Friday Finds #130 – April 28th

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. Below a selection of my newest additions; click on the book descriptions to go to its Goodreads page! 😀

My finds:

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ARC REVIEW: Ginny Moon – by Benjamin Ludwig

Title: Ginny Moon
Author: Benjamin Ludwig

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
First published: May 2nd 2017
Publisher: Park Row Books
Finished reading: April 22nd 2017
Pages: 368

“No one can hear what I say inside my head because that’s where my brain is. It helps me do things when no one is looking.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Park Row Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I’ve seen so many raving reviews about this book around the blogosphere that I just HAD to request a copy so I wouldn’t have to wait until the publish date to read it. It’s easy to say I was really looking forward to (The Original) Ginny Moon… And I kind of feel bad that I ended up having mixed feelings about the story instead. I can’t deny it’s a well written, unique story with one of the most intriguing main characters I’ve encountered this year. The author did a more than excellent job of describing and portraying the autistic Ginny and it has been truly fascinating to be able to have a glimpse inside her head. It really shows that Benjamin Ludwig has personal experience with autism and both the character development and behavior feel authentic. That said, it took me longer than expected to get used to the voice of the autistic Ginny and I found myself a bit confused in the beginning. Like I said before, the author did an excellent job of describing autism and what it is like to live and interact with someone autistic, but I did understand why her ‘Forever’ parent got so frustrated with her at times. I felt the same frustation as well and it made me enjoy the story slightly less than I thought I would, although this has nothing to do with the story itself and I want to stress that the author did a brilliant job of putting autism in the spotlight it deserves. And there is no doubt Ginny Moon will leave her mark and will stay with you for a long time…

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Ginny Moon has been in foster care for years, and she is currently living with her fourth forever family. Everybody keeps saying she sound feel happy that she has finally found parents who will love her… But Ginny has never forgotten what happened all that time ago, something she feels she will have to put right no matter what. But it is kind of hard to explain things to the rest of the world when you can’t find the right words to express yourself… Or people don’t seem to understand what she has been trying to tell them all this time.

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First of all, I want to stress that my slightly lower rating has nothing to do with the excellence of this book, but more with my feelings of frustration as I was reading it. Ginny’s character will provoke strong emotions, and while mine weren’t completely positive, there is no doubt she will still stay with me for a long time. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story with an autistic main character before (even though it’s such an important topic), and the author did a brilliant job of accurately describing what it’s like living with autism. Ginny Moon: A very important and truly unique story and character!


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Ready for another round of Bout Of Books?!

I participated in a few Bout Of Books read-a-thons in the past and I always had a great time, so I just couldn’t resist signing up for the next one. And Bout Of Books 19 is just about around the corner! It starts May 8th and ends May 14th, and for those who aren’t familiar yet with this read-a-thon it’s all about reading as many books as you want/can and having fun along the way. The best part: you can make your own goals! For the official rules, check the Bout Of Books page and below:

You can still sign up until May 9th so there is still time to join the fun! I will write a proper goals/TBR post the weekend before the read-a-thon starts, because I have still no clue what books would be next around that time.


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ARC REVIEW: The Millionaire’s Wife – by Shalini Boland

Title: The Millionaire’s Wife
Author: Shalini Boland

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction
First published: April 27th 2017
Publisher: Adrenalin Books
Finished reading: April 21st 2017
Pages: 306

“The trouble with secrets is that you never know how the other person is going to react.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I became an instant fan of Shalini Boland‘s thrillers as soon as I I finished reading The Girl From The Sea last year. I’ve been lucky enough to receive an ARC copy of The Millionaire’s Wife, which is already my third thriller by this author. My expectations were set high after the previous two books, but this one has turned out to be yet another winner. I found myself on the edge of my seat for the duration of the ride and the story was gripping until the very last page. Well written and enjoyable prose, many many plot twists, well developed and unrealiable characters and a very intriguing plot; what more to ask of a psychological thriller?! It was almost impossible to stop reading The Millionaire’s Wife as the need to find out what happens next was just too big… And you will find yourself face to face with one or two true plot twists bombs along the way as well. The POV switches between past and present and the Swedish nationatity of one of the main characters is without doubt very well used. It definitely adds another original touch to the story! If you like fast-paced, suspenseful and well written thrillers with plot twists that will blow you away, The Millionaire’s Wife is a must-read. You won’t regret it!

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Anna Blackwell seems to have a very comfortable life with a loving husband and a big house, but can she really outrun her past? When she finds out a woman is killed on the other side of the world, Anna realises that her past has definitely caught up with her in the end. She knows what will come next… And her greatest fear is about to come true. Will she be able to find a way out before it’s too late?

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The Millionaire’s Wife had me hooked right from the very first page and I couldn’t stop reading until I found out how the story ended. The switches between past and present keep up the high level of suspense and the unreliable characters do the rest of the job. You will find yourself wondering what will happen next until the very last page and there are some very twisted characters and plot twists to join you along the way! If you like a good psychological thriller, this one should definitely be on your wishlist.


