Reading Round-up: April 2017 #BookReviews

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Welcome to my new post where I discuss any books that I read in the month which for one reason or another didn’t warrant a full review. This is a way for me to keep track of what I’ve read but without the pressure of having to write comprehensive reviews for them all. 

There were three books I read this month that I didn’t end up reviewing in full…

The Last Act of Love ~ Cathy Rentzenbrink

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I’m not one for memoirs really, but I’ve heard Cathy talk before and thought she was amazing. She’s also coming into my library to do a talk in celebration of World Book Night so I thought I had better read her book first. I’m so glad I did, it was soooo good. Completely heart-breaking, but also bursting with energy and joy in places. It’s a must-read for anyone.

One False Move ~ Dreda Say Mitchell

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I read this one lunch-time as it’s a Quick Read aimed at less confident readers. It was a fast-paced story about a young woman trying to keep out of jail but facing many difficulties along the way. I enjoyed it, and now I have something I can recommend to some of my customers at work who are put off by larger books.

Six of Crows ~ Leigh Bardugo

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So many people have raved about this book, and a few have personally told me to read it because I will love it even more than The Grisha Trilogy so I feel quite bad in saying this – I just could not take this book in. I read it pretty quickly, but a couple of weeks on and I don’t think I could even tell you what happened. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood – IDK. But I think I’m done with the Grisha world for now.

AOB

{that’s any other business for those of you that’ve never had the misfortune to have a job where people say that all the time}

 

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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?

The Wingsnatchers by Sarah Horwitz #BookReview #ChildrensFiction

Title: The Wingsnatcherswingsnatchers1
Author: Sarah Jean Horwitz
Series: Carmer and Grit #1
Format: Digital ARC, 368 pages
Publication Details:  April 25th 2017 by Algonquin Young Readers

Genre(s): Children’s (middle grade); Fantasy; Steampunk
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads 

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A stunning debut about a magician’s apprentice and a one-winged princess who must vanquish the mechanical monsters that stalk the streets and threaten the faerie kingdom.

Aspiring inventor and magician’s apprentice Felix Carmer III would rather be tinkering with his latest experiments than sawing girls in half on stage, but with Antoine the Amazifier’s show a tomato’s throw away from going under, Carmer is determined to win the cash prize in the biggest magic competition in Skemantis. When fate throws Carmer across the path of fiery, flightless faerie princess Grit (do not call her Grettifrida), they strike a deal. If Carmer will help Grit investigate a string of faerie disappearances, she’ll use her very real magic to give his mechanical illusions a much-needed boost against the competition. But Carmer and Grit soon discover they’re not the only duo trying to pair magic with machine – and the combination can be deadly.


Review

The Wingsnatcher’s is the first book in a series featuring Grit the one-winged faery princess and Carmer, a (failing) magician’s apprentice who live in two very different worlds but have one thing in common – they are both in need of help. And so they make a pact to help each other and become firm friends along the way.

I loved the premise of this book and the story itself did not disappoint. Horwitz has created a fantasy world that is both adorable and edgy. Some will fall in love with Grit and her plight of being a one-winged faery, a disability she has accepted and overcome, and others will love Carmer and his ambition of being this great inventor but who feels a loyalty to the hopeless magician who took him under his wing.

Together, the unlikely duo try to discover who is attacking faeries, and win the invention competition as Carmer’s livelihood and future is at stake.

I really enjoyed the dynamic of these two characters, and their dialogue was great. I also really enjoyed Steampunk elements of the story; there are these demonic mechanical cats who were genuinely scary so I’d bear that in mind when giving to a younger child – I loved them though.

Great action, great descriptions and interesting characters; I just thought the pace was a tad slow, and that the book didn’t need to be over 300 pages, especially considering the target market.

unicorn rating 3

 

 

This Week in Books 19.04.17 #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, Strangers! I didn’t mean to take a fortnight off from the blog but it kind of just happened. Life, eh!? The good news is that I finally kicked that reading slump in the balls. Yeehah!

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Now: Six of Crows ~ Leigh Bardugo // The Time Machine ~ H.G Wells

I’ve literally only read the first page of Six of Crows so nothing to report yet. I think might have to just give up on my  lunch-time attempts at The Time Machine…haven’t managed to pick it up for weeks.

Then: The Last Act of Love ~ Cathy Rentzenbrink // The Wingsnatchers ~ Sarah Jean Horwitz

I finished The Last Act of Love last night. It is an emotional memoir about living with loss and grief – I couldn’t put it down. I finished The Wingsnatchers since my last post too. It was a lot of fun. I’ll get my review up ASAP.

Next: ???

Up next will be an ARC I’m quite excited about, Sucktown, Alaska by Craig Dirkes. It’s out at the beginning of May so I need to get a shifty on.

