Gone Fishing!

I’m taking a break, guys.

I’m going home tonight to celebrate my Nan’s 80th birthday – on a narrowboat! And then my mum is coming back to London with me to visit, and go to Wimbledon. Excited.

wimbledon

I did mean to schedule some posts but I haven’t found the time so I’m just going to take a wee break. I haven’t really been reading much lately anyway, due to life and the tennis.

I’ll reply to any comments/emails after I’m done celebrating Nadal or Murray winning Wimbledon.*

* I just jinxed it didn’t I?

Also, Happy Birthday to my favourite Di! Sometimes I make her get drunk and write guests posts for me. If you want to make her birthday even better you should check out her awesome new tote bags and enter her Birthday Giveaway HERE.

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WWW Wednesday! 24.06.2014

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

How is it Wednesday again already? I mean, really! I’ve been so busy (good busy) again this week so I haven’t had nearly as much reading time as I would like. But anyway, enough whinging…here’s what’s been going on around here:

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Currently Reading: I’ve finally picked up Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer, but I haven’t even managed to read the first chapter yet. The universe is against me reading this book!

Recently Finished: I just finished Burial Rites by Hannah Kent which took me over a week to read, but not because it wasn’t good. It was totally gripping despite a slow plot, and it was written so beautifully that I didn’t want to rush it. A full review should follow at some point. I also finished Braineater Jones by Stephen Kozenieweski which was a great pulpy, horror. I reviewed it here. I am nothing if not eclectic.

Up Next: I’m not too sure this time. It will probably be either Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3), an ARC called One of Us which is released in August, or maybe The Fault in Our Stars.

Braineater Jones by Stephen Kozeniewski

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Title: Braineater Jones
Series: N/A
Author: Stephen Kozeniewski
Edition: e-book, 234 pages
Published: October 14th 2013 by Red Adept Publishing, LLC
Genre(s): Horror; Mystery
Disclosure? Yep! I received a copy via the publisher/author in exchange for an HONEST review.
Goodreads
Amazon

Braineater Jones wakes up face down in a swimming pool with no memory of his former life, how he died, or why he’s now a zombie. With a smart-aleck severed head as a partner, Jones descends into the undead ghetto to solve his own murder.

But Jones’s investigation is complicated by his crippling addiction to human flesh. Like all walking corpses, he discovers that only a stiff drink can soothe his cravings. Unfortunately, finding liquor during Prohibition is costly and dangerous. From his Mason jar, the cantankerous Old Man rules the only speakeasy in the city that caters to the postmortem crowd.

As the booze, blood, and clues coagulate, Jones gets closer to discovering the identity of his killer and the secrets behind the city’s stranglehold on liquid spirits. Death couldn’t stop him, but if the liquor dries up, the entire city will be plunged into an orgy of cannibalism.

Cracking this case is a tall order. Braineater Jones won’t get out alive, but if he plays his cards right, he might manage to salvage the last scraps of his humanity.

Braineater Jones is a darkly comic, tongue-in-cheek mystery about a Zombie trying to figure out who killed him. What’s not to like!?

It took me a little while to get into the rhythm of this book, and I felt like it was trying too hard to be funny at first, but it didn’t take long settle down, and I ended up really enjoying the style of it.

Braineater Jones is set during the 1930’s and written in a simple diary-entry structure. It was interesting to have a narrator with amnesia who was documenting his ‘un-life’ as he calls it, day-by-day. Once Jones has come to terms with his new Zombie self, maggots and all, the first thing he has to do is find a steady supply of hard liquor to keep his brain nice and lubricated, but that’s easier said than done.

However, he soon finds a partner in talking severed head Alcibé (obviously) and together they find themselves starting up a half-arsed P.I business in exchange for somewhere to stay and the much needed Old Crow booze supply.

Whilst solving a crime here and there, and trying to find out how Jones died in the first place, him and the head meet a whole host of shady characters, and he’s never quite sure who to trust. He can’t even trust himself because he can’t remember who he is, or was.

I thought this was a really fun take on a zombie story. It kind of reminded me of a really messed up film noir. Place names like the Welcome Mat (the speakeasy) and Hat Scratch Fever (the zombie brothel where you can build your own prostitute limb by limb), along with the language Kozeniewski uses gave it a strong 30’s/ early 40’s vibe. All the guys are mooks and the girls are twists and skirts…I loved it.

I thought that use of language and style made the ridiculous, pulpy, plot seem a lot less ridiculous. I also liked how Jones answers all of the questions he wrote out in the earlier chapters one by one throughout the book.

If you’re a fan of light-hearted but gory horror with a sense of humor then give Braineater Jones a try.

