February Book Haul

 

Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen McManus“A perfect town is hiding secrets. Two teenagers are dead. Two murders unsolved. And a killer who claims to be coming back. Ellery’s never been to Echo Ridge, but she’s heard all about it. It’s where her aunt went missing at age sixteen, never to return. Where a Homecoming Queen’s murder five years ago made national news. And where Ellery now has to live with a grandmother she barely knows, after her failed-actress mother lands in rehab. Malcolm grew up in the shadow of the Homecoming Queen’s death. His older brother was the prime suspect and left Echo Ridge in disgrace. His mother’s remarriage vaulted them to Echo Ridge’s upper crust, but it could all change when mysterious threats around town hint that a killer plans to strike again. And the return of Malcolm’s brother doesn’t help matters. But his return is just a coincidence… isn’t it? Ellery and Malcolm both know it’s hard to let go when you don’t have closure. Then another girl disappears. As they race to unravel what happened, they realise every secret has layers in Echo Ridge. The truth might be closer to home than either of them want to believe. And somebody would kill to keep it hidden.”

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater“Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…”

I Am Still Alive by Kate Marshall“Jess is stranded in the woods. She has few supplies and only her dog for company. Her survival skills are limited, and she has disabilities that make physical labor a challenge. And winter is on its way. How did she get here? Alternating between the past and the present, this tightly-paced novel tells the story of a girl who survived a car crash that killed her mother, then was pulled from foster care and sent to live with her estranged survivalist father in the remote Canadian wilderness. Jess was just beginning to get to know her dad when a secret from his past paid them a visit, leaving their cabin burned to the ground and Jess’s father dead. Now, Jess must fight with everything she has to forage and hunt for food, build shelter, and keep herself warm. But she will survive. She has to survive. Because she wants revenge.”

#ReadYourFaceOff TBR – February

 

The general goal for a #ReadYourFaceOff readathon is to get through as much reading as you can in a 24-hour window of time. It’s a fun (and short) readathon that was created by Riley from RMFickFack. This round will run from 9am on Saturday 16th February to 9am on Sunday 17th February in your time zone. My focus for this round is to catch up on a few of my nostalgic reads, because I’ve fallen behind with them this year. I also want to finally get started on The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, which has been on my TBR for a very long time. Good luck to everyone participating in this round!

February TBR

 

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne“Crush (n.): a strong and often short-lived infatuation, particularly for someone beyond your reach… Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She’s travelled the world, and can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw him first and claimed him forever as his best friend. Despite Darcy’s best efforts, Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. That’s the problem with finding her dream man at age eight and peaking in her photography career at age twenty-ever since, she’s had to learn to settle for good enough. When Darcy and Jamie inherit a tumble-down cottage from their grandmother, they’re left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell the property. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can cut and run, she finds a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom’s arrived, he’s bearing power tools, and he’s single for the first time in almost a decade. Suddenly Darcy’s considering sticking around to make sure her twin doesn’t ruin the cottage’s inherent magic with his penchant for grey and chrome. She’s definitely not staying because of her new business partner’s tight t-shirts, or that perfect face that’s inspiring her to pick up her camera again. Soon sparks are flying-and it’s not the faulty wiring. It turns out one percent of Tom’s heart might not be enough for Darcy anymore. This time around, she’s switching things up. She’s going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers.”

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter“Andrea Oliver knows everything about her mother Laura. She knows she’s always lived in the small town of Belle Isle; she knows she’s a pillar of the community; she knows she’s never kept a secret in her life. But she’s hiding something… Then one day, a trip to the mall explodes into a shocking act of violence and Andy suddenly sees a completely different side to Laura. And it could destroy you both… Hours later, Laura is in hospital, her face splashed over the newspapers. But the danger has only just begun. Now, Andy must go on a desperate race to uncover the secrets of her mother’s past. Unless she can, there may be no future for either of them…”

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid“Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career. Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the `80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.”

You by Caroline Kepnes“When aspiring writer Guinevere Beck strides into the bookstore where Joe works he is instantly smitten. But there’s more to Joe than Beck realises and much more to Beck than her perfect facade. And the obsessive relationship quickly spirals into a whirlwind of deadly consequences…”

January Reading Wrap Up

 

Total Books Read: 8
January TBR Books Read: 2
Total Pages Read: 1,734
Total Hours Listened: 14 Hours 20 Minutes

Sadie by Courtney Summers – 3/5 – If you’re going to pick this book up I highly recommend checking out the audiobook format. It features a full cast, and the podcast element of the story is presented as if it were a real podcast (theme music included). All in all, it was very well done. This was a decent YA thriller that kept me entertained throughout. The ending was different from what I’m used to in thrillers, which made it all the more enjoyable for me.

The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey – 4/5 – This was a good Australian thriller that kept me entertained until the end. Not being able to guess the ending of a thriller is rare for me, and it tends to bump the book up in my opinion when it happens. This was the first book of Sarah Bailey’s that I have read and I am interested to pick up more from her in the future.

Cop Town by Karin Slaughter – 3/5 – This was my first buddy read for the year (with my friend Michael), and it was a WILD RIDE. This book contained nearly every single theme you can imagine to the point where it was almost too many themes for one book, but it sure made for an entertaining buddy read with a lot to discuss. This felt different to all of the Karin Slaughter books I have read before, but I still really enjoyed it. Both Michael and I agreed that we would love to see a spin-off book featuring some of the incredible side characters from the story.

Dead Mountain by Donnie Eichar – 3/5 – I am always down for a disaster story and if you throw a potential conspiracy theory into the mix on top of that, you have my favourite kind of story. The author’s theory as to what happened to the hikers was pretty compelling, and I enjoyed the way he presented all of the information. I can imagine this would have been a little dry if I had read a physical copy, so I’d recommend picking up the audiobook if possible.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – 4/5 – I know I enjoyed this book because not even halfway through I started googling people’s dreamcast of characters for the upcoming TV series. I really loved the character and story development, and I’m keen to keep reading and see how the rest of the series plays out.

January Empties

 

Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Pore-Refining Treatment (2% BHA) – Truth be told, Sebastian used the majority of this product and it was because he had asked me for something that would help control the pores on his nose. There was a noticeable difference in the size and condition of his pores after using this, and he was pleasantly surprised. After finishing this up he asked if I had anything similar he could use, which I think is a testament to the quality of the product.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater – These Mario Badescu Facial Sprays are my new obsession. I have one of these and one of the Aloe, Cucumber, and Green Tea in regular rotation. I sometimes use this in place of a toner, or just to give a nice refreshing boost to my skin throughout the day. This smells incredible, and has been such a treat to use during summer.

Paula’s Choice Redness Relief SPF 15 Mineral Moisturiser – This is my favourite facial sunscreen and I’ve gone through quite a few tubes of this over the years. I like this because it doesn’t leave a white cast on the skin and it has an almost mattifying effect, which is the opposite to all of the sunscreens I’ve tried in the past. It also works really well, which is saying a lot because my skin LOVES to burn.

Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel – I like to rotate my Paula’s Choice moisturisers, but after this round with the Invisible Finish Moisture Gel I think I’ll be giving it a miss in the future. I’m not sure if it was because my skin is drier than usual at the moment but this was not doing me any favours in the hydration department. I think I’ll be sticking to my old faithful Hydralight moisturiser for a while.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Wipes – These are my favourite facial cleansing wipes and I try to always have some on hand for nights where I’m too lazy to properly remove my makeup. They are reasonably inexpensive, gentle on my skin, and do a good job of removing makeup.