New on the Shelves

 Bought:

 

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life


theinexplicThe first day of senior year:

Everything is about to change. Until this moment, Sal has always been certain of his place with his adoptive gay father and their loving Mexican-American family. But now his own history unexpectedly haunts him, and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, loss, and grief.

Suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and discovering that he no longer knows who he really is—but if Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?

I’m Waiting On…

Bad Romance by Heather Demotrios

 

Because… the cover caught my eye and it sounds like an intense read.

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 Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it’s too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she’s unable to escape.

Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.

Expected Publication:  June 13th 2017 by Henry Holt and Co.

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

This Week in Books 05.04.17 #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. 

Happy Wednesday you guys. I’m afraid my now, then and next answers are still the same but I feel like my reading slump is finally dissipating so hopefully I’ll be back to normal next week. New book haul and WoW below though, so keep on reading… 😉

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Now: The Wingsnatchers ~ Sarah Jean Horwitz // The Time Machine ~ H.G Wells

I’m almost done with The Wingsnatchers. It’s a really cute Steampunk Junior Fiction (Middle Grade) read. And yes, I’m stiiiiiiiiiiill going on The Time Machine at lunch-times.

Then: King’s Cage ~ Victoria Aveyard 

This was the last book I finished. I posted a very short review in my reading round-up here.

Next: ???

I keep saying I’ll read Six of Crows and then don’t, but I am determined to this time. Promise. (Double promise!)

New on the Shelves

 Bought on Kindle:

 

Shtum

shtumPowerful, darkly funny and heart-breaking, Shtum is a story about fathers and sons, autism, and dysfunctional relationships.

Ben Jewell has hit breaking point. His ten-year-old son Jonah has severe autism and Ben and his wife, Emma, are struggling to cope.

When Ben and Emma fake a separation – a strategic decision to further Jonah’s case in an upcoming tribunal – Ben and Jonah move in with Georg, Ben’s elderly father. In a small house in North London, three generations of men – one who can’t talk; two who won’t – are thrown together.

 

Evil Librarian

 

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#EvilLibrarian He’s young. He’s hot. He’s also evil. He’s . . . the librarian.

When Cynthia Rothschild’s best friend, Annie, falls head over heels for the new high-school librarian, Cyn can totally see why. He’s really young and super cute and thinks Annie would make an excellent library monitor.

But after meeting Mr. Gabriel, Cyn realizes something isn’t quite right. Maybe it’s the creepy look in the librarian’s eyes, or the weird feeling Cyn gets whenever she’s around him.
Before long Cyn realizes that Mr. Gabriel is, in fact . . . a demon. Now, in addition to saving the school musical from technical disaster and trying not to make a fool of herself with her own hopeless crush, Cyn has to save her best friend from the clutches of the evil librarian, who also seems to be slowly sucking the life force out of the entire student body!
From best-selling author Michelle Knudsen, here is the perfect novel for teens who like their horror served up with a bit of romance, plenty of humor, and some pretty hot guys (of both the good and evil variety). 

I’m Waiting On…

 

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

 

Because… EVERYTHING!

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 An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Witty, romantic, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a sumptuous romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.

Expected Publication:  June 27th 2017 by Katherine Tegen Books

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

This Week in Books 29.03.17 #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. 

Happy Wednesday you guys. I’m still trying to pull myself out of a reading slump, but I have managed some progress this week which is good!  Here’s what I’ve been reading…

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Now: The Wingsnatchers ~ Sarah Jean Horwitz // The Time Machine ~ H.G Wells

Surely a kids book about a magician’s apprentice and a one-winged princess will get me back on a roll? Let’s hope so. I’m just about to start it. And yes, I’m stiiiiiiiiiiill going on The Time Machine at lunch-times. Although I’ve actually forgotten what lunch-time means right now.

Then: King’s Cage ~ Victoria Aveyard 

I’m really hoping that by the time I publish this post I’ve finished this book. I’m about 70 pages off at the moment. It’s been OK but clearly not good enough to pull me out of my reading slump! SAD FACE.

Next: ???

I keep saying I’ll read Six of Crows and then don’t, but I am determined to this time. Promise.

New on the Shelves

 From Netgalley:

 

Alaska is a part of the world I would LOVE to visit, so I’m always intrigued by books set there. This contemporary YA sounds interesting. It’s also been a while since I read a YA book with a male protagonist.

sucktownSucktown, Suckington, Suckfield, Suckingham, Suckland, Suckmont, Suck Francisco. By any other name Kusko, Alaska, would still smell like human sweat, moose stew, and dog poop. But Eddie Ashford can’t be choosy after partying his way out of college in one semester’s time. He lands a job in tiny Kusko — a bush town located in the heart of unromantic Alaska, he’s warned. Eddie intends to straighten out his act and make good on a promise to stay for a year, but soon he’s indebted to his employer, overworked, and underpaid. He’s also spurned by the almost-perfect girl, frustrated, and bored. He finds himself caught in a dilemma: do the right thing, work hard, and stick it out in Kusko or take a chance, smuggle some goods for the local pot dealer, and pile up the cash to pay his way out of Suckramento?

