Prisoner of Night And Fog

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How did I get it?:
Bookbrigr- Massive thanks to Headline books and bookbridgr!

Synopsis:

In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her “uncle” Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf’s, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.

Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler.

And Gretchen follows his every command.

Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can’t stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can’t help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she’s been taught to believe about Jews.

As Gretchen investigates the very people she’s always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?

From debut author Anne Blankman comes this harrowing and evocative story about an ordinary girl faced with the extraordinary decision to give up everything she’s ever believed . . . and to trust her own heart instead.

Thoughts:

This book popped through my letter box a few days ago, and I just had to read it straight away. I think the cover is beautiful and the synopsis pulled me in. I devoured Prisoner of Night And Fog, I tried to read it slowly, but I was too gripped.

Prisoner of Night and Fog is Anne Blankman’s debut novel. I couldn’t believe it when I read that. It was such a well written book that I thought the author had been publishing books for years. In Prisoner of Night and Fog there’s a slice of a few genres. Not something that always works, but Anne skilfully made it work. There’s historical fiction, a murder mystery, romance and some intriguing psychoanalysis.

Our main character Gretchen is such a well developed character. She feels incredibly real. The writing makes you feel like you’re living every moment through Gretchen’s eyes. It was heart-breaking to see how Gretchen had her eyes opened to what her Uncle Dolf (Hitler) was really like. She truly believed that he and her dad were wonderful men who had the right opinions and views. However, her views were challenged and it was emotional to see her accept her prejudices. Gretchen grew enough as a person to think for herself.

I thought it was going to be a case of insta-love when she met Daniel, the Jewish reporter. Their romance developed slowly though, in a very believable way. Gretchen’s interactions with Daniel really opened her eyes and made her realise that she had to look beyond the labels that had been brainwashed into her throughout her life.

I’m a massive fan of historical fiction, especially when it’s done as beautifully as this. I thought the story came together so well. The writing was incredibly evocative. I can’t wait to read the follow up to this book.

Would I recommend it?:
Without a doubt!

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My Life Next Door

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How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

Thoughts:

I’ve heard so much about My Life Next Door, that I was happy to finally check it out this month. I thought it was a cute read, but I’m not sure that it’s one that I would revisit. There’s certainly nothing wrong with the writing. It’s enjoyable, but I think I was looking for something more. I think this is mainly down to the hype surrounding it. I’d seen it on so many people’s Top Ten lists, so I was ready to be blown away, and instead I just thought it was okay.

My Life Next Door is cute. The relationship between Sam and Jase is believable. Jase is a fantastic male character for a Young Adult contemporary romance. He’s one of the good guys. I liked that he wasn’t a clichéd bad boy that was turned good. That’s all too common in Young Adult reads. I can really see why readers do love this book. There are some swoon-worthy moments which I think fans of contemporary romance will really enjoy. I definitely rooted for Sam and Jase’s relationship. They’re very real.

I think one of the reasons why I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I wanted to, was Sam’s mother. She’s an incredibly irritating character. I just wanted Sam to stand up to her. She took so much flack from her mother. If she had really stood up to her mother then I think I would’ve given this book four stars. I understand it’s hard to stand up to a parent, but would someone really take as much crap from their parents as Sam did? However, I did really like the contrast between Sam’s mother and Jase’s family. Perhaps if Sam’s mother wouldn’t have been so damn annoying, I wouldn’t have had such a soft spot for Jase’s family.

I really wanted to rave about My Life Next Door, but for me, I was irritated too much by one character, and couldn’t get past that. I felt like there wasn’t enough to hold my interest within the story, and the romance, however cute it was, built up too fast. I like some anticipation. But there are some fantastic elements within the story, so I would still recommend it to fans of contemporary romance or those that are looking for a decent beach read.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Reading next:
The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson- Paige Toon

The Summer I Found You

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How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Albert Whitman & Company

Synopsis:

All they have in common is that they’re less than perfect. And all they’re looking for is the perfect distraction.

Kate’s dream boyfriend has just broken up with her and she’s still reeling from her diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Aidan planned on being a lifer in the army and went to Afghanistan straight out of high school. Now he’s a disabled young veteran struggling to embrace his new life. When Kate and Aidan find each other neither one wants to get attached. But could they be right for each other after all?

Thoughts:

I have to be honest, what initially drew me to this book was the incredible pretty cover. Well done to whoever designed that cover. I’m sure you’ve pulled many readers in! I thought The Summer I Found You was a decent read, which didn’t take me long to read at all.

