Thursday, 27 October 2016

November Releases to Get Excited About!

October was a huge month for new releases and in comparison November feels a little bare (which is a huge relief to my bank balance) but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of books to get excited for, so maybe my bank balance shouldn't relax just yet. 

1st November:
Den of Wolves (Blackthorn & Grim, #3)The Diabolic
Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier: This is the third book in the Blackthorn & Grim series. I haven't actually read the first two yet so I don't know much about this series but I've loved other books by Juliet Marillier and her writing is always beautiful so this is definitely a series I want to read.
The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid: This is one I wasn't all that excited about at first. But the more I hear about it the more I want to read it. This is about Nemesis who is, I think an android or something very like that, and has been created to protect Sidonia. And in order to protect her she must impersonate her... which means pretending to be human.

3rd November:
An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters and Denizens of DownworldYesternightThe Liberation
An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of Downworld by Cassandra Clare and Cassandra Jean: One heck of a title. I think at this point I am basically just going to buy anything related to the Shadowhunter series' and anything illustrated automatically appeals to me.
Yesternight by Cat Winters: Cat Winters never fails to impress me and I am beyond excited for this. I want to go into this one blind.
The Liberation by Kate Furnivall: Kate Furnivall is one of my favourite historical fiction writers. Plus this is set in Italy which I love and sounds like it will be an emotional and powerful story.

8th November:
Someone to Love (Westcott)HeartlessThe Chemist
Someone to Love by Mary Balogh: This is the first book in a new series from Mary Balogh. It follows Anna, an orphan, who suddenly inherits a fortune. I am sure this will be a lovely, romantic read.
Heartless by Marissa Meyer: One of my, and probably a lot of other people's, most anticipated releases of the year! The Lunar Chronicles were incredible and I am even more excited about this prequel to Alice in Wonderland which is about the Queen of Hearts, before she was the Queen of Hearts.
The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer: I have this weird love/hate relationship with Stephenie Meyer's books. This is a thriller novel about an ex-agent on the run from her former employers with nobody to trust. I am interested to see how Stephenie Meyer transitions from Young Adult to Adult Thriller novels. 
Timekeeper (Timekeeper, #1)Dead Girls SocietyAll in Pieces
TimeKeeper by Tara Sim: Books about time (particularly time travel) never fail to baffle me. No matter how many I read I never begin to understand it. This, as far as I can gather, is about a world in which clocks directly influence time, so when a clock becomes faulty it's a very big problem. This is also an LGBT book which is exciting.
Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys: There is a lot of hype surrounding this one. The blurb sounds to me a little bit like Nerve - with the main character completing a series of dares to win money. Only once you've started there is no backing out. 
All in Pieces by Suzanne Young: I loved The Program duology from Suzanne Young and this sounds like it will be just as good. It involves a girl with "anger management problems" fighting to keep control of her life and to keep her little brother safe. 

15th November:
Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy: 10 short stories set in the Shadowhunter world. I've heard that some of these are important to the overall plot of the series and some others are presumably just fun extras. I love this series so am excited for this.

18th November:
The Case of Beasts: Explore the Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
The Case of Beasts by Mark Salisbury: Anyone else extremely excited for the Fantastic Beasts movie? This is an officially licensed behind the scenes look at the film and features some removal fascimile reproductions of props. 

22nd November:
Of Fire and StarsScythe
Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst: This is just... It has the potential to be amazing. It's about Denna who has a secret magic and is betrothed to a Prince. But then she starts to have feelings for his sister.
Scythe by Neal Shusterman: I have never read any Neal Shusterman before despite hearing great things. But a story about a world in which death doesn't exist - and people can only die when killed by a Scythe sounds intriguing to me.

Let me know if there are any releases in November that you're excited about and if you've already had a chance to read any of these let me know what you thought of them! 

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

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Wednesday Catch-Up 26th October 2016

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? 


Currently Reading:
The Lovely and the Lost
I am currently reading The Lovely and the Lost. I was planning on reading this sooner but I got distracted reading Six of Crows which I really enjoyed! However so far I am really enjoying this book too!

Recently Finished:
Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)
I have recently finished Crooked Kingdom which, although it took me a while to finish it, I loved a lot. The characters were just as amazing as the first book and Kaz is still definitely my favourite character from the books!

Planning to Read Next:
The Wondrous and the WickedFatal Voyage (Temperance Brennan, #4)Break No Bones (Temperance Brennan, #9)
Next I am planning on reading The Wonderous and the Wicked as I really want to finish reading the whole series because I really enjoyed the first book so I am hoping I will enjoy the other two! I also plan on reading Fatal Voyage and Break No Bones which I look forward to reading because they are different to the kind of books I read normally and I love the TV series.


