Friday, 28 April 2017

Friday Reads 28th April 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!

The White Road
Book Beginning: 
"I met the man who would save my life twice - and ultimately destroy it - on a potholed road in the arse-end of the Welsh countryside."

Friday 56:
Here's where I should say: the reality of my situation would end up being far worse than any scriptwriter could dream up..."
I just finished reading The Hunt for Atlantis by Andy McDermott and whilst I kind of wanted to continue the series I also felt like putting it aside rather than marathoning it might be wise so I decided to pick up The White Road by Sarah Lotz which I was sent for review. It's set to be released May 4th. It says "map to come" which is exciting for anyone who gets a finished copy but kind of disappointing for me (who doesn't love maps) but it intrigues me. 

If you're interested my review for last week's Friday Reads My Sister by Michelle Adams has now gone up and you can find it here.  


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

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Blog Tour: My Sister by Michelle Adams







My SisterTitle: My Sister
Author: Michelle Adams
Pages: 375
Blurb: My Sister tells the story of Irini, who was given away by her parents at the age of three, whilst her volatile, destructive sister was kept within the family. Twenty years later Irini receives a phone call from her estranged sister to say that their mother has died, compelling her to return for the first time to the family home, and to uncover the shocking truth that has defined both their lives.

I am drawn to books about sister relationships always. And I am so glad I had the chance to read this. At first I was worried I wasn't liking the book. I felt uncomfortable and off balance - but then I realised that's what made it so good. 

Elle and Irini aren't really likable. Elle is terrifying. Charismatic and difficult with a long, long victim list. Irini on the other hand was unlikable only in her weakness. In her youth when she went along with everything Elle said and did - no matter the cost to other people. I found it hard in places to read about the hurt she caused others, her and Elle, and yet I never doubted Irini. I wanted her to get a good ending, to have the resolution she needed. 

What really struck me with My Sister is how real it felt. So often, in thrillers, I am along for the ride and enjoying it - but always conscious of how unlikely it all is! Here, there was none of that. Elle and Irini and all the other characters felt like real people to me, fleshed out and realistic. Their actions were human even when they were bad and I really felt for Irini towards the end as she lost control of what was happening. I didn't always agree with her decisions certainly, but I always believed in them.

The twists were ones I never saw coming which is always great! I am still processing the last few chapters and I have a few unanswered questions regarding the future. But this isn't frustrating to me so much as ensuring that I will keep thinking about this book for a long time to come. There were moments towards the end that I felt were a little too rushed, the pace changed abruptly and so many things were revealed in such a short amount of time that ultimately we didn't get to spend so long unwrapping them as I would have liked. 

Overall though this was an intriguing and exciting read with very human (though not always likable) characters. If you find family dynamics as fascinating as I do, especially in thrillers, then I really do recommend this and I am very interested to see what Michelle Adams will write next!

Trigger Warnings:
Definite trigger warnings for abuse, sexual assault, rape and mental illness. 

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

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Wednesday Catch-Up 26th April 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:

The Lost Sisterhood
I am currently reading The Lost Sisterhood by Anne Fortier and loving it. She is one of my favourite writers (which seems odd when I've read one other book by her) but I get so absorbed in her writing and her characters. As someone who did Classics at University ALL the details of Troy, and the Amazons and Ancient Greece feel a little like coming back to an old friend (also really well researched). Just so good.

Recently Finished:

Bryant & May - Wild Chamber: (Bryant & May 14)My SisterGone Without a Trace
Wild Chamber was delightful, great characters, interesting mystery, well written. It was just a really fun, good read. My Sister on the other hand was super unsettling and uncomfortable to read at times but also a very good thriller. I was hooked the whole way through and I will have a full review going up tomorrow as part of the blog tour! Finally, Gone Without a Trace was awesome. I got so absorbed into the Main Characters mind that when all the twists happened I didn't know what to think or how to feel. It was another unsettling one and I highly recommend it!


