An Unexpected Book Haul

An Unexpected Book Haul

Hello, lovelies!

I couldn’t resist sharing my most recent purchases as I am so excited to read them all!

As per usual, I went into Waterstones to buy one book and came out with five. I had only intended to spend a voucher I won through work but unfortunately they got me with their buy one get one half price offer.  All of these books except one were inspired by posts I’ve read on here and various recommendations so I’ve tried my best to give credit where its due.

 

Circe by Madeline Miller

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GoodReads synopsis:

 “In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.”

After finishing The Song of Achilles I immediately added this book to my TBR and since then I have seen this book recommended and reviewed on so many blogs and by so many great bloggers but the most recent review of this book I read was by BooksandMe which you can read here.

 

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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GoodReads Synopsis:

“Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.”

I’ve read so many reviews of this book over the past few weeks that it was impossible to pick just one but thank you to all the lovely bloggers out there who shared their thoughts on this book!

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

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GoodReads Synopsis:

“A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.”

I was originally put off by the cover of this book as it didn’t look like one I’d usually go for but after seeing so many amazing reviews for it I just couldn’t resist. One of my favourite reviews was by Sara at The Bibliophagist which you can find here.

 

Warcross by Marie Lu

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GoodReads Synopsis:

“For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.”

I had read a few reviews of this book and it just happened that the day before I went shopping I read a brilliant review by Rae at Thrifty Bibliophile that totally convinced me I needed to read this book. 24 hours later and I had bought it and added it to my physical TBR pile.

 

The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man by Jonas Jonasson

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GoodReads Synopsis:

“It all begins with a hot air balloon trip and three bottles of champagne. Allan and Julius are ready for some spectacular views, but they’re not expecting to land in the sea and be rescued by a North Korean ship, and they could never have imagined that the captain of the ship would be harbouring a suitcase full of contraband uranium, on a nuclear weapons mission for Kim Jong-un …

Soon Allan and Julius are at the centre of a complex diplomatic crisis involving world figures from the Swedish foreign minister to Angela Merkel and President Trump. Things are about to get very complicated…”

This one wasn’t recommended but is the second book in a series by one of my favourite authors. If you haven’t read ‘The Hundred Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared’ by Jonas Jonasson then you definitely should!

 

Thanks for reading! If you’ve read any of these books then please let me know what you thought of them in the comments below and feel free to share links to your reviews! 

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T5T: Top 5 Characters I Want as A Best Friend

T5T: Top 5 Characters I Want as A Best Friend

Hello lovelies!

Welcome back to another Top 5 Tuesdays. If you aren’t familiar with Top 5 Tuesday, it is a group here on WordPress that is currently run by Shanah over at BionicBookWorm. Each week you are given a topic and you talk about 5 books that fit that category.

This week’s topic is the Top 5 Characters I Want as A Best Friend. If you are also participating in Top 5 Tuesdays this week or you have previously done a post on a similar topic then please leave your link in the comments and I will check out your post!

  1. Izzy O’Neil from The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

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I promise that one day I will stop including TEOOO in all my posts but today is not that day. I love Izzy and as I said in my review of this brilliant book, she is the female protagonist of my dreams and one of my favourite characters ever.

  1. Samwise Gamgee from The Lord of The Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

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I think we can all agree that Sam would be the most loyal and supportive friend you would ever have. He would always have your back and follow you to the fiery pits of Mordor, no questions asked! We all know who the real MVP of LOTR is and it’s definitely not Frodo!

  1. Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

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I almost didn’t include Ron in this list as I thought it may be too much of an obvious of a choice, but I couldn’t resist, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s featured on a lot of other people’s list as well! Ron is that lovable and dopey friend that you can always count on to be there for you and to make you laugh (not to mention his family would treat you like one of their own and who wouldn’t want that!)

  1. Tiny Cooper from Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Leviathan

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He is extravagant, hilarious, such a diva and has a ridiculously big heart and a lot of love for his friends. He’s a brilliant character and I actually feel sad I don’t have a real Tiny Cooper in my life!

To quote from the book itself:

‘Tiny Cooper is not the world’s gayest person, and he is not the world’s largest person, but I believe he may be the world’s largest person who is really, really gay, and also the world’s gayest person who is really, really large.’

  1. Bridget Jones from Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

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I feel like this one is quite self-explanatory. Every friendship group needs a Bridget!

