30 Days of Horror #14: Cruel Summer #HO17 #30daysofhorror

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Join me for 30 Days of Horror in which we spotlight one horror book every day until we reach Halloween!

I’m almost half way through my 30 day challenge and there’s still so many books I want to highlight. Today’s choice was my first time reading this particular author, and I recently finished my second. It’s YA. It’s Horror. I love it when my favourite things come together.

cruelsummer

Available in paperback & ebook, 321 pages

Published August 1st 2013 by Indigo

A year after Janey’s suicide, her friends reunite at a remote Spanish villa, desperate to put the past behind them. However, an unwelcome guest arrives claiming to have evidence that Janey was murdered. When she is found floating in the pool, it becomes clear one of them is a killer.

Only one thing is for certain, surviving this holiday is going to be murder…

Goodreads // My Review

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Have you read it? What did you think?

Up Next on Horror October:

Week #2 Wrap-up

This Week in Books 02.08.17 #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. 

Hi, Everyone! I missed last weeks’ post (soz) because I was just completely exhausted after going to Truck Festival and being wet, muddy and sleep deprived for 4 days – it was still fun though! I did at least get a bit of reading done since being back.

Here’s what my week looked like…

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Now: Retribution Rails ~ Erin Bowman // Spectacles ~ Sue Perkins

I’ve only just started Retribution Rails – a companion book to Vengeance Road which I loved. I picked up Spectacles from work in a rare quiet moment and was hooked so had to bring it home!

Then:  Kids in Orange: Voices from Juvenile Detention ~ Mindy Hardwick // The Hate U Give ~ Angie Thomas // The Haunting ~ Alex Bell

These were all completely different, but all really good. The Hate You Give made me cry, The Haunted was totally creepy and Kids in Orange was so interesting. Reviews to follow!

Next: ???

Probably The Way it Hurts by Patty Blount, which is my next ARC review due.

New on the Shelves

Netgalley:

I thought this sounded interesting and fun!

flatbrokeA charming memoir of one woman’s unexpected journey from country chic to backwoods barnyard 

Just as the Great Recession was easing in some parts of the country, Jennifer McGaha experienced an economic crisis of epic proportions. Her home was in foreclosure; she had $4.57 in the bank; and worst of all, she had recently discovered that she and her accountant husband owed four years of back taxes to the state of North Carolina and the IRS. And then things got really bad…

Flat Broke with Two Goats takes readers on a wild adventure from a Cape Cod-style home in the country to a hundred-year-old, mice-infested, snake-ridden cabin in a North Carolina holler. With self-effacing humor and unflinching honesty, Jennifer chronicles the joys and difficulties of living close to nature, and in the process she comes to discover the true meaning of home. 

I was also approved for the new Andy Weir book. Whoop!

 

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Jazz Bashara is a criminal. 

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

I’m Waiting On…

…Charlotte Says, because… I loved Frozen Charlotte and this is a prequel to that.

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The much-anticipated prequel to the bestselling FROZEN CHARLOTTE, a Zoella Book Club title in Autumn 2016.

Following the death of her mother in a terrible fire, Jemima flees to the remote Isle of Skye, to take up a job at a school for girls. There she finds herself tormented by the mystery of what really happened that night.

Then Jemima receives a box of Frozen Charlotte dolls from a mystery sender and she begins to remember – a séance with the dolls, a violent argument with her step-father and the inferno that destroyed their home. And when it seems that the dolls are triggering a series of accidents at the school, Jemima realizes she must stop the demonic spirits possessing the dolls – whatever it takes.

Expected Publication: September 7th 2017 by Stripes Publishing

 So that’s been my week in books, now why don’t you tell me about yours!?

