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    Book Review: The Fallback by Mariah Dietz

    The Fallback

    Ever since the start of this year, I have suddenly found myself out of the reading rut that I have been stuck in for the longest time. I had felt it slowly weaning off at the end of 2018, but something about the feeling of a fresh start that comes hand in hand with a new year has done wonders for ability to relax and peel myself away from simply binge-watching Netflix for an entire day and feeling so sluggish and disgusting by the end of it.

    I have no doubt that this will all change once my final semester at uni gets fully under way and I am up to my eyeballs with books to read and words to write, but for now, I am reaping the benefits. And that is why I am so glad that the second book I read this year was such a winner.

    About the bookThe Fallback

    By Mariah Dietz

    Publish date: 10 January 2019

    Genre: Contemporary Romance

    Page count: 465

    (ARC provided for review purposes)

    SynopsisBreaking up is hard to do.

    It’s even harder when you’re not expecting it.

    Brooke Jensen is a planner. Not only in her personal life but also professionally as one of the most sought after event planners in Chicago.

    But, when the ideal life she built for herself, complete with handsome, long-term boyfriend and perfect apartment crumbles, she realizes there are some things you just can’t plan for.

    While trying to start anew from her best friend’s guest room and discovering the best doughnuts in the city, an idea sparks to life when she meets Levi. He’s intriguing, funny, and shockingly good-looking, and what had been a few stray thoughts becomes a new passion for Brooke, a blog detailing learning how to be single. The project introduces Brooke to new people and experiences, and keeps returning her back to Levi.

    But, Brooke learns kismet may have been wrong when she learns Levi is the last person she should be interested in.

    Falling for the wrong guy once has Brooke hesitant to start a new relationship, but Levi is quickly proving that The Fallback might be even better.

    TheFallback_banner

    My thoughtsI want to start off by saying that Brooke is a truly wonderful character. I have started writing this review mere minutes after finishing the book, and so it is all so fresh in my mind. I found her strong-minded and motivated, caring and generous, and just an all round great gal, to be honest. I really loved her commitment to work. Sure, she worked herself into the absolute ground but I couldn’t help but admire her ability to juggle a million things at once and be so successful in her field. It is rare to read about a working woman who is doing so well, and it was pretty inspiring actually.

    Now lets talk about Levi. If you read my feature last week on book boyfriends and how they give us an unrealistic outlook on love, but I adore them anyway – then Levi is exactly who I had in mind at the time, although I didn’t realise it yet. I only wish he was introduced slightly earlier in the book. It was around the 20% mark into the book that he first appeared, I think, so I felt like I was just kind of waiting for him to pop up before then. But, not to worry, because he more than made up for it.

    I also thoroughly enjoyed Mariah’s writing style. It was clean and easy to read, and not overrun with clichés (which is one of my absolute pet hates). It is a pretty long book at 465 pages, but I absolutely flew through it in no time at all. The characters were developed well, and I had such a clear image in my head of how I expected them to be. I really loved the dynamic between Brooke and her best friend Felicity. It reminds me of my own friendships and living with my best friend while being at university, which is the most fun. Admittedly, neither of us have young kids running around, but it is how I can imagine our friendship to be in ten years time.

    One other thing that I did pick up – as I am sure many of you would if you are like me – is how crazy it was that Brooke’s blog managed to get so popular so EASY. She doesn’t do anything in terms of promoting, she simply sits down and writes a post when she feels like it about whatever interesting thing she has done now. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely sounds like a blog I want to read. But, the way that she talks about it really just being for her and she doesn’t think she has much of an audience, and then all of a sudden she seems to be getting amazing recognition from it?! This is rather nit-picky of me though, and probably not something the majority of people would pick up on if they didn’t have a blog themselves and therefore didn’t realise just how much work goes on behind the scenes every day. And if that is the only real gripe I have, then that is not bad going.
    About the Author.pngMariah Dietz lives with her husband and three sons, who are the axis of her crazy and wonderful world in Raleigh, North Carolina.

    Mariah grew up in a tiny town outside of Portland, Oregon, where she spent most of her time immersed in the pages of books that she both read and created.

    She has a love for all things that include her family, good coffee, books, travelling, and dark chocolate. She’s also obsessed with Christmas ornaments and all things Disney.

