Woohoo the Summer has officially arrived! Happy belated Summer Solstice everyone! Living in Pembrokeshire now means I get to go to the beach a fair bit during the Summer as we have several near by. That is on the few occasions that we actually get to see a bit of sun lol! I’m not one for the hot weather, but I do love bright sunny days where the sky is a beautiful shade of blue with a few fluffy clouds floating by. The perfect opportunity to sit on the beach and do a spot of reading. This brings me to my post. I’ve decided to put together a few books that I’d like to read over the Summer. My Summer book stack! Now, whether I’ll be able to get through them all, I don’t know but I shall certainly try. The books I’ve chosen are:
Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Burn For Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Life and Death Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer
I’ve had some of these books for quite some time but hadn’t got around to reading them. Hopefully I’ll get through them all this Summer! I am particularly excited about reading Lady Midnight as I adore Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. Have you read any of these? Do you have a Summer TBR list? What will you be reading? Let me know in the comments below! 😃
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Posted in Books
Tags: am reading, author, blogger, Book, book blog, book blogging, book pile, book stack, Books, burn for burn, Cassandra Clare, currently reading, ink and bone, jenny han, jojo moyes, lady midnight, life and death, me before you, proofreader, rachel caine, reviewer, reviews, Shadowhunters, siobhan vivian, stephenie meyer, summer, summer reads, tbr, tbr list, Twilight, twilight reimagined, writer, writing
This morning I’d noticed on Litsy that people were talking about an app called Serial Reader. Being a book lover, I thought I’d check it out!
I know it’s my first day of using it but so far I’m loving it! It’s an app for people who love to read the classics. Your book of choice is split up into manageable bite size pieces called issues (like a comic/graphic novel).
Each day, at a time of your choosing, an issue is sent to you and you’re also given an estimated reading time. – I thought it might also calculate your actual reading time but it doesn’t which is shame. In my opinion, it would be great if they could update it to do that. Once you’ve read an issue, you have the option of waiting until the next day or, if you’re the impatient type and the book is just too exciting to wait, you can read on ahead to the next issue. However, to do that, you have to upgrade which costs £2.99. This unlocks the option to read ahead, sync with iCloud, make highlights and notes, pause & read later, and add more fonts. I love the concept of this app and with the upgrade, it reminds me a lot of the Kindle app. I think maybe £2.99 for the upgrade is a little steep, though, and I’m not in the habit of paying for upgrades in apps anyway but that aside, the app is still definitely worth downloading and gets a thumbs up from me as I love the idea of looking forward to an issue to read each day.
Have a lovely day, guys!
A few weeks back the lovely Harriet at Penguin sent me a copy of the soon-to-be released And I Darken by Kiersten White. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to read it yet BUT this weekend will be THE weekend that I can finally get engrossed in it! I am so excited to be reading this book! Here’s the blurb:
AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White
Published 7th July 2016
“The phenomenal first book in an epic feminist trilogy set in the bloody Ottoman Empire, by the New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White.
Perfect for fans of Game of Thrones and The Queen of the Tearling, this is the ultimate, gripping, ‘can’t-stop-reading!’ novel to get stuck into on your summer holiday. Anti-princess Lada Dracul is destined to be the next feminist heroine, following in the footsteps of recent strong, gritty female characters Arya Stark, Jessica Jones and Star Wars’ Rey.
No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwyla likes it that way.
Ever since she and her brother were abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman sultan’s courts, Lada has known that ruthlessness is the key to survival. For the lineage that makes her and her brother special also makes them targets.
Lada hones her skills as a warrior as she nurtures plans to wreak revenge on the empire that holds her captive. Then she and Radu meet the sultan’s son, Mehmed, and everything changes. Now Mehmed unwittingly stands between Lada and Radu as they transform from siblings to rivals, and the ties of love and loyalty that bind them together are stretched to breaking point.”
Look out for my review in the coming weeks! 😃
Have a lovely weekend, all!
Hey everyone! I hope you’re all keeping well and enjoying the Summer so far! It’s been a while and I do apologise for that. Having a cute little baby girl seems to be taking up a lot of my time now, but I’m still here, I promise. 😀
Have any of you heard of an app called Litsy? No? Neither had I until recently when my fiancé’s mum introduced me to it. It’s a book community where book lovers go to chat about, well, books! Basically it is a simplified version of Goodreads. At least that’s how I see it. It’s the only thing I can think to compare it to.