Currently Reading:
With Malice
I think With Malice by Eileen Cook is due back at the library soon so I decided to pick it up whilst I have the time. I've heard very mixed things about this one so I am slightly unsure what to expect. I haven't actually started it yet but it has my bookmark in it so that totally counts as currently reading, right? 

Recently Finished:
Murder at the Brightwell (Amory Ames Mystery, #1)Death Wears a Mask (Amory Ames Mystery, #2)Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)White Lies (Arcane Society, #2)
I read both Murder at the Brightwell and Death Wears a Mask in only one sitting which is testament to how page-turning and absorbing these books were. I don't have a copy of the third book yet but I am desperate to get my hands on it so I can continue with these characters! I then read Gemina which was as amazing as I expected it to be. I loved the addition of the illustrations and the plot was non-stop exciting and so many plot twists!  To avoid a reading slump I then picked up White Lies by Jayne Ann Krentz which I hoped would be a fun read and it definitely was. I found I enjoyed the mystery elements more than the romance which I felt developed way too fast. But overall it was a good read.

Planning to Read Next:
The Female of the SpeciesA Study in Scarlet Women (Lady Sherlock, #1)Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1)
Next up I really want to read The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis which I already can tell I will love. It's received a lot of hype but I love everything I've heard about it and all the quotes I've read so I am super excited for this. Also this seems like kind of a good read for Halloween? Then I want to read A Study in Scarlet Women which I also have high hopes for. I love Sherry Thomas's writing and the whole concept of genderbent Sherlock Holmes is just amazing to me. And finally for Halloween itself I want to be reading Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco which, again, I've heard only great things about! I am fascinated by Jack the Ripper (which is slightly morbid of me) and I love the idea of this one, I think it will be perfect to read on Halloween!

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

Top 5 Spooky Settings

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly feature and you can find their goodreads group here. I struggled with this at first but as soon as I started I managed to come up with the rest pretty quickly, enjoy!

1) City of Bones from the Shadow hunters series
I think that this setting was just so creepy in the book, film and TV show. They all just made it seem insanely weird, it's a whole city where the silent brothers draw power from dead shadow hunters, personally I think that is kind of creepy.

2) Haunted Houses in the Lockwood and Co series
I love this series so much and am very excited to read the next book soon. However all the settings are very spooky which I was expecting considering that they are books about ghosts and haunted houses!

3) Whooping Willows from Harry Potter
I think that although the Whopping Willows is very spooky I think that the shrieking shack that it is connected to is a lot more spooky. However both of them are very creepy.

4) All of the settings from The Women In Black
I will admit that I have never read this book but I have watched the film about 4 times and the whole thing was spooky not only the settings! I don't watch a lot of scary movies but this one is the only one I have watched and it was spooky!

5) Graveyard from Harry Potter
I think that all graveyards in books are spooky but the one from Harry Potter is one of the spookiest one I know of anyway!

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

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Top Ten Creepy Reads on my TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke & The Bookish. You can find the link up for this week's topic here and a list of past and future topics here. Last year I really embraced seasonal reading and my October TBR was full of creepy reads. This year I have gone completely off topic - which means there are so many Halloween-appropriate reads that I haven't managed to read yet!

1) The Disciple by Stephen Lloyd Jones
The Disciple
I took part in a Blog Tour for this recently and I am so intrigued by this book. It looks like it would be a really scary book, which I am not always great with, but the author made it sound so brilliant and it made me really excited to read it.

2) Autumn Thorns by Yasmine Galenorn
Autumn Thorns (Whisper Hollow #1)
The blurb for this says that "spirits walk among the living and the lake never gives up her dead" which sounds wonderfully creepy. I was sent the second book in this series for review and so now I really need to read this book!

3) Nightfall by Jake Halpern
I very nearly bought a copy of this just the other day and then hesitated when I realised it might be too scary for me. But I am still very intrigued so who knows? If you've read this please let me know what you thought of it and how scary it really is?

4) The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
The Haunting of Hill House
This is a book that I see constantly on lists of books for Halloween or creepy ghost stories and every time I see it I want to read it more and more. This is supposedly a book that "helped define" the supernatural thriller genre so it's a definite must read.

5) The Fall by Bethany Griffin
The Fall
The cover alone on this one is pretty creepy. Add to that the main character wakes up in a coffin and that its based on Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher and you have some guaranteed creepiness.

