Features · TBR Thursdays

TBR Thusday – Historical Fiction

Hello and welcome to another ‘TBR Thursday.’

In case you’re wondering ‘TBR Thursday’ is a feature where I pick five books from my TBR to share with you. They’re generally books that I feel are lesser known (have fewer ratings on Goodreads and/or I rarely see mentioned) and it’s basically an excuse to bring some more attention to these seemingly underrated books.

If anyone wants to join in you’re more than welcome to do so. I have a list of the year’s topics here and would love the excuse to learn more about the books that you feel deserve some more appreciation. Feel free to link back to me, comment on this post or contact me via the contact page of my blog if you do join in and want me to link to your post here.

This month’s topic is another genre that I want to read more of: Historical Fiction. I generally adore period dramas and movies and find history absolutely fascinating. There are certain periods of time that I love in particular – the Tudor and Victorian Era for instance – but plenty of others that I want to learn more about. So why don’t I read this genre more? I honestly don’t know. This year I fully intend to try and do so though.

The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen

Just seventeen years old, Henry IX, known as William, is a king bound by the restraints of the regency yet anxious to prove himself. With the French threatening battle and the Catholics sowing the seeds of rebellion at home, William trusts only three people: his older sister Elizabeth; his best friend and loyal counselor, Dominic; and Minuette, a young orphan raised as a royal ward by William’s mother, Anne Boleyn.

Against a tide of secrets, betrayal, and murder, William finds himself fighting for the very soul of his kingdom. Then, when he and Dominic both fall in love with Minuette, romantic obsession looms over a new generation of Tudors. One among them will pay the price for a king’s desire, as a shocking twist of fate changes England’s fortunes forever.

Why?

I love the idea of this story! What if Anne Boleyn had given Henry VIII the son that he wanted; what would happen next? It’s definitively an idea that intrigues me so I can’t wait to get stuck into this book soon. How could I possibly resist a book that promises yet more secrets, betrayal and murder within the Tudor Court? And that’s not even mentioning the new romantic obsession that’s looming. This book is so me!

The Second Duchess by Elizabeth Loupas

In a city-state known for magnificence, where love affairs and conspiracies play out amidst brilliant painters, poets and musicians, the powerful and ambitious Alfonso d’Este, duke of Ferrara, takes a new bride. Half of Europe is certain he murdered his first wife, Lucrezia, the luminous child of the Medici. But no one dares accuse him, and no one has proof-least of all his second duchess, the far less beautiful but delightfully clever Barbara of Austria.

At first determined to ignore the rumors about her new husband, Barbara embraces the pleasures of the Ferrarese court. Yet wherever she turns she hears whispers of the first duchess’s wayward life and mysterious death. Barbara asks questions—a dangerous mistake for a duchess of Ferrara. Suddenly, to save her own life, Barbara has no choice but to risk the duke’s terrifying displeasure and discover the truth of Lucrezia’s death—or she will share her fate.

Why?

Yet another book that sounds as if it’s written for me to read! A historical novel where the second wife of a powerful duke finds herself in danger. What really happened to his first wife? Was it murder? And what on earth can Barbara possibly do if she discovers that it was? I absolutely can not wait to find out!

Mayflowers For November by Malyn Bromfield

Avis Grinnel’s life is forever changed when a young musician arrives unexpectedly to escort her to the innermost sanctum of King Henry VIII’s royal court.

However, it is not the king who has demanded her presence but his new queen, the much-disliked Anne Boleyn.

She has been told Avis is a “little cunning wench who has the sight” and demands she uses her powers to divine whether the queen is pregnant with a girl, or with the boy child the king expects.

From the moment she gives her fateful answer, Avis becomes embroiled in an extravagant world of intrigue, deceit and murderous plotting that is far removed from her lowly home life in the king’s kitchens at Greenwich Palace.

She becomes an unwilling participant and watcher in the alliances and misplaced loyalties of court life as the King wages religious war with the Pope and the churches while changing wives and mistresses in his relentless pursuit of a male heir.

Whispers, lies and rumours abound as the Queen fights for her survival and Avis struggles to balance her life of opulence in the royal chambers with the humble world of her baker parents and a mysterious suitor.

Her story is revealed partly as it unfolds and partly as a deeply-felt memory told to the faithful blind White Boy, who has been at her side for most of her life.

The brutal ending of Anne Boleyn’s reign is already known and written into history but this dramatic and vividly drawn story records the stark reality with an intricate and colourful portrayal of life at all levels in Tudor England.

Why?

Because it’s about the Tudors and I couldn’t resist buying it when I discovered it on my Kindle for only 99p? That’s basically why I brought it anyway but overall the blurb does sound pretty amazing. So this is definitely one book that I need to get stuck into soon!

Prisoner Of Night And Fog by Anne Blankman

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?

Why?

I honestly can’t remember how I first learnt about this book but I do know that I seriously need to read it soon! How could I resist a blurb like this one? What will happen when Gretchen, who grew up under the wing of her ‘uncle’ Dolf finds herself falling for someone that she’s wrongly been taught to hate? Someone who tells her that her father was murdered and didn’t willingly give up his life. I really need to know more about this one because it sounds incredible!

Gilt by Katherine Longshore

In the court of King Henry VIII, nothing is free–
and love comes at the highest price of all.

When Kitty Tylney’s best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII’s heart and brings Kitty to court, she’s thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat’s shadow, Kitty’s now caught between two men–the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat’s meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.

Why?

Tudors! Need I say more after how many books featuring them that I’ve mentioned here? I’m also pretty curious about how Kitty will handle the situation that she finds herself trapped within. And, again, I can’t wait to learn more. I actually learnt about this book when I was looking at my library’s recent additions online once and spotted the companion novel ‘Brazen’. As I’m kind of hopeless when it comes to reading things – even standalone companions – out of order I want to pick this one up first.

Have you read any of the books that I’ve mentioned here today? Do you have any overlooked books on your TBR? Do you have any historical fiction recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments section below, I’d love to hear from you.

Features · TBR Thursdays

TBR Thursday – Contemporary

Hello and welcome to another ‘TBR Thursday’.

In case you’re wondering ‘TBR Thursday’ is a feature where I pick five books from my TBR to share with you. They’re generally books that I feel are lesser known (have fewer ratings on Goodreads and/or I rarely see mentioned) and it’s basically an excuse to bring some more attention to these seemingly underrated books.

If anyone wants to join in you’re more than welcome to do so. I have a list of the year’s topics here. And would love the excuse to learn more about the books that you feel deserve some more appreciation. Feel free to link back to me, comment on this post or contact me via the contact page of my blog if you do join in and want me to link to your post here.

