This Week in Books 23.11.16 #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. 

Happy Wednesday to you all! Here’s what I’ve been up to this week…

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Now:  The Girl Who Saved Christmas ~ Matt Haig

I almost didn’t request this because I haven’t read Haig’s A Boy Called Christmas yet, but I’m so glad I did, it’s lots of fun and completely stands-alone from the other one. 

Then:  The Witches of New York Ami McKay

This one was a struggle tbh. It was written beautifully but I just don’t think I was in the mood for a subtle, slow-paced read. My review will be up later today.

Next: ??? 

Definitely The Christmas Town by Donna VanLiere. I’m very excited about this one. 

Waiting on Wednesday

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

There are already so many amazing-looking books on my 2017 releases wishlist. This is one of them!

royalbastardsarc

Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children.

At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, resplendent in a sparkling gown, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children.

Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards’ Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness.

Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana’s uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead—with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery.

The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart—if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey …

Expected publication: June 6th 2017 by Disney Hyperion

New on the Shelves

(Linking up with Stacking the Shelves)

Bought: I picked this up in the pound shop of all places. I plan on reading it and then passing it on to my Nan. 

christmasatrosieRosie Hopkins is looking forward to Christmas in the little Derbyshire village of Lipton, buried under a thick blanket of snow. Her sweetshop is festooned with striped candy canes, large tempting piles of Turkish Delight, crinkling selection boxes and happy, sticky children. She’s going to be spending it with her boyfriend, Stephen, and her family, flying in from Australia. She can’t wait.

But when a tragedy strikes at the heart of their little community, all of Rosie’s plans for the future seem to be blown apart. Can she build a life in Lipton? And is what’s best for the sweetshop also what’s best for Rosie?

Treat yourself and your sweet-toothed friends to Jenny Colgan’s heart-warming new novel. The irresistibly delicious recipes are guaranteed to get you into the festive spirit and will warm up your Christmas celebrations.

Borrowed: My friend Dora lent me this. It’s another one of Poppy Z. Brite’s that I’ve wanted to read for years. 

drawingbloodNo one could understand the force that rocked cartoonist Robert McGee’s mind, allowing him to slaughter his wife and three-year-old son before hanging himself. Only five-year-old Trevor survived – silent witness to the bloodbath that destroyed his family.

Twenty years later, the same malignant love brought Trevor McGee back to Missing Mile. But this time he wasn’t alone. Hiding from justice with fugitive computer hacker Zach Bosch, Trev opened the door to Birdland. Ready to face the demons. Ready to risk his life again…

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 🙂

Lazy Saturday Review: The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily #MiniReview #YA

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I started doing ‘lazy Saturday reviews’ as a way of getting reviews done in just 30 mins, and they proved to be quite popular. They are quick and snappy, and concentrate less on the plot (or content) and writing and more on my overall feelings about said book. They generally end up being a bit of a rant. My fave!

twelvedaysdashlilyTitle: The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily
Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Series: Dash & Lily #2
Format: Digital ARC, 240 pages
Publication Details: October 6th 2016 by Electric Monkey
Genre(s): YA; Contemporary; Romance
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review. 

Goodreads 

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Glorious new collaboration from the New York Times bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

Dash and Lily have been dating for nearly a year, but when Lily’s beloved grandfather falls ill, the repercussions take their toll on everyone. Even though they are still together, somehow the magic has gone out of their relationship and it’s clear that Lily has fallen out of love with life.

Action must be taken! Dash teams up with Lily’s brother and a host of their friends, who have just twelve days to get Lily’s groove back in time for Christmas.

Review

I was a little bit disappointed by this latest collaboration from these two get authors, probably because the bar was so high. I wanted to love it as much as Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares and Nick & Norah, but something was definitely missing.

This story is all about Lily’s holiday funk. She is depressed and even Christmas, her favourite holiday, and Dash, her favourite person can’t cheer her up.