     

    Amazon US

    Amazon UK (available on Kindle Unlimited)

    Goodreads

    Author website

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    FEATURE | Are our book boyfriends giving us an unrealistic outlook on love?

    what makes a good book 1I have no shortage of so called “book boyfriends”.

    These are the boys – or men – that you read about in books and think ohhhh I’ll take three of those, please. They are ruggedly handsome, with messy hair and The Jaw (as my dad calls it – apparently the male lead in movies always have a prominent jaw line? I hate to admit it but I kind of see his point and it really does make me laugh).

    As someone who has been reading romance novels for a very long time now, starting off light and simple all those years ago with the classic Jacqueline Wilson novels and slowly progressing into the steamier alternatives of contemporary romance and the delightful fantasy romance of Sarah J. Maas, I am no stranger to this idea of the ~ultimate luuuurve story~.

    You know the one. There is either a ‘meet cute’ situation, or a hate-to-lovers epic story, or even a friends-to-lovers, but they all pan out the same way. They meet (or re-connect), get to know each other, their first impressions of each other were probably wrong, something comes along that derails it for a short time (an ex, a lie, a wrongful assumption) before they realise they are just right for each other and absolutely cannot live another day apart and off they prance into the sunset.

    So where is this in real life?

    The closest I get to a romantic story is a drunken snapchat from a boy with barely legible typing of words that I shall not even repeat.

    Where is my Rhysand, my Cardan, my Heathcliff, my Darcy, my Grey (lol), my big story? (Ok, maybe not Cardan. He’s a bit of a dick isn’t he. BUT, I haven’t read The Wicked King yet and I can’t wait to hate to love him more)

    I mean, I guess I am only twenty one years old. Maybe it just hasn’t come along yet. But I also think I am kidding myself on if I think it will ever be anything like I have read in any book.

    We have to remember that these men are fictional characters. As much as we really wish they did, they don’t exist in real life, and they never will.

    So are our book boyfriends giving us an unrealistic outlook on love?

    I would say they are. For years I have imagined this perfect love story that I am finally mature enough to know will never happen, but a girl can still dream, right?

    There lies the problem, though. I love reading them! I love pretending that this could happen to me or someone I know someday! I want to live in that fantasy world where men act like that! I want to end all my sentences in exclamation marks to express my pure and utter joy!

    (In fairness, if it happened in real life, I would probably be cringing and saying wondering if he was being serious.)

    But will I keep reading these books till the end of my days?

    Abso-freakin-lutely.

     

     

    Edit (14/1/19): Something occurred to me last night, after posting this blog post. I don’t know if it was something I read on Twitter and subconsciously took in as I scrolled mindlessly, but it popped into my head that this post isn’t the most inclusive. I think it is important to check ourselves and call ourselves out when we find ourselves wrongly missing out an important bracket, or there will be no real and positive change in the future. I talk about book boyfriends in this post, because that is how I see it in my head. But, this doesn’t apply to everyone reading this I am sure. I thought about going back through the post and changing the language to be inclusive of all sexual orientations, but decided that I wanted to write this instead after noticing my mistake. The feelings that I talk about throughout this post are universal, I’m sure, no matter whether it is your book boyfriends or book girlfriends that consume your thoughts. What’s important here is that we are all day-dreaming and enjoying reading and having our love/hate relationships with this fictional characters. Ok. That’s all. Make sure to check your writing too, and everything else you say online and in person.

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    Book Review: Christmas Secrets by the Sea by Jane Lovering

    CSBTS Cover ImageIT’S NEARLY CHRISTMAS.

    Actually, I don’t feel overly Christmassy right now which I hope changes in the next three days. Normally I am finished up with university work a lot earlier than I was this year so it seems like Christmas has actually come around a lot quicker than it should’ve. But, I’ve had my Christmas nights out (for both jobs), I have my last shift before Christmas tomorrow and then I’m off for a grand total of three days, so if that isn’t cause for celebration then I don’t know what is.

    Today, though, it is the final stop on the Christmas Secrets by the Sea blog tour – clearly they were saving the best till last (lol).

     

    Christmas Secrets by the Sea

    Book #1 in the Seasons by the Sea series

    By: Jane Lovering

    Release date: 13 December 2018

    Publisher: Farrago Books

     

    About the Book

    Sometimes you don’t get the Christmas presents you imagined…

    Tansy Merriweather is down on her luck. She’s lost her business and her relationship, and instead of a glamorous London apartment, her home is now a campervan on a Dorset beach. And as if things couldn’t get any worse, a scruffy dog called Brian with a taste for sardines has adopted her as his owner.

