Sunday, 22 May 2022

Down The TBR Hole #86

 
Current TBR shelf: 3447

Last week's TBR shelf: 3456

The rules   

  1. Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  2. Order on ascending date added.
  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  4. Read the synopses of the books
  5. Decide: keep it or should it go?
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Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Top Ten Tuesday | Books I Was SO EXCITED to Get, but Still Haven't Read


Top Ten
 Tuesday is a weekly feature that highlights ten books that all relate to a certain topic and is  hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. 

This Weeks Topic Is...


Books I Was SO EXCITED to Get, but Still Haven't Read! Slightly ashamed that this is such a regular occurrence and is pretty much true for most of the books on my shelves. 


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Sunday, 15 May 2022

Down The TBR Hole #85

 
Current TBR shelf: 3456

Last week's TBR shelf: 3463

The rules   

  1. Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  2. Order on ascending date added.
  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  4. Read the synopses of the books
  5. Decide: keep it or should it go?
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Friday, 13 May 2022

Book Review (Blog Tour) | Dead End Girls by Wendy Heard

 


Publication Date: 10th May 2022 by Christy Ottaviano Books
Format: Netgalley ARC
Target Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Thriller

 

Goodreads • Amazon • Barnes and Noble • Book Depository  • Indigo

IndieBound


Synopsis

In one week, Maude will be dead. At least, that’s what she wants everyone to think. After years of research, Maude has decided to fake her own death. She’s figured out the how, the when, the where, and who will help her unsuspectingly.

The why is complex: revenge, partly. Her terrible parents deserve this. But there’s also l’appel du vide, the call of the void, that beckons her toward a new life where she will be tied to no one, free and adrift. Then Frankie, a step-cousin she barely knows, figures out what she’s plotting, and the plan seems like it’s ruined. Except Frankie doesn’t want to rat her out. Frankie wants in. The girls vault into the unknown, risking everything for a new and limitless life. But there are some things you can never run away from. What if the poison is not in the soil, but in the roots?

This pulse-pounding thriller offers a nuanced exploration of identity, freedom, and falling in love while your world falls apart.

 

Rating



My Thoughts

"People crave the spectacle of a young woman trying and failing. They like the crash more than the plane".
I've really been in the mood for YA thrillers lately and when I read the synopsis of Dead End Girls, I was immediately intrigued. Two girls faking their own deaths to escape their apathetic families but incidentally leaving a trail of crimes sounded so entertaining. Bonus points, it's also Sapphic.  
This is one of those books that has you hooked from the first few pages. I love it when books just throw you straight into the thick of the plot and doesn't waste time beating around the bush and when Maude says "We fly to Hawaii on Saturday, and a few days later I'll be dead. It will be a tragic accident. I seriously cannot wait ", I knew we were going to be in for a wild ride.     
Heard keeps up the pace throughout the novel and knows exactly when to slow things down and then ramp them back up. The little twists and moments of misfortune are perfectly placed to keep us turning the page. I really liked that we get a dual POV and a timeline switch in order to see how past events have lead to Frankie needing to escape, it's teased to us slowly and works really well mixed in with the current events. The writing style is clear and concise, and obviously Heard does a terrific job of keeping her action thrilling and her characters likeable. 
That's one thing that did surprise me; how much I just loved Maude and Frankie. They were just my favourite part of the book as I found both of them so fascinating to follow. Maude is a so incredibly intelligent and determined in her quest for a brand new life, what she's willing to do in order to achieve it is remarkable. She comes across as slightly sociopathic at times but surprisingly it didn't bother me cause she had her reasons, ok?! Frankie is just so loveable, all she wants is to feel accepted for who she is and it broke my heart at times when it came to light all that she was struggling with.
Their relationship progresses nicely over the course of the book. From step-cousins (which is a bit weird but we'll overlook it) to semi-girlfriends. It took me a while to feel the chemistry between them but in the end I was all heart eyes for them. 
My reservations with this book lie with the believability of it. I could absolutely overlook a few cracks in the plot due to overall how entertaining it was but the more I read the more my scepticism grew. When we reach around 70% in, a lot of what happens after just felt too convenient for the circumstances. And it wasn't just one thing, it was a few of them and everything leading up to the ending felt too easy for our two MC's even with all the roadblocks in their way especially when you consider that these are teenage girls.    
This was a fun, all or nothing thriller that has some lovely contemporary/romantic moments mixed in with all the action. It explores reinvention, sexuality, gender identity and shitty families getting what's coming to them in a compelling mystery suspense. The ending is very satisfying for all that I found faults with the build up and I'd definitely be up for picking up more by Wendy Heard. Pick it up if you love the craziness of Pretty Little Liars and Riverdale.

