July 2022

Hey, hi. Hello! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I can’t believe that I haven’t posted since 2020. It honestly doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. Firstly, I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who have chosen to stick around. Sorry I haven’t been around. I was struggling pre-2020 with my reading, and because of that I was also struggling to write and post reviews regularly. Then the events of 2020 happened and everything that followed. I don’t think I read any books in 2020, or at least I didn’t keep a record of them. In 2021 I only read 10 new books that whole year. When I did read I struggled to find the words to share my thoughts on what I’d read. So honestly I’ve been floundering a bit on how to move forward with this blog.

Welcome to the first post of my attempt to clear my TBR pile.

Towards the end of June/the beginning of July I stumbled across a video by LilyCReads in which she challenges herself to complete her TBR pile by 2023. I looked at my TBR pile and thought to myself, you know what maybe I can do that too. So I’m going to try and post once a month updates on how I’m doing with this goal, along with reviews of what I read and maybe some other things – like if I buy any more books, or if I visit anywhere interesting. I don’t know if you will like it, but I hope you do and I hope it helps me to get back into the swing of reading. I will also be posting the few reviews I did manage to write that I haven’t posted yet.

An photograph of 19 books placed in a grid to show the full TBR.
My complete TBR pile at the start of July 2022.

I don’t think my goal is too unreasonable. I want to read 19 books in 6 months, which should be doable I think. I’m not going to force myself to read anything if it’s not for me – so with that in mind, I’m going to say that if I hit the 100 page mark and I’m still not interested then I’m going to give myself the permission to walk away from the book. A few of these books I got when I was subscribed to Illumicrate, but most are onces I picked up for myself. It was interesting to see all the books lined up, as I don’t store them altogether.

This month I read 8 books, and I removed 6 from my TBR pile.

Two hardback books balanced on a tray on a bed, with the covers facing up. On the left is the Illumicrate copy of Catwoman Soulstealer by Sarah J Maas, underneath it is a fake plant. On the right, resting on a blanket, is a copy of The Boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackery.
The first two books I read in July.

The first book I picked up was Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas. It’s been a book that has been sitting around my TBR for a while, I got this copy in the twelfth Illumicrate box. Catwoman is one of the DC/Batman characters I like so I was both excited and apprehensive to read the book, which honestly is probably why it took me a while to get to it. It wasn’t what I expected. I enjoyed it, and it was an interesting take on the Catwoman origin story. I liked how the Selina Kyle story was written, it was definitely not what I was expecting. For fans of the character through the comics and tv shows, I think this story will be something of a surprise. Selina is a lot younger, but I suppose that fits in with the Young Adult genre. There is a bit of romance in the story, and it was an interesting surprise which in the end I thought worked well. Overall the plot is well thought out and paced, and I enjoyed the alternate narrators. To me this definitley feels like a completed story, and works well as a standalone – though the ending is a little open ended. This gets 4 out of 5 stars from me.

The next book I picked up was The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy which is a beautifully illustrated book. Like many, I first heard about this book via extracts shared on Instagram. I know I got given it a Christmas, but I’m honestly not sure how long ago. I’ve dipped into it a couple of times since I got it, but this was the first time I read it from start to finish. I can see why so many people have a soft spot for this book. It is a lovely little read, and it’s great to dip into. The illustrations are gorgeous and really capture the words. It can be a bit trite, but sometimes it’s good to be reminded regardless. Was not disappointeed. This gets 4 out of 5 stars from me.

A photo of Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss sitting next to a cup of tea.
The third book I completed in July.

The third book I picked up was Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss, it was a little different from the previous books as I’d already started this book several years ago, and put it down never to pick it back up. So I thought now would be as good a time as any to finally finish it. I found it at once both funny and utterly dire. This sounds harsh, but I had to fight myself not to skim pages as my eyes just wanted to skip lines. There was some interesting stuff in there, but I’m not sure I’ve retained any of it. I am glad I gave it a go and finished it though. This gets 2 out of 5 stars from me.

A photo of the ARC edition of Nyxia by Scott Reintgen next to a light blue and glittery Illumicrate candle
The fourth book I completed in July.

