Stacking The Shelves #195

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!

Book images go to Goodreads!

Bought:

Notes on a Nervous Planet

I really enjoyed Reasons To Stay Alive even though I thought it was quite raw! It was still awesome. Looking forward to this one!

Love, Life, and the List

I’m a massive fan of Kasie West and her books just scream Summer to me! 🙂

Listen to Your Heart

See? Doesn’t that cover make you think of Summer?

What have you added to your shelves this week? Let me know!

 

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Fairy Tale Friday- Heungbu and Nolbu

This week’s fairy tale was all about friendship. It centred around Nolbu and Heungbu. They lived together with their families in their father’s house. Nolbu who was the eldest of the two, was selfish and cruel, whilst his brother was the opposite. When their father died, Nolbu threw his younger brother out of the house and kept all of their father’s fortune to himself. Heungbu lived in a hovel and hard to work hard to provide for his family. He did this without moaning.

One Autumn, the harvest was particularly bad. Heungbu went to beg his brother for food, but he was faced with his awful sister-in-law. She refused to give him food and struck him with the rice ladle. He asked her to do it again, so she did. Heungbu scooped up the rice from his cheeks and was able to feed his family.

Heungbu also saved a young swallow that had fallen from its nest. The swallow never forgot the kindness, and in the Spring when it returned it dropped seeds into his hand. Heungbu planted the seeds on his thatched roof. Before long it started to grow. They produced bright flowers and then three plump gourds. The gourds would feed them for weeks. When the three gourds were cut into they contained rice, gold coins and timber and nails to build a house. Heungbu and his family now had food to eat and a place to stay.

Nolbu heard of Heungbu’s fortune and was immediately jealous. He found a swallow’s nest, broke its leg and then bandaged it up again. Once more the swallow dropped seeds in a garden, but this time it was not good fortune… The gourds that grew had wicked goblins inside. they stole his money and tore down his house. Nolbu and his wife begged Heungbu for some help. Heungbu being the wonderful person that he was welcomed them with open arms. They soon learnt kindness from Heungbu!

Next Fairy Tale- Androcles and The Lion

A Sky Painted Gold

A Sky Painted Gold

How did I get it?:
Sent to me by the publisher, many thanks to Scholastic!

Synopsis:

Growing up in her sleepy Cornish village dreaming of being a writer, sixteen-year-old Lou has always wondered about the grand Cardew house which has stood empty for years. And when the owners arrive for the summer – a handsome, dashing brother and sister – Lou is quite swept off her feet and into a world of moonlit cocktail parties and glamour beyond her wildest dreams.

But, as she grows closer to the Cardews, is she abandoning her own ambitions… And is there something darker lurking at the heart of the Cardew family?

 

Thoughts:

I was intrigued by the synopsis of this book, so when I was given the opportunity to be sent a copy of Laura Wood’s A Sky Painted Gold, I snapped it up.  I’m into my historical fiction so that’s something about the book that definitely pulled me in. Usually historical fiction involves a lot of heavy plot lines. This book was so different because it was like an every day story but without all of our current modernness. It almost felt like a period drama. I can definitely see the links to The Great Gatsby. I’m so pleased I read this book because I really thought that it was a gem!

It centres around Lou who has a middle-class family. Lou is close to her sister Alice, who has just got married. Lou feels alone and knows she should be getting ready to get married herself, but she doesn’t feel quite ready yet. Lou ends up befriending the upper class Cardew family. She gets on well with the sister, Caitlin and is intrigued by Robert, the brother. Lou’s life begins to change. She attends loads of parties and events. She’s swept up in the glamour even though she knows she doesn’t really fit in.

I thought this story was so well crafted. It really captured my attention and I found it hard to put down. Laura Wood has such a fantastic writing style. I sometimes can find it quite hard to read books where they’re not particularly fast paced. I can be easily bored, however, with Laura Wood’s writing,  I was immediately captivated by the setting and the characters. The romance was a slow burner as well which I totally appreciate. I’m bored of insta-love.