Wendy Heard is the author of two adult thrillers: The Kill Club and Hunting Annabelle, which Kirkus Reviews praised as “a diabolically plotted creep show from a writer to watch.” She’s Too Pretty To Burn, which Kirkus called “a wild and satisfying romp” in a starred review, marks her YA debut. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, and Mystery Writers of America, is a contributor at Crimereads.com, and co-hosts the Unlikeable Female Characters podcast. Wendy lives in Los Angeles, California.
 

Author Links: 

 

Tour Schedule

I received an ARC copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes included in this review are subject to change. Massive thank you to Christy Ottaviano Books for providing me with a review copy. A huge thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours for letting me take part in the blog tour as well. 
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Sunday, 8 May 2022

Down The TBR Hole #84


Current TBR shelf: 3463

Last week's TBR shelf: 3465

The rules   

  1. Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  2. Order on ascending date added.
  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  4. Read the synopses of the books
  5. Decide: keep it or should it go?
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Saturday, 7 May 2022

April 2022 Reading Wrap Up


Isn't it the most frustrating thing when you start off the month pretty well and are fairly consistent as the weeks go on and then the last week just completely throws you off and you get really slumpy. THE. WORST. Genuinely thought April was going to be a turning point but I think I'm just going to have to accept that my new monthly average is around 6 books now. Remember October 2020 when I read 15 books in a month? How I miss that 😩     

STATS 




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Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Top Ten Tuesday | One-Sentence Reviews for the Last Ten Books I Read


Top Ten
 Tuesday is a weekly feature that highlights ten books that all relate to a certain topic and is  hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. 

This Weeks Topic Is...


One-Word Reviews for the Last Ten Books I Read! A nice easy topic, a brief look at my thoughts on recent reads if you haven't seen my monthly wrap ups! (We're going from most to least recent, btw!) I've also switched from one word to one sentence as I was struggling to some up my feelings on some of them!


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Sunday, 1 May 2022

Down The TBR Hole #83

 
Current TBR shelf: 3465

Last week's TBR shelf: 3472

The rules   

  1. Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  2. Order on ascending date added.
  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  4. Read the synopses of the books
  5. Decide: keep it or should it go?
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Friday, 29 April 2022

On My Radar | May 2022


Haven't done one of these in a while. In fact I've only posted one of these in the past, back in November, but I keep planning to do more and even get the books together and then the post doesn't get written. I'm doing some forward planning though and getting this post written and scheduled in April. June looks like it's going to be a bumper month for releases but for now let's look at what I'm excited about in May. 

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Wednesday, 27 April 2022

WWW Wednesday | 27/04/2022


WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by 
Taking On a World of Words that highlights three questions:


What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you'll read next?
 

What did you recently finish reading?



I loved The Outlaws Scarlett & Browne by Jonathan Stroud so much! A little bit of wild west, a little dystopia and a dash of fantasy, it all came together so well. It was such a fun adventure story with witty characters and action around every corner. It's only my second 5 star read of the year so far and it deserves every one of those stars. I can't wait for the sequel to be released in June.

What are you currently reading?



I started Adults by Emma Jane Unsworth on Monday, not got too far into it but I'm already not sure about it if I'm honest. We're basically following this woman in her mid-30's who is struggling with adulthood. I'm just not keen on Jenny (the MC) and her personality. She's so focused on social media and how she's perceived and the way she goes about things is just odd. But maybe that's the point 🤷. Let's just hope it picks up. 


