It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

Monday, 26 June 2017


This meme is hosted by Kathryn at the Book Date.

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I've had a week off work, but I disappointingly didn't get a huge amount of reading done. I did get through a couple of books for review, so I'm not behind with reviews anymore!


What I Read Last Week:




The Fourth Monkey- J.D Barker
This was the first of 2 books I read for review, I gave it 4.5/5 stars, review to come!


City of Heavenly Fire- Cassandra Clare
This is the final book in The Mortal Instruments Series, I feel like I've been reading this series for my whole life, so I'm glad to get through it. I gave it 4/5 stars, and it's better than some of the previous books in the series, but The Infernal Devices Series is definitely better!




The Child- Fiona Barton
This is the second book that I read for review last week. I enjoyed this, it was a mystery thriller with some good twists in it. I gave it 4/5 stars, my review is to come!








What I'm Currently Reading: 




Pretties- Scott Westerfeld











Up Next:



How to Stop Time- Matt Haig





The Miniaturist- Jessie Burton












I hope you've all had a wonderful week, let me know!
Happy reading!

2017 Big Book Summer Challenge

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

This challenge is hosted by Sue at Book By Book. The challenge is simply to read 1 or more books over 400 pages long between May 26th and September 4th. I need this challenge, I have way too many books lying around that I never pick up because they're so huge! Hopefully this challenge will encourage me to get through them!
I haven't chosen a definite list for summer, so these are just a number of books I own that I could read for this.


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It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

Monday, 5 June 2017


This meme is hosted by Kathryn at the Book Date.

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Now I'm officially on my summer break it's great to finally get back into reading and blogging! I've got quite a few books to read for review over the next few months, so I'm hopeful that I'll manage to get quite a few books read!



What I Read Last Week:


The Space Between the Stars- Anne Corlett
I only managed to read 1 book last week, but it was a review book, so I don't feel too disappointed about it. I gave this novel 3.5/5 stars and you can read my review of it here.














What I'm Currently Reading: 

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness- Arundhati Roy



















City of Heavenly Fire- Cassandra Clare

















Up Next:


The Fourth Monkey- J.D. Barker


















Uglies- Scott Westerfeld



















On The Blog: 
June 2017 Anticipated Releases

May Wrap Up

Book Review- The Space Between the Stars


Let me know how your week went.
Happy reading guys!! 

Book Review- The Space Between the Stars

Friday, 2 June 2017
Title: The Space Between the Stars
Author: Anne Corlett
Published: June 1st 2017
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fiction, Space, Fantasy 

 Rating: 3.5/5

In a breathtakingly vivid and emotionally gripping debut novel, one woman must confront the emptiness in the universe—and in her own heart—when a devastating virus reduces most of humanity to dust and memories.
All Jamie Allenby ever wanted was space. Even though she wasn’t forced to emigrate from Earth, she willingly left the overpopulated, claustrophobic planet. And when a long relationship devolved into silence and suffocating sadness, she found work on a frontier world on the edges of civilization. Then the virus hit...
Now Jamie finds herself dreadfully alone, with all that’s left of the dead. Until a garbled message from Earth gives her hope that someone from her past might still be alive. 
Soon Jamie finds other survivors, and their ragtag group will travel through the vast reaches of space, drawn to the promise of a new beginning on Earth. But their dream will pit them against those desperately clinging to the old ways. And Jamie’s own journey home will help her close the distance between who she has become and who she is meant to be... -Goodreads
I received a copy of this novel from Net Galley and the publisher in return for an honest review.
This novel follows Jamie, who awakens to find that she has survived a deadly plague that has ripped through Earth, and the other planets that humans have colonised. She discovers other survivors, and together they try to make their way to Earth, which they have chosen as some sort of 'safe haven' to begin again.
 This novel really wasn't what I was expecting, the blurb suggested a dystopian style novel with end of the world style action, with rebuilding and re-inhabiting of the decimated Earth, and other planets. Instead, there is very little action in this novel, the characters travel through space a lot, but other than this interstellar travel the action is minimal. The majority of the narrative is filled with Jamie's philosophical wonderings on the purpose and meaning of life and the existence of God among other 'big topics'. I'm not sure how I feel about this, some elements of the narrative were quite interesting, and did encourage me to think about how it would be to be one of the last human survivors on a planet. But at the same time it sometimes felt too much. It felt too preachy and it got exhausting to read her constant meandering thoughts.
The above mentioned lack of action made the novel a little slow going, but it did mean that when periods of action took place, I appreciated the change of pace more. In actual fact, the action scenes that Corlett wrote were well done, especially when considered that the novel is written from a first persons P.O.V.
The novel is written completely from Jamie's point of view, and I must admit that I tend to find the 1st person narrative difficult to read if the character isn't intriguing enough. This was the problem I had in this novel, Jamie is not an interesting enough character to warrant my enthusiasm to continue the novel, and I really had to drag myself through it at times. She's a particularly negative person, and she whines for approximately 80% of her narration, which is exhausting to read constantly!! She is also constantly suspicious and thinks the worst of everyone she meets, making the novel quite a dark and moody read, with very little happiness or positivity to lighten it. I can understand that experiencing most of humanity being wiped out by a plague would be a pretty negative experience, but the narrator didn't seem able to think positively about anything, and for me personally this made the novel slow and difficult to get through, and certainly reduced my enjoyment of it.
This novel is set in a fascinating world, with humans inhabiting other planets, and space travel is a totally normal thing. I would've liked more background information about the world; things like how the Government ruled and number of planets inhabited would have been interesting to read about, but obviously I realise that that was not the purpose of the novel. 
One element of this novel that I really enjoyed was the romantic element that ran through it. This was well created by Corlett, it had enough back story to make it believable, and the foundations for their relationship were built gradually but felt stable and realistic throughout. I was really glad these two characters got together, and the whole atmosphere of the book was definitely lightened by the romance.
Overall I gave this novel 3.5/5 stars. I thought it was an interesting take on science fiction and the end of the world narratives, and placing the focus on the human side of it, and how a human would psychologically cope was an interesting take. However, I felt that the whiny narrator paired with a fairly slow meandering narration did not hook me the way I was hoping it would.

