#ReadYourFaceOff TBR – November

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 17th November to 9am on Sunday 18th November in your time zone. My focus for this round is to finish off a couple of books that have been gathering dust on my TBR shelf this year, along with a couple of nostalgic reads. Good luck to everyone participating in this round!

Birthday Book Haul

It is my birthday in under a week, and I figured it would be nice to treat myself to a few new books as a little birthday gift. I’ve been trying to curb my book-buying lately because I have a full shelf of new books that I am yet to read. But surely a birthday calls for a bit of a splurge, right? Here is what I picked up –

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater“Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her. His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.”

Into The Forest by Jean Hegland“Eva, eighteen, and Nell, seventeen, are sisters, adolescents on the threshold of womanhood–and for them anything should be possible. But even as Eva prepares for an audition with the San Francisco Ballet and Nell dreams of her first semester at Harvard, their lives are turned upside down and their dreams are pushed into the shadows. In a nation suddenly without electricity or communications, Eva is compelled to dance alone to the music of memory, and Nell’s education consists of reading the encyclopedia, devouring knowledge as if it were her last meal. Theirs is an age of darkness and terror… A distant war rages overseas. Resources society had depended on, such as gas and electricity, are no longer available. Riots spread through the inner cities, while deadly viral infections spread across the countryside. Isolated in their home in the northern California woods, Eva and Nell live in a world without television or phones, in a time of suspicion and superstition, of anger, hunger, and fear. Perhaps one day the lights–and their dreams–will return, but orphaned by their parents’ deaths and by society, Eva and Nell have been left to forage through the forest, and through their past, for the keys to survival. As they blaze a path into the forest and into the future, they become pioneers and pilgrims–not only creatures of the new world, but the creators of it.”

Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager“It was Emma’s first summer away from home. She made friends. She played games. And she learned how to lie. Then three of her new friends went into the woods and never returned… Now, years later, Emma has been asked to go back to the newly re-opened Camp Nightingale. She thinks she’s laying old ghosts to rest but really she’s returning to the scene of a crime. Because Emma’s innocence might be the biggest lie of all…”

November TBR

With Malice by Eileen Cook“When Jill wakes up in a hospital bed with her leg in a cast, the last six weeks of her life are a complete blank. All she has been told is that she was involved in a fatal accident while on a school trip in Italy and had to be jetted home to receive intensive care. Care that involves a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident… wasn’t just an accident. With no memory of what happened or what she did, can Jill prove her innocence? And can she really be sure that she isn’t the one to blame? “

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta“What if — whoosh, right now, with no explanation — a number of us simply vanished? Would some of us collapse? Would others of us go on, one foot in front of the other, as we did before the world turned upside down? That’s what the bewildered citizens of Mapleton, who lost many of their neighbors, friends and lovers in the event known as the Sudden Departure, have to figure out. Because nothing has been the same since it happened — not marriages, not friendships, not even the relationships between parents and children. Kevin Garvey, Mapleton’s new mayor, wants to speed up the healing process, to bring a sense of renewed hope and purpose to his traumatized community. Kevin’s own family has fallen apart in the wake of the disaster: his wife, Laurie, has left to join the Guilty Remnant, a homegrown cult whose members take a vow of silence; his son, Tom, is gone, too, dropping out of college to follow a sketchy prophet named Holy Wayne. Only Kevin’s teenaged daughter, Jill, remains, and she’s definitely not the sweet “A” student she used to be. Kevin wants to help her, but he’s distracted by his growing relationship with Nora Durst, a woman who lost her entire family on October 14th and is still reeling from the tragedy, even as she struggles to move beyond it and make a new start.”

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton“It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed. But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot. The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath…”

Moonshot by Alessandra Torre – “The summer that Chase Stern entered my life, I was seventeen. The daughter of a legend, the Yankees were my family, their stadium my home, their dugout my workplace. My focus was on the game. Chase… he started out as a distraction. A distraction with sex appeal poured into every inch of his six-foot frame. A distraction who played like a god and partied like a devil. I tried to stay away. I couldn’t. Then, the team started losing. Women started dying. And everything in my perfect world broke apart.”

October Reading Wrap Up

Total Books Read: 7
October TBR Books Read: 2
Total Pages Read: 1,260
Total Hours Listened: 44 hours 15 minutes

Out Of Beat by Cassandra Giovanni – 2/5 – This is not a book I would normally have picked up for myself, but it was one of the EmojiAThon challenge books for the latest round, so I decided to give it a go. I have a sneaking suspicion that I am not the target demographic for this book. However, if I was to look beyond the cheesy dialogue and general cringe factor of the romance I would say it was mostly enjoyable.

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison – 3/5 – This was a really interesting book, and I think if it had been a little bit longer and more fleshed out it would have received a higher rating from me. The concept was really good, and the world was really fascinating to me but it all just fell a bit short. I really did not like the main character which can sometimes be a good thing, but this time it detracted from my enjoyment of the book. I would still recommend picking this up if it sounds like an interesting story to you. It was a quick and enjoyable thriller. (note: I have since found out this is the first book in a series, which makes sense, and I will be picking up the next book in the series sometime soon)

A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin– 4/5 – I am quite far behind in my #ReadYourFaceOff Game of Thrones read-along reading, so I’m glad to be finally finished with the second book in the series. I’m not going to meet the deadline for the third book, but I’m hoping I can catch up in November. This was another excellent book, but I felt it lagging in parts and it wasn’t as exciting as the first so my rating dropped slightly.

Pet Sematary by Stephen King – 4/5 – I picked this book up earlier in the year because I knew at some point I would want to read it. After watching the trailer for the new film and with Halloween around the corner, I decided now was a great time to cross it off my TBR list. The only negative with this book was how much the story seemed to drag before the climax, and I think because of that the ending felt quite rushed. Having said that, I think this has to be one of King’s creepiest works and I am excited for the new film adaptation.

#ReadYourFaceOff TBR – October

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 13th October to 9am on Sunday 14th October in your time zone. My focus for this round is to finish off the books I have started so far this month so that I can have a clean slate and be ready for Spookathon next week. Good luck to everyone participating in this round!