May TBR

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret AtwoodThe Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.

It by Stephen KingTo the children, the town was their whole world. To the adults, knowing better, Derry Maine was just their home town: familiar, well-ordered for the most part. A good place to live. It was the children who saw – and felt – what made Derry so horribly different. In the storm drains, in the sewers, IT lurked, taking on the shape of every nightmare, each one’s deepest dread. Sometimes IT reached up, seizing, tearing, killing… The adults, knowing better, knew nothing. Time passed and the children grew up, moved away. The horror of IT was deep-buried, wrapped in forgetfulness. Until they were called back, once more to confront IT as IT stirred and coiled in the sullen depths of their memories, reaching up again to make their past nightmares a terrible present reality.

Every Last Lie by Mary KubicaClara Solberg’s world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident… until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon. Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick’s death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out–and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit.

Amnesia by Peter CareyWhen Gaby Baillieux, Australia’s most formidable hacker, releases the Angel Worm virus into her country’s prison system, cell doors are opened and inmates walk free. Since those prisons use American software, the doors in thousands of jails in the United States are opened as well. Is this an accident or a declaration of cyber war? Does it have anything to do with the largely forgotten Battle of Brisbane between American and Australian forces in 1942? Or with the CIA-influenced coup in Australia in 1975? Disgraced writer Felix Moore known to himself as our sole remaining left-wing journalist is determined to write Gaby’s biography in order to find the answers that could save her, his career, and perhaps his country. But how to get Gaby on the run, scared, confused, and angry to cooperate?

April Reading Wrap Up

Books Read: I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh, and The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney
Total Books Read: 2
April TBR Books Read: 2
2017 TBR Challenge Books Read: 0
Total Pages Read: 385
Total Hours Listened: 10 Hours 5 Minutes

I really feel like I got back into the swing of things with my reading in April, which has made me really happy. Although it doesn’t seem like I made huge progress based on my results above, I managed to incorporate reading back into my daily routine and that’s what’s most important to me.

I had started reading I Let You Go late last year, but hadn’t managed to finish the entire thing. I’m glad I finally got around to finishing it because it was an excellent book and something I’d highly recommend picking up. I was less impressed with The Girl Before, but I’ll be discussing that further in my review later in the month. I think listening to the audio version really let the book down in this case.

I also started reading IT by Stephen King this month, which I’ve made quite a bit of headway with but I feel like will end up being a two-to-three month reading adventure because it’s so long. I’m really looking forward to the film coming out later this year, and I think it’s one of the best possible source materials to be transalated into a film. I watched the trailer recently, and it looked so amazing that it inspired me to pick up the book. I feel like a lot of Stephen King’s words are done an injustice when a film adaptation is made, but this one looks incredible, and seems to have an amazing cast. All I can say is I’m glad the phase of people dressing up like clowns and running around the neighbourhood appears to be well and truly over.

TBR Book Challenge 2017 (Update #1)

I mentioned earlier in the year that I wanted to make an effort to tackle my seemingly endless TBR book pile. I always feel like a setting challenge or making something into a project makes things a bit more fun when you’re restricting yourself in some way, so I decided to set myself some goals (and rewards). Here’s how I’ve done so far this year…

Total TBR books completed so far: 4

Books read: Masked Innocence by Alessandra Torre (kindle), Shift by Em Bailey, The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas, and Fearless by Fiona Higgins

Nostalgic books purchased: Sweet Valley University #21 – ‘For The Love Of Ryan’, and Sweet Valley High #106 – ‘Beware The Wolfman’

I’m currently reading It by Stephen King, which may take me forever to finish. But it’ll be another one off the TBR list, so that’s something to look forward to…

Book Review: Shift by Em Bailey

Book: Shift by Em Bailey – paperback edition, 304 pages.

Synopsis: Olive Corbett is not crazy. Not anymore.

She obediently takes her meds and stays under the radar at school. After “the incident,” Olive just wants to avoid any more trouble, so she knows the smartest thing is to stay clear of the new girl who is rumored to have quite the creepy past.

But there’s no avoiding Miranda Vaile. As mousy Miranda edges her way into the popular group, right up to the side of queen bee Katie – and pushes the others right out – only Olive seems to notice that something strange is going on. Something almost… parasitic. Either Olive is losing her grip on reality, or Miranda Vaile is stealing Katie’s life.

But who would ever believe crazy Olive, the girl who has a habit of letting her imagination run away with her? And what if Olive is the next target?

My thoughts: Honestly, there is nothing worse for me than starting a book only to find out it has paranormal themes in it. Not my scene at all. In this case, it is entirely my fault because I did little to no research before picking this up. I liked Em Bailey’s book ‘The Special Ones’, so I thought I’d give this a go. I persevered with this despite the fact it included paranormal themes, mostly just because it’s rare for me to stop reading a book once I’ve started. It has to be truly terrible for that to happen.

There really wasn’t much I liked about this book. I did like that it was set in Australia, although it took me a while to figure that out (not until the protagonist started using “mum” instead of “mom”). I didn’t like any of the characters in the book, and at one point the main character pissed me off so much I nearly gave up on reading. Who leaves their baby brother home alone (granted, asleep) and goes out to party? I really wish there had been repercussions following that to serve as some sort of lesson, but nope – things carried on as usual. There was also an insta-love thing playing out throughout the book, which I’ve never been a big fan of.

All things considered I actually didn’t mind the paranormal element of this book, it was probably the most interesting aspect of the story. I’m not sure I’d recommend this, but if you’re after a quick read that involves a unique kind of paranormal element, you might want to pick this up.

Rating: 4/10

February TBR

Fearless by Fiona HigginsSix strangers from across the world meet on the tropical island of Bali to attend a course designed to help them face their fears. Their backgrounds are as diverse as their fears – which range from flying, public speaking and heights, through to intimacy, failure and death. Friendships and even romance blossom as the participants are put through a series of challenges which are unusual, confronting and sometimes hilarious. A week of fun in the sun suddenly turns into something far more serious, however, when the unthinkable happens – a tragic disaster that puts the group in deadly danger, testing the individual courage of every member.

The Girl Before by JP DelaneyEverything that is yours, was once hers… Enter the world of One Folgate Street and discover perfection… but can you pay the price? Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules. After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there – and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before. Emma’s past and Jane’s present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession.

Ragdoll by Daniel ColeA body is discovered with the dismembered parts of six victims stitched together like a puppet, nicknamed by the press as the ‘ragdoll’. Assigned to the shocking case are Detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes, recently reinstated to the London Met, and his former partner Detective Helen Baxter. The ‘Ragdoll Killer’ taunts the police by releasing a list of names to the media, and the dates on which he intends to murder them. With six people to save, can Fawkes and Baxter catch a killer when the world is watching their every move?

The Replacement Crush by Lisa Brown Roberts“True love can’t be strategized.” After book blogger Vivian Galdi s longtime crush pretends their secret summer kissing sessions never happened, Vivian creates a list of “safe” crushes, determined to protect her heart. But nerd-hot Dallas, the sweet new guy in town, sends the mission and Vivian s zing meter into chaos. While designing software for the bookstore where Vivian works, Dallas wages a counter-mission. Operation Replacement Crush is in full effect. And Dallas is determined to take her heart off the shelf.