    When Tansy’s new-found friends at the café in the bay help her to find a job as a location scout for a new TV show, things start looking up. However, she soon discovers that the show’s glamorous star, Davin O’Riordan, is as grouchy as he is  handsome – and just as Brian starts forging a touching romance with Davin’s elegant whippet, Seelie, Tansy begins to wonder exactly what Davin’s fans see in him.

    As Christmas approaches, Tansy and Davin discover each other’s secrets, and a new bond begins to grow between them. But how will they cope with the storms headed their way – and can they save the café from closing?

    DuDBLErWkAAqpHi.png

    My Thoughts

    This could not have been more perfect to read at this time of year. It wasn’t the kind of fluffy Christmas romance that you may expect it to be, and instead was incredibly touching and special. In fact, it isn’t really about Christmas at all, apart from the time of year that it was set. Christmas books probably have a preconception surrounding them that they can only be read at this time of year, but I actually think this could be enjoyed no matter what the month is because that isn’t really the focus. Perhaps the title is slightly misleading in this way.

    I did slightly struggle to connect with the main characters to begin with, but thankfully this did change as the book progressed and you got to learn more about them and their backgrounds. My favourite characters were definitely single mum Karen and her son Rory though! I absolutely loved reading about their relationship, and could imagine the little café that they worked in perfectly because it sounded so like the one I work in myself whenever I’m back in my little tiny seaside hometown. I also could not shake the image of Jamie Dornan as Davin, which is certainly not a bad thing to happen. Maybe it’s just because they are both Irish. I wonder how Jane Lovering imagined him when she was writing this, but that’s how it turned out in my own mind. Again, absolutely zero complaints there.

    A special mention goes out to the dogs in this book, which I never would have imagined I would be saying. Brian (which just seems like a hilarious name for a dog) was such a fantastic addition to the storyline, and I knew right from the beginning that Tansy wouldn’t be able to resist him when he plonked himself down at her feet and decided to call her his own.

    Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book for its sarcastic sense of humour and easy-flowing style that was a welcome escape after such a stressful few weeks at the end of this semester. I’ll definitely be following the series from now on. A big thank you to Fanny from Farrago Books for inviting me on to this tour!

     

    Buy the book from Amazon – Kindle / Paperback

    Add it to your Goodreads

    Jane Lovering - photo credit to Vienna Johnson

    Credit: Vienna Johnson

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    Bookish Naughty or Nice Tag

    Bookish Naughty or Nice Tag

    I was tagged by the wonderful Jenn from Jenniely to do the Bookish Naughty or Nice tag that she set up last year, and it was such a good one that I couldn’t not do it. I’m constantly amazed when I see people creating new tags – where do they get the ideas from?!

    As always, there a couple of rules to go along with this tag:

    ♥ Tag and link the person who tagged you

    Tag and link Jenn

    Tick/cross off the ones you have done or not done

    Tag another 10 people (I’ve only tagged five because that is as many as I could be bothered doing lol)

    Even if you haven’t been tagged, why not go ahead and do it anyway! Only six days left till Christmas to fit it in…

     

    • Received an ARC and not reviewed it

    Many, many, an ARC gone unread…

    • Have less than 60% feedback rating on Netgalley

    Currently sitting at 39% lol OOPS how did that happen?!?! To be fair, I barely ever use it any more. I used it a lot more when I didn’t have a blog because that was my only source of free books. I really should go back to it though because there were always such good choices.

    • Rated a book on goodreads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did)

    Technically NO because I don’t have my blog and my Goodreads linked yet – I know, I know, I’ll get round to it eventually.

    • Folded down the page of a book

    More times than I like to admit.

    • Accidentially spilled on a book

    Coffee and tear stains all over my uni books. Not tears from a sad story either. Tears of STRESS.

    • DNF a book this year

    Noly from The Artsy Reader is going to be appalled when I say this again, but I still haven’t finished A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. It’s not even that I don’t like it – I absolutely loved it! I don’t really know what happened, I think it was just so long and I had so much uni stuff going on at the same time that I took too long a break in the middle and never went back to it. I am planning on restarting it though, hopefully over Christmas.

