WWW Wednesday #79

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?

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I’m currently almost half way through Dear Thing by Julie Cohen. I’m really enjoying this book so far, but I haven’t had much time to read so far this week, otherwise I’m sure I would’ve finished it by now. Not to worry though, after today I have six whole weeks off work! Yippee! This book will be reviewed with my sister Beth for part of our ‘Talking About…’ review feature.

What did you recently finish reading?

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I’ve recently finished Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige. I read this for two reasons 1. I really wanted to read it 2. It was my choice of Luna’s Picks. My review is coming up tomorrow!

What do you think you’ll read next?15726915

Next up for me is the reader’s choice of Luna’s Picks, Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens. I don’t know a lot about this book, so I’m looking forward to going into it not knowing much!

What are you reading this week? Please feel free to answer the questions or leave your link in the comments below. Happy Reading! :-)

Talking About ‘Eeny Meeny’ with Bibliobeth

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How did I get it?:
Netgalley- thanks to Penguin UK

Synopsis:

Two hostages. One bullet. One lives. One dies.

They were going to spend the rest of their lives together. Soul mates. But when a young couple wakes up alone together, disorientated and trapped, they are yet to grasp the true horror of their situation. They have no food, no water. Instead there is a gun loaded with a single bullet and a mobile phone with enough power only to deliver a short message: ‘when one of you kills the other, the survivor will walk free’. For their captor it’s simple: set the scene, watch, wait and leave the victims to do the killing. Tortured by fear, desperation, starvation and thirst, there’s only one way to end their ordeal: one of them must die.

DI Helen Grace and her team know they are hunting a complex predator whose broken survivors must endure their role as living calling cards. And killers. The victims – work colleagues, a mother and daughter, a pair of dancers – appear to be chosen at random and yet the planning is meticulous. There must be something driving the choice of victims, but until DI Grace can establish a connection, the killer is unreachable. A breakthrough is elusive and then, terrifyingly, the investigation begins to turn full circle…

Thoughts:

CHRISSI:  Discuss whether having a female character at the heart of a crime novel gives it a different feel.

BETH: This novel was a bit more unique than your usual crime/thriller as the perp of this novel is a woman. I haven’t read much fiction before that has a female character as the murderer so instantly it became a bit more interesting. I think this is probably because the statistics show that women in general don’t tend to kill random strangers as much as a man. What makes the story even creepier in my opinion is that our perp is choosing two individuals, placing them in a situation where they can’t escape and have no access to food or water. The only thing they have access to is a gun, and instructions saying that one must kill the other if they want to be set free. The idea of this terrifying plot combined with the fact that it is designed and carried out by a woman, make this novel stand out amongst its other rivals in the genre.

BETH: The story is set in Southampton. As we’ve lived there for quite a while, how did you enjoy reading about it in this novel?

CHRISSI: I have to admit it was very odd to read about places that we knew about. It’s not often books are set in Southampton so it was an enjoyable reading experience. I could easily picture the places they mentioned. It gave a very creepy feel to the story!

CHRISSI: When we were reading Eeny Meeny we were unsure whether the author was male or female. Do you think it matters? Does it affect the reader’s opinion of a book depending on what gender the author is?

BETH: The author of this book is M.J. Arlidge with no clue as to the gender. We aren’t given much more information about the author and I know a few authors decide to have just their initials and the surname on the book cover without revealing their sex. I’m not entirely sure why this happens, except that some might think it removes the prejudice that certain readers may feel about reading a book say, by a woman. For me personally I don’t really care whether the author is female or male, the only thing that matters surely is the quality of the writing and the story? However, I know we did have fun speculating on whether the author was male or female, and I have to say I was slightly surprised when I found out as I had expected the opposite. Perhaps I did make some assumptions without realising it?

BETH: Did you like the main character, DI Helen Grace? How well was she written in your opinion?

CHRISSI: I don’t think that Helen is a character that you immediately like. I think readers will either love her or hate her. I think she was a good character, but I didn’t immediately connect with her. She is incredibly well written though. She’s a strong character that comes across as incredibly steely, determined and driven. Her career is immensely important to her and she has to be tough in order to deal with the job and the challenges that come her way every day. She does come across as a very good leader. I sympathised with Helen towards the end and I’ll be interested to see how her story continues…

CHRISSI: The novel asks difficult questions about moral choices. Discuss the choices that the characters make.