When you sign up, they ask if you want to follow their suggested users. I chose to do that but you don’t have to. One of them is a Litsy book club which I thought was a fab idea and will hopefully be joining in the fun next month myself. 😀
Here is what your profile layout will look like:
When you want to post something, just click on the cross symbol. You can then choose to write a review, write a blurb (or a general comment), or quote something from the book. Once you’ve chosen what you would like to do, you select your book and then you can write about it! It really is a nice little app. I think if I was to suggest any improvements, it would be to maybe have hashtags (or simply search for words) so that you can find other people who are reading the same book as you, like the same genre, are bloggers etc. So, if you love books like I do then come join me: SecretLivesOfFictionLovers
Enjoy your evening, guys! Oh and I thought I’d share a photo of Willow:
Oh my gosh how dinky and cute are these mini lip vinyls?! The lovely folk at Kiss Cosmetics kindly sent me a mini lip vinyl in ‘First Kiss’ to review and I was more than happy to do so. It’s taken me a little longer to do my review due to moving away, settling in and having a baby on the way but whew I have finally found a moment to sit down, have a natter and tell you all about it. On with the review…
At just over 4cm in height and aprox 1cm in diameter, they are a lovely little size to fit into a small bag on a night out and are also perfectly travel sized for taking on holiday! And at £2 each, they won’t break the bank if you fancy buying a couple to see which shade suits you best. They may be small but they still manage to pack a big punch of colour. Even before I was sent this to review, I was already a fan of Kiss Cosmetics’ lip vinyls as they are so pigmented just like a lipstick, and though they glide on like a gloss, I find they last much longer. I already own their lip vinyl in the shade ‘Vinyl Lady in Red’ (and also have the matching Kisstick!) but this is my first time trying the mini ones. I have to admit, that with this particular mini, once applied, was a little patchy on my lips (prior to applying, I had used a lip scrub to get rid of any dead skin and make my lips smooth). I think this may be down to the small applicator though as I don’t get the same problem with the normal size lip vinyls. I had to put several coats of this on and lightly went over with my finger to even out the patchiness.
On me, the shade turned out to be a Barbie-pink kind of colour (though the photo was taken in natural light, I still couldn’t quite get it to depict the actual colour but it’s fairly close). A great shade if you have lighter hair, I think. I am going to carry on using this as I think maybe practice makes perfect when it comes to the mini applicator.
Have any of you tried out these lip vinyls or any of Kiss Cosmetics’ products before? What do you think?
Title: Half Bad (The Half Bad Trilogy, #1)
Author: Sally Green
Published: 3rd March 2014
“Wanted by no one.
Hunted by everyone.
Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan’s only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it’s too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?
Half Bad is an international sensation and the start of a brilliant trilogy: a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive.”
This is a really short review today so I apologise. I have been reading Half Bad for the past few days now but sadly, I felt here nor there about the book which is such a shame as the idea behind it was great. I struggled to be pulled in by the story and didn’t feel a connection with any of the characters. Maybe it’s a different writing style to what I’m used to? I was also shocked at how much violence the main character endured for someone so young! It was quite surprising to see that in a book. I seem to be one of the few who didn’t get on with the book as it seems to have gotten a lot of good reviews and ratings but it just wasn’t for me. I’m unsure as to whether I’ll read the next book in the series but I’m told it is much better than the first.
Have you read any of the books in this series, or maybe you’re planning to? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
I had a message on Goodreads waiting for me this morning. It was from an author offering me an incentive to basically hurry up and read and review her book. The incentive? $50 or books from my wish list on Amazon. Awesome, right? Not exactly. There’s a catch … She wants a 4-5 star rating and glowing review of her book. I would happily take the offer and give her that rating, and that review she so wants, IF I genuinely thought the book was that amazing but it’s not and I am not in the business of giving dishonest reviews just to earn a bit of cash. So, thank you, but no thank you.
I know we would all love to get paid for something we love doing but not like this! I would be potentially misleading someone into thinking it’s a great read only for them to be really disappointed and I’m not willing to do that. I have morals and I’ll stick by them, thank you very much! Now, if I’d been offered money to give an honest review then I would have happily obliged.
