Goodbye, April. Rest in Peace ♡

Hi. This is Bex writing. Some of you might remember me being April’s partner in crime in the blogosphere before I quit blogging. If you don’t know who I am, it’s okay too.

This is one of the hardest posts I’ve ever had to write. But I’m here to share with you that April sadly passed away December 18th, 2016.

April’s been one of my closest friends since I started blogging in 2011. We actually met thanks to our blogs, at an online book blog conference, where we connected quickly and became best friends.Read More »

Advertisements

Review & Tour: Love is Red by Sophie Jaff

love is red

This electrifying, addictive, and hypnotically beautiful debut spins suspense and literary fantasy into a stunning epic—the first volume in the Night Song Trilogy—ablaze with fear, mystery, and possibility.

Katherine Emerson was born to fulfill a dark prophecy centuries in the making, but she isn’t aware that this future awaits. However, there is one man who knows the truth: A killer stalking the women of New York, a monster the media dubs the “Sickle Man” because of the way he turns his victims into canvasses for his mesmerizing, twisted art.

Unleashed upon Manhattan after lying dormant for centuries, the Sickle Man kills to harvest the precious hues of his victims. As his palette grows, so too does his power. Every death brings him closer to the one color, and the one woman, he must possess at any cost.

While the city hunts the Sickle Man, Katherine must decide what to do about two men who have unexpectedly entered her life: handsome and personable David, and alluring yet aloof Sael. Though she’s becoming increasingly torn between them, how well does she really know them? And why is she suddenly plagued by disturbing visions?

Told from the alternating viewpoints of Katherine and the Sickle Man, Love Is Red is a riveting thriller that unfolds into an intense story of obsession and control, desire and fate. Katherine may not realize it yet, but with this haunting novel—as arrestingly original as Marisha Pessl’s Night Film, Patrick Süskind’s Perfume, and Lauren Beukes’s The Shining Girls—her moment of awakening is here. And soon she will find herself fighting a battle at the edges of our world, among forces more dangerous than we can possibly imagine.

As most of you know I’ve been on a huge reading slump lately. I’m still in the dumps but Love is Red was a rare reprieve! I gobbled it up and wanted more!

When you’re in the dumps it’s so refreshing to find a book that’s unputtdownable; that can scratch that itch for you. It’s lovely that Love is Red was not only what I expected but had a twist of that something extra. I was expecting a psychological thriller/suspense and was pleasantly surprised to find not only that but a dash of the supernatural!

The suspense keeps ratcheting up as you read and can’t help but wonder which of Katherine’s new beau’s (who are best friends themselves) is the “bad guy.” Jaff does a great job keeping us guessing until almost the very end. When we do figure it out, it’s not an end to the suspense either, suddenly Katherine is desperate for her life and we have to wait with breathlessness wondering what’s going to happen next.

I found so much of the book fascinating, especially how the killer saw the world. This is where the title comes into play, but I won’t spoil it This is a killer unlike any other I’ve ever read about and it was a complete thrill ride!

Considering how much I loved Love is Red, I can’t wait to see what Jaff does with the next two books in the trilogy. This is an author to watch people!

Love is Red

Find: Amazon | Goodreads
Follow: Website  | Facebook

tlc book tours logo

Follow the rest of the TLC Tour for Love is Red!

[box]

• This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. Please note that this post also contains affiliate links. To view our full Blog Policy, click here. [/box]

Waiting on Wednesday: Pretending to Be Erica

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that’s hosted by Breaking the Spine where we each share a book we’re waiting desperately to get our hands on!

– ~ – ~ – ~ – ~ – ~ – ~ – ~ – ~ – ~ – ~ – ~ –

April’s Pick –  Pretending to Be Erica

Pretending to be Erica

We Were Liars meets Heist Society in a riveting debut!

