Toxic

Toxic

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Hot Key Books/Bonnier

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Follow Me Back

Synopsis:

Hope has never been happier. She’s on her way to Crete, after a group of her friends have made her an honorary ‘lad’ and let her tag along on their boys’ holiday. There’s a slight complication in that one of those boys, Logan, is Hope’s ex-boyfriend, but they’re still friends and Hope’s pretty confident it won’t be too awkward.

The next couple of days are exactly what Hope was hoping for – lazy days in the sun, and long, drunken conversations. She can’t help but notice that Logan’s flirting with her. Logan and Hope end up alone and Hope is horrified when, after she leans in to kiss him, Logan completely rejects her.

Embarrassed and annoyed, Hope is on a mission to get drunk, and with the alcohol flowing, and the sun going down, Hope’s starts having a great time.

The next thing Hope knows, she’s being woken up on the beach by two strangers. It’s 9 o’clock the next morning and she can’t remember anything about the previous night . . . what on earth happened?

Thoughts:

I thought that this sounded like an intriguing read, so I decided to request it. It was a story all about friendship and how it can go toxic over time…

It starts with a girl named Hope who is on holiday with a group of her guy friends. One night, things go terribly wrong for Hope and her friends. Relationships start to get broken. Each person is hiding something from another. The story is told through three narratives- Hope, Logan and Daisy. As expected (for me), I did prefer some narratives to others. I could have done without Daisy’s narrative.

I loved that Toxic had a male character with depression. It’s not nearly represented as much as it should be. So a big thumbs up for Nicci Cloke for that!

Something that I really enjoyed about this book were the characters. So many had flaws and I loved that. No one loves a perfect character, do they? I did get a little frustrated with some of their actions and behaviour but that didn’t stop me from reading the story. I think most of the actions and the relationships between the characters are very true to life.

Whilst this book didn’t blow me away, I thought it was a decent read!

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Easy to read book with true to life characters!

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Looking Ahead- This Month’s TBR List (July)

I read some fabulous books in June. The only disappointment for me was Brave New World which I didn’t like as much as I wanted to.

Here’s my tentative TBR list for July! Thanks to Tina over at Reading Between The Pages for hosting!

(Book images go to Goodreads!)

In The Dark-Cara Hunter

In The Dark (DI Adam Fawley, #2)

Goodreads Synopsis

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 . . .

I have been eagerly anticipating this book for a while, but wanted to wait until nearer release time. I can’t wait to read it!

The Silent Sister- Shalini Boland

The Silent Sister

Goodreads Synopsis

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?

Ooh another thriller. I love my thrillers and this one sounds fab!

Toxic- Nicci Cloke

Toxic

Goodreads Synopsis:

Hope has never been happier. She’s on her way to Crete, after a group of her friends have made her an honorary ‘lad’ and let her tag along on their boys’ holiday. There’s a slight complication in that one of those boys, Logan, is Hope’s ex-boyfriend, but they’re still friends and Hope’s pretty confident it won’t be too awkward.

The next couple of days are exactly what Hope was hoping for – lazy days in the sun, and long, drunken conversations. She can’t help but notice that Logan’s flirting with her. Logan and Hope end up alone and Hope is horrified when, after she leans in to kiss him, Logan completely rejects her.

Embarrassed and annoyed, Hope is on a mission to get drunk, and with the alcohol flowing, and the sun going down, Hope’s starts having a great time.

The next thing Hope knows, she’s being woken up on the beach by two strangers. It’s 9 o’clock the next morning and she can’t remember anything about the previous night . . . what on earth happened?

Looking forward to this one! 🙂

Julie Of The Wolves- Jean Craighead George

Julie of the Wolves (Julie of the Wolves, #1)

Goodreads Synopsis:

Miyax, like many adolescents, is torn. But unlike most, her choices may determine whether she lives or dies. At 13, an orphan, and unhappily married, Miyax runs away from her husband’s parents’ home, hoping to reach San Francisco and her pen pal. But she becomes lost in the vast Alaskan tundra, with no food, no shelter, and no idea which is the way to safety. Now, more than ever, she must look hard at who she really is. Is she Miyax, Eskimo girl of the old ways? Or is she Julie (her “gussak”-white people-name), the modernized teenager who must mock the traditional customs? And when a pack of wolves begins to accept her into their community, Miyax must learn to think like a wolf as well. If she trusts her Eskimo instincts, will she stand a chance of surviving?

Okay, I haven’t read this book before. It’s on the Banned Books list and I’m confused. Why? I can’t wait to read it for the Banned Books feature and see if I can work it out.

Murder Most Unladylike- Robin Stevens

Murder Most Unladylike (Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries, #1)

Goodreads Synopsis:

Deepdean School for Girls, 1934. When Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up their very own deadly secret detective agency, they struggle to find any truly exciting mysteries to investigate. (Unless you count the case of Lavinia’s missing tie. Which they don’t, really.)

But then Hazel discovers the Science Mistress, Miss Bell, lying dead in the Gym. She thinks it must all have been a terrible accident – but when she and Daisy return five minutes later, the body has disappeared. Now the girls know a murder must have taken place . . . and there’s more than one person at Deepdean with a motive.