The fourth book I finished in July was Nyxia by Scott Reintgen, I read an ARC copy I got in the eighth Illumicrate. I was really nervous about finally reading this book because sci-fi isn’t a genre I’m particularly comfortable with. There are books and tv shows in the sci-fi genre that I have absolutely loved, but it’s honestly pretty hit or miss for me. This book was okay, but I didn’t fall in love with either the characters of the world. To me, this book felt like it was set-up for a larger piece – like there should have been more to this book. There is a heck of a lot of worldbuilding, but not a lot of plot. It was an easy read, but I didn’t feel any real connection to the characters or like I really knew what was going on. To me this book felt very much like a training montage before we hit the real meat of the story, and I felt like the story only really started to pick up as it ended. I know this is the first part of a series but I don’t think I will be continuing it, even though I did enjoy reading the book. This gets 3 out of 5 stars from me.

A photo of Nonsense by Edward Lear and What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera on a tray with an owl shaped plant pot and a vase full of lights.
The two not-for-me books this month

There were also a couple of misses for me this month. I tried to read Nonsense by Edward Lear, which is a very short poetry collection but it just wasn’t for me. I also tried reading What If It’s Us? by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli. This was a disappointment. I made it to the 100 pages mark and just had no interest in continuing. From the blurb I thought the characters were like early to mid-twenties, when they’re actually late teens which really threw me. It just wasn’t for me, so I put it down.

A photo of A Shiver of Light and Rafael both by Laurell K. Hamilton on a tray with a plant and a vase of lights
July’s re-reads.

I also managed to get in a couple of re-read towards the latter half of this month, which was nice. I really enjoy re-reading old favourites. I read A Shiver of Light by Laurell K. Hamilton. I really enjoy the Merry Gentry series and I’m hoping that Hamilton writes some more in that verse. I also re-read Rafael by Laurell K. Hamilton which I have written a review for so I will post it soon. I know not everyone is a fan of this book, and I can totally understand why but I do think it opens some interesting possibilities. The scene that infuriated me the first time I read it is still infuriating, but I do think the potential world-building opportunities are interesting.

On a tray there is a stack of books which are their spines, 2 of which are hardbacks and 4 are paperbacks. Next to this pile is a copy of Nonsense by Edward Lear, a plant, and a vase filled with lights.
Almost all the books I read in July 2022.

Thank you for joining me for my July catch-up, I hope to see you next month for my August one.

Review: Serpentine by Laurell K. Hamilton

Serpentine by Laurell K. Hamilton (UK edition)

MY NAME IS ANITA BLAKE AND I’VE ALWAYS OVERCOME ANYTHING I’VE FACED. BUT THIS TIME, THERE’S A MONSTER THAT EVEN I DON’T KNOW HOW TO FIGHT . . .

A remote Florida island is the perfect destination for my fellow U.S. marshal and best friend Edward’s wedding. And for me, it’s a welcome break as it’s the first trip I’ve ever taken with just wereleopards Micah and Nathaniel for company. But it’s not all fun, games and bachelor parties . . .

In this tropical paradise, Micah has discovered a horrific new form of lycanthropy, one that has afflicted a single family for generations. Believed to be an ancient Greek curse, it turns human bodies into a mass of snakes.

The last thing I need is more drama, but when women start disappearing from the hotel – and worse – my own friends and lovers become the prime suspects. A strange power is afoot, a force that’s rendering those around me helpless in its thrall. I can’t face this alone and am willing to accept help from even the deadliest places – help that I will most certainly regret. If I survive at all . . .

Series: Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter 26
Genre: Erotica, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: HEADLINE PUBLISHING GROUP (7th August 2018)
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)

The twenty-sixth novel in Laurell K. Hamilton’s brilliant Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, Serpentine follows Anita, Micha and Nathaniel to Florida for Edward’s wedding. Life has been busy for Anita and her beaus, so romance and even sex have been on something of a back burner. The wedding is their chance for a break in tropical paradise; only like most things in Anita’s life it’s just not that easy. Micah has discovered a horrific form of what appears to be lycanthropy. And then women start disappearing from the hotel they’re staying at.

I was really looking forward to getting my hands on this book. I know a lot of people are disappointed with the later books in the series, and whilst I can understand why I’m just really invested in the characters and actually really enjoy the reading experience. So I’ll just straight out say it – if you are looking for a more plot based story, like the early Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter books, then you are going to be disappointed. Hamilton has again gone back to focusing more on Anita’s relationships than on the plot. Having said that, there is a plot that whilst small is interesting and I wish it could have been explored more.

