WWW Wednesdays #148 – August 2nd

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 currently flying through Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard. The writing style makes it a very readable story even though the plot itself hasn’t blown me away yet… It’s not a bad read at all, just nothing I haven’t seen before in a YA contemporary. Suzanne’s character is quite interesting, although I could have done without the high school cliches and jealousy (even though it’s only in small doses thankfully). I also picked up The Ask And The Answer by Patrick Ness, but I haven’t gotten around rereading my review of book one to properly start it. Those who will have read The Knife Of Never Letting Go will probably understand why I wouldn’t want to relive certain scene, so I’ve decided not to do a full reread. I also managed to read another chapter in Dutch of Sister by Rosamund Lupton … One chapter is better than no progress at all right? 😉

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Americosis Vol 4 by Haydn Wilks (3/5 stars) REVIEW 
No cover displayed since it’s basically a swearword… It might just have been I wasn’t in the right mood when I read Americosis 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!

2. The Lost Book Of The Grail by Charlie Lovett (2,5/5 stars) REVIEW
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!

3. The Girls In The Water by Victoria Jenkins (4/5 stars) REVIEW 03/08
I wanted to read this one as soon as I saw the cover and this story definitely didn’t disappoint. Both the writing style and pace made it really easy to read this serial killer thriller and the case itself was intriguing. Lots of plot twists and potential suspects to keep you guessing and I always like that! I wasn’t completely charmed by the characters, but that would be my only complaint. Looking forward to book two!

4. Love May Fail by Matthew Quick (3/5 stars) REVIEW 04/08
I picked this up looking for something different and I definitely got what I wanted. I’m still not sure what to make of this book, as there were things I did and didn’t like… The writing style and tone are very unconventional, blunt, brutally honest but also refreshing. There was a lot of swearing involved though… I’m not sure I actually liked the characters, but I could appreciate the well incorporated themes such as mental illness, depression, suicide, midlife crisis and hoarding. I think it’s the first story I’ve read with a hoarder as one of the characters!

5. The Lying Game by Ruth Ware (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 06/08
I have been wanting to read one of her books for ages and was actually going to pick up one of her other titles first, but decided to tackle The Lying Game first due to mixed reviews. I started with caution, but soon found myself hooked due to the writing style. Even though this story isn’t as fast-paced as I would have liked, it was the writing style that still made me thoroughly enjoy this story and the mystery around what happened all those years ago and what the friends are hiding. I can’t say I liked the character (actually despise Isa for how she treats her baby daughter), but the story itself was intriguing. I can’t wait to read her other books now!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m going to pick up Hide And Seek by Richard Parker as soon as I finish Beautiful Broken Things, most likely later today, since I’ve been in the mood for a thriller and I liked how intense his other book was. I also want to read Midnight At The Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan… And A Different Blue by Amy Harmon is high on my list as well. I’ve been eying her other book The Bird And The Sword as well, but decided to read this one first since it’s a stand-alone. I also have a new TBR jar pick! Number 35 since I started using it: The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson. I’ve been wanting to read this title for ages so I saw it as a sign it was about time I did when I opened the paper. Looking forward to be reading it soon!


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ARC REVIEW: Making Faces – by Amy Harmon

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Title: Making Faces
Author: Amy Harmon

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
First published: October 12th 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Finished reading: January 28th 2017
Pages: 405
Rating 5qqq

“I don’t think we get answers to every question. We don’t get all the whys. But I think when we look back to the end of our lives, if we do the best we can, and we will see that the things we begged God to take from us, the things we cursed him for, the things that made us turn our backs on him, are the things that were the biggest blessings, the biggest opportunities for growth.”

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

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It’s been over two weeks since I finished reading Making Faces and I still find it difficult to put my thoughts properly on paper. It doesn’t happen all that often, but Amy Harmon was able to give me another book hang over with this little masterpiece. I’m ashamed to admit I have only recently discovered her work, but I’ve already become addicted to her lovely prose and diverse plots. Making Faces is no exception. I had already heard great things about this book and I basically broke down the request button as soon as I saw it was available at Netgalley. All the raving reviews were absolutely right: this story is simply brilliant. I fell in love with both the characters, writing style and plot and this story will definitely stay with me for quite some time. Sure, some of it might be a little cheesy if you think about it critically. But if you have characters like Fern, Bailey and Ambrose, it is really easy to put those thoughts aside. I loved the war veteran elements as well; it’s such an important topic and definitely deserves more attention, especially as they are often misunderstood by society. As you might have guessed already, I simply adored Making Faces and I can definitely recommend it to any contemporary fan. I promise you that you will fall in love with the characters and their story! This new edition published by Spencer Hill Press later this month has some nifty bonus content as well.

