It’s a Love or Hate Kinda Thing: Godmother by Carolyn Turgeon

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Title: Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story
Author: Carolyn Turgeon
Series: N/A
Edition: Paperback, 288 pages
Published: March 3rd 2009 by Broadway Books
Genre(s): YA; Fairy Tale Retellings
Disclosure? Nope, it was a gift.

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Turgeon’s shockingly original and magical novel advises you to be careful what you wish for, because fairy tales come true – whether they should or not. The tiny figure making its way to the book shop in Manhattan’s West Village every day looks just like another sweet little old lady. But Lilian has a secret.

Oh, where to start.

I was all set to love this book and was totally in the mood for a dark, gritty retelling of Cinderella but unfortunately that wasn’t what I got in Godmother.

Godmother is centered around Lil, a seemingly normal, lonely old lady with a penchant for cheeseburgers. Lil, lives by herself in Manhattan and works hard in a book shop downtown.

An encounter with a vivacious young girl reminds Lil of her past, bringing the world of fae back into her life and we learn that she was one of Cinderella’s fairy Godmothers.

Sigh. I don’t know whether it was just not what I was expecting, but I couldn’t get on with this book at all. I found it pretty painful to read to be honest. I couldn’t find anything new or exciting about this retelling. Turgeon even managed to make working in a beautiful bookshop sound dull, and that’s like my dream job – if only it paid more.

***Spoilers lie ahead, but they’re quite early on in the book***

I gather that the whole crux of this book was that Lil fell in love with the Prince rather than help Cinderella get to the ball, and then she spends her old age trying to set up her boss with the young girl she meets to make up for it, but honestly I was lost by then. Away with the actual fairies, if you will.

I did like that the protagonist was a pensioner, as that’s hardly ever something you see in YA, and think there was potential here but I was more interested in the betrayal of Cinderella than the present day and I felt like that was just glossed over. I didn’t care about the present day story at all.

Godmother is quite a small book, but I just couldn’t make myself finish it. I had about 50 pages left before I went away for the weekend and when I got back I knew I wouldn’t pick it up again.

From the look of Goodreads, Godmother is the Marmite of the book world so you may well enjoy it if you give it a go, don’t just take my word for it.

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I read this book as part of the TBR Pile Reading Challenge and the Once Upon A Time VIII Challenge.

WWW Wednesday 13.08.14

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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?

Holy Crap! How is it Wednesday again already?

That aside, here are my answers this week.

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Currently Reading:
I’m almost finished with Ever Near by Melissa MacVicar, which is a really easy and enjoyable read about a girl who is being troubled by ghosts.

Recently Finished:
Godmother by Carolyn Turgeon. I didn’t get on with it at all and gave up about 50 pages before the end. My rather grumpy review will be up tomorrow.

Up Next:
I really don’t know what I’m in the mood for, but probably either Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead, She’s Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick or Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence.

Top Ten Tuesday: To Read or Not to Read

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: Top Ten Books I’m Not Sure I Want To Read (books you may have bought but aren’t sure if you are into it anymore, books you wanted to read but heard mixed things about, hyped books you aren’t sure about — basically any book that has you going, “TO READ OR NOT TO READ?”

All of these books have been sitting on my TBR shelf for a while. The reasons why I haven’t read them yet varies, from reading bad reviews (A Discovery of Witches) and the length (The Historian), to friends not enjoying them so much (The Girl With the Glass Feet/The 5th Wave) and being disappointed by the author’s previous book (Emma Donoghue).

I could only come up with 8, soz.

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1. A Discovery of Witches – Deborah Harkness
2. Jamrach’s Menagerie – Carol Birch
3. The Girl With the Glass Feet – Ali Shaw
4. The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova

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5. The Sealed Letter – Emma Donoghue
6. Extras – Scott Westerfeld
7. Trainspotting – Irvine Welsh
8. The 5th Wave – Rick Yancey

Friday Feature: 2014 Challenges Update

I’ve been putting off doing this post because I am failing SO HARD on all of the challenges I set myself at the beginning of the year. Crappola.