Now Hazel and Daisy not only have a murder to solve: they have to prove a murder happened in the first place. Determined to get to the bottom of the crime before the killer strikes again (and before the police can get there first, naturally), Hazel and Daisy must hunt for evidence, spy on their suspects and use all the cunning, scheming and intuition they can muster. But will they succeed? And can their friendship stand the test?

I’m excited about this book. I’m reading it for my Kid-Lit feature! I’ve heard a lot of good things.

Have you read any of these books? What did you make of them? Let me know!

Ten Books I Disliked But I’m Glad I Read

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 books we disliked/hated but we’re glad we read. It was interesting to have a think about this. Most of the time, it’s totally the hype monster that ruins the reading experience for me. I’ve decided to go for dislike because most books I’ve hated I’ve given up on and I’m sad not glad I read them!

As ever, click on the book titles to get to the Goodreads page!

Those Girls- Lauren Saft

Those Girls

I really didn’t like this book but I’m glad I persevered with it, so that in my review, I could clearly explain my reasons why.

Shopoholic To The Stars- Sophie Kinsella

Shopaholic to the Stars (Shopaholic, #7)

Reading this book proved to me that my favourite authors don’t always get it right.

Follow Me Back- Nicci Cloke

Follow Me Back

It’s good to read books that experiment with different formats even if they don’t work for me.

The Nao Of Brown- Glyn Dillon

The Nao of Brown

I love graphic novels and like to explore new artists. This one didn’t work for me, but I’m glad I read it.

Grow Up- Ben Brooks

Grow Up

I’d heard a lot about this book. It wasn’t quite my sort of book, but I’m pleased that I gave it a chance.

Fifty Shades of Grey- E.L. James

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)

I did read the whole trilogy. I’m pleased that I did read it, so I can discuss it with so many others. It’s just not my sort of book at all!

Alice Hartley’s Happiness- Philippa Gregory

Alice Hartley's Happiness

This is another one of those moments when you realise your favourites can write a bad book…

When She Woke- Hillary Jordan

When She Woke

I’m glad that I read this because it had an interesting concept.

Concentr8- William Sutcliffe

Concentr8

I loved the idea of this book, it just wasn’t executed as well as it could have been, in my opinion!

Ballistics- D.W Wilson

Ballistics

Another one that had an interesting premise, but I didn’t quite ‘get’ this book.

How about you? What have you read that you disliked but you’re glad you read them? Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!

 

 

Ten Books That Surprised Me

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 the books that surprised us, be it in a good or bad way!

The Good

The Host- Marissa Meyer

The Host (The Host, #1)

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Twilight so I didn’t expect to like The Host as much as I did.

The Giver- Lois Lowry

The Giver (The Giver, #1)

I didn’t expect this book to be a 5 star! It totally was.

The Lovely Bones- Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones

I thought this book wouldn’t be for me, but I was captivated.

Lord Of The Flies- William Golding

Lord of the Flies

I didn’t like most of the books that I had to read at school so I didn’t expect to like this one.

As I Descended- Robin Talley

As I Descended

I was NOT a fan of What We Left Behind so again, wasn’t expecting to like this one as much as I did.

The Not So Good

The Fault In Our Stars- John Green

The Fault in Our Stars

I always feel bad for not liking John Green, but I just didn’t ‘get’ this book. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it, I did. I just wasn’t blown away.

Girl In Pieces- Kathleen Glasgow

Girl in Pieces

This book was very slow in places.

The Girls- Emma Cline

The Girls

A bit strange! I don’t usually mind strange.

Dumplin’- Julie Murphy

Dumplin' (Dumplin', #1)

I wanted to like it more than I did.

Follow Me Back- Nicci Cloke

Follow Me Back

Great premise, but it didn’t work for me.

How about you? Let me know which books have surprised you! Feel free to leave a link to your list and I’ll stop by!

Round up of The British Book Challenge 2016

It’s that time of year again… time to reflect on the British Books I’ve read this year for the British Books Challenge. I read a grand total of 66 British books! (I shall add anymore to this post if I read more between now and 1st January) Yay!

The challenge involves reading 12 books from British authors, so I think we can safely say I smashed that number! 😉 I really enjoy finding British authors to read as much of my reading is dominated by US authors (they are amazing though!) Linked below are the reviews of the 66 British books that I read!