Still working my way through Dead End Girls by Wendy Heard although I need to get myself in gear if I want to have it read and reviewed by the time the blog tour rolls around. The plot is interesting (two girls fake their deaths and make an escape to start a new life) but I'm just not feeling the intrigue yet. Fingers crossed that the second half cranks up the anticipation. 


I just started The Black Book of Secrets by F.E. Higgins yesterday as my new audiobook as I wanted something fun and mysterious but still light and I thought this ticked all those boxes. A boy becomes an apprentice to a pawnbroker who swaps cash for secrets, just sounds like a fun time. I'm a bit annoyed with myself though as I've listened to about an hour and yet my mind was wandering most of the time so I'm already a bit lost. Might have to go back and relisten to some chapters... 😬    

What do you think you'll read next?



I'm planning on doing a reread of one of my childhood favourites next as I recently bought a copy second hand. I adored Whispering to Witches by Anna Dale as a preteen so I'm hoping to still enjoy it as much as I did then. 

A short holiday with his mother turns out very differently for Joe than he could have imagined when he left home. Soon he is embroiled in a world of witchcraft, a world where the kind and innocent witches of Britain are facing a wicked foe. Can Joe and his young friend Twiggy put an end to the cunning plot, or will they, like their witchy friends, find the baffling mystery too hard to solve?

Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? What are you currently reading and hoping to pick up next? Leave a comment or link your own WWW Wednesdays below for me to check out!
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Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Top Ten Tuesday | Books With Suns on the Cover


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature that highlights ten books that all relate to a certain topic and is  hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. 

This Weeks Topic Is...


Books with [___] On the Cover! I had no idea what I was gonna choose for this topic and then I came across a list with books that had a source of light on the cover and then I decided to narrow it down to just suns/sunsets which looking back now was probably a mistake as it took me a damn long time to find ten of them! I didn't think it would be that hard! 
 
   
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Sunday, 24 April 2022

Down The TBR Hole #82

 
 
Current TBR shelf: 3472

Last week's TBR shelf: 3478

The rules   

  1. Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  2. Order on ascending date added.
  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  4. Read the synopses of the books
  5. Decide: keep it or should it go?
SHARE:

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

WWW Wednesday | 20/04/2022


WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking On a World of Words that highlights three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you'll read next?
 

What did you recently finish reading?

 

I finished Gallant by V.E. Schwab at the weekend and it was a creepy, atmospheric read with an interesting premise and of course, Schwab's beautiful writing. It wasn't a perfect book, I think I was unintentionally comparing it to Addie LaRue which was one of my favourite books of 2021 and I just didn't get the same amazed feeling after reading it. It was definitely enjoyable and I really liked how it was told, it just didn't astound me. 

What are you currently reading?



The Outlaws Scarlett & Browne by Jonathan Stroud has been such a thrilling, action packed adventure so far and I'm loving it! I'm almost halfway through and it's such fun, Scarlett and Albert have such a brilliant relationship where they've kind of been thrown together by circumstance and Scarlett isn't thrilled about it but Albert's just happy to be on the journey. It feels dystopian but we're starting to delve into the fantasy side of things now. It's been an exciting read so far and I'm looking forward to reading on.    


Dead End Girls by Wendy Heard is my main eBook at the moment as it's an arc for a book tour I'm participating on in early May. Two girls faking their deaths and going on the run just sounded really interesting to me. I'm only around 35% in so we've just started to get into the thick of the plot. I'll be interested to see if my interest will be sustained as YA thrillers are a bit hit or miss for me sometimes. 


Currently listening to Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay as my audiobook of choice. It's really interesting to listen to and there's a lot of commentary on pop culture and how feminism is viewed in the media, in particular women of colour. Roxane Gay has a really passionate voice and her emotions really come through in her writing. Some essays have definitely been more interesting then others e.g. The Hunger Games & her thoughts on The Help but others haven't stuck as clearly in my head. I have just over an hour left so gonna knock it out by the end of the week. 


