Thursday, 14 March 2019

Reading Wrap Up | February

February was a pretty good month for me reading wise, despite it being a short month. I was in the mood for some romance/contemporary but apparently looking back at what I read this wasn't the case. Anyway, here is what I read:

Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
Rating: 5/5
As a HUGE fan of the Illuminae files I had to pick up the next series by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. This is once again a sci fi adventure about a group of kids who end up being picked last for the team and don't really get on ending up having to save the world.
I LOVED this book. I flew through it because it's just such a funny compelling read. It's full of twists and turns and the writing is very clever and witty. These two have crafted the first ever sci fi books I've actually enjoyed. I will be doing a full review of this one!

After I do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Rating 5/5
If you saw my February Book Haul you would know I picked up all of TJR books on a whim and after reading After I Do I think it definitely paid off!
After I do is about a couple who have been together for ten years and sadl
y they just don't feel the same way about each other any more so they decide to take a year off their marriage.
This is a lovely read and quite emotional. If you have been in a long term relationship you can definitely relate to certain parts of this story. I really enjoyed this one.

The Truth About Keeping Secrets by Savannah Brown
Rating: 2.5/5
Sydney is the main character in this book and her dad has just died. Sydney's dad was the only psychiatrist in a small town and knew everyone's secrets so Sydney is convinced his dads death was no accident.
This is pitched as being a murder mystery thriller type but unfortunately I didn't feel any of these elements until the last 1/4 of the book. This is a great study in grief though and well written.

The Wicked King by Holly Black - Audio
Rating 5/5
This is the sequel to The Cruel Prince, a series about a human girl living in the fairy world, but fairies in this world, whilst beautiful are cruel and not too fond of humans.
This is a great sequel and really moved the story along. That ending though, oh my god I need the next book now! This is a great series and I have listened to both on audible, the narrator is fab so can definitely recommend.

Almost Love by Louise O'Neill
Rating 3/5
I've enjoyed everything else I've read by Louise O'Neill and feel like she is great at writing about complex subjects, unfortunately this one fell a little flat for me.
Sarah, our main character falls in love with a guy who is a lot older and to be honest treats her like shit. Essentially her life starts to fall about because of her obsession with this guy. Whilst I know that this is something that can happen in real life, there was just something about the story that didn't convince me.
The writing is great though and different to your average fiction as it utilises Irish slang.

So bit of a mixed month for me. Some big hitters but then some meh books too. For me, 3 stars is not bad by any means. There is nothing wrong with a book being average, I certainly don't regret reading it! What do you think about 3 star books?


Friday, 8 March 2019

February 2019 Book Haul

books with pink background

February being a short month sure didn't stop me from getting quite a few books! Well, to be fair I only actually bought four of these and the other two were sent to me so a book a week isn't too bad is it?
  • Forever Interrupted, After I Do, One True Loves and Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid - So I have never actually read a book by TJR, but I have heard such good things and because of it being Valentines Day I decided that I was in the mood for contemporary romance and decided to buy ALL of her books without trying any. The one book I really wanted, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is out of stock everywhere so I have it preordered for when it goes into print again.
    This could've been quite a pricey mistake to make, but I've already read After I Do and really enjoyed it so I think the others will be equally as good.
    Without going into too much detail on all of the individual books, it seems like they are contemporary romances, but they are very realistic. Well sort of. If you have read romance before you will know what I mean when I say these feel more real! Anyway, so far so good and I can't wait to dive into the rest.
  • Opposite of Always by Justin Reynolds - I was sent this by Macmillan Children's so thank you! This is a debut that sounds fantastic. Jack meets Katie at a party and falls in love but tragically, Katie dies, but Katie's death sends Jack back to the moment when they first met and he may have the chance to try and save her. I think I will definitely cry at this!
  • Legendary by Stephanie Garber - Another one I was sent (thank you Hodder & Stoughton). I actually have a full review here. This is the sequel to Caraval, a magical competition that has a fantastic prize. I seriously love this series and if you are a fan of whimsy and magic I definitely recommend picking it up. Legendary is even better than Caraval! Oh and if you enjoyed The Night Circus and haven't picked this up, do it! 