Happy reading!!

May Wrap Up

Wednesday, 31 May 2017
I honestly cannot believe that May has come to an end. I know everyone says it, but this year, and particularly this month has gone by so quick!! I'm glad it's finished, I had my Uni exams this month, and I'm just super glad that they're finished. Also the end of May signals the beginning of my summer so that's always welcome!
I read a few books this month, not too many because of exams etc, here's what I read, watched, listened to, and what featured on the blog.

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Read:

Goodbye Days: Jeff Zentner
I received this novel for review this month, and I thought it was ok, although it did have some problematic elements. I gave it 3.5/5 stars.














Hamilton: The Revolution- Lin-Manuel Miranda
I'm obsessed with Hamilton, and so this was a wonderful addition to my obsession! 5/5 stars.















At the Going Down of the Sun- Elizabeth Darrell
This is a great novel, set in WWI, with interesting characters, and a well written plot. I gave it 4.5/5 stars.















The Keeper of Lost Things- Ruth Hogan
I read this novel for review too, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! 5/5 stars.















City of Lost Souls- Cassandra Clare
I feel like I have been reading this series for years and years, but this summer I am determined to finish it. This is book 5 of 6, so I'm close to the finishing line! I gave it 3/5 stars.















Watched:

The Night Shift- this is a series set in a hospital during night shifts. It reminds me of ER or Grey's Anatomy, but I like these characters more! Series 1-3 are on Netflix UK, and I highly recommend them!









Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries Season 3- The complete 3 seasons of this Australian detective show set in the 1920s is on Netflix UK, and I highly recommend it. The costumes, the characters and the plots are entertaining and fun!



Listened To:

May I Have This Dance- Francis and the Lights









Moana Soundtrack












You're the One That I Want- Lo Fang










On the Blog: 



Happy reading!!

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

Monday, 29 May 2017


This meme is hosted by Kathryn at the Book Date.

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We have enjoyed some of the hottest weather over the past few days, its been 25+ degrees everyday, which for Scotland is something else!! So I've managed to get quite a bit of reading done, I always find that I read a lot more when it's too hot to do anything!!


What I Read Last Week:

Hamilton: The Revolution- Lin-Manuel Miranda
This is a non-fiction book about the hit musical Hamilton. It features lyrics to the songs with annotations and notes from Lin himself, plus features on the performers who brought the roles to Broadway, and chapters on how the musical was created. I really enjoyed this insight into this musical, and gave it 5/5 stars!!






At the Going Down of the Sun- Elizabeth Darrell.
This is a Historical Romance novel set in World War I. Featuring some amazing characters, and with a totally engrossing story, I gave this novel 4.5/5 stars.