I didn’t dislike this story at all, but it really suffered from Dash & Lily’s lack of connection. Their romance was at the heart of the first book, and without that, there wasn’t a whole lot left to be honest.

It wasn’t serious enough about Lily’s angst and ‘issues’ for it to feel like a  YA book that was cleverly tackling the issue of depression, instead the wishy-washy underlying theme of depression put a downer on the book itself, for me. Thankfully it had a happy ending or I’m not sure I could have coped. There’s just something about Lily’s sunny disposition that doesn’t suit being unhappy so instead of making me feel sad for her, it just annoyed me. Sorry, Lily!

Overall this was an OK story. It was a super-quick read that was written nicely. But it wasn’t anything exciting or surprising, and it didn’t feel nearly festive enough!

unicorn rating 3

Out now in paperback & eBook formats

 

This Week in Books 16.11.16 #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. 

Hi guys! Is everyone starting to feel Christmassy? No, just me then! In fact, I’m starting my Festive Thursday posts early this year because I always run out of time to fit it all in. Look out for my first post tomorrow! 😉

Anyhoo, here’s what I’ve been up to this week…

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Now: The Witches of New York Ami McKay

The verdict is still out on this one. It’s OK so far but hasn’t fully captivated me yet!

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

I enjoyed the second Dash & Lily book but I didn’t love it a much as I was hoping. my review will be up on Saturday. The Enchanted was really interesting and thought-provoking but I’m not sure how much I enjoyed it. I’m still processing. Hopefully I’ll get my review up soon. 

Next: ??? 

I think it has to be  another festive read. I have The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig, The Christmas Town by Donna VanLiere, and The Christmas Party by Georgette Heyer all lined up. 

Waiting on Wednesday

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

I saw Wintersong on someone else’s WoW last week and oh my! I need it so bad. It could be a bit of a rip off of Labyrinth (one of the best movies of all time) but I’m OK with that!

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Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed.

Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Thomas Dunne

New on the Shelves

(Linking up with Stacking the Shelves)

I went on a bit of a charity shop binge last week, and bought these three books. I’ve already read them but I either borrowed copies off friends and wanted my own copy, or in the case of Divorcing Jack – I had an old edition that didn’t match the series so I had to buy it didn’t I!? #bookgeekproblems.

I was also able to choose some leftover World Book Night & promo books at work as we desperately need the storage space. There were hundreds of them! I was quite restrained and only chose three, though. The rest have been given out to the prisoners, many of whom said they would send them to family and friends as Christmas presents, which I think is nice. 


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 🙂

Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin #BookReview #Christmas

a9Title: Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky
Author: Holly Martin
Series: A Town Called Christmas #1
Format: Digital ARC, 332 pages
Publication Details: September 22nd 2016 by Bookouture
Genre(s): Romance; Christmas
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review. 

Goodreads 

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This year spend a wonderful Christmas on Juniper Island, where love can melt even the iciest of hearts…

Piper Chesterfield lives a glamorous life travelling the world and reviewing the finest hotels. She calls nowhere home, she works alone and that’s how she likes it. For long ago Piper decided that to protect her heart she should lock it away.

So when Piper’s next assignment brings her to the newly opened Stardust Lake Hotel for the festive season, the last person she expects to face is Gabe Whitaker, the man who broke her heart so completely she could never love again.

But Piper isn’t the only one who has been frozen in time by heartbreak. Gabe hasn’t forgotten the golden-eyed girl who disappeared from his world without a trace.

Now fate has reunited them on Juniper island, can the magic of Christmas heal old wounds? And can this enchanting town be the one place Piper can finally call home?

Curl up with this gorgeously romantic tale and let the glistening snow and the roaring fires of Stardust Lake Hotel get you in the festive spirit this Christmas.

Review

I can’t tell you how happy I am that Winter and Christmas is fast approaching. It’s my favourite time of the year and I love everything about it, especially festive reads. 

