Wednesday 25 July 2018

An Unhaul: July 2018

Hi, and thanks for stopping by.

Today's post is an unhaul - as you may know, if you're a regular reader here, I like to de-stash my books every once in a while, donating anything unwanted by me to charity, so that it can go to a more appreciative reader and make some money for a good cause in the process. I'd really recommend doing the same with your unwanted books, too! Anyway, here's the books I'm sending off to a new home this time around...

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn is a book I DNF-ed at around 30-40%. It's such a shame, because the other two thrillers by Gillian that I have read have been really great, but this had none of that spark or tension or interest for me. I looked up the twist online after deciding not to continue and it was kinda crappy, sorry!!
Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff was a book that I thought was really going to delve into the topics of depression and teenage suicide, but it really doesn't do that enough at all, in my opinion. Instead you get this kind of annoying male protagonist, who whines about the girl he fancies for 300 pages.
Phantom Limbs by Paula Garner is probably one of my most disappointing reads of the year so far - the main issue I had with it was its protagonist, who spent the entire novel obsessively describing the shape of girls' bums and boobs - awfulness.
Who Runs the World by Virginia Bergin was this awesome-sounding YA dystopian, focused on a women-centered world that I imagined would be some kind of feminist loveliness. Alas, not so much. I actually found it incredibly dull and the world-building felt lacklustre to me.
Unspeakable by Abbie Rushton has been on my unhaul pile a few times since I read it last year, but I've always saved it at the last minute genuinely only because it's so pretty to look at. I really hoped that the lesbian relationship would be central to the book's plot, but it wasn't and Jasmine seems unfairly idolised by every single character.
Siobhan Vivian's The List is another book I've been meaning to donate for a while now. It had the potential to do a lot for feminism, tackling topics of bullying, comparing girls to one another and superficial judgements - unfortunately, it does none of this successfully.
Paige Toon's The One We Fell in Love With was a letdown. Considering Angus is at the centre of these three sisters and their war over him, he is so un-charming - I spent most of the book wondering what in the world they all saw in him!!

So those are the books I'm donating this month and why. If you've read any of these, let me know what you thought of them, down below in the comments section!

Till next time


Till next time


Monday 16 July 2018

A Wrap Up: June 2018 Part Two & July 2018 Part One

Hi, and thanks for stopping by.

Today's post is the second wrap-up of June and the first half of July - you can check out the first half of June by clicking here. I'd like to apologise for this coming late/early simultaneously - things in my life have been so manic.
Anyway, these are all of the books I've read in the past few weeks, and what I thought of them. If you want to keep up to date with my ratings and reviews as I finish books throughout the month, you can follow my reviews/add me as a friend on goodreads here.

3.5 stars

I enjoyed this a little more than I expected to, actually! The structure is kinda complicated, and at times a little tricky to follow, but in the end I think E. Lockhart really pulled it off to great effect. There were some serious twists and turns in here, none of which I saw coming.

Beth Reekles’ The Kissing Booth
1.5-2 stars

Thank you to the publishers for providing me this arc, for review, via NetGalley.
This book was, unfortunately, just a hot mess of cliches. It really felt like Noah Flynn's character was written to appeal to what every teenage girl supposedly finds attractive (the "bad boy", popular, a "player", defensive and protective) but he actually just came across as arrogant and annoying, to me. I hated the way he threw his weight around, "scaring" guys off of so much as talking to Rochelle because he has a crush on her - that isn't cute, it's creepy and out of line.

Michelle Sacks’ You Were Made For This
 1-1.5 stars

Perhaps a more experienced thriller reader, or someone less sensitive, would have enjoyed this novel more than I did - I can't say for sure. All I know for definite is that it really wasn't my cup of tea at all. All three narrators/protagonists were unlikeable, two in particular just completely hateful. I didn't believe in any of them, certainly not in their motivations. Also, the child abuse threaded throughout just made me so uncomfortable and quite upset.

Morgan Matson’s Save the Date
3.5-4 stars

The two best elements of this novel were definitely the family relationships and the brilliant sense of humour with which it was written. It's definitely a chaotic story, so if you like a calmer read, perhaps steer clear. I liked that love wasn't really a major theme, although there were hints of it, enough to keep the romantics out there happy, I think! Probably my least favourite Morgan Matson read, nevertheless.

Cat Clarke’s Entangled
3 stars

I do really appreciate the variety of topics and plots that Cat Clarke writes in all of her YA novels; she must have a pretty cool imagination. This was not my favourite and not my least favourite. It definitely had the realism that I appreciate from her writing. I'm not sure how well the other Ethan & "the white room" story works, though, given the fact that it's blurbed as the main element of the book and then the reveal we're given about it...

Sophie McKenzie’s Sweetfreak
2 stars

This book, with its central topic, had the opportunity and potential to really delve into the topics of bullying/online trolls, as well as friendship and single parents. Instead, it just did nothing, in my opinion. I felt completely bored reading it, despite all of its obvious melodrama, which I know is quite a harsh thing to say, but it's just the honest truth.

Nicci Cloke’s Toxic
3 stars

Thank you to the publishers for providing me with this arc, for review, via NetGalley.
Unfortunately I think the structure of this book really let it down. The first half seemed to be going somewhere, dealing with toxic masculinity, lad culture, sexism, those dodgy teen holidays. But then the second half completely abandoned Hope, our protagonist from that whole initial storyline, and began telling Daisy's story instead. I think if they'd been better linked together, it could have worked, but they were just chucked together at the end instead.

Will Hill’s After the Fire
5 stars

This novel was a complete masterclass in how to write a stunning story, in my opinion. The structure was just done to absolute perfection, the relationships, both destroyed and developing, felt real, at times frightening, very poignant. It was the best book written about a cult that I've read so far; it really captured a sense of pure terror and paranoia and delusion. I cannot wait to read more of Will Hill's work, and I couldn't possibly recommend this book more!!

Sarah Henning’s The Sea Witch
3.5 stars

It's fair to say that I was hoping for a little bit more mermaid-kinda-stuff in this book, but most of the action took place on land. It reminded me a lot of Heartless, in that it told the story of how a villain became bad, and showcased who they used to be; I honestly think I'd read the backstory of every Disney villain, if they were written like that. That one betrayal (not the obvious one you learn about before Evelyn does) that happened towards the end, hurt.

Adam Silvera’s More Happy Than Not
 3.5-4 stars

I could definitely tell that this was Adam's debut novel, as the other two books of his I have read are ever so slightly more nuanced and developed, but I can imagine how exciting a start this must have been for whichever agent/editor happened across it!! The twist halfway through was SO great and SO unexpected. As ever, I love the near-future elements of Adam's writing.

So that's it for now!! Check back weekly for new posts - my second wrap-up of July should be up by the end of the month/the start of August at the latest (fingers crossed, anyway!!).

Till next time