This Week in Books 05.09.18 #TWIB

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Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next!

Happy Wednesday, Everyone. I skipped last week’s post so I’ve got lots of books to share with you today!

Last week I dipped in and out of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, which was a fascinating and powerful read, but not one that I could read a lot of at a time, so it took me a while to get through. I made up for that at the weekend though by reading a book (Cinderella Boy) in one day because IJUSTCOULDN’TPUTITDOWN. I also continued my journey into audiobook land, with mixed results!

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NOW:  I’ve been listening to The Raven Boys all week, which is a book that’s been on my TBR list for a long time. It started off OK, but I’m not sure if I’ll finish it. The narrator is fine, if not a little over the top sometimes, but every time I listen to it I seem to drift off and not pay attention. I’ll give it one last go when I’m out walking today; seems a shame to stop at the 60% mark.

I’m also reading Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie for my library’s book group tomorrow. I haven’t gotten very far into it yet (oops!). Home Fire won the Women’s Fiction Prize this year and is Longlisted for the Man Booker so I’m interested to see what the group make of it.

THEN: The last book I finished was Cinderella Boy by Kristina Meister, which I loved and read in one sitting! It wasn’t perfect, but it was definitely an addictive YA read!

Before that, I finished Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race and the audio-book of Ginny Moon, which were both great. 

NEXT: Definitely Circe, the long awaited second historical novel by Madeline Miller. Gah can’t wait. Hoping to start it later today. Her debut The Song of Achilles blew me away!

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This meme was originally started by Breaking the Spine. It’s where we choose one upcoming release that we just can’t wait for!

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Archenemies // Marissa Meyer // Renegades #2 // November 6th 2018 // Feiwel & Friends //  Goodreads

The first book was great, so looking forward to this one.

What have you been reading this week? Let me know in the comments below, or why not join in and publish a TWIB post of your own. Leave the link to your post and i’ll come take a look.

This Week in Books 22.08.18 #TWIB

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Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next!

I hope you’re all having a good week. Mine has been…quick!

This week, I  finally discovered the joy of audiobooks. It’s been a long time coming, I know. The first time I tried to listen to an audiobook I went for The Knife of Never Letting Go, a book I already loved, and I didn’t like the narrator, which I realise now, makes all the difference. But this week (only around two years since trying TKONLG) I listened to Carrie Fisher narrating her memoir Wishful Drinking, and it was great. So there’s no stopping me now. I can read with my eyes closed…hurrah! If that’s not a superpower I don’t know what is!

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been reading (and listening to) this week…

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NOW: I haven’t technically started Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race yet, but I will have by the time this publishes. I’m also listening to Ginny Moon on my commute. I’m really enjoying it, but it’s getting a bit repetitive!

THEN: I’ve just finished Ink and Bone, which was great. Not I-need-to-read-the-next-book-right-now great, but still a fun, solid read. As previously mentioned, I also listened to Wishful Drinking. It’s a short read (or listen), and gives an incite into growing-up in Hollywood, addiction, and depression, and all told with the self-deprecating humour and wit of the legend that was Carrie Fisher. 

NEXT: Probably Cinderella Boy as my review is well overdue on Netgalley, soz! Also, it sounds great, so I doubt it’ll exactly be a chore!

WoW

This meme was originally started by Breaking the Spine. It’s where we choose one upcoming release that we just can’t wait for!

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The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy // Mackenzi Lee // The Montague Siblings #2 // October 2018 // Katherine Tegen Books //Goodreads

Can’t.Wait.Want.Now!

What have you been reading this week? Let me know in the comments below, or why not join in and publish a TWIB post of your own. Leave the link to your post and i’ll come take a look. 

Recent Reads #Minibookreviews

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Here are some thoughts on my recently read books

 

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Chiff Chaff // David Barnard //  February 2018 // Troubador Publishing // Goodreads

I really wanted to love this quirky book because I’m kind of obsessed with Orkney and Shetland. Not that I’ve been, but I’m pretty sure my dream home is around there somewhere.