Expected publication: May 1st 2017 by Switch Press

I’m Waiting On…

A Gathering of Ravens by Scott Oden

 

Because… the premise reminds me a bit of The Last Kingdom (minus the fantasy elements) which I’m a bit obsessed with at the moment (the 2nd series is on BBC2 right now) and by the time this book is out I’ll probably be having withdrawal symptoms.

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 To the Danes, he is skraelingr; to the English, he is orcneas; to the Irish, he is fomoraig. He is Corpse-maker and Life-quencher, the Bringer of Night, the Son of the Wolf and Brother of the Serpent. He is Grimnir, and he is the last of his kind–the last in a long line of monsters who have plagued humanity since the Elder Days.

Drawn from his lair by a thirst for vengeance against the Dane who slew his brother, Grimnir emerges into a world that’s changed. A new faith has arisen. The Old Ways are dying, and their followers retreating into the shadows; even still, Grimnir’s vengeance cannot be denied.

Taking a young Christian hostage to be his guide, Grimnir embarks on a journey that takes him from the hinterlands of Denmark, where the wisdom of the ancient dwarves has given way to madness, to the war-torn heart of southern England, where the spirits of the land make violence on one another. And thence to the green shores of Ireland and the Viking stronghold of Dubhlinn, where his enemy awaits.

But, unless Grimnir can set aside his hatreds, his dream of retribution will come to nothing. For Dubhlinn is set to be the site of a reckoning–the Old Ways versus the New–and Grimnir, the last of his kind left to plague mankind, must choose: stand with the Christian King of Ireland and see his vengeance done or stand against him and see it slip away?

Scott Oden’s A Gathering of Ravens is an epic novel of vengeance, faith, and the power of myth.

Expected Publication:  June 20th 2017 by Thomas Dunne Books

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

This Week in Books 09.11.16 #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. 

Greetings, blog-friends! Here’s what I’ve been up to this week. Better late than never, right? 

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Now:  The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily ~ Rachel Cohn & David Levithan // The Enchanted ~ Rene Denfeld

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily is a quick, light read but I haven’t been swept away by it like I was with the first book. I’m also still going on my ‘lunch time’ (what’s that I hear you cry!?) read, The Enchanted. I managed about 2 pages today. Sigh. 

Then:   Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky ~ Holly Martin // The Book of KringleDerek Valez Partridge // Saint Death Marcus Sedgwick

It’s very rare I finish two whole books in a week, never mind three! But I lost myself in the first festive reads of the season and then moved on to the new Sedgwick. I liked all of these books a lot. I reviewed The Book of Kringle on Monday, and my review of Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky will be up tomorrow. Saint Death was the only (slight) disappointment, probably because I always have such high hopes for his books.  I’ll get my review up by Monday. 

Next: ??? 

I think it has to be  The Witches of New York by Ami McKay which I should have read and reviewed abut a month ago. Bad blogger. Sorry, World. 

Waiting on Wednesday

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

Once again I’ve chosen this book based on the cover. It immediately got my attention. Sounds great, too!

wingsnatchers1

Aspiring inventor and magician’s apprentice Felix Carmer III would rather be tinkering with his latest experiments than sawing girls in half on stage, but with Antoine the Amazifier’s show a tomato’s throw away from going under, Carmer is determined to win the cash prize in the biggest magic competition in Skemantis.

When fate throws Carmer across the path of fiery, flightless, one-winged faerie princess Grit (do not call her Grettifrida), they strike a deal. If Carmer will help Grit investigate a string of faerie disappearances, she’ll use her very real magic to give his mechanical illusions a much-needed boost against the competition.

But Carmer and Grit soon discover they’re not the only duo trying to pair magic with machine – and the combination can be deadly.

Expected publication: April 25th 2017 by Algonquin Young Readers

New on the Shelves

(Linking up with Stacking the Shelves)

I’m really not sure about this one but I was so intrigued I had to pre-order it. It arrived earlier this week….

thechemistIn this gripping page-turner, an ex-agent on the run from her former employers must take one more case to clear her name and save her life.

She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.

Now, she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.

Resolving to meet the threat head on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life, but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.

In this tautly plotted novel, Meyer creates a fierce and fascinating new heroine with a very specialized skill set. And she shows once again why she’s one of the world’s bestselling authors.

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

Leave your answers or the link to your post in the comments and I’ll take a look 🙂