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2019 books

February 2019 TBR

Posted in Books
on 13/02/2019
There should be more anti-hero characters in books. The Ruin of Kings is going to be so much fun.

After a pretty good reading month, I can feel myself slipping into a bit of a slump so my February TBR is a little lighter on books – I’m currently flip-flopping on books literally every day so my wrap up might not match this! That being said, there are SO MANY good books coming out this month that I cannot wait for, fingers crossed my slump comes to an end.

So, let’s jump into this.

A quick heads up for you, there are affiliate links within this post that, should you purchase anything through them, I will earn a commission. This is at no extra charge to you. 

A Darker Shade of Magic, V. E. Schwab

Kell's coat takes centre stage on the cover of A Darker Shade of MagicKell wore a very peculiar coat.

Yep yep yep. I am caught from the very first line in the book and it is time for my love of V. E. Schwab to get even deeper. Travelling through different versions of London (the red one, white one, grey one and black one), Kell is a magician who delivers messages between the different London’s – until he delivers a package he knew he shouldn’t.

I think I might end up reading more of Schwab this month if this book catches me as I think it might!

Dark Pines, Will Dean

I LOVE a good Scandi murder/mystery, and Dark Pines is bloody creepy.SEE NO EVIL. HEAR NO EVIL. SPEAK NO EVIL

I’m doing a re-read – something I never do – because I love Tuva and I love Will Dean’s writing and Dark Pines has the best plot.

Tuva is a deaf reporter who ends up covering a series of murders within Gavrik, a small Swedish town. The victims eyes have been gauged out and it looks like a killer from the past is killing again.

 

 

Red Snow, Will Dean

The next in the series after Dark Pines, Red Snow promises to be just as good.

TWO BODIES. TWO COINS. TWO WEEKS.

Next up for Tuva is a suicide and a murder – are they connected? Liquorice coins cover their eyes and #Ferryman starts trending as locals start to get sliiightly freaked out.

If Red Snow is even half as good as Dark Pines, I am in for an amazing time. The way Dean writes is just amazing, the setting just the perfect balance of beautiful and downright creepy.

I have three different copies of this book – I think I’m obsessed.

 

The Last, Hanna Jameson

A hotel in flames for a post-nuclear setting in Hanna Jameson's The Last

BREAKING: Nuclear weapon detonates over Washington

Historian Jon Keller is in Switzerland when the bombs go off. So remote is the hotel, Jon and the rest of the hotel’s residents survive and have to come to terms with potentially being the last people alive.

Then they find the dead little girl and realise that there may be a murderer within the survivors.

I’ve read a few chapters of this book already and it is brilliant! The writing is fantastic, the detail is exquisite and you really get a feeling of isolationism (not sure if that’s a word).

 

The Ruin of Kings, Jenn Lyons

There should be more anti-hero characters in books. The Ruin of Kings is going to be so much fun.

Then again, maybe Kihrin isn’t the hero, for he’s not destined to save the empire. He’s destined to destroy it.

I’m in love with this book. It’s funny, it’s clever, it’s creative and rich with detail plus it showcases my favourite trope: the antihero.

I’m less than 100 pages in, but this book is shaping up to be a book of the month contender. I absolutely love the two characters you are first introduced to and the style of the prose is absolutely fabulous.

 

The Priory of the Orange Tree, Samantha Shannon

It's almost here. The Priory of the Orange Tree is the one book I cannot wait to get my hands on.

A world divided. A queendom without an heir. An ancient enemy awakens.

I feel like e v e r y o n e is talking about this book. But, then again, there’re dragons involved so why wouldn’t they?!

I was lucky enough to receive an excerpt of Priory via NetGalley and it is incredible. Similar to The Ruin of Kings, it has such a rich, creative world and is beautifully constructed.

The Priory of the Orange Tree comes out at the end of the month and I cannot wait!

 

 

And there you have it – my short and sweet February TBR! I’ve already been jumping from book to book so don’t expect my wrap up to look anything like this. Keep your fingers crossed my reading slump ends soon!

 

Let me know that you’re reading in the comments!

January 2019 Wrap Up

Posted in Books
on 03/02/2019
The cover of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo features the actress herself in THAT famous emerald dress.

January was a good month for reading! I got through most January TBR of my and a couple of others too, plus I picked up some sick reads for next month. Tearjerkers take pride of place this month’s wrap up (maybe it’s something about January?) because my gosh did I cry through some of these books. I also found it so hard to pick up a book – I think going back to work after my three weeks off over Christmas ruined me. Anyway, I still did relatively okay this months – eight books means I’m on track for my goal of 100 and I’m going to take some of my own advice to get me through the last of the dark days of winter!

Anyway, enough rambling – let’s jump in to my January Wrap Up!