Did you get any books this month? Or have you read any of these?

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Bookish Cross Stitch - The Geeky Stitching Company

If you didn't check out my first post in this series about bookish cross stitch (you should do, here is the link for you!) then just to update you, I like to cross stitch. For me, I find it incredibly relaxing to stick on a good audio book and just stitch away.

There are so many cute book related cross stitch patterns out there so I have made it my mission to share some of my favourites with you and to try and get as many people cross stitching as possible.

The Geeky Stitching Company

The Geeky Stitching Company has been one of my favourite go to places for a couple of years now. They have really cute kits that can be stitched up in a few hours and contain everything you need. I love purchasing these kits for my friends who have never cross stitched before as it's just such a great introduction into the world of cross stitch.

For my blog post today I stitched the Don't Let the Muggles Get You Down kit, which is a quote from Harry Potter. I love this quote and think it looks really cute surrounded by more traditional cross stitch flower designs. There are quite a few Harry Potter kits on the website too, including an adorable Luna Lovegood one that I definitely need to stitch.

New patterns come in all the time and they even offer a monthly subscription box. I was subscribed for a while and all of the patterns were incredibly cute but I often found them piling up because I go through phases of loving to stitch and then not wanting to touch a piece for months. All of the patterns on the site are very cute and kawaii themed with loads of unicorns, food and quotes, seriously I am gushing but The Geeky Stitching Company just makes such lovely kits, I really do recommend them!

Oh and if anyone is interested, I listened to Sadie on Audible whilst stitching. Really enjoyed the book but as it is part podcast I really recommend listening to the audio version. It has a full voice cast and the production is fantastic.

Have you ever purchased from Geeky Stitching Company? Do you cross stitch at all? If so would love some pattern recommendations to check out!

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Book Review | Legendary by Stephanie Garber

Legendary by Stephanie Garber book review

My Rating: 10/10 
Published: May 29th 2018
Pages: 451
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy  
Amazon | Goodreads

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister, Scarlett, from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister's. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice, but now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever...

Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . the games have only just begun

Legendary is the second book in the Caraval series, and if you have read my Caraval review you will know I gave it 10/10, so I went into Legendary with very high expectations, and luckily this book totally exceeded them and is my favourite in the series so far. 

I don't want to go into plot points too much as this is a sequel and I don't want to give away anything from the first book, but in Legendary we focus on the sister Donatella, who is a lot more feisty and fun than her sister, Scarlett who was the main character in the first book. Tella is quite a flawed character and makes many choices that will have you screaming at the book, but there is something about her that has you rooting for her.

The mystery of who Legend is is a lot of fun too. Tella is constantly questioning characters in the book and I love being there and seeing her thought process and trying to figure it out along with her. There is so many twists and turns and with everyone playing the game of Caraval it's hard to know what to believe.

Legendary also goes so much further than the game of Caraval though and really works on the world building with the introduction of fates which feel like a mix of mythical Greek gods and tarot cards, two things I love as well as increasing on the politics mentioned in Caraval and it makes the world feel a lot more fleshed out and real. 

Much like Caraval, the writing of Legendary is beautiful and whimsical which really helps with the magical feel of the story. The descriptions in Legendary are just so lovely it really makes you feel as if you are there and I wish I could actually experience these things for myself. 

To say I loved Legendary is an understatement. It's just a beautiful magical mystery adventure that I devoured and I really can't wait to see how the story wraps up in Finale which is out this year. If you haven't read Caraval or Legendary yet, seriously, pick them up today! 

Monday, 18 February 2019

Reading Wrap Up | January

We only have 10 days of February left but I have just this moment decided I want to do a wrap up of what I read in January. I'm thinking I will start doing these monthly because I don't always review what I read so this may be a good quick insight into what I read in a month. Let me know if you enjoy it and now on to the books!