Planning to Read Next:

JulietBeauty QueensOrigin (Corpus, #1)
Reading The Lost Sisterhood reminded me of how much I enjoyed Juliet so I want to do a re-read of that! And then continuing with the re-reading I'm going with Beauty Queens which I've been meaning to re-read for a while. And then, and god I keep saying this and then not reading it, but I want to read Origin.

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

Monday, 24 April 2017

Monday Highlights #3


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!
I've decided to link up my own favourite blog post of last week! This week it was my first ever Discussion Post (Yeah it really took me TWO YEARS to actually write one) and it took so much courage for me to hit publish because it got a little personal! The response was great though and I definitely feel like doing more discussion posts in the future! 
ALSO; Today is Ann's birthday! So proud of her and everything she has done in the last 16 years and I hope she has an amazing day!! Love you lots Ann! 




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

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Sunday Post 23rd April 2017

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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.


Films of the Week:

NOT a film (once again breaking the rules of my own post) but I just started watching Girlboss on Netflix and I am LOVING it! I never read the book - which I am now regretting - but I adore Sophia and the show and just everything. I'm about halfway through currently and will definitely have finished it by this time next week! Have you started watching it yet? Have you read the book? Should I read the book??

Last Week on the Blog:


Books We Got This Week:

For Review:
The Wishing HeartDen of ShadowsSeven Days in SummerOwl and the Electric Samurai (Adventures of Owl, #3)
The Wishing Heart by J.C. Welker: Received via Netgalley, this is LGBT and involves theft and who doesn't love a nice bit of theft in their YA? Plus the cover is so pretty!
Den of Shadows by Christopher Byford: Received via Netgalley, AGAIN the cover! Either I am really superficial and won't request/buy books unless they're gorgeous or publishers have been upping their game! Honestly all I know about this is circus. I love the circus. I think I've probably mentioned that a hundred times before. 
Seven Days in Summer by Marcia Willett: Received from the publisher for review. This just looks perfect for Summer. I mean there is a beach on the cover, it says summer in the title!! I think I am going to save this for when the sun comes out but it looks great!
Owl and the Electric Samurai by Kristi Charish: All this blurb needed was an "Indiana Jane" and I was hooked. Think I might read this in the summer when I feel like an adventure! Received via Netgalley!
180 SecondsWhat Goes AroundThe Irregular: A Different Class of SpyThe Dragon’s Legacy (The Dragon's Legacy, #1)
180 Seconds by Jessica Park: Requested this from Netgalley and I am super excited to get to it (hopefully soon but who even knows anymore). 
What Goes Around by Julie Corbin: Received from the publisher for review. I am very excited for this one! I've been promised an incredible twist!
The Irregular by H.B. Lyle: Many thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for sending me a copy of this for review. I am so, so intrigued by the spy angle and also the Sherlock Holmes Baker Street Irregulars angle!
The Dragon's Legacy by Deborah A. Wolf: Thank you to Titan Books for sending me this for review. DRAGONS. This book is so gorgeous and it took all my self control not to immediately drop everything and start reading the second it came through the letterbox!

Purchased:
The Tea Planter's WifeYou Had Me at Merlot: The Complete NovelAll She Ever Wished forMissing
The Tea Planter's Wife by Dinah Jefferies: I've been wanting to try some of Dinah Jefferies' books for a while now. This (and the next two) were in the three for £5 offer at The Works and I happened to get £5 for Easter so it had to happen. This even sounds a little Rebecca-esque which I love.
You Had Me at Merlot by Lisa Dickenson: This book had me at Italy. I'm a sucker for anything set in Italy. I also feel like after Spring Into Horror I'm going to need a lot of romance/happy books to restore my faith in humanity!
All She Ever Wished For by Claudia Carroll: This is the only one of Carroll's books that I haven't yet read. I'm pretty sure this is actually a Christmas read so I don't know whether to save it or just read it? 
Missing by Kelley Armstrong: I am a big fan of Kelley Armstrong in all genres (and she has written in pretty much all of them honestly) and this sounds great so I kinda had to.
The Dead HouseThe Lost SisterhoodDuels and DeceptionGiven to the Sea (Given Duet, #1)
The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich: Recommended by Vera @ Regal Critiques. She said she loved this book and I am loving creepy reads at the moment so I went for it!
The Lost Sisterhood by Anne Fortier: Whilst I was busy raving about Fortier's first book Juliet (which was released 7 years ago - and I love it) I noticed she released a second book 3 years ago and so I obviously had to have it! This is about a woman's search for Amazons? I mostly just trust Anne Fortier enough to not need a blurb but Amazons are pretty impressive as well!
Duels & Deception by Cindy Anstey: I'm always in the mood for Historical Romance. And I loved Love Lies and Spies. 
Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis: Oh boy, I've heard mixed reviews for this  one recently. But I trust Mindy McGinnis. I've loved every other book I've read of hers so just, fingers crossed?