Sadly, I just couldn’t get into Chiff Chaff and had to DNF.  I didn’t even make it to the Chaff!

The writing was interesting. I liked the use of dialect and the descriptions of the landscape, but the 16 year old narrator in the first part of the book was too repetitive and muddling for my liking. It was too much effort to figure out what was going on, so I admit it – I gave up. A great idea, but it didn’t work for me. 

unicorn rating 2

 

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Final Draft // Riley Redgate // June 2018 // Amulet Books // Goodreads

It’s always interesting reviewing books a long time after you’ve read them. It really shows whether the book has staying power or not, especially for someone like me with terrible memory!

I read Final Draft in May, and while I probably couldn’t give you a concise synopsis, parts of it have definitely stayed with me. Laila was a great protagonist full of complexities and heart. She is probably the most diverse character I’ve ever read being pansexual, biracial, Ecuadorian, suffering from anxiety, and plus size, but I never felt like it was a tick-box-of-diversity book – Redgate made Laila 100% real. It’s a wonderfully modern coming-of-age story for anyone who’s ever felt different. So basically, for everyone, right? 

unicorn rating 4

 

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Leah on the Offbeat // Becky Albertalli // Creekwood #2 // April 2018 //  Balzer + Bray // Goodreads

The highly anticipated companion novel to best-seller Simon Vs was everything I hoped. In fact, I think I preferred it to the first book. Leah is like my spirit animal, I need her to be my bff. Maybe I can join her band…

Anywayyyy, in this Creekwood instalment, Leah takes the centre stage as she tries to keep her band together and figure out who the hell she is. I thought one of the most interesting parts of this story was that Leah is out (as bi) to her mum, but is struggling to tell her best friends, especially recently out Simon. It’s usually the other way round in coming-out stories. I guess it shows how much she thinks of her friends. 

Leah…is one of those great books that takes you right back to how it feels to be a teenager  approaching the end of high school. On one hand relief, on the other, crippling fear of the unknown and the inevitable fracturing of friendship groups. Another perfectly-crafted book portraying the complexities of friendships and growing-up by new fave Becky Albertalli. 

unicorn rating 4

Have you read any of these? Let me know what you thought!

Other reviews you may be interested in: Simon Vs the Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli // The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee and others

 

 

This Week in Books 15.08.18 #TWIB

 

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Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next!

I’m backkkk! 🙂 Welcome to my new look blog. Hope you’re all having a good summer so far. Here’s what I’ve been reading this week…

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NOW: I’ve just started Ink & Bone which is the first book in The Great Libraries series. I’ve been meaning to read it since it came out (in 2015!!). I used to love Caine’s Morganville Vampires series so I’m interested to see how her style has developed. 

THEN: The last book I finished was My Name is Leon. I met Kit de Waal at this year’s Quick Reads launch and she was amazing. She only properly started reading books when she was 19. How amazing is that! She does a lot of work for underprivileged kids, go check her out. My Name is Leon was a great read about a young boy trying to make sense of the world  when he’s taken away from his mentally ill mother,  put into foster care and is separated from his baby brother.

NEXT: Probably Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race. I’ve been told by two people now that I MUST read it. And so I shall…

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This meme was originally started by Breaking the Spine. It’s where we choose one upcoming release that we just can’t wait for!

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The Wicked King // Holly Black // The Cruel Prince #2 // Jan 8 2019 // Little Brown //Goodreads

What have you been reading this week? Let me know in the comments below, or why not join in and publish a TWIB post of your own. Leave the link to your post and i’ll come take a look. 

I’m Alive!!! (An Update) #IRL

Hi Everyone!

I can’t believe I haven’t posted since May! I really didn’t mean to fall off the face of the earth but that’s kinda what happened.

Basically, work went completely crazy because my colleague left and what was already a very hectic job turned into an impossible task. And then – unrelated to my job woes as I had been looking for new opportunities before the madness started – I got an interview for a new job, and I got it!

