Blog Update #8

Hello. I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted so I just wanted to let you know that I haven’t forgotten about this blog. Some stuff has happened in my life and I’ve had a lot to deal with so I kind of lost track of everything. I will be coming back to this blog soon but I just needed a bit of a break, eventually everything should return to normal though.  Until then posting may be a bit irregular so I hope you all bear with me. Thank you for reading! 🙂

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words. This meme involves answering three questions. What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’re going to read next? This is just a quick filler post as I skipped my September wrap up because the books I read were all part of a series (the Peter Grant series) and I’m going to do a full series review once I’ve fully caught up. Sorry for the lack of posts but hopefully some more will be coming up soon!

What are you currently reading?

I’ve just started Faithful Place by Tana French and it’s pretty good so far. It’s the third book in the ‘Dublin Murder Squad’ series and focuses on Frank who is forced to return to his home town when the suitcase of his childhood sweetheart who left over twenty years ago turns up in the abandoned house they used to meet up in. It’s really interesting so far and I’m looking forward to the ‘big reveal’ as I do with all of Tana French’s books as she is such an amazing writer.

What did you recently finish reading?

I recently read The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey and it was phenomenal! I gave it 5 stars and I can’t wait to see the film adaptation next week. It’s a post apocalyptic thriller that focuses on a little girl who is locked up everyday and night in a cell and only brought out for lessons and food whilst in restraints. It’s such an interesting premise and it lived up all of the hype, I loved it. I’ll be posting more in my wrap up so if you’d like to know more then watch out for that at the end of the month.

What do you think you’re going to read next?

I think I’ll read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins next as like with TGWATG I want to see the film adaptation soon. I’ve tried to avoid spoilers so I only know vaguely what it’s about, I know it involves a divorced woman who whilst traveling on a train witnesses a crime but that’s pretty much it. I can’t wait to read it and I really hope I like it as much as everybody else seems to.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

Autumn TBR

Hello! Since it’s now autumn I thought I’d do a quick post to remind myself to read these five books during the season. I always like to read more thriller and historical books so you’ll probably notice a theme on my TBR. Hopefully I’ll have read these by the end of the year at the very least. If you’d like to find out more about each book I’ve linked the Goodreads pages in the titles. Anyway, the books I’d like to read in Autumn are –

Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto

I’ve owned this book for quite a while and recently I’ve been thinking about it a lot as the blurb is so interesting.  From what I can gather it’s about a girl named Westie and when she was a child cannibals took her arm and her family whilst they traveled a wagon trail and she is now seeking revenge. She is then adopted by an inventor named Nigel who goes onto build a machine that can harvest magic from gold, there is a problem though – the main investors in Nigel’s invention seem to Westie to be the family that killed hers and took her arm. The book seems to focus on Westie’s adventure to prove their guilt and possibly get revenge for her family. Doesn’t that sound amazing? I definitely want to pick this one up as soon as possible.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows and Brodi Ashton

I picked this up not too long ago after hearing a lot of buzz on twitter and the inner history buff in me couldn’t resist. It’s a funny and fantastical retelling of the adventures of Lady Jane Grey – the nine day queen. I love historical fiction and retellings as they always bring something new to a sometimes stale subject even if it doesn’t exactly tell the truth. I’m also looking forward to seeing how having three different authors changes the storytelling.

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Again, another book I’ve had for a while but I’m still really excited to read. I follow the author, Marieke Nijkamp on twitter and immediately wanted to read This Is Where It Ends when she announced it as I love her tweets. The focus of this book is a school shooting and is told from the perspective of four different people at said school. I don’t know much else about it as I really want to go into this book without preconceptions but I think this is going to be a really gripping read.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Though I’ve had this on my TBR for ages I recently read The Likeness by Tana French and it is now one of my favourite books and every book list I’ve seen says people who love that will love The Secret History. I actually don’t know much about the plot as I kind of want to go in without knowing anything but from what I can gather it involves a group of students and a murder. That’s all I know but it’s more than enough for me to want to read it ASAP!

The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey

To be honest my main reason for wanting to read this book sooner rather than later is that I really want to see the film. I love anything zombie related so once I saw the trailer I knew that I needed to watch it (it was amazing and Gemma Arterton is in it!) but I usually like to read the book beforehand so I think I might read this book next.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words. This meme involves answering three questions. What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’re going to read next? Leave links to your WWW Wednesday posts in the comments below!