6) In the Shadows by Kiersten White and Jim DiBartolo
In the Shadows
The format of this story really intrigues me as half the story is told like a regular novel and the other half is illustrations. I have really enjoyed other books by Kiersten White so I really want to read this.

7) The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1)
I read The 5th Wave and thought it was OK, but from what I hear this series is way better. For some reason though it's really hard to get a hold of copies of this series. Which is frustrating.

8) Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd
Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman's Daughter, #2)
I read The Madman's Daughter a couple of Halloween's ago and really enjoyed it but for some reason never continued the series. It's definitely still on my TBR though along with the third book in the series A Cold Legacy.

9) The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1)
This book seems to come up whenever zombies are mentioned and yet somehow I have never read it! And I still can't quite understand how I haven't. I've heard the sequels aren't as good but almost everyone seems to agree that this first book is great.

10) Jackaby by William Ritter
Jackaby (Jackaby, #1)
This is another one where the sequels don't seem to be as well loved as the first book. But I have heard such amazing things about this one and I definitely want to read it soon.

Bonus: Yesternight by Cat Winters
This isn't published in the UK until the 3rd November which is so sad because it would have made a perfect Halloween read! I love Cat Winters' books and I am desperate to read this.

Bonus Bonus: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Keri Maniscalco
Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1)
This is released on the 27th in the UK and I will probably be reading it on Halloween. I don't really do Halloween parties (I did once but I am not a great party person) so my Halloween will be mostly reading, eating chocolate and watching some not-so-scary Halloween movies (currently planning on doing a Tremors marathon). So this will be my Halloween night read. 

Let me know if you have any plans for Halloween? Are you dressing up at all? And do you have any creepy recommendations for me?

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

Monday, 24 October 2016

Clare Reviews: The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola

The UnseeingTitle: The Unseeing
Author: Anna Mazzola
Source: Received from publisher for honest review
Publisher: Tinder Press
Pages: 368 pages
Rating: 4/5
Blurb: Set in London in 1837, Anna Mazzola's THE UNSEEING is the story of Sarah Gale, a seamstress and mother, sentenced to hang for her role in the murder of Hannah Brown on the eve of her wedding.
After Sarah petitions for mercy, Edmund Fleetwood is appointed to investigate and consider whether justice has been done. Idealistic, but struggling with his own demons, Edmund is determined to seek out the truth. Yet Sarah refuses to help him, neither lying nor adding anything to the evidence gathered in court. Edmund knows she's hiding something, but needs to discover just why she's maintaining her silence. For how can it be that someone would willingly go to their own death?

I got almost exactly what I wanted from The Unseeing. I am forever looking for books with main characters whose motivations and indeed actions aren't always clear to me. I wanted to be kept guessing and I wanted characters I could love who are a little morally dubious. 

The Unseeing is based on a true murder. To this day most people cannot agree on whether Sarah Gale was guilty or innocent and this book plays on that. Anna Mazzola created Edmund Fleetwood, a barrister called upon to investigate Sarah's petition to look into her conviction and, hopefully, prevent her upcoming hanging. Sarah has been accused of assisting in the murder of her rival in love. She, of course, denies everything. This, in a way, seemed a bit like an historical version of Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas.

Sarah was an amazing character. From the moment she appeared I rooted for her, even in those moments where I seriously doubted her innocence. She is obviously hiding something for much of the book and it's unclear what her motivations are and just how much of her behaviour and story is a lie. This didn't make me care for her any less but it definitely added an extra element to the mystery of the novel. The other characters were also compelling although I did not love them quite as much. Edmund is a noble person but I found myself getting frustrated with much of his behaviour. I did, however, admire him for sticking to his convictions throughout the novel. 

I loved that I never knew what was going to happen next, or at times what happened before. Every chapter was a discovery which made it very hard to put this book down for inconveniences like food. And even when I had, reluctantly, paused in reading - it was never far from my mind. I was constantly analysing and thinking about what I had heard and what I believed and just how guilty was she!? So by the end of the book I was both excited to see things resolved and reluctant to relinquish such an interesting mystery. 

Historical details are a real strength of The Unseeing. The world of the prisons and the look at the justice system of the 1800's was very interesting to me. And outside of the details there was also a brilliant atmosphere both in the prison, where fear and despair ruled, and outside where Edmund was trying to balance his life and career with the revelations of studying Sarah's case. It was also interesting to see how the two entwined. Watching the puzzle pieces connect - even when you thought all was revealed there was still more to come and poor Edmund got thrown into it.

