Monday, 24 July 2017

Monday Highlights #16

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, 23 July 2017

Sunday Post 23rd July 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 Reading Reality 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 #15
  • Wednesday Catch-Up
  • Favourite Books of 2017 (So Far)
  • Friday Reads: Final Girls by Riley Sager
  • #24in48 TBR

Books We Got This Week:

The Pleasures of Passion (Sinful Suitors, #4)Wicked GrindKiss My Boots (Coming Home, #2)Wrecked
The Pleasures of Passion by Sabrina Jeffries: I'm a big fan of Jeffries' romances and this is her new one which was released this month. Many thanks to Headline for sending me a review copy!
Wicked Grind by J.K. Jenner: Another review book from Headline (actually all four of these are so I stop repeating myself). I don't know much about this book but it sounds fun and sexy.
Kiss My Boots by Harper Sloan: This looks romantic and perfect for either Summer or Autumn!
Wrecked by J.B. Salsbury: Again this just sounds incredible! I'm feeling a very romance-y mood coming on soon so these will be perfect.
The Freedom Broker (Thea Paris #1)Final GirlsThe Alice NetworkWe Have Always Lived in the Castle
The Freedom Broker by K.J. Howe: Thank you to Headline again for this one! If a romance mood is right around the corner - thrillers are firmly where my head is at right now and this sounds exciting and action packed and I'm excited!
Final Girls by Riley Sager: I love the cover of this one and the story was also a great one! I did kind of see the ending coming but in that best possible "YES I wanted this to happen" kind of way!
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn: Kate Quinn is one of my all time favourite historical fiction authors and she has written in a variety of eras and been amazing at all of them so I'm very excited for this!
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson: I've been recommended this a few times lately and it's a super short read so I am hoping I get to read it soon!
The PowerShiny Broken Pieces (Tiny Pretty Things, #2)First We Were IVCaloric (The Bound Ones, #1)
The Power by Naomi Alderman: I've been wanting to read this ever since it was released and somehow just never picked it up! But is sounds so thought provoking and epic!
Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton: The sequel to Tiny Pretty Things (which I have yet to read) hoping to read them back to back now!
First We Were IV by Alexandra Sirowy: Secret societies fascinate me and this also involves REVENGE. This book basically sounds like Clare-Kryptonite and I cannot wait!
Caloric by Tricia Barr: Received via Netgalley, this involves a girl with a dark secret and a dungeon and a secret society so I am already so ready for this. It will be released in October!

Reading Update:

The Himalayan SummerDoonFinal GirlsSee What I Have Done
The Himalayan Summer by Louise Brown: 4 stars, Even better than her first book! The characters weren't hugely likable but they were super compelling and the setting was very unique. 
Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon: 4.5 stars, This was just everything I was hoping it would be. I'm a big fan of musicals so my hopes were sky high (this is based on Brigadoon which if you haven't watched you should!) and I loved that it really set its own unique spin on things. The two main characters were incredible and I loved their friendship. I was less involved in the romance if I'm honest but I was on board by the end and I can't wait to continue the series!
Final Girls by Riley Sager: 4 stars, As I mentioned above this was a really good read! I'm not sure its the "best book of 2017" or the best thriller I've ever read but I was hooked from beginning to end and loved the main character even with all her many flaws!
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt: 3.5 stars, Anything Lizzie Borden will always hook me. I greatly enjoyed this and loved the different perspectives we got. My favourite Lizzie Borden fiction is The Lizzie Borden Chronicles TV show though. Although to be fair it is my favourite show of all time so the competition is pretty fierce.
The One Memory of Flora BanksGirlhoodAfter the FireLetters to the Lost
The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr: 4 stars, This book has received some fairly mixed reviews so I was a little nervous going in. But it made me very emotional. I did hate Drake. Like full on hate him. Which is fine because you can hate him and still be on board with the plot. I loved the relationship between Flora and her brother and wish there had been more of it. And I really feel like Emily Barr did an excellent job of portraying the struggle of someone who is simultaneously ten years old and seventeen and all the vulnerabilities and yearning for independence that come with that.
Girlhood by Cat Clarke: 4 stars, I really liked this one as well. This is a very girl-dominated book and I loved the friendships, ups and downs, and the support and hurt that friends can cause each other. As a thriller this wasn't hugely "thrilling" but as a character-driven story with some very tense moments it excelled.
After the Fire by Will Hill: 5 stars, Honestly so surprised by this book! I was intrigued when it was added to the Zoella Book Club picks because I hadn't seen it around much before but I think I may be a little fanatical about it now. I kind of just loved every page and already want to re-read it. It's a very unique book. 
Letters to the Lost by Bridget Kemmerer: 4 stars, My favourite thing about this book was that the romance never felt like the sole focus. It was there, and it was cute and angsty and all the things you want from a YA romance but there was a lot of focus on families and friendship and handling grief and guilt as well.
MoxieThe First Days (As the World Dies, #1)
Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu: 5 stars, Just OMG so amazing! This isn't properly released until September but if you live in the UK you can find a copy at WHSmith and I STRONGLY advise you to! Definitely one of my favourite books of the year (possibly of ever).
The First Days by Rhiannon Frater: 3 stars, Kind of amusing and I liked the goriness of the zombie fighting and the main friendship but found that outside of the main four (Katie, Jenni, Jason who is Jenni's step-son and of course Jack the dog) I wasn't hugely interested in anyone else. Which made them a bit expendable to me. So it's fun but not emotionally that affecting. 

