This Week in Books #TWIB #CurrentlyReading

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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 hope you’re all having a good week. If you’re joining in, don’t forget to leave the link to your post so I can come take a look later. 

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Now: Save Me, Kurt Cobain ~ Jenny Manzer

I’ve nearly finished this. I like it but it isn’t blowing my mind. 

Then: Glove of Satin, Glove of Bone ~ Rachel White

This was another one (that’s three in a row if you’re not keeping up) that I enjoyed enough, but didn’t love. Not a lot happened in this and it was very short! My review will be up either at the weekend or on Monday, life depending.  

Next: ??? 

Definitely something from my TBR pile (yes, I know I keep saying that). Right now I fancy something dark so maybe The Foreshadowing by Marcus Sedgwick…

New on the Shelves

From Netgalley: I was approved for Labyrinth Lost which was my Waiting on Wednesday pick last week so I’m really happy about that one. It looks amazing. It was also on my anticipated reads list yesterday. But other than that nothing new this week!

Waiting on Wednesday

(linking up with Breaking the Spine)

The Sunlight Pilgrims ~ Jenni Fagan

summer16.5It’s November of 2020, and the world is freezing over. Each day colder than the last. There’s snow in Israel, the Thames is overflowing, and an iceberg separated from the Fjords in Norway is expected to drift just off the coast of Scotland. As ice water melts into the Atlantic, frenzied London residents evacuate by the thousands for warmer temperatures down south. But not Dylan. Grieving and ready to build life anew, he heads north to bury his mother’s and grandmother’s ashes on the Scottish islands where they once lived.

Hundreds of miles away, twelve-year-old Estella and her survivalist mother, Constance, scrape by in the snowy, mountainous Highlands, preparing for a record-breaking winter. Living out of a caravan, they spend their days digging through landfills, searching for anything with restorative and trading value. When Dylan arrives in their caravan park in the middle of the night, life changes course for Estella and Constance. Though the weather worsens, his presence brings a new light to daily life, and when the ultimate disaster finally strikes, they’ll all be ready.

Written in incandescent, dazzling prose, The Sunlight Pilgrims is a visionary story of courage and resilience in the midst of nature’s most violent hour; by turns an homage to the portentous beauty of our natural world, and to just how strong we can be, if the will and the hope is there, to survive its worst. y Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

I fall to my knees. Shattered glass, melted candles and the outline of scorched feathers are all that surround me. Every single person who was in my house – my entire family — is gone.  Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Hogarth

  

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 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Anticipated reads/TBR this summer #TTT #SummerReads

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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 Most Anticipated Releases For The Second Half Of The Year…

I’m tweaking this week’s topic because I haven’t done a summer reading list yet and I want to (not that I ever stick to them but y’know). I’m hoping my summer reading will be a mixture of new releases (anticipated reads) and some from my physical TBR self, so here I’ve chosen 5 of each!

Anticipated Releases:

And I Darken ~ Kiersten White: No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwyla likes it that way.” The first of an epic new trilogy starring the ultimate anti-princess who does not have a gentle heart. Lada knows how to wield a sword, and she’ll stop at nothing to keep herself and her brother alive. July 7th

When Everything Feels Like the Movies ~ Raziel Reid: “Everyone wanted to break me. But stars aren’t broken, they explode. And I was the ultimate supernova…My name was Jude. They called me Judy. I was beautiful either way. This is my story.” August 4th

Labyrinth Lost ~  Zoraida Córdova: “Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.” Beautiful Creatures meets Daughter of Smoke and Bone with an infusion of Latin American tradition in this highly original fantasy adventure. Sept 6th

Phantom Limbs ~ Paula Garner: How do you move on from an irreplaceable loss? In a poignant debut, a sixteen-year-old boy must learn to swim against an undercurrent of grief—or be swept away by it? Sept 13th

The Sunlight Pilgrims ~ Jenni Fagan: “It’s November of 2020, and the world is freezing over. Each day colder than the last. There’s snow in Israel, the Thames is overflowing, and an iceberg separated from the Fjords in Norway is expected to drift just off the coast of Scotland…” The Sunlight Pilgrims is a visionary story of courage and resilience in the midst of nature’s most violent hour. July 19th

From the dreaded TBR pile

The Forgotten Garden ~ Kate Morton: A foundling, an old book of dark fairy tales, a secret garden, an aristocratic family, a love denied, and a mystery. The Forgotten Garden is a captivating, atmospheric and compulsively readable story of the past, secrets, family and memory from the international best-selling author Kate Morton.

Shadow and Bone ~ Leigh Bardugo: “The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.” Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance. Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and Laini Taylor.

The Seeing Stone ~ Kevin Crossley-Holland: The year is 1199, the place the Welsh Marches. Young Arthur de Caldicot practises his tilting and archery, learns to be a dutiful page to his father, and waits impatiently to grow up and become a knight. One day his father’s friend Merlin gives him a shining black stone. When Arthur starts to see stories in the stone, his life quickly becomes entwined with that of his namesake, the boy who pulls the sword from the stone”

Monkeys with Typewriters ~ Scarlett Thomas: Exploring how fiction works, this manual shows you how you can learn to understand it well enough to crack open any fictional narrative, and, if you like, start creating your own.