January reading wrap upCirce by Madeline Miller (audiobook)
My first read of 2019 was a good one! This is all about Greek mythology and follows Circe, the daughter of the titan Helios and her lifetime, from being an odd child who was seen as ugly among gods, to being banished to an island where she discovers she can do withcraft.
I really enjoyed this book. Circe is such a strong female character and her (fictional) life was so interesting to follow and was very accurate to Greek mythology. Circe is also beautifully written and I can definitely recommend the audio version too as the narrator was fantastic.
Sadie by Courtney Summers (audiobook)
January reading wrap upSadie is another one I listened to the audio version of and I definitely think it's the best way to read Sadie as it's just such a fantastic example of how well audiobooks can work, I think if I had read the physical copy my score would've been a 4/5.
The story is told partly as a regular story following Sadie and partly in the format of a podcast that is investigating Sadie's dissapearance, think of the podcast being like Serial. The audiobook version has a full voice cast and it really brings the book to life, it's so clever.
As mentioned, Sadie has gone missing. She is on the hunt for her little sisters killer. It is every bit as dark and tragic as it sounds and has some very disturbing topics covered, but it's a compelling story and very cleverly crafted. 
January reading wrap upRich People Problems by Kevin Kwan
This is the third book in the Crazy Rich Asians series. I recently saw the film so I thought I had to finally get round to reading the third (and I think final) book in the series.
Like the previous books this is incredibly fun and addictive read and the descriptions of how expensive and over the top things were still had my jaw dropping which I thought I would be used to by now!
Su Yi, who is like Asian royalty is on her death bed and so all of the characters from previous books, and quite a few new ones fly out to Singapore as a last ditch attempt to get in her will and fight over who will receive Tyersall Park, one of the biggest and grandest estates there is.

January reading wrap upStrange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami
At just 176 pages this was a very short and sweet read. Tsukiko is drinking alone at her local bar when she bumps into one of her old school teachers. After meeting once the pair keep running into each other and this is all about how their relationship develops.
Strange Weather in Tokyo is a very gentle read, there are no huge epic scenes but that doesn't detract from the fact that it is totally lovely but it did make me cry. Thinking back, it was quite a beautiful story. 
January reading wrap upThe Binding by Bridget Collins
The blurb of the binding talks about how Emmett Farmer is going to be a book binders apprentice, so as you can imagine as a fan of books automatically I was like, YES. The Binding is so much more than this though and the process of binding is actually to remove someones memories and place them in a book which would ensure they don't remember it ever again, but this is a profession that is feared by the poor and abused by the rich.
I really enjoyed The Binding. I went in expecting one thing and got something completely different which I really enjoyed, the only part which is questionable to me was the ending as it seemed quite out of character for Emmett. 
The Binding is a great mix of historical fiction, magical realism, mystery and just a pinch of romance. Very enjoyable.

January reading wrap upThe Nursery by Bill Thompson
The last book I read this month was one I was really excited for but sadly ended up falling really flat for me.
I love a good ghost story and in The Nursery there is a room that has been a locked room that has sat empty for 50 years with a key that can't be found, until the new owners of the house move in and start to poke around, sounds incredible right?
Unfortunately I thought this book was poorly written and there were a lot of conveniences in this book that helped wrap everything up neatly. The saving grace is that there a couple of very spine tingly moments that happen, but besides those this is a messy and not too frighting book.

I'm actually surprisingly pleased with how much I managed to read in January, definitely a good start to the year which is great because I know February will not be anywhere near as good. Have you read any of these books? Or do any of them peak your interest? 


Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Short Story Collections for Valentine's Day

proud, meet cute, slasher girls and monster boys

Valentine's day is fast approaching us and although it's not something I personally celebrate, I love any reason to do a themed blog post, so here we are with my suggestions of short story collections for Valentine's Day! I've tried not to make this a typical love themed selection though and hoping to cover the bases for everyone.

The collection for the romantic type - Meet Cute

If you haven't heard of a meet cute before, it's essentially where two people are destined to meet and fall in love pretty much instantly. It's soppy, sweet, sometimes a bit sickly but also totally adorable. Meet Cute is full of short stories of this nature by some incredible well known authors like Nicola Yoon, Dhonielle Clayton and Julie Murphy.
My personal favourite in this collection was Print Shop, a story set in an old fashioned print shop where everything is still done by hand (romantic setting right there) as the main character is trying to deal with a disgruntled customer on social media. This is a f/f love interest too and honestly, I wish I could've had more of this story.
Did I mention this book is super inclusive too? Yep, not just your typical male / female romances here, although it includes them too! This collection is so good for when you want to feel the love.

