This Month in Books: March 2016 #TMIB

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I know I say it every month but March was another busy one. I saw The Rocky Horror Show at Wimbledon Theatre, went to a gig which was a blast from the past of my school days (Reef), had a Shadowhunter’s marathon (oh my), had two Germans (friends not randoms) staying with me for a few days, finally saw Wicked, and drank a lot of wine and gin.

OK, so I didn’t read a huge amount but I had a great time! ūüėČ

March 2016 Stats

Total Posts: 13 (-5 from previous month)

Books Read: 3 (-1)
Goth Girl and the Pirate Queen ~ Chris Riddell
The Amber Fury ~ Natalie Haynes
My Kind of Crazy ~ Robin Reul

The Breakdown:
Genres:¬†YA (1/3); Literary Fiction (1/3); Children’s Fiction (1/3); Contemporary (2/3)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (1/3); Digital (1/3); Hardback (0/3); Paperback (2/3); Owned (1/3); Borrowed (1/3); For Review (1/3)

Most Surprising: My Kind of Crazy
Most Disappointing: n/a
Most Exciting: The Amber Fury
Most Swoon-worthy:  n/a
Most Beautifully Written: The Amber Fury

Reviews: 3 (-3)

    • The Amber Fury by Natalie Haynes, 3/5 (View)
    • All Things Cease to Appear¬†by Elizabeth Brundage, DNF¬†(View)
    • The Madwoman Upstairs¬†by Catherine Lowell, 5/5 (View)

Most Viewed Posts

  1. This Week in Books 09.03.16
  2. This Week in Books 16.03.16
  3. TTT: Spring TBR

Promos, Guest Posts and other Highlights

Awards

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TBR Shelf Update

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Earlier this year I decided I HAD to do something about my TBR shelves. Each month I’ll be doing a quick update to see how I’ve done. See my original post here, and my updated TBR list here.¬†

Previous TBR Count: 77

Books Added: 2

Books Read: 2

Remaining: 77

April Releases

Here are the April Releases I will be reading & reviewing

  • PETA’s Vegan College Cookbook (5th)
  • Can You Keep a Secret? (12th)
  • The Glittering Court (sample only) (5th)
  • Murder at the 42nd Street Library (26th)

Are you looking forward to any of these?

This Week in Books #TWIB

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.¬†

I hope you all had a great Easter. I had a great week which was mega busy IRL-wise so reading took a back seat. Actually it was beyond the back seat, it was in the trunk. Therefore my answers are pretty much the same as last week I’m afraid. ūüė¶

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Now: The Crow Girl ~ Erik Axl Sund

I AM making progress on this, and it’s good, but it’s lonnng. It was originally published as a trilogy but the English translation has been published in one volume. I’m about 3/4 of the way through so technically I have finished at least one book this week, right?

Then:  The Amber Fury ~ Natalie Haynes 

The last one was The Amber Fury which I reviewed last Saturday. My other recent read was My Kind of Crazy which is released next week so my review will be up soon.

Next: ??? 

Something from my TBR shelves! Or if time becomes an issue I may have to crack on with some more April ARCs which you can read more about on my March round-up which will be up tomorrow.

What have you been reading this week?

Top Ten Tuesday: Most recent top rated reads #TTT

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

This week the topic is…Top Ten recent 5 * reads

I very rarely rate books with the full 5 stars (or unicorns in my case), because 5/5 equals perfection right?! Therefore I’m going to do my ten most recent top rated reads, which are mainly 4*s with a few of those magical 5*s in there too.

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Links go to my reviews

 

This Week in Books (23.03.16) #TWIB

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.¬†

I’ve been mega busy this week so I’m keeping this one brief!

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Now: The Crow Girl ~ Erik Axl Sund

This book is Dark with a capital D! It’s over 700 pages long and has lots of characters. It’s a bit confusing but is just about managing to hold my interest!

Then:  The Amber Fury ~ Natalie Haynes 

I haven’t finished anything new this week. The last one was The Amber Fury which I reviewed on Saturday.

Next: ??? 

Something from my TBR shelves!

What have you been reading this week?

We Need to Talk About…how to choose a new blog layout! #discussion

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We Need to Talk About…is my new discussion post where I ask the blogosphere (that’s you guys) for opinions/advice/rants on anything from ‘how do some bloggers read so many books?’ to ‘how do you rate books?’.¬†

Lately I’ve been thinking about changing my blog layout…

But there are so many to choose from. How do I decide? I’ve only changed my layout once in three years and it feels like a big deal to change it so please excuse my neurosis!