For the next four months I’m going to focus on four different genres that I want to read more of. So starting this series off is: Contemporary. I used to read this a lot then mostly stopped and I honestly don’t know why. I absolutely adore some books within the genre so I seriously need to start picking them up more frequently again. Here are five lesser known ones that I’d love to get read this year.

A Kiss In The Dark by Cat Clarke

When Alex meets Kate the attraction is instant.

Alex is funny, good-looking, and a little shy – everything that Kate wants in a boyfriend.

Alex can’t help falling for Kate, who is pretty, charming and maybe just a little naive…

But one of them is hiding an unbelievable secret, and as their love blossoms, it threatens to ruin not just their relationship, but their lives…

Why?

Cat Clarke has written some truly amazing books and they never fail to grip me. They’re twisty, compelling and can paint a pretty vivid picture of the awful things that people are capable of doing to one another. They also tend to tear at my emotions and make me feel on various individual’s behalves. So, as I’ve loved her other books, of course I want to read this one. I’m also pretty curious about the secret; how it’ll ruin their lives and what will happen when it comes out. This is definitely one I plan to pick up as soon as possible.

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios

Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it’s too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she’s unable to escape.

Why?

Because apparently I like reading contemporary novels that are going to put me through an emotional ringer? I don’t know; I like reading about obsessive love and seeing how it can affect people. Charming, dangerous, controlling individuals can be fascinating to read about in some ways. Plus I’m hoping that in this case Grace will break free and find herself. Hopefully. And yeah I’ll admit I’m also a sucker for a pretty cover.

All Of This Is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor

Miri Tan loved the book Undertow like it was a living being. So when she and her friends went to a book signing to meet the author, Fatima Ro, they concocted a plan to get close to her, even if her friends won’t admit it now. As for Jonah, well—Miri knows none of that was Fatima’s fault.

Soleil Johnston wanted to be a writer herself one day. When she and her friends started hanging out with her favorite author, Fatima Ro, she couldn’t believe their luck—especially when Jonah Nicholls started hanging out with them, too. Now, looking back, Soleil can’t believe she let Fatima manipulate her and Jonah like that. She can’t believe that she got used for a book.

Penny Panzarella was more than the materialistic party girl everyone at the Graham School thought she was. She desperately wanted Fatima Ro to see that, and she saw her chance when Fatima asked the girls to be transparent with her. If only she’d known what would happen when Fatima learned Jonah’s secret. If only she’d known that the line between fiction and truth was more complicated than any of them imagined. . .

Why?

This book sounds like it’ll have a lot of drama in it and I personally love drama. So that alone made me want to pick it up instantly. Then I realized it was written in a pretty usual style and I was unsure about reading it. I definitely still want to though. I want to see what secrets everybody’s hiding and how things fall apart. Plus it’s about an author; what reader doesn’t love books that feature those?

The One We Fell In Love With by Paige Toon

Phoebe is caught between a rock and a hard place. Settle down and get married, or return to the French Alps to pursue her passion?

Eliza is in love with someone who is no longer hers. In fact, he probably never was… And her dream of becoming a musician seems to be spiralling down the drain.

Rose is out of a job and out of a boyfriend. To make matters worse, she’s been forced to move back in with her mother…

But these very different girls have one thing in common. Angus. The one they fell in love with…

Why?

Paige Toon is an author who I’ve wanted to read something by for a long time. A lot of her books are on my TBR actually but this is the one that always immediately springs to mind. Three very different girls connected by Angus, the guy they fell in love with. How do the stories intertwine? What brings them together, if anything? I’m really looking forward to this one and think it has the potential to be pretty beautiful to be honest. Fingers crossed anyway.

High School Queens by Zachary Ryan

They all thought they did a masterful job of keeping their secrets close to their chest. These stupid fools thought they were the high court of this kingdom, but they had no clue who was really pulling the strings. You might wonder to yourself, who would be that heartless to make them backstab their friends, expose other’s secrets, and lose their morals? You don’t need to know who I am, but you better remember my name, The Marked Queen.

Danielle, Andrew, Delilah, Aman, and Jasmine all are now faced with a mysterious villain whose one goal is to ruin each of their lives. They must protect their secrets at all cost, or they’ll be the next victim on Marked Day. They know what’s at stake, and they’ll stop at nothing to continue being: the rich spoiled girl, the normal teenager, the girl who isn’t banging the principal, the straight vlogger, and the girl who isn’t her dad’s punching bag. What happens when The Marked Queen changes up the game just in time for prom? Will each of our favorite puppets survive? Or are they willing to backstab each other just to keep up their personas? The only thing lost at this prom wasn’t going to be their virginity.

Why?

This book blurb immediately gave me Pretty Little Liars vibes and I love that. I love the mixture of secrets, drama, scandal and blackmail that seems to be promised here. I adore the idea of ‘The Marked Queen’ and can’t wait to see her pulling each of these girl’s strings. I’m sorry but I just love scandalous books featuring a lot of drama and surely everyone can agree that this blurb promises A LOT of that?

Have you read any of the books that I’ve mentioned here today? Do you have any overlooked books on your TBR? Do you have any contemporary book recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments section below, I’d love to hear from you.

Features · TBR Thursdays

TBR Thursday – Authors To Catch Up On – Part Four

Hello and welcome to another ‘TBR Thursday’.

In case you’re wondering ‘TBR Thursday’ is a feature where I pick five books from my TBR to share with you. They’re generally books that I feel are lesser known (have fewer ratings on Goodreads and/or I rarely see mentioned) and it’s basically an excuse to bring some more attention to these seemingly underrated books.

If anyone wants to join in you’re more than welcome to do so. I have a list of the year’s topics here. And would love the excuse to learn more about the books that you feel deserve some more appreciation. Feel free to link back to me, comment on this post or contact me via the contact page of my blog if you do join in and want me to link to your post here.

This month I’m doing a special edition of this feature and pairing it up with my ‘Literacy Lists’. Each week of January I’m going to mention ten of the authors that I want to catch up on in a Literacy List post and then share some lesser known, or mentioned, books by five of those authors from each week’s list here.

If anybody does decide to join in then feel free to pick authors that you want to catch up on. And you can do as many, or as few, weeks in January as you want to. From February onward I’m back to one ‘TBR Thursday’ a month

Navigating The Stars by Maria V. Snyder

Terra Cotta Warriors have been discovered on other planets in the Milky Way Galaxy. And Lyra Daniels’ parents are the archaeological Experts (yes with a capital E) on the Warriors and have dragged her to the various planets to study them despite the time dilation causing havoc with her social life.

