Book Challenge: The Final Results

Book Challenge: The Final Results
So the book challenge is over – done and dusted in the middle of this month. How did I do? I didn’t even manage halfway! I now know that setting such a specific number, especially such a high number,  was never going to work for me. I gave it a good shot but I have better plans for next year, all to be reviewed in a post coming up in 2013. For now, let’s recap the last few reads of the 125 books in a year challenge.

43. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo -Stieg Larsson
I know, I know – a bit late to the party it seems. I also did this the wrong way round, watching the Daniel Craig film version before reading the book, thus slightly ruining the read as I constantly knew what to expect. However, it was interesting to see what bits they had omitted from the Hollywood big screen and I am definitely going to pick up the others in the series eventually.

44. Blink Once – Cylin Busby
This book was beautiful and the tale bittersweet. The story of West, paralysed from a freak accident, and of Olivia, the girl he meets in hospital, kept me gripped for the whole few hours it took me to read this book. Whilst I wasn’t expecting the ending, this is still one of the standout books of 2012 for me. Review to come on My Keeper Shelf.

45. Falling To Ash (Moth #1)
Firstly, how beautiful is this cover? Secondly, this is where vampires do interest me. Call me whatever you like but I have never truly understood the mass appeal of the Twilight saga – I much prefer the story Karen Mahoney tells in this novel. Vampires and vampire hunters joining together to stop an evil force? Sounds just up my street! Review to come on My Keeper Shelf.

46. Dead On Demand – Sean Campbell
This was a Kindle freebie a few months back and I have to admit…I am pretty glad it was free. It was an okay read, however I felt the story was a little far fetched and silly in places. Someone hiring a hitman (or in this case, hit-woman) to kill his estranged wife, then hiring someone to kill her, kill them, etc to stop any way of anything being traced back to him was all a little ridiculous in my eyes.

46. The J.M Barrie Ladies’ Swimming Society – Barbara Jane Zitwer
A Kindle freebie done good! I wanted a little catchup with the ever increasing backlog of ebooks on my Kindle so used to pick out a book for me and it chose this one. Am I glad it did! Being a big fan of J.M Barrie himself and the whole Peter Pan story (plus with Finding Neverland being my favourite film!), this had to be a good one and it didn’t disappoint. The idea of elderly ladies swimming in a freezing pond was both hilarious and moving at times and this is definitely worth checking out.

47. Angela’s Dead – Lindy Peters

The story had plenty of promise but the predictability and constant editing errors within this Kindle freebie totally put me off. I finished the book – but only just.

48. Bohemia – Veronika Carnaby
I posted a review of this just yesterday and although this would never normally be my cup of tea, I did quite enjoy the book. However, I did feel a little confused by the expression of time within the book.

I also started two books whilst still undertaking the challenge that I plan to finish very soon; these are Mystic City by Theo Lawrence and Breathe by Sarah Crossan. Reviews of both of these will also be up on Lesley’s wonderful blog My Keeper Shelf very soon!

What books are you currently reading? Are there any on your wishlists?

Book Challenge Update

Book Challenge Update
I’m nearing the end of my challenge and I just know I’m going to fail! I have read lots since the last update but I need plenty more books to actually complete this challenge – I’m thinking of either extending the challenge OR keeping you updated with my monthly reads at the end of every month. What would you like to see?

38. Carnival Of Souls by Melissa Marr
A world full of daemons and witches and a possible fight to the death. This book centres around the Carnival, where daemons go to fight to their death, the victor able to ask the chief daemon for something they desire. Aya, a female daemon, does not want to breed and believes her winning the contest would allow her to choose not to. Meanwhile, Kaleb has a mission when not competing in the Carnival…bring a seemingly human girl named Mallory back to the Underworld.
I reviewed this in full for Lesley at My Keeper Shelf here.

39. What’s Left Of Me: The Hybrid Chronicles #1 by Kat Zhang

One of the best books I’ve read all year! Humans in the WLOM world are born with two souls, one dominant, one recessive; the recessive expected to just fade away. However, Addie and Eva have a secret they’re keeping…Eva is still in there, somewhere.
A full review will be up on My Keeper Shelf soon.