I thought The Summer I Found You was a brilliant idea. I’ve never come across a diabetic character in a teenage/young adult read before. I think it’s really important to address diabetes, because it is a disease that so many suffer from. I also thought it was great that the author used a veteran. This book might sound like it’s really bleak. It’s not. The characters have their issues, but they are finding their way through their problems through finding each other. If you’re looking for a deeper read, then this certainly isn’t it. But for something lighter and enjoyable, I think you’d enjoy it.

The characters Kate and Aidan share point of views. It gave the reader chance to get to know both of them. I connected with both of them, but I didn’t think their relationship was stand out or memorable. Don’t get me wrong. It was sweet, but I was more interested in the characters than the relationship. Some people might think that’s a bonus!

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Secrets of A Chalet Girl

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How did I get it?:
NetGalley, thanks to Harper Collins UK/Harper Impulse

Synopsis:

Set in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Verbier, the winter playground of the rich and famous, Secrets of a Chalet Girl is the second book in Lorraine Wilson’s fabulous Ski Season series.

Thoughts:

I’ve read Lorraine Wilson’s first book in this series, Confessions of A Chalet Girl and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s sometimes nice to read something quick and easy. In Confessions of A Chalet Girl Holly and Scott from the first book are mentioned, but you don’t need to have read the first book to read this one.

Secrets of A Chalet Girl starts in a bar, when Flora, a chalet girl is out on her friend’s hen night. She’s not really up for the night, but goes out regardless. She ends up spotting a completely gorgeous man. As the night continues, Flora plays Truth or Dare with the rest of the hens. She finds herself dared to kiss the sexiest man in the bar. What starts out as a kiss, ends up to be much more than she ever anticipated.

What I really like about this series, is that it’s not just about sex. Both characters are dealing with issues. I really liked the characters, sometimes with such a short read, you don’t really feel like you know them, but I think Lorraine Wilson does a great job at getting you to care for the characters in a short space of time.

My only criticism would be that I got slightly irritated by how many times it mentioned that Flora blushed easily!

I think you’d enjoy this book if you like your romance reads!(and smut)

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Reading next:
Heartbreak Hotel- Deborah Moggach

Saving Wishes

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How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to G.J Walker Smith

Synopsis:

For Charli Blake, being seventeen is a tough gig.

She’s been branded a troublemaker, her reputation is in tatters and she’s stuck in Pipers Cove, a speck of a town on the coast of Tasmania.

Thankfully, it’s temporary. Her lifelong dream of travelling the world is just months away from becoming reality. All she has to do is ride out the last few months of high school, which is easier said than done thanks to a trio of mean girls known as The Beautifuls.

When Adam Décarie arrives in town, all the way from New York, life takes an unexpected turn. His arrival sets off a chain of events that alters her life forever, convincing her of one thing. Fate brought him to her.

Saving Wishes is the story of a girl who doesn’t quite fit the life she’s living, and the boy who helps her realise why.

Thoughts:

Oh wow! I have really mixed feelings about this book. I was sucked into the story really quickly and I was thoroughly enjoying the story, reading it quickly to find out what was going to happen. I got to the ending…and I was quite disappointed. It’s not a bad ending as such, it just doesn’t give any closure whatsoever, which is a shame.

I really liked our main protagonist Charli. She’s a feisty character that doesn’t always follow the rules. Charli has plans to leave Piper’s Cove with her best friend Nicole as soon as they finish high school. They’ve been saving for years to be able to fulfil their plans to see more of the world. Obstacles begin to fall into their paths and secrets begin to be revealed.

The biggest obstacle is Adam, an American French boy that Charli meets. They fall in love pretty quickly. Adam is a character that you can easily see why the protagonist falls for him. Adam is only on holiday in Piper’s Cove and aims to return to New York in a few months time.

One of the biggest obstacles is the American French boy, Adam. For Charli and Adam, its a love-at-first-sight relationship. I can’t really blame Charli though…Adam can be pretty swoony. Catch being is that Adam is only in Piper’s Cove on holiday and will return to New York in a few months.

I think some of what happens in Saving Wishes is a little predictable, but I have to admit to being surprised by some of the curveballs that G.J Walker Smith threw into the mix.