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch. I picked up the first three books in the Peter Grant series a few weeks ago in a charity shop as I’d heard really good things and I’m so glad I did. Whispers Underground is the third book in the series and I’m loving it so far and I can’t wait to read the rest of the books to see how the story progresses. I’ll talk more about this series in my wrap up so if you’re interested in my thoughts check that out at the end of September!

What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch which is the second book in the Peter Grant series. Again I really liked it but not as much as I liked the first book to be honest, the plot wasn’t quite as interesting to me personally. It was still a pretty good book though and made me want to continue on with the series, especially with how it left off.

What do you think you’re going to read next?

I’ve ordered but don’t yet have the fourth book in the Peter Grant series so until then I think I might read An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir as I own the first two books in that series and haven’t started it yet. I love epic fantasy novels so I expect I’m going to love this just as much as everybody else seems to!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

REVIEW – The Girls by Emma Cline

the-girls-by-emma-clineThe Girls By Emma Cline
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ | 4 Star Rating
Goodreads | Book Depository | Author’s Site
Published by Penguin Random House – Out Now! 
This book was purchased with my own money.


Synopsis

California. The summer of 1969. In the dying days of a floundering counter-culture a young girl is unwittingly caught up in unthinkable violence, and a decision made at this moment, on the cusp of adulthood, will shape her life….

Evie Boyd is desperate to be noticed. In the summer of 1969, empty days stretch out under the California sun. The smell of honeysuckle thickens the air and the sidewalks radiate heat.

Until she sees them. The snatch of cold laughter. Hair, long and uncombed. Dirty dresses skimming the tops of thighs. Cheap rings like a second set of knuckles. The girls.

And at the centre, Russell. Russell and the ranch, down a long dirt track and deep in the hills. Incense and clumsily strummed chords. Rumours of sex, frenzied gatherings, teen runaways.

Was there a warning, a sign of things to come? Or is Evie already too enthralled by the girls to see that her life is about to be changed forever.

My Thoughts

I picked this book up randomly on a shopping trip one day and I went into it completely blind and I’m so glad I did. This book was such an amazing ride and really impacted the way I think about some things. The incidents written about in this book seem somewhat based on the Manson family and the murders they committed, the musical cult leader and the ranch and other things are pretty identical to the real events. It almost feels like Emma Cline created a character to insert into the Manson family to act as a fly on the wall. Evie, our protagonist is an amazing character, flawed and sometimes unlikable but underneath it all a decent person who is desperate for some form of affection which leads her to getting involved with a group she wouldn’t normally associate with. She is initially drawn in by Suzanne, a wild, carefree girl who Evie instantly falls in love with and in some aspects you can understand why. Suzanne is Evie’s complete opposite in some aspects, she’s wild, carefrree and doing what she wants with her life without the societal expectations and responsibilities that bind Evie.. Emma Cline perfectly describes the pull that Evie feels from this unique group of people who seem to want her to be a part of them, it’s like a really messed up family and the tight familial bond is something Evie has always wanted.

The cast of characters is like those in most books in that they’re varied and interesting but they come with a slightly sinister twist as from the beginning you know what they are capable of doing and you can’t quite get attached to them because of this despite growing to like them. It was interesting to read about the different relationships between the members themselves and also their relationships with Russell, their leader. Some of the characters really intrigued me such as Roos and her son and I wish we were able to find out more about them as individuals before they were captured under Russell’s spell. The Girls is one of those books where you just want to reach into the pages and snap them all out of it as you can see how easily they’re being manipulated whilst they’re unable to. I also enjoyed the snippets of older Evie as it gives the reader a chance to understand how much Evie was changed by the cult and how it changed her life forever.

I was slightly disappointed with the ending though which is why I gave it 4 stars as I really wanted something to resolve the plot or at least give Evie some closure. Despite this I did really enjoy this book and Emma Cline’s writing is addictive and engrossing, I’ll definitely pick up whatever she writes in the future!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

August Wrap Up

I’ve finally have time to post my August wrap up! I’ve been a little busy recently (mainly because of the new Fallout 4 DLC’s) so I’m posting this a little late which I hope is okay. Anyway last month I managed to read 11 books which is pretty good for me especially as I only managed to read 1 the month before. I’ve just been reading a lot more than I normally do recently so I’m hoping to keep reading this way during September as well. So! The books I read during August were –

Timeless by Gail Carriger ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

A great end to a great series! I really enjoyed this book as it explored Alexia’s relationships with her new family and also her discovering some things about her past family. I also liked how it explored some of the side characters such as Biffy and Ivy as I love them both. I don’t want to say much in case I spoil it but I definitely recommend picking this book up! I can’t wait to start reading the spin off books in the Finishing School series.