    • Bought a book purely because it was pretty with no intention of reading it

    Just about all of the classics I own.

    • Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else (like homework)

    Homework, sleeping, working, tidying, you name it.

    • Skim read a book

    I’m so bad for skim reading, I have to stop. I read something and think, “hold on, what?” because it doesn’t make sense from me skipping over an important sentence.

    • Completely missed your Goodreads goal

    I have ticked this because I was way off track for a couple of months, but I think I am actually redeeming myself and I might juuuuust make it in time for the end of 2018.

    • Borrowed a book and not returned it

    My friend Emma (unwillingly) stores many books in my home.

    • Broke a book buying ban

    I am constantly on a book buying ban, meaning I am constantly breaking my book buying ban.

    • Started a review, left it for ages then forgot what the book was about

    I have lost count of the amount of times I have written just the title of the book and left it in drafts for too long, and so now you will never see the review for it unless I reread the book or something.

    • Wrote in a book you were reading

    I would never write in a book that I am reading for pleasure, but all my uni books are notes and highlights galore for essays and class discussion.

    • Finished a book and not added it to your Goodreads

    I read a lot on my kindle while I was on holiday in Spain at Easter and I think I missed adding half of them to Goodreads. Probably would’ve already been at my 2018 goal if I had actually done it.

    • Dodged someone asking if they can borrow a book

    It is too precious to give them incase I don’t get it back, a.k.a. what I do when I borrow one from them.

    • Broke the spine of someone else’s book

    I could never! That is outrageous.

    • Took the jacket off a book to protect it and ended up making it more damaged

    Noooo, the jacket has to stay on! That’s all part of the fun!

    • Sat on a book accidentally

    Technically no, but I have accidentally bent pages back from the book being in my bag which is absolutely heartbreaking. Damn books. They make us feel so many emotions.

     

    Ok. 15/20. I have been seriously naughty this year. Sorry, Santa. Please forgive me and bring me more books.

    Bookish-Naughty-or-Nice-Tag

    I TAG:

    Noly @ The Artsy Reader

    Kerry @ Herding Cats

    Evie @ Evie Jayne

    Emma @ Booking Good Read

    Princess of Pages

    and anyone else that wants to do it! Feel free to leave your links below.

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    Cover Reveal: Interlude by D. Kelly

    interlude COVER REVEAL BANNERINTERLUDE by D. Kelly

    Genre: Contemporary Romance

    Release Date: 29 January 2019

     

    About the Book

    Jordan Weston is good-looking, mysterious, and sexually uninhibited, but his life is more like the name of his bar – Just an Illusion. His cousins are the bad boys of Bastards and Dangerous, but their fame hasn’t made everything rainbows and sunshine for him. He’s haunted, flawed, and the sole survivor of a homicide that wiped out his immediate family.

    Allie Baker, the most recent hire at the bar, can see through Jordan’s façade. She knows he’s everything she doesn’t need, but she’s beginning to crave his cocky attitude and the way he looks at her. The more she tries to stay away from him, the more she wants to get to know him.

    Jordan knows falling for an employee is a bad idea, but Allie pushes buttons he never realized he had. Even though Allie desperately needs her job, she soon decides being with Jordan is more important. Will they be able to compromise, or will she let her chance at love pass her by for the sake of a paycheck?

    Interlude-Final-high.jpg

    Thoughts on the synopsis

    THIS SOUNDS SO GOOD. I am pretty excited to read this new release when it comes out (or maybe a cheeky little ARC…), although I have to say the blurb doesn’t leave too much to the imagination. We already know his entire back story and the fact that Allie is short on cash so needs this job, and I think we all know she isn’t going to ‘let her chance at love pass her by’ at the end of the book. Despite being able to predict the entire storyline from those three paragraphs, I’ll still definitely be reading this one. I haven’t read anything by D. Kelly before so I am looking forward to seeing her writing style.

    Interlude-Finalinterlude RELEASE DATE GRAPHIC

    About the Author

    D KellyD. Kelly, author of The Acceptance Series, The Illusion Series, and standalone companion novels Chasing Cassidy and Sharing Rylee, was born and raised in Southern California. She’s a wife, mom, dog lover, taxi, problem fixer, and extreme multi-tasker. She married her high school sweetheart and is her kids’ biggest fan.