When one of the many Warrior planets goes silent, and looters attack her research base, Lyra becomes involved in discovering why the Warriors were placed on these planets. And, more importantly, by who.

Why?

Mostly because the blurb sounds pretty amazing. Already I desperately want to know the answers behind the Terra Cotta Warriors. The mystery sounds pretty ominous when one of the Warrior planets goes silent. Plus I’ve loved books by this author in the past. Hopefully I’ll pick up the first two books soon.

The Weight Of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

For twenty years, the Palomas and the Corbeaus have been rivals and enemies, locked in an escalating feud for over a generation. Both families make their living as traveling performers in competing shows—the Palomas swimming in mermaid exhibitions, the Corbeaus, former tightrope walkers, performing in the tallest trees they can find.

Lace Paloma may be new to her family’s show, but she knows as well as anyone that the Corbeaus are pure magia negra, black magic from the devil himself. Simply touching one could mean death, and she’s been taught from birth to keep away. But when disaster strikes the small town where both families are performing, it’s a Corbeau boy, Cluck, who saves Lace’s life. And his touch immerses her in the world of the Corbeaus, where falling for him could turn his own family against him, and one misstep can be just as dangerous on the ground as it is in the trees.

Why?

Like all of the author’s books this sounds whimsical and magical. I love the circus vibes that the blurb gives me; I adore that a feud is involved. And I want to know more about this magic already. Both families sound intriguing, but why is one said to have ‘ magia negra’? Is it simple hatred from the feud or is their magic really dark? I can’t wait to find out! Plus this book gives me total star crossed lovers vibes.

Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers

When Eddie Reeves’s father commits suicide her life is consumed by the nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher? Why when he seemed to find inspiration in everything he saw? And, most important, why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world? When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father’s and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. Culler seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death. But Eddie’s vulnerability has weakened her and Culler Evans is getting too close. Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on…but are some questions better left unanswered?

Why?

Because it’s bound to be heart wrenching and for some crazy reason I like books that tear at my emotions? I want to read everything by Courtney Summers but this book seemed to have the least ratings, which is why I decided to pick it for this list. It’s got a mystery element to it, which intrigues me, and the line about Culler ‘getting too close’ is giving me warning vibes too.

Love, Life And The List by Kasie West

Seventeen-year-old Abby Turner’s summer isn’t going the way she’d planned. She has a not-so-secret but definitely unrequited crush on her best friend, Cooper. She hasn’t been able to manage her mother’s growing issues with anxiety. And now she’s been rejected from an art show because her work “has no heart.” So when she gets another opportunity to show her paintings Abby isn’t going to take any chances.

Which is where the list comes in.

Abby gives herself one month to do ten things, ranging from face a fear (#3) to learn a stranger’s story (#5) to fall in love (#8). She knows that if she can complete the list she’ll become the kind of artist she’s always dreamed of being. But as the deadline approaches, Abby realizes that getting through the list isn’t as straightforward as it seems… and that maybe—just maybe—she can’t change her art if she isn’t first willing to change herself.

Why?

I think the title first drew me towards this book but I’m glad that it did as it sounds like the sort of contemporary novel that I could swiftly fall in love with. I absolutely adore the sound of the list involved in this book and can’t wait to see Abby tackle the tasks on it. The three items from it already mentioned sound like they could lead to interesting encounters in Abby’s life and I can’t wait to learn what the rest of the list includes.

Talon by Julie Kagawa

THE DRAGONS OF TALON:
Once hunted nearly to extinction, they are now poised to take over the world. 

THE ORDER OF ST. GEORGE:
The legendary dragonslayers will stop at nothing to wipe dragons from the face of the earth. 

These mortal enemies are locked in secret and deadly combat, with humanity none the wiser.

To take her rightful place in the Talon organization, young dragon Ember Hill must prove she can hide her true nature and blend in with humans. Her delight at the prospect of a summer of “normal” teen experiences is short-lived, however, once she discovers that she’s also expected to train for her destined career in Talon. But a chance meeting with a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. 

As Ember struggles to accept her future, St. George soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian is tasked with hunting her down. But when faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything the Order has ingrained in him—and what he might be willing to give up to uncover the truth about dragons.

Why?

Dragons? I’m pretty sure that for a lot of people their involvement is reason enough to add this book to my TBR. They’re beloved by so many for a reason after all. Julie Kagawa is a fantastic author though (reason number two). And I just know that I need to learn more; what’s the truth about the Order of St. George and the dragons of Talon? Are they really poised to take over the world? What will happen when Ember and Garret meet? I seriously can’t wait to read this.

Have you read any of the books that I’ve mentioned here today? Do you have any overlooked books on your TBR? Do you have any authors that you want to catch up with? Let me know in the comments section below, I’d love to hear from you.

Please note I’m currently on a semi-hiatus but I’ll be back sometime in January. After doing a lot of blog post planning I needed a bit of a break. But I’ll try to check in with comments a couple of times a week (probably after the first week in January as I would like a total blogging break over Christmas) and try to read other people’s posts fairly regularly so that I don’t totally fall behind.

During my check in’s I’ll also make sure to add a link back to your post too so don’t worry, I will still be linking back to anyone who wants to join in, it just might take a couple of days.

Features · TBR Thursdays

TBR Thursday – Authors To Catch Up On – Part Three

Hello and welcome to another ‘TBR Thursday’.

In case you’re wondering ‘TBR Thursday’ is a feature where I pick five books from my TBR to share with you. They’re generally books that I feel are lesser known (have fewer ratings on Goodreads and/or I rarely see mentioned) and it’s basically an excuse to bring some more attention to these seemingly underrated books.

If anyone wants to join in you’re more than welcome to do so. I have a list of the year’s topics here. And would love the excuse to learn more about the books that you feel deserve some more appreciation. Feel free to link back to me, comment on this post or contact me via the contact page of my blog if you do join in and want me to link to your post here.

This month I’m doing a special edition of this feature and pairing it up with my ‘Literacy Lists’. Each week of January I’m going to mention ten of the authors that I want to catch up on in a Literacy List post and then share some lesser known, or mentioned, books by five of those authors from each week’s list here.

