This Week in Books 14.6.17 #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. 

Hi guys! Sorry I’ve been a bit AWOL lately. I missed this post last week because I just didn’t get the time and I also had no new answers for you anyway. And this week has been annoying because the one day I set aside to catch up, my internet went down. Rage! Anyway, I’m back, so here’s what my week has looked like…better late than never, right!?

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Now: Broken Branches ~ M. Jonathan Lee

I’m about a third of the way through this intriguing and creepy book about a family curse. Liking it so far!

Then:  One of Us is Lying ~ Karen McManus

This was a good, quick contemporary YA read. My review (which is late-sorry!!!!) will be up ASAP.

Next: ???

Either Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit which is an ARC looking for early reviews as it’s not out until Janurary 2018, or something from my TBR pile – White Cat by Holly Black perhaps.

New on the Shelves

Netgalley: 

This looks so good!

thewayThere may be two sides to every story, but sometimes there’s only one way to set things right…

Music is Elijah’s life. His band plays loud and hard, and he’ll do anything to get them a big break. He needs that success to help take care of his sister, who has special needs. So he’d rather be practicing when his friends drag him to a musical in the next town…until the lead starts to sing.

Kristen dreams of a career on stage like her grandmother’s. She knows she needs an edge to get into a competitive theater program―and being the star in her high school musical isn’t going to cut it. The applause and the attention only encourage her to work harder.

Elijah can’t take his eyes off of Kristen’s performance, and his swooning face is captured on camera and posted with an out-of-context comment. It goes viral. Suddenly, Elijah and Kristen are in a new spotlight as the online backlash spins out of control. And the consequences are bigger than they both could have ever imagined because these threats don’t stay online…they follow them into real life.

I’m Waiting On…

…Jane, Unlimited because I loved Graceling so much! I’m super excited abut this one. And look at that cover…swoon!

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Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.

Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family’s island mansion called Tu Reviens.

Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.” With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn’t know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.

Expected Publication: September 19th 2017 by Kathy Dawson Books

 So that’s been my week in books, now why don’t you tell me about yours!?
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Top Ten Tuesday: Books You Should Read If You Like…

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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 10 Books You Should Read if you Like X (TV show/Film etc).

Ooh I like this topic, it’s fun. But I had a hard time coming up with 10 books for just one TV Show or film so I’ve split it into a few categories.

Books you should read if you like…

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
BTVS is my favourite show of all time. It’s everything a high school drama with vampires should be! It’s witty and has a kick-ass protagonist, as do the following books.

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The Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Veronica Mars
V Mars is so awesome. She’s ridiculously intelligent and mature for her age, and she can’t help getting herself into sticky situations. Her dad -who is pretty adorable- is a PI, and the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. These books also have feisty female protagonists whose inquisitive natures get them into all sorts of scrapes, whether it’s fighting octopuses (Ruby Redfort) or studying poisons (Flavia de Luce).

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The Ruby Redfort books by Lauren Child
Skulduggery pleasant by Derek Landy
The Flavia de Luce mysteries by Alan Bradley
The Lily Pascale mysteries by Scarlett Thomas

True Detective
I just finished watching this show last night (gooooood ending), and I did enjoy but it has such a slow-burning pace. And that’s what really reminded me of this book.

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The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh

2013: End of Year Survey

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I know it’s pretty late to be posting this, but I really wanted to do a 2013 round-up and this one has been my favourite that’s been doing the rounds. Thanks to The Perpetual Pageturner for compiling this. You can click on the image above to visit them.

I’m only going to do the 2013 book section because I’m so behind on life right now.

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1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

On my TTT post I went for Graceling by Kristin Cashore as that’s the book I can’t stop thinking about and reaaaalllly want to read again. But it was so hard to choose. The best book I read that was actually published last year was probably Frost Hollow Hall by Emma Carroll or The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black – it’s a tie!

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?


I’m torn between Poison by Sarah Pinborough and A Breath of Frost by Alyxander Harvey.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?

