Friday Finds #142 – July 21st

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: Faithful – by Alice Hoffman

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Title: Faithful
Author: Alice Hoffman

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
First published: November 1st 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Finished reading: October 20th 2016
Pages: 272
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“People say if you face your worst fear, the rest is easy, but those are people who are afraid of rattlesnakes or enclosed spaces, not of themselves and the horrible things they’ve done.”

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

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I’m probably not the only one who has fallen in love with that gorgeous cover. As soon as I saw Faithful mentioned I was sold, and I’m grateful I was given the opportunity to read this little gem before it was published. I know there have been a lot of mixed reviews so far, but for me this story turned out to be just as good as the stunning cover. Despite my initial doubts about the possible amount of drama, this new novel by Alice Hoffman turned out to be a really interesting read. I found the story to be especially well written and the prose has convinced me I need to pick up more of her work soon. The characters are well developed and realistic, which is a huge bonus for any book in this genre. And even though Shelby is not exactly likeable as a character, you grow to love her anyway. Sure, I can understand why some people might have a problem with the way she behaves and part of the plot in general, but it is without doubt an intriguing story on how grief and guilt can change a person and how hard it is to move on. Faithful is filled with raw emotions, beautiful prose and second chances; a moving and realistic contemporary read with a main character that you will manage to endear you, flaws and all.

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Shelby Richmond is just another ordinary girl with a seemingly perfect life along with her best friend Helene. Then one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate forever… A car accident destroys her best friend’s future and leaves Helene in a coma, while Shelby walks away practically unscratched. She almost drowns in her guilt, feeling that it should have been her instead. Shelby thinks she is paying her penance by stop living her own life and hiding in the basement, but some day she will have to start finding her way in the world again. She will have to fight her way back to her own future… And she will find out she isn’t as alone in the world as she might think.

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I wasn’t completely sure whether this book would be my cup of tea, but Alice Hoffman has convinced me I can enjoy a story with a healthy dose of drama in it. What really stands out in Faithful is the excellent character development and beautiful prose. Sure, the main character can be a bit of a tool and you might not find everything that happens to her in New York believable, but Shelby managed to win me over anyway. Give this book a chance if you like the genre!

WWW Wednesdays #108 – October 26th

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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?

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I’m currently reading The Good Sisters by Helen Phifer and I’m loving every minute of it so far. It’s without doubt a proper Halloween read complete with haunted house and everything! I can’t wait to continue reading it later today to find out what happens next… I’ve also started The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson, but I couldn’t really get into it. I’m only a few pages into the story so far, but I’ve decided to keep it on hold until I’m in the mood for it.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* I first finished Faithful by Alice Hoffman, which turned out to be a really interesting read despite my initial doubts. I know this book has mixed reviews, but I found it both well written and intriguing. The characters are well developed and feel real, and even though Shelby is not exactly likeable, you grow to love her anyway. Interesting story on how grief and guilt can change a person and how hard it is to move on.
* I then read The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, and I can’t say I fell in love with this classic. I already knew the basic story and I’m not saying it’s a bad read, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Too many religious references and I just couldn’t get a proper feeling for the story.
* The last book I finished since last week is Worth Killing For by Ed James, and I think I enjoyed this sequel even better than the first book. Fast-paced and packed with action scenes; this crime thriller is definitely a great choice for any fan of the genre. And that ending! I will be waiting for the third book to come out to find out more…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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The Scholl Case by Anja Reich-Osang has been on my Netgalley list for a while now, so I should really read that title next… Although I might read Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender first since I have been neglecting my Halloween TBR way too much this month. Anything For Her by Jack Jordan is also on my to-do list, and my nex TBR jar pick will be A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. I’ve heard so many great things about this novel that I can’t wait to finally pick it up!

WWW Wednesdays #107 – October 19th

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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?