    Kelly has been writing since she was young and took joy in spinning stories to her childhood friends. Margaritas and sarcasm make her smile, she loves the beach but hates the sand, and she believes Starbucks makes any day better [a woman after my own heart, by the sounds of it].

    A contemporary romance writer, D. Kelly’s stories revolve around friendship and the bond it creates, strengthening the love of the people who share it.

     

    Links

    Goodreads

    Kindle (UK) / Kindle (US)

    Amazon (UK paperback) / Amazon (US paperback)

    Apple (US)

    Barnes & Noble (US)

    Kobo (US)

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    Book Review: Heavenward by Olga Gibbs (Blog Tour)

    Untitled
    Hello, hello. How are we all? I am writing this on my couch in a big thick cardigan with a bowl of chicken noodle soup to my left and a pile of disgusting used tissues on my right as I sniff roughly every five letters typed. Thank you so much to my lovely flatmate for passing on this cold before jetting off to Canada this morning to visit family and leaving me to wallow all alone.

    Today it is my stop on the Heavenward blog tour, as organised by Melanie from Fraser’s Fun House and the author herself, Olga Gibbs. I want to start by saying this is the best blog tour/ARC/whatever that I have been involved in, simply because of the way it has been organised and how interactive it has been. Not only are both Melanie and Olga so lovely, but they also created a group chat on Twitter so we could read each other’s reviews and share them, share our thoughts with Olga, and generally just have fun with it all. THIS is how a blog tour should be.

    Now, on to the review…

    SYNOPSIS

    With the power to end the world, would you protect humanity when it broke you or would you take revenge?

    Meet Ariel: a quiet, unnoticeable girl with an incredible gift…

    Ariel never had an easy or pleasant life, but the arrival of three gorgeous strangers meant her measured life is turned upside down, as she discovers that angels exist.

    But when three new students appear in her sleepy town’s school, Ariel’s dull and measure life is thrown into turmoil, as she is drawn into an ancient celestial conflict that is bigger than her and which she will need to survive to remain herself.

    Now against her will, she’s drawn into an ancient celestial conflict, where her powers will decide the fate of humanity.

    Deceived, threatened, hunted, and now on the run, who can she trust?

    Heavenward[2626]MY THOUGHTS

    Even though I was sent a copy of this to review, I just want to point out that in no way does that affect my review.

    First of all, I really enjoyed the blend of the fantasy and the real. From my (admittedly limited) experience in fantasy, many novels in this genre don’t have two distinctly different worlds. Heavenward, however, starts off in a perfectly human world, one which has absolutely no elements of fantasy other than the fact it is a ‘sleepy’ town (a description which I actually really hate lol) so you know that something is about to go down. Ariel is also a pretty strong female lead, one which I really enjoyed getting to know. She is another one of those take-no-bullshit characters that I love so much.

    Read Yourself Happy said in her review that she thought it was a little too fast-paced for her liking and this maybe suited newcomers to the fantasy genre more, and she was absolutely right. As I have mentioned on here before, it wasn’t until earlier this year – summertime I think – that I really got into YA fantasy, pretty much as soon as I started reading A Court of Thorns and Roses. It had never interested me before. To this day, I still haven’t read very much in the genre at all, so I am by no means an expert, but that is what made me accept this review when the email came through inviting me onto the blog tour.

    But, as much as I wanted to absolutely adore it because of how lovely the tour itself is, I do have a few small gripes.

    Is this England? America? With ‘arse’ and ‘feds’ in the same sentence, I really have no idea. I think it is meant to be a small town in England, from what I remember, but there were so many Americanisms that I am sure were probably not deliberate that made this less than believable.

    I think because of what I am studying at university and it is all so fresh in my mind I can be a little harsh and nitpicky with other writers, and some sentences just went a liiiiitle too far for me, like the description of his smell when they first meet. It was all a little too fluffy and overrun with metaphors for me to truly get into the story.

    The dialogue also wasn’t always completely believable for teenagers either. ‘I’m new here and would like us to be friends’? They would never say that. And what about ‘Rachel thinks he must be a nerd because he wears glasses’? Was going to say I wear glasses but I am actually a nerd (lol) but the majority of people aren’t. There were a bit too many sweeping generalisations and stereotypes. And a town that small and she actually has to question if THREE new students all in the one day could maybe mean something is up? OF COURSE IT BLOODY IS.

    One final thing – was the cover designed on Paint?

