This Week in Books (17.08.16)

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

Happy Wednesday to you all. I just got back from a long weekend in Prague which is so beautiful I didn’t want to leave! I may well do a little post on it at some point. Unfortunately, that does mean that once again I haven’t got much reading done.

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Now:  Daughter of Smoke and Bone ~ Laini Taylor // A Million Little Pieces ~ James Frey

I’m enjoying Daughter of Smoke of Bone a lot but I haven’t got through much of it. I’m also still reading A Million Little Pieces in  the few and far between intervals at work

Then:  The Song of Achilles  ~ Madeline Miller

LOVED!!! Review will be up soon. 

Next: ??? 

Probably The Hummingbird’s Cage as it’s my next ARC deadline. 

New on the Shelves

I found a great English bookshop in the backstreets of Prague at the weekend so obviously I had to buy a few mementos…

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City of Dark Magic ~ Magnus Flyte

cityofdarkmagicOnce a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it’s whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood.
Soon after Sarah arrives, strange things begin to happen. She learns that her mentor, who was working at the castle, may not have committed suicide after all. Could his cryptic notes be warnings? As Sarah parses his clues about Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” she manages to get arrested, to have tantric sex in a public fountain, and to discover a time-warping drug. She also catches the attention of a four-hundred-year-old dwarf, the handsome Prince Max, and a powerful U.S. senator with secrets she will do anything to hide.

     City of Dark Magic could be called a rom-com paranormal suspense novel—or it could simply be called one of the most entertaining novels of the year.

  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 🙂

When Everything Feels Like the Movies #BookReview #YA #LGBTReads

summer16.2Title: When Everything Feels Like the Movies
Author: Raziel Reid
Series: N/A
Format: Digital ARC, 176 pages
Publication Details: August 4th 2016 by Atom
Genre(s): Contemporary YA; LGBT
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review. 

Goodreads 

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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.

School was basically a movie set. We were all just playing our parts. The Crew, the Extras, the Movie Stars. No one was ever real . . . especially me. I didn’t fit any category.

All the girls watched me – I could walk so much better than them in heels, and my make-up was always flawless.

All the boys wanted to, well, you know . . . even if they didn’t admit it.

They loved me, they hated me, but they could never ignore me.

I only had eyes for Luke. A red carpet rolled out from my heart towards him and this year, on Valentine’s Day, I was going to walk that carpet and find my mark next to him. It would be like a dream.

But my dream was going to turn into a nightmare.

This is my story.

Review

*spoilers ahead*

 

Contemporary YA is always quite hit and miss for me. Usually I either completely fall in love, or end up despising them – it’s definitely a Marmite genre for me. When Everything Feels Like the Movies was an exception to the rule – I’m still torn. 

Jude, (who is mockingly called Judy by his schoolmates – a nickname he chooses to embrace) thinks of his life as a movie, and he is the star. The haters at school are the bit-part actors and he lets their insults wash over him like confetti at an awards show. The more they talk about him, the more famous he gets. 

Jude is hopelessly in love with Jock-type Luke and dreams of going to the Prom with him. No amount of rebuttals (or the fact that Luke appears to be very straight) will deter him from asking him to the dance, but little does he realise that this one question will be his ultimate downfall. 

I don’t think it’s  a huge spoiler to tell you that Jude is killed by the end of this book because that’s one of the things I didn’t like about it – the reader is told quite early on that Jude does not live to tell the tale and I really wish it was kept as a surprise. However, I think it’s so important for books like this to exist. It was heartbreaking and sadly plausible, and for me that’s what gives it the impact. 

I really didn’t enjoy the beginning of this book. I found it overly vulgar and cheap, and it takes a lot for me to think of something as vulgar – I’m not easily shocked and I think I’m about as open minded as they come – but it took me a while to understand the tone of this book. Once I did, it was more enjoyable though.

The more I read, the more I understood Jude’s character, and I did end up loving him and his I-give-no-shits attitude. However, I found the endless movie analogies a little bit clichéd and irritating, but saying that, it did ring true to who Jude is. 

#WEFLTM is a short novel, and a really quick read in terms of pace too. If I had to rate it at the 25% mark it wouldn’t have been as favourable but I’m glad I gave it a chance. maybe you should too…

unicorn rating 3

Book Promo: Drawn to Her #Romance

Welcome to another book promo on Lipsyy Lost & Found where I’m always thrilled to support indie authors & publishers. This time the promo is for the first book in a new series by romance writer Jenna Harte.