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I still haven’t finished The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, and that’s mostly because I’ve been wanting to finish a few ARCs first. I’m going to try and finish it before I continue with Faithful by Alice Hoffman though… I’m only a few pages into that one so far, but it sounds really promising.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* I first finished Ivy Feckett Is Looking For Love by Jay Spencer Green. I guess this is one of those books that just isn’t for me, because the other reviews are really positive. There was just too much explicit sex talk, romance and colorful language to my taste… I liked the general plot and the geocaching though.
* I then read The Best Friend by Shalini Boland, which turned out to be another brilliant psychological thriller. Fast-paced, many many plot twists and characters that might be unlikeable but work perfectly with the plot, suspense… This story has it all and more.
* I was finally able to read a Halloween themed book as well: The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black. I was surprised to find out that I enjoyed this story that much, because I normally don’t like vampire stories. This one is an exception though; well written, not too many romance scenes and the right dose of creepy.
* I also finished Dark Water by Robert Bryndza, the third book in a new detective series that is without doubt entertaining. I would have liked to see less romance and I thought the spark of especially the second book was missing, but it was still a solid thriller read with quite a few plot twists and action scenes. I kind of already saw the ending coming though…
* Finally, I was able to read Trow-Truck Pluck by Annie M.G. Schmidt yesterday. The Dutch version (and the rest of her work for that matter) was one of my favorite childhood books and probably one of the first stories I read by myself… It was so good to revisit that world with this English translation that was provided by me by Netgalley and the publisher. It has the perfect bedtime stories to read to the little ones.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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Next up are two pending thriller ARCs: Worth Killing For by Ed James and The Good Sisters by Helen Phifer. The first is a sequel (review of the first book will be posted tomorrow) and the other sounds like a great Halloween read. I also want to read Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender for the same reason… And my newest TBR jar pick is still The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson.

Teaser Tuesdays #110 – October 18th: Faithful

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme originally featured at Books And A Beat. 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’ve only just started reading one of my pending Netgalley ARCs, Faithful by Alice Hoffman, but it is turning out to be just as good as the gorgeous cover. I love the writing so far, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed the story will stay this good.

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My teaser (3%):

Occasionally a candle will still be burning, so fresh it’s as though it has just been lit. Then the girls gather round in awe and solidarity, even the ones who hate each other. They close their eyes and make a wish, the same one every time: Let it never be me.”

What are you reading right now?

WWW Wednesdays #104 – September 28th

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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?

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I started reading Empire Of Storms by Sarah J. Maas a few days ago despite the mixed reviews, and I think the warnings have paid off because I’m enjoying this fifth book better than I thought I would so far. I’m also about to start another pending ARC: Ivy Feckett Is Looking For Love by Jay Spencer Green. So many pending books, so little time!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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I’m not going to mention all the books I’ve finished since my last WWW post because that would be a looooong list haha. I’m glad to be back!

* The first book I finished since last week is Trouble Is A Friend Of Mine by Stephanie Tromly. This book was recommended to me in the past and while the whole plot and story was a bit too absurd and unbelievable, somehow I still managed to enjoy reading it. I’m not sure if I actually like the main characters though…
* I then read one of my ARCs: Engaged By Danger by Barbara Venkataraman. It’s the fourth book of a cozy mystery series and definitely just what I needed. The perfect easy and entertaining read for fans of the genre!
* I also finished We’re All Mad Here by Claire Eastham, which I requested on Netgalley on a whim. It turned out to be a really interesting read that is both easy to read, funny and has some interesting pointers for those who want to learn more about social anxiety. (As an introvert, I could really relate to some of the author’s stories.)

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I need to tackle my ARC pile ASAP, so I’m going to try and read both Faithful by Alice Hoffman and Lemon Sting by Collin Henderson next. I also want to read Ink And Bone by Rachel Caine; a series that has been on my wishlist for quite some time now. A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas is still my latest TBR jar pick… I know, I know: I should have read that one ages ago, but somehow I haven’t been feeling like rereading ACOTAR first even though I loved it the first time around.