BETH: Our perp is a very sneaky character and it seems the whole point of her agenda when it comes to these murders is questioning the morality of different characters when placed in the same situation. Some of the individuals have closer relationships than others, the first being boyfriend and girlfriend and some others are work colleagues. The victims have no way of getting out of their situation and are being denied food and water. Only one of the two can survive, but to do this they must kill the other. It’s hard to think if you were placed in the same situation with a loved one, a friend or even a colleague what you would do in that situation. I don’t think I would be able to kill anyone at all but when faced with this choice, it is surprising what some of the characters choose to do, in some cases they may think of killing the other as a mercy. It is only afterwards, when the surviving victim has to live with what they have done, that we see the internal struggles they go through because of their decision.

BETH: How do you think Eeny Meeny compares with other novels in the genre?

CHRISSI: I think it fits in nicely with other books in the genre. It definitely has a place. I think it’s great when female characters are at the heart of the novel, because more often than not the characters in thrillers/crime reads are male.

CHRISSI: How did you find the pacing of the story?

BETH: I found that the pacing of the novel changed which I enjoyed. In some parts it is slightly slower when we learn about our main character Detective Inspector Helen Grace, with a few tidbits about her life and how she is managing to solve the crime. Other parts are action-packed, fast and exciting and these parts were written in a way that I never felt bored.

BETH: Discuss Helen’s past and how what she has been through has affected her character.

CHRISSI:  Helen has had a traumatic past. I don’t want to mention all that had happened to her, as it would affect the story for those that haven’t read it yet. I think it does affect Helen’s present behaviour. It’s bound to. I found her to be quite an emotionally damaged character because of her past. She’s also such a flawed character, with some desperate sexual desires. As she learns more about the murders, Helen realises she’s being punished for something that happened to her that she’s tried hard to move on from.

CHRISSI: Eeny Meeny has some very dark sex scenes. Did you ever find it too much or do you think it made sense in context with the story?

BETH: Great question! I’m thinking of one sex scene in particular that was incredibly graphic. I’m no prude but it did make my eyes pop slightly! I’m not very sure if it fit in with the story exactly except for emphasising the relationship between the characters. Did I find it too much? Perhaps, but it did add a naughty little edge to the novel in points.

BETH: The next novel in this series is going to be Pop Goes The Weasel. Would you read it?

CHRISSI: I think I would read more of this series, but it’s not particularly a book that I’ll rush to read. It was enjoyable, but it felt fairly long at points!

Would we recommend it?:

BETH: Of course!

CHRISSI: Yes! 3.5 stars

Top Ten Characters I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they come up with a list for us to complete. This week the topic is Top Ten Characters I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island (pick based on however you want…skills they would bring, their company…or pure hotness factor :P)

So here are mine in no particular order!  My deserted island would certainly be an interesting one with these characters. Would they clash? Would they get on? Who knows!

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Katniss Everdeen- The Hunger Games- For obvious reasons. I’m pretty sure she’s going to be on a LOT of people’s lists this week.

Cinder- The Lunar Chronicles- Purely for her strength and general awesomeness!

Juliette- Shatter Me- I think it would be pretty interested to see how she interacted with Katniss and Cinder.

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Dean Holder- Hopeless/Losing Hope- I connected with his character so much through Hopeless and Losing Hope, so he just needs to be with me really.

Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood- Harry Potter- I bet Hermione would know some amazing spells to help us through. I think Luna is an amazing character and I’d find her fascinating.

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Poppy Sinclair and her boyfriend Michael- Dead Jealous/Dead Silent- I think I’d get on really well with Poppy and her boyfriend, so they’re welcome to join me!

Nimira and Erris- Magic Under Glass- Both adorable characters. I’d love to know more about them.

What characters would you want on a deserted island with you? Have we got any the same this week? Let me know! Feel free to leave a link to your Top Ten post and I’ll stop by!

#scandal

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How did I get it?:
I borrowed it from Luna’s Little Library

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Twenty Boy Summer

Synopsis:

Lucy’s learned some important lessons from tabloid darling Jayla Heart’s all-too-public blunders: Avoid the spotlight, don’t feed the Internet trolls, and keep your secrets secret. The policy has served Lucy well all through high school, so when her best friend Ellie gets sick before prom and begs her to step in as Cole’s date, she accepts with a smile, silencing about ten different reservations. Like the one where she’d rather stay home shredding online zombies. And the one where she hates playing dress-up. And especially the one where she’s been secretly in love with Cole since the dawn of time.