Seventeen-year-old Violet’s entire life has revolved around one thing: becoming Erica Silverman, an heiress kidnapped at age five and never seen again. Violet’s father, the best con man in Las Vegas, has a plan, chilling in its very specific precision. Violet shares a blood type with Erica; soon, thanks to surgery and blackmail, she has the same face, body, and DNA. She knows every detail of the Silvermans’ lives, as well as the PTSD she will have to fake around them. And then, when the time is right, she “reappears”—Erica Silverman, brought home by some kind of miracle. But she is also Violet, and she has a job: Stay long enough to steal the Silverman Painting, an Old Master legendary in the Vegas crime world. Walking a razor’s edge, calculating every decision, not sure sometimes who she is or what she is doing it for, Violet is an unforgettable heroine, andPretending to be Erica is a killer debut.

Coming out July 21, 2015 from  Viking Books for Young Readers

Find Pretending to Be Erica: GOODREADS

What are book are you waiting on Wednesday for?

Review: YOU by Caroline Kepnes

you by caroline kepnes

Love hurts…

When aspiring writer Guinevere Beck strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe works, he’s instantly smitten. Beck is everything Joe has ever wanted: She’s gorgeous, tough, razor-smart, and as sexy as his wildest dreams.

Beck doesn’t know it yet, but she’s perfect for him, and soon she can’t resist her feelings for a guy who seems custom made for her. But there’s more to Joe than Beck realizes, and much more to Beck than her oh-so-perfect façade. Their mutual obsession quickly spirals into a whirlwind of deadly consequences . . .

A chilling account of unrelenting passion, Caroline Kepnes’s You is a perversely romantic thriller that’s more dangerously clever than any you’ve read before.

I’ve come to realize in the past couple years that I have a real “thing” for stories about creepy/crazy guys. The suspense of seeing what these nutjobs are going to do next is just.. edge of your seat, nail-biting and sometimes mindblowing when you see how far they’re willing to go.

You, is totally in that category for me, I can’t stop talking about it since I put it down and I couldn’t put it down once I had it in my hands. There was so much crazy about this book that it’s full on cray-cray, Crazy Eyes kind of crazy.

We meet Joe while he’s managing the bookstore and he meets Beck as he checks her out (literally and figuratively) in the check out of said store. It’s obvious from his thought process that he’s a few fries short of a happy meal. The more you read, the more you’re drawn into his web, wondering what in the world he’s going to do next.

We also get to see into Beck’s world. And at first you think that she’s a bit eccentric but probably normal, but the more I read the more I realized these two might just deserve each other in their rubber room.

One thing I really enjoyed is that there are a ton of literary references throughout the book because Joe of course loves books. He even gives Beck’s boyfriend a literature test, I won’t tell you how that goes…

This would be a perfect vacation read, totally unputdownable and great suspense! I highly recommend it!

YOU

Find: Amazon | Goodreads
Follow: Website | Twitter

[box]

• This book was acquired [purchased or borrowed] by me for review. All opinions expressed are my own. Please note that this post also contains affiliate links. To view our full Blog Policy, click here. [/box]

Mailbox Madness (105)

mailbox madness

Mailbox Madness at MSC excited to be joining The Sunday Post
which is hosted by Kimberly @ Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Mailbox Madness at MSC is also stoked to be joining Stacking the Shelves which is hosted by Tynga @ Tynga’s Reviews.

April’s Mailbox Madness

Mailbox Madness

Smash Cut by Brad Gooch | Goodreads

Every Part of You by Megan Hart | Goodreads

Limbo by A. Manette Ansay | Goodreads

Disclaimer by Renee Knight | Goodreads

Love is Red by Sophie Jaff | Goodreads

Orient by Christopher Bollen | Goodreads

 I Am the Traitor by Allen Zadoff | Goodreads

The Gemini Effect by Chuck Grossart | Goodreads

 

 

Have a fabulous week!

[box]

• Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. To view our full Blog Policy, click here.

[/box]

Lost In the World of FanFiction

I feel so guilty lately. I feel like I’ve abandoned this blog and all that I (and my previous co-bloggers) have worked hard for. It all started around December. My voracious appetite for reading began to slowly wane until January when the cravings stopped completely. I figured it was a simple slump and I’d do what had always worked before – I’d watch Netflix until the cravings began again.