The characters are so wonderful. I immediately really liked Caitlin. Her relationship with her sister was very realistic and heart-warming at the same time. I loved that the female friendships in this book were so strong. We definitely need to see more of that!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

This book surprised me. I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did! Highly recommended!

Clean

Clean

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

I can feel it swimming through my veins like glitter … it’s liquid gold.

When socialite Lexi Volkov almost overdoses, she thinks she’s hit rock bottom.

She’s wrong. Rock bottom is when she’s forced into an exclusive rehab facility.

From there, the only way is up for Lexi and her fellow inmates, including the mysterious Brady.

As she faces her demons, Lexi realises love is the most powerful drug of all …

It’s a dirty business getting clean …

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Thoughts:

Hmm. I had heard mixed reviews before starting this book. I really thought it was going to be another 5 star read as so often Juno Dawson’s books are. However, it’s not a 5 star read for me. It’s a 3 star. Just. Before going into this book, please be aware that there are massive trigger warnings. It’s a book about addicts. There’s bound to be something that will trigger others. It totally doesn’t mean it should be avoided or not written about. I just think if you’re ultra sensitive maybe steer clear.

Clean begins with Lexi’s brother Nikolai taking her to an exclusive rehab centre. Nikolai had found his sister almost comatose after a drug binge. The rehab centre looks amazing, like a luxury holiday on an exclusive island. However, Lexi isn’t going to find the ‘break’ easy. No alcohol and definitely no drugs. Lexi has been taking the hard stuff. As a socialite she is able to fund the habit and her boyfriend’s habit too. Coming off the drugs is brutal. Juno Dawson doesn’t hold back as she documents Lexi’s road to recovery. As Lexi becomes clean she meets many peers all under the age of 25 whose issues include anorexia, overeating, sex addiction and substance abuse.

I think something that is important to mention is that Clean doesn’t glamorise drug use. It shows it to be an awful, ugly addiction which can change your mindset and seriously affect your health and your relationships. There are some incredibly mature themes so I definitely would say this book is towards the end age range of YA.

Part of this reason why I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I wanted to, was that I found Lexi completely insufferable. I couldn’t relate to her whatsoever. Whilst I did feel some sympathy for what she had gone through, I didn’t really connect with her. I often just rolled my eyes when she said or did certain things. I also thought some of the language was unnecessary. I get it, in points, it’s needed but I personally thought that some of the language was banded about for the shock value.

P.S. That cover will never be ‘Clean’ from my fingerprints #bookwormstruggles

Would I recommend it?:
Yes- with caution.

Not what I expected, but definitely a raw and uncomfortable read!

Top Ten Fairy Tales

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It’s all about love of lists, love of literature and bringing bookish people together. 

This week’s list is all about novellas and short stories that we’ve enjoyed. I decided to put my own spin on this list as I don’t read a lot of novellas or short stories. I do, however, read a Fairy Tale/Folk Tale every Friday as part of my Fairy Tale Friday feature here on my blog. I thought I’d put together my favourite ten!

  1. The Basket Of Eggs– A cute little Easter story which I believe originates in Canada.
  2. The Tinderbox- Hans Christian Andersen- I’m sure I’d read this tale before, but it’s basically a happily ever after story involving a princess and a soldier!
  3. The Snow Queen– Hans Christian Andersen- I hadn’t read the real version of this tale before and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
  4. The Princess and The Pea– Hans Christian Andersen- Another popular one! I used this one in my class recently and the children absolutely loved it.
  5. The Red Shoes– Hans Christian Andersen- A pretty grim story involving feet being chopped off, but I loved the concept!
  6. The Little Match Girl- Hans Christian Andersen- This story is so very sad but beautiful tale.
  7. The Shoes That Were Danced To Pieces/Twelve Dancing Princesses– Grimm Tales-This one was familiar to me and I loved it.
  8. Rumpelstiltskin- Grimm Tales- I love the original Rumpelstiltskin. He was such a stupid character!
  9. Snow White– Grimm Tales- Loved reading the original and comparing it to the Disney tale!
  10. Rapunzel– Grimm Tales- It’s definitely not like Tangled. 