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WWW Wednesdays #134 – April 26th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m finally making good progress with Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, and I will most likely end up finishing it some time today or tomorrow. I’m still kicking myself for waiting this long to pick it up, because it’s without doubt brilliant. Well written, intriguing story and a very important focus on racial problematics and racism as well as an interesting mix of characters. I’m also about to start another ARC, The Car Bomb by T.V. LoCicero, which sounds like an action-packed read. I’m also still reading Enchanters by K.F. Bradshaw, although I have put temporarily on hold until I’m in the mood for (high) fantasy again.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

* The first title I finished is the travel memoir Among Friends: Travels In Cuba by Heather Murray. Unlike other non fiction reads about Cuba, this memoir focuses mostly on the personal experiences of the author during her various trips to Cuba and what she could see of the daily life of the Cubans rather than on the complicated political and social-cultural situation. It’s a well written and enjoyable read and the descriptions of the various locations in Cuba made me feel as if I were visiting the country myself.
* I then picked up The Millionaire’s Wife by Shalini Boland, which has turned out to be yet another winner. I’ve been a fan of her work ever since I picked up The Girl From The Sea last year… This is my third suspense thriller and my opinion hasn’t changed a bit. This story is well written, filled with many plot twists, unrealiable characters and a very intriguing plot. The POV switches between past and present and the Swedish nationality of one of the main characters is very well used. Gripping until the very last page!
* Next up was (The Original) Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig, which I had heard lots of excellent things about. Ginny is without doubt one of the most original and interesting characters I’ve came across lately, although I do have to say I was a bit confused in the beginning. It took me a while to get used to the voice of the autistic Ginny, and while I feel the author did an excellent job of describing autism and what it is like to live and interact with someone autistic (I’m not surprised since he has personal experience), I did understand why her ‘Forever’ parent got so frustrated with her. I felt the same frustation as well and it made me enjoy the story slightly less than I thought I would, although like I said before I feel the author did a brilliant job of putting autism in the spotlight it deserves.
* The last book I finished is This Is Really Happening by Erin Chack, another memoir. I was surprised my request was actually approved last Saturday, especially since the publish date was that close (yesterday). I decided to give it priority since I was in the mood for a non fiction read anyway, and I ended up really enjoying this bundle of coming to age essays. The writing style really stands out and combined with the honest and personal tone and just the right dose of humor this is a very enjoyable read.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m slowly catching up with my pending ARCs, but I will probably be making May into another ARC month just so I can deal with most of the still pending backlog. Both Anything For Her by Jack Jordan and The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite are pending Netgalley ARCs and thrillers I’ve been looking forward to. I also want to pick up the ARC Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel, which sounds like a fascinating read. And I want to read The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware soon as well, although I have been reading a lot of thrillers lately and I might read something of a different genre instead.


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ARC REVIEW: This Is Really Happening – by Erin Chack

Title: This Is Really Happening
Author: Erin Chack

Genre: Non Fiction, Memoir,  Humor
First published: April 25th 2017
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group / Razorbill
Finished reading: April 24th 2017
Pages: 240

“I realized then that luck is a slippery thing, hard to hold and keep with you. No amount of worrying will prepare you for when it starts thrashing around in your hands. Luck happens whenever it feels like it, wherever it feels like it, however it feels like it.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Penguin Young Readers Group / Razorbill in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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Two years ago I made a promise to myself to read more non fiction stories, and since I’ve discovered I really enjoy reading memoirs even if I’m not familiar with the author. I came across This Is Really Happening in one of the Buzz Books editions at Netgalley, and I was instantly convinced by the short excerpt provided there. To my surprise, my request came through last Saturday… And since I was in the mood for a memoir, I decided to try and read it before the publish date today. This Is Really Happening is without doubt a well written and fast read with just the right dose of humor. It contains various, mostly ‘coming of age’ essays about various stages in Erin Chack‘s life. To get an idea of the topics in the essays: among other things she talks about high school and how she met her partner, about her battle against cancer at the age of nineteen and how people react to the illness, about her job at BuzzFeed and her roadtrip from coast to coast. What stands out is the enjoyable writing style and the fact that Erin Chack tells things exactly how they are; not hiding the ugly (and maybe embarrassing) details and that makes this memoir feel a lot more authentic. Serious topics are mixed with hilarious moments and if you are looking for an entertaining, well written and interesting coming of age memoir, This Is Really Happening is a great choice.

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A collection of personal essays where Erin Chack writes about a variety of things that happened to her while growing up. From meeting her partner during high school to her battle with cancer, dealing with the symptoms of chemotherapy, what it’s like working as a writer at BuzzFeed, college and an extended roadtrip; she recounts everything with a healthy dose of humor and honesty, talking about various universal themes along the way.

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If you enjoy reading memoirs and are looking for a well written and fast-paced bundle of essays with just the right balance of serious topics and humor, This Is Really Happening would be right up your alley. I really enjoyed the writing style and the general tone of the story. It feels like Erin Chack is telling you her story while sharing a drink in a bar; personal, honest and with just the right dose of humor. Recommended!


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Teaser Tuesdays #137 – April 25th: Small Great Things

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme hosted at The Purple Booker. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

I still have a lot of pending ARCs, but I’ve decided to just read Jodi Picoult‘s Small Great Things first. I had already started it (finally!) last week, but I didn’t make much progress until yesterday. I had forgotten what the story was going to be about exactly, so I was pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of race problematics and racism as a topic. Very strong start so far!

My teaser (4%):

“For a moment, I honestly don’t understand. And then it hits me with the force of a blow: they don’t have a problem with what I’ve done. Just with who I am.”

What are you reading right now?


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