Oh, and I didn’t even get round to the fetus-like old guy in a jar called ‘the boss’ who uses robotic arms and legs to get around and torture people with….like a cross between Benjamin Button and Dr. Robotnik. But in a jar. Why the hell not?

unicorn rating 4

Braineater Jones is available now in paperback, e-book and audio.

Top Ten Tuesday: Cover Trends

toptentuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the image to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the theme is: Cover Trends (likes or dislikes)

Ooh I like this topic because I probably give too much kudos to book covers; I definitely choose a lot of books based on their covers alone. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t.

There were just way too many trends to choose from so I’ve split my ten (series count as 1) into two topics and given my favourites and least favourites.

Models & Epic Dresses: I’m not a huge fan of having models on the covers of books. I don’t like going into a story with a picture of what the protagonist may look like, which is why I find it hard to read books after I’ve seen film or TV adaptations.

However, the trend of having models on book covers isn’t something you can avoid anymore, especially in YA Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. And it seems I’m kind of OK with it when there’s hot ladies in pretty dresses on the covers…make of that what you will.

The Good: The Selection Series; Alice in Zombieland; Entwined

dresses

The Bad: Vampire Academy; The Mortal Instruments (see the lack of a pretty dresses here just makes them terrible.

models

Graphics: I don’t really know what to call this category, but I basically mean covers without models, y’know arty/graphicy ones.

The Good: The Mystery Man Series; Scarlet Thomas; The Lunar Chronicles

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The Bad: Ruby Redfort; Hunger Games; Rainbow Rowell’s novels.

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I really enjoyed two of the Ruby Redfort books but I would never have picked them up if they only had this type of cover. It’s just boring and looks too childish, and that’s why I’ve never picked up any of the Rainbow Rowell books either. The covers just don’t do it for me. But I’ve been told to get over it because they’re great.

And then there’s the Hunger Games. The first edition I saw had this horrific cover and it in no way made me want to read it. In fact, it sat on my flatmate’s shelf for like a year until we decided to read it. And I wanted to cry because we’d left it that long!

Thank the unicorns they sorted that out!

Do you choose books by their covers?

Lazy Saturday Review: The One by Kiera Cass

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Title: The One
Series: The Selection #3
Author: Kiera Cass
Edition: Paperback, 323 pages
Published: Published June 5th 2014 by HarperCollins Children’s Books
Genre(s): YA; Dystopian; Romance
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it, obvs!

Goodreads
Purchase

For the four girls who remain at the palace, the friendships they’ve formed, rivalries they’ve struggled with and dangers they’ve faced have bound them to each other for the rest of their lives.

Now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen.

America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown – or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the competition approaches its end and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realises just how much she stands to lose – and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.

The breathtaking finale to THE SELECTION trilogy will make you swoon!

Oh man, it really did make me swoon. I cant help it, Maxon just does it for me, you guys. He’s cute, just the right amount of insecure but can be assertive and forthright when he needs to be, and hellooooo, about to be King. Hot!

The One was pretty much everything I wanted it to be. The relationship between Maxon and America was cute but not without its problems which is what has been so addictive about this whole series. At times I wanted to shout at them (OK, so I literally did) for moments of stupidity and letting situations and people get between them.

Throughout the series, I’ve found that the growing unease of the land of Ilea has been that extra something to what would otherwise be a throw-away teen romance story, and in book three it all comes to a head as we discover exactly what the rebellion is all about.

I feel like The One threw enough curve balls at me to keep me entertained but let’s face it, it could only end one way, right? It was more about the journey than the outcome for me, and it’s a journey that I want to revisit. Again and again.

I can only think of one thing that annoyed me about this book and that was Celeste. She was so horrible in the previous books but all of a sudden she was forgiven and became part of the girls’ group. Now, I’m all for forgiveness, and people can change, but it all happened a bit too quickly for my liking. Hey ho.

I’m sure I had loads of other things to say about it, but I was so sad it’s over that I couldn’t write a review initially, and now the feeling has passed along with my memory of it (I blame all the wine)…I’ll just have to read it again, shame.

With all of that being said, I couldn’t bring myself to give any of the books in this series 5 whole unicorns. Mainly because of what I like to think of as ‘The Trash Factor’. They’re silly and very cheesy and I love them, but I just can’t. The inner book-snob-who-likes-to-have-no-fun in me is trying to come out there…and I’ve tried so hard to torture her with teenage vamprire fiction over the years! Give up, already.

unicorn rating 4

The One is available now in paperback from Waterstones. You can get 10% off here.

Friday Feature: Fairest Fangirling!

OK, so I know I’m a few days behind with this news but I didn’t have a feature lined up for today, (I should be doing the final part of the Best Children’s Books of the Last 100 Years – but I’ve ran out of blogging time) and I just need to do some delayed fangirling for a second.