So I recently left the prison library (at a terrible time that made me feel very guilty), to become Library Manager of a local public library. Hurrah!

While all of this was going on, my landlord sold his/my house, so I had to start looking for somewhere to live. So yeah, it’s all been a bit mad and this blog was the last thing on my mind.

But things are starting to calm down. The first week as a Library Manager has been good, if not slightly overwhelming in terms of having so much to learn. And I move house next weekend. The end is in sight.

Overall, I’m really happy with the big life changes so far, and hope everything settles down enough for me to decide on whether to keep this blog going, or to maybe start a new one to promote my library? I’m not sure of the rules on that yet (as I was never allowed to do one for the prison library for obvious reasons), but it would be nice to carry on book blogging and be able to promote what we do at the same time.

I will keep you posted. I’ve really missed being part of the book blogging community – I feel so out of touch – so I hope to be back soon in some way or another.

Keep reading!!

Lipsy xx

 

 

This Week in Books 16.05.18 #TWIB

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Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next!

Happy Wednesday, Everyone. Hope you’re all having a good week so far. I missed last week due to that b*****d REAL LIFE. I know, I sound like a stuck record, but reading time is teeny at the moment and it’s kind of like the less you work the less you want to work but in reading form, y’know.

Anyway, I did manage to finish one book. It was a Quick Read but STILL A BOOK 😉 …

Now

 

Final Draft ~ Riley Redgate

I’m enjoying this easy, contemporary read which has a big heart and diverse characters. Looking forward to finishing it (hopefully tonight), because I only have about 60 pages to go and I put it down just after something major happened!!

finaldraftThe only sort of risk 18-year-old Laila Piedra enjoys is the peril she writes for the characters in her stories: epic sci-fi worlds full of quests, forbidden love, and robots. Her creative writing teacher has always told her she has a special talent. But three months before her graduation, he’s suddenly replaced—by Nadiya Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist who is sadistically critical and perpetually unimpressed.
 
At first, Nazarenko’s eccentric assignments seem absurd. But before long, Laila grows obsessed with gaining the woman’s approval. Soon Laila is pushing herself far from her comfort zone, discovering the psychedelic highs and perilous lows of nightlife, temporary flings, and instability. Dr. Nazarenko has led Laila to believe that she must choose between perfection and sanity—but rejecting her all-powerful mentor may be the only way for Laila to thrive.

 

Then

 

Clean Break ~ Tammy Cohen

I think this has been my favourite of the 2018 QRs so far. I didn’t want to put it down!

 

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Marriage is complicated, especially for Kate.

Her husband Jack has a temper on him, and has been an absent father for years.

Kate knows it’s time for a divorce.

The trouble is, Jack refuses. And now that he has found out Kate has met another man, his jealous rages escalate.

Can Kate rid herself of her jealous husband before it’s too late?

Next…?

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Maybe Leah on the Off Beat because I just bought it, but I might need something different from a YA Contemporary read…so who knows!

 

 

 

What have you been reading this week? Leave a comment/link and I’ll do my best to take a look.

This Week in Books 02.05.18 #TWIB

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Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next!

Happy Wednesday, Everyone. Hope you’re all having a good week so far. Here’s what I’ve been up to…

Now

Clean Break ~ Tammy Cohen

I picked this up as a lunch-time read and I’m enjoying it so far. I was really sad the hear that the funding for Quick Reads has been withdrawn, they are a great way to entice reluctant adult readers. It’s a huge shame.

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Marriage is complicated, especially for Kate.

Her husband Jack has a temper on him, and has been an absent father for years.

Kate knows it’s time for a divorce.

The trouble is, Jack refuses. And now that he has found out Kate has met another man, his jealous rages escalate.

Can Kate rid herself of her jealous husband before it’s too late?

Then

 

Mother of Eden ~ Chris Beckett

This was a great sequel to Dark Eden. It an imaginative, and scary version of a future ‘after earth’. Highly recommended!

mothereden“We speak of a mother’s love, but we forget her power.”