Author: Cora Harrison
Published: 3rd February 2012
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
“Jane wants to meet a hero worthy of her extraordinary imagination: a gentleman who is dashing and daring and handsome and brave; who can dance like a viscount and duel like a king. Jane and Jenny are whiling away the season in Bath and there are plenty of dances, rumours and scandals to entertain them. But a good reputation, once lost, is gone forever; and Jane is in danger of becoming the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons…”
When I first started reading this book I felt neither here, nor there about it. It just wasn’t really pulling me in and I didn’t get that I-want-to-stay-up-til-the-wee-hours-reading kind of feeling from it. However, the further I got through the book, the more I warmed to it. Once I had gotten to the end, I had the warm fuzzy feels and wanted to clutch the book to my chest and sigh happily! It was a really lovely read. Having not read Cora Harrison’s previous book “I Was Jane Austen’s Best Friend”, I didn’t know what to expect and for some reason had it in my head that it was going to be some kind of modernised story about Jane Austen so I was thrilled to discover that, no, it was in fact set in 1791 when Jane was a budding author-to-be. The story was centred around, and written from the point of view of, Jane’s cousin, Jenny (though her real name was also Jane). I loved that it was written like a diary – complete with cute little drawings – and was written in a style fitting of that era. I love how they spoke back then! Jenny writes about her family, her and Jane’s trip to Bath (which involved going to balls and wearing exquisite dresses) and also about her love, Thomas Williams, a Royal Navy captain, who wants to marry her but her brother (who is her guardian) and his wife won’t allow it. With the help of Jane and her childhood friend, Harry, Jenny and Thomas write to each other in secret (Not surprisingly, Jane saw this as very romantic) and Jane was determined that Jenny and Thomas would be married. It was great seeing it all unfold and I found myself worrying that Jenny and Thomas wouldn’t get their happy ever after. I really liked how Jane was portrayed. She was so witty and she was also a bit of a flirt! But you discover, that in spite of all that flirting, she’s fallen for a boy and wants to have her own happy ever after with him!
This book is a fabulous summer read; something to take on holiday with you to read whilst relaxing on the beach, maybe. If you love a bit of romance with a taste of the classics about it, then this is for you!
Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan for kindly sending me this book to review. It was truly a delight.
Title: The Chair
Author: R.R. Sechi
Published: 21st February 2014
“John Anderson goes to the site of an old dilapidated mental institution called, ‘Willow Brook’, in the hope of finding a special chair previously used for electro-shock therapy. His wife, Jess is a ‘white’ witch who believes the chair possesses supernatural power. With the correct spells and incantations, she thinks that she may be able to control and direct its spiritual energy to her own devices. Some might say, they should have left it where it was…”
When I discovered that this was about a chair in a mental institute, my initial thought was: “Ohhh crap! Stories about mental institutes never end well” and by “end well” I mean that it’ll be mega spooky and will more than likely scare the crap out of me! That was then …
Does anybody else find it hard to get into a book when there’s lots of bad punctuation that hasn’t been corrected? Well that was my problem. By the third page, I just wanted to give up and throw it across the room. There were commas in the wrong places and commas where there should have been full stops. In general, it just wasn’t reading right and therefore the story wasn’t flowing the way it should. As a proofreader, problems like this really irk me. The author also changes the character’s thoughts from italics to normal and are sometimes in speech marks and sometimes not which was a teeny bit annoying.
At one point in the story Sarah (John’s girlfriend’s best friend) and John sit on the chair and get transported back to the 50s. Sarah finds herself in the body of a woman called Liz but a couple of pages later, Liz’s friend, Sherrie, calls her “Sarah” instead of “Liz”. Oops! As you can see, I found the story to be inconsistent at times. Another example being: The author seems to go from implying that John hardly knows his girlfriend’s best friend, Sarah, to then saying she’s the couple’s best friend and then back to saying John hardly knows her and that she’s Jess’ friend, not his. Also, as you may have seen from the blurb, John’s other half is known as his wife, yet in the book she’s his girlfriend. These kinda things really shouldn’t have been over looked by the author.
The constant misuse of “feint” instead of “faint” became really annoying and made me wonder if the book had been proofread by anyone before the author published it. (He eventually did get it right). This can also be said for the misuse of “to”, “too” and “two” and also “their” and “there”.