So, there you have it, the top 5 characters I’d want as a best friend. In real life I am actually such a girl’s girl so I’m not sure why the major of this list consists of boys. I honestly found it hard to pick as there were some other great options which I’m going to list anyway even though its kind of cheating:

Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, Sasha Cade from The Last Wish of Sasha Cade, Peeta Mellark from the Hunger Games, Elsa from My Grandmother Asked me to Tell you She’s sorry, Merry & Pippin from Lord of the Rings, Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing, Dickon from The Secret Garden & Winnie the Pooh from well, you know what he’s from!

Thanks for reading! Which characters would you want to be best friends with? Let me know in the comments below!

ARC Review: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Seek by Anthony O’Neill

ARC Review: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Seek by Anthony O’Neill

Hello, lovelies!

I hope you’re all having a relaxing Sunday! This week’s review is on Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Seek by Anthony O’Neill, a sequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (which if you haven’t read, you definitely should!)

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with the Kindle version of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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GoodReads Synopsis:

“Seven years after the death of Edward Hyde, a stylish gentleman shows up in foggy London claiming to be Dr. Henry Jekyll. Only Mr. Utterson, Jekyll’s faithful lawyer and confidant, knows that he must be an impostor – because Jekyll was Hyde.

But as the man goes about charming Jekyll’s friends and reclaiming the estate, and as the bodies of potential challengers start piling up, Utterson is left fearing for his life … and questioning his own sanity.”

 

My Thoughts:

I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Seek and I still wasn’t sure how I felt about it after I finished it.

The story picks up from where Stevenson finish, following the aftermath of Mr. Hyde’s death and Dr. Jekyll’s not so mysterious disappearance. O’Neill carries on the story from the perspective of Utterson, Jekyll’s lawyer and close friend. However, the Utterson in this story is almost unrecognisable from the Utterson in Stevenson’s classic.

Having read some other reviews on this novel, I have noticed that the change in Utterson’s character has put people off this novel entirely but for me, this was one of the things that worked so well. O’Neill is carrying on the exploration into the duality of human nature. The Utterson we see in this story is the dark side of his character.

From the moment the ‘imposter’ arrives, Utterson becomes unhinged almost, distant from reality and vicious in his approach. His determination to unmask this imposter initially seems to be driven by the desire to protect his old friend’s legacy but as the story goes on, we start to see this is more about what Utterson stands to lose if the imposter gets away with it. He was set to inherit all of Jekyll’s estate, but the return of the imposter threatens this.

Utterson faces an internal battle. On the one hand, he doesn’t want to look greedy or suspicious to those around him but on the other hand, he has made plans for the Jekyll house and he believes he knows with certainty that Jekyll is dead. His inner struggle with his anger and rage lead to the outwards spiral of his sanity. As Jekyll did when he became Hyde, Utterson becomes unrecognisable, albeit in personality rather than in physical appearance.

Although O’Neill made his characters very different, he stayed true to the tone and setting of the story. From the first few pages, you are immediately immersed in Victorian London. O’Neill expertly continuous the gothic tone of the story which reads exceptionally well. His descriptions created vivid pictures in my mind and I found myself completely wrapped up in the story at times which I loved.

The one thing that let this book down for me was the ending. It was unnecessarily told from the perspective of a character we had barely taken an interest in and it felt rushed and messy. However, because this is quite a short book and was really easy to get into, I didn’t feel like I’d wasted my time. Overall, I would still recommend reading this if you’re a big fan of Jekyll & Hyde or Gothic literature as I did enjoy reading it and it really didn’t take too long to read (Also, just look at that cover!)

Thanks for reading! Have you read either of these books? If so, let me know what you thought in the comments below!

August Wrap Up

August Wrap Up

Hello lovelies!

I can’t believe its September already! August was a great book month for me, even if I failed to read most of the books on my TBR challenge. I read a total of 7 books which is less than I’d have liked but I have been seriously busy.

My August Reads:

 The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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My Rating: ★★★★★

You can read my review of this amazing book here.

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

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My Rating: ★★★★☆

You can read my review of this book here.

The Great Unexpected by Dan Mooney

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My Rating: ★★★★☆

You can read my review of this book here.

Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

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My Rating: ★★★★☆

You can read my review of this book here.

Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood

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My Rating: ★★★★☆

I decided not to review this book as the subject matter was quite serious and may be triggering to some readers. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed this book, but it was exceptionally well written and extremely compelling which is why I have rated it so high.

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Seek by Anthony O’Neill

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My Rating: ★★★☆☆

I will be posting my review of this interesting little read soon!

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

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My Rating: ★★★☆☆

I will also be posting my review of this best-selling thriller in a few weeks’ time.

