WWW Wednesdays #142 – June 21st

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 still reading The Merchant’s Pearl by Amie O’Brien, a historical fiction ARC set in the Ottoman empire of the late 19th century. I can’t wait to dive into Each Little Lie by Tom Bale afterwards though. I have been reading less mystery/thrillers than usual this month and I’m really missing them! And after loving his other book last year, I can’t wait to read his newest story. I haven’t made progress with Little Women though, mostly because I finished part one last week and I haven’t decided yet whether to just review that part separately or read part two as well and review it as a whole. I’m not enjoying it as much as I thought I would and it’s taking longer than expected, so I’m not sure what to do…

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The Book Of Whispers by Kimberley Starr (2/5 stars) REVIEW 
I like stories with a medieval setting and I was definitely looking forward to The Book Of Whispers, but in the end it just wasn’t for me and not just because of the demon overload. The writing style, the demon descriptions, the characters, the romance… There was a lot that unfortunately didn’t work for me and the historical setting couldn’t make up for this. The idea behind The Book Of Whispers is very original though and it must have been a lot of work to mix both elements. There is no doubt this story had a lot of potential…

2. Can’t Buy Forever by Susan Laffoon (1,5/5 stars) REVIEW
I was actually looking forward to Can’t Buy Forever as the blurb sounded quite interesting, but unfortunately I ended up having a completely different experience instead. I won’t repeat all the details I’ve mentioned above since I’ve already talked about each point extensively, but it does become clear it was far too easy to find things that didn’t work for me in the story. Was it just me or is the book to blame as well? I won’t be the judge to read the sentence, but at least I’ve put in my two cents.

3. Four Days by Jamie Campbell (3/5 stars) REVIEW
Four Days is without doubt less of a romance story and more of a road trip and sports-focused contemporary read. I really enjoyed the descriptions of the local scenery and the writing style was quite enjoyable to read. I liked the Dutch words popping up every once in a while and how sports played such an important role throughout the story. I wasn’t sure about the characters though and the steamy scenes were a huge turn off for me. But like I said before, if you don’t mind those you will probably enjoy this story a lot!

4. The Weight Of Lies by Emily Carpenter (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 22/06
I requested a copy of this story after seeing various glowing reviews and I will definitely be adding another one to the mix tomorrow. After a few mediocre reads, I finally found something again that was able to grab my full attention! I loved the Kitten chapters in between the ‘normal’ ones and the story itself is intriguing. I found myself eagerly turning the pages to try and find out what her mother was hiding and what secrets the island hides… Very good psychological thriller indeed! More in my review tomorrow. 😉

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I have more pending ARCs to get to, but luckily the pile seems a little smaller now… So I’m keeping my fingers crossed nothing interesting will come up for a while so I can get to my own books instead. 😉 I need to read The Lost Book Of The Grail by Charlie Lovett, an ARC that was approved a day before it was archived so naturally I didn’t get to it on time. xD I might read What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum first thought because it has been calling my name ever since I was granted a copy! I also need another dose of mystery/thriller and want to pick up one of my own titles instead of an ARC just this once: Now You See Me by S.J. Bolton. Slip by David Estes is still high on my list as well.


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ARC REVIEW: Can’t Buy Forever – by Susan Laffoon

Title: Can’t Buy Forever
Author: Susan Laffoon

Genre: YA, Romance, Mystery
First published: June 1st 2015
Publisher: Page Publishing
Finished reading: June 16th 2017
Pages: 218

“Coincidences don’t add up, choices do. We build our life one choice at a time for better or for worse.”

*** 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’ve had Can’t Buy Forever on my TBR for longer than intended, but the cover and promise of a 1950s setting kept calling to me and I finally picked it up a few days ago. I found myself looking forward to it despite the low rating, especially since I’ve been in the mood for historical fiction lately… But I ended up being far from impressed. Honestly, I don’t think I would have made it to the end if this wouldn’t have been an ARC; unfortunately it was a tough battle just making it to the last page. Part of the problem might have been me and others might enjoy this story better, but I will explain below why I ended up having to give Can’t Buy Forever such a low rating.

1. The supposedly 1950s setting is almost non existent except for a few mentions of a date or important event here and there. As a historical fiction fan I felt a bit disappointed by this, especially since the setting is especifically mentioned in the blurb. If you leave out those few time references, this story could have easily been set in the present as well… Such a shame, because a well developed historical setting would have added credibility and dept to the story.

