This Month in Books: April 2017 #Bookreviews #MonthlyRoundup

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April was good. A group of friends and I rented a cottage in Yorkshire for a weekend which was lovely. Easter was fun. I spent it eating a lot and watching classic films with friends. Perfect. I also started to get my mojo back in the reading and blogging sense – a huge relief after a couple of bad months!

April 2017 Stats

Total Posts: 9 (-5 from previous month)

Books Read: 5 (+1)
The Wingsnatchers ~ Sarah Jean Horwitz
One False Move ~ Dreda Say Mitchell
The Last Act of Love ~ Cathy Rentzenbrink
Six of Crows ~ Leigh Bardugo
Sucktown, Alaska ~ Craig Dirkes
The Breakdown:
Genres: YA (2/5); Children’s Fiction (1/5); Memoir (1/5); Crime/Thriller (1/5)

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

Most Surprising: The Last Act of Love
Most Disappointing: Six of Crows
Most Exciting: The Wingsnatchers I guess
Most Swoon-worthy:  Six of Crows
Most Beautifully Written: The Last Act of Love

Reviews

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Promos, Guest Posts and other Highlights

Awards

TBR Shelf Update

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Earlier this year I decided I HAD to do something about my physical 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: 84

Books Added: 1

Books Read: 2

Remaining: 83

That was my month, how was yours?

This Month in Books: October 2016 #HorrorOctober

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Horror October came and went in a flash! I got a lot of reading done at the beginning of the month and spent the rest blogging. IRL I saw some good films, went to a gig (on a school night no less) and visited my friend’s new flat on the other side of London (read: the world). I thoroughly enjoyed the change in the weather and I’m loving the dark nights. I’m weird like that.

October 2016 Stats

Total Posts: 36 (+ 18 from previous month)

Books Read: 7 (+1) 
Self-Made Man ~ Poppy Z. Brite
The Daemoniac ~ Kat Ross
The Merciless II ~ Danielle Vega
Reckless ~ Cornelia Funke
The Travelling Bag ~ Susan Hill
Miss Peregrine’s Home… ~ Ransom Riggs
Hunter of the Dead ~ Stephen Kozeniewski

The Breakdown:
Genres: YA (4/7); Horror (5/7); Crime/Thriller (1/7); Supernatural (5/7)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (2/7); Digital (3/7); Hardback (2/7); Paperback (2/7) / Owned (3/7); Borrowed (1/7); For Review (3/7)

Most Surprising: Hunter of the Dead
Most Disappointing: Reckless
Most Exciting: Hunter of the Dead
Most Swoon-worthy:  Hmm…I guess The Merciless at a push. 
Most Beautifully Written: The Travelling Bag

Reviews: 6 (=)

    • Haunt Me by Liz Kessler, 3/5 (View)
    • The Daemoniac by Kat Ross, 3/5 (View)
    • The Merciless II by Danielle Vega, 3/5 (View)
    • Reckless by Cornelia Funke, 2/5 (View)
    • Self-Made Man by Poppy Z. Brite, 4/5 (View)
    • The Travelling Bag by Susan Hill, 3/5 (View)

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Promos, Guest Posts and 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 physical 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: 72

Books Added: 2

Books Read: 2

Remaining: 72

That was my month, how was yours?

This Month in Books: April 2016 #TMIB

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Hmm…what happened in April? I tried to slow down this month by planning less fun things in order to relax a bit more & save some money for the summer. I’m not sure how successful that was, but at the very least I caught up on reading and posting reviews which I’d fallen behind on.

April 2016 Stats

Total Posts: 14 (+1 from previous month)

Books Read: 7 (+4)
The Crow Girl ~ Erik Axl Sund
The Colour of Milk ~ Nell Leyshon
PETA’s Vegan College Cookbook ~ PETA
Can you Keep a Secret ~ R.L Stine
The Glittering Court ~ Richelle Mead
Murder at the 42nd Street Library ~ Con Lehane
Deception ~ Naomi Chase

The Breakdown:
Genres: YA (2/7); Literary Fiction (1/7); Urban Fiction (1/7); Thriller (3/7); Non-Fiction (1/7)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (5/7); Digital (5/7); Hardback (0/7); Paperback (2/7); Owned (0/7); Borrowed (2/7); For Review (5/7)

Most Surprising: The Crow Girl
Most Disappointing: Murder at the 42nd Street Library
Most Exciting: The Crow Girl
Most Swoon-worthy:  The Glittering Court
Most Beautifully Written: The Crow Girl

Reviews: 6 (+3)

    • My Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul, 4/5 (View)
    • The Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund, 4/5 (View)
    • Can you Keep a Secret by R.L Stine, 4/5 (View)
    • PETA’s Vegan Cookbook, 2/5 (View)
    • Murder at the 42nd Street Library by Con Lehane, 3/5 (View)
    • The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead, 3/5 (View)

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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: 77

Books Added: 5

Books Read: 0

Remaining: 82

FAIL!

May Releases

Here’s my pick of the May Releases

Are you looking forward to any of these?

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. 🙂

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)

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Promos, Guest Posts and other Highlights

Awards

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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?

Friday Feature: May Releases & Cover Love

I usually list the month’s most anticipated releases on the previous monthly wrap-up post, but there were so many this month that I figured it warranted its own post. And for an added bonus, just check out the covers. I love them all.