Reckless ~ Devon Hartford: “Now that Samantha Smith has confronted the demons from her dark past in Fearless, she’s excited to jump into adulthood with newfound confidence and friends Romeo, Madison, and Kamiko…Samantha will be tested to the limits of her resilience, and must discover how truly Fearless she can be in the name of love.”

(Edited synopses taken from Goodreads)

Will you be reading any of these over summer?

Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet #BookReview #JuneReleases

magruderTitle: Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet
Author: H.P Wood
Series: N/A
Format: Digital ARC, 368 pages
Publication Details: June 7th 2016 by Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre(s): Historical Fiction; Mystery
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review. 

Goodreads 

 

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May 1904. Coney Island’s newest amusement park, Dreamland, has just opened. Its many spectacles are expected to attract crowds by the thousands, paying back investors many times over.

Kitty Hayward and her mother arrive by steamer from South Africa. When Kitty’s mother takes ill, the hotel doctor sends Kitty to Manhattan to fetch some special medicine. But when she returns, Kitty’s mother has vanished. The desk clerk tells Kitty she is at the wrong hotel. The doctor says he’s never seen her although, she notices, he is unable to look her in the eye.

Alone in a strange country, Kitty meets the denizens of Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet. A relic of a darker, dirtier era, Magruder’s is home to a forlorn flea circus, a handful of disgruntled Unusuals, and a mad Uzbek scientist. Magruder’s Unusuals take Kitty under their wing and resolve to find out what happened to her mother.

But as a plague spreads, Coney Island is placed under quarantine. The gang at Magruder’s finds that a missing mother is the least of their problems, as the once-glamorous resort town is abandoned to the freaks, anarchists, and madmen.

Review

Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet is a nicely written, interesting romp through the early 20th century Coney Island – a place where anything can happen!

Young Brit Kitty Hayward has lost her mother. Sent from their hotel to pick up some medicine when her mum is taken ill, Kitty returns to find that her mother has vanished, and the hotel are pretending they’ve never seen her before. How curious. 

Kitty ends up on Coney Island, with no money or belongings, but is fed and taken in by a family of ‘unusuals’ – the members of a freakshow who all live at Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet. 

I loved the setting of this book. I found the descriptions of the fun, freaky, and often fake entertainers who inhabit the resort and how Kitty quickly became a valued addition to their gang really interesting. I thought it was going to be a simple mystery, but as the story develops we realise that it’s more about a plague that is sweeping through the island than it is about a girl trying to find her mother. 

I wasn’t expecting it to be such a dark, and often depressing story, and while I initially enjoyed that surprise I felt like the middle of the book could have been more exciting – something was lacking for me. 

The star of the show was definitely the characterisation. Each character was unique (as you’d expect from Freakshow performers), and they interacted beautifully with each other. I especially fell in love with Rosalind -who today you would describe as Gender-Fluid, but back then he was seen as an abomination –  and his relationship with lovely Enzo, the ‘half-burned man’. 

It’s quite clear that the author had done her research, and I found the portrayal of side-shows, circuses and freak-shows of the time realistic and intriguing. I also enjoyed that the book makes you look at prejudice and discrimination and made me eternally thankful for how much society has changed since the 1900s.

Overall, I feel like Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet was definitely worth a read, even if it left me a little deflated. 

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The Ceruleans Print Party #Giveaway

Today I’m celebrating with Megan Tayte, whose fantasy/paranormal romance series The Ceruleans is available for the first time in print this June. 

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IN SEARCH OF THE MEANING OF DEATH, SHE’LL FIND THE MEANING OF LIFE

The Ceruleans: mere mortals infused with power over life and death. Five books, one question: If the might of the heavens were in your hands, would you be sinner or saint? 

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To celebrate Megan has arranged a giveaway in which you can win a copy of all five books in the series. 

Enter Rafflecopter Giveaway

Megan Tayte

Find out more about Megan and her books using the links below:

Amazon UK // Amazon USA 

Website // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

This Week in Books #TWIB #CurrentlyReading

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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 hope you’re all having a good week. If you’re joining in, don’t forget to leave the link to your post so I can come take a look later. 

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Now: Glove of Satin, Glove of Bone ~ Rachel White

Not far into this but so far so good! 

Then: Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet ~ H.P Wood

I enjoyed this but I thought it could have been a bit more exciting. My review will be up on Monday. 

Next: ??? 

Something from my TBR shelves. Possibly Save Me, Kurt Cobain! 

New on the Shelves

From Netgalley: 

hummingbirdEveryone in Wheeler, New Mexico, thinks Joanna leads the perfect life: the quiet, contented housewife of a dashing deputy sheriff, raising a beautiful young daughter, Laurel. But Joanna’s reality is nothing like her facade. Behind closed doors, she lives in constant fear of her husband. She’s been trapped for so long, escape seems impossible—until a stranger offers her the help she needs to flee….