I knew from the moment I saw it that Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky would be my first festive read of the year, and after a very busy Horror October it was just the light, heart-warming story I needed. 

The story centres around Piper, or Pip, a mystery guest who travels the world reviewing hotels and resorts. Her final assignment before taking a sabbatical sends her down memory lane to a remote Shetland island where she once spent a holiday with her best friend Gabe and his family. 

Pip is completely charmed by the winter resort from the off, that is until she realises that Gabe is the owner. We discover their complicated past, and why they haven’t spoken in 12 years, but a reunion in a magical place over Christmas might be just what to two of them need to put the past behind them…maybe!

I loved a lot of things about this book, but especially the setting. For a winter lover like me, Stardust Lake Hotel sounds like Heaven with its glass igloos for watching the Northern Lights, its miniature town called Christmas where the inhabitants sell homemade crafts and food, and of course, the Ice Palace. It’s literally like Holly Martin has taken all of my favourite things about Christmas and put them in this book. It was magical.

I was also intrigued by Pip’s character. She’s a bit of loner with no family or friends but a successful job and passion for photography. I found it interesting that her job was a way of life for her that made it easier to never have to make friends or put down any roots. She didn’t even have a home for ten years, choosing instead to stay in the hotels she was reviewing, even over Christmas.

I thought Gabe was sweet and you could see how the sudden break-up of their relationship and dissolution of their friendship affected them in very different ways. I was rooting for his success with the hotel and with Pip!

It certainly wasn’t a perfect book. I felt like there was a bit too much repetition of Pip and Gabe’s feelings, especially her turning over what had happened in the past again and again. It was also all a little bit too good to be true. Although I read in the author’s notes that the resort is based on a real hotel in Lapland, it didn’t quite fit with my image of Shetland. It was all a bit too perfect and glitzy -like it would have been more suited to Las Vegas than a remote Scottish Island, but that was all part of the fun I guess!

I couldn’t put this book down, and it certainly gave me that lovely warm and fuzzy feeling that I only get from reading festive books like this. The story itself wasn’t all that special, but the setting certainly was. I want to live there, even if it sounded too amazing to be true. 

I ordered the second book in the series as soon as I finished this one. Need. More. 

unicorn rating 4

Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky is available now in paperback & ebook, as is book 2, Christmas Under a Starlit Sky. 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top books recently added to the dreaded TBR pile. #TTT

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… Top ten books recently added to your TBR pile.

Well, this is a nice, easy topic, although I have been buying more books recently so it’ll be hard to choose just 10.

Added from Netgalley:

The Silent Songbird ~ Melanie Dickerson: I shouldn’t have requested this book because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get it read and reviewed by the pub date (today!) but I just couldn’t resist. I really fancy an epic historical YA. The opening line of the synopsis had me instantly…I mean castles =  DONE. “Evangeline longs to be free, to live in the world outside the castle walls. But freedom comes at a cost”

The Girl Who Saved Christmas ~ Matt Haig: You should all know by now that I love Christmas, and festive reads. I’ve wanted to read Matt Haig’s books for ages so this one was also impossible to resist.

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily ~ Rachel Cohn & David Levithan: I didn’t even know this book was on the cards until I saw it on Netgalley. I loved Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares so I’m thrilled that these authors have got together once again for a sequel. This time, Dash and Lily’s brother have just 12 days until Christmas to cheer Lily up after her grandfather became seriously ill. Can they recapture the magic of Christmas in New York for her?

Shock and Awe ~ Simon Reynolds: This book chronicles the legacy of glam rock from the seventies to today and as such will heavily feature my hero, David Bowie. I don’t often read non-fiction, but I’m really looking forward to this one.

Recently Bought:

The Red Eye Box Set ~ Various: This set of four YA Horror books from Stripes Publishing arrived at the beginning of October. I’ve already read one of the books, Frozen Charlotte and really loved it so I hope the others are as good too.