A Court of Thorns and Roses ~ Sarah J. Maas

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A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

5th May

The Far End of Happy ~ Kathryn Craft

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Twelve tense hours, three women, and the suicide standoff that turns one family’s little piece of heaven into a scene from hell

After enduring years of a struggling marriage, Ronnie Farnham has decided to divorce her husband and is beginning to hope for a happy future–until the morning Jeff is supposed to move out, when he locks himself in their barn with a rifle.

When a massive police presence arrives to control the 12-hour stand off, the women in Jeff’s life are pushed to their breaking points.

Based on the author’s harrowing personal story, The Far End of Happy is a powerful novel about the way one man’s spiral towards life’s violent conclusion tests the resolve, love, and hope of the women he will leave behind.

5th May

The Heir ~ Kiera Cass

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Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she’d put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess’s life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can’t escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.

Eadlyn doesn’t expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn’s heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she’s always thought.

May 7th

The Violet Hour ~ Andrea L. Wells

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Still shocked over her mother’s mysterious death, California socialite Logan Keller is handed a one-way ticket to her long lost roots in Wyoming where love, deceit and danger await. Though she could forget everything staring into Luke Callahan’s eyes, Logan is quickly thrust into a fight for survival. Taking fate into her own hands, she begins unraveling the dangerous deceptions that abound at every turn. Her father is keeping secrets and Luke is keeping more. But Logan is keeping the biggest secret of them all.

The Violet Hour is a page-turning captivating twist of young romance and the paranormal.
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5 to 1 ~ Holly Bodger

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In the year 2054, after decades of gender selection, India now has a ratio of five boys for every girl, making women an incredibly valuable commodity. Tired of marrying off their daughters to the highest bidder and determined to finally make marriage fair, the women who form the country of Koyanagar have instituted a series of tests so that every boy has the chance to win a wife.

Sudasa, though, doesn’t want to be a wife, and Kiran, a boy forced to compete in the test to become her husband, has other plans as well. As the tests advance, Sudasa and Kiran thwart each other at every turn until they slowly realize that they just might want the same thing.

This beautiful, unique novel is told from alternating points of view-Sudasa’s in verse and Kiran’s in prose-allowing readers to experience both characters’ pain and their brave struggle for hope.

12th May

Made You Up ~ Francesca Zappia

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Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn’t she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.

Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.

19th May

Hold Me Like a Breath ~ Tiffany Schmidt

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Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold—including body parts. She’s the daughter of one of the three crime families that control the black market for organ transplants.

Penelope’s surrounded by all the suffocating privilege and protection her family can provide, but they can’t protect her from the autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise so easily.

And in her family’s line of work no one can be safe forever.

All Penelope has ever wanted is freedom and independence. But when she’s caught in the crossfire as rival families scramble for prominence, she learns that her wishes come with casualties, that betrayal hurts worse than bruises, that love is a risk worth taking . . . and maybe she’s not as fragile as everyone thinks.

19th May

Penny Heart ~ Martine Bailey

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A historical novel of suspense, seasoned with recipes and remedies, THE PENNY HEART draws on age-old themes of cooking, trickery and revenge.

The North of England 1787. Sentenced to death for a simple confidence trick, Mary Jebb escapes the gallows … but her reprieve is harsh: seven years in the unforgiving penal colony of Botany Bay. Yet Mary is determined not to be forgotten, sending two pennies, engraved with a promise, to the two men who sealed her fate.
Timid artist Grace Moore jumps at the opportunity to marry handsome gentleman Michael Croxon – happy if only to get away from her drunken father.

But when Grace takes on a new cook, the two penny heart love tokens reveal she is tied to a world she didn’t know existed … A world of deceit, double-crossing, revenge and murder.

21st May

The Cage (The Cage #1) ~ Megan Shepherd

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The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in this gripping new series about teens held captive in a human zoo by an otherworldly race. From Megan Shepherd, the acclaimed author of The Madman’s Daughter trilogy.

When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn’t know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments—tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures—all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn’t alone.

Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora’s past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer—a handsome young guard called Cassian—appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren’t from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans.

As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer—though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so . . . what world lies beyond the walls of their cage?

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Do you have any of these lined up, or a favourite May cover?

Friday Feature: It’s all about the Trees…

I’m a fan of trees. Is that a weird thing to say? But you know, some trees are just really cool, like these ones…

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I don’t know if it’s just because it’s finally Spring, but I swear I’ve been seeing trees all over book covers lately, so I thought I’d investigate and choose my favourites.

New/Recent Releases

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(Click image to enlarge)

Best of the Rest

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I love the way different types of trees are used to convey completely different things. In this selection alone there’s mystery, magic, beauty, and they’re all pretty ominous.

What’s your favourite tree cover?

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.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Covers

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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 Covers That You’d Frame as Pieces of Art.

So I wouldn’t necessarily want all of these hanging on my walls, but here are some my favourite book covers.

  1. The End of Mr Y – Scarlett Thomas
  2. Zombies Vs Unicorns – Holly Black et al
  3. Graceling – Kristin Cashore
  4. The Princess Bride – William Goldman
  5. The Assassin’s Blade – Sarah J. Maas
  6. Words Once Spoken – Carly Drake
  7. The Book of Lost Things – John Connolly
  8. Doon – Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon
  9. Inkheart – Cornelia Funke
  10. Dark Eden – Chris Beckett

And one more for good measure: I found this book in a charity shop a while back and was so taken with it I had to buy it. It’s so terrible, but in a really great way. It’s very pulp fiction. And I don’t mean the film. I just love it – the head is all shiny! I would totally hang this on my wall – I’m weird like that!

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Ice Orchids (1984)