This Month in Books: July 2017 #TMIB #BookoftheMonth

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Well, July went by in a flash! I had some time off work and spent most of it either watching the tennis in the pub, at home, or actually at Wimbledon. I also hosted a 1920’s murder mystery night for Macmillan Cancer which was a great success. We raised £150. Not bad for a night of fun. And last weekend I went to Truck which is a music festival in Oxfordshire. The weather was horrendous and our tents flooded so it was a bit of an effort, but fun was had too. We all came back feeling pretty ill and I feel like I’ve only just recovered tbh. Eek! Getting too old!

July 2017 Stats

Total Posts: 7 (-2 from previous month)

Books Read: 6 (+2)
The Horse With My Name ~ Colin Bateman
White Cat ~ Holly Black
Strawberries at Wimbledon ~ Nikki Moore
The Hate U Give ~ Angie Thomas
Kids in Orange ~ Mindy Hardwick
The Haunting ~ Alex Bell

The Breakdown:
Genres: YA (3/6); Horror (1/6); Crime/Thriller (1/6); Romance (1/6); Non-Fiction (1/6)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (1/6); Digital (2/6); Hardback (0/6); Paperback (4/6) // Owned (1/6); Borrowed (3/6); For Review/proofs (1/6)

Most Surprising: The Hate U Give
Most Disappointing: None – they were all great this month!
Most Exciting: The Hate U Give
Most Swoon-worthy: White Cat
Most Beautifully Written: White Cat

Reviews

Most Viewed Posts

  1. This Month in Books: June 2017
  2. Review: Fear
  3. This Week in Books 12.07.17

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: 84

Books Added: 0!!! 🙂 

Books Read: 2

Remaining: 82

That was my month, how was yours?

Look out for my reading round-up on Saturday!

Strawberries at Wimbledon by Nikki Moore #BookReview #MiniReview

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Title: Strawberries at Wimbledon
Author: Nikki Moore
Series: Love London #5
Format: Kindle Edition, 40 pages
Publication Details: May 14th 2015 by HarperImpulse
Genre(s): Romance; Short Story/Novella
Disclosure? Nope! I bought it (even thought it was free!)

Goodreads 

Purchase

The one that got away?

Sipping Pimms and eating fresh strawberries at Wimbledon are the perfect start to the British summer for Rayne. Immersed in her career as a journalist in the City, she’s been too busy and distracted to give men – or other outside interests – much of a chance lately. That’s something her friend Lily thinks she should correct, coming up with the perfect ‘sex with an ex’ solution – much to the amusement of the crowd on Centre Court!

When Rayne runs into old flame Adam, former good guy who is now all grown up with a hint of bad boy about him, it’s a tempting thought. But is that such a good idea, when she knows that four years ago, she broke his heart?

Back from travelling the world and settling into running the family business, Adam never expected to see his university girlfriend again. And he definitely didn’t think he would still be angry with her for running away, or that she would still have the same stunning effect on him. But she does, so maybe the perfect way to get her out of his dreams and from under his skin, is to have a hot sex-filled night with her? The only trouble is, one night might not be enough…

First love – can you ever go back? 


Review

Strawberries at Wimbledon is the fifth in a series of short romances set in London. I haven’t read any of the previous stories but they stand alone nicely. I love tennis, especially Wimbledon so that’s what drew me to this one.

The story is about journalist Rayne who is invited to Wimbledon by her best friend for a girls day out. What they didn’t bank on was bumping into Rayne’s ex, and first love Adam.

I enjoyed this light-hearted short read. It had lots of cute moments and enough backstory to make it interesting. I’ve been to the Wimbledon Championships a lot and I think the author did a good job in evoking the atmosphere of it. It did come across as a bit outdated however, as the queuing system and other things mentioned have moved on a bit in recent years, but it really didn’t impact on the essence of it.

I can only speak for this particular story, but I reckon the Love London series on the whole is a perfect read for summer. If you’re looking for something flirtatious and fun to read in the sun, then look no further!

unicorn rating 4

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus #BookReview #YA #Mystery

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oneofusislyingTitle: One of Us is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Series: n/a
Format: Digital ARC, 370 pages
Publication Details: June 1st 2017 by Penguin
Genre(s): YA; Contemporary, Mystery
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free advance copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads 

bookdepo

Five students go to detention. Only four leave alive.

