Saturday, 24 June 2017

July Releases I'm Excited For!!

The DisappearancesBecause You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of VillainyThe Dragons of Nova (Loom Saga, #2)The Last MagicianThe Library of FatesThe Ends of the World (The Conspiracy of Us, #3)Lucky in LoveDaughter of the Burning CityFirst We Were IVChanges in Latitudes
The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy: Releasing July 4th 2017. If I'm honest I'm a little vague on the actual plot details of this. But there is a chain of literary clues (my favourite kind of clues) and a mysterious location and it sounds eery and wonderful. 
Because You Love to Hate Me edited by Ameriie: Releasing July 11th 2017. An anthology from basically all my favourite authors entirely centered around villains?? Uh, yes please! Basically this sounds amazing and I am so, so excited for it!
The Dragons of Nova by Elise Kova: Releasing July 11th 2017. The sequel to the wonderful The Alchemists of Loom. Arianna became an instant favourite for me and I can't wait to read more of her. 
The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell: Releasing July 18th 2017. The more I hear about this book the more excited I get to the point where it's getting ridiculous. The cast of characters sound almost Six of Crows levels of awesome and I'm seriously missing the Dregs so that couldn't be a better hook for me.
The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana: Releasing July 18th 2017. This is one I've only recently seen around so I don't know a whole lot about it. But anything recommended for fans of The Wrath and the Dawn or The Star Touched Queen is something I want to read. 
The Ends of the World by Maggie Hall: Releasing July 18th 2017. The third and I think final book in The Conspiracy of Us series. I have only read the first one so far but it was super exciting and compelling. A little cheesy but in a way I enjoyed. I only held off on reading the second book because I was wary of cliff-hangers so once the series is complete I can hopefully jump back in.
Lucky in Love by Kasie West: Releasing July 25th 2017. I recently discovered Kasie West (or recently discovered my love for her books) and so am now eagerly anticipating this one. It sounds a lot like Windfall in the whole winning-the-lottery premise but I'm super ready for a cute summer read!
Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody: Releasing July 25th 2017. I have a review copy of this which I'm super excited to dive into soon because CIRCUSES. Circuses are basically my kryptonite. Plus, I believe this is LGBT which is exciting!
First We Were IV by Alexandra Sirowy: Releasing 25th July 2017. Secret societies. That is all. Secret societies fascinate me so, so much. AND it has revenge in it. My favourite.
Changes in Latitude by Jen Malone: Releasing 25th July 2017. "A road trip romance that takes place at sea." I'm sold. Doesn't this just sound like the perfect summer read? I've never read anything else by Jen Malone but this is definitely going on my wishlist!

These are the ten most exciting releases (for me) in July - I'm interested to see which books you are most anticipating? And if you're lucky enough to have read any of these already let me know what you thought of them. 

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You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Friday Reads 23rd June 2017

Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice and Book Beginnings is hosted by Rose City Reader. The idea is to share a sentence or so from the first page and the 56th page of the book you are currently reading!

Beauty Queens
Book Beginning:
"This book begins with a plane crash."

Friday 56:
"It's such a tragedy that those sweet girls who follow the rules set down for women through the ages while also learning to walk in bathing suits and heels are the ones who are now missing."

This is actually one of my all time favourite books and I am re-reading it! It's so funny and the characters are amazing and just seriously, read it if you haven't already because this book is amazing. 

Link up to Monday Highlights

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Clare Reviews: Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee

Broken BranchesTitle: Broken Branches
Author: M. Jonathan Lee
Format: Paperback
Source: Received from publisher for an honest review
Pages: 294
Rating: 4/5

Blurb: A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.
There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse.

If this weren't a book I was sent for review I would, honestly, probably never have picked it up. I'm a certified wimp so anything that looks remotely creepy is going on my NOPE pile. But I was intrigued enough about this to brave it and I am so glad I did.

Firstly, it's not actually that creepy. There are some creepy elements to it and there are definitely moments you don't want to be reading at night but for the most part I would describe this as more atmospheric than out and out scary. The perspective of the book switches between Ian of the past  (growing up in the house) and Ian of the present whose marriage is suffering after "an incident" and is desperately seeking answers about the family "curse".

Ian wasn't a hugely likable character at times but he felt so relatable to me that I just couldn't stop reading and rooting for his life to get back on track. He is struggling but his struggle felt real and it just made everything so intense. Even day to day activities suddenly seemed incredibly important whilst I was reading them. We do get a little bit from his wife's perspective but it's always quite vague and I definitely didn't get inside her head in the same way. One of the great things about this book is how it plays with perspective. I, as a reader, made so many assumptions and accepted so much as fact because it came from Ian and I know I am going to re-read this at some point and try to see how much I trust his viewpoint in the future.