The collection for everyone - Proud

I have been waxing lyrical about Proud since receiving it, but for those of you who haven't heard about it yet, it is a collection of short stories, poems and illustrations about LGBTQ+ characters by fantastic LGBTQ+ authors. There is also a very touching foreword by Juno Dawson who compiled this collection which very nearly had me in tears!
So how does this fit in to my valentines post if it's not all about love? Well, love comes in many different forms, not just in a romantic relationship and this book is full of that message, from loving your friends, to the super important message of loving yourself, it's all very heartwarming.
And there is a story about penguins too, seriously, who can resist penguins! 

The anti-valentines one - Slasher Girls & Monster Boys

Not into reading about romance? That's cool. What is the opposite of romance? Horror. OK that might be bit of a reach, but honestly I love horror and I will write about it whenever I can and this collection has some of my absolute fave authors in it, including Leigh Bardugo, Jay Kristoff and Marie Lu!
As this is a YA selection it's not super full on so great for those new to the genre, but some tales are definitely more chilling than others and ranges from more realistic thrillers that will leave you checking your bedroom windows, to horror with creatures that go bump in the night.

So quite a short wrap up of short stories, but Valentine's day is only one day! I have no idea what I am trying to say anymore other than I thoroughly love all of these collections and you should read them regardless or not of if it's Valentine's day. Do you have any short story collections you would recommend? And hope you all have a lovely Valentine's day!


Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Book Review | Fierce Fragile Hearts by Sara Barnard

Fierce Fragile Hearts by Sara Barnard Review

My Rating: 9/10 
Published: February 7th 2019
Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary 
Amazon | Goodreads

Two years after a downward spiral took her as low as you can possibly go, Suzanne is starting again. Again. She's back in Brighton, the only place she felt she belonged, back with her best friends Caddy and Rosie. But they're about to leave for university. When your friends have been your light in the darkness, what happens when you're the one left behind?

Fierce Fragile Hearts is the stunning companion novel to Sara Barnard's YA bestseller Beautiful Broken Things. It is about leaving the past behind, the friends who form your future, and learning to find love, in all its forms.

I have been a bit sceptical recently when it has come to YA contemporary's as I have found them to be quite hard to relate to, so I was weary of Fierce Fragile Hearts, but I absolutely loved it and it was emotional on so many levels . I even had to stop reading this whilst on the train to avoid crying on my way to work.  

FFH is a companion novel to Beautiful Broken Things, it follows Suzanne who was a friend in the first book a few years on. FFH is a great book within it's own rights, and you don't have to have read BBT in order to understand the story at all, although I am grateful I have because the character progression is so well done. 

Sara Barnard writes teenage voices so well, they are completely realistic and as someone who didn't go to university, I found Suzanne quite relatable with the feelings she has in this book towards her friends and how the friendships change as they grow older and experience different things. 

As Suzanne is someone who has been in and of care, this is her first time being on her own and we get to see the ups and downs of someone not just dealing with being on their own for the first time but also the road to recovery and how it is often quite bumpy.

Overall I loved this book, in particular the ending. As I've mentioned I went through all the emotions reading this and I just love that this isn't a dramatic fantasy story, it feels more like a slice of life and is incredibly realistic. This was a joy to read and quite different from anything I have read recently. Definitely recommend. 