A lot of the drama of this novel comes from interpersonal relationships. Things are not all sunshine and roses for Anita and her family, or for her friends. Getting caught up in a case when she’s supposed to be on vacation certainly doesn’t help matters, but Anita wouldn’t be Anita if she didn’t. The case is actually rather interesting. Hamilton drops little hints about what’s going on, but although I had some guesses it wasn’t until the big reveal that I actually knew what was going on. It would have been nice if the book had been a little more case focused, but I think it does work well the way it is and it does fit in with the style of Crimson Death .

Although Serpentine is not in St. Louis we do get to meet a lot of familiar faces – there’s even a namedrop of a character from near the beginning of the series – and we are introduced to some new faces. As you can tell from the blurb, the main focus of this book is Anita, Micah and Nathaniel’s relationship. I enjoyed catching up with them. I also really liked seeing Edward and his family again – and it was nice to see how different he is in this book from when we first meet him. I wasn’t that impressed with the new faces that are working for Anita and Jean Claude. Most of them felt like you’d blink and you’d miss them, and the ones that got the longer page time just seemed a little flat to me – though to be fair this might have been because Anita is the narrator and she’s dealing with the aftermath of the events in Crimson Death. Fans of Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter will not be disappointed with Serpentine as long as they have enjoyed the more recent additions to the series.

Review: Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton

Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton (UK edition)

Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton (UK edition)

Title: Crimson Death (An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Novel, #25)
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Genre: Erotica, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Headlines (11th October 2016)
Blurb:

MY NAME IS ANITA BLAKE.
I’M A VAMPIRE HUNTER AND NECROMANCER, AND I’M ABOUT TO LEARN THAT EVIL IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER . . .

I’ve never seen Damian, my vampire servant, in such a state. The rising sun doesn’t usher in the peaceful death that he desperately needs. Instead, he’s being bombarded with violent nightmares and blood sweats.

Damian is at his most vulnerable, but now is the time I need him most. The vampire who created him, who subjected him to centuries of torture, might be loosing control, allowing rogue vampires to run wild and break one of their kind’s few strict taboos.

Some say love is a great motivator, but hatred gets the job done, too. I’m joining forces with my friend Edward to stop the carnage, and Damian will be at our side, even if it means travelling back to the land where all his nightmares spring from . . . a place that couldn’t be less welcoming to a vampire, an assassin and  a necromancer.

Ireland.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️(4 stars)
Review:

CRIMSON DEATH by Laurell K. Hamilton is the twenty-fifth novel in her excellent Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. This book sees Anita travel to Ireland at the request of her friend Edward, to deal with vampires running rogue – they may even been breaking one of the strictest taboos within their culture. However, traveling to Ireland means going to the one place Damian does not want to return to – the home of the vampire that made him – but Anita desperately needs his help. It doesn’t help that Damian is being bombarded with violent nightmares and blood sweats, as the rising dawn no longer appears to grant him peaceful death.

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Laurell K. Hamilton London signing

As you may know if you follow me on Twitter, on the 7th of August I travelled down to London to the Laurell K. Hamilton signing at the Forbidden Planet megastore. I had a really great time, and if you’d like to see what I did you can watch the video below. If you don’t want to watch the video, you can scroll past to see my signed books and the two books I picked up whilst I was in London.

The books I got signed.

The two books I picked up from the Forbidden Planet megastore. I’m really excited to read both.

And finally, just to amuse…

This is what I had my camera balanced on so I could film.

Review: Dead Ice by Laurell K. Hamilton

Dead Ice by Laurell K. Hamilton (UK edition)

Title: Dead Ice (An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Novel, #24)
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Genre: Erotica, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Headlines (4th June 2015)
Blurb:

MY NAME IS ANITA BLAKE AND I HAVE THE HIGHEST KILL COUNT OF ANY VAMPIRE EXECUTIONER IN THE COUNTRY.

I’m a U.S. Marshal who can raise zombies with the best of them. But ever since master vampire Jean-Claude and I went public with out engagement, all I am to anyone and everyone is Jean-Claude’s fiancée.

It’s wreaking havoc with my reputation as a hard ass – to some extent. Luckily, in professional circles, I’m still the go-to expert for zombie issues. And right now, the FBI is having one hell of a zombie issue.

Someone is producing zombie porn. I’ve seen my share of freaky undead fetishes, so this shouldn’t bother me. But the women being victimised aren’t just mindless, rotting corpses. Their souls are trapped behind their eyes, signalling voodoo of the blackest kind.

