Weekly Reads

Well I’ve realised that if I were to blog about each book I read individually I’d have to quit my day job and devote my life to blogging, which doesn’t sound that bad but I’m broke, so you know, we’ll stick to weekly summaries for now.

This week I got to squeeze in quite a few books between work and babysitting and yoga. Some of them were re-reads, some of them were new and some were proof copies I’ve been promising to read for ages but never got round to it.

Reads of the week:

A Winters Promise by Christelle Dabos (A re-read)

I Love this book so much! It’s my favourite YA fantasy novel and this is probably the third time I’ve read it this year. The main character, Ophelia, is likeable, daring, can travel through mirrors and is everything a heroine should be, with enough flaws to make her relatable. When faced with leaving her home and family to endure an arranged marriage, literally on the other side of the world, she has to give everything she’s got to survive the cut-throat court and deadly family to be.

It’s fresh, gripping and totally unique. 12/10 would recommend to everyone

The vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson (New read)

Oh my goodness this did not disappoint. After being left on a cliff hanger at the end of the first book, Truly Devious, Johnson picks up right where she left off. Packed with pace and energy and more turns than Ellingham has secret passages I was hooked from the start, and pretty mad that I had to stop reading when my lunch break ended. This is the second book in the Truly Devious trilogy and perfect for fans of Robin Stevens, Agatha Christie or All These Beautiful Strangers.

9/10- I got a little lost sometimes and had to re-read parts because the book was moving so fast. But Johnson is definitely bringing fresh talent to the crime genre.

Transcription by Kate Atkinson (I’ve been putting this one off for a while now..)

So I asked the publishers for a proof copy of this book because people always rave about how amazing Kate Atkinson is. And the copy they sent me was beautiful, a little red hardback with a cut out window on the from revealing the illustration, but nothing grabbed me and made me want to read it, but I’m sorting out and thought I’d give it a go.

In the book we follow Juliet Armstrong and her career of Espionage through the second world war in England. Juliet is tasked with befriending fascists and communists and Third Reich supporters in the UK and essentially finding the dirt on them so they be can be locked away for the war.
It reminded me a little of the Imitation Game, the film based on Alan Turing in that whilst taking down the Nazi’s she ends up engaged to a homosexual. After the war we follow her as she tries to quit working for the secret service and pursue a career in the BBC. This last half of the book is full of action and tension but I found the first part rather dry.

Dragon Watch by Brandon Mull (A re-read)

Definitely one of my favourite series. A follow on from the Fablehaven series Mull picks up the storyline exactly where he left off. I was crushed when the first series ended and so thrilled to read this new one. So far Mull has two books in this new series chronicling Kendra and Seth’s escapades as caretakers of a dragon sanctuary.

10/10, a must read for all Fablehaven fans

The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey (A new read)

So I read this because it is Waterstones fiction book of the month. And I have to hand it to them, it’s not bad. Set in 15th century England someone has drowned in the river surrounding the village of Oakham. And someone needs to hang for the crime. John Reve, the parish priest listens to confessions from the villagers in order to discover who caused the death of Thomas Newman, one of the richest men in town. Was it murder, an accident or suicide?

Instead of going forward in time, this book is split into sections that work backwards from Tuesday, back to the Saturday of the crime. Each day reveals more and more of the plot as we figure out who to blame.

8/10, I found it a little bit waffley at times and definitely skipped a few pages and don’t seem to have missed anything crucial to the story. All in all pretty good and perfect for fans of Father Brown.

The Million Pieces of Nina Gill by Emma Smith-Barton (A new read)

Nina lost her brother almost a year ago and has been inconsolable ever since. She’s convinced her brother is still out there and will come back at any moment. Nina feels smothered by cultural pressures and her grades and behaviour become erratic, sneaking out to parties, drinking and losing her job.

Things start to look up as Josh comes on the scene and helps her through things. In the end she suffers a mental breakdown. This book is moving and inspiring and an honest look at mental health. 9/10

In Search Of Us by Ava Dellaira (A re-read)

A great YA summer romance and search for identity. The book follows the mum, Marilyn, and her daughter, Angie. And tells the story of both their teenage years. Marilyn’s story draws on the pain of Hollywood, broken dreams, lost love and the story of how Angie came to be. Angie’s story draws on finding her identity as a mixed race girl raised by a white mother, allowing herself to be loved and discovering who her father really was.

The story is based mostly in L.A and draws heavily on the culture that exists. It’s both heartbreaking and inspiring. Perfect for fans of Poet X, On The Come Up/T.H.U.G by Angie Thomas.

If I die Before I Wake by Emily Koch (A new read)

Honestly I had such mixed feelings about this book. The premise sounded so good! A boy in a coma is realising his accident wasn’t an accident at all, but a murder attempt. Unable to move or communicate he has to try and figure out who the killer is and wake up to protect those he loves before it’s too late. Amazing right? So much potential.

Well the first half was…dry…to say it’s sold as a thriller baffled me because I was bored, nothing was happening we were just reading about him thinking about things in his life, blah blah blah. BUT that part is SO crucial and gives you all the clues you need for the emotional roller coaster that is the second half of the book. I wish I’d paid more attention to the first half so I could have worked out who the killer was in the second. Worth persevering with.

6/10, not my kind of book and it’s quite slow to get started but the second half will grip you like the plague. Perfect if you liked You (the Netflix series or the book) or Our House by Louise Candlish.


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