But the real standout quality of Broken Branches was the writing style. This isn't a hugely plot driven book. The entirety of the book is set in one location for the most part and you're following just a handful of characters so a lot of what I was reading was just general daily activity. And yet the writing style, how crisp and important every single word felt, kept me compelled the whole way through. Ian answering emails could be an interesting paragraph purely by virtue of how well Lee wrote it. 

If you need plot driven action and excitement in your books or you were hoping for something very creepy then this probably isn't for you. But if you want a book that will make you hold your breath and doubt your own perspective and just blow your mind with great writing - then definitely give this a try. I now want to read more by M. Jonathan Lee and I can say with confidence that I don't even care what genre or plot it is because it's the writing that enthralls me. 

Trigger Warnings:
Grief, Suicide

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You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Wednesday Catch-Up 21st June 2017

Every Wednesday we are linking up with WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is hosted at Taking on a World of Words and asks 3 questions: What are you currently reading?, What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you'll read next? You can click any of the images to go to the Goodreads page for that book!

Currently Reading:

Beauty Queens
Beauty Queens is just incredible and I love it. And I really feel in the mood to re-read it (again) so here I go. Again. God this book. 

Recently Finished:

The Sandcastle EmpireTruth or DareShadow Run (Kaitan Chronicles, #1)Liberty: The Spy Who (Kind of) Liked MeFalse Hearts
The Sandcastle Empire is a book I have mixed feelings for. I felt like the first half was incredible and I loved the complex dynamics and the survival and discovery aspects - it was exciting and engaging. And then halfway through it turned into romance/dystopian and we lost that which wasn't as good for me personally. Truth or Dare again was a half and half book. I liked the first half but the second half after you flip over felt almost skippable in places. Shadow Run was really good. I love space adventures and politics and it definitely got way darker than I was expecting which I kind of liked. There isn't a cliff-hanger but I am desperate for the next book because this was awesome. Eliza and Her Monsters was really sweet for the most part and then suddenly gut punches you with emotions and I was not prepared (TW: Suicide ideation and anxiety). I loved all the graphic novel drawing sections as they really added to the feel of the story. Finally I read False Hearts which I did enjoy. I wasn't totally blown away but I did like the diversity a lot and I am definitely interested in reading the next book which I believe is a companion novel not a direct follow on?

Planning to Read Next:

The First Days  (As the World Dies, #1)Fighting to Survive (As The World Dies, #2)Siege (As The World Dies, #3)
I really want to read the As the World Dies series next because I love zombies. I mean zombie stories. Not actual zombies. This is described as Thelma & Louise meets The Walking Dead and boy does that appeal to me!! 

Link up to Monday Highlights

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Top Ten Series I've Been Meaning to Start

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted at The Broke and the Bookish and you can find a full list of past and future topics here

1) Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1)
I've had this recommended to me by practically everyone. I even own the books. But I never seem to get around to actually reading them! Someday. Someday it will happen.

2) The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1)
This is my brother's all time favourite series. He rates it just above Six of Crows. So obviously I'm desperate to read them... but the series isn't complete and that scares me. 

3) Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)
I pre-ordered the first book then never read it. I pre-ordered the second book telling myself that now I WOULD read them. But nope. Here I am in June still not having read them. I am the worst.

4) Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)
I love fantasy so I was initially super excited for this series but since buying the first book I've seen such mixed reviews that I keep putting it off. Her next series sounds incredible and it's entirely possible I'll wind up skipping this one and then maybe coming back to it later?

5) The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court, #1)
Another one with mixed reviews. I love Mead's other books (or the ones that I've read which is basically just Vampire Academy and Bloodlines) and these sound awesome. I'm just.... so many mixed reviews. What if I dont like it?

6) The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)
I'm unsure on these just because I don't know how mind bending/scary they are? I'm a lot better with scares and thrillers than I was when this series originally came out but I'm still nervous.

7) The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
The Goddess Test (Goddess Test, #1)
Hades and Persephone retellings will get me every time. Hades is my favourite. Persephone is badass and kind. I just seriously need to read these.

8) The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1)
See when these first came out I hated zombies. I thought they were boring. Since then I've developed an obsession with zombie books and movies (almost entirely down to my youngest brother honestly) and so now really want to read these.

9) Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Enclave (Razorland, #1)
Please see above for zombie obsession! I read some of Aguirre's new adult recently and loved them and whilst this is obviously a very different genre it still looks great!

10) The Winner's Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski
The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)
Just heard all the good about this series. I need to read it. I can't quite understand why I haven't already.

Link up to Monday Highlights

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Monday Highlights #11

The idea is to just link your favourite blog post from the past week (for example a post you're very proud of or just had a lot of fun making) and then I, and hopefully others, can discover new blogs to follow and interact with and discover more posts from blogs we may already follow!