I guess it has to be The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness just because I’d heard people talk about it a lot but it still took me so long to pick up, and when I did I wasn’t expecting it to be THAT Epic!

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

Well I probably talked about The Selection by Kiera Cass the most, but not necessarily recommended it as such (and I first read it in 2012 so not sure it counts). I recommended Frost Hollow Hall and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown a lot.

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

The Graceling Trilogy by Kristin Cashore

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?


Sarah J. Maas

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Hmm I didn’t really read one, which is bad. But I guess Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep was out of my comfort zone a little bit just because of the size of it.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

Has to be The Knife Of Never Letting Go.

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Let’s face it, it’s going to be The Selection (and The Elite) before The One comes out in May.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?


It has to be this one which I read before I started blogging. The picture doesn’t really do it justice, the whole book is so pretty.
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11. Most memorable character in 2013?

This is soooo hard! Either Katsa from Graceling, or Celaena from Throne of Glass, ooooh or Manchee from The Knife of Never Letting Go. MANCHEEEEEEE!

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?


It was nowhere near my favourite book of the year, but The Wolves of Midwinter by Anne Rice was written beautifully. As was Frost Hollow Hall.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

Without a doubt The Knife of Never Letting Go.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?

Same again!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?


I read two books by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan (Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist and Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares) last year and they were both full of beautiful, perfect quotes. I think this was my favourite:

I mean, I don’t know how the world broke. And I don’t know if there’s a God who can help us fix it. But the fact that the world is broken – I absolutely believe that. Just look around us. Every minute – every single second – there are a million things you could be thinking about. A million things you could be worrying about. Our world – don’t you just feel we’re becoming more fragmented? I used to think that when I got older, the world would make so much more sense. But you know what? The older I get, the more confusing it is to me. The more complicated it is. Harder. You’d think we’d be getting better at it. But there’s just more and more chaos. The pieces – they’re everywhere. And nobody knows what to do about it. I find myself grasping, Nick. You know that feeling? That feeling when you just want the right thing to fall into the right place, not only because it’s right, but because it would mean that such a thing is still possible? I want to believe that.”
― Rachel Cohn, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Shortest = The Prince, The Fairy and The Fouly by John Fitzsimmonds at 105
Longest = The Host by Stephenie Meyer at 652 (reread) followed closely by Doctor Sleep

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Uhm SO MANY! But mainly The Knife of Never Letting Go and the ending of The Polaris Whisper by Kenneth Gregory!

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Katsa & Po in Graceling (for romance) and Tod and Manchee from The Knife of Never Letting Go for everything else! ‘Ow, Tod’

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously?

Probably Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, and coming in a close 2nd, Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes.

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else?

Has to be Graceling again. (Thanks Tanner)

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

YA Fantasy. I never really used to read a lot of fantasy so I’m surprised just how many of my books this fell into that. I don’t think I can stop now.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?


Just one??? I need two because I’m greedy – Gavriel from The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, and Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass. Fiiiit.

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

The Polaris Whisper by Kenneth Gregory

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman for sure.

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

Ooh this one is hard. Maybe Shooting Sean by Bateman because the Mystery Man books are just hilarious. Or The Elite by Kiera Cass, because I’m obsessed and can’t get enough, and the texts that my friend Di sent me whilst she was reading it were BRILLIANT!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

I think The Knife of Never Letting Go was the only book that made me cry. Bitterblue, the last in the Graceling Trilogy may have too.


27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

Probably Bitterblue again, because so many people say they haven’t read it yet. READ IT.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Read This Year!

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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).

Huge thanks go to them for hosting this feature, I’ve really enjoyed taking part this year and I’m sure this will continue in 2014!

For the final Tuesday of 2013, the topic of course is The Top Ten Books I read this year.

I thought it was only right to do this in descending order. Click the images to visit the Goodreads page, and the book title to go to my review (If I wrote one).

