Saturday, 25 March 2017

Ravenclaw Read It has got a fresh new look! Come check it out here

Friday, 24 March 2017

Sweetpea by CJ Skuse

Book: Sweetpea
Author: CJ Skuse
Other Books by this Author: Pretty Bad Things, Rockoholic, Dead Romantic, Monster, The Deviants

Description:I haven’t killed anyone for three years and I thought that when it happened again I’d feel bad. Like an alcholic taking a sip of whisky. But no. Nothing. I had a blissful night’s sleep. Didn’t wake up at all. And for once, no bad dream either. This morning I feel balanced. Almost sane, for once.

Rhiannon is your average girl next door, settled with her boyfriend and little dog…but she’s got a killer secret.Although her childhood was haunted by a famous crime, Rhinannon’s life is normal now that her celebrity has dwindled. By day her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friend’s plans for marriage and babies whilst secretly making a list.
A kill list.From the man on the Lidl checkout who always mishandles her apples, to the driver who cuts her off on her way to work, to the people who have got it coming, Rhiannon’s ready to get her revenge.
Because the girl everyone overlooks might be able to get away with murder…
Thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin UK for allowing me to read a pre-publication version of this title.

I don't know where to start other than to say THANK YOU Twitter, for introducing me to CJ Skuse.  She knows her way around a gif and her ability to develop a likeable yet gruesome character is both slightly disturbing and extremely impressive. Sweetpea was absolutely brilliant, and three days after finishing it I'm still trying to figure out how to collect my thoughts and coherently express just how much I enjoyed it.

I will start by saying this book is not for everyone. The content is graphic, it's littered with expletives, and it can be quite shocking.  But if you think you're up for a trip into the dark and twisted mind of a hilarious serial killer, you will love this.

This book is written in the form of a diary, a la Bridget Jones (with a heavy dose of Dexter thrown in) and takes us through a year in the life and mind of Rhiannon, aka Sweetpea. But instead of starting each day with her current weight and cigarette count, Rhiannon begins each entry with a kill list.  This is probably my favorite part of the book, because these little snippets were so relatable and funny. There were several times I found myself reading and nodding along thinking 'Yes! OMG I hate that!' (pen-tapping, people who walk in groups along the pavement so no on else can get past, people who can't spell, apostrophise and who don't know the difference between 'they're' and 'their' to name a few)...only to remember that I was reading a kill list!

I didn't expect a book about a serial killer to be funny, but this appears to be dark comedy at its finest. Skuse somehow manages to create a book that is both so WRONG and so RIGHT all at the same time. Sweetpea had me jumping between abject horror and trying not to laugh out loud in the quiet car of the train to London.

CJ Skuse writes YA books (all of which I think I need to run out and buy ASAP!) but this is her first adult novel and it is very decidedly adult.  If you're offended by swearing and you're afraid to get a little dark, this book may not be for you.  But if you're into dark comedy, serial killers, or laughing, this book is for you!

Move Sweetpea to the top of your reading list, it's available April 20 and it's a must read!

If you'd like to check out Sweetpea for yourself, you can preorder it on US or UK Amazon here:

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday, hosted by Taking on a World of Words is a weekly meme showcasing what you are currently reading, what you just finished reading, and what you plan to start reading next.

What I'm currently reading:

Strawberry Summer: I literally started this book about 15 minutes ago, so I'm not very far in but I'm already hooked.  I absolutely love Melissa Brayden's books, she writes incredible lesbian romances and is by far my favorite author of this genre.  I was so excited and honoured to be approved by Bold Stroke Books for an ARC of this book via NetGalley, ahead of its April 1 release.

The Crown: This is the final book in The Selection series, and the second book with a focus on the Selection of Eadlyn Schreave. I'm listening to the audiobook and just like the first four, this is one that's hard to put down.

What I recently finished reading:

Sweetpea: I loved this book! My review is coming soon, I'm bursting to talk about this book. I just hope I can put together some coherent thoughts on it.
The Upside of Unrequited: A super cute YA coming of age love story. The initial draw for me was the LGBTQAI categorization, but the story kept me interested and I flew through it in 2 days.

What I'm planning to read next:

What are your WWWs? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear it!

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Top Ten Tuesday 21 March - One Sitting Books

 Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish and this week’s theme is:

March 21: Read In One Sitting Theme: The Top Ten books that made me want to read the whole day away.

1. Harry Potter by JK Rowling
This one's probably pretty obvious, based on my blog name. But each time a new Harry Potter book was released, I would sequester myself somewhere and read read read until I'd finished it. The last book was unfortunately released on the same weekend I was a bridesmaid in a wedding 6 hours from my house. The drive home was made even longer because I kept stopping at rest stops along the way to 'reward myself' by reading a chapter.