A Christmas Party ~ Georgette Heyer: I picked this up from a charity shop recently. ‘Tis’ the season for…Murder‘ is the perfect tagline that enticed me.

City of Dark Magic ~ Magnus Flyte: I bought this book in an English bookshop I found in Prague. It sounds amazing.

“Once 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.”

Six of Crows ~ Leigh Bardugo: This arrived just this week. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.

Borrowed:

The Rest of Us Just Live Here ~ Patrick Ness: It’s Ness. I don’t have to say much more. Other than perhaps my shame that I haven’t read it yet.

Koko Takes a Holiday ~ Kieran Shea: I think I can safely say that this will be my first ever Cyberpunk book. It sounds mad, in a good way. My friend Dora enjoyed it and passed it on to me.

Have you read any of these? What should I go for first?

 

 

Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige #YA #Bookreview

stealingsnowTitle: Stealing Snow
Author: Danielle Paige
Series: Stealing Snow #1
Format: Digital ARC, 384 pages
Publication Details:  October 6th 2016 by Bloomsbury Childrens
Genre(s): YA; Fantasy; Retellings
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review. 

Goodreads 

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Seventeen-year-old Snow lives within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she doesn’t belong there, but she has no memory of life outside, except for the strangest dreams. And then a mysterious, handsome man, an orderly in the hospital, opens a door – and Snow knows that she has to leave …


She finds herself in icy Algid, her true home, with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she’s destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change everything. Heroine or villain, queen or broken girl, frozen heart or true love, Snow must choose her fate …

Review

I read the original Snow Queen at the beginning of the year after getting it as a Christmas present. I enjoyed it a lot. It’s an odd little fairy-tale but totally compelling. I am also a huge fan of Frozen (which is very, very loosely based on Andersen’s tale) so I was really excited when I saw the premise of this book. 

Snow resides in a psychiatric hospital in New York. We’re not sure why she’s there but she seems to have accepted it. It’s all a bit of a mystery; she doesn’t seem ill enough to be in a secure hospital, although she does have one hell of a temper. Her best friend and part-time boyfriend Bale is also a permanent resident there. But he’s been kept away from Snow ever since he fractured her wrist the first time they kissed. 

But Snow knows he didn’t mean it, he’s just unwell. And she becomes convinced that he’s been kidnapped and taken into another world via a magic mirror.

OK, I know this all sounds a bit hokey but this was actually the most believable and exciting part of the story.

I loved the hospital setting. It was written well and full of intrigue. The characters – both the staff and the patients- were interesting and fleshed out, and the bond between Snow and Bale felt real. Paige seems to have taken a lot of care in building this world for it to be used in such a small part of the story. 

Snow manages to pass through the mirror to the other side – Algid. And this is where it all goes a bit wrong. I felt like Snow was just dumped there with no thought as to where the story should go. The world-building from here on out was almost non-existent, the characters she met were bland and one-dimensional, and quite frankly I had no idea what was going on.

All of a sudden, Snow is a princess who can summon ice and snow, and conjure these elements whenever she feels like it. There was no transition period at all. No fleshing out, no descriptions, it was all just a bit too fast and brief. WhamBamNoThankYouMam.

I felt really disappointed and let down by everyone involved in this book to be honest. Mainly because it had such great potential. It could have been this amazing Snow White / Snow Queen mash-up, but instead it was just painstakingly flat and messy.

I did like that Paige preserved some of the original story, and the idea that Snow’s icy kiss was slowly killing Bale but I couldn’t see past the rest I’m afraid. 

If it wasn’t for the great first couple of chapters and the idea in itself, I’m not sure I would have been able to finish the book, never mind give it two unicorns, but I think it’s a fair rating for the potential alone. 

P.S Three love interests, really!? Sigh. 

unicorn rating 2

 

 

The Christmas We Met by Kate Lord Brown

christmaswemetAuthor: The Christmas We Met
Author: Kate Lord Brown
Series: N/A
Format: Digital ARC, 416 pages
Publication Details: October 22nd 2015 by Orion
Genre(s): Romance; Holiday; Mystery
Disclosure? Yep! I received an advance copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads // Purchase

 

A gorgeous winter tale about the secrets revealed by a collection of family jewels.