    I feel like I am coming across as a little mean here, but I promise I am just trying to be constructive! I really love the idea of angels, which aren’t something I have read about since joining the fantasy-loving crew. And, there wasn’t a biblical feel to it all, which may have put some readers off if they didn’t know that. I am actually really looking forward to reading the sequel, Hallow, when it is released next year to find out what happens next with Ariel, Sam, and Rafe.

    Which, btw, TEAM RAFE ALL THE WAY <3 <3 <3

    heavenward 1

    Visit the rest of the tour (updating as the tour goes on):

    Perpetual Fangirl

    Hannah’s Bookshelf

    A Lovely Book Affair

    Like Herding Cats

    A Mixed Up Mummy

    Fraternal Philosophising

    Fraser’s Fun House (Heavenward dream movie cast)

    The Bold Mom/The Forsaken Cellar

    Read Yourself Happy

    Completely Chelle

    Ezzie’s Bookshelf

    Paperback Adventures

    Booking Good Read

    A Book Devourer

    Rambling Mads

    Rainy Days With Amanda

    Lozzy’s Things

    Books in the Skye

    Floral Cars

    Bookish Fawn (blog currently under construction – link will be added soon!)

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    November Reading Wrap Up: First Lines

    Rather than the usual monthly reading wrap up that appears on a lot of book blogs (which I love reading by the way), I thought I would opt for something a little bit different to see how it goes. I first saw this idea over on Falling Down the Book Hole, and they very kindly let me borrow it! The idea is that you share the first line of all the books you read that month, rather than a little synopsis.

    First lines are SO important in hooking a reader. Think of some of the greatest first lines in literature: Jane Austen with Pride and Prejudice, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife” (one of the few lines from literature I can easily quote by heart); or “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again” in Daphne du Maurier’s most famous novel, Rebecca. In my own writing, I spend such a long time trying to get the opening line perfect. I definitely don’t always manage it, and I am usually not 100% happy with it. It’s so hard to do!

    Compiling this list, I am actually in shock at how much I read. I thought I had barely did any reading this month! Turns out November was longer than I thought, and there were books that I would have guessed were all the way back in October because they were so long ago. Luckily, I update my Goodreads as soon as I finish one because I like to be accurate.

    Here are the first lines of the books I read in November. Some of them are better than others, and if I saw just those lines and knew nothing else about the book, those are the ones I would be drawn to. I have put stars next to my favourites!

     

     

    The Driver’s Seat – Muriel Spark

    “‘And the material doesn’t stain,’ the salegirl says.”

    The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

    “On a drowsy Sunday afternoon, a man in a long dark coat hesitated in front of a house in a tree-lined street.” (review)

    Unwritten Rules – Eliah Greenwood

    * “Dear Universe, why do you hate me?”

    Normal – Danielle Pearl

    “It’s the kind of situation most people would dread.”

    Trust – Kylie Scott

    “‘Don’t forget the corn chips!’ yelled Georgia, hanging out of her car window.”

    The Sound – Sarah Alderson

    *”I’m running. Running blind. Into the woods. Ricocheting off branches, tripping over tangled tree roots, gripping my arm as I stumble on sobbing. Are those his footsteps coming after me or is it the wind?”

    Poor Cow – Nell Dunn

    “She walked down Fulham Broadway past a shop hung about with cheap underwear, the week-old baby clutched in her arms, his face brick red against his new white bonnet.”

    Absolute Beginners – Colin MacInnes

    *”It was with the advent of the Laurie London era that I realised the whole teenage epic was tottering to doom.”

    The Wrong Bachelor – Alexandra Moody

    *”My boyfriend had a death wish.”

    The Tenth Girl – Carrie Aarons

    “A dusty ranch home was a step up from the trailer park, but just barely.”

    Endgame – Cara E. Holt

    “The luggage carousel springs into life and everyone around me bustles forward.”

     

    How was your November reading?

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    WWW Wednesday #3

    WWW WEDNESDAY graphicWWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words

    Read my previous WWW Wednesdays here

     

    The three W’s are:

    • What are you currently reading?
    • What have you recently finished reading?
    • What do you think you will read next?

    the history manCurrently Reading

    I have just started reading The History Man by Malcolm Bradbury today as the last text for my English Literature class this semester on Sixties Britain. I have no comments yet on it because I’m really just a few pages in, but I have been really enjoying immersing myself in the Sixties culture for the past couple of months! It isn’t something I had read much about before so it has made such a welcome change.

