#AVAReadathon: A Very ARC-ish Readathon

a very arcish readathon

I’ve been talking about how I’m trying to beat the ARC monster last week and I came across the perfect challenge to help me do just that. Aimal @ Bookmarks And Paperbacks is hosting A Very ARCish Readathon during the whole month of April and the best part is that the goals are easy: just read as many ARCs as possible! 😀 You can join the readathon conversation by using the #AVAReadathon hashtag on social media as well.

READATHON TBR

Netgalley/Reading Alley ARC

  • What Doesn’t Kill You by Ed James
  • The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger
  • Enchanters by K.F. Bradshaw

Other ARCs

  • Blood Moon by John David Bethel
  • Among Friends: Travels In Cuba by Heather Murray
  • The Car Bomb by T.V. LoCicero

  • Riven by Belinda Crawford
  • Heartborn by Terry Maggert
  • The Merchant’s Pearl by Amie O’Brien

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ARC REVIEW: Goodbye Days – by Jeff Zentner

Title: Goodbye Days
Author: Jeff Zentner

Genre: YA, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary
First published: March 7th 2017
Publisher: Penguin Random House UK Children’s / Andersen
Finished reading: March 14th 2017
Pages: 416

“For the most part, you don’t hold the people you love in your heart because they rescued you from drowning or pulled you from a burning house. Mostly you hold them in your heart because they save you, in a million quiet and perfect ways, from being alone.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Penguin Random House UK Children’s/ Andersen in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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Birthday review! 😀 Because reading Goodbye Days this week was basically an early birthday present in the first place.

I absolutely loved reading Jeff Zentner‘s other novel The Serpent King earlier this year and I added Goodbye Days to my list of most anticipated releases as soon as I finished it. You can imagine my reaction when my Netgalley request was actually approved… I didn’t want to set my expectations too high after such a fantastic debut, and I kept telling myself it would be hard for Goodbye Days to outshine it. But I guess I shouldn’t have worried, because I think I have just found my new favorite Zentner novel. Basically, this story took my feelings, put them on the middle of the road and ran them over repeatedly with a bulldozer. It doesn’t happen often that a book actually manages to make me cry, but Goodbye Days managed to break my heart more than once. Brilliant prose, excellent characters and those feels!! I literally flew through the pages of this story and the characters were easy to love. And this isn’t just another YA contemporary story either; it also touches a very important topic. Thank you Goodbye Days for raising awareness to the dangers of using your phone while driving; is more dangerous than drunk driving and causes so many unnecessary accidents… Hopefully an eyeopener as well as a brilliant read! Recommended to any contempory/realistic fiction fan who doesn’t mind sad stories.

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Carver Briggs never thought something so simple as a text message could end the lives of his three best friends Mars, Eli and Blake. He didn’t think about possible consequences when he sent the text as they were driving to meet him, and while Mars was trying to answer the three friends ended up in a fatal car crash. Carver cannot stop blaming himself for the accident and it seems like he isn’t the only one… The authorities are looking into the accident to try and determine if they can press charges against him. Blake’s grandmother doesn’t blame him, and asks Carver to help remember her grandson with a ‘goodbye day’ together. That leads to the idea to have memorial days for his other friends as well, but not everyone is willing to forgive… Can the goodbye days really help?

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Goodbye Days is without doubt one of the best books I’ve read so far this year. I don’t think I can find something negative about it, other than that it basically broke my heart and left me nursing a book hangover. The writing style is brilliant and will have you flying through the pages as you ride the emotional rollercoaster. The characters will win over your heart and the plot is both wonderful, sad and has an important lesson. If you like the genre, Goodbye Days is a must-read!


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Stacking The Shelves #11 – March 18th

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Stacking The Shelves is hosted at Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

I know, I know, I wasn’t going to request any new titles, but there have been so many awesome titles popping up on Netgalley all week! Compared to those, ‘only’ three new titles pretty much sounds like a success to me… Plus, I already finished Last Breath so technically that one doesn’t count right? And The Red Hunter was a title I actually requested back in January… I’ve also been wanting to pick another Reading Alley read for ages and this one sounded good, so I ended up giving in as well. I’m weak, I know. xD

# NETGALLEY ARC #

# READING ALLEY ARC #

 

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! ❤


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ARC REVIEW: The Last Gods Of Indochine – by Samuel Ferrer

Title: The Last Gods Of Indochine
Author: Samuel Ferrer

Genre: Historical Fiction
First published: September 20th 2016
Publisher: Signal 8 Press
Finished reading: March 13th 2017
Pages: 422

“I told Jean-Luc I feared entering a world where everyone is a stranger; the truth is, I am escaping from a world where everyone knew me too well.”

*** 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 confess I’m terribly behind with my ARCs and this historical fiction story was long overdue. The Last Gods Of Indochine belongs to one of my favorite genres and both the Cambodian setting, era and reference to local mythology had me intrigued immediately. This novel by Samuel Ferrer surely didn’t disappoint. The Last Gods Of Indochine is mostly set in Cambodia and has two main storylines: one set in the 1920s and one set in the 13th century. I was instantly charmed by the story of Paaku the Lotus-Born all those centuries ago, and the mythology and ideas of his world are intriguing. His chapters are without doubt my favorite part of this novel, and I enjoyed learning more about both his world and his character. I wasn’t instantly convinced by Jacquie on the other hand, and it took me some time to connect to her. It was very interesting to read about her journey to Cambodia though and the circumstances under which both her grandfather before her and Jacquie herself had to travel in those days. I also particularly enjoyed their travels within Cambodia and it was nice to see both storylines slowly connect. In short, The Last Gods Of Indochine is a well written historical fiction story with an intriguing plot and a fascinating read in general for fans of the genre.