Drawn to Her ~ Jenna Harte

drawntoherPublication date:  April 12th 2016 by Penner Publishing
Genres: Romance

Feisty and outspoken, Lexie McKenna will do anything to protect her cantankerous and ailing patient—even if it means going up against his cold and calculating, but sexy and irresistible, grandson. After all, as a nurse, her number one priority is her patient.

Drake Carmichael doesn’t trust the nurse who’s taking care of his grandfather—despite how adorable and compassionate she seems. He refuses to let her get her grips into their hard-earned money.

But as the two square off and begin to battle about what is best for the dying man, Lexie and Drake realize they know very little about each other and that first impressions are deceiving. Once they finally give in to their desires, the battle has only just begin.

With a fight between family and fortune, love and lust, will either one be able to find the southern comfort they both truly crave?

Goodreads // Amazon

Meet the Author

jenna-2Jenna Harte is a die-hard romantic writing about characters who are passionate about and committed to each other, and frequently getting into trouble. She is the author of the Valentine Mysteries, the first of which,Deadly Valentine, reached the quarter-finals in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award in 2013. She entered into a three-book deal for a romance series with Penner Publishing in 2015. Drawn to Her, book one in the series was published April 2016. Meant to Be is due September 2016 and Wed To You in January 2017.

She has a bundle of stories filled with romance, mystery, and even time travel rattling around in her head, and is eager for the day when a device is invented allowing her to download what’s in her brain onto her computer.

When she’s not telling stories, she works by day as a freelance writer, author, blogger and online entrepreneur. She lives in central Virginia with her husband, two college-bound children and a two fat cats.

Website // Facebook // Twitter

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Jenna…

1) Writing always terrified me, so I’m baffled to how I got here.

2) My favorite fiction involves mystery and romance, but I prefer a mystery with romance as opposed to a romance with mystery, if that makes any sense. In either case, there should be at least one hot love scene!

3) My favorite authors are J.D. Robb, Janet Evanovich, Sandra Brown and Carl Hiaasen. I also love Jane Austen, but tend to stay away from literature unless I know it will end well.

4) Like my character Tess, I love good chocolate and old R&B tunes. I’m still working on getting Carine Gilson lingerie to see if I’d love them as much as Tess does. A set can cost several hundred dollars, so I have to wait until more books sell.

5) I long for the day when Apple or Microsoft invents a doodad that I can plug into my head, preferably when I’m sleeping, that will download my stories to my computer. My stories come to me when I sleep (and when I drive), but I can’t remember the details when I sit down to write.

 

If you’d like me to promote your book, please get in touch via the email on my contacts page 🙂 Thanks to Jenna and Penner Publishing for getting in touch!

You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour & David Levithan #OutSoon #YABookReview

 

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Title:
 You Know Me Well
Author: Nina LaCour & David Levithan
Series: n/a
Format: Digital ARC, 256 pages
Publication Details: June 2nd 2016 by Macmillan Children’s Books
Genre(s): Contemporary YA; LGBT;
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review. 

Goodreads 

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Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other — and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour, the award-winning author of Hold Still and The Disenchantments, and David Levithan, the best-selling author of Every Day and co-author of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn) and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green), You Know Me Well is a deeply honest story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.

Review

You Know Me Well is a story of unexpected friendship, unrequited love and putting yourself out there set amongst the glittering backdrop of San Francisco’s Pride week.

Mark is secretly in love with his best friend Ryan. They fool around now and again but never discuss their feelings. The main problem is that Ryan hasn’t decided who he is yet and is definitely not ready to come out, but even if he was ready, would Mark be the one for him?

Katie is changing. She wants to be called Kate but her friends can’t get used to it. She’s not sure if she even likes her friends any more. Kate’s obsessed with a girl that she’s never met but is about to be set up with. The main problem here is that when things get difficult, Kate’s anxieties kick in and she runs away, literally. Can she get over her fears and stick around for long enough to meet her soul mate?

On one crazy night out Mark and Kate meet, and they understand each other perfectly. Their bond is instant and powerful. And they come to help each other realise their dreams, and get through their first, scary venture into love. 

I really enjoyed this book. It was a super-fast read that captures the excitement and turmoil of first love and unbreakable friendships perfectly. 

Like in Nick & Norah and Dash & Lily, David Levithan faultlessly embodies the ugly-beauty of being a teenager in love. He does it so well, and all of his previous collaboration books have worked for me. Nina LaCour is new to me, but her chapters marry with Levithan’s seamlessly. 

I was initially worried about the ‘instafriendship’ element of this story, but it didn’t bother me at all. Kate and Mark just worked, and I think that’s actually what makes it realistic. For me, making friends was never as easy as it was during my teenage years, so it gave the book a real nostalgic feel. Levithan’s books always manage to do that for me!