Looking back I can see exactly where I went wrong (or right depending on your view) – I decided to finally watch Queer as Folk (US version) which has been on my queue forever. I. BECAME. OBSESSED. It doesn’t help that the damn show has a cliffhanger. I was so caught up in it that after watching it a gazillion times in a row that I decided to search for that thing called “fanfiction” I’d heard about on tumblr and a little bit through the blogging community.

I’ll be honest: I thought fanfiction was not cool. It meant obsession way beyond healthiness and there probably weren’t even very good authors writing the stories. I wasn’t keen to dip my toe in the waters, but I was so desperate for a QaF fix that I began a search. I googled and the first site I found was FanFiction.net. Now I’m currently guzzling up stories on ArchiveOfOurOwn.com.

Guys, it’s Shelf Confessions time. I’ve been reading QaF fanfiction solely for a couple months now and I can’t seem to bring myself to pick up a novel. Although, I have read a few fanfic’s that have been novel length. And I have found that there are actually decent writers writing these stories.

I just can’t stop myself. I honestly don’t know what to do. I keep waiting for this obsession to lessen and for me to get interested in a novel or something else, but so far it hasn’t happened.

And the blog suffers because I feel really geeky writing about fanfiction on a book blog. I mean seriously, I’m not going to review stories that people are writing purely for enjoyment and not profit. It doesn’t seem right somehow. I have considered sharing some of my favorite stories with you guys and telling you why I love them, but I’m not sure if anyone would even be interested. It wouldn’t be a critique or review, it’d just be me showing some love to the stories I think deserve a wider audience.

I just wanted you all to know that I’m still here. I haven’t forgotten about the blog, I’m just trying to figure out how to work my new obsessions into my blog life.

So, now that I admit to being a member of the fanfiction fandom – who else is? What fandom are you part of? So far I’m just reading Queer as Folk stories but I’ve seen a TON of Harry Potter stuff (that frankly looks kind of scary… Harry and Snape pairings freak me out a little and not because of the m/m aspect.)

Please tell me I’m not alone! And does anyone have any ideas on what they’d like me to post about my new obsession, that you’d enjoy reading about?

A Big Thank You!

I want to give a huge Thank You to Kat for co-blogging with me, it was so much fun and it was a pleasure having you on MSC. Kat’s returning to her blog The Aussie Zombie and I wish her the best! We parted in the best of ways and I hope that we still collaborate on events here and there in the future.

I also want to give a big Thank You to our readers/subscribers. You guys are all awesome and I appreciate you sticking by as I’ve gone through this blog slump. I have a post coming up that explains some of that and hopefully something you can help me on!

I promise that I’m not closing the blog, I’m still here and I hope to get my mojo back ASAP! In the meantime, I will try to post more in general. I’m thinking of sprucing up the blog with a makeover to help motivate me.

Review: 96 Hours by Georgia Beers

96 Hours

Erica Ryan is flying home from London after a disastrous business trip. Free spirit Abby Hayes is flying into New York City to visit her mother before jetting off again. Both end up in Gander, Canada, when their flight is diverted because of 9/11. For ninety-six hours they share a rollercoaster of emotions and find themselves drawn to one another. Will their nascent connection survive everyday life when they return home?

96 Hours is a book that had so many positive points for me, but also quite a few negatives. What I had hoped for was a book that was emotional, had a unique plot line and characters I cared about. What I got was a complete mixture, and I have to admit that I was disappointed, particularly by the last third of the book.

Erica is hard-working, ambitious and emotionally scarred, and Abby is a nomadic hippy who floats where the wind takes her and charms everyone she meets. The setting of their story however, stranded in Canada when their flight is diverted on 9/11, forces them to take stock of their own lives and to become more self-aware of their own deficiencies as people.

It was the bigger plot that I particularly liked about 96 Hours. Whilst the rest of the world was glued to their TV screens watching the horror unfold in New York, travellers like Abby, Erica, Brian and Michael find themselves stranded far from home, unable to help and not knowing when they will be able to make it back to America. They encounter some incredibly, generous, selfless people in the town of Gander, and it was the way that these secondary characters cared for hundreds of stranded strangers that really sucked me in. But it isn’t actually all that surprising that in the middle of the most prolific terrorist attack in modern history, that the good people of Gander band together to take care of people – and the overwhelming message of 96 Hours is that despite the possibility of evil being imparted by one group of humans, the vast majority of people are essentially good, caring individuals.