On Thursday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nate, the bad boy, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the jock, is the all-star baseball pitcher. And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app. Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investi­gators, his death wasn’t an accident.

On Thursday, he died. But on Friday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they just the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

Review

One of Us is Lying is a super-fun, light read, perfect for the summer holidays.

Full of everyone’s favourite high school stereotypes, the story centres around five students who end up in detention for something they apparently didn’t do. Were they set up? During the detention, the “geek”, Simon, drinks a cup of water and dies. He’s severely allergic to nuts and it appears that someone spiked his water with nut oil.

And so, the four remaining students are suddenly murder suspects. There’s the pretty, goody-two-shoes, Bronwyn, the jock, Cooper, the bad boy, Nate, and Addy the insecure beauty. They all have reasons to hate Simon, as he had dirt on all of them and wasn’t afraid to post it online for all to see.

One of Us is Lying is written from the perspectives of all four suspects. Multiple narrative stories usually annoy me, but I think it was necessary in this novel, and it worked really well. Each character had their own, very different reasons to want Simon dead, and their own problems aside from that too, which brought a nice element of realism to the story.

I thought it was a really fun, quick read that kept me intrigued most of the way through. The only let down was that I guessed the outcome from about half-way through, but it was still enjoyable.

It has a bit of everything; mystery, romance and action all rolled into one. 

unicorn rating 4

 

Wonder Light by R.R Russell

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Title: Wonder Light
Author: R.R Russell
Series: Unicorns of the Mist
Edition: e-Book 248 pages
Publication Details: May 7th 2013 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Genre(s): Fantasy; Children’s
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads // Amazon

Deep in the heart of a mist-shrouded island, an impossible secret is about to be discovered.

Twig is used to feeling unwanted. Sent to live on a pony ranch for “troubled” girls on a misty, haunted island, Twig is about to discover the impossible — someone who needs her.

Jolted awake from a bad dream, Twig follows the desperate whinny of a terrified horse out to the stables. There in the straw is a bleating little scrap of moonbeam. A silver-white filly with cloven hooves and a tiny, spiraling horn.

A baby unicorn.

Now Twig knows what secret is hiding in the island’s mist: the last free unicorn herd. And a mysterious boy named Ben who insists that this impossible creature is now Twig’s to care for. That she needs Twig’s love and protection. Because there’s something out there in the deep, dense shadows that’s hunting for them…

Review


I read the second book in this series last year (over-zealous Netgalley request fail) and really wanted to love it but I didn’t know what the hell was going on. After seeing my review, the author got in touch and asked if I wanted the first book to see how the story began – and it might have taken me a lonnnnnnng time to get round to it, but I’m so glad I did.

Wonder Light is the story of Twig who is on her way to a secluded, potentially haunted island to live on a pony ranch for troubled children following an unknown incident.

Twig doesn’t expect to have a good time, fall in love with the ponies, or even make friends, but she does, and slowly she not only comes out of her shell, but also realises that she’s not a terrible person, in fact, she’s pretty cool.

A lot of this is down to Ben, a boy who seems to appear and disappear into the mist. And that’s not the only strange thing going on; there’s a herd of wild, vicious horses out there…but are they just horses?

I did have some issues with this book in the beginning, and I was worried that I would never get into it, but thankfully I did. Initially I found the world-building lacking and felt like some things should have been explained and described in more depth, especially considering the target audience, but this got much better as the book went on.

I wish that we got to understand Twig a lot sooner – I felt like I didn’t really know her or her story until mid-way which was frustrating. I really loved her by the end though!

