August 2017 TBR

I just can’t believe we’ll be starting month number 8 of 2017 tomorrow already!! This year is flying by way too fast… Despite my recent slump, I somehow managed to read and review all TEN books on my July TBR! I don’t think this has happened before, although I guess it did help that most titles were ARCs with upcoming deadlines haha.

>>> Find a complete list of the books of books owned and waiting to be read here and my full TBR list at Goodreads here <<<

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve decided to dedicate August mostly to my own books and finally read those titles I’ve been posponing for way too long due to my ARC overload. True, two of these are still ARCs, but I’m excited for both so they don’t count right? I’ve also added five more titles of my ‘non-ARC titles I have on my need-to-read-ASAP‘ list, which will hopefully mean I will have made a huge dent in the list (9/15 if I read all) by the end of the month. Also I might reread This Savage Song as well before I read the sequel.

# TBR #

  • Midnight At The Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew J. Sullivan (336 pages) NETGALLEY
  • Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab (510 pages)
  • The Ask And The Answer by Patrick Ness (536 pages)
  • I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh (371 pages)
  • Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard (322 pages)

  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (386 pages)
  • Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin (354 pages)
  • The Other Girl by Erica Spindler (352 pages) NETGALLEY
  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown (382 pages)
  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer (453 pages)

Have you read any of these and/or do you recommend them?


signature

You can also find me at Goodreads. Twitter. Instagram.  Facebook. Bloglovin’.

Advertisements

ARC REVIEW: The Lost Book Of The Grail – by Charlie Lovett

Title: The Lost Book Of The Grail
Author: Charlie Lovett

Genre: Historical Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery
First published: February 28th 2017
Publisher: Viking
Finished reading: July 26th 2017 
Pages: 336

“The library smelled substantial; it smelled of both life and death. The air was stale and still and Arthur felt the atmosphere of the place envelop him. He was home.”

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

myrambles1reviewqqq

I admit I have a weird obsession with any title that has the word ‘book’ in it, so one look at the cover of The Lost Book Of The Grail and I was sold. Any lover of books about books and historical mysteries will be intrigued by the blurb of this story by Charlie Lovett. Trust me, I was one of them… And I have been looking forward to read it for a while now. That’s why I was slightly disappointed to find myself having mixed feelings about The Lost Book Of The Grail instead. On one hand, there were quite a few things I did love about this book. First of all, there are many many bookish references, quotes and descriptions that will appeal to any bookworm. The smell of books, the library, the old manuscripts… I could just imagine being there in Barchester myself just by reading the detailed descriptions and I always love when that happens. I also really liked the idea behind this story and the mystery around the manuscript and the history of Barchester and its secrets is intriguing. BUT. Unfortunately, the pace is slower than a sleeping snail and I had a really hard time to stay focused and keep reading despite the fascinating history. In fact, the plot actually feels pretty chaotic with the unorganized flashbacks, guidebook quotes and random quotes from other books. I admit it does add an original touch, but it also slowed down the already slow pace even more and made the story flow considerably less and feel quite haltered. Another problem I encountered myself with were the characters. To be honest, I was never able to warm up to them and they mostly felt like cliches. The ‘old school’ Arthur and ‘modern’ Bethany have textbook clashing views on anything bookish and I didn’t feel they were inspiring. Also, I could have done without the romance…  It didn’t add anything substantial to the story and only managed to make me enjoy the final part of The Lost Book Of The Grail even less. Another thing I struggled with is that the story, for being about a lost manuscript and the hunt to unravel the mystery before it’s too late, was actually quite uneventful and lacked suspense. I was really surprised by this, because when I read the blurb I thought their quest was going to be a whole lot more exciting. Oh well, we can’t like them all, can we?

shortsummary1reviewqqq

Arthur Prescott works as an English professor in the modern buildings of the University of Barchester, but he feels more at home surrounded by the ancient books and manuscripts on the Barchester Cathedral library. He spends most of his free time there, researching his unfinished guidebook to the medieval cathedral… Although his secret obsession with the Holy Grail is never completely leaves his mind. When an American woman barges into his sanctuary with the task of digitizing the manuscripts, Arthur is appalled. But Bethany doesn’t seem to be what she appears to be and she turns out to be a fellow Grail fanatic… And soon she will join Arthur in a quest to find a missing manuscript with the story of the cathedral’s founder.

finalthoughtsreviewqqq

I really wanted to like The Lost Book Of The Grail and there were certain elements I did enjoy very much. The history of Barchester and its secrets is fascinating and I’m sure many will appreciate the bookish quotes and references. The pace is incredibly slow though and the plot feels both a bit chaotic and lacks action. I also had problems connecting to the characters and felt they lacked character development or at least originality. Such a shame!


signature

You can also find me at Goodreads. Twitter. InstagramFacebookBloglovin’.