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In medieval Cambodia, Paaku the Lotus-Born is an orphan raised by a Vishu priest. One day something incredible happens and the community starts to believe Paaku might be the incarnation of a god… Something that might turn out to be dangerous for him and he is not sure if he wants that title in the first place. Meanwhile, in 1921, Jacquie follows the footsteps of her grandfather and travels to Indochina. Her grandfather was a famous explorer who died during his travels, and Jacquie wants to learn more about the country he explored. Soon she starts learning about the tragedy of Paaku’s history and the storylines slowly intertwine…

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If you enjoy reading well written historical fiction stories with an interesting setting and a touch of (Asian) mythology, The Last Gods Of Indochine is an excellent choice. Two stories set in two completely different centuries slowly start to intertwine… And the ‘modern’ world clashes with the medieval story. I had a great time reading this novel and especially Paaku’s POV stood out from me. Such a fascinating story!


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Friday Finds #124 – March 17th

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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

ARC REVIEW: The Missing Ones – by Patricia Gibney

Title: The Missing Ones
(Detective Lottie Parker #1)
Author: Patricia Gibney

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction
First published: March 16th 2017
Publisher: Bookouture
Finished reading: March 9th 2017
Pages: 518

“No one had seen anything. Was Ragmullin the town of the deaf, blind and mute? What had happened to the valley of the squinting windows?”

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

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❤ Happy publication day to The Missing Ones!! ❤

You can never have enough psychological thrillers, right? I had high hopes for this first book of a new detective series, especially since I’ve heard a lot of great things about it lately. Now I have finally been properly introduced to Lottie Parker in The Missing Ones, I have instantly joined the fan-crew. Psychological thriller plots can tend to start sounding the same if you read a lot of them, but Patricia Gibney had me fully intrigued by this story. Not only is The Missing Ones a very well written story, but it also has an intriguing and complex plot and very interesting characters as well. Sure, detective Lottie Parker is a bit of a cliche with her messed up personal life, but she does grow on you. And the case itself is a mix of twisted, disturbing, dark and intriguing and will have you on the edge of the seat until the very end. 1970s flashbacks are mixed in with the present and will slowly start to reveal more about the past and what really is going on… And boy, you will find some very disturbing details and plot twists along the way! I also loved the little Rome bits, especially since the Santa Maria Maggiore and me have a little history and my heart literally skipped a beat when it was mentioned. In short, The Missing Ones is a rich, intriguing and gripping psychological thriller that is both well written and will manage to surprise you more than once. Disturbingly good!

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When just after Christmas a woman’s body is discovered in a cathedral and hours later a young man is found hanging from a tree outside his home, Detective Lottie Parker is called in to investigate both cases. The deaths seem random, up until it becomes clear both bodies have the same tattoo crudely inscribed on their legs. The two seem to be connected, but how exactly? Lottie Parker has to dig into the past to find out more about both victims, and the evidence leads her to St. Angela’s. Suddenly the case has become personal, as the former children’s home has a connection to her own dark family history… And the current victims might be linked to decade old unsolved murders. Will she be able to discover the truth before the killer strikes again?

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If you like well written psychological thrillers with a complex plot and excellent plot twists, I can definitely recommend The Missing Ones. The story is a bit longer than your average thriller, which only contributes to the richness of the plot without slowing down the pace. The switches between the past and present are well executed and only add to the intrigue as well. There are definitely a lot of disturbing and twisted details and reveals along the way! I will be looking forward to the next book in this series.


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WWW Wednesdays #128 – March 15th

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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?

Words cannot describe how excited I am to be reading the newest Erika Foster novel! Last Breath was literally only posted at Netgalley yesterday and I decided to put my other pending ARCs on hold and read this one first shortly after my request was approved. So far it looks like Robert Bryndza has written another winner! 😀 I’ve also started with Bull by David Elliott, but somehow reading on my phone feels a bit awkward… It does sound like an intriguing read though.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

* First up is The Missing Ones by Patricia Gibney, a psychological thriller ARC that is due to be published tomorrow. I had high hopes for this one as I’ve heard a lot of great things about it, and I have now joined the fan-crew. Well written, intriguing and complex plot, interesting characters and some very disturbing details and plot twists! I loved the flashbacks and little Rome bits as well. (Me and the Santa Maria Maggiore have a little history so my heart skipped a beat when it was mentioned!)
* I then read The Last Gods Of Indochine by Samuel Ferrer, a historical fiction ARC that was way overdue. I’m glad I finally had the chance to give it a go, because it was without doubt a very very intriguing story. This novel is set in Cambodia and has two different storylines: one set in the 1920s and one in the 13th century. While it took me a some time to connect to the main character Jacquie, I was instantly charmed by the story of Paaku the Lotus-Born. Well written, great plot and fascinating read in general.
* And just as I thought it couldn’t get better, I decided to pick up Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner. I loved his other novel The Serpent King and this one has been one of my most anticipated releases ever since… And I think I have just found my new favorite Zentner story. Basically, this story took my feelings, put them on the middle of the road and ran them over repeatedly with a bulldozer. It doesn’t happen often that a book managed to make me cry, but Goodbye Days was one of them. Brilliant prose, excellent characters and those feels!! I think Carver just made my heart break a little.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

Next up are two ARCs… I’m still hopelessly behind with them, but I’m slowly getting there. First is The First City by Joe Hart, the final book of a trilogy that is hopefully going to keep improving. I also need to read the horror story Silence Under Screams by Collin Henderson. Which might be a nice change of genre and just what I needed. And remember I was saying I was going to read A Conjuring Of Light next? I guess I was wrong. xD I’ve been dying to read it though, so I might just give myself an (early) birthday present and read it first. I also need to read another pending ARC: Rose Petal Graves by Olivia Wildenstein


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