2. I had a lot of problems with the main characters in general. I wasn’t able to connect to them and this made following the story a lot harder. Furthermore, Odessa acts a lot younger than the 18-year-old she is supposed to be… She cries all the time and her feelings for Nicholas are cheesy, not credible and it almost feels as if I were watching a ten-year-old having her first crush on a senior quarterback.

3. The crying. Seriously, how many times do Odessa and the other characters cry during this story?! Once it started to annoy me I just kept seeing those crocodile tears mentioned, and it really started to get on my nerves. It also made their feelings less credible and more cartoonish.

4. It has a love triangle. Or in fact various love triangles if I am more specific. And you all know now much I despise those… I can tolerate them if they are done right, but these examples were quite cringeworthy and the feelings just felt unnatural.

5. I don’t feel there really is a plot and the events themselves don’t really seem credible or make sense. I mean, Roark is supposed to get away with all he does?? And Odessa just accepts all what happens? And we as a reader just have to accept everything that happens as well without a proper explanation? The lack of plot or at least a proper idea of what is going on also made it a lot harder to follow; it just didn’t feel like a coherent story at all and almost like a delusional ramble of one of the main characters on their deathbed.

6. I wasn’t able to connect to the writing style at all. I don’t see the lack of grammar and mistakes mentiones in many reviews I saw on Goodreads, but the sentences don’t flow and it was really hard to keep track of the story and read more than a few pages at a time. The writing style was one of the reasons I considered a DNF various times during this story… And I’m still wondering if that would have been a better choice.

Enough of the negative… There were some interesting aspects about this story, especifically Nicholas’ history and the gypsy references. I can’t go into details without revealing too much, but a focus on those and further development of those elements would probably have improved the story considerably. Without a proper explanation, the credibility of it all was simply lost. I really wanted to like this story, but as you might have guessed of this rather lenghty (for me) list, unfortunately I just couldn’t.

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Odessa Drake decides to change her destiny and moves in with her widowed great aunt Flo in Mineville, New York. Her aunt owns a boarding house and Dessa spends her days helping her out, working to keep the house running when she isn’t at school. Then Nicholas shows up and he is given the attic for lack of other space; four years later, he is one of the few boarders still in the house. They have grown fond of each other despite the fact that Dessa really doesn’t know a lot about Nicholas… But Nicholas has a reason to keep the past buried, and things might become dangerous when he gets too close. What secrets does he keep and how do they affect Dessa?

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I was actually looking forward to Can’t Buy Forever as the blurb sounded quite interesting, but unfortunately I ended up having a completely different experience instead. I won’t repeat all the details I’ve mentioned above since I’ve already talked about each point extensively, but it does become clear it was far too easy to find things that didn’t work for me in the story. Was it just me or is the book to blame as well? I won’t be the judge to read the sentence, but at least I’ve put in my two cents.


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WWW Wednesdays #141 – June 14th

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 reading The Book Of Whispers by Kimberley Starr, which I admit was mostly a cover-title obsession. I didn’t realize before that it had such a low Goodreads rating OR the fact that demons play such a big role in the story, and I don’t think this one is for me… Besides the demon overload, I’m not really connecting to the writing style or characters either. I’m about to start Can’t Buy Forever by Susan Laffoon as well; an ARC that I’ve had pending for way too long now.

I’ve also made quite some progress with the classic Little Women by Louisa May Alcott since last week…. And I have a question for Little Women fans out there. I got a kindle version on Amazon and I’m confused: is Little Women actually originally divided in two parts or is part two a sequel? It’s just that the ending of part one sounded so much like a real ending and part two skipped years… (Part two starts with a wedding)

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. And I Darken by Kiersten White (4/5 stars) REVIEW 
It took me a long time to finally pick up my copy of And I Darken, but I’m definitely glad I’ve done so. I’ve fallen in love with Kiersten White‘s writing style and her ability to create an extensive worldbuilding filled with excellent descriptions and an intriguing plot. And while it wasn’t the 5 star read I thought it would be after reading the first few chapters, there is no doubt a very much enjoyed reading Lada, Radu and Mehmed’s story and I can’t wait to find out what the future has in store.

2. Guilty by Laura Elliot (3/5 stars) REVIEW
Guilty has without doubt a lot of potential and the plot itself is both complex and intriguing. The pace was a bit slow though and I had a hard time connecting to the main characters. They are not exactly likeable and this made connecting to the story a lot more difficult. The development of the characters over time is interesting, although I’m not sure up to what point some actions are actually credible. In short I ended up having mixed thoughts, but I can definitely understand why the right person would love this psychological thriller. And a last random note: the plinks just sound lovely!