It’s the sort of case that can leave a mark on a person. And my own soul may not survive unscathed . . .

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

DEAD ICE is the twenty-fourth instalment of Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novels. Anita is dealing with the chauvinistic attitudes of those around her, since her engagement to Jean-Claude. This book also has Anita trying to track down someone who is raising zombies for porn, as well as the return of characters we haven’t seen on the page in a while.

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Review: A Shiver of Light by Laurell K. Hamilton

A Shiver of Light by Laurell K. Hamilton (UK edition)

Title: A Shiver of Light (Merry Gentry #9)
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Bantam Press (3rd June 2014)
Blurb:

I am Princess Meredith NicEssus. Legal name Meredith Gentry, because princess looks so pretentious on a driver’s licence. I was the first faerie princess born on American soil, but wouldn’t be the only one for much longer . . .

Merry Gentry, ex-private detective, now fill-time princess, knew she was descended from fertility goddesses, but it was only when she learned she was going to have triplets that she began to understand what that might mean. Infertility has been the curse of the high ranks of faerie for centuries and now the nobility – of both sexes and of both courts – are coming to Los Angeles to woo the exiled Merry and her male courtiers. They will do anything to have children of their own.

But the attentions of Taranis, King of Light and Illusion, are a more pressing – and deadly – problem. He once forced himself upon Merry – and now he is claiming one of her children as his own.

To save herself and her babies, Merry calls upon the most dangerous powers in all of faerie: a god of death, a warrior known as Darkness, the Killing Frost, and a king of nightmares. They are her lovers, and they will confront the high courts of faerie – and do whatever it takes to contain the war that threatens to engulf the innocent humans who are now in very real danger of becoming collateral damage . . .

Five years after Divine Misdemeanors, Merry Gentry is back – and her life’s become a lot more complicated . . . and even more dangerous.

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

A SHIVER OF LIGHT is the latest installment of Laurell K. Hamilton’s MERRY GENTRY series. A SHIVER OF LIGHT takes place several months after the end of the previous book in the series, DIVINE MISDEMEANORS, with Merry due to give birth only days away. Life is, of course, never easy or quiet for America’s only faerie princess.

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ICYMI Sunday – The FIRST One

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ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) Sunday is a new meme that I am planning to feature on the blog every week. It is based on the Sunday Post  which is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, which was in turn inspired in part by the In My Mailbox meme. Basically, it allows me to let you know what went on the blog this week and anything interesting that is going on. It will also allow me to showcase any books I receive like the Showcase Sunday which is hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits, and Tea.

So, let’s start the first ICYMI Sunday off simply with a small update from me.

On Saturday February 1st my dog Lucky was put to sleep. It was both unexpected and not. We knew he only had a limited time, but we weren’t sure how long or short that time would be. Lucky dying really threw me, and I’m still not balanced. I also haven’t been well, and am currently fighting off a cold. I have started reading and writing reviews again though. So yeah, for me this February really sucked.

As I haven’t done a catch up on the blog for a while, I’m going to start back in January with stuff that has been on the blog.

Not a lot for almost two months worth of posts, but the blog has been ticking over which is good 🙂

What else is going on?

  • The cover for Amanda Sun‘s new novel RAIN will be revealed on Monday, plus there will be an ARC giveaway – you can find a sneak peek here.
  • World Book Day Fest is holding a 500 word writing contest for entrants 13 years and under in the UK. Stories must be submitted by 7pm on Wednesday 26th February. More details can be found here.
  • Are you in Edinburgh on the 5th of March? Joseph D’Lacey is launching THE BOOK OF THE CROWMAN at Blackwell’s Edinburgh 6.30pm -8pm. The event is free, but you will need a ticket. You can find more info here.
  • Melissa Anelli author of the best-selling HARRY, A HISTORY spoke out about her experience of being stalked here.
  • J. K. Rowling is to release a second book under the nom-de-plume Robert Galbraith. THE SILKWORM is a sequel to THE CUCKOO’S CALLING. You can find more info about the book on The Telegraph newspaper here.
  • John Green made some comments on his Twitter account (which you can read here on a UK Twilight fan site), which he later clarified on his Tumblr account about TWILIGHT and misogyny.
  • Penguin/Pelican are holding a giveaway for 50 copies of GREEK AND ROMAN POLITICAL IDEAS: A PELICAN INTRODUCTION on Goodreads here. Giveaway runs until April 10th.
  • The Red House Children’s Book Awards took place on Saturday 22nd February. You can find the winners and other nominees here.
  • Want to know what to look forward to in autumn/fall 2014? You can find a list of books published in the States then here.