Civilization has come to the alien, sunless planet its inhabitants call Eden.

Just a few generations ago, the planet’s five hundred inhabitants huddled together in the light and warmth of the Forest’s lantern trees, afraid to venture out into the cold darkness around them.

Now, humanity has spread across Eden, and two kingdoms have emerged. Both are sustained by violence and dominated by men – and both claim to be the favored children of Gela, the woman who came to Eden long ago on a boat that could cross the stars, and became the mother of them all.
When young Starlight Brooking meets a handsome and powerful man from across Worldpool, she believes he will offer an outlet for her ambition and energy. But she has no inkling that she will become a stand-in for Gela herself, and wear Gela’s fabled ring on her own finger—or that in this role, powerful and powerless all at once, she will try to change the course of Eden’s history.

 

Next…?

 

Definitely Final Draft by Riley Redgate.

I probably would have started this by the time this post publishes. I hope so, anyway. It sounds great!

finaldraftThe only sort of risk 18-year-old Laila Piedra enjoys is the peril she writes for the characters in her stories: epic sci-fi worlds full of quests, forbidden love, and robots. Her creative writing teacher has always told her she has a special talent. But three months before her graduation, he’s suddenly replaced—by Nadiya Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist who is sadistically critical and perpetually unimpressed.
 
At first, Nazarenko’s eccentric assignments seem absurd. But before long, Laila grows obsessed with gaining the woman’s approval. Soon Laila is pushing herself far from her comfort zone, discovering the psychedelic highs and perilous lows of nightlife, temporary flings, and instability. Dr. Nazarenko has led Laila to believe that she must choose between perfection and sanity—but rejecting her all-powerful mentor may be the only way for Laila to thrive.

 

 

What have you been reading this week? Leave a comment/link and I’ll do my best to take a look.

Reading Round-up: March/April 2018, part 2 #minibookreviews

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I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but I’ve been pretty rubbish at posting reviews lately. I unfortunately don’t have the time (or the motivation) at the moment. I would, however, like to share a few thoughts on some of my recent reads…

 

Anything You Do Say ~ Gillian McAllister

I had heard nothing but good things about Gillian McAllister’s thrillers, and this one was my first. I was absolutely captivated from the very first page. It’s a simple concept which begs the question what you would do if you critically hurt someone by accident? Would you try to help them and turn yourself in? Or would you leave them for dead and hope it’s never traced back to you?

It’s such a tragic dilemma, and I couldn’t stop reading. What I loved the most about it was that there’s no easy answer, and no simple outcome. Both versions of the story are fraught with grief, loss and terror, but show that the human spirit can survive more than you may think.

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The Language of Thorns ~ Leigh Bardugo

This book is so beautiful, I almost didn’t care what was inside! But of course, I did a little. This is a collection of fairy tales from the Grisha world created by Bardugo in her Grisha trilogy and Six of Crows duology. To write a collection of fairy tales and myths that her characters may have heard as children like we’ve heard variations of Grimm’s and Andersen’s just shows how vast and complete Bardugo’s world building is, and for this alone I was impressed.

However, I wasn’t as impressed by the stories as I was the concept. A couple of them were fun, and compelling but the rest fell flat for me. Thankfully, the stunning illustrations, and beautiful cover (in hardback) more than made up for it. I think it’s a book you’ll want to keep on your shelves to look at, rather than reread.

unicorn rating 3

Have you read either of these? Let me know what you thought?

 

Reading Round-up: March/April 2018, Part 1 #MiniBookReviews

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I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but I’ve been pretty rubbish at posting reviews lately. I unfortunately don’t have the time (or the motivation) at the moment. I would, however, like to share a few thoughts on some of my recent reads…

 

Emily Windsnap and the Falls of Forgotten Island  ~ Liz Kessler

This book was so cute. I’d never read any Liz Kessler books before and I didn’t realise this was like book 7 in the series, but it didn’t matter at all. It’s a story about friendship, family, romance and a mysterious adventure involving an ancient prophecy, (I bloody love an ancient prophecy btw) and of course, Mermaids!