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Title/Author: The Polaris Whisper by Kenneth Gregory
Genre: Fantasy
Published: September 25th 2013

It is a dark time. For decades Hakon the Black, the most feared Norse Lord of the ninth century, has conducted bloody and gruesome raids throughout Europe, and laid his claim upon the seas. But it is also a time of hope.

In the frozen wastelands of the north, Vidar searches for the Vestibule of Light. Alone, freezing and exhausted, he pushes on through the endless winter in the belief that once his quest is complete, he may return to the life he has left behind, and to Niclaus, the son he was forced to abandon. For Niclaus has a greater destiny – one foretold by Cado, the enigmatic Small Walker – and Vidar is but one player in the boy’s life. Cado has enlisted the help of protectors from all corners of the Earth to shield Niclaus: men whose worlds are connected by only the loosest of threads.

But as Niclaus becomes older, and the various worlds begin to converge, will Vidar and Cado have to make sacrifices beyond imagining to protect those they love.

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Title/Author: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
Genre: Horror
Published:September 24th 2013

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

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Title/Author: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Genre: YA/ Fantasy
Published: August 7th 2012

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another.

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

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Title/Author: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Genre: YA/ Horror
Published:September 3rd 2013

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black

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Title/Author: Frost Hollow Hall by Emma Carroll
Genre: YA/Historical Fiction
Published: October 3rd 2013

The gates to Frost Hollow Hall loomed before us. They were great tall things, the ironwork all twisted leaves and queer-looking flowers. And they were very definitely shut.

Tilly’s heart sinks. Will’s at the door of their cottage, daring her to come ice-skating up at Frost Hollow Hall. No one goes near the place these days. Rumour has it that the house is haunted . . . Ten years ago the young heir, Kit Barrington, drowned there in the lake. But Tilly never turns down a dare.

Then it goes horribly wrong. The ice breaks, Tilly falls through and almost drowns. At the point of death, a beautiful angel appears in the water and saves her. Kit Barrington’s ghost.

Kit needs Tilly to solve the mystery of his death, so that his spirit can rest in peace. In order to discover all she can, Tilly gets work as a maid at Frost Hollow Hall. But the place makes her flesh crawl. It’s all about the dead here, she’s told, and in the heart of the house she soon discovers all manner of dark secrets . . .

Frost Hollow Hall is a thrilling historical fiction debut. Told in Tilly’s unique voice, it is a tale of love and loss, and how forgiveness is the key to recovery.

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Title/Author: City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Published: March 24th 2009

To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters – never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City – whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the third installment of the New York Times bestselling series The Mortal Instruments.

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Title/Author: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Published: August 10th 2012

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

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Title/Author: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Genre: YA/Dystopian
Published: May 5th 2008

I CAN BELIEVE IT TOOK ME UNTIL 2013 TO READ THIS BOOK. FOOL.

Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

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Title/Author: The Selection by Kiera Cass
Genre: YA/Dystopian/Romance
Published: April 24th 2012

Oh how I tried not to love this book. It is totally trashy but I LOVE IT, OK!

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

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Title/Author: Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Published: October 1st 2008

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight – she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po’s friend.

She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace – or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away…

Happy New Year Everyone!

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors that were new to me in 2013!

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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). This week the topic is Top Ten authors that were new to me in 2013.

So this is all a bit rushed because IT’S CHRISTMAS AND I’M BEHIND ON SO MANY THINGS (deep breaths), but I really wanted to take part because I’ve discovered so many great new authors this year. So here goes:

  1. Kiera Cass (The Selection; The Elite) Obvs
  2. Kristin Cashore (Graceling; Fire; Bitter Blue) I miss this series 😦
  3. Emma Carroll (Frost Hollow Hall) This was my first ever ARC review. Loved it.
  4. Kenneth Gregory (The Polaris Whisper) Another ARC review, Kenneth recently tweeted me to say that they used one of my quotes in the book launch promo video (below). Chuffed!
  5. Sarah J. Mass (Throne of Glass; Crown of Midnight) Celaena has been one of my favourite characters this year.
  6. Glynis Cooney (Daughter of Camelot) I loved this Arthurian YA adventure.
  7. Rachel Hartman (Seraphina) This was only the 2nd book I read this year, but it definitely stands out as one of the best.
  8. Rachel Cohn & David Levithan (Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist; Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares) I’d read some Levithan before but never these two together, I love both of their collaborations.
  9. Debbie Macomber (Starry Night) I just reviewed this here
  10. Terra Harmony (Water) I need to read the other books in the series!

