WWW Wednesday #64

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday!  To participate in WWW Wednesday, you need to answer three questions.

•What are you currently reading?

•What did you recently finish reading?

•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book cover to get to the Goodread’s page for the book.

What are you currently reading?

13121678I’ve just started Shine by Candy Gourlay. I’m only 50 pages in, but already the writing is beautiful and I think this is going to be a good, memorable read. I picked it out of my Luna’s Picks for this month.

What did you recently finish reading?17286807Last night I finished Dead Girl’s Don’t Lie by Jennifer Shaw Wolf. I had wanted to read this book for a while, so my sister bought it for me for Christmas.  It was enjoyable enough, but I wasn’t keen on the frequent reference to the character’s religion. I don’t think it really did much for the story. It was never forced upon the reader, but it was frequently mentioned. My review will hopefully be up within the next couple of weeks.

What do you think you’ll read next?

17307098I’m playing catch up with a lot of paperbacks as I’ve been reading a lot on my Kindle. This is my next paperback. I’m excited to read this, as my sister really enjoyed it when she read it as an advanced reading copy.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Please feel free to leave your answer to the questions or your links in the comments section below! Happy Reading :-)

 

Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren’t Books) That I’d Like To Own

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list is Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren’t Books) that I’d like to own. I have to admit, I struggled with this list. I don’t often want bookish things besides books. But, I’ve come across some cool things that I’d like to show you! Most of them, I’d never actually get, but they’re too cute/awesome not to share!

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I absolutely adore this idea. I love reading in the bath. It’s so relaxing. I know most bookworms would shudder at those books being so near water, but if you’re careful it can be such a nice way to read. (I have dropped books before though… sad face!)

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I need this mug in my life. It’s true. I should NOT be trusted in a book store with any form of money really…

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This is so cute!

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How awesome would this be in train stations instead of vending machines with food in? The ideal vending machine for the bookworm.

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I think this is great. I love to be surrounded by my books.

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I don’t think this pillow would lead me away from temptation, but I like it nonetheless!

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Yeah, I get pretty fed up of people interrupting me when I’m reading. I need this!

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This travel mug is cute! I might need it from September, when I’m travelling and reading a lot!

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This is the perfect iPhone case for the bookworm!

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I like the idea of having this in my house. Although, I’m not sure how you’d get to the books at the very top, if you’re scared of heights like me. Anyway, the idea is nice. SO MUCH SPACE for books. Ideal!

What are your Top Ten Bookish Things that you’d like to own? Please feel free to leave a link to your top ten posts and I’ll stop by at some point!

Keep Your Friends Close

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How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Just What Kind Of Mother Are You?

Synopsis:

What do you do when your best friend steals your life?

Natty and Sean Wainwright are happily married. Rock solid in fact. So when Natty’s oldest friend, Eve Dalladay, appears – just as their daughter collapses on a school trip in France – Natty has no qualms about leaving Eve with Sean to help out at home.

Two weeks later and Natty finds Eve has slotted into family life too well. Natty’s husband has fallen in love with Eve. He’s sorry, he tells her, but their marriage is over.

With no option but to put a brave face on things for the sake of the children, Natty embarks on building a new life for herself.

And then she receives the note.

Eve has done this before, more than once, and with fatal consequences…

Thoughts:

From reading Paula Daly’s debut novel, I was really excited to pick this book up, especially after reading the synopsis. I was a bit worried though. Sometimes when the debut novel is as good, the second book can be a bit of a disappointment. I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed. Once again, Paula has come up with a gripping storyline with some characters you love to hate.

The story centres around Natty and Sean Wainwright, who thought their marriage was doing alright. It wasn’t perfect, but is any marriage? When Natty’s daughter collapses in France, Natty leaves to care for her. Natty’s oldest friend Eve Dalladay had just turned up for a visit, and Natty thought nothing of leaving Eve with Sean at home. She thought Eve was being kind, to help out her friends in a sticky situation. However, Natty finds herself regretting the choices she made, as her marriage is completely rocked, and it’s all down to Eve.

I absolutely devoured this book. It was full of twists and turns and dare I say it, utterly manipulative characters. I don’t know what it is about me, but I love to read about manipulative characters. I’m wondering what that says about me as person…please don’t judge! I just find them intriguing! ;) The story is fast-paced. I may have predicted what Eve would do first, but I certainly didn’t predict the rest of it.

This book is a quick, decent read. Paula Daly’s characters are certainly one of her biggest strengths as a writer. I either find myself rooting for her characters, feeling sorry for them, or hating them. A great sign that I’m completely engaged and invested in the story.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course! (4.5 stars)

The Madness

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How did I get it?:
Received from Hot Key Books in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to them!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
The Quietness

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Marnie lives in the idyllic coastal village of Clevedon. Despite being crippled by a childhood exposure to polio, she seems set to follow in her mother’s footsteps, and become a ‘dipper’, escorting fragile female bathers into the sea. Her life is simple and safe. But then she meets Noah. Charming, handsome, son-of-the-local-Lord, Noah. She quickly develops a passion for him – a passion which consumes her.

As Marnie’s infatuation turns to fixation she starts to lose her grip on reality, and a harrowing and dangerous obsession develops that seems certain to end in tragedy. Set in the early Victorian era when propriety, modesty and repression were the rule, this is a taut psychological drama in which the breakdown of a young woman’s emotional state will have a devastating impact on all those around her.