ARC REVIEW: Americosis Vol. 4 – by Haydn Wilks

Title: Americosis Vol. 4
Author: Haydn Wilks

Genre: Short Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia
First published: December 2nd 2016
Finished reading: July 25th 2017
Pages: 56

“It’s all madness.”

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

myrambles1reviewqqq

First of all a little note: since the cover is basically a swearword, I’ve decided not to display it on my blog for personal reasons. It’s bad enough it already shows up on my Goodreads timeline as it is. xD

The quote above describes these Americosis volumes perfectly: absolute madness. I’ve read the first three volumes in the past, so I did know exactly what I signed up for… There is nothing ordinary about the world created in Americosis, the plot or the characters. And it has been one heck of a crazy and absurd ride so far! Volume four continues where the last part ended; there is almost no recap so it’s important to read/remember the previous volumes to make sense of it all. Although ‘making sense’ maybe isn’t the right phrase to look for, because I don’t think Americosis is ment to make sense in the first place. Volume four had a few very interesting elements I liked; predominantly the parts set in the future (4046). The idea of every person having a different vision of what happened since the moment in history they were snatched away is intriguing and would be a great topic for a standalone novella or novel. Just imagine the endless possibilities of famous personalities of the past getting together and share their version of the ‘future’! This new storyline added a whole new interesting level to the story and made me curious about the finale… But I do have to say there were some things that started to bother me. I don’t think Americosis Vol. 4 has changed much in tone, but somehow the EXCESSIVE and CONSTANT swearing started to get to me. I don’t mind a swearword or two as long as its use is constructive, but I felt it really crossed the line in this volume. I basically have a quote where a variation of the word ‘f*ck‘ is used no less than eleven!! times in one sentence; overkill much? Apart from the swearing, the story is also very graphic and violent in general and stuffed with adult and sex-related comments and scenes. In short there is no doubt this short story isn’t for everyone… Only a select few will be able to truly savour it and I can see why the target group would be predominantly adult (white) male. If you like crazy, graphic, messy, chaotic, dystopian, violent and all over the place stories, Americosis will probably be for you. There’s one thing for sure: you won’t be bored with this one!

shortsummary1reviewqqq

WARNING: Possible spoilers! Please don’t read this summary if you haven’t read the first  three volumes yet. I’ll keep the summary super short but it’s impossible to keep it completely spoiler-free…

Things have slowly started to get out of control… The race against the clock for the Savior is real and he will have to fight hard to be able to reach his goal before it’s too late. Because America is being destroyed from the inside, and it’s winning. In the mean time, the Presidential race is going strong… And the two candidates will do whatever it takes to win.

finalthoughtsreviewqqq

It might just have been I wasn’t in the right mood when I read Volume 4 and that’s why I rated it slightly lower than the previous three… But I did feel the excessive swearing and graphic scenes started to get out of control. It does read like a train and is basically an explosion of action and absurdness right in the middle of a dystopian America. The right person will probably love Americosis, but it is without doubt an acquired taste. The storyline set in the future was fascinating though!


signature

You can also find me at Goodreads. Twitter. InstagramFacebookBloglovin’.

Beat That Slump! My 5 Step Plan To Get My Mojo Back

First of all a huge thank you for the overwhelming response to my post this Monday! You guys have truly shown and reconfirmed just how awesome our bookish community really is. ❤ ❤ ❤ And it’s one of the reasons I would never be able to quit book blogging completely. So to all of you out there:

So many people have left their kind words and tips and advice and I’m still feeling warm and fuzzy inside whenever I think about it. Thank you all for being so awesome! ❤ ❤ ❤ To be honest, just writing that post has been a form of therapy already, but I’ve decided to use the feedback to make my own plan to get back on track. This is mostly my personal view on ‘getting my mojo’ back and I by no means claim this is the perfect or right way of beating a slump… But I’m just putting it out there in case it will be useful to someone else suffering from something similar.

So here we go… My 5 Step Plan to get my mojo back and beat that slump!

Continue reading

Friday Finds #143 – July 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:

Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: Now You See Me – by Sharon Bolton

Title: Now You See Me
(Lacy Flint #1)
Author: Sharon Bolton

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: June 7th 2011
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Finished reading: July 22nd 2017
Pages: 400

“But I learned something that night. When everything else is slipping away, pride is one thing you cling on to.”

