in the Survivors series and the only one I haven't read yet. I am very excited for this one.
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon: This was a bit of an impulse buy. I have been interested in this series but wasn't intending to read it yet. But a Hardback for £2.00 was too good to pass up!

Reading Update:
The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus, #3)The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4)The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5)
The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan: 5 stars, I loved this book and everything about it what more can I say. 
The House of Hades by Rick Riordan: 5 stars, I am his really living this series and all the characters and the fact that although there are a lot of characters I still know who is who. 
The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan: 5 stars, This was a great ending to the series and I am excited to read Trials of Apollo soon. 

I have been feeling very lazy this week and have been dipping in and out of old favourites. So whilst I've read quite a lot of books this week, I haven't read any new books. 

Next Week on the Blog:

  • Cover Characteristic: Benches
  • Top Ten Books We Plan to Read at the Beach
  • Wednesday Catch-Up
  • Clare Reviews: Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith
  • Friday Reads
  • Ruler of Books Tag

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

Thursday 26 May 2016

Clare Reviews: Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

HEXTitle: Hex
Author: Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Format: Paperback Received from publisher for review
Pages: 404
Rating: 3/5
Blurb: Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay until death. Whoever comes to stay, never leaves.
Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth-century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Blind and silenced, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children's beds for nights on end. So accustomed to her have the townsfolk become that they often forget she's there. Or what a threat she poses. Because if the stitches are ever cut open, the story goes, the whole town will die.
The curse must not be allowed to spread. The elders of Black Spring have used high-tech surveillance to quarantine the town. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town's teenagers decide to break the strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into a dark nightmare.

This book was horrifying and unsettling. And not what I expected. Hex is not a comfortable read - it isn't to be. There are some true horrors in this book and the worst parts are not the supernatural frights of the witch but the depths of cruelty and inhumanity that the humans themselves go to. 

It took me a while to get into this book, there was even a stage towards the beginning where I thought I might not finish it. As well written as it is and as realistic as the characters were it isn't the sort of book that I usually find myself reading. But there comes a point where you become completely absorbed. From about halfway through onwards I could not stop reading. I grew to care about certain characters but it was the characters I disliked that kept me reading. Them and the witch - who by the way I did actually like a bit.

There were points at which I found myself skip-reading and had to go back and re-read those sections but for the most part there was a kind of car-crash-horror to the actions of the characters and I had to keep reading to see what they would do next. And they never failed to surprise me - in a completely horrific sort of way. I wouldn't say this was an enjoyable read or that any of the characters were especially likable but it was compelling.

The witch herself, was the best character in the book (albeit a character without any lines) and I would have liked to know what happened to her after the events of this book. The ending was in many ways unresolved. For example it ends with a knock on the door and no knowledge on the readers part as to who is there - any of the options can only be guessed at and whilst I may hold my own theory it can never be proven. Which is the point really, but as many people probably know I am not a huge fan of unresolved endings - it gives me way too much anxiety.

I had expected to be scared by Hex and whilst there were a couple of mild scares, for the most part I wasn't scared so much as disgusted and upset by the behaviour of the humans. I suppose we all like to think that under these circumstances we'd do the right thing, but its so easy to lose sight of that when you're as scared as these characters were. If anything about this book keeps me up at night - it'll be that. 

Overall, as I said I can't say I enjoyed this book because I don't think I was meant to but I can say it was compelling and real in an odd sort of way and quite well written. I hadn't expected this book, I was completely unprepared and I would be curious to re-read it later on to see if there were any details I missed. 

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

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Wednesday Catch-Up 25th May 2016

Every Wednesday we are linking up with WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is hosted at Taking on a World of Words and asks 3 questions: What are you currently reading?, What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you'll read next?


Currently Reading:
Only Beloved (The Survivors' Club, #7)
I am currently reading Only Beloved by Mary Balogh which is the final book in her Survivors series which I have greatly enjoyed. I am hoping to enjoy this latest installment as well.

Recently Finished:
Every Other DayDemon Road (Demon Road, #1)The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1)Zeroes (Zeroes, #1)
The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo, #1)Regency BuckThe Grand SophyTangled Reins (Regency, #1)
Four In Hand (Mira)Impetuous Innocent (Mira)Fair Juno (Regency, #4)The Reasons For Marriage (Regencies, #5; Lester Family, #1)
A Lady Of Expectations (Regencies, #6; Lester Family, #2)An Unwilling Conquest (Regencies, #7; Lester Family, #3)A Comfortable Wife (Lester Family, #4)Dangerous
I enjoyed Every Other Day I thought it was a fun and exciting read. I was less immersed in Demon Road which I think was just not for me, it was promising but I never really liked the characters. I then read The Angel Experiment which was my first James Patterson and I was definitely pleased with it. I do want to continue the series but since I am saving for a new laptop book buying may be on hold for a while! I found Zeroes to be an odd one - I liked the concept but I did not like the characters so I am still unsure about it as a whole. I then finally read The Hidden Oracle which I have been excited for. It was just as funny and engaging as I expected and I look forward to the series  continuing. I then re-read both Regency Buck and The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer which are two of my favourites! And then, since I was in a lazy reading mood I re-read the Regency series by Stephanie Laurens which only took me a couple of days. I also re-read some of my Amanda Quick novels which were fun.

Planning to Read Next:
A School for Unusual Girls (Stranje House, #1)Struck (Struck, #1)Shaken (Struck, #3)
I am planning to read A School for Unusual Girls next. I haven't heard much about this book but the premise intrigues me. I will then read Struck and Shaken by Joss Stirling who is one of my favourite authors when it comes to light reading.

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