Despite being frustrated by the ending, G.J Walker Smith has me completely interested in reading the next in the series.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Reading next:
Cutting For Stone- Abraham Verghese

The Beautiful and The Cursed

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How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.

In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.

And Grayson has gone missing.

No one seems to know of his whereabouts but Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.

Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows he’s in grave danger. It will be up to her and Gabby to navigate the twisted path to Grayson, a path that will lead Ingrid on a discovery of dark secrets and otherworldly truths. And she’ll learn that once they are uncovered, they can never again be buried.

Thoughts:

I didn’t know much about this book before I picked it up. I had seen it across quite a few blogs with mixed opinions. Some people seemed to really love it and some weren’t as positive. I haven’t really read a lot of gothic fiction, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was intrigued though, so I picked up a copy and decided to read it this summer. I’m thrilled I did, because I found The Beautiful and The Cursed to be an intriguing, excited read, that didn’t take me long to read as soon as I started. Page Morgan has done an amazing job with this book. There are so many genres combined within the book including gothic, fantasy, adventure, supernatural with of course, so romance thrown in too.

The Beautiful and The Cursed takes place in Paris in 1899.It opens with two sisters, Ingrid and Gabby arriving with their mother at an Abbey in Paris. Ingrid’s twin Grayson, has found this place for his mother to open a gallery. The Abbey isn’t particularly appealing, it is rather intimidating because of the horrible gargoyles that are outside. After the family arrive, they find that Grayson has gone missing. The sisters are determined to find him, but whilst on their search for Grayson, they find out some secrets and a strange world which they didn’t know existed.

The Beautiful and the Cursed is told in alternate point of view, from Ingrid, Luc and Gabby, with the occasional input from Grayson. I loved all of the characters, even though Gabby took me a while to warm to, as she was quite outspoken. Ingrid is a great characters, she’s determined and open-minded. I loved reading the story from her point of view. Luc’s point of view tells the readers more about gargoyles. I didn’t really know a lot about gargoyles, but I was very much impressed with Page Morgan’s take. The gargoyles are ugly, they hate demons and have an urge to protect humans that live in their territory. Gargoyles have committed a crime against a holy man which turns them into a gargoyle when they did. Gargoyles are kept in line by angels.

I like the pace of The Beautiful and the Cursed, it didn’t feel to slow for me, and once I passed 100 pages I found myself very much engrossed in the world that Page Morgan has built. I found the ending intense, action-packed and very satisfying. The ending is incredibly messy with bad angels, bad demons and traitors. But it’s a good mess. It’s somewhat sorted out but also paves way for the next book in the series.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Beautiful and The Cursed. It’s a refreshing change to have a paranormal read that doesn’t include vampires or werewolves!

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

Reading next:
Burn For Burn- Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Once A Bad Girl

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How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Harlequin Enterprises Australia.

Synopsis:

It seems like a dream come true when whispers of a reclusive film star fallen on hard times meets Lottie Spencer’s ears. Desperate to save her family’s auction house, she knows that Hollywood memorabilia could be the answer to her prayers. Unfortunately, she’s about to find out that this client comes with strings attached – an overprotective son who will do anything to shield his mother from the prying eyes of the press. But Lottie is sure she can handle it.

If only being around a bad boy didn’t make it so hard to be good…

Thoughts:

Usually I don’t tend to read books with covers like this, they just don’t scream ‘Read me!’ but when Jane O’Reilly got in contact and I read the synopsis I was intrigued! So I thought I’d check out Jane’s debut novel. I’m surprised to read it’s a debut novel because the writing is incredibly accomplished. The story is short, but action-packed.

The story follows Lottie and Josh. Josh comes from a famous family and Lottie needs a high profile client to secure her family’s auction house from closure. When she meets Josh though Lottie has a rethink about her plan of action. Josh seems like a ‘creep’. Josh is used to women using him to get close to his mother. When Lottie and Josh begin to interact they discover that they’re both determined people but also they’re equally attracted to one another. They begin to fake a relationship to benefit both of them. Lottie- to stir up interest in the auction house and Josh- to gain publicity for his club. Real feelings start to evolve which complicates things greatly..

Once A Bad Girl was an incredibly witty story. It’s fun and very flirty romance without going too over the top with steamy scenes. It has some touching emotional aspects too. I rooted for Lottie and Josh to be together. I would definitely read more from Jane O’Reilly in the future!

Would I recommend it?
Yes!

Reading next:
Unravel Me- Tahereh Mafi