You Know Me Well was a fun yet poignant read with realistic LGBTQ characters; a wonderful celebration of diversity and friendship. 

unicorn rating 4

You Know me Well is available to pre-order now. 

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. 

Hope you guys are all having a good week. Here’s what I’ve been doing since last week…

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Now: The Last Days of Jack Sparks ~ Jake Arnopp // Glass Sword ~ Victoria Aveyard

I didn’t mean to start Jack Sparks yet but I finished You Know Me Well quicker than expected and I was stranded on a long bus journey with only my Kindle – you know how it is. Anyway, as much as I wanted to read Glass Sword, I’m a bit hooked on it at the mo, so I’m attempting to reading both.

Then: You Know Me Well~ David Levithan & Nina LaCour

This was really cute. My review will be up a bit nearer to the release date which is June 7th.

Next: ??? 

I’m not sure this time. Hopefully another one from my physical TBR pile.

New on the Shelves

(Linking up with Stacking the Shelves)

 

Bought: I haven’t bought any books this week.

From Netgalley: 

The War Against the Assholes ~ Sam Munson

waragainstMike 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.

  

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 🙂

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. 

Hope you guys are all having a good week. Here’s what I’ve been doing since last week, loving all the moody spring-time blues…

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Now: You Know Me Well~ David Levithan & Nina LaCour

I’m only a few pages in so far but hoping this will be another winning collaboration for David Levithan.

Then: Fellside ~ M.R Carey

Fellside was a book of two halves for me. I really enjoyed parts of it but not others. My review will be up next week.

Next: ??? 

Still Glass Sword by Victoria AveyardI was hoping to get to this earlier (cause, excited!), but I got a wee bit Netgalley-happy last month and so I’ll feel better if I can get another one done before going back to my physical TBR.

New on the Shelves

(Linking up with Stacking the Shelves)

Bought: Life and Death (Twilight 10th Anniversary Special). 

I don’t know why I bought this because I’m not really into the whole switching genders version, and special editions like this always just strike me as money-making schemes…but it’s Twilight, and Twilight will always have a little part of my everlasting teenage heart (10 years, WTAF)!

From Netgalley: I was approved for And I Darken which was my Waiting on Wednesday pick last week and also The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp.

I’m Waiting On…

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

 I can’t resist tennis-related books and this sounds really cute.

girlagainstFrom the author of The Art of Lainey and Liars, Inc. comes a fresh, contemporary story about one girl’s tragic past and a boy who convinces her that maybe her luck is about to change. Perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen or Jenny Han.

Maguire knows she’s bad luck. No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch. But then on her way out of her therapist’s office, she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star, who wants to help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away, but staying away may be harder than she thought. Strange the Dreamer is the story of:

Expected Publication: May 17th 2016 by HarperTeen
  

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 🙂

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead #YA #BookReview

glitteringcourtTitle: The Glittering Court
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: The Glittering Court #1
Format: Digital ARC, 416 pages
Publication Details: April 5th 2016 by Razorbill
Genre(s): YA; Fantasy
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review. 

Goodreads 

bookdepo

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…
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Review

I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Glittering Court. I really enjoyed some of Mead’s Vampire Academy books but this sounded like a huge departure from that. It does however have a stronger fantasy element than I expected from the synopsis. 

In a nutshell, our protagonist runs away from an unwanted arranged marriage by pretending to be her servant Adelaide. Adelaide has been invited to join the Glittering Court, a kind of a finishing school / brothel where poor but pretty women are educated and polished up in order to be sold off to the growing number of noblemen in ‘The New World’. The only problem is that ‘Adelaide’ already knows everything there is to know about being a lady and mustn’t be discovered.

I like Richelle Mead’s writing a lot; it feels so effortless making it easy to get swept away, which is what happened here. In fact it was going pretty great, along with a nice potential love interest between Adelaide and Cedric – until that is – we’re hit with a whole religious angels-vs-demons-secret-heathen-backstory/infodump thing. Ugh.

I mean, the religions were touched on very briefly at the beginning and I realised that the Glittering Court wasn’t just a case of being set in the past, but in a different world,  yet it still felt very out of the blue and unnecessary to me. I thought it was a perfectly good story without trying to put a fantasy spin on it.

Overall, The Glittering Court was enjoyable, but not without its faults. The world-building wasn’t thorough enough for me and it felt confused. The fantasy elements seemed to have been dumped in at the last minute.

However, it was still fun and I’m interested to see if the companion novels shed more light on what Mead was trying to achieve here.

unicorn rating 3