A quick heads up for you, there are affiliate links within this post that, should you purchase anything through them, I will earn commission. This is at no extra charge to you. I also received some of these books for free via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Book of the Month

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid

The cover of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo features the actress herself in THAT famous emerald dress.

Yes, I’m jumping on the bandwagon, here, but this book is just so good. It it not the type of book I usually read, but I could not put it down and I ended up reading it in one sitting! It made me laugh, cry, and angry – sometimes all at once

Evelyn Hugo is a famous actress who, after a colourful life, has lived in relative silence for many years. Until she wants her story to be told and, to the disappointment of many, she chooses Monique Grant, a relatively unheard freelancer, as the person to write her story. The book follows the journey of her rise to fame, the behind the scenes sadness, and her relationships.

I don’t want to write too much as I’ve got a fuller review coming soon, but this is such a beautiful book – I cannot recommend it enough.

Read

Yes, this girl finally read a book by Victoria Schwab and I’m completely in love. City of Ghosts was my first read of 2019 and I’m v. excited for Tunnel of Bones in September! I’ve got A Darker Shade of Magic and Vicious lined up in my February TBR. The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton, by Anstey Harris, was an “ooooo, that front cover is v. cute” purchase and, you know what, it turned out to be a bloody good read too!

Michelle Kenney’s Book of Fire and City of Dust were my rollercoaster reads. I think I enjoyed Book of Fire slightly more than the second installment. Everything was new and there was an enemy to sort of lovers trope that will get me every time, whereas that wasn’t so prevalent in the second (for various reasons that would spoil the books if I told you what they were).

One Of Us is Lying kept me guessing up until it was so obvious I felt a little stupid for not spotting the ending. A brilliant read and I finished just before Karen McManus’s next book, Two Can Keep a Secret, came out – keep an eye out for that in my TBR!

The saddest moment of the month had to be not enjoying A Dance of Air and Water. Look, it’s a decent book, but I’ve read it before in a million different ways. And, whilst it is refreshing to see LGBT+ characters within a book, I just think that the author was clumsy with it and missed the mark.

Currently Reading

I was so pumped for Red Snow to come out last month so I decided to do a re-read of the first book in the series, Dark Pines, ahead of the publication of the next installment. Then I got distracted, and work got hectic, and I still haven’t finished it. Fingers crossed I’ll get this and Red Snow done in February as there are some big books on their way that I am dying to get my hands on!

When I first bought The Binding, I’m not going to lie, I bought it for the cover. It is beautiful. And the story was blossoming into something beautiful too. Until it wasn’t. And now I’m fighting to not DNF the book and that is making me so sad.

DNF’d

A beautifully written book, it just wasn't my cup of tea.I warned you in last month’s TBR – this book was massively out of my comfort zone. Unfortunately, that has proven to be it’s downfall.

The Far Field, by Madhuri Vijay, is a beautifully written book. Very descriptive and a story that should grip anyone. It just wasn’t the type of book I needed this month. A very sad DNF for me!

 

So, there you have my January Wrap Up! Full reviews of each book will be coming soon, I just need to pull my finger out and get writing! What were your reads of January? Did we read any of the same books?

*Updated to include disclosure at the top of the article. Sorry for any confusion.

January 2019 TBR

Posted in Books
on 06/01/2019

I’ve got to be tactical with my TBR’s this year as, for some crazy idea, I’ve set my GoodReads Challenge for 100 books! I’m feeling the regret but considering the amazing books coming out this year I’m slightly hopeful I can at least get close! So, my January TBR looks a little something like this.

A quick heads up for you, there are affiliate links within this post that, should you purchase anything through them, I will earn commission. This is at no extra charge to you. I also received some of these books for free via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

A geek, a jock, a criminal, a princess, a murder. Who would you believe?

Five students go to detention. Only four leave alive.

Damn. Those two sentences make this sound epic, right? I’m about a quarter of the way through so far and this is pretty good!

One of the kids in detention runs an anonymous website (xoxo Gossip Girl-style). He dies – not a spoiler, it’s on the back copy! – and each of the main characters are put in the frame after being mentioned in the next update that was being released the following day.

It’s shaping up to be a pretty good whodunnit novel. I currently have NO IDEA who it could be and it’s really annoying me (in a good way!). The characters are fun and whilst it could’ve been tempting for the author to really write this for a younger audience, I’m finding that their issues are really reflective of issues that I recognise having gone through as a teenager – really impressive!

 

A Dance of Water and Air by Antonia Aquilante

A regal cover for a regal tale. Dark greens and blues let you know that this isn't going to be the happiest of books!Edmund is heir to the throne of Thalassa and a wielder of Water magic. Devoted to his kingdom and his duty to it, Edmund can do nothing but acquiesce to an arranged marriage with the queen of a neighboring kingdom. The marriage and the child it is required to produce will seal an alliance between Thalassa and Aither that is vital to Thalassa’s safety, and far more important than Edmund’s personal misgivings.