Lastly (phew!) I'm reading In An Instant by Suzanne Redfearn on my kindle although it's only in the last couple of days that I've found the motivation to read it consistently. I've had some time to myself at work/been on my lunch break by myself so I've just whipped out my kindle to get some reading done. I'm kinda sad that I neglected this so much though at the beginning as I'm really enjoying it the more and more I read. The way this has examined human nature in the wake and aftermath of a fatal car crash and the implications it means for the survivors has been really poignant and devastating. I have 25% left and looking forward to see how it wraps up. 

What do you think you'll read next?



Next up is another library borrow, I picked Adults by Emma Jane Unsworth up cause I enjoyed Ghosts by Dolly Alderton and it was giving me similar vibes from the synopsis. This hasn't got as many good reviews but I'm going in open-minded. 

Jenny McLaine is an adult. Supposedly. At thirty-five she owns her own house, writes for a cool magazine and has hilarious friends just a message away.

But the thing is:

• She can’t actually afford her house since her criminally sexy ex-boyfriend Art left,

• her best friend Kelly is clearly trying to break up with her,

• she's so frazzled trying to keep up with everything you can practically hear her nerves jangling,

• she spends all day online-stalking women with beautiful lives as her career goes down the drain.

And now her mother has appeared on her doorstep, unbidden, to save the day…

Is Jenny ready to grow up and save herself this time?

Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? What are you currently reading and hoping to pick up next? Leave a comment or link your own WWW Wednesdays below for me to check out!
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Sunday, 17 April 2022

Down The TBR Hole #81

 
Current TBR shelf: 3478

Last week's TBR shelf: 3483

The rules   

  1. Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  2. Order on ascending date added.
  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  4. Read the synopses of the books
  5. Decide: keep it or should it go?
SHARE:

Monday, 11 April 2022

March 2022 Reading Wrap Up


I slightly dipped in March, only reading 5 books but I'm blaming it on me feeling slightly slumpy towards the end of the month. I'm not gonna dwell on it, just gonna look ahead to April and all the books I'm excited to get to!   

Stats


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Sunday, 10 April 2022

Down The TBR Hole #80

 
Current TBR shelf: 3483

Last week's TBR shelf: 3491

The rules   

  1. Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  2. Order on ascending date added.
  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  4. Read the synopses of the books
  5. Decide: keep it or should it go?

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Sunday, 3 April 2022

Down The TBR Hole #79

 
Current TBR shelf: 3491

Last week's TBR shelf: 3498

The rules   

  1. Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  2. Order on ascending date added.
  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  4. Read the synopses of the books
  5. Decide: keep it or should it go?
SHARE:

Sunday, 27 March 2022

Down The TBR Hole #78


 
Current TBR shelf: 3498

Last week's TBR shelf: 3503

The rules   

  1. Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  2. Order on ascending date added.
  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  4. Read the synopses of the books
  5. Decide: keep it or should it go?
SHARE:

Sunday, 20 March 2022

Down The TBR Hole #77

 
Current TBR shelf: 3503

Last week's TBR shelf: 3513

The rules   

  1. Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  2. Order on ascending date added.
  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  4. Read the synopses of the books
  5. Decide: keep it or should it go?
SHARE:

Tuesday, 15 March 2022

Top Ten Tuesday | Books On My Spring 2022 TBR


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature that highlights ten books that all relate to a certain topic and is  hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. 

This Weeks Topic Is...


Books on my Spring 2022 TBR! Hey, it's been a while since I did one of these posts but I've of course had no time for blogging really plus recent topics haven't struck any inspiration in me. I always like these topics though as it gives me a chance to do a rough plan of books I'd like to get to in the coming weeks. 


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Sunday, 13 March 2022

Down The TBR Hole #76

 
Current TBR shelf: 3513

Last week's TBR shelf: 3521

The rules   

  1. Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  2. Order on ascending date added.
  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  4. Read the synopses of the books
  5. Decide: keep it or should it go?
SHARE:

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

February 2022 Reading Wrap Up


Oh hi, looks like I'm back with a monthly wrap up after 4 months. Life is crazy and therefore I have next to no time to draft blog posts even though I am still reading. Blog posts may be sporadic but I'm excited to talk about all the books I read this month, all - of them. 

Stats





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