Ten Books I’ve Struggled To Get Through

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list is all about books that we’ve had a hard time with in one way or another. Now, I know some of these books are popular, they just didn’t work for me. I have nothing against the authors that’s for sure and would definitely read different books for them. No hate!

Click on the book image to get to the Goodreads page for the book! I hope that you have better luck with these than I did! 🙂

The Pearl Thief- Elizabeth Wein

The Pearl Thief (Code Name Verity #0.5)

I did read all of this book, but it didn’t grip me as much as Code Name Verity did. It took me a while to become engaged with it.

The Sudden Appearance Of Hope- Claire North

The Sudden Appearance of Hope

It took me a while to get through this book even though the story is fascinating. I think so many people would enjoy it though!

The Girl In The Red Coat- Kate Hamer

The Girl in the Red Coat

Initially, I was gripped by this book, but I lost interest around halfway through.

The Last Days Of Summer- Vanessa Ronan

The Last Days of Summer

I think fans of literary fiction would absolutely love this book. It just wasn’t for me.

The Ballroom- Anna Hope

The Ballroom

I wasn’t excited by the story, but I know others that have loved it!

Life In A Fishbowl- Len Vlahos

Life in a Fishbowl

I didn’t gel with this author’s writing style.

Don’t Look Behind You- Mel Sharratt

Don't Look Behind You (Detective Eden Berrisford, #2)

I found this book okay, but I wasn’t excited by it!

The Cruelty- Scott Bergstrom

The Cruelty

It took me a while to read this one despite its promising premise.

Uprooted- Naomi Novik

Uprooted

I was a little disappointed by this book. I think my expectations were too high.

Unravelling- Elizabeth Norris

Unraveling (Unraveling, #1)

I wasn’t drawn into this story at all!

Have you read any of these and had an opposite experience? Let me know! Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by.

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The Ones That Got Away #12

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This feature is going to showcase some recent reads that I haven’t fully reviewed. This may be because I didn’t finish the book or that I didn’t have enough to say to warrant a full and fair review of a book that I’m sure others will absolutely adore. I figure this way the books will be highlighted and someone somewhere might find the right book for them!

(BOOK IMAGES GO TO GOODREADS)

The Pearl Thief- Elizabeth Wein

The Pearl Thief (Code Name Verity #0)

Before Verity…there was Julie.

When fifteen-year-old Julia Beaufort-Stuart wakes up in the hospital, she knows the lazy summer break she’d imagined won’t be exactly like she anticipated. And once she returns to her grandfather’s estate, a bit banged up but alive, she begins to realize that her injury might not have been an accident. One of her family’s employees is missing, and he disappeared on the very same day she landed in the hospital.

Desperate to figure out what happened, she befriends Euan McEwen, the Scottish Traveller boy who found her when she was injured, and his standoffish sister, Ellen. As Julie grows closer to this family, she experiences some of the prejudices they’ve grown used to firsthand, a stark contrast to her own upbringing, and finds herself exploring thrilling new experiences that have nothing to do with a missing-person investigation.

Her memory of that day returns to her in pieces, and when a body is discovered, her new friends are caught in the crosshairs of long-held biases about Travellers. Julie must get to the bottom of the mystery in order to keep them from being framed for the crime.

The Sudden Appearance of Hope- Claire North

The Sudden Appearance of Hope

Listen.
All the world forgets me. First my face, then my voice, then the consequences of my deeds.
So listen. Remember me.

My name is Hope Arden, and you won’t know who I am. We’ve met before – a thousand times. But I am the girl the world forgets.

It started when I was sixteen years old. A slow declining, an isolation, one piece at a time.

A father forgetting to drive me to school. A mother setting the table for three, not four. A teacher who forgets to chase my missing homework. A friend who looks straight through me and sees a stranger.

No matter what I do, the words I say, the people I hurt, the crimes I commit – you will never remember who I am.

That makes my life tricky. But it also makes me dangerous . . .

The Sudden Appearance of Hope is the tale of the girl no one remembers. But this gripping story – of love and loss, of hope and despair, of living in the moment and dying to leave a mark – is novel that will stay with you for ever.

The Girl In The Red Coat- Kate Hamer

The Girl in the Red Coat

Eight-year-old Carmel has always been different – sensitive, distracted, with an heartstopping tendency to go missing. Her mother Beth, newly single, worries about her daughter’s strangeness, especially as she is trying to rebuild a life for the two of them on her own.

When she takes Carmel for an outing to a local festival, her worst fear is realised: Carmel disappears into the crowd. Unable to accept the possibility that her daughter might be gone for good, Beth embarks on a mission to find her. Meanwhile, Carmel begins an extraordinary and terrifying journey of her own. But do the real clues to Carmel’s disappearance lie in the otherworldly qualities her mother had only begun to guess at?

The Last Days of Summer- Vanessa Ronan

The Last Days of Summer

She can forgive. They can’t forget.

After ten years in the Huntsville State Penitentiary, Jasper Curtis returns home to live with his sister and her two daughters. Lizzie does not know who she’s letting into her home: the brother she grew up loving or the monster he became.