I’ve decided not to set a TBR challenge for myself for September as I know I won’t stick to it. I already have a few books in mind that I want to read this month but I’m going to wait and see what I feel like reading after I finish each book. I also have a lot of ARCs to get through so hopefully, I will have a productive month!

Currently Reading: The Power by Naomi Alderman

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This book was on my TBR challenge for August and I’m finally getting around to actually reading it. I really hope it lives up to the hype!

Thanks for reading! Did you read any great books in August? What are you looking forward to reading in September? Let me know in the comments below!

ARC REVIEW: Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

ARC REVIEW: Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

Hey, lovelies!

I would like to start by saying thanks to NetGalley for providing the Kindle version of this book in exchange for an honest review. Somehow my amazing luck with ARCs continuous as this is another positive review!

GoodReads Synopsis:

‘Jane’s days at a Midwest insurance company are perfectly ordinary. She blends in well, unremarkably pretty in her floral-print dresses and extra efficient at her low-level job. She’s just the kind of woman middle manager Steven Hepsworth likes—meek, insecure, and willing to defer to a man. No one has any idea who Jane really is. Least of all Steven.

But plain Jane is hiding something. And Steven’s bringing out the worst in her.

Nothing can distract Jane from going straight for his heart: allowing herself to be seduced into Steven’s bed, to insinuate herself into his career and his family, and to expose all his dirty secrets. It’s time for Jane to dig out everything that matters to Steven. So she can take it all away.

Just as he did to her.’

 

My Thoughts:

I want to start by saying that thrillers are not one of my favourite genres of books however, I had been in a bit of a reading slump and a fast-paced thriller is the perfect cure for that and Jane Doe did not disappoint.

This is probably the only thriller that I have ever read that hasn’t left me feeling slightly disappointed. I always devour thrillers as I can’t wait to find out what happens in the end and then when I get there I almost feel deflated. However, the ending of Jane Doe was brilliant. It perfectly wrapped up the story and was that satisfying kind of ending that you never saw coming.

Another reason I don’t usually love thrillers is that the protagonist is always insufferable. They are usually female and suffering from alcohol addiction, mental health issues or with some dark secret from there past which makes them unstable and unreliable. Jane, on the other hand, was such an interesting character. She is a self-diagnosed sociopath incapable of understanding or feeling emotions in the way that others do which makes her such a multi-dimensional character. She also had all the power in this story. We learn quite early on in the book why Jane is set on ruining Steven’s life, but we don’t know how she will do it which is why I think this book works so well. We’re not trying to figure out the whodunnit, we are trying to figure out how far Jane is willing to go.

I also found myself laughing out loud at times when reading this book which is definitely not my usual response to reading a thriller. Stone’s writing is brilliant and extremely witty in parts. I read this book on my Kindle and I found myself highlighting so many quotes so I thought I would include some of them in this post just to give you a taste of Jane’s voice:

“Frankly, fictional people appeal far more to me than real people do. In fiction, the choices have to make sense. The timeline proceeds rationally.”

“Erections and guilt can’t exist in the same place”

“After all, everyone knows that women are responsible for how men behave. If we’re not careful, they might decide to take what they want. They can’t help it. But somehow I’m the one with the psychological impairment.”

“Their penises are God’s divining rods, searching out evil.”

The whole book is narrated from her perspective which works brilliantly. Stone invites us into the mind of a sociopath, but she is a sociopath that the reader ends up rooting for. I would even go as far as to say I liked Jane. Stone set’s Steven up as such a vile character that I almost wished I could join Jane in making his life hell but deeper than this was that Steven is a character that far too many women are very familiar with in real life.  This makes his demise all the more satisfying.

This book is available to buy now and I would definitely recommend this book if you’re into thrillers (or even if you’re not as it was such an interesting read). I really hope Stone considers making this into a series so we get to read more about Jane!

 

Thank you for reading! Have you read this book? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!

BLOG TOUR: The Great Unexpected by Dan Mooney

BLOG TOUR: The Great Unexpected by Dan Mooney

Hello lovelies!

I usually post my book reviews on a Sunday but as I’m taking part in the Blog Tour for The Great Unexpected by Dan Mooney, you’re getting an extra review this week!

I would like to start by saying thank you to NetGalley and Legend Press, the publishers of this book, for sending me a Kindle version to read in exchange for an honest review.

This is my first ever Blog Tour on The Girl with All the Books and I’m so excited to be involved! I have been extremely lucky so far with the ARCs I have requested and read an The Great Unexpected was no exception.

