Monday, 30 June 2014

Best of the Bunch June 2014

Best of the Bunch is a book blog hop hosted here on the last day of each month, where we can look back over the books we have read over this past month and give a Best of the Bunch award to our favourite book of that month.

I always put up my post on the last day of the month, but remember, you can add your link in anytime in the following month.

June 2014

This month I set myself a challenge to read at least 9 books, publish at least two book reviews, and write at least one "fun" post. I did manage some of these things...

This month I have read-

  • Blood Prophecy by Alyxandra Harvey (Drake Chronicles, book 6)- 4 of 5 stars
  • A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey- 3 of 5 stars
  • Smoulder by Brenna Yovanoff- 2.5 of 5 stars
  • Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, book 3)- 5 of 5 stars
  • All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill- 5 of 5 stars
  • Take Me On by Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits, book 4)- 5 of 5 stars
I also published two book reviews-

I want to say that I almost read 9 books this month because I am currently reading 3 books at once as usual, and am nearly at the end of all of them but... excuses, excuses!! I will set myself the exact same challenge again for July- and hopefully I will surpass all my goals this time round! 

But anyway, the winner of Best of the Bunch June 2014 is...


...Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor!

Dreams of Gods and Monsters  by Laini Taylor

By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy. 

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?
Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

I have never been disappointed by a single one of Laini Taylor's books. Magical, powerful, beautiful, emotional and jaw-droppingly good- I feel devastated that the series has ended and there won't be any more from this incredible world, and these characters that have stolen my heart and mind. I want Eretz to be real! If you haven't read it yet I hightly recommend this series. I will probably re-read it again soon, because the writing is just so beautiful. 

I was so excited to read this one and it in no way let me down. 

Well that was my pick of the bunch for this month, but who gets your bananas? Let me know in the linky below and I will come and check it out. 

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Review: A Whisper in Time by Elizabeth Langston

Whisper in Time by Elizabeth Langston (Whisper Falls, book 2)
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Source: Review copy thanks to the publisher and Netgalley 

Synopsis from Goodreads:
I have never been useless in my life.

Rescued from a life of servitude by the boy she loves, Susanna Marsh escapes across two centuries, only to be plunged into a world she's ill-prepared to face. Unable to work or go to school, Susanna finds herself dependent on others to survive. 

Immersed in the fun and demands of his senior year of high school, Mark Lewis longs to share his world with the girl who's captured his heart. But first he must tackle government bureaucracy to prove Susanna's identity. 

Overwhelmed by her new home, Susanna seeks refuge in history and in news of the people she left behind. But when she learns that danger stalks her sister, Susanna must weigh whether to risk her own future in order to save Phoebe's happiness.
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So this is the second book in the series. The first book could have ended well as it did, with Susanna crossing the portal into the 21st century permanently to escape from her vicious master, into a new life with Mark. However, it did leave me wanting more, and wondering "Well, what happens next?". This question is answered with this book where we see Susanna struggling to get to grips with life in the 21st century, discovering how much the world has changed socially, catching up on American history, and learning all the new technology. 

She battles with trying to get identification and a job, needing to useful and struggling with the idea of being a burden to Mark's family. She is nervous of meeting Mark's friends or of being in large crowds, and worries that eventually Mark will get bored of her. And as Mark goes through his final year of High School, wanting to go out with his friends and thinking of College and his future it seems as though there are many obstacles in their path. I loved seeing Susannah adapt to, and battle with elements of her new life, and it's very interesting to imagine being faced with everything in modern America seen through the eyes of someone raised in the 17th Century. 

Although Susanna is resigned to life in her new world and happy, she is still full of curiosity about the family she left behind, and what happened to them. And with the power of being able to look back into history through public records, Susanna is faced with the knowledge of tragedy in her sister's past, and the question of whether or not she can (or should) go back and try to change her sister's fate...

I do have some issues with time travel books and timelines, and the idea of going back into the past to change the present. As I started to try and get my head around future Susanna learning about her sister's accident, and going back in time to alter the course of events, I started to think about how she wouldn't have gone back if Phoebe's accident hadn't happened, so therefore Susanna's interference wouldn't have happened... (a kind of chicken and egg cycle) round and round, until my brain started to hurt! And how changing one thing might have potentially altered many things... people she met, who she married, children she had etc. Would she not have risked totally altering the future? Yeah, it got me thinking and confused!

There also seemed to be some kind of sub-plots going on with Mark's friend Gabrielle, and also with Mark's sister and her loser partner, and then neither of those tangents ever went anywhere, so I don't know what that was about (unless all is revealed in book 3?)