Next Week on the Blog:

  • Monday Highlights #16
  • 24 in 48 Wrap Up
  • Wednesday Catch-Up
  • August Releases
  • Friday Reads
  • Fairy Loot Unboxing

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

Saturday, 22 July 2017

#24in48 TBR

Ann isn't setting a TBR for 24 in 48 because she kind of just wants to see where her mood takes her! 
The One Memory of Flora BanksGirlhoodAfter the FireLetters to the Lost
The Start of Me and YouMoxieOrbiting JupiterHistory is All You Left Me
I'm going to try to read all of the Zoella and Friends Book Club picks because I am super excited for all of them and they are all relatively short, quick reads so should be more fun for a readathon!! I am probably most excited for Moxie and Girlhood but they all look incredible!!

If you are also doing 24in48 you can follow us on twitter (@dualreads and @annstone24) or Ann will also be posting updates on our Instagram (@dualreads). We're very hopeful but just excited to see how much we can get done!!

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

Friday, 21 July 2017

Friday Reads 21st July 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!

Final Girls
Book Beginning:
"The forest had claws and teeth."

Friday 56:
"I sound more panicked than I intend to, my voice lightly dusted with anger."
I'm actually only about 30 pages in to Final Girls so far but I'm really enjoying it! I love horror movies so the final girl trope is really familiar and appealing to me and I'm excited to see where the story is going to go! I already have some theories (mostly based on a policy of trust nobody) but I'm generally rubbish at figuring out thrillers so I'm probably not going to guess until the reveal anyway!!

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

Thursday, 20 July 2017

My Favourite 2017 Releases So Far!!

I've been on a (tentative) book buying ban for most of the year. But the thing is - I'm really bad at book buying bans. I allowed myself pre-orders (cause they totally don't count) and my Fairy Loot subscription so whilst my book buying isn't as extreme as it was last year - it does mean I've read a lot more new releases. And 2017 has been a stellar year for books so far!! These are in no particular order.

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
This was everything I wanted it to be. Road trip adventure, cute romance, amazing friend dynamics. It was very close to perfect and I am not off the charts excited for the companion novel following Monty's sister! 

Sweet Lake by Christine Nolfi
Sweet Lake: A Novel (Sweet Lake, #1)
I was sent a copy of this for review and was just blown away by the characters and the setting. I think I got more involved with this story and the romance than I have done with any contemporary in a really long time - the whole thing was incredible and I am looking forward to the second book which I believe is releasing soon!

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King, #1)
Pirates are one of my reading weaknesses. They're kind of everyone's reading weakness right? So a kickass female pirate captain with an amazing and loyal crew on a secret mission with magical powers thrown in? I was so on board. I wasn't massively looking forward to the romance (wanting to focus on the pirate-badassery but the romance totally surprised me and I ended up loving it as well.

Frostblood by Elly Blake
Frostblood (Frostblood Saga, #1)
This was packed full of tropes YES but have you considered how much fun tropes can be? I've gotten so used to being bored by the familiar in YA but this was so comforting and exciting and I loved the characters so much. I didn't love this despite the tropes I loved it with them and bonus; this book got me out of one of my worst reading slumps of the year. 

Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas
Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3)
Lisa Kleypas is pretty much always going to make my favourite lists. She is an auto-buy author for me and I love her historical romances. This was the third book in the Ravenel's series but also featured Evie's son (from the third Wallflower book - Devil in Winter) and I loved tying the two series together and seeing old favourite characters whilst meeting new favourites!

Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon
Done Dirt Cheap
Two perfect, yet wildly different, romances and one incredible girl power friendship. Both main characters were strong and relatable and very unique. This wasn't at all what I had expected going in but I absolutely loved it and raced to the ending. 

The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova
The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga, #1)
My first Elise Kova book and I absolutely adored it. Ari keeps popping up in my posts this year because I fell head over heels for her. The world was so unique and interesting and there was no info-dumping which I really appreciated. It took me a few chapters to immerse myself in the world but once I had there was no going back!

Dreamfall by Amy Plum
Dreamfall (Dreamfall #1)
A real surprise because I went in expecting something quick and fun and exciting and came out thrilled and desperate for the second book. This book features characters with insomnia relating to different causes which I related to (I have insomnia related to anxiety and depression) and I thought the mental illness was handled really well. The nightmares were also genuinely frightening which made this a book I could not put down!!

Proof of Lies by Diana Rodriguez Wallach
Proof of Lies
One of the best sister-relationships I've ever read which was exciting! The romance was believable but didn't overpower the story and the plot was thrilling and compelling but I was totally on board even with the bits that seemed unlikely. Plus the settings were gorgeous and felt so real to me. Venice was my favourite (it will always be my favourite) but all of them were so well described.

A List of Cages by Robin Roe
A List of Cages
This book broke my heart so many ways and I feel like a different person having read it. I genuinely recommend this book to everyone (with caveats for triggers - please be careful if abuse is a trigger for you) but I'm having a lot of trouble describing how I feel about this book so why not go and read Vera's incredible review of this over at Regal Critiques - since she is the one who convinced me to read this!!

Ararat by Christopher Golden
Horror is a relatively new genre for me. I've loved horror movies for a long, long time (my Dad got me into them) but I haven't really read horror before this year. And I am loving it. It's definitely a new favourite genre and I've learned that I enjoy suspense far more than gore - so if you also love suspense then definitely read this. The characters were unlikable yet lovable and I was rooting for everyone to get off the mountain even knowing that was incredibly unlikely!! Thank you to the publisher for sending me this for review!

Crimson and Bone by Marina Fiorato
Crimson and Bone
I received a finished copy from the publisher for review. Marina Fiorato has been one of my favourite historical fiction writers for a long, long time. Possibly my absolute favourite. And this is her best book so far. It was creepy and compelling and so emotionally manipulative. I wanted the main character to be happy so badly and I could not stop reading at any point because I just had to know what would happen next. 

Let me know what your favourite reads of 2017 have been so I can torture myself (and my TBR) with them! AND what books are you most excited for in the last half of 2017??? I have so many! 

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

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Wednesday Catch-Up 19th July 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:

DoonBecause You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy
I am a little way through Doon currently and am loving it! I'm a big musicals fan so I was automatically intrigued by this book based on Brigadoon (and also now super want to re-watch the movie) but it's also an original spin and doesn't feel like a copy at all! I'm looking forward to continuing it! I am also reading Because You Love to Hate Me which is an anthology of stories about villains. I have only read one story so far which I liked but didn't love but I am planning to read one story a day and hoping for great things!

Recently Finished:

Broken Sky (The Broken Trilogy, #1)DisplacedThe Himalayan Summer
If you like dystopias then you would probably enjoy Broken Sky by L.A. Weatherly. I've discovered that I'm a little over dystopia as a genre in general but I can see others enjoying this a lot more than I did. Displaced was informative and interesting, the writing was a little jolty at times if only because it's a translation and seems a little off in places but the main character and the plot were both excellent! And then The Himalayan Summer was beautiful and romantic and very tragic. It was filled with unlikable characters and was so compelling!

Planning to Read Next:

Final GirlsSee What I Have DoneMoxie
Next up I am really, really excited to read Final Girls by Riley Sager. This was recommended to me by Vera @ Regal Critiques and it just looks so good! I love horror movies and I am just starting to get into horror books! The "best book of 2017" claim on the front cover seems ambitious but I am sure I will enjoy it! Then Vera and I will be buddy reading See What I Have Done and Moxie to kick off the 24in48 readathon this weekend. Ann is also taking part in this (and did really well last time) and we are all determined to do so, so much reading. See What I Have Done is about Lizzie Borden and since I am (as of recently) kind of obsessed with Lizzie Borden I am really intrigued by it and Moxie looks like an incredible feminist read - I'm especially excited about this because I got a special early-release copy from WHSmith when I was expecting to have to wait until September to read it!!

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