Now we’re all caught up, sorta. I’m going to do a quick post on the books I have received between December and now…

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  • FALLING FAST by Sophie McKenzie (YA) (thanks Orli – Valentine’s Ninja Book Swap)
  • SOLACE OF THE ROAD by Siobhan Dowd (YA) (thanks Orli – Valentine’s Ninja Book Swap)
  • WITCH SONG by Amber Argyle (YA) (ebook)
  • STOLEN SONGBIRD by Danielle L. Jensen (YA) (ebook via NetGalley – thanks Strange Chemistry)
  • SHUTDOWN by Laurell K. Hamilton (adult) (ebook)
  • THE DARK HEROINE by Abigail Gibbs (YA) (thanks Secret Santa)
  • ANGELFALL by Susan Ee (YA) (thanks Secret Santa)
  • DELIRUM by Lauren Oliver (YA) (thanks Secret Santa)
  • DANCE OF SHADOWS by Yelena Black (YA) (thanks Faye @ A Daydreamer’s Thoughts – I won her blogoversay giveaway back in November)
  • GRETEL AND THE DARK by Eliza Granville (YA) (thanks Catherine and Penguin Ireland)
  • STEELHEART by Brandon Sanderson (YA) (thanks Secret Santa)

So that’s it. The end of this rather epic post. Next weeks won’t be as long. Promise.

I would love to hear what you’ve been up to this week and what books, if any, you’ve got so please leave me a link in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by 😀

Review: Affliction by Laurell K. Hamilton

Affliction by Laurell K. Hamilton (UK edition)

Title: Affliction (An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Novel, #22)
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Headline (2nd July 2013)
Blurb:

HAD EVERYONE BITTEN TONIGHT CAUGHT THIS? THE OTHER BITES HAD NO LOOKED LIKE VAMPIRE BITES. THEY’D BEEN ZOMBIE, OR HUMAN LOOKING. WAS THIS INFECTION SOMETHING THAT VAMPIRES AND SHAPESHIFTERS COULD CATCH? IF IT WAS, THEN IT WAS SOMETHING NEW.

Some zombies are raised. Others must be put down. Just ask me, Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter.

Before now, I figured I could handle them. Before now, I had never heard of them causing human beings to perish in such agony. But that’s all changed.

Micah’s estranged father lies dying, rotting away inside from some strange ailment that his doctors whispering about ‘zombie disease’.

I make my living from zombies – but these aren’t the kind I know so well. These creatures hunt in daylight, and are as fast and strong as vampires. If they bite you, you become just like them. And round and round it goes . . .

Where will it stop? Even I don’t know.

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

AFFLICTION is the twenty-second book in Laurell K. Hamilton’s epic ANITA BLAKE, VAMPIRE HUNTER series. It has been twenty years since the first book in Hamilton’s series GUILTY PLEASURES was published in 1993, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for writing this series for so long. In AFFLICTION the action hits a little too close to home. Anita gets a phone call from Micah’s estranged family that his father is dying from a strange rotting disease and has days to live. Once out there, Anita gets dragged into a very strange case.

Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday (28)

So apparently my organisational skills suck this week. There was supposed to be a review from me on Monday, which I have now re-scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday), and I was supposed to take part in Top Ten Tuesday but that didn’t happen. I just wanted to take this opportunity to apologise for that, and to say that hopefully from here on I won’t suck at scheduling posts… Anyway, here’s my WoW – my first in 2013.

Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. The book’s blurb has been taken from Goodreads.com All publish dates are according to Amazon.co.uk

This week I am “Waiting On”…

Affliction (Anita Blake #22) by Laurell K. Hamilton

Published: 2nd July 2013

Micah is called back home by his estranged family, because his father, a county sheriff, has been attacked and is terribly injured. Anita and Nathaniel are going with him for moral support and to meet his family under very trying circumstances.

Micah has been estranged from his family for a decade, deliberately turning his back on them to protect them from the sadistic killer who once led his leopard pack. But now Micah’s father lies dying, rotting away inside from some strange ailment that has his doctors whispering about “zombie disease.”