Earlier in the week Marissa Meyer released details of Fairest, a spin-off novel to the Lunar Chronicles dedicated to our favourite villain Queen Levana.

Ahhhhhhhhh. Fangirls unite: How awesome does this look?

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Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

The only bad thing is that we have to wait until January next year. Noooooooooooooo!

Expected publication: January 27th 2015 by Feiwel & Friends (Hardback/Kindle/Audio)

Goodreads

WWW Wednesday 18.06.2014

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

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Currently Reading: Just before the weekend I started Braineater Jones by Stephen Kozeniewski, which is a tongue-in-cheek Zombie Mystery that I’m enjoying so far. I didn’t get very far into though because I went away for a long weekend and only have a PDF copy of it.

So I also started Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, which I have in paperback and took with me to read on the train. It’s really interesting so far. I wish the pace was a little quicker but I’m certain it’ll pick up.

Recently Finished: I somehow only managed to finish The One by Kiera Cass last week, despite it only taking a matter of hours to read. I still haven’t written a review because I’m too sad that it’s over. Oh, I guess I did also read The Art of Omni, which is a non-fiction book about Science Fiction art which I looked at for a promo post.

Up Next: Without a doubt it will be Cress, before I get lynched 😉

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on Your Summer TBR List

toptentuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the image to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: The Top Ten Books on your Summer TBR list.

This list is going to be a mixture between ARCs that I’m due to read, books on my TBR pile that I’m determined to get to this summer, and also my most anticipated books released this summer which I’m hoping to get a hold of. It’s going to be hard to choose just 10!

The book’s titles will take you to their Goodreads page.

Upcoming Releases

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Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen: Everyone seems to be talking about this book due to Emma Watson signing on to star in the film adaptation, and also because it’s being marketed as Game of Thrones for the younger generation. I’m kinda digging the cover and the synopsis so hopefully I’ll manage to pick up a copy this summer.

Expected publication – July 17th 2014 by Bantam Press (Paperback)

The Girl Who Walked on Air by Emma Carroll: I really loved Emma’s debut Frost Hollow Hall so I’m looking forward to this one. And also…travelling circus!

Expected publication – August 7th 2014 by Faber & Faber

Guilt-free Baking by Gee Charman: I was approached about reviewing a non-fiction book a few weeks ago which made me realise that I don’t do that enough. So in the interest of expanding my horizons I requested this from Netgalley. I really like baking, but I try not to do it too often as I always want to eat everything I make. Hopefully this book will help me bake some treats that I won’t feel too guilty about scoffing!

Expected publication – November 18th 2014 by Duncan Baird Publishers

One of Us by Tawni o’Dell: This is one of the ARCs on my list. I requested it because of this description: ‘a fast-paced literary thriller about a forensic psychologist forced to face his own demons after discovering his small hometown terrorized by a serial killer’.

Expected publication – August 19th 2014 by Gallery Books

Rush of Shadows by Catherine Bell: This doesn’t even have a Goodreads page yet, but here’s the synopsis from Netgalley. I’m really intrigued by it.

‘Rush of Shadows evokes the clash between natives and settlers in 19th century California through the unlikely friendship of two women, Mellie, a white, and Bahé, an Indian. As settlers fence the land and drive off game, Indians are starved, enslaved, and even shot for fun. Yet Bahé helps Mellie safely through childbirth, and Mellie’s warning saves an Indian village from a massacre perpetrated by her white neighbors. Even after Bahé is driven to seek safety in prostitution, the women manage to feed, doctor, and teach each other. Tough-minded and lyrical, Rush of Shadows brings to life the human dimensions of a tragic conflict which corrupted the winners and left the losers to haunt the landscape as shadows.’

Expected Publication – October 15th by Washington Writer’s Publishing House.

 

On the Top of my TBR Pile

 

These books are ones I own and have been wanting/needing to read them for a while. I plan on doing just that this summer. Fingers crossed.

 

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Cress by Marissa Meyer: I don’t know how I’ve resisted picking this up so far as I LOVE this series so much. Soon, my pretty!

Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead: I’m slowly working my way through this series and I hope book 3 doesn’t disappoint.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides: I have had this book for about five years. This summer is the year. I’ve heard so many good things…I have no idea why I haven’t managed to get round to it yet.

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Mass: This is another one I’ve had since it came out and haven’t got round to it yet. I’ve really enjoyed this series so far, and have heard this collection of novellas is a must-read.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare: I’m reading this as part of the Once Upon a Time challenge and need to get it done this month. So I should probably get on that.

