My Summer Challenge: Did I complete it?

Chrissi’s Summer Challenge!

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I work in a school, so I have a glorious six weeks off in the summer. Today I’m back to school. Sad face. Oh well, I can’t complain too much as I have completed my Summer Challenge! On 18th June, I picked 10 books on the top of my to be read pile as part of Top Ten Tuesday. I then decided, that I would actually endeavour to read these books!  So here are my thoughts on my favourites and unfortunately one DNF (Did Not Finish).

If you click on the book image, it’ll take you to the book’s Goodreads profile. Easier to add to your TBR list that way! 😉 If you click on the title of the book, it’ll take you to my review (bar my DNF book).

10. Q- A Love Story- Evan Mandery

15729302Unfortunately this is the book that I didn’t finish. I recently read a review saying that you wouldn’t enjoy it if you weren’t into philosophy. Well, that doesn’t work for me. I studied philosophy at university and it is one of my biggest passions. For me, it was too slow and went off track. I’m sure others would enjoy it though which is why I decided to include it even though I don’t usually mention books that I DNF.

9. Grow Up– Ben Brooks

10830696There was nothing really wrong with this book, it just wasn’t as much my thing as the others on this list. It has extremely strong language and adult content so beware. I’d say 18+ only!

8. Beauty Queens– Libba Bray

9464733Again, there was nothing particularly wrong with this book. I’ve just read a lot of good books out of this list! This book is completely OTT and certainly not for everyone, but I enjoyed it enough!

7. Why We Broke Up– Daniel Handler

10798418I think this is such a beautifully illustrated book. I didn’t really know much about it when I picked it up, but it was a pleasure to read! Not the most amazing story ever, but definitely likeable and very readable.

6. Attachments– Rainbow Rowell

8909152I found this book incredibly easy to read. I finished it on a train journey. It wasn’t quite Eleanor & Park for me, but it was still a decent read.

5. Under The Never Sky– Veronica Rossi

11594257I loved this book and I’m looking forward to checking out the sequel. This was one of the first of the books I read and I really expected it to be placed higher, but no.. I read much awesomeness.

4. The Beautiful and The Cursed– Page Morgan

15989598This is the last book I read out of the 10 I picked. I didn’t quite save the best until last, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this book.

3. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer– Michelle Hodkin

8591107I completely fell in love with this book. I was so confused about what was going on, but that just added to the awesome. Oh yes.

2. Boundless– Cynthia Hand

13049981Argh! I wasn’t sure I was going to like Boundless that much since I wasn’t overly keen on Hallowed. I still like Hallowed, but it didn’t quite match up to Unearthly for me. I need not have feared, I really enjoyed Boundless. A great end to the series. (If you’re on the same ‘Team’ as me..)

1. Divergent– Veronica Roth

13335037I am SO in love with this book. The last 3 in this list were so hard to order, but Divergent just had to come out on top.

Have you read any on my list?  If so, what were your favourites?

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The Beautiful and The Cursed

15989598

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