The Girls by Emma Cline ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I’m actually going to be posting a full review of this book soon!  I loved it though and definitely recommend it but I’ll talk about my thoughts more in my review.

Monstress Volume 1  by Marjorie Lu ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (3.5)

Monstress was great but slightly confusing, like most graphic novels it drops you in at the deep end and it sometimes left me wondering what was going on. It had a really interesting epic fantasy plot with an amazing female character but sometimes the actual backstory wasn’t easy to follow. The art was absolutely beautiful though and I did really enjoy it. I’ll probably pick up the next volume once it comes out.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This book was phenomenal! The writing was beautiful and the plot flowed so beautifully and I couldn’t stop reading once I started. The main protagonist, Yeine was such a fascinating, strong character and her transition from the leader of a small settlement to heiress to the king was really interesting to read about. I loved Jemisin’s inclusion of the gods, the world and backstory she built was so intricately designed that I had to keep reading until I found out what happened. I also loved the poly relationship inclusion too, there should be way more in fiction. I ordered the second book as soon as I finished this one and I can’t wait to read it!

Daughter of the Forest by Juliette Marillier  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

After reading The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms I was in the mood for more fantasy so I picked up Daughter of the Forest as it seems to be a staple in all of the epic fantasy recommendation lists I’ve read and I know why. It’s exactly what you’d expect out of an epic fantasy book, great world building, interesting characters and a compelling plot. As it’s a retelling of  ‘The Six Swans’ fairy tale it had a certain magical and homely atmosphere to it which I loved.

Far From You by Tess Sharpe  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This was such an amazing book! Definitely a new favourite! It’s such an intriguing mystery about a girl, Sophie who is just leaving rehab and is on a mission to solve a murder she was witness to. I loved how it flicked from current events to the past to reveal what lead up to each moment and it’s so genuinely fascinating. I thought Sophie’s relationship with Mina was really heart wrenching and was glad the author didn’t act as if Sophie wasn’t affected by what had happened and actually dealt with the emotional aftermath. I really loved it and the mystery of who the killer was left me gripped to the end.

Grimspace by Ann Aguirre ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I was really craving a great science fiction book and I’m so glad I chose this to read. I liked the main character, Sirantha a lot and I thought her power, the ability to jump through ‘grimspace’ was really unique and created a lot of interesting situations. Sirantha is struggling after her ship crash lands leaving everybody, including her boyfriend, dead and she absolutely has no memory of it. Once arrested for this crash she is then freed by a group of people who, like the her previous employers want to use her for their own means. I just found this book really fun and compelling, I loved all of the characters and though I wasn’t such a huge fan of the romance I still couldn’t stop reading. I can’t wait to pick up the next book!

Wonder Woman – Love and Murder by Jodi Picoult ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ (2.5)

I picked this up from the library on a whim because I love Wonder Woman but it really didn’t do it for me. It’s always hard to get into comics because of the multiple storylines but this just seemed a lot less coherent than the rest. I felt like WW’s character wasn’t given the writing she deserved and there was to much focus on her relationship, Nemesis rather than the consequences of her previous actions. I’m also kinda sick of the whole pitting great female characters against each other to sell more copies as it really reduces Wonder Woman’s character to someone I can’t recognise. The art is really beautiful though so I guess that’s a selling point!

Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This is such a perfect summer romance read! I needed something cute and fun after reading a lot of dark and sometimes slow build SFF books and this definitely fit the bill. Though it’s sweet and fun it does explore some deeper subjects such as unhealthy relationships whilst dealing with the otherwise normal high school drama. Leila has to deal with a lot, her parents expectations of her, her sexuality and shifting social groups and she’s still such a sweet and funny character despite the hardships she’s been dealt. I also loved her developing relationship which I won’t spoil, I thought it was really raw and real compared to her previous relationship and this book just contained such a great cast of characters that you can’t help but love.

In the Woods by Tana French ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I’m not normally a huge reader of crime novels but In the Woods left me with a newfound love for the genre. I went into it without knowing what it was really about and I think that made it all the better as most of the plot was a mystery to me. I don’t want to spoil too much but it focuses on the murder investigation of a young girl in a small Irish town.The lead detective, Rob notices the similarities to a missing persons case that he was involved in as a child and tries to search for the answers about his past. The end wasn’t exactly what I wanted as it left some questions unanswered which is why I didn’t give it 5 stars.