A talented young jewellery designer fights to rebuild her life and family by solving the mystery surrounding a diamond brooch given to her by her grandmother.

When Grace Manners takes up residence on the Wittering Manor estate in Sussex, she little realizes working alongside eccentric Fraser Stratton will change her life.

Since her husband disappeared, along with most of their money, Grace has struggled to make ends meet and the little cottage on the estate is both a refuge and a workshop for her jewellery business. It’s only when Grace begins to uncover the story behind a beautiful diamond brooch she inherited that she becomes drawn into a family secret that threatens to destroy what little she has left…

Review

The Christmas We Met is the story of Grace who has lost everything. Her husband destroyed her jewellry company, building up crippling debts and then disappeared, leaving a note that suggested suicide.

Grace and her daughter, end up moving into a cottage on the Wittering Estate, after Grace lands a job as a receptionist/typist/personal assistant to eccentric Fraser, head of the manor, who wants help writing his memoirs.

Seeing as Grace is a talented jeweller, the job reinforces what she has lost, but will also give her the chance to solve a mystery, and feel part of a family once more.

I really enjoyed The Christmas We Met. It was a quick, light, read, with an interesting mystery and a cute romance. And it had all the secrets and lies one needs for a bumpy, yet compelling family drama.

The main reason why I’ve only given it 3/5 is because it just wasn’t Christmassy enough. Only the first and last scenes were really festive and wintry, but I was expecting this throughout. I wouldn’t really class it as a festive read, which is what I was hankering for. It was also fairly predictable.

The Christmas We Met is a heart-warming romance and a light-hearted mystery set in a beautiful manor teeming with secrets, only the lack of festiveness let it down for me.

unicorn rating 3

Last Month in Books: November 2015

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November was a pretty busy month yet again. My mum came for a visit, as did my friend who lives in Germany, and of course…I began getting festive. None of this helped me get as much reading done as I’d have liked, but that’s life!

I also posted my least amount of posts in a month…oops! Must.Try.Harder!

November 2015 Stats

Total Posts: 10 (-15 from previous month)

Books Read: 4 (-3)
An English Ghost Story ~ Kim Newman
Behind Closed Doors ~ Elizabeth Haynes
The Winter Place ~ Alexander Yates
The Light that gets Lost ~ Natasha Carthew

The Breakdown:
Genres: YA (2/4); Horror (1/4); Crime Fiction (1/4)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (3/4); Digital (3/4); Hardback (0/4); Paperback (1/4); Owned (1/4)

Most Surprising: An English Ghost Story
Most Disappointing: The Winter Place
Most Exciting: An English Ghost Story
Most Swoon-worthy: Nada! 😦
Most Beautifully Written: The Light that gets Lost

Reviews: 4 (-1)

    • An English Ghost Story by Kim Newman, 4/5 (View)
    • Behind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes, 5/5 (View)
    • The Winter Place by Alexander Yates 3/5 (View)
    • The Light that gets Lost by Natasha Carthew, 4/5 (View)

Most Viewed Posts

      1. TTT: Please, Sir I want some more (View Post)
      2. Lazy Saturday review: Behind Closed Doors (View Post)
      3. This Week In Books 11.11.15 (View Post)

Awards

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cotm-nov15

mlft-dec15

 

That’s all from November!