Friday, 1 February 2019

January 2019 Book Haul

Oh wow we are in 2019, didn't that come round quick! My haul this month is actually pretty small, this is largely due to the fact that I have really been trying to cut down on my book buying this year, but also due to the fact that I was away in Taiwan for the last two weeks of the month so didn't really have a chance to buy any book.... Here is what I picked up in January:

book haul

  • Bygone Badass Broads, 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World - It's no secret I am a fan of these types of feminist books so when I received this as a Christmas gift from my best friend I was super excited. This is a gorgeous book of illustrations and descriptions of women in history who have had a vital role in pioneering the way forward for other women but are lesser known today. It's fantastic and definitely one I am picking up for my younger cousins to read too.
  • Proud - This is a book that I am so fricking excited about and I seriously hope everyone picks up. It's a collection of short stories, poems and illustrations that have an LBTQ+ theme and are all by LGBTQ+ authors. Proud was compiled by Juno Dawson who is a fantastic author and this is such a wonderful celebration of the LGBTQ+ community.
  • The Outrun by Amy Liptrot - I received this book in the January Reading in Heels subscription box. The Outrun is actually is a memoir as Amy is trying to overcome addiction after she moves back to Orkney after living a heady lifestyle in London. This has stellar reviews and looks like it will be quite an emotional read.
  • Dumplin' & Puddin' by Julie Murphy - Like many people who use twitter, I watched Dumplin on Netflix and absolutely fell in love. It's just such a charming feel good film so of course I had to pick up the book straight away, and getting the sequel was pretty much a no brainer.
That is it for this month. Have you watched Dumplin' yet? Did you enjoy it as much as I did? It seems like Netflix is really killing it with the book to film adaptations at the moment. 

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Book Review | The Familiars by Stacey Halls

The Familiars by Stacey Hall book review historical fiction

My Rating: 8/10 
Published: February 7th 2019
Pages: 352
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Amazon | Goodreads 

Young Fleetwood Shuttleworth, a noblewoman, is with child again. None of her previous pregnancies have borne fruit, and her husband, Richard, is anxious for an heir. Then Fleetwood discovers a hidden doctor’s letter that carries a dire prediction: she will not survive another birth. By chance she meets a midwife named Alice Grey, who promises to help her deliver a healthy baby. But Alice soon stands accused of witchcraft.

Is there more to Alice than meets the eye? Fleetwood must risk everything to prove her innocence. As the two women’s lives become intertwined, the Witch Trials of 1612 loom. Time is running out; both their lives are at stake. Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

Rich and compelling, set against the frenzy of the real Pendle Hill Witch Trials, this novel explores the rights of 17th-century women and raises the question: Was witch-hunting really women-hunting? Fleetwood Shuttleworth, Alice Grey and the other characters are actual historical figures. King James I was obsessed with asserting power over the lawless countryside (even woodland creatures, or “familiars,” were suspected of dark magic) by capturing “witches”—in reality mostly poor and illiterate women.

The Familiars is a historical fiction novel, which from the title is not what I was expecting. For those of you who are unaware of what a familiar is, to put it simply, it's a witches companion that takes the shape of an animal, like Salem in Sabrina the Teenage Witch. This made me think that The Familiars was going to be a lot more fantastical but what we get instead is a very true to the time story which is incredibly addicting to read. 

Fleetwood is a great character, she is considered strange by those around her as she is not your typical lady. She takes parts in hunts, rolls around on the floor with her dog and does not seem to be all that interested in being the lady of the manor, which she is... She is pretty well fleshed out with a good back story too and despite only being seventeen has already been through so much in her life.

The other main player in this book is Alice, the lady Fleetwood takes on as a midwife. Alice is poor and has been accused of witchcraft. This is the part for me which shows just what a good historic fiction this is because at the time of the witch hunts it was mainly poor women that were targeted. We see how Fleetwood and Alice's friendship develops over time and follow their stories both past and present.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and sped through it. I think the only thing I would've liked to have seen more of is familiars themselves, whilst they are a nice recurring theme in the book, considering the title of the book is The Familiars I would've thought they would be more prominent in the book and as I mentioned at the start I also thought this would have more of a fantastical magical element. Although The Familiars is very different to what I was expecting, I really enjoyed it and raced through it. For anyone who is a fan of witches and the time period I definitely recommend checking this out, or for anyone who appreciates a good story with a strong female main character definitely pick this up. 


Saturday, 12 January 2019

Bookish Cross Stitch - Plastic Little Covers

cross stitch book mark plastic little covers

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of cross stitch, one of my favourite hobbies at the weekend is to listen to a good audio book and do some cross stitch, it's so relaxing I really recommend it! Cross stitch is actually really easy to pick up and always makes for cute gifts so I've decided to do a small series on different cross stitch designers who offer kits or patterns that have bookish themed products starting with Plastic Little Covers.