Reading Update:

Ann:
Promises I Made (Lies I Told, #2)
Promises I Made by Michelle Zink: 5 stars, I really enjoyed Lies I Told and so Clare brought me this book and it was amazing. The ending was brilliant I loved it. Overall it was a really good book.

Clare:
Running Hot (Arcane Society, #5)He Said/She SaidBryant & May - Wild Chamber: (Bryant & May 14)My Sister
Running Hot by Jayne Ann Krentz: 3.5 stars, Fun but not hugely impactful. I liked that the romance was resolved relatively quickly and the remainder of the book was spent on the mystery element. It wasn't hugely mysterious since we got sections from the "bad guys" perspectives but it was still tense in places.
He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly: 4.5 stars, This was a weird one for me. I both wanted to keep reading non-stop and couldn't because it was too emotionally draining for me. There are major trigger warnings for this book for rape and sexual assault which were upsetting for me. Don't get me wrong Erin Kelly handled them wonderfully it's just always a difficult one. There were so many incredible twists in this and I adored the ending.
Wild Chamber by Christopher Fowler: 4 stars, Why oh why do I keep reading late books in a series I haven't started? I really enjoyed this and loved the characters. The mystery does work alone but also clearly has links to previous books so I'm definitely gonna have to go back and read them all at some point! Can be read as a standalone but I'd really recommend starting at the beginning.
My Sister by Michelle Adams: 3.5 stars, Unsettling and gripping. I was off balance pretty much the whole way through. The characters were fairly unlikable but I was ultimately gripped. My review for the blog tour will be up on the 27th.

Next Week on the Blog:

  • Monday Highlights #3
  • Top Ten Book Turn Offs
  • Wednesday Catch-Up
  • Blog Tour: My Sister by Michelle Adams
  • May Releases
  • Friday Reads
  • Fairy Loot Unboxing - Dreams & Wishes

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

Friday, 21 April 2017

Friday Reads 21st April 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!

My Sister
Book Beginning:
"The buzzing of my telephone is like the scuttling of a cockroach under the bed. No real danger, yet still I am terrified."

Friday 56:
"They are not my parents," I say unconvincingly."

This week I am sharing a bit of a book that I haven't actually started yet (but am just about to). I will be taking part in a blog tour for this next Thursday! I relate so very much to that opening sentence (although probably for slightly different reasons). I have anxiety and for some reason part of that anxiety has decided phone calls are dangerous and so the phone ringing is terrifying!! And I love that 56 because from the little I know of the plot so far - it seems very much the point. 

Blurb:
My Sister tells the story of Irini, who was given away by her parents at the age of three, whilst her volatile, destructive sister was kept within the family. Twenty years later Irini receives a phone call from her estranged sister to say that their mother has died, compelling her to return for the first time to the family home, and to uncover the shocking truth that has defined both their lives. 



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

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Wednesday Catch-Up 19th April 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:

Bryant & May - Wild Chamber: (Bryant & May 14)
I am currently a little way through Wild Chamber and I am really enjoying it! It's fun and intriguing but the characters are really well developed. I do wish I'd read any of the previous books in the series for some background but it works fine as a standalone as well!