On the run, Joanna and Laurel stumble upon the small town of Morro, a charming and magical village that seems to exist out of time and place. There a farmer and his wife offer her sanctuary, and soon, between the comfort of her new home and blossoming friendships, Joanna’s soul begins to heal, easing the wounds of a decade of abuse.

But her past—and her husband—aren’t so easy to escape. Unwilling to live in fear any longer, Joanna must summon a strength she never knew she had to fight back and forge a new life for her daughter and herself….

Waiting on Wednesday

(linking up with Breaking the Spine)

How striking is this cover? I’m in love!

labyrinthlost Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

I fall to my knees. Shattered glass, melted candles and the outline of scorched feathers are all that surround me. Every single person who was in my house – my entire family — is gone.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange markings on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

Beautiful Creatures meets Daughter of Smoke and Bone with an infusion of Latin American tradition in this highly original fantasy adventure.  Expected publication: September 6th 2016 by Sourcebooks

  

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 🙂

DNF Review: The War Against the Assholes by Sam Munson

waragainstTitle: The War Against the Assholes
Author: Sam Munson
Series: N/A
Format: Digital ARC, 272 pages
Publication Details: June 9th 2016 by Atom
Genre(s): YA; Fantasy
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review. 

Goodreads 

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Mike Wood is a teenager at a decidedly unprestigious Catholic school in Manhattan, accustomed to solving problems using brawn rather than brains.

One day, his nerdy classmate Hob Callahan persuades him to read a mysterious old book of unknown authorship, The Calendar of Slights. On the face of things, the book is a guide to performing clever card tricks; but in fact, it is a test for recruiting new members to join a secret cell of radical magicians.

Amazingly, Mike passes with flying colours unlocking not only his potential magic powers – but also the door to New York City’s vast and hidden underground network of warlocks, sorcerers and mages.

Here, with Hob as his unlikely guide, Mike’s role as a steadfast soldier begins. For there is a war being waged. A war between rivaling factions of magicians that has spanned the ages. A clandestine war against the establishment: a war against The Assholes.

Review

I completely misjudged this book. From the cover and the title I assumed it was going to be a contemporary YA high school read when in fact it’s more of a contemporary fantasy. I realised that I was wrong quite early on and I was then looking forward to it even more… but unfortunately I just couldn’t gel with it. 

Mike is the average guy at school. He’s not the most popular, he’s not the most nerdy. He’s not a bully, but he will (and does) pull punches to defend himself. 

Hob is a loner who is always lurking around reading the same little book with intensity. He never participates in anything and therefore no one really knows him. But when Mike and Hob are thrown together by a common enemy, Mike is intrigued and pleasantly surprised by him.

Hob gives Mike his little green book and urges him to read it, and from there on out things get crazy-weird. 

Even as I was typing that summary I was thinking ‘this sounds great, why couldn’t I get into it!?’ And the only answer I can think of was the writing style. 

It felt very disjointed and jumpy to me. I don’t know if it was because I wasn’t paying enough attention, but it seemed like the characters jumped from one scene/location to the next without an explanation. It may well have all been explained by the end but I’m sorry, I just had to give up. 

I love the idea of a secret magic circle, and being initiated via his strange little book, but I couldn’t follow the story. The world-building didn’t seem fully developed, nor did the characters. 

I struggled through 30% of The War Against the Assholes and I had to give up. There is a huge chance that it could have gotten a lot better after that so I don’t think it’s fair to give it a rating, or put people off it. Maybe try it for yourself and let me know? 😉

This Month in Books: May 2016 #TMIB

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May was all about friends, fun times and foliage…well, by foliage I mean beer gardens as the sun started to rear its little head. Eurovision also happened which was amazingly awful as always, and I spent a weekend up north at my parents. 

May 2016 Stats

Total Posts: 13 (-1 from previous month)

Books Read: 5 (-3)
Fellside ~ M.R Carey
You Know Me Well ~ David Levithan & Nina LaCour
The Last Days of Jack Sparks ~ Jason Arnopp
Glass Sword ~ Victoria Aveyard
The War Against the Assholes ~ Sam Munson

The Breakdown:
Genres: YA (3/5); Horror/Supernatural (2/5); Dystopian (1/5); Contemporary (1/5)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (3/5); Digital (3/5); Hardback (1/5); Paperback (1/5); Owned (2/5); Borrowed (0/5); For Review (3/5)

Most Surprising: The Last Days of Jack Sparks
Most Disappointing: The War Against the Assholes
Most Exciting: The Last Days of Jack Sparks
Most Swoon-worthy:  Glass Sword
Most Beautifully Written: You Know Me Well

Reviews: 3 (-3)

    • Fellside by M.R Carey, 3/5 (View)
    • You Know Me Well by David Levithan & Nina LaCour, 4/5 (View)
    • The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp, 5/5 (View)

Most Viewed Posts

  1. This Week in Books (18.05.16)
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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: 82

Books Added: 2

Books Read: 2

Remaining: 82

FAIL!

June Releases

Here’s my pick of the June Releases

Are you looking forward to any of these?