Lazy Saturday Review: The Winter Place by Alexander Yates #BookReview

I started doing ‘lazy Saturday reviews’ as a way of getting reviews done in just 30 mins, and they proved to be quite popular. They are quick and snappy, and concentrate less on the plot and writing and more on my general feelings about said book. They generally end up being a bit of a rant. My fave!

thewinterplace
Title: The Winter Place
Author: Alexander Yates
Series: N/A
Format: Digital, 448 pages
Publication Details: October 22nd 2015 by Simon & Schuster Children’s UK
Genre(s): Childrens/YA
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads // Purchase
When a mysterious stranger and his brown bear show up on the same day that Axel and Tess’s father dies in an accident, Axel fears he might be going crazy, especially as only he can see them. However, the strange duo are quickly forgotten when Axel and Tess are shipped off to Finland to stay with grandparents that they’ve never met. But when they arrive in Finland, Axel is stunned when the stranger and his bear reappear. More incredibly, the stranger tells him that his parents are lost and need help.

Desperate to see his father again, and actually meet his mother, Axel follows the man and his bear, disappearing deep into the frozen wilds of northern Finland. When Tess realises that her brother has vanished she’s distraught. And so begins the frantic search across snow and ice into the dark forest. But as the hours creep by and with no sign of Axel, Tess begins to wonder if her brother has ventured onto a path that she cannot follow.

Delving into the timeless, fantastical world of Nordic mysticism, set against the harsh beauty of a frozen landscape, The Winter Place is an imaginative, beautiful story of loss, love and hope, a story of family, and of a brother and sister who find each other again.

Review

I thought I’d be describing this book as magical, beautiful, emotional, but instead I find myself thinking bizarre, odd, and quirky. That’s not to say that those things are bad, but I was certainly thrown by it.

It is quite a cute story about Axel, who has muscular dystrophy (this is only touched upon and doesn’t define him as a character-which I loved btw) and his older sister Tess. The story is steeped in Scandinavian mythology and based around the Hiisi folklore, something I knew nothing of but enjoyed finding out about.

As I was reading this story, I really enjoyed it, but I felt like I was always waiting for more to happen. I loved the relationship between the two siblings, and seeing how they kept hope and joy alive in the most horrible of circumstances. I loved the mystery of the bear, and the wheelchair that follows Axel around, and not knowing for a long time whether it was supposed to be real or all in his imagination.

Overall, this wasn’t the magical, winter tale I was expecting, but it was a really interesting delve into nordic mysticism, and I’m sure that plucky Axel will stay with me for a long time.

unicorn rating 3

This Week in Books 11.11.2015 #TWIB

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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 having a good week!

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Now: The Winter Place ~ Alexander Yates

I’m enjoying this a lot! Bears, Finland, a cabin in the woods…perfect!!!

Then: Behind Closed Doors ~ Elizabeth Haynes

Another winning book for me by Haynes! My Review will be up on Saturday.

Next: ???

If Winter arrives, then that! If not The Light that gets Lost by Natasha Carthew which published today (I’m a bit behind on ARCs, sorry!)

New on the Shelves

I’ve been approved for the following title via Netgalley:

The Christmas we Met ~ Kate Lord Brown

I’m mega happy I got approved for this…I can’t wait to get started on some festive reads!

christmaswemetA gorgeous winter tale about the secrets revealed by a collection of family jewels.

A talented young jewellery designer fights to rebuild her life and family by solving the mystery surrounding a diamond brooch given to her by her grandmother.

When Grace Manners takes up residence on the Wittering Manor estate in Sussex, she little realizes working alongside eccentric Fraser Stratton will change her life.

Since her husband disappeared, along with most of their money, Grace has struggled to make ends meet and the little cottage on the estate is both a refuge and a workshop for her jewellery business. It’s only when Grace begins to uncover the story behind a beautiful diamond brooch she inherited that she becomes drawn into a family secret that threatens to destroy what little she has left…

Purchased: I broke my book-buying ban and ordered these MUST HAVES!

I also bought a copy of How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff from a charity shop. I’ve read it before, but I borrowed it from my friend Di and I wanted my own copy.

I’m Waiting On…

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) ~ Victoria Aveyard

I got really excited about this, this week! Come onnnnnnnn February!

glassswordMare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

Expected Publication: February 9th 2016 by HarperTeen

So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours?

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