Here is the progress I’ve made so far this year (AUGUST…REALLY?):

The TBR Pile Reading Challenge

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I signed up for this challenge to get through all of the books that have been sitting on my shelves for ages, some for up to 5 years, but at the time I’d just received loads of books for Christmas and my birthday so I decided to make a rule that only the books that had been on my shelf for over 4 months would count towards it. What a mistake that was!

Obviously I read all my shiny new books first, hence my ridiculously bad start! But luckily I only went for the 11-20 level, so I can still make it, right?

TBR Pile Challenge Books Read: 4

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen, 3/5
The Princess Bride by William Goldman, 4/5
The Prisoner of Brenda by Bateman, 3/5
The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Mass, 4/5

Rereads Challenge

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Since I started blogging, one of main thing I miss doing is rereading my favourite books. I used to reread a lot, but it’s hard to find the time when there are so many new books coming out all the time. Hence, this challenge. I challenged myself to reread 10 books and I did a poll to decide.

I doubt I’m going to complete this challenge by the end of the year, but I’m going to pull my socks up, I promise!

Reread Books Read: 2
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman, 4/5
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, 4/5 – I’ve just realised I STILL haven’t reviewed this.

Once Upon a Time VIII

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I signed up for this very loosely termed ‘challenge’ at some point because it sounded so much fun. Thankfully I went for the minimum participation which was to read one book that falls into the categories of Fairy Tale, Folklore, Fantasy or Mythology, and to read (or watch) A Midsummer Night’s Dream in June. I kind of forgot about that, but I’m hoping if I read it while it’s still summer it won’t be held against me.

I am also currently reading Godmother by Carolyn Turgeon, which will fulfill the Fairy Tale requirement.

Must.Try.Harder

Goodreads Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Lauren has
read 44 books toward her goal of 70 books.
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In better news I am 3 books ahead on my overall book challenge for the year. Hurrah!

Out Soon! One of Us by Tawni O’Dell

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Title: One of Us
Author: Tawni O’Dell
Series: N/A
Edition: Hardcover, 304 pages
Published: August 19th 2014 by Gallery Books
Genre(s): Mystery; Thriller
Disclosure? Yep! I received an advanced copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads
Pre-order

Dr. Sheridan Doyle, a fastidiously groomed and TV-friendly forensic psychologist, is the go-to shrink for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office whenever a twisted killer’s mind eludes other experts. But beneath his Armani pinstripes, he’s still Danny Doyle, the awkward, terrified, bullied boy from a blue-collar mining family, plagued by panic attacks and haunted by the tragic death of his little sister and mental unraveling of his mother years ago.

Returning to a hometown grappling with its own ghosts, Danny finds a dead body at the infamous Lost Creek gallows where a band of rebellious Irish miners was once executed. Strangely, the body is connected to the wealthy family responsible for the miners’ deaths. Teaming up with veteran detective Rafe, a father-like figure from his youth, Danny, in pursuit of a killer, comes dangerously close to startling truths about his family, his past, and himself.

One of Us is set in a small mining town which has a troubled background and a troubled present when a body is found at the gallows. The Gallows already represented the fears, superstitions and paranoias of the inhabitants of the tight-knit community, so it’s fair to say that when the news gets out, things go from strange to stranger.

I loved everything about this in theory. The setting, the strange history of the town and the clear divide between the rich and poor all had potential to make this a great story but unfortunately, I wasn’t completely won over.

For the most part One of Us is written from the perspective of Danny, a semi-famous forensic psychologist who left Lost Creek behind him a long time ago, but is back to check up on his grandfather Tommy.

I found it hard to warm to Danny. Sure, he’d had it pretty bad growing up with a mentally ill mother who killed his baby sister and buried her in the backyard (although she vehemently denies this). And yeah he managed overcome all that and make a success out of himself, but he was also quite cold and distant.