 

The Polaris Whisper Book Launch:


It looked like a great event. What made you list? Feel free to leave a link!

Top Ten Tuesday: Character Names

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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). This week the theme is Top Ten Character Names.

This is a weird one for me. At first I completely drew a blank. Do Character names really have much impact on me? And then I realised how easily bad character names annoy me, (I could do a great Top Ten bad Character Names!) so I realised that they must mean something!

Here’s what I came up with.

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  1. Tristran Thorn, Stardust: Tristan is my all time favourite name which stems from Tristan & Iseult and also The Patrick Wolf song. Although officially Gaiman’s character is called Tristran, I still say Tristan in my head. Either way, the name Tristran Thorn is perfect for that character. Perfect!
  2. Abra Stone, Doctor Sleep: Abra was my favourite character in Doctor Sleep. It’s a strange name but it works. And I loved that her email address went Cadabra@…pretty cool.
  3. Celaena Sardothien, Throne of Glass: I think Celaena’s name is pretty much perfect. It sounds kick-ass and pretty at the same time. Exactly how a beautiful yet deadly assassin should sound.
  4. Katsa, Graceling: Same as above really, Katsa just suits her. It’s unique and ballsy.
  5. Lestat De Lioncourt, The Vampire Chronicles: Lestat? That is all.
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  7. Barbie, Under the Dome: Dale Barbara is an Iraq vet turned short-order cook with a penchant for doing the right thing, even though he clearly has his secrets. I love that his nickname  Barbie stuck, because it just doesn’t suit him at first, but somehow it’s perfect. It really warmed me to him.
  8. Stargirl, Stargirl: Stargirl is everything you would think a character called that would be. ‘From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, hallways hum “Stargirl.”’
  9. Ariel Manto, The End of Mr Y: Ariel is just one of those characters I always remember. It’s a simple name, but I like saying it.
  10. Princess Bitterblue, Bitterblue: Another one from The Graceling Trilogy, as far as princess names go, this one is pretty cool.
  11. Christian Grey, Fifty Shades of Grey: Whether you’re a fan of this or not, Christian Grey is now a household name. The mere mention of it sends ladies everywhere into a frenzy!

 

 

 

Like Sci-fi & Fanstasy?

If you like Sci-fi & Fantasy you should totally check out the Gollancz website and blog. They publish some of best SF & Fantasy going! You can also become an Official Gollancz Geek and apply to review new releases for them.

My review of Kristin Cashore’s Bitterblue was posted yesterday here.

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Woah, it is HOT outside. I’m off to read under a tree somewhere!

The Verdict: Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Click to view on GoodReads.

Click to view on GoodReads.

There are just many things to be said about Bitterblue but let’s start with the basics. It’s the third book in the Graceling Realm Trilogy by Kristin Cashore and it looks beautiful.

In Graceling, we entered a world of seven kingdoms where some people are born graced with any number of unique skills or abilities and where we first meet Katsa, seemingly graced with the skill of killing and under the command of King Randa. Katsa becomes increasingly frustrated and depressed about being used in such a cruel way and when Prince Po comes along their journey together slowly reveals just how corrupt the seven kingdoms really are. In Fire, we’re transported to The Dells, a kingdom of ‘rainbow coloured monsters and underground labyrinths’ where Fire, the last human monster is both hated and obsessed over, constantly assaulted for being so irresistible and who refuses to use her mind control to steal people’s memories and secrets.