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Ambrose Young’s looks and talent have made him really popular during his high school years. He isn’t just tall, muscular and good at sports, he also seems to have walked right off the cover of one of those romance novels. Fern Taylor should know, because she has been reading them since she was thirteen. Fern has had a crush on him for years, but she isn’t exactly the ‘prettiest’ girl in town and she doesn’t think Ambrose would ever look at her that way. But life isn’t just about physical attraction and works in funny ways. After the 9/11 attacks, Ambrose and his four friends decide to join the cause and were sent off to war. Only one comes back… And the whole town struggles to deal with the loss; each in their own way.

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I kind of feel I’m not doing the story justice with this summary, but I don’t want to reveal too much of the plot… This line in the blurb describes the general idea behind Making Faces beautifully though: “a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast where we discover that there is little beauty and a little beast in all of us“. It’s contemporary romance with a healthy dose of realistic fiction, a cup of tears and mixed with lovely characters and a very important topic. I basically loved everything about it and this story has confirmed Amy Harmon is one of my new favorite authors.


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WWW Wednesdays #122 – February 1st

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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 Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness; I’ve been wanting to read another of his books for ages now and I’m glad I finally decided to pick one up. It’s not as mindblowingly good as I thought it would be so far though… I’m also reading Missing by Monty Marsden, a pending Netgalley ARC I wasn’t able to read before the publish date last December. Lastly, I’ve started a new audiobook: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. So far it’s without doubt interesting, although it’s going to take me some time because the file is HUGE (18+ hours…)

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I was able to finish since last week is Stake-out by Lily Luchesi, a paranormal fantasy story with vampires I ended up enjoying a lot better than I thought I would given I’m normally allergic to fanged characters. There were a bunch of other supernatural creatures as well and I liked the whole clash between ‘real’ world and supernatural.
* I then finished Blink by K.L. Slater, which was BRILLIANT. I was already looking forward to this psychological thriller, but boy this one is definitely a treat. Basically I was on the edge of my seat the whole time trying to figure out what was going on, and I ended up being SO wrong about everything. Excellent prose, excellent plot and plot twists, excellent use of suspense, excellent character development… The main characters maybe are not all that likeable, but I didn’t care. I loved every single minute of this story anyway. Also the ‘paralyzed’ chapters are without doubt intriguing and add an extra original touch…
* And just when I didn’t think it could get better, I was presented with another title that would give me a book hangover. I had already heard great things about Making Faces by Amy Harmon, and that’s why I basically broke down the request button as soon as I saw it at Netgalley. All the raving reviews were right: this story is a little masterpiece. I fell in love with both the characters, writing style and plot, and this story will definitely stay with me for quite some time. Sure, some of it might be a little cheesy. But if you have characters like Fern, Bailey and Ambrose, it’s really easy to forgive the story for it. I LOVED the war veteran elements as well; it’s such an important topic and definitely deserves more attention.
* The last book I picked up on a whim after browsing my kindle: The Wrong Side Of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne. It turned out to be a bittersweet read after all the immigration chaos that is going on right now in the US IRL… I did appreciate the immigration elements in the story, but it took me a while to really connect to the main characters and it all just felt a bit too cheesy for me. Not a bad read, but maybe not exactly for me.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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The first book I’m picking up next is another pending Netgalley ARC: The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak, which is due to be published next week. I also want to read Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, as well as the ARC Little Girl Lost by Carol Wyer. My newest TBR jar pick is still The Five Stages Of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson.