City of Lost Souls- Cassandra Clare.
This is the 5th novel in The Mortal Instruments Series, a series which I have an up and down relationship with. If I hadn't bought the whole series I'm not sure I would've even bothered to read them all, but I'm determined to keep going to the end. This novel actually wasn't bad, I gave it 3/5 stars.





What I Am Currently Reading:

























Up Next:
























On the Blog:



Happy reading!!


Book Review- The Keeper of Lost Things

Thursday, 25 May 2017
Title: The Keeper of Lost Things
Author: Ruth Hogan
Published: 21st February 2017
Pages: 288
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary

Rating: 5/5

A charming, clever, and quietly moving debut novel of of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that explores the promises we make and break, losing and finding ourselves, the objects that hold magic and meaning for our lives, and the surprising connections that bind us.
Lime green plastic flower-shaped hair bobbles—Found, on the playing field, Derrywood Park, 2nd September.
Bone china cup and saucer-Found, on a bench in Riveria Public Gardens, 31st October.
Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects—the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidentally left behind—and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries that he has not fully discharged his duty to reconcile all the lost things with their owners. As the end nears, he bequeaths his secret life’s mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost.
Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura, in some ways, is one of Anthony’s lost things. But when the lonely woman moves into his mansion, her life begins to change. She finds a new friend in the neighbor’s quirky daughter, Sunshine, and a welcome distraction in Freddy, the rugged gardener. As the dark cloud engulfing her lifts, Laura, accompanied by her new companions, sets out to realize Anthony’s last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners.
Long ago, Eunice found a trinket on the London pavement and kept it through the years. Now, with her own end drawing near, she has lost something precious—a tragic twist of fate that forces her to break a promise she once made.
As the Keeper of Lost Objects, Laura holds the key to Anthony and Eunice’s redemption. But can she unlock the past and make the connections that will lay their spirits to rest?
Full of character, wit, and wisdom, The Keeper of Lost Things is a heartwarming tale that will enchant fans of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, Garden Spells, Mrs. Queen Takes the Train, and The Silver Linings Playbook. -Goodreads

I received a copy of this novel from Net Galley in return for an honest review.
I loved this novel! It was the perfect light read after Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner which was a dark subject and quite a dark novel. The Keeper of Lost Things is the complete antithesis of that, it's light, funny and whimsical, and has a warm fuzzy feeling throughout which I really enjoyed!
This is a beautiful story, with great storytelling from Hogan, and it was a genuine pleasure to read.
The basis of the story is a collection of lost objects that have been gathered over the years by an elderly gentleman called Anthony Peardew. Since his fiancee died, and he lost an object given to him by her, he has collected other lost objects. In his will, he leaves his assistant Laura his house, all the lost objects, and a task: to return the lost objects to their rightful owners. Laura doesn't have to complete this task alone though, she has help from Freddy the gardener, and her new friend Sunshine. Alongside this narrative we get passages about certain lost objects, about their owners and how they were lost in the first place; whether purposefully left or accidentally misplaced. We also follow Eunice, who is an assistant to a publisher. She is an integral part of the story, although this only becomes clear towards the end of the novel. 
The stories/narratives that are inserted into the main narrative make this novel a quirky read, but I enjoyed this, it was a breath of fresh air in terms of narratives, and was created so skilfully by Hogan. She manages to link all the threads of the stories and narratives together so beautifully, it was lovely to read the completed novel and see how everything was woven around the central thread of the lost objects.
I especially enjoyed the chapters featuring Laura, Freddy and Sunshine. They were such a cosy three-some to read about, their family dynamic was very warm and comforting, I wouldn't mind reading more about them!! 
All the characters are well developed in the novel, they are definitely an eclectic mix of people (and dogs!!) but all were wonderfully created and all had so many dimensions to them. Hogan has done a great job of writing quite a large group of characters, and managing to flesh them all out equally well. 
Another aspect of this novel that I enjoyed was the touches of magic and ghost-like instances. This was a complete surprise to me, I had not read of this element in any of the summaries or reviews I had read, but it actually fitted into the novel really well. It was well handled by the author, and it developed the narrative, but it never crossed into the ridiculous.
Overall I really loved this novel, I gave it 5/5 stars and it's definitely one of my favourite reads of the year. I enjoyed the author's writing style and I look forward to reading more of her work when it is available!

Happy reading!

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