Recently Finished:

Running Hot (Arcane Society, #5)He Said/She Said
I put Strange the Dreamer on hold because, as beautiful as it is, I'm in entirely the wrong mood for it at the moment! So I picked up Running Hot because I knew it would be light and fun and it was! It was a really quick read and I enjoyed it. He Said/She Said on the other hand was intense. Really, really good. But intense. I had to stop reading at times so that I could remember to breathe! 

Planning to Read Next:

My SisterGone Without a TraceCrimson Lake
I will be taking part in a blog tour on the 27th for My Sister and I am really excited for it! I'm always drawn to books about sister relationships because Ann and I have such a great one and it's intriguing to read about different types sometimes. With all these thrillers I am going to develop some serious trust issues soon! Gone Without a Trace sounds incredibly intriguing and amazing and I just can't wait to dive in and find out what's going on. I'll be honest and say I've kind of forgotten what Crimson Lake is about? I remember being super interested by the blurb when I first requested it on Netgalley and then apparently I just forgot why? But it looks very dark!

And if you haven't already don't forget to link up to Monday Highlights and check out the other blogs that have linked up! 

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

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Discussion Post: Trigger Warnings

Trigger warnings seem to be an incredibly controversial point at the moment. A well known YA author took to twitter to criticise them and bemoan the fragility of those who ask for them. This isn't an attempt at arguing with him - I feel like that would be pretty futile anyway as he seems very sure of his viewpoint. But I seem to have a lot of thoughts on Trigger Warnings so I thought I'd make this post - whether I'll ever be brave enough to post it is a whole other issue.

Firstly, and speaking personally, trigger warnings are hugely important to me. I have triggers. I don't hugely want to go into what they are because that's almost a discussion for a whole other time. But they're serious and getting triggered can have hugely negative affects on me. Recently I was triggered by a book at a time when I was already going through a rough spot and it sent me into a bad spiral which affected my personal life (I also vanished from blogging and reading for a few days because I couldn't handle it). In this instance a simple trigger warning in the blurb of the book could have prevented all of that. Time and time again I rely on trigger warnings to advise me on a book, whether it's going to be shaky but I can handle it or if its too much for me or if it's perfectly OK - I need them and a lot of other people do too.

On a practical note think of allergen warnings in detergent or in foods. Nobody has ever argued that a chocolate bar should definitely not have allergen warnings because it might spoil the surprise of eating the bar. Of course not. Because not having the warning would cause harm to a lot of people. Now I understand that a book and food are very different things. But why shouldn't the same rules apply? I haven't got any food allergies so I never check the allergy section of food. My Mum is allergic to gluten so she does check. If you have trigger warnings you can check the blurb for them, if you don't they are very easily ignored. 

A refusal to include trigger warnings, to me, seems at best neglectful and careless and at worst downright cruel. To state that people with triggers, people like myself, don't deserve to be protected from any harm that might come to us through them is heartbreaking. It's a statement that our problems, our anxiety or depression or trauma is just not important. And that... kinda hurts.

I don't think I'm fragile. I've had chronic depression and anxiety for over eight years, the fact that I even survived some of what I've experienced is kind of a shock to me. And whilst when I was first diagnosed I thought I was so weak and pathetic - I'm not. I've survived. And if I have any say in the matter I will keep on surviving. So I'm not being weak or needy or easily offended when I say that I need that warning, I need that help because without it my mental health is even more at risk. I will always include trigger warnings in my reviews because I think it's an important part of any decision when choosing to buy a book and I definitely wouldn't want to recommend a book without including trigger warnings and wind up causing harm to someone who reads it on my recommendation. I will however be more clearly signposting them in reviews by including a clearly marked section of the review for people to check.

I'd love to know what you think of trigger warnings! Do you think there's a way they can be implemented without accidentally spoiling people? Do you include trigger warnings in your review? (And if you disagree with me completely feel free to say so - this is a discussion!)

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

Monday, 17 April 2017

Monday Highlights #2


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! I'm really looking forward to taking a look at your favourite blog posts! I had a lot of fun with this last week and it's definitely something I am looking forward to continuing! The link up issue from last week should be fixed but please do let me know if there are any problems! This is my first link up so I want to be sure I'm doing it right!! 