All in all, I did enjoy this book. I like Mark and Susanna as characters, and the whole idea of 17th Century Susanna learning to adapt to a new life in the present day is very cool. There are nice tender moments between them, in between all the drama and worries. It is a nice easy read, with plenty of history and and an engaging plotline.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Review: Whisper Falls by Elizabeth Langston

Whisper Falls by Elizabeth Langston

My rating: 3.5
 of 5 stars
Source: Review copy thanks to the publisher and Netgalley 

Synopsis from Goodreads:
While training for a mountain bike race, high-school senior Mark Lewis spots a mysterious girl dressed in odd clothing, standing behind a waterfall in the woods near his North Carolina home. When she comments on the strange machine that he rides, he suspects something isn’t right. When Susanna claims to be an indentured servant from 1796, he wonders if she's crazy. Yet he feels compelled to find out more.

Mark enters a ‘long-distance’ relationship with Susanna through the shimmering--and temperamental--barrier of Whisper Falls. Curious about her world, Mark combs through history to learn about the brutal life she's trapped in. But knowledge can be dangerous. Soon he must choose between the risk of changing history or dooming the girl he can't stop thinking about to a lifetime of misery.
Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Whisper Falls is exactly the kind of book that can be summed up by the picture on the cover. It looks like what is- a love story about a Seventeenth Century maid and a modern day guy meeting through the power of a magical waterfall. I loved the sound of it when I first heard about it and it was on my wishlist to read. I was pretty excited to be able to read it, so went into expecting a nice, romantic read with lots of history and a clash of cultures. 

The story is told from the two points of view of the two main characters- Susannah, an indentured servant, who is pretty badly mis-treated by a cruel and cold master- and Mark, an 18 year old mountain bike enthusiast from the 21st century. I enjoyed the switch in tone between these two, and seeing their worlds in the alternating chapters throughout the book.  

As a character on her own and in her own world I like Susannah a lot. She is very caring and hard-working, she hides forbidden books to read  in secret, and she adores the little children that she cares for and is great with them. She is good, sweet, and smart, and in her place and in the chapters told from her point of view I had no problem with her. 

But when we see her from Mark's chapters she annoyed me. The way she speaks to him comes across as very curt and prissy. I don't know if that is just perspective and that if we met someone from that time period now they would sound the same to us- but when she was talking to Mark she bugged me. 

When they meet there is the inevitable clash of cultures, the language has changed over time- slang words for instance, and the style of dress obviously. But something about the other one resonates with the other. They can talk to each other and they just click. Susannah shares her story and you can't help but feel for her and root for a happy ending for her. Mark becomes very sweet and self-sacrificing to try to help her out as a friend. I enjoyed hating the nasty master Mr Pratt, and hoping he would get his come-uppance!

Overall Whisper Falls is a little bit of a corny predictable read (I don't think it's a spoiler to say that they end up falling in love), but it's also a nice, light, easy read (with a few dark bits that give it an added punch). There is plenty of historical information, romance and drama. It was a fun story and I really enjoyed it. I liked the conclusion of the story, and it could easily end at that point- but it has left me wondering (I suppose as any good book with characters that get under your skin does)- "so what happens to them next"?

Monday, 2 June 2014

Exciting New June Releases

These are some of the books releasing this June that I am most looking forward to reading...

Most hotly anticipated

The One by Keira Cass (The Selection, book 3) Goodreads
I'm curious to see how the series will end. I liked the world of this series, and the writing is engaging and thrilling. This is the book I am most excited to read this month.

Also released this month
UK publication dates

  • Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo (Grisha, book 3). I am sooooo looking forward to reading this one- I love these books!
  • Five Ways to Fall by K.A Tucker (Ten Tiny Breaths, book 4). I am so behind on this series now- I loved the first book though.
  • Witch Hunt by Ruth Warburton (Witch Finder, book 2)
  • Picture Perfect by Holly Smale (Geek Girl, book 3)
  • Resistance by C.J Daugherty (Night School, book 4)
  • Say Her Name by James Dawson.
  • Don't you Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn. This one sounds weird and brilliant. I'm already reading some great reviews of it. 
  • Hexed by Michelle Krys
  • Chasing Stars by Helen Douglas (After Eden, book 2)


  • The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings
  • Rebels: City of Indra by Kendall and Kylie Jenner. Hmmm- I don't know whether to be curious about this one. I have watched Keeping Up With The Kardashians, and the youngest sisters don't strike me as particularly literary. I want to know if anyone thinks this book is any good?
  • The Girl That Never Was by Skylar Dorset. Ok, this one is on my wishlist, it sounds really cool. There is no UK publication date yet.

So these are the June new releases on my radar. How about you? Anything I have missed off this list that you are looking forward to reading? 


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