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

WWW Wednesdays #121 – January 25th

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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 two pending ARCs… The first is Blink by K.L. Slater, which I will continue as soon as I finish the other one: Stake-out by Lily Luchesi. I’m normally not a fan of vampire stories, but I’m enjoying this one a lot better than I thought I would. Scary vampires and vampire/creature hunters without it being fluffy? Definitely positive for me! Also, since I haven’t been making progress with Little Women due to a mountain of pending ARCs, I’ve decided to put it on hold and no longer mention it until I have made serious progress again.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* First up is the YA Spring/Summer edition of Buzz Books which I downloaded on a whim. I won’t be reviewing this one on my blog, but this edition shows that we have some great YA books to look forward to this year! I’ve already had the pleasure to read The One Memory Of Flora Banks by Emily Barr, which is in one word BRILLIANT. Other titles that stood out for me after reading the previews were Flame In The Mist by Renee Ahdieh, Future Threat by Elizabeth Briggs, Roar by Cora Carmack, This Is Really Happening by Erin Chack, How To Be A Supervillian by Michael Fry and Rebels Like Us by Liz Reinhardt. What a great selection of promising stories from a variety of different genres!
* I then decided to finally pick up my copy of The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken as part of the #beatthebacklist challenge. I’m still ashamed it took me over TWO years to pick up this copy, although it looks like I have been punished enough because I have been missing out on a great story. The plot might not be all that original, but the writing style is great and I liked the character (minus a few small complaints). I will definitely pick up at least book two next month!
* The next book I finished was Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell, which I read over at RivetedLit for free. It was a close call, since I finished it on the last day the book was available… When I first started reading it, I was more than excited about this Peter Pan retelling, but as things advanced and the Neverland revamped worldbuilding was revealed things fell a little flat for me. It might be the hint at a love triangle, it might be the whiney character, but I didn’t enjoy Unhooked as much as I thought I would. The ending was not that satisfying either.
* The last book I finished since last week is Don’t Look Behind You by Mel Sherratt, which is actually the second book in the Detective Eden Berrisford series. I enjoyed this psychological thriller so much better than the first book! The main character Eden has started to warm up to me, although now some problems in her private life have been revealed she does look more like the cliche detective character. Still, the case in Don’t Look Behind You felt just so much more intriguing than the first book and the whole abuse topic is without doubt a very important one. The story reads like a train and the writing style is very enjoyable to read; the amount of plot twists just right. I will definitely be looking forward to the next installment of this series!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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Next up are two Netgalley ARCs: Little Girl Lost by Carol Wyer and Making Faces by Amy Harmon.  I have one of Harmon‘s other novels on my January TBR, but I’ve decided to read this one first since it’s an ARC and all. I also want to read Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult…  And my newest TBR jar pick is still The Five Stages Of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson.


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ARC REVIEW: From Sand And Ash – by Amy Harmon

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Title: From Sand And Ash
Author: Amy Harmon

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Romance
First published: December 1st 2016
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Finished reading: December 26th 2016
Pages: 386
Rating 4,5qqq

“They can take our homes, our possessions. Our families. Our lives. They can drive us out, like they’ve driven us out before. They can humiliate us and dehumanize us. But they cannot take our thoughts. They cannot take our talents. They cannot take our knowledge, or our memories, or our minds. In music there is no bondage. Music is a door, and the soul escapes through the melody.”

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

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Brandie @ Brandie is a Book Junkie has been telling wonderful things about Amy Harmon‘s novels this year, so when I saw her newest novel at Netgalley I grabbed the chance (and copy!) with both of my greedy hands. And she (like many other bloggers) was absolutely right about this author. I really enjoy reading historical fiction stories and I have a special interest in any story about WWII, and From Sand And Ash will definitely appear on my list of all time favorites of the genre. Amy Harmon both writes beautifully and is able to make you feel connected to the characters and the things that happen to them. It’s a haunting and well researched story that will keep with you for a long time… The pace is a bit slow at points, but you forget all about that when you reach the final part. Make sure to keep your tissues ready! I liked the Italian setting and I could really appreciate the attention to detail when it comes to both descriptions and character development. I fell in love with the prose and I will no doubt read more of her work soon! If you enjoy reading historical fiction, I can strongly recommend From Sand And Ash.

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Eva Rosselli and Angelo Bianco were raised like family, but religion separated them as Eva is Jewish and Angelo Catholic. As the years go by, the two find themselves falling in love, but the circumstances are less than ideal as World War II is looming over them. Angelo chooses becoming a Catholic priest even though he has deep feelings for Eva, and Eva has nowhere to go… It is not longer save to be a Jew in Italy, or anywhere in Europe for that matter, and when things become to dangerous Angelo does anything to hide Eva from the Gestapo. But Eve feels she cannot just hide quietly…

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I have read many historical fiction novels set during or around WWII over the years, and From Sand And Ash is no doubt one of the best novels of the bunch. The prose is simply beautiful and the character development as well as the plot are excellent, making it really easy to both connect to the story and enjoy reading it. Sure, the pace is a bit slow at points and I had initially deducted a star from the rating, but the final part of the story is just too good not to give it one of the highest rating. You will probably feel emotional after reading From Sand And Ash, so make sure to keep some tissues ready! This is without doubt an excellent read.