I've actually stitched quite a few of Plastic Little Covers patterns, but the products I wanted to feature today are her bookmark kits. As you can see I've made a couple already and actually gifted the kits a few times to friends. 

cross stitch book mark plastic little covers

Everything you need to stitch a bookmark is included in the including the fabric, needle, all threads, backing fabric, finishing thread and the pattern with instructions on how to cross stitch for beinners plus how to finish off the bookmark. There are quite a few different designs to choose from as well and I love them all. Overall I think this took me around three hours whilst listening to Circe and I really loved stitching it. 

Besides the cross stitch kits, as I mentioned Plastic Little Covers has some amazing bookish themed patterns that come in PDF format. These are a little bit more complicated as they are larger in size and require you to buy the threads and cross stitch fabric (aida) yourself, but if you are already a stitcher I definitely recommend these patterns as I've had great fun stitching them, plus they look cute AF once done. Here are a couple of my favourite:
cross stitch pattern plastic little covers

The bookmark kits range in price from £6.50 to £8 and the PDF patterns start at just 2.40, all available from her Etsy store! What do you think, would you stitch one of these? Any cross stitchers here already? I also totally love listening to audi dramas and if you are looking for some good ones to check out I have just the blog post for you: I Heart Audio Dramas  What a great little plug that was!


Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Book Review | My Name is Anna by Lizzy Barber

My Name is Anna by Lizzy Barber book review

My Rating: 9/10 
Published: 10th January 2019 
Pages: 182 
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller,
Amazon | Goodreads 
Two women – desperate to unlock the truth.
How far will they go to lay the past to rest?
ANNA has been taught that virtue is the path to God. But on her eighteenth birthday she defies her Mamma’s rules and visits Florida’s biggest theme park.
She has never been allowed to go – so why, when she arrives, does everything seem so familiar? And is there a connection to the mysterious letter she receives on the same day?
ROSIE has grown up in the shadow of the missing sister she barely remembers, her family fractured by years of searching without leads.Now, on the fifteenth anniversary of her sister’s disappearance, the media circus resumes in full flow, and Rosie vows to uncover the truth.
But will she find the answer before it tears her family apart?
Before starting this review I will be straight up honest and say that this book features a lot of things I find fascinating, such as conspiracy theories, theme parks, missing people and more so it really had my attention from the start which pretty much guaranteed I was going to enjoy it, and I did.
This story is a thriller and is told from the perspective of Anna, the girl who has had a strict upbringing in Florida, and Rosie, a girl who lives in London whose older sister went missing when she was just a baby, 15 years ago.
Going into the book I felt like a relatively big part of the plot was given away by the blurb, and whilst this is the case there is actually so much more to the story than the discovery that *Spoiler-ish* Anna and Rosie are sisters. There are plenty more twists and turns that take part and having it told through two points of view really helps keep the suspense up as it skips from one sister to the other, often at a point where you are dying to read on about what the current sister is getting up to. The two sisters also have such clear differences even in the writing style used which makes it very easy to follow the two stories that are developing. 
Another really strong point of this book is the side characters. They are all so well written and fleshed out that they are very believable. There are often times in the story when I questioned, why is this character doing this, I don't understand, but then as more of the back story develops or some of the plot unfolds it all makes sense and explains a lot about why some of the characters behave the way they do. 
Overall I found this a really interesting and well written story with so much more to it than meets the eye. It was a total page turner and I did not want to put it down. I definitely recommend this if you are after a good thriller, what a great book to kick start the year with! 

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Book Review | Whiteout by Gabriel Dylan

Whiteout by Gabriel Dylan book review

My Rating: 8/10 
Published: January 10th 2019
Pages: 416
Genre: Horror
Amazon | Goodreads 

For Charlie, a school ski trip is the perfect escape from his unhappy home life. Until a storm blows in and the resort town is cut off from the rest of the world. Trapped on the mountain, the students wait for the blizzards to pass, along with mysterious ski guide Hanna. 
But as night falls and the town’s long buried secrets begin to surface, the storm is the least of their problems….

