Friday Finds #140 – July 7th

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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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.)

ARC REVIEW: The Gift – by Louise Jensen

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Title: The Gift
Author: Louise Jensen

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction
First published: December 16th 2016
Publisher: Bookouture
Finished reading: December 21st 2016
Pages: 320
Rating 4,5qqq

“A heart is not just an organ. The heart stores secrets and lies. Hopes and dreams. It’s more than a muscle. I know it is. The heart remembers.”

*** 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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I really enjoyed reading Louise Jensen‘s debut novel The Sister back in July, but I had so many other pending Netgalley ARC’s I didn’t immediately request a copy of her newest story The Gift. Big mistake! I’m so glad Donna convinced me to request my copy, because this new story was possibly even better. All those raving reviews were absolutely right to praise The Gift, because it is without doubt a very well written, original and exciting story. I have read many psychological thrillers this year, but this one stands out from the rest with both its original and refreshing plot and its excellent prose. The pace is fast, the mystery around Callie’s death is intriguing and I simply couldn’t put this story down until it was finished. I also liked the main character Jenna better than the main character in The Sister; Jenna makes a lot of reckless moves, but they are easily forgiven when you think about her situation. I don’t think I have read many stories where heart transplantation plays such a big role and it is without doubt one of the reasons I found The Gift such a refreshing psychological thriller. This one will without doubt appear on my list of 2016 favorites! If you enjoy reading the genre, I cannot recommend this author enough.

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Jenna is seriously ill and has lost just about all her hope of getting the heart transplant she needs to live on time. But just as she is giving up, she learns that a donor heart has become available. She receives her heart from a girl called Callie, and as she recovers Jenna wonders who her new heart belonged to. Who was Callie and how did she die? But as she becomes closer to the family, her death is becoming more and more suspicious to Jenna…

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I’m so glad I was convinced to request a copy of The Gift, because it has turned out to be one of the best and most refreshing psycholical thrillers I’ve read this year. It’s well written, fast-paced and has an interesting and original plot with many many plot twists you won’t see coming. It’s a true pageturner that will have you on the edge of your seat for the whole ride, and it’s without doubt one I can recommend to any mystery/thriller fan with my eyes closed.

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.

Friday Finds #112 – December 16th

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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:

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ARC REVIEW: The Sister – by Louise Jensen

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Title: The Sister
Author: Louise Jensen
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction
First published: July 7th 2016
Publisher: Bookouture
Finished reading: July 12th 2016
Pages: 307
Rating 4qqq

“We all have to carry the consequences of our own actions, no matter how heavy they are. I know that better than anyone.”

*** 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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I decided to read The Sister after a recommendation and I’m glad it turned out to be just as good as I was promised it was going to be. This debut by Louise Jensen is without doubt a psychological thriller at its best: an intriguing plot that switches back and forth between past and present, unreliable characters and many plot twists that will mess with your mind. The fact that there are so many flashbacks can be a bit confusing and in the beginning it’s hard to get a proper grasp of what is going on, but in the end it only adds to the whole mystery around Grace and Charlie. The story is well written and the character development is excellent. I can’t say I actually liked the characters, but they fitted their role perfectly and felt ‘real’. The main character Grace is a bit naive and I saw part of the big ‘revelation’ coming from a mile away, but most of the plot twists did manage to surprise me. If you are looking for a good psychological thriller and don’t mind flashbacks and unreliable characters, make sure to check out The Sister!

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Grace hasn’t been the same since her best friend suddenly left town six years ago, let alone when Charlie suddenly died four months ago. She is still haunted by Charlie’s last words and decides to open an old memory box they had buried when they were teenagers. And it turns out that Grace didn’t know her best friend that well after all… Grace decides to try and fulfill one of Charlie’s last wishes and find her father. Her husband Dan helps her set up some pages that might help locate him, and then suddenly a girl steps forward claiming to be Charlie’s sister. Anna looks a lot like Charlie, and Grace believes she has found something she thought she had lost when Charlie died. But is Anna really who she claims to be? And why is Dan acting so strange? Grace life seems to be turning slowly into a big mess and she cannot deny the feeling that someone is following her. What is really going on?

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Even though the flashbacks can get a bit confusing at times, I still ended up really enjoying  The Sister.  The story is fast-paced, well written and the characters were both unreliable and felt ‘real’, making it quite easy to connect to the story. Not everything in the plot was a surprise and I kind of wish that Grace would have been less trusting, but I guess The Sister does do an excellent job of showing what might happen if you trust the people around you blindly. Without doubt a great psychological thriller!

WWW Wednesdays #99 – July 13th

wwwwednesdaysWWW 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 Wanderlost by Jen Malone, which is turning out to be a quick and entertaining road trip story from what I can see so far. I’ve also started reading The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse because I was in the mood for a Peter Pan retelling, but I can’t say I’m enjoying it. The tone and prose don’t seem to fit the theme at all and I’m struggling to continue this one… Same goes for The Stepmother by Claire Seeber: I started reading it last week, but I couldn’t get into the story and decided to keep it temporarily on hold and read a few other titles instead.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished since last week is My Girl by Jack Jordan, which is probably one of the most twisted and disturbing thrillers I’ve read so far this year. If you are into the genre, definitely make sure to check out this book!
* I then finished Out Of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys, which is without doubt my new favorite of this author. The setting, prose and character development are excellent and I really felt like I was right there in the 1950s along with the characters.
* I also read The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza, which by no means suffers from the ‘weak-second-book’ syndrome. It’s fast-paced, well written and has an intriguing plot and plot twists. It’s without doubt a very entertaining read!
* I then read The Straw King by Danielle Paige. This novella was surprisingly good compared to the last few previous stories, but I still wasn’t overwhelmed by it.
* I’ve also been able to finish Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon, a title that was on my 2015 most-antipated-releases list. I enjoyed reading it and I admit it was a ‘cute’ read, but I did have some problems with the credibility of the plot. I mean, if the main character is really that sick, doing what she did is incredibly stupid.
* The last book I managed to finish is The Sister by Louise Jensen, which I ended up really enjoying. It’s dark, messed with your mind and has many plot twists… The story jumps back and forth between the past and present and there are quite a few unreliable characters, but it only added to the whole mystery around Grace and Charlie.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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Depending on what genre I’m in the mood for, I will read When We Collided by Emery Lord. Although I really want to read The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne as well, both because I’ve heard great things about it and because I want to The Fire Child by the same author. If I want something different, The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey is also high on my list… And my latest TBR jar pick is still The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz. (Which I should read soon since it’s been too long since I last read a TBR jar book.)