I can’t say I really liked the protagonist. He was quite weak willed and was clearly governed by his penis. In the beginning he seemed so sickeningly in love with his girlfriend (I even wondered if he was under some spell) that he would never hurt her, yet further into the story it didn’t take much for him to give into sexual desire and fall into bed with her best friend!
Imagination was a little lacking at times. For example: Sarah’s husband, Rick, sits in the chair as joke, disbelieving their claims that it has magical powers. He then disappears but comes back several hours later engulfed in flames. Both Jess and Sarah faint and then, after trying to unsuccessfully douse out the flames, John faints too! And I thought, “Really? That’s all you could come up with?”. I know it’s a shocking thing to happen but I honestly thought the character would have the balls to stay conscious and at least phone the emergency services! Shortly after, there is a scene where after ringing the police, they are handcuffed and taken to the station to be questioned. The police are adamant they are all guilty of murder, yet they haven’t even investigated the scene to find out how exactly Rick caught on fire! The only reason the police eventually go back to the house is because they were at a “dead end” and so want to see if they can find evidence to actually put John, Jess and Sarah in jail. They also go in an unmarked car! I find it very hard to believe that investigating a crime scene would actually work this way. I mean, why go in an unmarked car? It just looks suspicious! And only going there as a last resort? That’s ridiculous. They should have had an investigation going on at the house anyway!
The author seems to forget what he calls his characters as at one point Detective Inspector Barnes gets referred to as “John” which is actually the main character’s name. Now, it could be possible that his name *is* John too, but giving characters the same names in stories is usually avoided so it’s highly unlikely that this is the case.
Over halfway through the book, Barnes tells John, Jess and Sarah that he’s no idea how he’ll tell his peers about what has happened regarding the chair and the mysterious deaths and that they’ll probably be re-arrested. He then says this again to them a little over a page later! It’s just not necessary and this wasn’t the first time that something was repeated in the book. Repetitiveness is a pet peev of mine I’m afraid.
Near to the end of the book, Jess and Sarah have decided to return the chair back to the mental institution. Sarah suggests they should just leave it near the entrance but Jess says, “John told me he took it from somewhere in the basement so maybe we need to leave it there as whatever we do, I don’t want to have to come back!” What? Plot-wise, this just doesn’t make sense! The institution was burned down and is now derelict so why would they even need to go back? To me, it looks as though the writer has got something planned to happen in the basement and needed a way to get to that point. – It didn’t quite happen that way which made Jess’ earlier statement even more pointless.
The writing comes across as very amateur. In fact, I was reminded of when I was in year 9 (age 14) and my English teacher had crossed sections of my story out due to it being unnecessary or irrelevant to the plot. That is what I wanted to do with this book!
I was so relieved when I got to the end. I stuck with it in the hopes things would improve but sadly they didn’t. There was also no explanation as to why the chair seemed to have magical powers and would transport a person back into someone else’s memories who had previously been in the chair.
As you can see, I seem to have a lot of negative feelings towards this book and not a lot of good things to say. The premise of it was a good idea. It wasn’t exactly spooky like I thought it’d be and to be honest it was quite a frustrating read, though you may have guessed that. It’s not really a book I would recommend unless you can overlook the things I can’t.
If you would like me to review something please feel free to get in touch. I’d be happy to help. You can find out more on the “Requesting a Review” page.
I’ve been reading a fair bit about this teatoxing lark lately and thought it a great healthy way to detox and cleanse your body so thought I’d give it a try. I’ve heard there are some Teatox regimes that require you not to eat but I decided to try the Bootea Teatox (£34.99 one time purchase for a 28 day detox but there is the option of doing the 14 day plan. It can also be subscription based which is a little bit cheaper and they send you the Teatox every 6 weeks) which requires you to eat like you normally do – a healthy calorie controlled diet, of course – alongside a daytime tea in the morning, every morning, and a bedtime tea every other night. I think one of the main reasons you have to do that with the bedtime tea is because it contains Senna which works like a mild laxative. Admittedly, this is one of the things that drew me to this particular Teatox. I’ve always had problems with my tummy and bowels so I was curious as to whether it would work for me (other things in the past haven’t). It has also been claimed that the Teatox may help a person lose weight – another thing that had me intrigued. In the past year I’d put on shy of a stone – they say love does that to ya lol – so I wanted to see if the same would happen to me.