When Cole surprises her at the after party with a kiss under the stars, it’s everything Lucy has ever dreamed of… and the biggest BFF deal-breaker ever. Despite Cole’s lingering sweetness, Lucy knows they’ll have to ’fess up to Ellie. But before they get the chance, Lucy’s own Facebook profile mysteriously explodes with compromising pics of her and Cole, along with tons of other students’ party indiscretions. Tagged. Liked. And furiously viral.

By Monday morning, Lucy’s been branded a slut, a backstabber, and a narc, mired in a tabloid-worthy scandal just weeks before graduation.

Lucy’s been battling undead masses online long enough to know there’s only one way to survive a disaster of this magnitude: Stand up and fight. Game plan? Uncover and expose the Facebook hacker, win back her best friend’s trust, and graduate with a clean slate.

There’s just one snag—Cole. Turns out Lucy’s not the only one who’s been harboring unrequited love…

Thoughts:

This book is proving incredibly hard to rate and review, because whilst I did enjoy it, I also found it was lacking something, which stopped it being a 4 star read. #scandal did have elements that I did enjoy though!

I was expecting to really enjoy #scandal as I adored Twenty Boy Summer by the same author. I really liked the synopsis for #scandal, and I thought that it sounded like a good plot. I think after reading and enjoying The Truth About Alice which is also about slut-shaming, I had high expectations for this book. I know it’s not fair to compare that book to #scandal as each book you read is different in its own right, but to me, I couldn’t help but compare it.  I think it’s because I read them fairly close together. Maybe I would’ve felt differently if there was more space between the reads.

I liked that #scandal did tackle serious issues. I don’t think the issues were dealt with as well as they could have been. The characters in this book are around sixteen so whilst I wouldn’t expect them to deal with the issues in the way that an adult would, I expected more maturity from them.  The way they behaved actually made me believe in the characters less and not really feel much empathy for them. I felt like #scandal didn’t tackle the bullying/slut-shaming issue and actually concentrated on the main character, Lucy, trying to find out who set her up. #scandal would’ve been a much more powerful book if it took more of a stand on the horrendous bullying. I found it incredibly hard to believe that the school would not have stepped in sooner. We also have a case of missing parents. What is it with missing parents in YA!?

Lucy’s sister is an interesting character, but not nearly explored enough. She is famous, but not many people know that she’s related to Lucy. How does that even work? Surely the people in the same town would know that they were related. Hmmm…

The romance is okay in this story.  I didn’t believe in it much, because no matter how many times Lucy said she was in love with Cole, she never seemed to show it.

I don’t mean to sound overly negative, because I did enjoy reading #scandal and I read it at a good pace. I just thought it was going to be something much more than it actually was.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

#scandal didn’t blow me away, or make me want to re-read it. It’s worth taking a look if you’re a fan of contemporary reads, but don’t expect too much from it!

Half Bad

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How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Half Bad by Sally Green is a breathtaking debut novel about one boy’s struggle for survival in a hidden society of witches.

You can’t read, can’t write, but you heal fast, even for a witch.

You get sick if you stay indoors after dark.

You hate White Witches but love Annalise, who is one.

You’ve been kept in a cage since you were fourteen.

All you’ve got to do is escape and find Mercury, the Black Witch who eats boys. And do that before your seventeenth birthday.

Thoughts:

I had heard really mixed opinions about Half Bad, so I was very intrigued to read it. To me, it proves that you shouldn’t be put off a book that divides people. I thought Half Bad was an amazing read and an incredibly accomplished debut. I can’t wait to read more from Sally Green. I had a conversation with my sister about how long a year can wait for the sequel when you’ve really enjoyed the first instalment. That’s definitely the case with Half Bad. I need the next book in my life RIGHT NOW!

Can I say again, how I can’t believe that this is a debut novel? It’s incredible! I wasn’t sure what to expect when I read the synopsis, but it certainly wasn’t what I expected. Half Bad tells Nathan’s story. Nathan was born a half white and half black witch. Black witches are considered evil and the white witches are good. The white witches constantly hunt down the black witches. Nathan is different. As well as being half black and half white, he is also the son of one of the evillest black witches. This makes everyone incredibly wary of Nathan. They’re unsure whether he’s going to turn out like this mother or his father.