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GoodReads Synopsis:

“If you’re going to end it, you better make it big. No slipping off bridges, it’s undignified for men of our vintage. Go big or don’t bother.”

Joel lives in a nursing home and he’s not one bit happy about it. He doesn’t like being told when to eat, when to sleep, when to take his pills. In fact, he doesn’t like living at all, and he’s decided he’s going to end his life on his terms.

When he tells retired soap-actor Frank about his dark plan, Frank urges him to go out with a bang. Together, they embark on a mission to find the perfect suicide, and along the way, discover the strength of friendship when you really feel alone.”

My Thoughts:

This book was beautiful but heart-breaking, which, let’s be honest, all the great books are. The absurdity of the plot tied with the outrageous, yet lovable characters worked perfectly, and the well-timed humour softened the edges of the serious topic.

As you will have read in the synopsis, Joel Monroe has decided he is going to commit suicide. His new and extravagant friend Frank de Selby has decided he is going to help him. For Joel this means trying to decide what he should wear to the occasion, a football shirt, his pyjamas or maybe just a nice suit? For Frank this is an opportunity to show Joel that his life is worth living. The two are the most unlikely friends yet they are perfectly matched, and I could not stop my self from smiling when reading the scenes where they bicker back and forth or where they go out clubbing with Joel’s young grandchildren. (Yes, you read that right. Clubbing!)

If you love a book with a quirky story and exceptionally well-developed characters, then this is the one for you. Joel Monroe broke my heart into pieces several times. He was infuriating yet lovable and Mooney captured such raw emotion in his character that brought me close to tears at times. It also made me think differently towards my grandparents, particularly my amazing 92-year-old grandmother who has herself complained to me about the lack of independence she has. I have seen my family treat her like a child and like Joel, I have seen her act like a child in response but now I feel like I understand her position a bit better.

My favourite thing about this book was that no character seemed to just be there to assist a plot line. They were all so well-crafted and multi-dimensional and they each brought something different to the story. This for me worked particularly well with the staff at the nursing home where Joel is living. They could all just be name tags mentioned in the escapades of Joel and Frank, but Mooney gives them all a back story. It is the little things like this that make this book feel like such a well rounded and full story.

If you have read any of my other blog posts you will know that I am a huge fan of Frederick Backman (I mention him in at least 50% of my posts). The Great Unexpected reminded me so much of the type of genius yet crazy stories that Backman comes up with and also another favourite author of mine, Jonas Jonasson. This is a huge compliment coming from me as these are 2 of my go-to authors. I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up one of their books and I after The Great Unexpected, I would definitely read more of Mooney’s writing.

The Great Unexpected is out now and if you’re interesting in reading this lovely book (which I hope you are after this glowing review) then you can buy it here.

If you want to hear more from this author, then follow him on twitter @danielmoonbags

Thanks for reading! Do you like the sound of this book? Let me know in the comments below!

TAG: The Unique Blogger Award

TAG: The Unique Blogger Award

Hi Lovelies,

I would like to start this post by saying thank you to the lovely Brianna at Brianna the Bookworm for tagging me in this award. and for providing such great questions!

Rules

  • Display the award!
  • Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  • Answer the questions they’ve written for you!
  • Nominate 8-13 bloggers and give them three questions in the spirit of sharing love and solidarity within our blogging family!

 

Brianna’s Questions:

  1. What are three of your all-time favourite books?

Such a hard question! If I HAD to choose I would go for Alice in Wonderland, The Hunger Games and The Hobbit.

  1. Do you prefer e-books or physical copies?

Definitely physical copies! I have a Kindle which was really useful when I was travelling and couldn’t carry too many books but nothing will ever beat the feel of having a real book in your hands and turning the pages over.

  1. If you could meet one author, who would you choose and why?

This is such an interesting one! I think I would choose Fredrick Backman as I am his self-proclaimed number one fan but if I had a time machine I’d definitely say Tolkien.

 

My Questions:

  1. Who is your biggest fictional crush?
  2. What is one of your favourite book covers? (Post a picture if you can!)
  3. What is your favourite quote from a book that you’ve read?

 

I nominate: Izzy at Thinking and Inking, Sophie at Sophie Ismaa Writes, Kaniz at Tale of a Bookworm, Jenna at Bookmark your Thoughts, Nicole at The Bookworm Drinketh , Bookread2day and anyone else who would like to take part and answer my questions!

(No pressure if you can’t/don’t want to do the tag!)

Thanks for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, let me know what you thought in the comments below!