This was a brilliantly written and expertly plotted novel and I know that I will continue to think of these characters and to wonder how things went for them afterwards. It also intrigues me that this is just an imagining of the truth, whilst the bare facts of Sarah Gale's life are available it is impossible to know what the real truth was - although this certainly felt very real to me whilst reading. If you like mysteries or historical novels - or even just really morally dubious characters like I do then I definitely recommend this book.

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

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Sunday Post 23rd October 2016

The Sunday Post STSmall_thumb[2]
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.

I had a pretty traumatic weekend this week as my phone was stolen! You never realise just how much you depend on it until its gone... But everyone was wonderful, the police were super helpful and the store owner was an absolute hero and my phone company were great. I haven't got my phone back but the man who stole it was arrested so there's that. My replacement phone is on its way and I am sure I will be sleeping fine soon. 

Last Week on the Blog:

Books We Got This Week:

With MaliceMiracle On 5th Avenue (From Manhattan with Love #3)Shadow Silence (Whisper Hollow, #2)
With Malice by Eileen Cook: After hearing so much about this book (both good and bad) I had to give it a try. This is another library book - feel like I've been getting those a lot lately, so I am definitely going to have to read it soon.
Miracle on 5th Avenue: Was approved for this on Netgalley and am very excited for it as I loved the first two books in the series.
Shadow Silence by Yasmine Galenorn: Received from the publisher for review. This is the second book in the Whisper Hollow series. I have already ordered a copy of the first book which should arrive next week so I can get reading this series!
Deadly Silence (Blood Brothers #1)Christmas in Eternity Springs: Eternity Springs 12To Love and to Cherish (The Wedding Belles, #3)
Deadly Silence by Rebecca Zanetti: Received from the publisher for review. The buzz for this book has been amazing and I am excited to read it soon. It looks perfect for October.
Christmas in Eternity Springs by Emily March: Received from the publisher for review. This is the 12th book in the Eternity Springs series but you can read them separately which is good as I have only read one other book in this series. The cover is so festive and makes me excited for Christmas.
To Love and to Cherish by Lauren Layne: Received from the publisher for review. The third book in the Wedding Belles series. I really like this cover and I think this should be a good read.
Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)If I Was Your Girl
The Courage of a Samurai by Lori Tsugawa Whaley: I was contacted to see if I would be interested in reading and reviewing this and I definitely was. It's a little different from my usual reads but it really intrigues me and I look forward to reading it.
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: I have been so excited for this all year - after Crooked Kingdom this was my most anticipated book of 2016!
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo: This is the first book in the Zoella book club and I am very excited to read it. It looks like a very important and good read.

Reading Update:

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)
Crooked Kingdom: 5 stars, I loved this book as much as if not more that I loved Six of Crows. I still really love the characters and my favourite is definitely Kaz. Unfortunately this book took me a while to finish so it was all I managed to read.

Her Royal SpynessA Royal Pain (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #2)Royal Flush (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #3)
Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen: 3 stars, I really liked the concept of a royal main character and all of the characters had great personalities. But I did feel like the mystery element was a little weak - I was fairly certain of the resolution from very early on which meant there wasn't a lot of suspense. Definitely a fun read though.
A Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen: 3 stars, Actually enjoyed this slightly less than the first one. Still really like the main character but I was less engaged with the story.
A Royal Flush by Rhys Bowen: 3.5 stars, My favourite of the series so far. The ending was fairly obvious but less so than in the previous books and it was more fun getting there. After reading this one I know I definitely want to continue the series!
Murder at the Brightwell (Amory Ames Mystery, #1)Death Wears a Mask (Amory Ames Mystery, #2)Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)
Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver: 4.5 stars, This was such a great mystery with truly compelling characters. I really cared about who could have done the murder and it kept me guessing until almost the end when everything started to come together!
Death Wears a Mask by Ashley Weaver: 4 stars, Picked this up straight after the first book and really enjoyed it. I would say, the mystery in this was a little easier to solve but watching the characters solve it was just as entertaining. Can't wait for the third book although I hope Milo and Amery's relationship stays slightly more settled.
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: 4.5 stars, The science aspects towards the end almost lost me for a minute because science is really not my strength. But luckily it was pretty well explained so I just about understood what was going on. I didn't love Hanna and Nik as quickly as I loved Kady and Ezra in Illuminae but they grew on me and I ended up adoring them (especially Hanna)! Looking forward to the next book.

Next Week on the Blog:

  • Clare Reviews: The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola
  • Top Ten Halloween Freebie
  • Wednesday Catch-Up
  • Top 5 Favourite Spooky Settings
  • Clare Reviews: Fell by Jenn Ashworth
  • Friday Reads
  • November Releases!

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