By the time we come to Bitterblue, it is several years after King Leck’s tyrannous and torturous reign in Graceling and we follow the young Queen Bitterblue as she attempts to rebuild her kingdom; a kingdom that is still deeply affected by her father’s spell over them. But how can you rebuild something that is based on lies and secrets and despicable acts? Especially when the people who were most under Leck’s spell are the ones closest to Bitterblue?

There are so many things I love about this book. I enjoyed Fire, but as soon I opened this it felt like I was coming back home. I was eager to meet up with Katsa and Po again and it didn’t disappoint despite the fact that they weave in and out of the narritive. I think Cashore could easy have ridden the wave of their romance and made that the main strand of this book but I think this portrays a much more realistic and exciting relationship. It’s certainly refreshing to see these characters living their own lives, putting the important things first and not just glaring at each other with puppy-dog eyes. They are definitely not the puppy-dog eyes types!

I love how this story slowly builds momentum. We find the clues as Bitterblue finds them -one by one- linking what really happened during Leck’s time to just how many secrets and lies are being maintained within the city walls. I found myself even more confused than Bitterblue as to who to trust and who to investigate. However, I did feel like there was a lull in the middle where the pace could have been picked up and I just wanted to grab Bitterblue and shake her yelling ‘haven’t you learnt by now you can’t trust anyone, get on with it!’

I enjoyed the mix of the old and new here too. Whenever I think of Kings, Queens and castles, whether it’s in this universe or a fictional one I think of times gone by, but Cashore’s world is full of modern themes making no fuss over boys and girls fighting each other, same-sex relationships, sex before marriage, birth control, or a Queen who wears trousers and slips out of the castle at night to smooch with a thief. And is it just me or is it completely devoid of religion? Hallelujah!

Cashore has created an in-depth world of strong, kick-ass girls, epic sword-fights, passion, and intriguing mystery. Essentially, Bitterblue and those before it are about the abuse of control and power, facing up to horrible truths and having the strength to overcome the impossible.

Bitterblue is published by Gollancz and I received a copy in exchange for a review as part of their Gollancz Geeks Blog.

It’s WWW Wednesday!

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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?

Currently Reading:

Click to view on GoodReads

Click to view on GoodReads

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares.– Goodreads.

Just Finished:

Click to view on GoodReads.

Click to view on GoodReads.

It took me a whole week to finish this and I keep telling myself it’s because it was so good that I didn’t want it to end, but it was probably because I’ve just been watching a lot of tennis and drinking in a lot of beer gardens (oh, hello, Sun). That said, the former statement was true too. I loved this one as much, if not more than Graceling and it brought all the three stories and the kingdoms together beautifully. I want more. If you liked the Graceling books as much as I did, I highly recommend Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina too, and its cover is just as pretty. Win all round. I’ll be reviewing this for The Gollancz Geeks Blog ASAP.

Up Next:

I’m torn between the next Ruby Redfort book which I totally forgot I’d pre-ordered and a book I was recommended ages ago and really need to read and give back – The Lies of Locke Lamora.

Click to view on GoodReads.

Click to view on GoodReads.

This does sound good…’Gentleman Bastard #1’…haha interesting…and no, it’s obviously not YA but I do like to branch out now and again.

As for Ruby Redfort, I probably never would have picked up the first book, Look Into My Eyes if it hadn’t been released by Harper Collins with its spangly hypnotic silver cover. The previous cover looked a bit too young for me, and the same goes for Take Your Last Breath, the second in the series. Ruby is sassy and witty and fearless and makes a pretty amusing 13 year old secret agent, none of which I get from this cover:

Image from Amazon

Image from Amazon

But this one, on the other hand is much more appealing to my inner teenage spy.
Image from Amazon

Image from Amazon

Leave a comment with your WWW Wednesday books or the link to your post!

It’s the Weekend!!!

Happy Long Weekend You Guys!

I have spent most of the day at work with the phones and internet down which basically makes my job 100% redundant. But it doesn’t matter because the three day weekend starts NOW and I have a pile of amazing books to get through including Bitterblue which I received from Gollancz recently in exchange for a review. Score.

Here’s some weekend inspiration for you.

George