His relationship with both Tommy (his granddad), and Rafe (the detective on the case), should have softened him but he still felt too pristine and unflappable to me, with his fine suits and arrogance.

Things start to get interesting when all of a sudden the narration switches to that of Scarlet, who is even more emotionless than Danny, and described as a stunning fembot. From here, the story unravels and with it the towns secrets and lies slowly come to light.

I couldn’t fault the writing in One of Us. It flowed beautifully and kept a good pace, but it just wasn’t very exciting. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few twists, but the main one I guessed before the big reveal which ruined it a bit for me, and I just needed more GRIT.

This was the first book I’ve read by O’Dell and it certainly hasn’t put me off. I really liked the style and ideas but it didn’t quite pull it off.

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One of Us is available to pre-order from Waterstones now.

WWW Wednesday 06.08.14

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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?

Happy Wednesday everyone!

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Currently Reading:
I’m reading Godmother by Carolyn Turgeon. I must say it hasn’t hooked me so far but I’ve been told her fairy tale retellings are really good so hopefully it’ll pick up.

Recently Finished:
The last one I finshed was One of Us by Tawni O’Dell. My review should be up soon. I liked it, but it wasn’t as exciting or dark as I’d hoped!

Up Next:
More from the TBR pile. Either The Little White Horse or The Foreshadowing by Marcus Sedgwick…probably.

Leave a link to your post and I’ll come take a look 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Adult Books For YA Readers

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: Top Ten Books I’d Give To Readers Who Have Never Read X (examples: New Adult novels, historical fiction, a certain author, books about a certain topic, etc).

I had a hard time deciding what to choose this week. My initial reaction was to do either YA or Fantasy, but I figured a lot of people might go for them, and I’d have a hard time getting it down to just 10 books.

What I’ve come up with is ten adult books that I would recommend to YA lovers.

I love reading YA, but I do think it’s important to read some adult books once in a while. And no, I don’t mean ‘adult’.

I think all of these books would make for a smooth YA to adult transition!

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Burial Rites (Hannah Kent): This book was a much easier read than I thought it was going to be. It’s written beautifully and is totally gripping.

Procession of the Dead (Darren Shan as D.B Shan): This was the first adult book published by Shan and one of my favourites by him full stop. It has all the elements I love in his younger books: horror; gore; violence but with added psychological creep factor. It’s the first book in The City trilogy.

Mystery Man (Bateman): I never get bored of recommending this series. It’s hilarious and I think YA readers will love the crime caper plots.

Room (Emma Donoghue): This book is narrated by a five year old boy. It has a tough subject matter but I think Donoghue really nailed the tone of it, making it a compelling, if not disturbing, read.

The End of Mr Y (Scarlett Thomas): I love everything about this book. It’s very visual and at times I felt like I was walking through a computer game. I think YA readers will enjoy its quirkiness.

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The Ice Queen (Alice Hoffman): This is my favourite Alice Hoffman book so far. As with most of her books it’s about human nature with an injection of ‘real’ magic.

Slaughterhouse Five (Kurt Vonnegut): I basically think everyone should be forced to read this book. ‘Nuff said.

A Spot of Bother (Mark Haddon): Haddon did a great job of portraying an autistic teen in The Curious Incident…, but I think I prefer this one. It makes you think a lot about growing old, and it’s funny to boot.

The Gargoyle (Andrew Davidson): I’m not really sure why I thought about this book for this list. I really loved parts of it, and not others but it’s beautifully written and just look at the cover!

Doctor Sleep (Stephen King): I thought Doctor Sleep was quite a quick read considering the length of it. And I loved seeing Danny’s story continue. His friendship with young Abra gave it a bit of a YA feel.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s lists this week, but I’m not looking forward to what it will do to my TBR Pile/Wishlist!

Recent Finds

This is a monthly post where I share some of the books that I’ve found through fellow bloggers that I HAD to add to my wishlist immediately. I’m hoping I’ll look back on these posts and remember to buy/request the books (wishful thinking!).