    I am also reading The Rule of One by Ashley and Lesley Saunders, which I mentioned in my New In #2 post. It has been slow progress so far, as it always is when I have university at the same time, but I really like the premise of it so I have high hopes!

    Recently Read

    Last week I finished reading The Cruel Prince by Holly Black which is probably one of my favourite books that I have read this year. I have had it sitting on my shelf for so long and finally got around to reading it this month, and now I am annoyed with myself for leaving it so long. For better, more coherent thoughts on this, read my full review here.

    I also read The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark, also for my Sixties Britain class, which I loved. It’s a very short book, about 100 pages or so, and totally absurd from start to finish but Spark is an absolute mastermind. It is so incredibly clever and well-done. I had only read The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie before, which I had liked at the time (I was in high school) but didn’t have particularly strong feelings about. Maybe I need to go back to it and see if my opinions have changed.

    Reading Next

    I have a couple of ARCs to read over December, including a festive little number called Christmas Secrets by the Sea by Jane Lovering. It is set to be released on the 13th of December, I believe, and my review is coming on the final day of the blog tour, the 22nd, which is perfect timing for some Christmassy reading after the stress of December deadlines! How inviting is the cover design too.

    I also tweeted this a couple of weeks ago:

    …which got so many great replies, which means plenty of reading recommendations for after my ARCs!! I did buy The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle after @_bookprincess_ gave it as one of her book recommendations and it sounds amazing. Click on the tweet to see what other book bloggers suggested!

    What are you reading right now? 

     

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    book review, books

    Book Review: The Cruel Prince

    cruel prince 1cruel prince 2So I am a little ashamed about how long it took me to discover this book, and then how long I then waited to actually read it. I am going to put this down to being a relatively new convert to the YA fantasy genre, but it was probably more about plain ignorance.

    However, boy am I glad to have found it.

     

    Synopsis

    Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

    One terrible morning, Jude and her sisters see their parents murdered in front of them. The fearsome assassin abducts all three girls and brings them to the world of Faerie. Mocked and tormented for being merely mortal, Jude soon realises that to survive in treacherous, dangerous world of the royal court, she needs to be as cunning as the Fey themselves. 

    But the stairway to power is fraught with shadows and betrayal. And looming over all is the arrogant and charismatic Prince Cardan.

    cruel prince 3.jpgLet’s start with the man himself, Prince Cardan.

    I am so glad to finally see a book that doesn’t instantly portray the male interest as the most amazing thing to have ever existed with next to no flaws. Sure, he is described as being unbelievably beautiful, but there is also no denying that he is an absolute dick. No wonder Jude hates him for basically the whole novel. Who can blame her?!

    That said, I did think the romance aspect would come a little earlier on. I felt like I was waiting and waiting for it, only to be slightly disappointed by the lack of action that actually happened. Sorry if that is a spoiler!! (Although most of you have probably already read this) In this way, I guess the synopsis is a little bit misleading. I assumed from it that their budding relationship would be a major part of the book, but it really wasn’t. I’m guessing that the relationship between Jude and Cardan is going to be a major driving point for The Wicked King, which is set to be released in January 2019 (yes, I have already pre-ordered my copy and did so the second I turned the final page of this one). AND, Cardan bullying Jude because he secretly really likes her? Are we ten years old again?

    I’m also pleasantly surprised and glad that Jude actually stayed human throughout the entirety of the book. I had a small fear that she was going to somehow become one of them, like the synopsis says she wants to be. I like that she is different and isn’t accepted by them, living with her parents’ murderer in a strange world. I like that she has to fight for her place and fight for respect. She is such a strong character who takes no bullshit.

    The second half of the book was definitely better than the first, probably because it was much more fast paced, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying all of it and flying through it. There is plot twist after plot twist and you have to keep reading. You don’t really get any choice in the matter.

    I really, really want to give this book 5/5 stars, but I think the romance side of it was just lacking a little bit of substance. Maybe this is because I went in to it expecting it to be really like A Court of Thorns and Roses, which it isn’t really at all, but hopefully The Wicked King redeems this for me. I’ll settle for 4.5/5.

    What did you think of Jude and Cardan’s relationship in The Cruel Prince?

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