What did you do for your list this week? Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!

The Silent Sister

The Silent Sister

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Bookouture

Synopsis:

‘You don’t deserve a sister…’

When Lizzy Beresford discovers a threatening letter addressed to her, the words on the old, tattered paper chill her to the bone. But who sent it? Living in pretty cottage in a quiet country village, Lizzy’s never made any enemies in her life…

Except her sister.

Lizzy hasn’t spoken to Emma in years. Not since the argument which tore their relationship apart. Would her sister really want to cause her harm after all this time?

As Lizzy receives more disturbing messages, she begins to doubt those closest to her – her boyfriend, her best friend, her neighbours.

Because the mystery sender seems to know everything about her. And after a series of malicious incidents, it’s clear they won’t stop until they’ve destroyed her life.

Lizzy knows she must confront her sister. But can she trust her? And will she realise the shocking truth, before it’s too late?

Thoughts:

I hadn’t read anything by Shalini Boland before, so I was excited to get stuck into this book. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know how much I love psychological thrillers and this one sounded very promising.

It’s about a woman named Lizzy who finds herself with a stalker. She doesn’t know who it could be and goes through all of the possible options. The notes get creepier and the acts against her become worse. As there has been bad blood between Lizzy and her sister, her thoughts immediately go to her. Lizzy doesn’t know who to suspect and as the disturbing notes continue, she knows she has to turn to the police before it’s too late.

It’s hard to say too much about this book without ruining it, so I’ll try to keep it brief!

I thought this was a great read. It certainly kept me turning the pages. I was reading it during a train journey and it certainly helped pass the time. I couldn’t put it down. I think the reason why I didn’t rate this book any higher was that I wish it was a bit more intense. I want my skin to crawl when I’m reading a psychological thriller. I’m not sure what that says about me. There were also some moments that I found quite questionable and a little far fetched.

However, this shouldn’t sway you from picking up this book. It kept me interested and guessing throughout.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars.

A very decent psychological thriller!

In The Dark (DI Adam Fawley #2)

In The Dark (DI Adam Fawley, #2)

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Penguin Books

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Close To Home

Synopsis:

A woman and child are found locked in a basement room, barely alive…

No one knows who they are – the woman can’t speak, and there are no missing persons reports that match their profile. And the elderly man who owns the house claims he has never seen them before.

The inhabitants of the quiet Oxford street are in shock – how could this happen right under their noses? But DI Adam Fawley knows that nothing is impossible.

And that no one is as innocent as they seem . . .

Thoughts:

I really enjoyed Cara Hunter’s Close To Home, so I was super happy to be accepted to read this book. I intended to read it before its release date but balancing teaching and blogging is hard! I’m glad I got around to reading it though as it’s another solid read from Cara Hunter. Just so you know, you don’t need to have read Close To Home in order to read this book. It will merely enhance your reading experience if you do.

The second instalment of the DI Adam Fawley series is an absolutely gripping story. We learn more about Adam Fawley, but it’s mainly the story of Vicky and a child who are found locked inside a basement. Both the child and Vicky are starved and traumatised. Vicky won’t speak about what has happened to her. The owner of the house, Dr Harper, is denying knowledge about Vicky and the child. It is a race to find out who they are, what exactly happened and why. Coupled with that, there’s the information that the house backs onto the home of missing woman Hannah. Could there be a link between the two?

There are so many characters in this story, but it is easy to follow their story. I loved following the investigation into what had happened to the women and the child. I had loads of ideas along the way, but I’m happy to say that I didn’t guess the twist at the end. The whole police team are fascinating and I thought Cara Hunter wrote about the investigation incredibly well. I could feel the pressure the team were feeling.

I love how Cara Hunter gave a fresh take on a story by including news reports and transcription of interviews. I’ll be honest and admit that crime fiction usually isn’t my thing, but there’s something about Cara Hunter’s fresh take on crime fiction that really does capture my attention. I love the twists and turns along the way in her books. It keeps me interest and turning the pages.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Another cracker from Cara Hunter!