‘She sat us all down and told us a story. About things that lived in the woods. Things that only came out at night.’

My love of horror books is no secret, and the books published under the Redeye umbrella have not let me down in the past, so when I saw their latest addition, Whiteout I was very excited to pick it up and delve straight in. It did not disappoint! 

I've never actually been skiing before, and living in London the whole city has a meltdown when we see the slightest bit of snow so a remote mountain resort in my eyes makes the perfect setting for a horror book. With no way to communicate with the outside world due to signal lines being down, and no way to escape this creates the perfect recipe for something bad to happen.

Whiteout is incredibly faced paced and each chapter is told from a different point of view. The book mainly follows Charlie, but it often follows his other classmates. Quite often they get split up so you will get to the end of a chapter with one lot of characters and be dying to find out what happens next, only for the story to follow the other set of characters, great for building suspence and for a slightly different way of telling the story. 

This is an action packed survival horror book that you will definitely speed through. I particularly loved the way that it ended but don't worry, I won't spoil that for you! 

Thursday, 3 January 2019

December 2018 Book Haul

December was a good month for me and books. I was actually doing really well in not buying anything, but then Christmas happened and so I received some books but I also gave some as gifts to friends but they looked so great I just had to pick up a copy for myself too, as you do....

  • Stories We Tell Ourselves by Sarah Fran├žoise - This was part of the December Reading in Heels subscription box. It's a slice of life style book about a family with many problems (affairs to be a recurring theme) as they return home to the French Alps for Christmas. 
  • Nothing But the Truth by Dick Lehr - I received this from Walker YA (thank you!!!) Set in Boston, a thirteen year old African American girl is shot. An arrest was quickly made. The person arrested is Trell's father. She was only a baby when he was arrested but twelve years later she is trying to get him out of prison and prove his innocence. It sounds like a really powerful book and I can't wait to sink my teeth into it.
  • Spellslinger and Shadowblack by Sebastien de Castell - These two were Christmas gifts from my husband, I was quite impressed that he picked them out by himself as I had seen Sebastien do a reading of his fourth book in September and thought it was fab. Anyway, the Spellslinger series I've heard is like magic meets the Wild West and it sounds like a really fun series. Oh and there is a sarcastic creature called a squirrel cat. Fab. 
  • Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami - Another gift from my husband, and another fantastic choice as this is one I have been eyeing up for ages. Tsukiko is in her late thirties when she meets a former teacher of hers in a bar. They keep meeting again and again and this follows their relationship as it develops. I've heard from lots of friends it's a very sweet read. 
  • The Traveling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa - Of course this has been on my wish list for a while, I mean it has a cat in the title! Yet another gift from my husband, this is about the relationship between a Japanese business man and a street cat. Described as heartwarming and feel good, I can't wait to read this when I am feeling a bit blue. 
  • Predators Gold by Philip Reeve - This is the last of the books that my husband got me for Christmas. Predators Gold is actually the second in the Mortal Engines quartet, so of course I've ordered Mortal Engines so I can read that first. It's set in a post- apocalyptic future and features flying cities so it sounds pretty epic. 
  • Basic Witches, How to Summon Success, Banish Drama and Raise Hell With Your Coven - To say I was influenced by The chilling Adventures of Sabrina this year is an understatement, and my goal of 2019 is to become a basic witch bitch. This book is full of super cute and fun illustrations. If you are looking for serious magic this isn't going to be for you, but it is a great self help style book with a witchy theme and I love it.
  • Kawaii Tarot - Sticking to the supernatural theme, I decided to pick up the Kawaii Tarot kit which includes the cutest tarot deck ever, and a book explaining how to read the cards. I have always thought of myself as slightly physic, so tarot peaked my interest. The book included in this kit is pretty basic so I think I will have to pick up another one to help me understand tarot better, but the deck is kawaii AF and a good starting point.
Phew that was a pretty huge haul! I think my husband did a fantastic job of picking out a variety of books I would like, he is a good sausage sometimes! Are any of these on your list or interest you? Also is anyone else into Tarot and can recommend some good resources? 

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