Teenage Katie distrusts this strange man in their home but eleven-year-old Joanne is just intrigued by her new uncle.

Jasper says he’s all done with trouble, but in a forgotten prairie town that knows no forgiveness, it does not take long for trouble to arrive at their door.

Perfect- Cecelia Ahern

Perfect (Flawed, #2)

Celestine North is Flawed.

Ever since Judge Crevan declared her the number one threat to the public, she has been a ghost, on the run with Carrick, the only person she can trust. 

But Celestine has a secret—one that could bring the entire Flawed system crumbling to the ground. A secret that has already caused countless people to go missing. 

Judge Crevan is gaining the upper hand, and time is running out for Celestine. With tensions building, Celestine must make a choice: save just herself or risk her life to save all Flawed people.

Have you read and enjoyed any of these books? I’d love to know your thoughts!

My Mr B’s Reading Subscription 2016-2017

Last year for my birthday, my sister and my mum bought me a reading subscription for Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights. This is a wonderful shop in Bath, which we’ve visited twice for a reading spa. Read about our experiences HERE and HERE.

Bath mr bs emporium of reading delights rainy day 97 large

Photo courtesy of http://www.coolplaces.co.uk

A reading subscription involves receiving 11 books hand-picked for you by a member of the bookselling team. After I received my little card informing me of my reading subscription I emailed Mr B’s and answered many questions about my bookish tastes and some random questions to go with it (to get to know me better!) I was able to name my sister as someone who would know if I had a book. She knows my reading tastes well! They emailed her every month to discuss books and quite often many emails would fly between them. Such dedication to finding the perfect book! Mr B’s do offer a 3, 6 or 11 month subscription (11 months due to a month off for Christmas!)

Each month, I received a beautifully wrapped book and bookmark for me to review the book and send back to Mr B’s.

Photo from Mr B’s website

I have attached my reviews to the books I’ve read from my reading year. 2 are to be reviewed and 2 need to be read. I shall edit the reviews in as and when I read/review them. For books not reviewed yet, I have added a Goodreads link to the book. 

Book 1- Early One Morning– Virginia Baily

Book 2- Infinite Sky– C. J Flood

Book 3- Disclaimer– Renee Knight

Book 4- Uprooted– Naomi Novik

Book 5- The One In A Million Boy– Monica Wood

Book 6- The Sudden Appearance of Hope– Claire North TO BE REVIEWED

Book 7- The Girl In The Red Coat– Kate Hamer TO BE REVIEWED

Book 8- Waking In Time- Angie Stanton

Book 9- Spontaneous– Aaron Starmer

Book 10- The Miracle Life Of Edgar Mint– Brady Udall  TO BE READ

Book 11- Fly On The Wall– E.Lockhart TO BE READ

I was a bit rubbish at sending the bookmarks back with my reviews, but I really did appreciate their pick books for me. I wouldn’t have picked some of them for myself but I ended up really enjoying them!

A big thank you to Beth and my mum for getting me this gift and for Mr B’s Emporium for selecting such a wonderful variety of books for me!

For more information, please check out their reading gifts on their website. It really is a perfect gift for a book lover!

This Week In Books #61

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

Click on the book to get to Goodreads!

The Sudden Appearance of Hope Habibi Countless

NOWThe Sudden Appearance Of HopeClaire North– I have just started this book which was recommended to me and sent to me as part of my Mr B’s Reading Year Subscription. I’m intrigued to see what I make of it as I wasn’t that blown away by the author’s debut, but I’m always willing to try another book by the author!

THEN- HabibiCraig Thompson– I finished this graphic novel yesterday. It’s a beast of a book at over 600 pages and it’s not necessarily an ‘easy’ read. It tells the story of refugee slaves bound together. There are some incredibly dark moments within the story. Very dark moments. It is one of our Banned Books that my sister and I review on the last Monday of a month, so please come back for our review if you’re interested.

NEXTCountlessKaren Gregory– I’m very intrigued to read this book which centres around mental health. I’m always intrigued by books that touch on this subject.

What are you reading this week? Feel free to leave a link or let me know in the comments below! Happy Reading! 🙂

Stacking The Shelves #160

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!

Gift:

The Sudden Appearance of Hope

I received this book as part of my Reading Year from Mr B’s Emporium in Bath! I’ve heard good things about it, so hopefully I’ll like it!

NetGalley:

Letters to the Lost

This book got me with its synopsis. I’m so intrigued by it!

Countless

I have heard fantastic things about this book already. It centres around mental health which is something I am always happy to see represented in literature.

The Pearl Thief

I enjoy Elizabeth Wein’s writing and this book immediately caught my eye! I’m looking forward to it!

What have you added to your shelves this week? Please feel free to leave me a link to your posts and I’ll stop by!

Summer Bookish Bingo Wrap Up/Sign up for Holiday Bingo!

This summer I took part in Summer Bookish Bingo hosted by Great Imaginations. I’m thrilled that I completed the card! It really gave me chance to knock off some books from my TBR list, so I’ll definitely be joining in again!