The Likeness by Tana French ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This is the ‘sequel’ to In the Woods though it is more of a companion novel. It’s set a bit after the first book but focuses on Rob’s partner, Cassie when she’s faced with a dead body that looks almost identical to her own, using an undercover identity she once used. I honestly loved this book and everything in it. I loved the group dynamic that’s included and the actual investigation itself is so intriguing. I just really loved this book and it’s definitely a new favourite. I can’t wait to read the next book from her ex-boss Frank’s point of view as he was a really interesting character.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Books That Have Been On Your Shelf (Or TBR) From Before You Started Blogging That You STILL Haven’t Read Yet

Top Ten Tuesday is an weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where a different ‘challenge’ for a list of ten books/bookish things is set each week. This week’s topic is ‘Ten Books That Have Been On Your Shelf/TBR Since Before You Started Blogging That You Still Haven’t Read Yet’.

I’m 90% sure that these books are from before I started this blog and it’s kind of interesting to see how much my book buying tastes have changed since then, I didn’t have nearly as many unread books then as I do now. This post will definitely serve as a reminder to read all of these books! So, the books I bought before I started blogging are –

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

Vicious by V. E. Schwab

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Which for some reason now have 3 copies of!)

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (I think I got this the first week I started blogging!)

Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

July Book Haul

Welcome to my July Book Haul! Despite not really shopping last month I somehow managed to accumulate quite a few books which I’m kind of both happy and annoyed about. I really need to stop buying so many books so hopefully my future book hauls will be a lot smaller (even though I’ve already bought a few this month). Anyway, the books I bought/received were –

July BH

Classic Scottish Writing by Alasdair Gray (This and the next 6 books were part of a Scottish literature set so I might not be able to link all of them.)

Selected Poems by Robert Burns

Selected Stories by James Kelman

Selected Stories by Muriel Spark

Two Stories by Sir Walter Scott

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Four Tales by James Hogg

How Hard Can Love Be? by Holly Bourne

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Sweet Little Lies by Jill Shalvis

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley

The Shadow Queen by C. J. Redwine

Girl Hearts Girl by Lucy Sutcliffe

After Alice by Gregory Maguire

The Penny Heart by Martine Bailey

White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola

The Cold Commands by Richard Morgan

The Girls by Emma Cline

Monstress – Awakening by Marjorie Lu and Sana Takeda

Thanks for reading! 🙂

WWW Wednesday/July Wrap Up

WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words. This meme involves answering three questions. What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’re going to read next? I’ve also decided to sorta combine this post with my monthly wrap up as I was only able to read one book last month.

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading three books at the moment, The Girls by Emma Cline, Timeless by Gail Carriger and Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu. I’m around halfway through all of these so I’ll most likely review all of these in my August Wrap Up.

What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished Girl Hearts Girl by Lucy Sutcliffe. It was the only book I read last month and I posted a review as part of a book tour here which I’m also counting as my monthly wrap up review.

girl hearts girls

What do you think you’re going to read next?

I might read either Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger (as I’ll have finished the Parasol Protectorate series by then) or DC Bombshells Volume 1 as I really want to get back into reading comic books again and I love the art style from what I’ve seen of DC Bombshells already. I also have a few other books I’d like to read this month but I may make these two priority.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Books You’d Buy Right This Second If Someone Handed You A Fully Loaded Gift Card

Hello and Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! Top Ten Tuesday is an weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where a different ‘challenge’ for a list of ten books/bookish things is set each week. This week’s topic is ‘Ten Books You’d Buy Right This Second If Someone Handed You A Fully Loaded Gift Card’ so I’ve shared 10 of my most wished for books. This post was a bit last minute as I’ve just got back from a weekend away but I really wanted to get something up before my monthly wrap up so I hope this is okay! All books are linked to Goodreads if you’d like to find out more.  Anyway the books I’d love to buy are –

Every Heart a Doorway  by Seanan McGuire

10 Things No One Will Tell a Fat Girl by Jes Baker

We Were Feminists Once by Andi Zeisler

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero


Juliet Takes a Breath
by Gabby Rivera

Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis

Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde

The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

The Second Footman by Jasper Barry

Thanks for reading! 🙂