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

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Sunday Post 16th April 2017

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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.

This week we started our link-up; Monday Highlights! I really enjoyed it - thank you to everyone who joined in and we will be doing it again tomorrow. If you would like to take part you can just share a link to your favourite recent blog post (one you are proud of or enjoyed making) and we can visit. We're hoping it will encourage new blog discoveries and also give us an opportunity to interact more with blogs we do follow!

This post is slightly late going up today because yesterday we went to the zoo! And apparently it exhausted me so much I overslept! It was a lot of fun and our little brother got to do the Keeper for a Day experience which he loves so that was exciting!

Films of the Week:

I'm honestly still recovering from my Chronicles of Lizzie Borden binge but I've been trying to watch the recommended shows/films on Netflix. So far I haven't found anything that's really caught my interest so if you have any suggestions let me know! 

Last Week on the Blog:


Books We Got This Week:

Ann:
Promises I Made (Lies I Told, #2)
Promises I Made by Michelle Zink: Clare ordered this for me a month ago because I loved the first book and it's taken a while to arrive! But I am very excited to read it!

Clare:
AraratEvery Last LieClose To Me
Ararat by Christopher Golden: Received for review from Headline, I am SO excited for this and it arrived just in time for Spring Into Horror as well so I'll definitely be reading this in the next couple of weeks!!
Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica: Thank you to HQ and Netgalley for this one! I'm really excited for it (my love affair with thrillers continues) but its not released until the end of July so will have to hold off for a bit!
Close to Me by Amanda Reynolds: I recently took part in a blog tour for this book and the publisher was kind enough to send me a copy for review! This will again be perfect for Spring Into Horror (lining up SO many good reads).
Crimson and BoneThe White RoadThe Wages of Sin
Crimson & Bone by Marina Fiorato: Many thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this! Marina Fiorato is probably my favourite Historical Fiction writer so I am super excited for this!
The White Road by Sarah Lotz: I am so excited for this you wouldn't believe it! The publisher sent me an ARC for review and it just sounds exactly my kind of book! Will definitely be reading this for Spring Into Horror as well!
The Wages of Sin by Kaite Welsh: This is one I've been wanting for a while so I was thrilled to get it on Netgalley! 
Maplecroft (The Borden Dispatches, #1)The Upside of UnrequitedHunted
Maplecroft by Cherie Priest: Ever since watching The Lizzie Borden Chronicles I've been on a big Lizzie Borden kick - this was the best looking of all the Lizzie Borden books I found so I am excited for it! 
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli: For a swift change in tone (seriously so much horror/thrillers this week) - this looks like a cute and fun contemporary. I adored Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda so I am looking forward to this!
Hunted by Meagan Spooner: Beauty and the Beast retelling. Plus it's got amazing reviews so far! 

Reading Update:

Clare:
Blood Rose Rebellion (Blood Rose Rebellion, #1)Defy the StarsThe Beast of London (Book 1 of the Mina Murray series)
Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves: 2 stars, I had quite a lot of problems with this throughout - it's a very American view of Hungary and of England (although I am sure Rosalyn Eves did her best) so there are quite a few misrepresentations and generalisations which is always frustrating. But mostly - I just didn't like Anna. Her decision making was childish and nonsensical and although she had some character growth it wasn't enough to make me like her. 
Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray: 3 stars, Just kind of underwhelming. I didn't dislike it but I didn't really care about any of the characters either which made me feel a little heartless. My review of this is already up!
The Beast of London by L.D. Goffigan: 4.5 stars, So very good. Atmospheric, great characters an intriguing mystery! Just everything I was hoping for! My review for this went up yesterday! 


Next Week on the Blog:

  • Monday Highlights #2
  • Top Ten Tropes That Make Me Insta-Buy!!
  • Wednesday Catch-Up
  • Clare Reviews: He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly
  • Friday Reads
  • Clare Reviews: Wild Chamber by Christopher Fowler


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