40. Soul Beach by Kate Harrison

Another fab read from this year! Alice has been a little withdrawn since her sister Meggie’s murder, so she isn’t very happy when she receives emails from someone claiming to be her sister, inviting her to a virtual world called Soul Beach. When she receives an email saying things that only her sister would know, Alice takes a risk and clicks the link…discovering a whole new world in the process.
I reviewed this in full on our collaborative book blog here.

41. Soul Fire by Kate Harrison

The second in the Soul Beach series and the book starts with a bang with the death of a major character. This book is a little different from the first, as this time we also hear from the murderer, who feels Alice may be getting a little too close to the truth. I can’t wait for the next book to come out, I want to know what happens NOW!
A full review will be going up on Hanging On Every Word in the next few days.

42. Breakfast In Bed by Eleanor Moran

Long story short, I hated this book. It started out promising, with a good storyline and great characters. However, it seemed that the author got bored halfway through and couldn’t be bothered to think of a great way to end the book. I was totally disappointed with the ending and felt that not only was it completely the wrong thing to do, but it also sent out a crazy message to us ladies! I promised Helen from Beautifully Superfluous I’d write a full review on the collaborative book blog about it, so keep your eyes out for that!

I’m currently reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, how about you?

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Book Challenge Update

Book Challenge Update
I managed to get quite a few books read in the month of September… my to-read pile doesn’t seem to be decreasing though! Add to that the fact I am also reviewing two books for the lovely Lesley over at My Keeper Shelf and that I am in the process of starting up a collaborative book blog with some other bloggers (something that has been in the pipeline for two months now!) – means my reading pile is extortionate. I have over 500 unread books on my Kindle which, admittedly, I did make a dent in whilst on holiday, but that is still appalling! Pull me away from the free ebooks people! I’m also selling a couple of the books below on Ebay for bargain prices so pop by and snap them up 😉
31. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
I have to admit that I bought this book because everyone else had read it. What can I say that hasn’t already been said? It’s a heartbreaking tale and a great read – but I can’t help but think it isn’t as great as people make it out to be…I’m actually selling my copy here.

32. Sister by Rosamund Lupton

Another book where I fell victim to the hype. Again, this is a heartbreaking tale but again, I failed to be completely wowed by the book. Great storyline but fell short somehow. Selling my copy here.

33. Heart Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne

I picked this up from Amazon after seeing countless 5* reviews on book blogs. It was a great story; told from the view of a teenage girl in a psychiatric ward, a perpetrator of a terrible crime who wants to tell us why she did what she did. The ending was a little disappointing but a great book overall. Selling mine for a bargain price here.

34. Game Changer by John Childress
This wasn’t actually my pick to begin with! Whilst I was making my way through the novel above, Steve picked up my Kindle and chose this ebook – thinking it would be like a Lee Child novel. However, Steve wasn’t a great fan of it but I continued to read it. It was a little predictable but a quick, fast-paced read which was a great freebie from the Kindle store.

35. The Blake Curse by I.C Camirelli

As I mentioned before, I have over 500 ebooks currently unread on my Kindle, so comes in handy for me! It picked out this book one evening whilst I was away; a freebie that I’d picked up from the Kindle store so I gave it a go. The plot is a little far-fetched and sometimes a little too young for me but the story certainly kept me gripped until the very end.

36. A Deadly Judgement (Murder She Wrote #6) by ‘Jessica Fletcher
Don’t judge me for this one! On the final day in Rome, we had to check out mid morning. Trouble was our flight wasn’t until 9pm that night and our transport wasn’t picking us up until 6pm. So we did what we felt was right – sat in the waiting room and read! I read two books in the time we sat there (the above book was only small) and this was a quick, easy read – a frothy, TV type book but perfect to pass the time with.