96 Hours is told through alternating perspectives between Erica and Abby, which was fine, but there was also a couple of random perspectives from one of the guys they were stranded with, and possibly from someone else (my memory is like a sieve I swear) which just felt clunky and unnecessary.

However, what really lost me, and in the end irritated the hell out of me, was the relationship aspect of the storyline. What Erica and Abby have initially is an attraction based on looks – which is completely fine, but it never felt to me like it surpassed the physical attraction. I wasn’t sold on WHY they were attracted to each other’s personalities – Erica was like a flat, white wall, Abby the annoyingly naïve girl until they had each had a (seemingly simultaneous) epiphany and instantly switch places. Beers does try to explain why this happens, and sells it in a way, but not completely.

The ending of 96 Hours didn’t work for me at all – it was all too….easy, and everything wrapped up too neatly. This is completely my personal preference and opinion however, and I can see that for some readers it really could work. Just not my cup of tea.

96 Hours does have an interesting plot, and one I haven’t run across before, however the characters simply didn’t work for me – I wanted them to, but something was lost along the way and I just couldn’t connect.

96 Hours

Find: Amazon |Goodreads

Follow: Website

[box]
• This book was acquired [purchased or borrowed] by me for review. All opinions expressed are my own. Please note that this post also contains affiliate links. To view our full Blog Policy, click here.[/box]

Top Ten Tuesday – All Time Faves!

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish – time to indulge in our love of lists!

 

 

 

 

 

Kat’s Top Ten All Time Recent Favourites

It’s my first post in a while (OK, in far too long), and also my first TTT in a long time – and it’s a hard subject!  I mean, how to do you choose your favourites from the last three years?!  But I shall try my best!

Top Ten Tuesday Faves1

Night Film by Marisha Pessl |Goodreads

I am a huge sucker for books with media, and that was what hooked me in with Night Film – but it was the strange addictiveness of a book where very little actually happens that had me lauding this book all over the place – and I’m looking forward to finding the perfect excuse to reread it.

Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin |Goodreads

Golden Boy came along at a time I was starting to suspect I would never find another audiobook that would completely sucked me in.  And once it did, there was no turning back – the characters completely stole my heart, the storyline broke my heart, and Tarttelin’s handling of a difficult subject cemented the book’s place in my heart.

Fall of Night by Jonathan Maberry |Goodreads

After I loving Dead of Night (and let’s be completely honest, ever SINGLE book of Jonathan Maberry’s I’ve ever read, I’ve loved, so this is high praise indeed), I was super excited to find out there was a sequel.  And scared, because hello potentially shattered expectations – but Maberry pulled through for me once again – addictive, gory and SO MANY THINGS I WANT TO TALK ABOUT BUT DAMN SPOILERS.

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein |Goodreads

Code Name Verity was a great read, but Wein really killed me with Rose Under Fire – I still don’t believe there is enough YA Historical Fiction out there, but Wein is fighting an admirable battle to get books out there that tell an important part of history without glossing over some horrible facts.

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma |Goodreads

Anyone that has known me for a while will know my love for this book, but if you don’t – this is the second most heart-crushing book I’ve ever read (the most heart-crushing is coming up, don’t worry!), and I have huge huge respect for Suzuma as an author – she takes the most taboo of subjects and firstly makes it soul-destroyingly sad, and yet not as near as disturbing it should be.

TopTen Faves2

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan |Goodreads

The synopsis advertises this book as: David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS.

Which sounds kinda bizarre – and it is, but it’s also so beautifully written and perfect that I JUST HAVE NO WORDS.

Every Day by David Levithan |Goodreads

Oh hello again, David Levithan.  Let’s be honest, it’s no surprise you are here.

Every Day is one of the few books that I actually wrote down quotes for – I seldom do this, so it is praise indeed.  Plus I hugged this book for at least an hour after I finished it because….A.

