Follow me:

    August Wrap-Up

    Another month, another Goodreads challenge completed with four months of the year left to go! Aaaaaaaaaahhhh. I’ll be intrigued to see how far over that 50 book target I can get by the end of December.

    So… onto this month’s books! I went in thinking, ‘yes, let’s get these ARCs out of the way and dive into some long-overdue fantasy’. What happened instead? I read only two of the books I told myself to and a whole bunch of other stuff (only one of them being a YA Fantasy and the rest being a lot of Thrillers). Whoops? I can now feel myself drifting into a Gothic novel binge in September and I’m not even mad about it.

    Another 6 short stories to add to the ‘Deal Me In Short Story Challenge’ I’m taking part in this year (of which I realise that I haven’t updated the actual post in a long, long time). But according to the very organised book spreadsheet I’ve started keeping (seriously, who am I?) there’s only 28 short stories to go until I’ve hit my goal of 52. If you’ve got any recommendations then let me know in the comments.

    1. A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings by Gabriel García Márquez ● rated 3 stars
    2. Till September Petronella by Jean Rhys ● rated 3 stars
    3. The Summer People by Shirley Jackson ● rated 4 stars
    4. The Daemon Lover by Shirley Jackson ● rated 3 stars
    5. King Pest by Edgar Allan Poe ● rated 3 stars
    6. The Devil and Tom Walker by Washington Irving ● rated 3 stars

    1. The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay ● rated 4 Stars
    A traumatic and chilling tale of a family and a group of stangers who must save the world. Highly recommend if you like pain and crazy turns of events.

    2. Legendary by Stephanie Garber ● rated 5 Stars
    We return to Caraval for more magic, deception and mystery. Told from Tella’s point of view, Legendary is a vast improvement on Caraval and you will not stop reading until you’ve reached the end and squealed in excitement for Finale.

    3. Lady Susan by Jane Austen ● rated 3 Stars
    An Austen heroine like you’ve never seen her before. Lady Susan, the devilish femme fatale, of 35 years using her charm and vivaciousness to scheme and leave emotional wreckage in her wake (and a trail of men hungering for her).

    4. You Let Me In by Lucy Clarke ● rated 5 Stars (ARC Copy)
    A brilliantly paced, suspenseful and chilling tale of a woman on the cusp of losing everything and a past that threatens to break free. It starts with a trickle and ends with a bang. Full review here.

    5. Believe Me by J.P. Delaney ● rated 4 Stars (ARC Copy)
    A brilliantly absurd thriller about an ambitious actress embroiled in a murder investigation where nothing is ever what it seems and there’s no straight road to the truth. Who can you trust?

    6. The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware ● rated 5 Stars (ARC Copy)
    Deeply atmospheric, and steeped in the Gothic, Hal Westaway learns that sometimes blood isn’t thicker than water and sometimes it is. Ruth Ware’s best book yet.

    7. Love Poems by Peter Washington ● rated 4 Stars
    A beautiful collection of poetry exploring various aspects of love, from loss to infatuation to longing. Featuring poetry from the likes of Pablo Neruda, Christina Rossetti, E.E. Cummings, John Donne, Shakespeare and a whole lot more.

    I managed to read two out of the four books that I set out to read in last month’s wrap-up, and that sounds like a success to me because I never stick to my list. I’m not too fussed about reading Grace and Fury though I need to because it’s an ARC, and The Poppy War will be read at some point because it sounds amazing.

    September has a couple of releases that you know I’m not going to miss and will 100% make sure I read even if it kills me. Those two being Leverage in Death by J.D. Robb and Vengeful by V.E. Schwab. Two of my fav writing ladies releasing new books into the world *bursts with excited squees*. The other two titles on the list are ARC’s due to be released in October. My most anticipated being Melmoth by Sarah Perry, a loose reimagining of Charles Robert Maturin’s Melmoth the Wanderer. I am quite honestly dying to read this book. I’ve never read a Sarah Perry book but if the book is anywhere near as good as the summary then I know I’m in for a treat (I’m also a sucker for anything Gothic and Perry is a self-confessed Gothic Queen).
     