Thoughts:

I think this is the part where I declare my undying love for Alison Rattle’s writing. I didn’t think she could top The Quietness, but she has. The Madness is a terrific piece of work. It’s an unusual story, but unusual in a good way. It stands out against other books in the genre. I loved how the narrative splits between Marnie and extracts from Noah’s diary. I thought this was really effective. I could just see what was going to happen to poor Marnie.

I fell in love with Marnie. She comes across as a lot younger than her age because of her lack of education and lifestyle. Marnie lives with a disability. Her leg was crippled following polio. Yet, Marnie doesn’t let it stop her from enjoying the water. Marnie’s mother is a dipper. She believes that a dip in the sea can cure anyone of ailments. Marnie helps her mother with the business.

I think some of the strongest scenes in this book, were ones when Marnie was in the sea. She really came to life out there. She belonged in the sea. The sea brings Marnie to Noah. Noah is the Lord of the Manor’s son. He is in a completely different class to Marnie. Yet they both find themselves drawn to one another. Marnie teaches Noah about the sea. With each time spent with Noah, Marnie becomes even more infatuated by him. Perhaps too infatuated? I’ll let you read and see.

I think I knew throughout that this was going to be a sad story. From the way the people treated Marnie (even her own mother) and Marnie falling for an upper class gentlemen, there was no way that this would end well. Marnie is so innocent too, so trusting. I don’t see how anyone that reads this book could hate her. I just felt for her and wanted to take away her pain.

I can’t recommend this book enough. The writing is beautiful and sets the scene so wonderfully. I really felt transported to a 19th Century beach town.

Would I recommend it?:
Without a doubt!

Stacking The Shelves #66

Click on the image to take you to Tynga's blog to learn more!

Click on the image to take you to Tynga’s blog to learn more!

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

As ever, click on the book image to get to the Goodread’s page!

Bought:

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I have been very good this week as I’m going to see Luna this week from Luna’s Little Library with my sister Beth. I’m pretty sure I’m going to come back with lots of books…so next week’s haul might be…interesting!

I’m so intrigued to read Dorothy Must Die. I’m probably going to bump it up the TBR pile as soon as I can.  My mum bought me Susan Lewis’ Never Say Goodbye. She had heard that it was an emotional, good read, so hopefully I’ll get to it soon.

So there it is, my very small haul this week! What did you add to your shelves? Please feel free to leave a link and I’ll come and visit your blog after I get back from Luna’s!

The Shock Of The Fall

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How did I get it?:
I borrowed it from Beth!

Synopsis:

‘I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that.’

There are books you can’t stop reading, which keep you up all night.

There are books which let us into the hidden parts of life and make them vividly real.

There are books which, because of the sheer skill with which every word is chosen, linger in your mind for days.

The Shock of the Fall is all of these books.

The Shock of the Fall is an extraordinary portrait of one man’s descent into mental illness. It is a brave and groundbreaking novel from one of the most exciting new voices in fiction.

Thoughts:

My sister picked up The Shock Of The Fall at last year’s Hay Festival. She was pulled towards the hardback cover, which is gorgeous and the synopsis which is incredibly intriguing. She didn’t intend to read it soon, so she gave it for me to read! The Shock Of The Fall is an impressive debut novel. It’s very emotional, but strong at the same time. Nathan Filer doesn’t hold back from exploring how difficult mental illness is.

The Shock Of The Fall tells the story of Matthew Homes, a young man who is suffering with mental illness. It covers the time period from when he lost his brother to his current journey. Matthew’s story is handled sensitively, but it is brutally honest, written by an author who understands these issues.

Although this isn’t the cheeriest of subjects, it’s not difficult to read. The unique way in which its written makes the reader step inside Matthew’s head. You really feel like you know him, his family, his friends and the professionals he encounters along the way. The reader learns about his dealings with the medical system, his guilt over what happened to his brother and his schizophrenia.

I think The Shock Of The Fall is an impressive, powerful debut novel. I was surprised that this was Nathan Filer’s debut novel, the writing was incredibly assured. I recommend this book to anyone that likes a tough, but honest read about mental illness.

Would I recommend it?:
Without a doubt!

Love Letters To The Dead

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How did I get it?:
Received from Hot Key Books in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more; though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was; lovely and amazing and deeply flawed; can she begin to discover her own path.

Thoughts:

I was really looking forward to reading Love Letters To The Dead. I had seen it hyped everywhere, and many people I knew were giving it 5 stars. When I got my hands on a copy, this book jumped up my TBR pile, bypassing many books. However, I think I gave into the hype monster. I didn’t like it as much as I expected to, and now I’m questioning whether I’m wrong. There’s no denying that Ava Dellaira is a talented author, but for me there was something missing in this book.

I think the reason why I didn’t connect with it as much as I hoped was that I found it quite slow paced. It took a while to get used to the letter format. (The book is purely told in the form of letters). I just wanted to know what had happened to Laurel’s sister, and it took a long time for it to be drawn out. I guess some others might find this intriguing, but for me, I began to lose interest.

Laurel’s grief is explored so well throughout this book. She was trying to forget her past, but writing the letters slowly helped her to come to terms with everything that had happened to her. It helped her to deal with who she was. I thought that Laurel developed really beautifully throughout the book. The reader can really see the growth from the beginning to the end of the book.

Laurel is a brilliant character. The reader can really feel her loneliness. I really liked Sky (the love interest) and Laurel’s friends. Each had their own issues, but were able to deal with their issues together.

I think Love Letters To The Dead is a good read, and worth checking out. But for me, I definitely needed to be aware of that hype monster…

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!