  1. Lighter Than My Shadow– Katie Green
  2. For Holly– Tanya Byrne
  3. Am I Normal Yet?– Holly Bourne
  4. The Demon Headmaster– Gillian Cross
  5. The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig– Emer Stamp
  6. The Haunting– Alex Bell
  7. In A Dark, Dark Wood– Ruth Ware
  8. The Number One Rule For Girls– Rachel McIntyre
  9. Carrie’s War-Nina Bawden
  10. The Sin Eater’s Daughter– Melinda Salisbury
  11. Radio Silence– Alice Oseman
  12. The Samaritan– Mason Cross
  13. Moving– Jenny Eclair
  14. More Of Me– Kathryn Evans
  15. The Next Together– Lauren James
  16. The Boy In The Dress– David Walliams
  17. Consumed– Abbie Rushton
  18. V is for Violet– Alison Rattle
  19. Read Me Like A Book– Liz Kessler
  20. Follow Me Back– Nicci Cloke
  21. Noble Conflict– Malorie Blackman
  22. When I Was Invisible– Dorothy Koomson
  23. Poppy’s Place– Karina Charman
  24. The Horse and His Boy– C.S. Lewis
  25. Orangeboy– Patrice Lawrence
  26. Always With Love– Giovanna Fletcher
  27. The Moonlight Dreamers– Siobhan Curham
  28. According To Yes-Dawn French
  29. The Borrowers– Mary Norton
  30. Swimming To The Moon– Jane Elson
  31. The Castle– Sophia Bennett
  32. The Woman Next Door– Cass Green
  33. Songs About A Girl– Chris Russell
  34. Maggot Moon– Sally Gardner
  35. Shtum– Jem Lester
  36. The One We Fell In Love With– Paige Toon
  37. My Embarrassing Dad’s Gone Viral– Ben Davis
  38. Cuckoo– Keren David
  39. Harry Potter and The Cursed Child– J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
  40. All About The Hype– Paige Toon
  41. The Girls– Lisa Jewell
  42. Head Over Heels– Holly Smale
  43. Crush– Eve Ainsworth
  44. Perijee and Me– Ross Montgomery
  45. How Not To Disappear– Clare Furniss
  46. A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding– Jackie Copleton
  47. Looking for JJ– Anne Cassidy
  48. A Boy Made Of Bricks– Keith Stuart
  49. Robyn Silver- The Midnight Chimes– Paula Harrison
  50. Isadora Moon Goes To School- Harriet Muncaster
  51. The Last Act of Love– Cathy Rentzenbrink
  52. Time To Say Goodbye– S.D. Robertson
  53. On The Other Side– Carrie Hope Fletcher
  54. Beautiful Broken Things– Sara Barnard
  55. The Widow– Fiona Barton
  56. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase– Joan Aiken
  57. Dead Romantic– C.J.Skuse
  58. Haunt Me– Liz Kessler
  59. Missing, Presumed– Susie Steiner
  60. Strange Star– Emma Carroll
  61. Ballet Shoes– Noel Streatfeild
  62. The Lie Tree– Frances Hardinge
  63. Into The Trees– Robert Williams
  64. Lighthousekeeping– Jeanette Winterson
  65. Infinite Sky– C.J. Flood
  66. The Sleeping Prince– Melinda Salisbury

A massive thank you to Kirsty from Overflowing Library for hosting this challenge this year.

As this is one of my favourite challenges, I am definitely on board for 2017. In 2017, the challenge will be hosted by Michelle from Tales of Yesterday. Sign up here!

Comparing ‘Follow Me Back’ by Nicci Cloke

Follow Me Back

How did I get it?:
Received from publisher, thanks to Hot Key Books

Synopsis:

There was no sign of a struggle, they whisper to each other. She took her phone but left her laptop behind.

Apparently, she’d met someone online, they write to each other in class, phones buzzing.
She ran away. She was taken.

The first time Aiden Kendrick hears about Lizzie Summersall’s disappearance is when the police appear at his front door. He and Lizzie used to be friends; they aren’t anymore. And when Aiden finds out that Lizzie had been talking to strangers on Facebook; that the police think she went to meet one of them, he begins to wonder how well he ever really knew her, and Aiden doesn’t know it yet, but with Lizzie’s disappearance his life is about to take a twisted and desperate turn.

Thoughts before you started reading Follow Me Back?

CHRISSI: It looked really interesting and I love books based around social media.
LUNA: The premise sounded intriguing so I was looking forward to this.

What did you think of Aiden?

CHRISSI: I wasn’t a fan. I couldn’t find anything to really like about him. That doesn’t always bother me, I don’t NEED to like a character. But at the same time, I usually need to somewhat understand them, but Aiden just seemed forgettable to me.
LUNA: Normally I love unreliable narrators but there was no connection to Aiden.

Best bit?

CHRISSI: I liked how everything came together.
LUNA: The ending is quite intense.

Worst bit?

CHRISSI: I think the worst bit for me was that I just couldn’t connect to the story. There wasn’t really a character who I could really find myself liking. That makes the book as a whole really hard to connect with and enjoy.

LUNA: Follow Me Back did not work for me. I liked the premise but I feel like this book night have worked better a few years ago when the world as whole was still more naïve about online ‘friendships’. Also I didn’t care about Lizzie’s disappearance because I don’t know Lizzie or why everyone loves her.

The fact that more POVs are added to the story later was a good way to have more depth to Lizzie and what was going on, but for me, I didn’t think these new voices sounded that much different to Aiden’s.

Favourite character/moment?

CHRISSI: I enjoyed how everything came together at the end.
LUNA: I liked Aiden’s best friend Scobie at the beginning of the story.

Was Follow Me Back what you expected?

CHRISSI: Unfortunately not!
LUNA: Not really.

Would you recommend it?

CHRISSI: It’s not for me. It really didn’t work for me.
LUNA: Honestly I don’t think so, which is a real shame because it sounded great.