     
    1. Leverage in Death by J.D. Robb
    2. Melmoth by Sarah Perry (ARC Copy)
    3. Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria (ARC Copy)
    4. Vengeful by V.E. Schwab


    How was your bookish August?
    Read any of the books above or choosing to this September? Got a book you think I’ll be interested in? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    ARC Review: You Let Me In by Lucy Clarke

    ARC Review: You Let Me In by Lucy ClarkeYou Let Me In by Lucy Clarke
    Published by HarperCollins on August 16th 2018
    Genres: Thriller, Suspense
    Pages: 400
    Format: eARC
    Source: Publisher
    Purchase from: Book Depository
    Add to Goodreads
    Rating:

    Nothing has felt right since Elle rented out her house . . .

    I’M IN YOUR HOUSE

    There’s a new coldness. A shift in the atmosphere. The prickling feeling that someone is watching her every move from the shadows.

    I’M IN YOUR HEAD

    Maybe it’s all in Elle’s mind? She’s a writer – her imagination, after all, is her strength. And yet every threat seems personal. As if someone has discovered the secrets that keep her awake at night.

    AND NOW I KNOW YOUR SECRET

    As fear and paranoia close in, Elle’s own home becomes a prison. Someone is unlocking her past – and she’s given them the key…

     

    “After all, who owns a story? The person who tells it? The person who reads it? The person whom it is about? Or all of them?”

    I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

    I wasn’t expecting a lot from this book and up until the 25% mark I wasn’t wholly invested but by the time I reached the end, I could barely put the book down. Elle is an internationally bestselling author freshly returned from her writer’s retreat in France and on the cusp of a deadline but after renting out her apartment on Airbnb something seems amiss, and when odd little things keep happening… Elle has to wonder: is somebody in my house?

    This book isn’t predictable in the slightest. I’ll admit, I got to about the 43% mark and had two suspects in mind: it was either the most obvious person in the planet (just because they hated each other) or the other person purely because they said something a little odd that had me thinking “hang on a second, that wasn’t right”. I was wrong. Both times.

    Clarke doesn’t rely on big twists and thrills to get you on the edge of your seat. There’s an art of subtlety to You Let Me In, it starts with a trickle and ends with a bang. That unease you feel brewing in your stomach is gradually built up throughout the novel until you’re left frantically flicking through the pages of your book asking yourself: Is Elle lying?, Is she paranoid? Who is it? What do they know?

    By the end of it, I was deeply unsettled and felt a lot of ways about the reveal of Elle’s stalker and the relationship between them. Many feelings I won’t discuss for fear of spoiling the twist but can definitely see many people relating to the her stalker in some way or another…

    TLDR: A brilliantly paced, suspenseful and chilling tale of a woman on the cusp of losing everything and a past that threatens to break free. It starts with a trickle and ends with a bang.

    Will you be reading You Let Me In?
    Let me know in the comments below.

    Anticipated August Reads 2018

    New month, new releases…

    I don’t mean to be so hit and miss with these anticipated reads posts but at least I only missed two months this time and not an entire year.

    I’m extremely excited to dive into Schwab’s latest release despite it being middle grade (I will quite happily read anything this woman writes ngl). I hear there’s lots of Harry Potter references in it and I don’t know about you but I’m sold already. The premise for These Rebel Waves and Mirage both sound amazing and I seem to be reading all the sci-fi/fantasy lately so I can’t wait for either of these.

    Check out all the summaries below and see which titles tickle your fancy….

    Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas
    Published August 7th 2018
    Add to Goodreads ● Buy from Book Depository

    When the Bat’s away, the Cat will play. It’s time to see how many lives this cat really has….

    Two years after escaping Gotham City’s slums, Selina Kyle returns as the mysterious and wealthy Holly Vanderhees. She quickly discovers that with Batman off on a vital mission, Batwing is left to hold back the tide of notorious criminals. Gotham City is ripe for the taking.

    Meanwhile, Luke Fox wants to prove he has what it takes to help people in his role as Batwing. He targets a new thief on the prowl who seems cleverer than most. She has teamed up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, and together they are wreaking havoc. This Catwoman may be Batwing’s undoing.
     