I tried to read this book slowly, but that wasn’t happening. Every time I put it down I wanted to be reading it again. I was so curious about what had happened to Nathan and what was going to happen. There’s enough information in the book to set up what I think could be a fascinating, gripping series. I’ve been waiting for a new series to grip me after devouring The Grisha trilogy. I think the Half Life trilogy could potentially be a favourite series of mine, if the rest of the books in the trilogy are as strong as Half Bad.

Half Bad is quite a dark story. It’s fascinating though and I can’t wait to discover what happens next!

Would I recommend it?:
Without a doubt!

A wonderful story for fans of witchy stories!

Rooftoppers

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How did I get it?:
I bought it at the lovely Storytellers Inc.

Synopsis:

Everyone thinks that Sophie is an orphan. True, there were no other recorded female survivors from the shipwreck which left baby Sophie floating in the English Channel in a cello case, but Sophie remembers seeing her mother wave for help. Her guardian tells her it is almost impossible that her mother is still alive, but that means still possible. You should never ignore a possible. So when the Welfare Agency writes to her guardian threatening to send Sophie to an orphanage, she takes matters into her own hands and flees to Paris to look for her mother, starting with the only clue she has – the address of the cello maker. Evading the French authorities, she meets Matteo and his network of rooftoppers – urchins who live in the sky. Together they scour the city for Sophie’s mother before she is caught and sent back to London, and most importantly before she loses hope.

Thoughts:

I’d heard a lot of good things about Rooftoppers. When I was browsing the shelves at Storytellers Inc, this book immediately caught my eye. I’ve been getting into middle grade quite a lot recently, so I was happy to add this book to my collection.

Rooftoppers is a charming story about Sophie and her guardian Charles. Sophie was found floating in the English Channel in a cello case. Charles takes her in. Charles tells Sophie that it is impossible that her mother is still alive, as there were no recorded female survivors from the shipwreck, but it’s also possible that her mother is still alive. Charles teaches Sophie that the impossible can be impossible and that you should never ignore a possible. The Welfare Agency try to take Sophie away from Charles as they believe he’s not the right person to care for a young female. Sophie finds an address of the cello maker who is based in Paris. Sophie takes this clue and flees to Paris to search for her mother. Sophie meets Metteo and other rooftoppers. Together they search Paris for Sophie’s mother.

I thought Rooftoppers was an incredibly well written, heart-warming story. I loved the idea of ignoring what adults say is impossible and always having a glimmer of hope for the possible. It was a lovely message. I absolutely loved how individual Charles and Sophie were. Sophie’s relationship with Charles was so adorable. You could clearly see how much he cared for her. As exciting as Sophie’s rooftop adventures were, I kind of missed her interactions with Charles.

Rooftoppers is a quick and easy read which I think is destined to become a children’s classic!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A charming middle grade read well worth reading for fans of magical books about possibilities!

Stacking The Shelves #80

Click on the image to take you to Tynga's blog to learn more! (Opens in same window)

Click on the image to take you to Tynga’s blog to learn more! (Opens in same window)

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!

Books picked up at YALC last weekend:

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Pig Heart Boy- Malorie Blackman- I’m very late to the wonder that is Malorie Blackman. I can’t wait to read this book, it sounds incredibly intriguing!

The Stuff Of Nightmares- Malorie Blackman- Another one that I’m excited to read. The synopsis just pulled me in!

Knife Edge- Malorie Blackman- I’m really looking forward to continuing the Noughts and Crosses series. I just hope Knife Edge doesn’t break me as much as Noughts and Crosses did!

Heap House- Edward Carey- This book looks SO good. The illustrations are also by the author. A very talented man!

West of The Moon- Margi Preus- This book looks very cute. I like my magical stories!

A Monster Calls- Patrick Ness- As part of an early birthday present my sister bought the illustrated version of A Monster Calls for me. It’s gorgeous and I can’t wait to read it!

Solitaire- Alice Oseman- I have heard so many amazing things about this book. I can’t wait to get stuck into it soon!

What did you add to your shelves this week? Please feel free to link me to any haul posts that you do! :-)

(Sorry for the awful formatting, but I’m super busy today and can’t get it right!)