37. No Escape by Hilary Norman

This was the second book of the two I read in the waiting room. I actually panicked midway through the story as I didn’t think I’d finish it in time and would have to remember the story before picking a copy up in the UK. Luckily I managed to finish it, although the ending was thoroughly disappointing. I was gripped right until the last few pages where everything became so glaringly obvious, it just didn’t seem to work. It is a great book for a quick read but beware the obvious ending.

I’m currently reading Carnival Of Souls by Melissa Marr, what is your current read?

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Book Challenge Update

Book Challenge Update
I don’t like to admit failure but I can’t help but feel that I am destined to fail with this challenge. I have just over three months to read just under 100 books – it just isn’t going to happen, right?
Still, I shall carry on and see just how far I can get in that time…

28. The Humorist by Russell Kane*
I recently helped Ellie from Curiosity Killed The Bookworm with her Review Cleanup challenge – she wanted a few guest reviewers, I wanted a new read, so I picked this and the book below.
It was a strange book, this one, Kane definitely surprises you. The scenes are often macabre and a little OTT but the premise of the book is interesting.  However, it fell a little short, in my opinion. A full review will be on Ellie’s blog soon.

29. Slash and Burn by Colin Cotterill*

Full review here.
This was the other book I picked from Ellie’s review pile – and the better of the two. Although this book is the eighth in the series, it works perfectly well as a stand alone too – which to me, always marks out a good book! Dr Siri Palboun isn’t your stereotypical investigator – he’s nearing eighty and looking for an easy life but life in Laos just doesn’t work that way. Fantastic book, definitely worth a read.

30. The Girl On The Stairs by Louise Welsh* 
(Full review coming soon)

This book was creepy, haunting and kept you guessing throughout. I was offered the chance to review this & I only had to take a brief glance at the synopsis before I knew it was one for me. Serious subject matters such as mental illness, child abuse and murder are brought into play here but are handled sensitively by the author. One to add to your to-read pile.

Three books. That is all I managed this month. Its hard enough trying to read with a 9 month old but three books is distinctly unimpressive compared to last months total..

What are your must-reads of the summer?

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Book Challenge Update: Halfway Through

Book Challenge Update: Halfway Through
I think we can safely say that I am failing miserably at this challenge and am unlikely to complete it unless I have a sudden burst of reading! However, here is my update for halfway through.

23. Fifty Shades Darker by E L James

I know this series of book is essentially like Marmite…you either love them or hate them. Whilst I enjoyed the first book, I do feel that it took quite a long while to get into and was poorly written. However, I was pleasantly surprised with this book as not only was it written much better than the first but it also had a background story running throughout rather than being all about sex. It was interesting to see what happened to Ana and Christian after the cliffhanger from the first book and was also immensely irritating when it leaves a cliffhanger for the third!

24. Fifty Shades Freed by E L James

By far my favourite of the three books. Although this book has been slightly controversial for some of the scenes and dialogue (some which admittedly left me feeling a little uncomfortable), this has to be the best of the books. There is a crime story running throughout, a sense of intrigue, a whole ton of emotions such as jealousy, anger and fear. It is a shame that some people can’t get past the first book to read the others in the series as they are far better.

25. What Lies Within by Audrey Finch

I won’t say too much about this book here as I dedicated a whole post to reviewing it here, however this book is a definite must-read. Crime, suspense, drama. All in one handy little package. The book has also changed cover since I reviewed it and I must say, I love it! What do you think?

26. Playing The Game by Belle De Jour

Really into the sex-based books recently, it seems! I think I may have started reading this before, but didn’t finish it before having to return it to the library as some of the story seems a little familiar. I’ve always been interested in the Belle De Jour story so this was a definite must-read on my list.

27. One Perfect Summer by Paige Toon

Although a little predictable, I hadn’t read any proper chicklit in ages so I indulged in this book after reading Rachel and Charlotte rave about it on Facebook, Twitter and various other places – it was a no-brainer, really. It was just what I needed to chill out in the sunshine with! href=””>
What books are you reading right now? I’m just about to start The Humorist by Russell Kane. Have you got Goodreads? If so, add me here.

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