I thought it was paced well, and had some struggles and dilemmas in it that were perfect for the target age group, such as letting down your best friend, and being the third, all nicely topped off with some mermaid magic.

unicorn rating 4

 

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue ~ Mackenzi Lee

I’m so glad that this book was as good as I anticipated. It’s not a quick read, but totally worth the investment. There’s not that much historical YA out there, particularly LGBT historical YA, and this tale of travelling and debauchery is in a league of its own. It’s a great story, with truly diverse characters and not just for the sake of it like I see happening in YA a lot these days.

unicorn rating 4

 

Simon Vs the Homosapiens Agenda ~ Becky Albertalli

I knew I would love this book from the moment it came out, but I’m afraid all the hype did ruin it a little bit for me. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved it, and I loved the main characters, and the fact that books like this exist, but people were talking about it like it’s something new, and I didn’t think it was really.

unicorn rating 4

 

Member of the Family ~ Dianne Lake

Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve had this weird fascination with Charles Manson, but I never really read that much about him in the time before the murders took place. This book, written by the youngest recruited member of ‘the family’, provides a lot of insight on that time when the group transitioned from a hippie commune, to a sadistic cult capable of the harshest of crimes. 

I found a lot of this book interesting but it dragged, especially in the beginning. I get that Dianne’s dysfunctional childhood is what paved the way for her joining Manson, but it could have been summarised a bit. I’m glad I read it though!

unicorn rating 3

More mini reviews will be posted tomorrow 🙂

This Week in Books 23.04.18 #TWIB #CurrentlyReading

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Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next!

Happy Wednesday, Everyone. Hope you’re all having a good week so far. Here’s what I’ve been up to…

Now

 

Mother of Eden ~ Chris Beckett

So far so good on this sequel to Dark Eden.

 

mothereden“We speak of a mother’s love, but we forget her power.”

Civilization has come to the alien, sunless planet its inhabitants call Eden.

Just a few generations ago, the planet’s five hundred inhabitants huddled together in the light and warmth of the Forest’s lantern trees, afraid to venture out into the cold darkness around them.

Now, humanity has spread across Eden, and two kingdoms have emerged. Both are sustained by violence and dominated by men – and both claim to be the favored children of Gela, the woman who came to Eden long ago on a boat that could cross the stars, and became the mother of them all.
When young Starlight Brooking meets a handsome and powerful man from across Worldpool, she believes he will offer an outlet for her ambition and energy. But she has no inkling that she will become a stand-in for Gela herself, and wear Gela’s fabled ring on her own finger—or that in this role, powerful and powerless all at once, she will try to change the course of Eden’s history.

 

 

Then

 

The Language of Thorns ~ Leigh Bardugo

I liked this collection of stories, but a couple of them fell a bit flat for me. The book itself is absolutely stunning though, which more than made up for it. 

langofthornsLove speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.’

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

 

Next…?

 

Definitely Final Draft by Riley Redgate.

It sounds great and I’ve been meaning to get round to it for a while!

finaldraftThe only sort of risk 18-year-old Laila Piedra enjoys is the peril she writes for the characters in her stories: epic sci-fi worlds full of quests, forbidden love, and robots. Her creative writing teacher has always told her she has a special talent. But three months before her graduation, he’s suddenly replaced—by Nadiya Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist who is sadistically critical and perpetually unimpressed.
 
At first, Nazarenko’s eccentric assignments seem absurd. But before long, Laila grows obsessed with gaining the woman’s approval. Soon Laila is pushing herself far from her comfort zone, discovering the psychedelic highs and perilous lows of nightlife, temporary flings, and instability. Dr. Nazarenko has led Laila to believe that she must choose between perfection and sanity—but rejecting her all-powerful mentor may be the only way for Laila to thrive.

 

 

What have you been reading this week? Leave a comment/link and I’ll do my best to take a look.