This is also shaping up to be a pretty solid fantasy. I’m 9% through this one and, so far, I love it. If you’re a fan of Sarah J. Maas, I think you will too!

Alongside Edmund being palmed off for marriage, someone then attempts to assassinate the woman that he is destined to marry, putting Edmund in a bit of a sticky situation.

I received a copy of this through NetGalley and am finally catching up with my out of date reviews (sorry, Antonia and NineStar Press!). Expect a full review when I’m done!

Book of Fire by Michelle Kenney

The Book of Fire holds all the secrets - at what cost?

Life outside the domes is not possible. At least that’s what Insiders are told.

I stumbled across this book by pure accident. I requested City of Dust on Net Galley (see below!) without realising that it was the second part of a trilogy! I’m a quarter of the way through this and it is SO GOOD! 

The domes are built to house survivors after a nuclear war. But not everyone thinks the domes are a good thing. Those who leave the domes have set up their lives in a sort of tree city in a valley that’s only accessible through what is essentially a water slide (except it’s claustrophobic and my worst nightmare). After some of the outsiders are taken back to the dome after a forest raid, the main character, Talia, is on a mission to rescue them.

The book is full of colourful, descriptive writing that just pulls you in to this whole other world. Bonus points that it’s set in Exeter – my parents aren’t too far from there and it’s one of my favourite cities in the UK!

I’m excited to see what the resolution to this book is and where the next book picks up. Speaking of the next book…

City of Dust by Michelle Kenney

The pages are still on fire after Book of Fire so I imagine it doesn't open in a happy place.

The fight is never over. Life in Arafel is no longer safe.

It doesn’t sound like the Book of Fire ends too well, does it?

I don’t want to say too much about this one as I think it would majorly spoil the first book for those of you who have quickly added it to your TBR’s!

What I will say is that City of Dust looks to be following a betrayal, a theft and a potentially deadly conclusion should the wrong hands get hold of the knowledge that has kept Arafel safe.

I’m excited, and I haven’t even finished the first book!

 

The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay

Orange and red flowers adorn the cover of The Far Field.

In the wake of her mother’s death, Shalini, a privileged and restless young woman from Bangalore, sets out for a remote Himalayan village in the troubled northern region of Kashmir. Certain that the loss of her mother is somehow connected to the decade-old disappearance of Bashir Ahmed, a charming Kashmiri salesman who frequented her childhood home, she is determined to confront him.

This is a little different from the books I usually read. The book follows Shalini as she tries to find closure over the death of her mother. 

Exploring Indian politics, class prejudice and sexuality against a back drop of grief and guilt, this book should be an interesting read.

I’m a bit nervous that it’s a little outside of my comfort zone – although it would be great to find another genre to fall in love with! 

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

There's a ghost human, a ghost cat and Edinburgh on the front cover - things are going well for this book already.

When Cass’s family heads off to Edinburgh, Cass meets a girl who shares her “gift” of entering the world of the spirits. Cass still has a lot to learn about the Veil – and herself. And fast…

Confession time: I haven’t read anything by this absolute Queen, so you bet I asked for mostly all of her books for Christmas. My boyfriend (and favourite person in the world, if you’re reading this) delivered and excuse while I go and devour it.

Yes, I know this is meant for middle grade children, but a ghost book set in Edinburgh? Come on, now! You know that that is a recipe for perfection (and, in theory, shouldn’t be as terrifying as I find all other ghost stories).

 

 

Into the Hollow by Lynn Vroman

The forest Free hides in is presumably the forest you can see on the cover of this book.The hollow was the perfect place to hide. Or so Free’s dad said when they fled California, her five-year-old brother illegally in tow, to hide out in the West Virginia mountains and make some fast cash.

Free’s family seem like they can’t catch a break. Decisions are made in the moment causing her family to fall apart. There’s something about family stories that instantly grabs me and I’m hoping that this book takes me on a journey.

Plus, if the writing is as beautiful as the premise, I think we’ll be on to a winner.

Reviews say that this is an emotional one, so I’ll have the tissues ready.

 

 

Red Snow by Will Dean

Thankfully no blood or red snow on this cover.

TWO BODIES. One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik? TWO COINS. Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man’s eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition. TWO WEEKS

I’ve already banged on about this book in a previous post so I won’t go on for too long!

I’m hoping to round out the month with a good, gritty murder mystery! Intiguingly, the main character is deaf so it’ll be really interesting to see how that’s written.

This book isn’t out until next week, but if you want to read the first instalment of the series, you can check out Dark Pines before Red Snow is released!

 

 

There you have it! My January TBR. I’m being quite ambitious but, at the time of writing, I’ve already finish One Of Us is Lying – hopefully I’ll be able to squeeze in a few more books before I go back to work on the 7th!

What are you reading this month? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe if you want to hear my thoughts on these books!