From the cover, I was expecting this book to be kind of cutesy, but it’s really not. Wonder Light has moments of intensity, and even some scary ones. It’s full of action and felt like a real adventure. Sometimes however, it did feel like there was a lot going on. Good unicorns, bad unicorns, portals to another mysterious island, unicorn hunters, herders… I could go on!

I loved that it had a bit of everything and I was really surprised by how dark it was in places. I actually think boisterous boys would love this, and would look up to Ben and Merrill, and girls will want Twig as a BFF and be entranced by the ponies, unicorns and magic. Something for everyone!

unicorn rating 3

Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel

charlieTitle: Charlie, Presumed Dead
Author: Anne Heltzel
Series: Unknown
Edition: Digital ARC, 272 Pages
Publication Details: June 2nd 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Genre(s): Thriller; Mystery
Disclosure? Yep! I was provided with a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads // Purchase

In Paris, family and friends gather to mourn the tragic passing of Charlie Price—young, handsome, charming, a world-traveler—who is presumed dead after an explosion. Authorities find only a bloodied jacket, ID’d as Charlie’s. At the funeral, two teens who are perfect strangers, Lena Whitney and Aubrey Boroughs, make another shocking discovery: they have both been dating Charlie, both think Charlie loved them and them alone, and there is a lot they didn’t know about their boyfriend. Over the next week, a mind-bending trip unfolds: first in London—then in Mumbai, Kerala, and Bangkok, the girls go in search of Charlie. Is he still alive? What did their love for him even mean? The truth is out there, but soon it becomes clear that the girls are harboring secrets of their own.

No one knows whom to trust in this thrilling tale of suspense and deception.

Review

Charlie, Presumed Dead has been described as Gone Girl for the YA generation, and I can certainly see why. It is a story of secrets and lies, of twists and turns!

Charlie’s plane blew up. They never found his body, but there’s no way he could have survived that. At his funeral, two very different girls are mourning the loss of their boyfriend and it’s instantly obvious to both of them, that they didn’t know Charlie as well as they thought.

They may be polar opposites, but Lena and Aubrey now have two things in common. They both loved Charlie, and they’re convinced he’s not dead. Together, they set out on the trip of a lifetime to discover the truth. How could Charlie have deceived them so completely? Was there more to his apparent death than they first believed?

The more Lena and Aubrey share with each other, the more bizarre the truth seems. Not only was Charlie dating them both and living a double life, but they each knew different versions of Charlie. Lena’s Charlie likes one thing, but Aubrey’s Charlie hates it. As they discover more of these inconsistencies, they become more and more convinced that Charlie is not dead at all…and they’re determined to find him and get the answers they deserve.

For most of this book, I was intrigued enough to keep reading, but it wasn’t hugely exciting. I liked the dynamic between to two girls, but I never felt like either of them really loved Charlie, so I wasn’t convinced that they’d go to such measures to find out if he was still alive or not, and because I didn’t know much about Charlie, I didn’t really care that much either.

However, as the story developed and the strange clues as to Charlie’s death – or lack there of- were dangled in front of me, I got more invested. I loved the idea that Charlie was not only living a double life, but that he also had different versions of himself for different people. He was a dark, complex character who was slowly brought to life by these two girl’s memories of him.

There were a few things I found a bit off. The tone for one. It definitely read as an adult book (which isn’t a bad thing), and Lena and Aubrey seemed a lot older than they were supposed to be, despite Aubrey being quite sheltered. I don’t know why, but it just made for a strange tone as I was expecting more of a YA feel.

Charlie, Presumed Dead was a standard 3 unicorns for me the whole way through, it was good, but not great. However, I had to resist the urge to bump it up by the end…because OMG that ending! It was seriously worth it just for that. It was a total game changer, and now I can understand why some of the boring stuff had to happen.

I know that’s quite vague, but this is a spoiler-free zone. Just read it, and persevere until the end!

unicorn rating 3

Charlie, Presumed Dead is due to be released June 2nd