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Sunday Post 18th June 2017

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted at Caffeinated Book Reviewer, it's a chance to post a recap on the past week, show the books we have received and share what we plan for the coming week. Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and the aim is to show our newest books and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops or downloaded on to their e-reader. As always you can click on any of the pictures to be taken to the Goodreads page for that book if you're interested in finding out more about it or click the title to go to the review.

Last Week on the Blog:

  • Monday Highlights #10
  • Summertime Madness Book Tag
  • Wednesday Catch-Up
  • Blog Tour: What Happened That Night by Sheila O'Flanagan
  • Clare Reviews: Holiday in the Hamptons by Sarah Morgan
  • Friday Reads: The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson

Books We Got This Week:

ThirstDevourThe Genesis FlawThe House of Birds
Thirst/Devour/The Genesis Flaw by L.A. Larkin: I'm really in a survival/horror mood lately and these were just too tempting to turn down especially when it was only £5 for the three of them. 
The House of Birds by Morgan McCarthy: Received for review from the publisher. I am really excited for this one because of the gorgeous cover and also the family secrets/house with secrets to discover plot which is one of my favourite things!
Shadow Run (Kaitan Chronicles, #1)Truth or DareWe Were LiarsThe Watcher in the Shadows
Shadow Run by Adrianne Strickland and Michael ....: This is described as being like Firefly which makes it instantly appealing to me. I haven't seen any reviews of this so I'm not sure what else to expect but it intrigues me.
Truth or Dare by Non Pratt: I read one previous Non Pratt book and really enjoyed it and this one appeals because its a book, like Replica, that can be read from two sides. And that format just seems so great to me!
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart: I've somehow avoided spoilers for this (lets keep it that way) but I've psyched myself out of reading it so many times because what if it disappoints me??? 
The Watcher in the Shadows by Carlos Ruiz Zafon: Impulsively wanted this because I love the cover and because I've been wanting to read something by Zafon for a while. 
The Raven's HeadLiberty: The Spy Who (Kind of) Liked MeFalse HeartsShattered Minds  (Pacifica)
The Raven's Head by Karen Maitland: I have another Karen Maitland book (The Plague Charmer) for review and I spotted this in a charity shop and kind of had to get this. Especially as the covers go so well together!
Liberty The Spy Who (Kind Of) Liked Me by Andrea: Spies. SPIES. I don't even care about the rest the MC is a badass who becomes a spy and everything else is unimportant.
False Hearts/Shattered Minds by Laura Lam: Laura Lam will be at YALC this year which Ann and I are attending so I wanted to read some of their books before going. And these two really appeal to me. I also want to read Lam's other series (Micah Grey) but may get those whilst in London.

Reading Update:

Of Monsters and Madness (Of Monsters and Madness, #1)This is Not a Test (This is Not a Test #1)Dreamfall (Dreamfall #1)The Sandcastle Empire
Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday: 2.5 stars, This was a fun read but not necessarily anything that stands out. I think, despite the blurb, the inspiration was far more Jekyll and Hyde than it was Edgar Allan Poe but its still intriguing. 
This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers: 5 stars, THIS. This book is what I want from zombie novels. The fear of the zombies was real but there was so much more time spent developing characters and their complex relationships that by the end I cared about each character so much more than I usually do in a zombie story. This was awesome and I already desperately want to re-read it. 
Dreamfall by Amy Plum: 5 stars, If I'm honest I expected this to be quick and fun but nothing special. But it was something special! The characters were all likable in their unlikability - I cant speak for all the mental illnesses represented but the ones I identified with were done really well and this felt so convincing to me which I didn't expect. Every plot twist was exciting and I need the second book now!
The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson: 4 stars, I definitely preferred the first half of this book to the second as I am way more into survival stories than I am sci-fi ones. Also the relationship dynamics of the four very different girls trying to survive on the island were far more interesting to me than the sudden romance that occurred afterwards. If you enjoyed Beauty Queens then you'd probably enjoy this although I wasn't sold on the romance and it's definitely a darker story - although I did quite like the dark side, it was very thought provoking. 
The Genesis FlawTruth or Dare
The Genesis Flaw by L.A. Larkin: 2 stars, There was something keeping me reading but the style of writing and the dialogue felt so stilted and so many of the situations felt unrealistic that I couldn't quite lose myself in this story!
Truth or Dare by Non Pratt: 3 stars, The format of this book was what initially drew me as it's a flip book. You read one side then you flip over to hear the other side of the story. That said I didn't hugely feel like it was necessary here. It could have worked just as well, if not better, as one continuous story and I definitely wasn't as into Sef's side of the story as I was Claire's. It was a good story overall and I definitely recommend picking it up.

Next Week on the Blog:

  • Monday Highlights #11
  • Top Ten Series I've Been Meaning to Start
  • Wednesday Catch-Up
  • Clare Reviews: Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee
  • Friday Reads
  • Clare Reviews: Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.