It’s been a couple of months since I posted one of these because I’ve been trying to decrease not increase my TBR pile. However, I had to make a note of the following books because I WANNNNNNNNT so bad!

Click on the links to go to the original posts.

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Found on: Fourth Street Review
Why: All of it. The title, the cover, and the best opening line! (Expect strong language if you click on the link!)

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Found on: Books, Bones & Buffy
Why: I was sold on the cover and this description: “Terrifying, horrific, gruesome, unputdownable.”

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Found on: Shelf Love
Why: This sounds like a Welsh Alice Hoffman; real issues doused in magic.

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Found on: Book Rock Betty
Why: Medieval hotness of course!

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Found on: Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Why: Sherlock meets Doctor Who on the streets of London. Yes please.

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Found on: The Obsessive Bookseller
Why: I need something to fill The Selection void in my life! And oh so pretty.

July 2014 on Lipsyy Lost & Found

Welcome to my my July round-up. I know I say the same thing every month but SERIOUSLY, how is it August already!? Insane.

Considering I had a week off at the beginning of July where I didn’t read at all, I still managed to get through 6 books last month. I loved them all apart from Immortal Beloved, but I still want to read the next book because one of the characters was so hot. Is that shallow? The series could get better, right!?

Things that happened in July included my mum coming to visit, taking trip to the seaside and attending the UK’s first ever YA literature convention at London Comic Con. It was another busy but awesome month.

Anyway, on to the stats!

Total Posts: 23

New WP Followers: 9 (my lowest yet 😦 )

Books Read & Reviewed (5):

  • Guilt-Free Baking by Gee Charman, 4/5 (Review)
  • The Princess Bride by William Golman, 4/5 (Review)
  • Cress by Marissa Meyer, 4/5 (Review)
  • Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, 4/5 (Review)
  • Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan, 2/5 (Review)

Read, not yet reviewed (review posted 02/08):
The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

Friday Features:

Guest Posts/ Book Promos:

  • Out Now: The Binds That Tie by Kate Moretti (View Post)

Most Viewed Posts:

    Books Purchased/ ARCs Received:
    I am still on my book buying ban but I did of course, pick up some awesome books at YALC. I only bought the Manga Shakespeare though!

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    I also got a bit NetGalley happy as I was down to just two upcoming ARCS.

    I was approved for these:

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    *BOOK OF THE MONTH*

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    *COVER OF THE MONTH*

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    *MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS MONTH*

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Lazy Saturday Review: The Assassin’s Blade

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Title: The Assassin’s Blade
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass (The Novellas, #0.1- #0.5)
Edition: Paperback, 437 pages
Published: March 13th 2014 by Bloomsbury Childrens
Genre(s): YA; Fantasy
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it!
Goodreads
Purchase

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas – together in one edition for the first time – Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

This has been at the top of my TBR pile since it came out in March. I’m totally in love with the series, but something was putting me off reading it. I’m not really a fan of novellas. I feel the same way about them as I do about short stories – I just don’t see the point. I prefer something more substantial that I can sink my teeth into.

However, I really loved this collection. It was hard not to. Not only do we get to witness all the events leading up to Celaena’s incarceration in the salt mines where the first book begins, but we also get to see the more human side of her too – her first love, Sam.

I think the reason why I loved this so much was that it was basically just a novel. Each novella carries on where the last one left off so it didn’t feel like five short stories at all. That being said, there were a few I could give or take. The first novella, The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, was good for background and context, but I wasn’t hooked. And the second one, the shortest of them all at just 40 pages was entertaining enough but not really vital to the character arcs.

It’s when we get to The Assassin and the Desert that things get really interesting and there was no looking back after that.

Celaena is such a great, complex character, and although on the surface she might just seem like another kick-ass YA heroine, I think there is something unique about her. I can’t wait until the 3rd novel, Heir of Fire is released next month!

The Throne of Glass series is available in paperback from Waterstones. Click here to see how you can get 10% off.