If anybody does decide to join in then feel free to pick authors that you want to catch up on. And you can do as many, or as few, weeks in January as you want to. From February onward I’m back to one ‘TBR Thursday’ a month

Forever Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Elsie Porter is an average twentysomething and yet what happens to her is anything but ordinary. On a rainy New Year’s Day, she heads out to pick up a pizza for one. She isn’t expecting to see anyone else in the shop, much less the adorable and charming Ben Ross. Their chemistry is instant and electric. Ben cannot even wait twenty-four hours before asking to see her again. Within weeks, the two are head over heels in love. By May, they’ve eloped.

Only nine days later, Ben is out riding his bike when he is hit by a truck and killed on impact. Elsie hears the sirens outside her apartment, but by the time she gets downstairs, he has already been whisked off to the emergency room. At the hospital, she must face Susan, the mother-in-law she has never met and who doesn’t even know Elsie exists.

Why?

I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Taylor Jenkins Reid that I’ve looked up all of her books out of curiosity and plan to pick up the most popular two very soon. This one seems to be less known than the rest but I really quite like the sound of it. The whirlwind romance will, hopefully, be one that I fall in love with and the aftermath of the accident is something that I’m curious to read about too. I have a feeling this may well break my heart though.

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara’s beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged.

When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it’s too late.

Why?

I generally quite like YA mysteries so that element of this novel instantly appealed to me. I want to know what’s going on and get some answers. I also want to learn more about the sisters and how they became estranged. Plus I know that Lauren Oliver is a wonderful author. So I have plenty of reasons to check this one out.

An Abundance Of Katherines by John Green

Katherine V thought boys were gross
Katherine X just wanted to be friends
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail
K-19 broke his heart

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun–but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.

Why?

I really want to read some John Green books this year; maybe even all of his books so that I can find out exactly what the fuss is about. This is one of the ones that I’ve seen mentioned the least though which is why I’m picking it for this post. I think the idea of a guy who constantly falls into failing relationships with girls named Katherine sounds fascinating. I’m not sure what to make of his mission, to be fair, but I love the friendship and road trip elements involved. I’m also kind of hoping for some Katherine related flashbacks.

100 Hours by Rachel Vincent

Maddie is beyond done with her cousin Genesis’s entitled and shallow entourage. Genesis is so over Miami’s predictable social scene with its velvet ropes, petty power plays, and backstabbing boyfriends.

While Maddie craves family time for spring break, Genesis seeks novelty—like a last-minute getaway to an untouched beach in Colombia. And when Genesis wants something, it happens.

But paradise has its price. Dragged from their tents under the cover of dark, Genesis, Maddie, and their friends are kidnapped and held for ransom deep inside the jungle—with no diva left behind. It all feels so random to everyone except Genesis. She knows they were targeted for a reason. And that reason is her.

Now, as the hours count down, only one thing’s for certain: If the Miami hostages can’t thwart their captors’ plan, no one will make it out alive. 

Why?

I love the sound of this! I think maybe the cover made it first catch my eye but I’m super excited to read it thanks to my past experiences with the author’s writing and the blurb. I don’t think I’ve read anything like this before. The setting sounds wonderful to read about and the danger the type that will keep me frantically turning pages. Plus, already, I want to know why? Why is Genesis the reason? I can’t wait to find out.

Firstlife by Gena Showalter

Step one…you die.

ONE CHOICE. TWO REALMS. NO SECOND CHANCE.

Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live — after she dies. There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.

In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, long-time enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms that will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she’s drawn to isn’t where the boy she’s falling for lives? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…

Why?

Doesn’t this sound interesting? I don’t think I’ve ever read a book before where your life after death is the one that really matters. I can’t wait to learn more about these two realms and read about the world that’s been painted here. I’m also curious about Ten; why is everyone determined to have her soul? And, of course, I love novels where you don’t know who to trust; it ramps up the suspense tremendously.

Have you read any of the books that I’ve mentioned here today? Do you have any overlooked books on your TBR? Do you have any authors that you want to catch up with? Let me know in the comments section below, I’d love to hear from you.

Please note I’m currently on a semi-hiatus but I’ll be back sometime in January. After doing a lot of blog post planning I needed a bit of a break. But I’ll try to check in with comments a couple of times a week (probably after the first week in January as I would like a total blogging break over Christmas) and try to read other people’s posts fairly regularly so that I don’t totally fall behind.

During my check in’s I’ll also make sure to add a link back to your post too so don’t worry, I will still be linking back to anyone who wants to join in, it just might take a couple of days.

Features · TBR Thursdays

TBR Thursday – Authors To Catch Up On – Part Two

Hello and welcome to another ‘TBR Thursday’.

In case you’re wondering ‘TBR Thursday’ is a feature where I pick five books from my TBR to share with you. They’re generally books that I feel are lesser known (have fewer ratings on Goodreads and/or I rarely see mentioned) and it’s basically an excuse to bring some more attention to these seemingly underrated books.

If anyone wants to join in you’re more than welcome to do so. I have a list of the year’s topics here. And would love the excuse to learn more about the books that you feel deserve some more appreciation. Feel free to link back to me, comment on this post or contact me via the contact page of my blog if you do join in and want me to link to your post here.

This month I’m doing a special edition of this feature and pairing it up with my ‘Literacy Lists’. Each week of January I’m going to mention ten of the authors that I want to catch up on in a Literacy List post and then share some lesser known, or mentioned, books by five of those authors from each week’s list here.

If anybody does decide to join in then feel free to pick authors that you want to catch up on. And you can do as many, or as few, weeks in January as you want to. From February onward I’m back to one ‘TBR Thursday’ a month

Exit Strategy by Kelley Armstrong

Nadia Stafford is one of the world’s few female contract killers. A former cop, drummed out of the force because of a scandal, she is an expert at disguise and cool under pressure. But when fellow hitman Jack arrives on the scene, Nadia’s very private existence is seriously challenged.

A series of victims are being murdered seemingly at random all over the country — different areas, different walks of life, different MOs. There is nothing to tie them together except a random page torn out of a single book: Helter Skelter. But does the Helter Skelter killer — as the hysterical media now dub him — have a real connection to Charles Manson? Or is there something even more sinister at work?

Is this, in fact — as Jack believes — the carefully planned exit strategy of a fellow professional killer, determined to leave the life, but equally determined to clear up an old mistake? And, if so, which is the real victim?

Now, the highly suspicious and secretive hitman community will have to break their cover — at least, to each other — and help take down this killer before the cops and the Feds discover his true connection to their own secret, exclusive society….

Why?

Is it just me or does this sound absolutely amazing? I’ve loved the previous books that I’ve read by Kelley Armstrong and I can’t wait to check out this one too. The main character sounds fascinating and I’m pretty intrigued by the killings too. Plus, if it’s what Jack believes, then this sounds like a seriously interesting story. And even if it isn’t I know this is going to be one hell of a ride.