     
    These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch
    Published August 7th 2018
    Add to Goodreads ● Buy from Book Depository

    Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something more dangerous is at work.

    Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.

    Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.

    As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace.
     


     
    Mirage by Somaiya Daud
    Published August 28th 2018
    Add to Goodreads ● Buy from Book Depository

    In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.

    But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

    As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.
     


     
    City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
    Published August 28th 2018
    Add to Goodreads ● Buy from Book Depository

    Cassidy Blake’s parents are The Inspectres, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one.

    When The Inspectres head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn’t sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn’t belong in her world. Cassidy’s powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself.
     


     
    The Other Woman by Sandie Jones
    Published August 21st 2018
    Add to Goodreads ● Buy from Book Depository

    Emily thinks Adam’s perfect; the man she thought she’d never meet. But lurking in the shadows is a rival; a woman who shares a deep bond with the man she loves.

    Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother Pammie. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever.

    The Other Woman is an addictive, fast-paced psychological thriller about the destructive relationship between Emily, her boyfriend Adam, and his manipulative mother Pammie.


    What book are you anticipating this August?
    Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    July Wrap-Up

    Because I’m far too lazy to post individual reviews, (I know, I’m sorry), I’ve decided to jam them into monthly wrap-ups and do big ol’ long reviews for my absolute favs and for ARCs too. If I actually manage to do this every month until the end of the year I’ll be seriously bloody impressed with myself. For the first time in what feels like forever (the start of the year), I’ve had a good reading month. Is the book slump gone? I don’t know but I reaaaaally hope it is; I’ve managed to read 6 novels and 5 short stories this month and that definitely feels like progress.

    1. Black Box by Jennifer Egan ● rated 4 stars
    2. The Swimmer by John Cheever ● rated 3 stars
    3. Okami by Renee Ahdieh ● rated 3 stars
    4. Yumi by Renee Ahdieh ● rated 3 stars
    5. The Five-Forty Eight by John Cheever ● rated 5 stars

    1. Scythe by Neal Shusterman ● rated 5 Stars
    A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Shusterman brilliantly explores a world where certain individuals (Scythes) are the only ones allowed to take a life in order to keep the size of the population under control. You can checkout my full review here.

    2. Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman ● rated 5 Stars
    Shusterman’s sequel to Scythe is amazing, heartbreaking, full of twists and turns and honestly I can’t rave about this book or this series enough. Check out my very long and rambly review of this one here.

    3. Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig ● rated 4 stars
    Haig’s long awaited sequel (of sorts?) to Reasons to Stay Alive. It’s a personal and vital look at how to feel happy, human and whole in the twenty-first century. Again, Haig has written a book that makes me feel seen and understood. Highly recommend to anyone struggling with anxiety.

    4. Bright We Burn by Kiersten White ● rated 5 stars
    Deliciously dark, brutal and ruthless. Bright We Burn is a deeply satisfying ending to an amazing trilogy where LADA IS THE ONLY CHARACTER THAT MATTERS. Everyone else is irrelevant. I mean, I loved this book loads and I’m in a glass case of emotion.

    5. Fever Dream by Samantha Schweblin ● rated 4 stars
    Deeply unsettling tale of a boy with a broken soul and a woman who lays dying in a rural hospital clinic. I’m still shuddering at the thought of this book.

    6. Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh ● rated 4 stars
    The sequel and ending to Ahdieh’s Flames in the Mist duology. My only opinion of this series is that I need more Okami.


    I am the absolute worst when it comes to deciding what to read next. Usually because I decide on a certain number of books and then spot something shiny on goodreads and automatically think ‘ooooh no, I have to read this next’ and then just forget about my actual list of books I needed to read.

    So here’s the list of titles I may or may not end up reading next month…

     

     
    1. The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
    2. The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware (ARC copy)
    3. Believe Me by JP Delaney (ARC copy)
    4. Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart (ARC Copy)


    How was your bookish July?
    Read any of the books above or a choosing to this August? Got a book you think I’ll be interested in? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.