3. Now I Rise by Kiersten White REVIEW 15/06
Ok I’m still recovering from this one so I need some time to get my thoughts together! No rating until then, but let’s just say it was GOOD.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I really need to make a dent into my pile of ARCs so all four of these are just that… The first is The Weight Of Lies by Emily Carpenter, which I just HAD to pick up after all those glowing reviews. I also still need to read The Merchant’s Pearl by Amie O’Brien… And both Each Little Lie by Tom Bale and Slip by David Estes are high on my list as well.


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WWW Wednesdays #140 – June 7th

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 FINALLY reading And I Darken by Kiersten White, a series I’ve been looking forward to for ages and somehow never actually picked up until now. I have an ARC of the sequel waiting as well, so if I like the first book I will probably binge-read both before continuing with the next Bookouture thriller. Guilty by Laura Elliot sounds like a great read though from what I could see from the first pages, so we’ll see what happens… I’ve also made progress with the classic Little Women by Louisa May Alcott since last week; I’m liking it so far, although I don’t LOVE it like most people seem to do. It kind of makes me feel bad.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Sherlock Holmes And The Nine-Dragon Sigil by Tim Symonds (4/5 stars) REVIEW 
I can always enjoy a good Sherlock Holmes retelling when well executed and that is without doubt the case with Sherlock Holmes And The Nine-Dragon Sigil. Both the setting and the descriptions are very well done and made me feel as if I were in the room along with the main characters. The outcoming might not have been all that surprising, but the plot twists are still well executed and feel very much like ‘Holmes’. All in all without doubt a very satisfying read.

2. Molly Bell And The Wishing Well by Bridget Geraghty (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW
Molly Bell And The Wishing Well is without doubt a quick read with a writing style that flows and will appear to the age group. I had some doubts about certain actions of the main characters and its credibility, but in general I really liked how this story portrayed how to deal with loss, grief and moving on after a traumatic event. The wishing well is used as part of this journey and the descriptions of the daily life on the farm will appeal to the younger readers as well.

3. The Gypsy Moth Summer by Julia Fierro (2,5/5 stars)  REVIEW
I really wanted to enjoy this story and I still think the plot itself is both rich, provoking and fascinating, but unfortunately The Gypsy Moth Summer ended up being one of those titles that just isn’t for me. Literary fiction can go either way with me in general, so that might just have been the problem here; if you enjoy the genre I would suggest still giving this story a go. That said, I couldn’t ignore the chaotic feel of the storytelling, my lack of connection to the characters, certain elements that bothered me or the fact I couldn’t warm up to the writing style.

4. The Mayfly by James Hazel (4/5 stars) REVIEW TODAY!!
There is no doubt that The Mayfly is a fascinating story that will definitely appeal to psychological thriller fans. The flashbacks and connections to the Second World War added a whole different level to what was already an intriguing plot and definitely made me appreciate this story even more. I had a few minor doubts, but those are just that: minor. The writing style and pace turned The Mayfly into a superfast read and I will be looking forward to see more of Charlie Priest in the future!

5. Love, & You by Gretchen Gomez (5/5 stars) REVIEW 08/06
It’s been days since I devoured Love, & You in record time, and I still haven’t recovered from the emotion overload. Because to say it crudely: damn, that girl can write powerful poetry! Wonderful, emotional, raw, beautiful, powerful, strong, exceptional… Trust me, I can keep the adjectives going for a long time if you let me. This poetry bundle is all about her experience with a toxic relationship and her slow recovery from it. The poems are highly personal and it really feels you get to know her a lot better through her poems.

6. Two Sisters by Kerry Wilkinson (4/5 stars) REVIEW 10/06
I always have a weak spot for a good psychological thriller and this one without doubt delivered. It’s not just another well written suspense story with an engaging writing style, but it also has a whole different level added. One of the main characters has an eating disorder and it was really interesting to see how she deals with this on a daily basis while also being exposed to very stressful situations. Lots and lots of plot twists in this one and you will definitely not see the ending coming! I’m not sure the characters are actually likeable, but I enjoyed Two Sisters anyway.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

As I said, depending on how I will enjoy And I Darken I will start reading the sequel Now I Rise straight away… Especially since the publish date is coming closer. I also want to read the ARCs The Merchant’s Pearl by Amie O’Brien and Can’t Buy Forever by Susan Laffoon; both sound like interesting reads. And I WILL pick up my very first Sharon Bolton book this month as well… I’ve decided to go with the first book of her Lacey Flint series: Now You See Me.


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