Working Stiff by Rachel Caine

Bryn Davis knows working at Fairview Mortuary isn’t the most glamorous career choice, but at least it offers stable employment–until she discovers her bosses using a drug that resurrects the clientele as part of an extortion racket. Now, Bryn faces being terminated–literally, and with extreme prejudice.

With the help of corporate double-agent Patrick McCallister, Bryn has a chance to take down the bigger problem–pharmaceutical company Pharmadene, which treats death as the ultimate corporate loyalty program. She’d better do it fast, before she becomes a zombie slave–a real working stiff. She’d be better off dead…

Why?

Once again I’ve loved books by this author in the past (in fact, to save repeating myself, the same applies to the next two authors included here as well). This series sounds like no other that I’ve read before to be honest and I can’t wait to check the story out. I’m really intrigued by how the zombies will be portrayed in this book. And I love the idea of them being raised for such an unusual reason.

It Felt Like A Kiss by Sarra Manning

Meet Ellie Cohen, one of the most perfect girls in London.

Ellie manages a swank Mayfair gallery, but it’s her life that’s a real work of art. Great job, really good hair, loyal friends, loving family. It’s only her succession of lame duck boyfriends that ruin the picture.

Oh, and the world-famous rock-star father she’s never met, who won’t even acknowledge her existence.

Then Ellie’s perfect life is smashed to pieces when her secret is sold to the highest bidder and her name, face (and pictures of her bottom) are splashed across the tabloids. Suddenly everyone thinks she’s a gold-digging, sex-crazy, famewhore.

Enter David Gold. Charming and handsome David Gold. On paper he’s even more perfect than Ellie, if only he wasn’t her father’s ruthlessly ambitious lawyer whose job is to manage the crisis – and her. He certainly doesn’t think that Ellie’s the innocent party and she doesn’t trust him at all. So why is it that every time they’re alone together, damage limitation is the last thing on their minds? 

Why?

When I was younger I absolutely adored Guitar Girl by this author and as they both share a similar aspect of fame I think that’s probably what initially attracted me to this book. I do absolutely adore the sound of this though; hate to love, scandal and a rock-star father. What more could I ask for in a contemporary novel?

Once And For All by Sarah Dessen

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.

Why?

I was going to mention an older Sarah Dessen book here but this was actually one of the ones with the fewest ratings on Goodreads so I opted for it instead. This ones right at the top of my contemporary list and I can’t wait to finally read it. I think the wedding planner aspect sounds very sweet and like it could lead to a lot of drama. Plus what could be better than a cynical girl who doesn’t believe in happy ever afters and a serial dater named Ambrose? I can already tell that this is going to make me swoon!

Something Strange And Deadly by Susan Dennard

There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia. . . .

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about.

Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper:

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor . . . from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including the maddeningly stubborn yet handsome Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance. 

Why?

I haven’t really read that many zombie books (just Please Remain Calm and some of the Anita Blake books I believe) yet somehow I have two on this list. I can’t help but adore the sound of this one though. It blends a historical situation with the supernatural – something that I’m a total sucker for. I’ve heard amazing things about the author and the start really captured my attention (I used the ‘First Look’ option on Amazon). So expect to see me picking this book up very soon.

Have you read any of the books that I’ve mentioned here today? Do you have any overlooked books on your TBR? Do you have any authors that you want to catch up with? Let me know in the comments section below, I’d love to hear from you.

Please note I’m currently on a semi-hiatus but I’ll be back sometime in January. After doing a lot of blog post planning I needed a bit of a break. But I’ll try to check in with comments a couple of times a week (probably after the first week in January as I would like a total blogging break over Christmas) and try to read other people’s posts fairly regularly so that I don’t totally fall behind.

During my check in’s I’ll also make sure to add a link back to your post too so don’t worry, I will still be linking back to anyone who wants to join in, it just might take a couple of days.

Features · TBR Thursdays

TBR Thursday – Authors To Catch Up On – Part One

Hello and welcome to another ‘TBR Thursday’.

In case you’re wondering ‘TBR Thursday’ is a feature where I pick five books from my TBR to share with you. They’re generally books that I feel are lesser known (have fewer ratings on Goodreads and/or I rarely see mentioned) and it’s basically an excuse to bring some more attention to these seemingly underrated books.

If anyone wants to join in you’re more than welcome to do so. I have a list of the year’s topics here. And would love the excuse to learn more about the books that you feel deserve some more appreciation. Feel free to link back to me, comment on this post or contact me via the contact page of my blog if you do join in and want me to link to your post here.

This month I’m doing a special edition of this feature and pairing it up with my ‘Literacy Lists’. Each week of January I’m going to mention ten of the authors that I want to catch up on in a Literacy List post and then share some lesser known, or mentioned, books by five of those authors from each week’s list here.

If anybody does decide to join in then feel free to pick authors that you want to catch up on. And you can do as many, or as few, weeks in January as you want to. From February onward I’m back to one ‘TBR Thursday’ a month

White Cat by Holly Black

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers: people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they’re all criminals. Many become mobsters and con artists. But not Cassel. He hasn’t got magic, so he’s an outsider; the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail – he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Cassel has carefully built up a facade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his facade starts to crumble when he finds himself sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He’s noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him. As Cassel begins to suspect he’s part of a huge con game, he must unravel his past and his memories. To find out the truth, Cassel will have to outcon the conmen. 

Why?

This book has people with the abilities to change a person’s memories, luck and emotions; it has conmen; it has a central character who killed his best friend; and it has a talking cat. Need I say more really? If so then there’s also the fact that I adored The Cruel Prince so much that I now want to check out everything that Holly Black has written.

Gameboard Of The Gods by Richelle Mead

In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Why?

Firstly the name! Gameboard Of The Gods? How can I resist a title like that. Secondly it’s by Richelle Mead who I loved. Thirdly the last line of the blurb: ‘ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board’. What more reasons could I possibly need to read this book?

The Near Witch by V. E. Schwab

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.

But when an actual stranger-a boy who seems to fade like smoke-appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know-about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

Why?

I guess there are two main reasons why I want to read this book. Firstly I think it sounds like the sort of dark, magical, twisty tale that I could thoroughly enjoy. Just from the blurb I know that I need to find out more. And secondly, despite not having read one yet, I actually have everything by V. E. Schwab on my TBR. Everything she writes sounds so fantastic and I can’t resist wanting to read them all.