myrambles1reviewqqq

I know, I know, I’m exceptionally late when it comes to the whole Sharon Bolton party, especially since her books belong to one of my favorite genres. It took me long enough, but I can now finally say I’ve read at least one of her books. At least, because I will definitely be picking up more of her work even though I expected to be giving Now You See Me a higher rating than I did. Because before I continue with my review, I have to make clear that this first book of the Lacey Flint series has probably suffered from the fact that I’m currently in some sort of a slump and can’t seem to love any book right now. Should I have posponed my first experience with her work? Maybe. But Now You See Me has still given me a very good idea of the sheer quality of her work and there is definitely a lot to love in this first book of a series I will continue (hopefully) some time soon. This book had me at serial killer and once I saw Jack The Ripper mentioned I started jumping up and down out of excitement. I just love how this old case plays such a big role in the story! And it surely shows just how well Sharon Bolton has investigated the original crimes and many theories about the identity of the killer. Now You See Me is a well written crime thriller in general with a lot of twists that will keep you guessing… Although I do have to say I was never able to warm up to Lacey and the whole bantering between Joesbury and her started to get annoying. Also, the whole mystery around Lacey’s character and the twists and misformation in the final part of the story sort of had the opposite effect on me and I mostly felt confused and frustrated instead of on the edge of my seat. Does something like a ‘plot twist overkill’ exist? Part of the problem was most likely me though and I’m definitely planning on reading the sequel some time soon.

shortsummary1reviewqqq

As young detective Lacey Flint is exiting the apartment complex after interviewing a reluctant witness, she stumbles onto a women who has just been brutally stabbed moments before on the parking lot. Lacey suddenly finds herself involved in a murder case, and her role as witness will soon turn into something a whole lot more complicated… Because not even twenty-four hours later, a reporter receives an anonymous letter pointing out the similarities between the case and Jack The Ripper’s first murder… And the letter mentions Lacey by name. Why is her name mentioned? Is she a suspect? And is there really a new Jack The Ripper out there determined to recreate the original murders?

finalthoughtsreviewqqq

Like I said before, I’m probably partly to blame for the slightly lower rating than expected. But there is no doubt that Now You See Me is the start of what is promising to be a very interesting crime thriller series and I will be looking forward to pick up the next book even though I haven’t been able to warm up to Lacey yet. Sharon Bolton‘s writing style makes it very enjoyable to read her story and I can’t wait to pick up more of her books.


signature

You can also find me at Goodreads. Twitter. InstagramFacebookBloglovin’.

WWW Wednesdays #147 – July 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 actually reading a short story called Americosis Vol. 4 by Haydn Wilks as well (although I’ll probably have finished it by now), but as the cover is basically a swearword I’ve decided not to show it on my blog (it’s bad enough it’ll show up on my Goodreads timeline xD) These volumes have been crazy rides so far and I don’t think this one will be any different. I’m also quite far into The Lost Book Of The Grail by Charlie Lovett, which is proving to be a goldmine for bookish quotes and references. The pace is superslow though and it’s taking me longer than expected to read it… I’m only a few pages into The Girls In The Water by Victoria Jenkins, but I’ll read it next since I’ve heard good things about it. And I made it to page 66 or chapter 4 of Sister by Rosamund Lupton (which I’m actually reading in Dutch). I’m not a fan of the story so far, although I’m not sure if it’s the language barrier or the book itself.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira (DNF at 32%) REVIEW 
I’m going to be honest and say I don’t think I would have picked up this story if this wouldn’t have turned up on my Netgalley shelf. I’m not a big fan of (cheesy) contemporary romance in the first place and Bookishly Ever After makes it definitely VERY easy to overdose on the high school cliches and romance tropes incorporated into the story. I’ve tried really hard to see beyond the cliches, but found myself too frustrated to be able to continue and finish the story. And I tell you, it makes me very sad to call Bookishly Ever After my second DNF this year! Part of the problem is definitely me though and I can see why fans of the genre would be able to enjoy it a lot better. Oh well, I guess we can’t like them all, can we?

2. Now You See Me by Sharon Bolton (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW COMING SOON
First of all I have to say that this book has probably suffered from the fact that I’m currently sort of in a slump and I can’t seem to love any book right now. Because there is definitely a lot to love in this first book of the Lacey Flint series. This book had me at serial killer and Jack The Ripper and I love how this old case plays such a big role in the story. It surely shows just how well the author has investigated this part! It’s a well written thriller with a lot of twists that will keep you guessing… I do have to say I never really warmed up to Lacey and the whole bantering between Joesbury and her started to get annoying. Also, the whole mystery around Lacey’s character and the twists and misinformation in the final part of the story sort of had the opposite effect on me and I mostly felt confused and frustrated instead of on the edge of my seat. I’m definitely still going to read the sequel though!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I actually started Girl In Snow by Danya Kukafka before, but after trying a few pages I just couldn’t get into the writing style. I decided to put it on hold to see if it just wasn’t the right time for it… And read some other titles first. Probably next up will be The Ask And The Answer by Patrick Ness as part of the promise to myself to start reading my own books. I also want to read The Lying Game by Ruth Ware, which is actually an ARC but a title I’m really excited about. My newest TBR jar pick is still Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard, which I’m hoping to read some time soon.


signature

You can also find me at Goodreads. Twitter. Instagram. FacebookBloglovin’.