Blog Tour: Infinitude by Ruchi Banerjee (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Infinitude Blog Tour Banner

Welcome to my stop on the Infinitude blog tour. How stunning is that cover!? Keep reading for your chance to win $80 in Paypal Cash!!! (INTL)

Infinitude Ruchi Banerjee Book Cover
Title: Infinitude
Author: Ruchi Banerjee
Publication date: Published May 5th 2014 by Hachette
Genre(s): Young Adult; Dystopian; Romance
Purchase: Amazon/ Barnes & Noble

Synopsis
The year is 2173. Humans are a near-extinct group herded together in protected sectors. Mira, a regular, self-absorbed, 16-year-old pimple buster, resident of Sector 51, has no clue how drastically her life is about to change when she accompanies her mother on a research project to a distant tropical jungle.

There, Mira discovers a tall, super-intelligent and rather good-looking boy called Neel, who introduces her to a whole new world of mysterious possibilities. But before she can even begin to understand her feelings for him, things take a nightmarish turn . . . Carnivorous mutants are on the prowl. A deadly new breed of the forest, they have Mira trapped.

Rescued by unlikely saviours, she finally learns the ugly truth of her world. Now, Mira must fight not only for her own life but also for humanity itself as she is pitted against a far stronger, smarter and more evolved enemy. Her only hope lies in Neel. But will he be able to overcome the overwhelming odds against them? Will this be the end of the human race? With electrifying action and forbidden love, Infinitude is the riveting story of two young lives caught in a deadly clash of civilizations.

Excerpt

My body stilled as my eyes tagged the dark silhouette covering the doorway. The stranger was a few feet taller than me. His shaved head sloping into distinct ear lobes, a thick neck and broad masculine shoulders. I tilted my head up, to catch a glimpse of his face but it was completely shrouded in the dark. Maybe he realized my predicament because right then he stepped closer.

I instinctively stepped back. My heart skipped a beat as I stared at the face now swathed in moonlight. Massive brow, sparse eyebrows, deep-seated eyes, a broken aquiline nose and a ruddy jaw. Everything was a bit disproportionate. It was not a handsome or even a cute face. It was…menacing. A face you would run away from in a dark alley. But then, there was something there that would make you look back. Just once. Just to be sure.”

Links
Goodreads
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Amazon

Giveaway

Ruchi has a MEGA Blog Tour Giveaway where you can win $80 in Paypal Cash!

Enter Rafflecopter Giveaway

Friday Feature: 5 Great Father’s Day Gifts

I realise it’s a bit late as Father’s Day is this Sunday (UK), but if you’re anything like me and always leave everything to the last minute, then these gift ideas might come in handy.

Dad’s are SO hard to buy for.

Click on the images for more info

1. Voyager Classics

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The HarperCollins Voyager imprint has some of the best Science Fiction and Fantasy books available, and selected titles are now also available in these beautiful clothbound covers. I think my dad would love these!

My favourites are Fahrenheit 451, The Once and Future King (which I can’t believe I haven’t read yet myself) and I, Robot.

You can see the full Voyager collection HERE and see below for 10% off offer.

Prices range from £8 – £15

2. 24K Gold Plated Playing Cards in Presentation Box

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I guess this is quite a kitsch gift, but I think some dads would love them. And good value at only £9.98. From Play.com.

3. The Gift of Food

If you’d prefer to do something more personal for your dad this father’s day, making a delicious father’s day feast is always a winner in my eyes. Here are two dishes that I’ve tried and tested and have gone down a treat. Click the images for more info.

Bacon Wrapped Monkfish

Bacon Wrapped Monkfish

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Rhubarb Ripple & Gingerbread Cheesecake

I actually made the cheesecake last year as a contribution to our family Father’s Day BBQ. My mum isn’t a fan of ginger, but it was quite subtle and really light. It was a hit.

4. Cobb BBQ Cooking System

bbq And while we’re on the subject of food, if I was made of money, I would definitely buy one of these for my dad. All dads like to be the King of the BBQ, right?

Cobb looks set to change outdoor cooking forever. Let us introduce you to the ultimate barbecue system – which also roasts, smokes and cooks.”

£99.99 from Lakeland

5. For the Sci-Fi fans

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I did a promo post for this book yesterday, and I really do think it would make a brilliant gift for any old-school Sci-fi-loving dads.

£42.50 from Waterstones

Please note that the only affiliate links in this post are the Waterstones ones.

10% Off at Waterstones Offer

You can get 10% off any orders* over £25 before midnight on 25th August 2014.

Simply click on the banner below (or on the associated links), make your selections and enter the code LE1025 at checkout.



*Print books and stationary. Excludes Kindle, downloads and the click & collect service. Online orders only. Full T&Cs at waterstones.com/terms