An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris

Set in a fractured United States, in the southwestern country now known as Texoma. A world where magic is acknowledged but mistrusted, especially by a young gunslinger named Lizbeth Rose. Battered by a run across the border to Mexico Lizbeth Rose takes a job offer from a pair of Russian wizards to be their local guide and gunnie. For the wizards, Gunnie Rose has already acquired a fearsome reputation and they’re at a desperate crossroad, even if they won’t admit it. They’re searching through the small border towns near Mexico, trying to locate a low-level magic practitioner, Oleg Karkarov. The wizards believe Oleg is a direct descendant of Grigori Rasputin, and that Oleg’s blood can save the young tsar’s life.

As the trio journey through an altered America, shattered into several countries by the assassination of Franklin Roosevelt and the Great Depression, they’re set on by enemies. It’s clear that a powerful force does not want them to succeed in their mission. Lizbeth Rose is a gunnie who has never failed a client, but her oath will test all of her skills and resolve to get them all out alive. 

Why?

I’ve loved books by this author in the past and really want to read some more of them. This one has a setting which I’m super intrigued by and merges history and magic – two things that I adore. The main character sounds fantastic, her task intriguing and the dangers great. I’m definitely going to get this read as soon as possible.

Blackbringer by Laini Taylor

When the ancient evil of the Blackbringer rises to unmake the world, only one determined faerie stands in its way. However, Magpie Windwitch, granddaughter of the West Wind, is not like other faeries. While her kind live in seclusion deep in the forests of Dreamdark, she’s devoted her life to tracking down and recapturing devils escaped from their ancient bottles, just as her hero, the legendary Bellatrix, did 25,000 years ago. With her faithful gang of crows, she travels the world fighting where others would choose to flee. But when a devil escapes from a bottle sealed by the ancient Djinn King himself, the creator of the world, she may be in over her head. How can a single faerie, even with the help of her friends, hope to defeat the impenetrable darkness of the Blackbringer?

Why?

Faeries! I adore faeries and they alone are reason enough to pick up this book. But it’s also written by Laini Taylor, whose writing is absolutely breathtaking, and has an incredibly powerful evil mentioned in the blurb. Plus the main character tracks down evils who escaped from their bottles. I just… I need this now! I don’t understand why it has so few ratings compared to most other Laini Taylor books.

So that’s it for part one of this series. Look out for part two next week. Have you read any of the books that I’ve mentioned here today? Do you have any overlooked books on your TBR? Do you have any authors that you want to catch up with? Let me know in the comments section below, I’d love to hear from you.

Please note I’m currently on a semi-hiatus but I’ll be back sometime in January. After doing a lot of blog post planning I needed a bit of a break. But I’ll try to check in with comments a couple of times a week (probably after the first week in January as I would like a total blogging break over Christmas) and try to read other people’s posts fairly regularly so that I don’t totally fall behind.

During my check in’s I’ll also make sure to add a link back to your post too so don’t worry, I will still be linking back to anyone who wants to join in, it just might take a couple of days.

Features · TBR Thursdays

TBR Thursday Topics For 2020

I know nobody else does TBR Thursday at the moment but I thought I’d include a list of topics that I plan to do, just in case anyone ever decides that they’d like to join in. It also gives me an easy list to refer back to if I somehow lose the planned topics that I listed by hand.

In case you’re wondering ‘TBR Thursday’ is a feature where I pick five books from my TBR to share with you. They’re generally books that I feel are lesser known (have fewer ratings on Goodreads and/or I rarely see mentioned) and it’s basically an excuse to bring some more attention to these seemingly underrated books.

January: Books By Authors Who I Need To Catch Up On
February: Contemporary
March: Historical Fiction
April: Classics
May: Thrillers
June: 2019 Book Releases
July: Freebie
August: Comics
September: Unread Books That I Own
October: Halloween Reads
November: Sci Fi & Non Fiction (Double List Month)
December: Fairytale Retellings

If you do decide that you want to join in then feel free to put your own spin on any subject or switch it for one of your own. For example if you don’t like classics then you can pick dystopian or if you’re not a fan of historical fiction then you could do fantasies set in historic style settings. Or you can just pick five random books that you think need more love, using no theme whatsoever. Basically do whatever you want. If you send me a link, or tag me, I’ll include a link to your list in my post as I love the idea of bringing some attention to the lesser known books on everybody’s TBR. And if you have any suggestions for future topics then do feel free to share them with me. I can always fit in extra lists for some months or save them for next year. I honestly don’t know how I got as organized as I did this year.

Please note I’m currently on a semi-hiatus but I’ll be back sometime in January. After doing a lot of blog post planning I needed a bit of a break. But I’ll try to check in with comments a couple of times a week (probably after the first week in January as I would like a total blogging break over Christmas) and try to read other people’s posts fairly regularly so that I don’t totally fall behind.

During my check in’s I’ll also make sure to add a link back to your post too so don’t worry, I will still be linking back to anyone who wants to join in, it just might take a couple of days.

Features · TBR Thursdays

TBR Thursday – December

Hello and welcome to another ‘TBR Thursday’. This month I’m trying to pick five less frequently mentioned books from my TBR that seem appropriate to read over the holidays. These aren’t strictly Christmas books, as I’ve used those on my Literacy List already, but instead books that fit with this time of year – snowy & wintry settings, Nutcracker retellings and even one retelling of Oliver Twist that caught my eye. Let’s get started.

Winterspell by Claire Legrand

The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince…but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.

New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor’s ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother’s murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, her father abducted—by beings distinctly not human. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they’re to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets—and a need she can’t define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won’t leave Cane unscathed—if she leaves at all.

Why?

I remember really loving a version of The Nutcracker that I saw when I was younger. I honestly don’t know which it was but I know that I saw it several times. So I’d love to read a retelling of it some day. This one really captured my attention and the start of it appears really intriguing. I now own a copy of this book too so fingers crossed that I’ll get it read soon!

Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon

Olivia Brownlow is no damsel in distress. Born in a workhouse and raised as a boy among thieving London street gangs, she is as tough and cunning as they come. When she is taken in by her uncle after a caper gone wrong, her life goes from fighting and stealing on the streets to lavish dinners and soirees as a debutante in high society. But she can’t seem to escape her past … or forget the teeming slums where children just like her still scrabble to survive.