WWW Wednesdays #117 – December 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’ve picked up another (modern) classic as I’m trying to finish a challenge: Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown. It’s turning out to be a fast and entertaining read, so I will probably finish it today. I’m also still reading Point Of No Return by Martha Gellhorn, a Netgalley ARC that has been republished last week but was actually first published back in 1948. I’m hoping to finish it before the end of this year, because it will bring me only one classic away from finishing my last pending challenge. And that classic I’m keeping my fingers crossed will be Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. I’m listening to the audiobook version of this one and I’ve made quite some progress so far, so I’m hoping I will be able to listen to the last part while I make preparations for New Years Eve. I’m enjoying this classic so much better than I thought I would!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished is The Gift by Louise Jensen. As I’ve said in my review yesterday, I enjoyed this second book even better than her debut novel and she is without doubt one of my favorite new discoveries this year. Her stories are well written, fast-paced, have an interesting plot and basically keep you on the edge of your seat for the duration of the ride. I was hooked right from the beginning and I loved the refreshing angle in The Gift. Without doubt an excellent psychological thriller I can recommend to any fan of the genre!
* I then picked up What Light by Jay Asher, trying to make up for the fact I completely ignored the Christmas themed stories so far. Unfortunately I was quite disappointed by this story. Thirteen Reasons Why was such a strong novel, but What Light was basically a whole lot of cheesiness, cliches and drama wrapped in Christmas lights to make it appropriate for the holiday season. I liked the idea of the Christmas tree lot and I’m sure contemporary romance fans will love this story, but there was just SO MUCH DRAMA everywhere! It almost felt like an overdose, and not in a good way. The prose is easy to read though and it was quite a fast read as well.
* The last novel I was able to finish is From Sand And Ash by Amy Harmon. I finally know why so many people seem to love her work! I really enjoyed reading this historical fiction novel and it has without doubt a very strong plot… The pace slows a bit at points, but you forget all about that when you reach the final part. Make sure to keep your tissues ready! Amy Harmon both writes beautifully and is able to make you feel connected to the characters and the things that happen to them. It’s a haunting story that will keep with you for a long time… If you enjoy reading historical fiction, I can strongly recommend this one.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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Since I probably won’t be able to start any new titles this year (I still can’t believe the year is nearly over!!!), my next reads will be the very first of my 2017 TBR. First up is The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda, which I only haven’t read yet because I needed to read other titles first before the end of 2016. Words cannot describe how excited I am to be reading this one next week! I’ve also been convinced to pick up the Alice In Wonderland retelling Splintered by A.G. Howard next. I have been wanting to read another fantasy story anyway so it works perfectly. The Netgalley ARC Witness by Caroline Mitchell is also on my list… And my next TBR jar pick is still Little Women by Louise May Alcott. (Yes, I’m quite ashamed I haven’t been able to pick up this classic yet.)

WWW Wednesdays #116 – December 21st

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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 was in the mood for a psychological thriller and couldn’t resist the temptation of my Netgalley copy of The Gift by Louise Jensen any longer. I’ve seen a lot of raving reviews around, and they are totally right when it comes to this story. Such an original and refreshing plot! It’s well written and fast-paced as well; definitely worth it. I have also started From Sand And Ash by Amy Harmon, which is turning to be another well written story with beautiful prose. I’m having a feeling I will be able to finish both soon! I’ve also made some progress with my second audiobook ever and a classic: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. I’m about 5 hours into the story now and I’m liking it better than I thought I would. It’s going to be the second classic in a row I actually enjoy reading in a while!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished is The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I’ve heard a lot of positive things about this classic, and I can definitely agree with those who enjoy this classic now that I’ve read it. The first part is probably the strongest of the story, as the pace slowed down considerably in the middle and there were a lot of long ‘pointless’ lists where Dorian went on and on about random things. The final part is again better and all in all it is still a pretty fast-paced story for a classic as well. Recommended!
* I second book I was able to finish was Down The Rabbit Hole by Julia Crane. My copy was a granted Netgalley wish and I was really looking forward to it, but unfortunately I can’t say it lived up to expectations. I was so happy when it turned out to be an Alice In Wonderland retelling, but my initial excitement turned into disappointment. It started out promising enough and Alice is an interesting character, but there are a lot of innecessary and annoying romance scenes (including annoying tropes like insta-love and love triangle) included that didn’t add anything to the plot. The Lacie chapters are weak and the last part of the book was a little too ‘weird’ to my taste. All in all not what I was expecting at all.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I’m a bit behind with my Netgalley ARCs, so I have three titles up next. Witness by Caroline Mitchell and Missing by Monty Marsden will work perfectly to feed my thriller addiction… And Point Of No Return by Martha Gellhorn was actually published yesterday and I need to read it ASAP. It sounds like such an interesting story! My next TBR jar pick is still Little Women by Louise May Alcott, which I’m hoping to read before Christmas but probably won’t be having time for.