  1. Thirteen Reasons Why- Jay Asher
  2. The Girl Who Walked On Air– Emma Carroll
  3. Two Boys Kissing– David Levithan
  4. The Summer I Turned Pretty– Jenny Han
  5. Rebel Belle- Rachel Hawkins
  6. More Than This– Patrick Ness
  7. Don”t You Forget About Me– Kate Karyus Quinn
  8. Siege and Storm– Leigh Bardugo
  9. Kira-Kira– Cynthia Kadohata
  10. Rooftoppers- Katherine Rundell
  11. Ruin and Rising– Leigh Bardugo
  12. Rump– Liesel Shurtliff
  13. Fire and Rain– Diane Chamberlain
  14. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August– Claire North
  15. Salvage- Keren David
  16. On The Fence– Kasie West
  17. She Is Not Invisible– Marcus Sedgwick
  18. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making– Catherynne M. Valente
  19. Ten– Gretchen McNeil
  20. The Snow Queen– Alana Albertson
  21. Open Road Summer– Emery Lord
  22. Unhooking The Moon– Gregory Hughes
  23. Belle Epoque– Elizabeth Ross
  24. Wake– Amanda Hocking

Here is the card for the Holiday bingo! Will you play along?

Click on the bingo card to get to Great Imaginations!

Click on the bingo card to get to Great Imaginations!

Talking About ‘The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August’

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How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

The extraordinary journey of one unforgettable character – a story of friendship and betrayal, loyalty and redemption, love and loneliness and the inevitable march of time.

Harry August is on his deathbed. Again.

No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes.

Until now.

As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. ‘I nearly missed you, Doctor August,’ she says. ‘I need to send a message.’

This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

Thoughts:

CHRISSI: What did you make of the writing style?

BETH: I wasn’t sure I was going to get on with this book at all when I first started. Although I thought it was written absolutely beautifully, each chapter was relatively short and the time frame kept jumping about quite erratically. I felt like I really had to concentrate on the book to figure out what was going on (which was a bit difficult on a hen weekend…). However, about a third of the way in, I started to really appreciate what the author was trying to do. As Harry got older/more lives in, things seemed to move at a steadier pace and I started to love what I was reading and care about what was going to happen.

BETH: Do you think it is human nature to want to change the world?

CHRISSI: I definitely think it’s human nature to want to change the world. Many of us want to make an impact on the world. I think we’d all want to live in a world that’s a good, peaceful, happy place.

CHRISSI: What do you think that Harry learnt through the process of living his life over and over again?

BETH: I think that he learned a lot about human nature i.e. why we do the things we do, why we love, why we hate. I was expecting him to get slightly bored especially when he has to live the early part of his life over and over again – watching his father being buried, going to school and re-learning things he already knows but he seems to find a way to deal with this. For example, going into a different profession like law and learning something new for a change, or escaping his adoptive parents at a young age to live with people of his own kind. I think he also learns to be a bit more tolerant and understanding of others even when he doesn’t agree with them, you can definitely see this in his relationship with Vincent.

BETH: What would you do if you had to live your life over again?

CHRISSI: I try and think that everything happens for a reason, but I guess if I had the chance to live my life over again then there are some things that I would change or do differently. I don’t want this to turn into a depressing answer, so I’ll think of a few examples! I think my career would’ve happened sooner than it has, I would have tried harder at school and I would not let some people treat me the way I did. I wouldn’t change my sister though… I guess she’s ok! 😉

CHRISSI: What does the novel tell us about the nature of good and evil?

BETH: I feel like sometimes good and evil get a bit mixed up in this novel and perhaps the line between them is slightly blurry. One of the evil components in the story is a man called Richard Lisle who gets his kicks by murdering prostitutes. Harry as the “good guy,” cannot bear to see this occurring so life after life, he finds Richard Lisle before he has even started his killing spree and kills him himself. But what does that make Harry, good or bad, if he too turns to murder? Another is Victor Hoeness, who uses his knowledge of the future to build more advanced technology that is strictly against the rules of the Cronus Club and in return, on each life he returns to, the Club tortures him in a disgusting manner so that he will remember it in his next life before going on to abort him while still in the womb (this is the only way to kill a kalachakra). They argue that it is for the greater good, but isn’t what they are doing also evil. Hence my point that the line between good and evil is often blurred. There are many other characters I can talk about that blur this line, Franklin Phearson and Vincent Rankis but this answer would turn into an essay!

BETH: What did you think of Harry as a character?

CHRISSI: If I’m honest, I wasn’t immediately connected to Harry. I did appreciate that Claire North made Harry a flawed character. We all make bad decisions and mistakes at times. His mistakes definitely gave him more of a ‘real’ feel. I felt like Harry was an incredibly complex character that is interesting to try and make sense of.

CHRISSI: Would you want to live your life over and over again?

BETH: Definitely not! I can’t think of anything more hideous. Obviously we all have events in our lives that we regret or wouldn’t want to experience again and I think that part would be unbearable. Having the knowledge of our future however would be pretty amazing and would certainly influence some of the choices I have made in my life so far.

BETH: Would you read another book by this author?

CHRISSI: I think it would depend on the subject! I liked the writing style, but I wasn’t blown away by the story.

Would we recommend it?:

BETH: But of course!

CHRISSI: Yes!