I want a simple layout, but one with a wider body of text and less space on the sidebars and stuff. Any suggestions?

Also, if I change it (I don’t have WP premium btw) is it easy to change back if it doesn’t work? It’s been so long I’ve forgotten how it went down last time.¬†

I’m also interested to know how often you change your layout, and why?

Lazy Saturday Review: The Amber Fury by Natalie Haynes #BookReview

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I started doing ‚Äėlazy Saturday reviews‚Äô as a way of getting reviews done in just 30 mins, and they proved to be quite popular. They are quick and snappy, and concentrate less on the plot and writing and more on my general feelings about said book. They generally end up being a bit of a rant. My fave!

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Title: The Amber Fury
Author: Natalie Haynes
Series: N/A
Format: Paperback, 320 pages
Publication Details:  November 6th 2014 by Corvus
Genre(s): General Fiction; Mystery
Disclosure? Nope, borrowed from Dora!

Goodreads // Waterstones

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When you open up, who will you let in?

Alex Morris has lost everything: her relationship, her career and her faith in the future. Moving to Edinburgh to escape her demons, Alex takes a job teaching at a Pupil Referral Unit. It’s a place for kids whose behaviour is so extreme that they cannot be taught in a normal classroom. Alex is fragile with grief and way out of her depth.

Her fourth-year students are troubled and violent. In desperation to reach them, Alex turns to the stories she knows best. Greek tragedy isn’t the most obvious way to win over such damaged children, yet these tales of fate, family and vengeance speak directly to them.

Enthralled by the bloodthirsty justice of the ancient world, the teenagers begin to weave the threads of their own tragedy – one that Alex watches, helpless to prevent.

Review

I really enjoyed this story of a theatre director who ends up teaching troubled teens in Edinburgh following a personal tragedy.

It’s one of those books that spoon feeds you most of the story but omits the most important piece of the puzzle to keep you guessing.

We know that Alex’s vulnerable state has weakened her judgement and as a result the children in her care have suffered. We discover that one of the teens in particular has done something terrible, and that Alex perhaps had the opportunity to stop that from happening but failed.

I enjoyed the writing and the setting; I could tell that the author had spent time in Edinburgh where it was set. The characters were well developed and interesting, and Alex was a great protagonist. Her vulnerability had the potential to get a bit woe-is-me, but her passion for the Greek Tragedies she taught and for helping the children stopped that from happening. 

Overall, I thought The Amber Fury was a good, solid read, if not a teeny bit anti-climatic! 

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This Week in Books 16.03.16 #TWIB

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.¬†

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I’m pleased to report that I’m finally out of my reading slump, hurrah!¬†

 

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Now: The Crow Girl ~ Erik Axl Sund

Nothing to report yet as I’ve only just picked it up. I really hope it’s gripping though, because it’s a bit of a tome!

Then:  The Amber Fury ~ Natalie Haynes // My Kind of Crazy ~ Robin Reul

I really enjoyed both of these. My review of The Amber Fury will be up soon, and My Kind of Crazy towards the end of the month as it’s an April release.

Next: ??? 

Something from my TBR shelves I think. Feel free to suggest one!

New on the Shelves

(Linking up with Stacking the Shelves)

I’ve been really good and haven’t bought or borrowed any books this week. I also have too many for review from Netgalley at the moment so nothing new there either.¬†

¬†¬†I’m Waiting On…

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

The May Queen Murders

I must admit, the cover is EVERYTHING here! 

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Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.

Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it.

The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn‚Äôt care‚ÄĒshe has her cousin Heather as her best friend. The two girls share everything with each other‚ÄĒor so Ivy thinks.

When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them. .

Expected publication:  May 3rd 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers

So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours? If you’re joining in leave the link to your answers in the comments so everyone can take a look ūüôā

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR #TTT

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

This week the topic is…Ten books on my to-be-read list for Spring 2016

I’m not always great at looking ahead as far as new releases are concerned, but there are a few on my radar that I hope to get to. My list is also made up of older books on my TBR that I want to read this Spring.¬†

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What are you looking forward to this Spring?

This Week in Books 09.03.16 #TWIB

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.¬†

Hi guys, I’m slowly clawing my way out of a reading slump so I’m afraid my answers aren’t much different to last week! I did manage to finish one little book though (I just didn’t bother to change the image – lazy). See below for more details.