Jack MacCarron rose from his place in London’s East End to become the adopted “nephew” of a society matron. Little does society know that MacCarron is a false name for a boy once known among London gangs as the Artful Dodger, and that he and his “aunt” are robbing them blind every chance they get. When Jack encounters Olivia Brownlow in places he least expects, his curiosity is piqued. Why is a society girl helping a bunch of homeless orphan thieves? Even more intriguing, why does she remind him so much of someone he once knew? Jack finds himself wondering if going legit and risking it all might be worth it for love.

Why?

I’ve always loved the 1968 musical version of Oliver and this retelling just sounds absolutely amazing. I love the twist on the tale and that in this book we’ll get to discover what comes after the end of the film (I still need to read the original book). Plus something about Victorian London just seems like such a perfect setting for a book to read over the holidays. I can’t wait to get started on this one.

The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale

Do you remember when you believed in magic?

The Emporium opens with the first frost of winter. It is the same every year. Across the city, when children wake to see ferns of white stretched across their windows, or walk to school to hear ice crackling underfoot, the whispers begin: the Emporium is open!

It is 1917, and London has spent years in the shadow of the First World War. In the heart of Mayfair, though, there is a place of hope. A place where children’s dreams can come true, where the impossible becomes possible – that place is Papa Jack’s Toy Emporium.

For years Papa Jack has created and sold his famous magical toys: hobby horses, patchwork dogs and bears that seem alive, toy boxes bigger on the inside than out, ‘instant trees’ that sprout from boxes, tin soldiers that can fight battles on their own. Now his sons, Kaspar and Emil, are just old enough to join the family trade. Into this family comes a young Cathy Wray – homeless and vulnerable. The Emporium takes her in, makes her one of its own. But Cathy is about to discover that while all toy shops are places of wonder, only one is truly magical… 

Why?

I remember seeing this book everywhere so I thought that it would be too widely known to share on this list. Yet it has less than 1000 reviews on Goodreads so I’m sticking with it. I honestly don’t know what to expect from this book but I’m super intrigued. And really what could make a better Christmas read than a book that’s set in a magical toy shop? This is another that I’ll have to try and get read this winter.

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst

When Cassie was a little girl, her grandmother told her a fairy tale about her mother, who made a deal with the Polar Bear King and was swept away to the ends of the earth. Now that Cassie is older, she knows the story was a nice way of saying her mother had died. Cassie lives with her father at an Arctic research station, is determined to become a scientist, and has no time for make-believe.

Then, on her eighteenth birthday, Cassie comes face-to-face with a polar bear who speaks to her. He tells her that her mother is alive, imprisoned at the ends of the earth. And he can bring her back — if Cassie will agree to be his bride.

Why?

I think the involvement of a polar bear probably initially made me think of His Dark Materials to be perfectly honest. But it’s a fairytale retelling in a wintry setting and what could be better to read at this time of year than that? Plus it’s a fairytale that I don’t know which adds to my desire to read it. I’ve also seen some pretty positive reviews of other books by the author which is promising too.

The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork

Clara Stahlbaum has her future perfectly planned: to marry the handsome pianist, Johann Kahler (ah!) and settle down to a life full of music. But all that changes on Christmas Eve, when Clara receives a mysterious and magical nutcracker.

Whisked away to his world—an enchanted empire of beautiful palaces, fickle fairies, enormous rats, and a prince—Clara must face a magician who uses music as spells…and the future she thought she wanted.

Why?

As I said at the start I’m really interested in reading some retellings of The Nutcracker and this one is said to also contain ‘a dash of The Pied Piper’. I love the sound of the magician and I just seriously want to learn more. Who doesn’t want to explore a land of beautiful palaces and fickle fairies? Although, personally, I would rather avoid the rats.

So those are five books on my TBR, that I rarely see mentioned, which I think would be perfect to read at this time of year. There’s just something so fitting about reading retellings in the winter I think. Although I’m not really much of a seasonal reader; I’ll happily read anything at any time of year. Fingers crossed I’ll at least get the first three of these read this winter as they’ve all been on my TBR for quite some time (and I own two of them and I’m pretty sure the other is available as an ebook at my library so… I have no excuse not to tbh).


Have you read any of the books that I’ve mentioned here today? Do you have any overlooked books on your TBR? Let me know in the comments section below.

Features · TBR Thursdays

TBR Thursday – November

It’s time for another ‘TBR Thursday’ and this time around I’m just picking five random books off of my truly enormous list to share with you. As always these are books that I either haven’t seen mentioned on here – or Bookstagram – at all or else have very rarely seen mention of them. Basically it’s an excuse for me to try and draw some attention to a few of the unnoticed books that I’m desperate to read.

The Leaf Reader by Emily Arsenault

Maybe, occasionally, some of the pictures I saw in teacups were not for the tea drinkers. Maybe some of them were for me.’

Marnie Wells knows that she creeps people out. It’s not really her fault; her brother is always in trouble, and her grandmother, who’s been their guardian since Mom took off is…eccentric. So no one even bats an eye when Marnie finds an old book about reading tea leaves and starts telling fortunes. The ceremony and symbols are weirdly soothing, but she knows—and hopes everyone else does too—that none of it’s real.

Then basketball star Matt Cotrell asks for a reading. He’s been getting emails from someone claiming to be his best friend, Andrea Quinley, who disappeared and is presumed dead. And while they’d always denied they were romantically involved, a cloud of suspicion now hangs over Matt. But Marnie sees a kindred spirit: someone who, like her, is damaged by association.

Suddenly the readings seem real. And, despite the fact that they’re telling Marnie things about Matt that make him seem increasingly dangerous, she can’t shake her initial attraction to him. In fact, it’s getting stronger. And that could turn out to be deadly

Why?

I discovered this book when I found it mentioned on Meg Cabot’s Fantastic Fiction page. It sounds like exactly the sort of mystery that I’d love. Tea leaves, odd emails, a suspicious guy and danger… it seems like such a gripping tale! So I need to read this ASAP.

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes that the dead leave behind in the world… and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer… and becoming his prey herself.

Why?

I think what initially drew me towards this book was Violet’s ‘power’ – something that instantly made me think of Meg Cabot’s Missing series that I was addicted to whilst growing up. The entire plot sounds interesting though; the ability, the budding romantic feelings and, most of all, the hunt for a serial killer. I have high hopes for this and fully intend to read it soon.

The Color Of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah J. Harris

Thirteen-year-old Jasper Wishart lives in a world of dazzling color that no one else can see, least of all his dad. Words, numbers, days of the week, people’s voices—everything has its own unique shade. But recently Jasper has been haunted by a color he doesn’t like or understand: the color of murder.