Not a Drop to Drink  by Mindy McGinniss |Goodreads

In the last three years there have been a veritable deluge of dystopian books, but not enough proper post-apocalyptic YA novels, in my humble opinion.  McGinniss definitely hit the nail on the head with this one, and the plot is super brave for YA – I loved the companion novel too, but this one is still one of my YA-PA faves of all time, not just the last three years.

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters |Goodreads

YEAH! MORE YA HISTORICAL FICTION WITH PARANORMAL AND VIRUS BITS. This book was the reason I did (OK still do) stalk Cat Winters mercilessly on Twitter to find out any possible tidbits about her next novels.  Ooooh, and pictures, there are pictures.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes |Goodreads

Yep, it’s the heart-breaker.  The sob-until-you-feel-sick, pages-are-glued-together-with-snot-and-tears, hug-the-book-when-you-finish-reading, stroke-the-book-when-you-walk-past-it type of book.  Need I say more?  Oh, except THERE IS A SEQUEL COMING.  Which alternately excites and scares the shit out of me….

Have you read any of these books and loved them to death too?  Or, any you think I would love as much as these?

My Secret Affair with Graphic Novels

OK, so it’s no longer a secret.  I have developed a passion, an obsession, a serious addition to graphic novels.

It all started with our last Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-Thon in October last year (and yes, we are very overdue for another, I KNOW!), and during one of the Twitter parties I started talking about graphic novels with one of the other read-a-thon’ers (and I have since forgotten who, so please shout out if it was you!!) and I admitted I’d never read a single one.

She gave me at least one recommendation, El Deafo by Cece Bell (check it out on Goodreads), which I promptly purchased and started reading the next day.  I was instantly hooked, and went off in search of other similar books – and after several disappointing Kindle versions that I couldn’t even SEE, lots of awesome sounding ones that weren’t available electronically and recovering from the heart palpatations when I saw the cost of the paper versions, I’ve now read nearly 30 graphic novels in the last 3 months.

I was reluctant to try graphic novels for a couple of reasons:

1) Lack of substance – I mean, if there is less text and dialogue and you can read one in an hour, is it impactful, satisfying, emotional, captivating?  Well, yes – 30 Days of Night scared the crap out of me, the first The Walking Dead compendium had me addicted and gasping out loud, and Matthew Inman’s books had me giggling and smiling constantly.

2) Connected to the first point, but DUDE graphic novels are pricey – The Walking Dead compendiums are 30 GBP/36 Dollars apiece – I could buy 8 to 10 books for that price.  It does make finding good ones a bit of a crap-shoot – The Walking Dead I believe ARE worth the money, but several others I felt rather cheated by.

3) Graphic novels helped me achieve my reading goal for 2014, but when I read three or four in a day, does it ACTUALLY count?  This point I still struggle with a little – I feel like I’m cheating slightly by reading books with pictures rather than pages completely full of text.

Never tried graphic novels before, or tried and didn’t really click?  As a newbie myself, I’ve got some pointers:

– GET RECOMMENDATIONS – seriously, there are people out there who know their shit when it comes to graphic novels and they will point you in the right direction.

– If you are buying Kindle versions, for the sake of your sanity, and so you don’t get banned by Amazon for repeatedly returning items for refund (personally, I don’t know if this is a thing, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it really was), download the sample first.  Sadly, some of the samples don’t actually give you anything but the introduction/acknowledgement pages and that’s pretty much useless, but try and see if they a) work on your device and b) the illustration style doesn’t completely piss you off.

– Try the non-fiction ones – there are some excellent memoir graphic novels that have actually made them my favourite kind of graphic novel.  I don’t tend to read memoirs in ‘text only’ format, and it’s fun to explore a new genre in a less structured and predictable format.

And now my completely selfish reason for this post: I want need some more recommendations of Kindle compatible graphic novels as I am rapidly running out of them to read.  Give it to me! Oh, and tell me YOUR favourite graphic novel, or the reason you don’t read them, so we can harass persuade you to try one 😉