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Now: The Amber Fury ~ Natalie Haynes // My Kind of Crazy ~ Robin Reul

The Amber Fury is going well now I’m back to reading a bit more. I started My Kind of Crazy but it didn’t grip me so I’ll stick to the first and then give this another go.¬†

Then: Goth Girl and the Pirate Queen ~ Chris Riddell

Other than last week’s books all I managed to finish was this cute World Book Day book, which is in my New to the Shelves section below.

Next: ??? 

I think I need to tackle The Crow Girl which sounds amazing and dark but I’ve only just realised it’s over 700 pages long. Gah! It’s out early April.¬†

New on the Shelves

(Linking up with Stacking the Shelves)

I didn’t request or buy and books this week. My friend Dora did buy me this though:

Goth Girl and the Pirate Queen

 

gothgirlwbdWhen Ada travels to the seaside resort of Brighton on holiday, she is very excited to meet leading followers of fashion Lady Vivienne Dashwood and her rival, the fashionable shepherd, Beau Peeps. They are there preparing for World Frock Night – a lavish ball where everyone dresses up in their finest costumes to compete for the grand prize.

Ada has been given money by her father to buy a spectacular outfit for the ball, and she’s excited to be in with a chance of winning the prize. But, as usual, nothing goes to plan, and becoming the belle of the ball will prove to be Ada’s biggest challenge yet . . .

Full of intricate black and white illustrations, Goth Girl and the Pirate Queen is a gorgeous World Book Day book from Chris Riddell, award-winning author of Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse.

¬†¬†I’m Waiting On…

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

Of Fire & Stars

NEED! But it’s so far away!

offireBetrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire‚ÄĒa dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria‚Äôs formidable warhorses before her coronation‚ÄĒand her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms‚ÄĒand each other.

Expected publication: November 22nd 2016 by Balzer + Bray

So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours? If you’re joining in leave the link to your answers in the comments so everyone can take a look ūüôā

This (last) Month in Books: February 2016 #TMIB

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February was another busy month. My mum came to visit to come to a ‘celebration of the music and life of David Bowie’ night which was amazing, but of course bitter sweet. He was a legend, and my hero, something which my mum and I both shared so it was really lovely that she came to London for the occasion.

My brother also came to visit at the end of the month as he bought us tickets to the UFC at the O2 for my birthday, which was awesome. Yes, my interests are diverse and sometimes bloody. LOL.¬†So, it’s been a bit of a family affair this month. ūüôā

I also read some really excellent books, and had a great blogging month in general so let’s take a look…

February 2016 Stats

Total Posts: 18 (+8 from previous month)

Books Read: 4 (-3)
Only Ever Yours¬†~ Louise O’Neill
The Glass Castle ~ Trisha White Priebe
Into the Dim ~ Janet B. Taylor
The Madwoman Upstairs ~ Catherine Lowell

The Breakdown:
Genres:¬†YA (2/4); Literary Fiction (1/4); Children’s Fiction (1/4); Sci-Fi (2/4)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (3/4); Digital (3/4); Hardback (0/4); Paperback (1/4); Owned (1/4); Borrowed (0/4); For Review (3/4)

Most Surprising: The Madwoman Upstairs
Most Disappointing: Only Ever Yours
Most Exciting: Into the Dim
Most Swoon-worthy:  The Madwoman Upstairs
Most Beautifully Written: Into the Dim

Reviews: 6 (+3)

    • The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, 4/5 (View)
    • Angel of Vengeance¬†by Trevor Munson, 3/5 (View)
    • The Merciless by Danielle Vega, 4/5 (View)
    • Only Ever Yours¬†by Louise O’Neill, 3/5 (View)
    • The Glass Castle¬†by Trisha Priebe, 3/5 (View)
    • Into the Dim¬†by Janet B. Taylor, 4/5 (View)

Most Viewed Posts

  1. We Need to Talk About…ARCs
  2. This Week in Books 10.02.16
  3. Last Months in Books: January 2016

Promos, Guest Posts and other Highlights

Awards

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cotm-feb16

mlft-mar16

The Murder at 42nd Street Library is actually out in April but I’m hoping to get to it in March

TBR Shelf Update

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Earlier this year I decided I HAD to do something about my TBR shelves. Each month I’ll be doing a quick update to see how I’ve done. See my original post here, and my updated TBR list here.¬†

Previous TBR Count: 81

Books Added: 1

Books Read: 5

Remaining: 77

How did you guys do last month?