Convinced he’s done something terrible to his new neighbor, Bee Larkham, Jasper revisits the events of the last few months to paint the story of their relationship from the very beginning. As he struggles to untangle the knot of untrustworthy memories and colors that will lead him to the truth, it seems that there’s someone else out there determined to stop him — at any cost.

Why?

One of the things that attracted me to this book is how different it sounds; I honestly don’t think I’ve ever came across another plot like it. I love that it involves a condition that is not often mentioned and is sure to be eye-opening to learn about. Plus the mystery, from the blurb alone, leaves me wanting to know more. What happened? Hopefully soon I’ll find out.

A Fierce And Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry

Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl–Isabel, the one the señoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.

Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers–and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life

Why?

Oddly when I first heard of this book I wanted to read it but wasn’t in any particular rush to at the same time. Now though I’m constantly checking to see if I can find it on offer. So what changed? I honestly don’t fully know but what I can say is I love the sound of this. The cursed girl who some say can grant wishes whilst others say can kill with a touch sounds fascinating. Then there’s the mystery, the odd letters and… basically I must know more.

Daughters Of The Storm by Kim Wilkins

FIVE ROYAL SISTERS. ONE CROWN.

They are the daughters of a king. Though they share the same royal blood, they could not be more different. Bluebell is a proud warrior, stronger than any man and with an ironclad heart to match. Rose’s heart is all too passionate: She is the queen of a neighboring kingdom, who is risking everything for a forbidden love. The twins: vain Ivy, who lives for admiration, and zealous Willow, who lives for the gods. And Ash, who is discovering a dangerous talent for magic that might be a gift–or a curse.

But when their father is stricken by a mysterious ailment, they must come together on a desperate journey to save him and prevent their treacherous stepbrother from seizing the throne. Their mission: find the powerful witch who can cure the king. But to succeed on their quest, they must overcome their differences, and hope that the secrets they hide from one another and the world are never brought to light. Because if this royal family breaks, it could destroy the kingdom.

Why?

I have several reasons for wanting to read this I suppose (although I can also say that although I remember adding it to my TBR I can’t remember how I heard about this one). Anyway firstly there’s the fact that this sounds as if it will be a pretty epic fantasy story; treacherous stepbrothers, mysterious ailments, powerful witches…yes, yes, yes! The characters sound amazing too and like such a fantastic range of individuals. Plus they’re powerful female characters and I just adore books that contain them. So I can honestly say that I’m desperate to read this and also unsure of how it isn’t more widely known.

Have you read any of the books that I’ve mentioned here today? Do you have any overlooked books on your TBR? Next month I’m going to aim for books that, in some way at least, seem fitting to read over Christmas; if you have any future topics that you’d like to see feel free to share your suggestions and let me know in the comments section below.

Features · TBR Thursdays

TBR Thursday – October

Hello and welcome to my second ‘TBR Thursday’. This month I’ve decided to try and pick books that have some sort of Halloween vibe to them – whether that’s from supernatural beings, horror story classic characters or a horror setting in general. Admittedly there’s only one of those last ones on this list but I’m not sure how many forgotten horror books I have on my TBR. If you have any recommendations feel free to share them with me (although yes, I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to horror).

The Strange Case Of The Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss

Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes.

But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.

When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous.

Why?

I’m honestly not sure how I found this book but I’m certainly glad that I did. The blurb makes me think of the show Penny Dreadful thanks to the way that it weaves well known classics together but with an enticing mostly female cast. Throw in some terrifying experimentation and a secret society and I was sold.

Soulless by Gail Carriger

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations.

First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire–and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

Why?

Vampires… is it wrong to leave it at that and confess that, that is what mostly sold me? Although I’ve got to admit that the setting also appeals to me greatly.

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

Thousands of miles away from the small township of ‘Salem’s Lot, two terrified people, a man and a boy, still share the secrets of those clapboard houses and tree-lined streets. They must return to ‘Salem’s Lot for a final confrontation with the unspeakable evil that lives on in the town.

Why?

So it may seem a little bit odd to have a book by Stephen King on this list; he’s hardly an overlooked author after all. Yet I don’t think I’ve seen this particular novel mentioned once since I started blogging. Why do I want to read it? Well… vampires (of course). But it’s vampires by the ‘King of Horror’ and I’m very intrigued to find out what they’re like.

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

Forty years ago a genetically engineered virus killed half of the world’s human population and exposed creatures of dreams and nightmares that had, until then, lived in secret alongside humanity.

Rachel Morgan is a runner with the Inderland Runner Services, apprehending criminals through out modern-day Cincinnati. She is also a witch.

Used to confronting criminal vampires, dark witches and homicidal werewolves, Rachel’s latest assignments – apprehending cable-stealing magic students and tax-evading leprechauns – have prompted her to break her thirty-year contract with the I.S. and start her own runner agency.

But no one quits the I.S.

Marked for death, Rachel is a dead witch walking unless she can appease her former employers and pay off her contract by exposing the city’s most prominent citizen as a drug lord. But making an enemy of the ambiguous Trent Kalamack proves even more deadly than leaving the I.S.

Why?

Yes this book mentions vampires again but it also contains witches, werewolves and even leprechauns. So naturally from the supernatural side of things I’m sold. I also love the sound of the setting and the central character’s predicament.

Devils Unto Dust by Emma Berquist

Life out here is hard.
So you have to be harder.

Willie has always survived. No matter what life in Glory, Texas, has thrown at her. The sickness that swept through the state and turned most living creatures into terrifying shakes. Her own mother succumbing to the disease. Her father disappearing into saloons and gambling and liquor. Willie survives. And she’ll make sure her younger brothers and sister do, too.

Then her good-for-nothing father steals a fortune from one of the most merciless shake hunters in town, and Willie is on the hook for his debt. With two young hunters as guide, Willie sets out across the desert to find him, and make him pay up.

But the desert holds many dangers—and the shakes are only a few of them. This is no place for the weak.

Why?

The setting sounds intriguing to me and the main character sounds like the sort that I’d usually end up routing for. Plus the sickness sounds interesting as do the other dangers. I can’t wait to find out more about this.

So that’s it for my second TBR Thursday. Sorry that it’s a month late after being ill last month then having connectivity issues. This month’s edition of the feature is scheduled for next week and I’ve now figured out a schedule for all of my recent tags so fingers crossed I’ll catch up on my backlog of posts soon.

I think I’m going to post my Books To Movie blog posts at some point during December, once I’ve caught up on tags and also had a chance to go back and update the posts with any changes date wise.


Have you read any of the books that I’ve mentioned here today? Do you have any overlooked books on your TBR? Let me know in the comments section below.