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I came a little late to the party and didn't discover this series until all the books were released. But once I did I was completely sucked in, down the wormhole, Katniss Fever, the whole nine yards. I read all three of these books in one long weekend.

3. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
If you haven't read anything by Rainbow Rowell, this should be your first. Go out and read it now. A seriously excellent read! Un-put-down-able.

4. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
I was beyond exhausted at my college graduation because I stayed up until 2 am reading this in front of the fire the night before!

5. All the Feels by Danika Stone
Such a fun fandom-filled book, once you get hooked you won't want to stop!

6. I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain by Courtney Robertson
If you are a fan of The Bachelor franchise, I can't recommend this book enough. Forget any other 'tell-alls,' this is the book to turn to for all the juicy gossip and everything the cameras don't show.

7. Me Before You by JoJo Mayes
I'd heard a lot of hype about this book and movie, and I wasn't sure what to expect. But all the hype was totally justified. I couldn't put it down!

8. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling
Pro tip: This one is even better if you listen to the audiobook! You won't want to stop once you've hit play.

9. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
This was the first book of Lauren Oliver's I read and I became an instant fan-girl and hunted down all the rest of her books.

10. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
A bit of an oldie but a goodie.

Monday, 20 March 2017

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Book: The Rosie Project
Author: Graeme Simsion
Other Books by this Author: The Rosie Effect, The Best of Adam Sharp

Description:Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.
Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.
The Rosie Project is a moving and hilarious novel for anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of overwhelming challenges.

I found this book when I was combing through the library website, searching for a new audiobook.  I'd never heard of the book, nor the author, but the premise sounded interesting so I decided I would give it a go.

I enjoyed The Rosie Project and even though at times it felt like nothing much was really happening, I found myself drawn in by Don and his projects. It was a bit of a different take on my usual was a delightful rom-com written by a man and told through a man's perspective.

Simsion's development of the characters was strong, I really liked both Don and Rosie.  Don's quirks were endearing, especially due the fact that he didn't recognise his quirks as such, and wasn't aware that he has Asperger's Syndrome. Don Tillman could perhaps be described as a caricature of a person with Asperger's, but I didn't find it to be overwhelmingly so and I was very interested in  'seeing' through Don's point of view.

This was a light and fun 'read,'  entertaining and perfect for listening to on my commute and while marking papers. There is a sequel, although at this point I'm still undecided if I will read it.  I would like to revisit Professor Tillman and Rosie, but I'm also very happy with the way The Rosie Project ended.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

Book: Girl of Nightmares
Author: Kendare Blake
Series: Anna (#2)

Description:It's been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can't move on.

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they're right, but in Cas's eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he's seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he's asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong...these aren't just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn't know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn't deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it's time for him to return the favor.

I absolutely LOVED the first book in this duo, Anna Dressed in Blood (see my review here).  I was so excited to read Girl of Nightmares, but this book didn't live up to my (high) expectations.  Don't get me wrong - I liked it. I just didn't LOVE it. And I really wanted to LOVE it.

The story was interesting, but perhaps not as spooky or action-filled as I was hoping. There was quite a lot of build up, but all the action was saved for the very end, which left it feeling a bit anticlimactic.

I do feel like I got to know the supporting characters better better in Girl of Nightmares (which was something I was lacking in the previous book), and I gained a better understanding of Carmel, which I had really been hoping for. Her simple and sad 'I love him' turned her in to a three-dimensional character that I could really get behind, as opposed to the supporting character who seemed to be fulfilling the female quota in the last book. I liked the addition of Jestine, she seemed very badass and Buffy-esque and I have some ideas of where I'd like to see her story go (but I won't say anymore unless you've read the which case you probably have the same ideas).

I don't want to give anything away, so I'll just say that I was happy with the way Kendare Blake chose to end this duo of books.

This was a good read, but for me it paled in comparison to Anna Dressed in Blood.  My favorite part about this series, hands down, is Anna.  And this book just didn't have enough Anna for me.  I WANT MORE ANNA!!!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

WWW Wednesday

 WWW Wednesday, hosted by Taking on a World of Words is a weekly meme showcasing what you are currently reading, what you just finished reading, and what you plan to start reading next.

What I'm Currently Reading

Image result for sweet pea cj skuse   Image result for the rosie project
The Rosie Project - I'm listening to this one on audiobook. It's quirky and cute. Not my favourite but I'm enjoying it all the same.

Sweetpea - I am loving this book so far! It's dark and twisty and funny and disturbingly relateable (minus the whole killing people part...)

What I recently finished:

 Image result for girl of nightmares

You can find my review of Career of Evil here
Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake (review coming soon)

What I'm reading next:

I've just been approved for The Upside of Unrequited on Netgalley and I am so excited to get started on it!

I'm always looking for a recommendation for my next audiobook, so if you've got any suggestions please let me know in the comments!