Anita—who understands zombies better than anyone—knows there’s more to it than that. While zombies have unlovable traits, being one doesn’t cause human beings to rot in agony. She needs to solve that mystery—but now a more immediate issue is pressing: Micah’s father may have only five days to live.

Ink (The Paper Gods #1) by Amanda Sun

Published: 5th July 2013

A MAGIC MIGHTIER THAN ANY SWORD

A DESTINY THAT CAN’T BE DENIED

Katie Greene is lost in the wake of her mum’s death. Sent to Japan, she meets gorgeous but aloof artist Tomohiro, whose tough attitude intrigues and scares her. Then things get really strange. When they’re near each other, Tomohiro’s drawings start to come to life…

Soon the wrong people begin to ask questions, and Katie and Tomohiro must risk everything to protect the truth.

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So, those are the two books I am looking forward to reading which are published in July. Let me know in the comments below what you are looking forward to and I will comment back.

Top Ten Tuesday (24)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They’d love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

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This weeks Top Ten topic is …

Top Ten Nine Books At The Top Of My Summer TBR List

My list includes books that are coming out between June and August, as well as books that I want to read during the summer. The list is made up of a mixture of Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult books. As always blurbs are taken from Goodreads.com and the release dates are according to Amazon.co.uk.

Ink (Paper Gods #1) by Amanda Sun [Goodreads]

A MAGIC MIGHTIER THAN ANY SWORD

A DESTINY THAT CAN’T BE DENIED

Katie Greene is lost in the wake of her mum’s death. Sent to Japan, she meets gorgeous but aloof artist Tomohiro, whose tough attitude intrigues and scares her. Then things get really strange. When they’re near each other, Tomohiro’s drawings start to come to life…

Soon the wrong people begin to ask questions, and Katie and Tomohiro must risk everything to protect the truth.

I’m actually currently reading this book as I managed to get a copy via NetGalley 🙂 I think the cover is gorgeous, and the concept of the book is really interesting. It’s released in the UK on 5th July 2013.

Doll Bones by Holly Black [Goodreads]

Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice. But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity . . .

This book is already released, and there is in fact a copy of it sitting in my TBR pile. I really liked some of Holly Black’s books so I thought I would give this one a try as it sounds quite spooky.

Affliction (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #22) by Laurell K. Hamilton [Goodreads]

Micah is called back home by his estranged family, because his father, a county sheriff, has been attacked and is terribly injured. Anita and Nathaniel are going with him for moral support and to meet his family under very trying circumstances.

Micah has been estranged from his family for a decade, deliberately turning his back on them to protect them from the sadistic killer who once led his leopard pack. But now Micah’s father lies dying, rotting away inside from some strange ailment that has his doctors whispering about “zombie disease.”

Anita—who understands zombies better than anyone—knows there’s more to it than that. While zombies have unlovable traits, being one doesn’t cause human beings to rot in agony. She needs to solve that mystery—but now a more immediate issue is pressing: Micah’s father may have only five days to live.

I have to say I’m really looking forward to reading this Anita book. I think it will be interesting to finally know a little more about Micah’s family and actually get to see them. It’s released in the UK on 2nd July 2013.

Loki’s Wolves (The Blackwell Pages #1) by K. L. Armstrong and M. A. Marr [Goodreads]

In Viking times, Norse myths predicted the end of the world, an event called Ragnarok, that only the gods can stop. When this apocalypse happens, the gods must battle the monsters–wolves the size of the sun, serpents that span the seabeds, all bent on destroying the world.

The gods died a long time ago.

Matt Thorsen knows every Norse myth, saga, and god as if it was family history–because it is family history. Most people in the modern-day town of Blackwell, South Dakota, in fact, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt’s classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke.

However, knowing the legends and completely believing them are two different things. When the rune readers reveal that Ragnarok is coming and kids–led by Matt–will stand in for the gods in the final battle, he can hardly believe it. Matt, Laurie, and Fen’s lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team to prevent the end of the world.

I already own a copy of this, but I am looking forward to diving into this. Kelley Armstrong is one of my favourite authors, and I really enjoyed Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series so I thought it might be fun to try this book written by both of them.

Omens (Cainsville #1) by Kelley Armstrong [Goodreads]

Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions.

But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancé, Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens.

Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past.

Aided by her mother’s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, Olivia focuses on the Larsens’ last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel start investigating the case, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies. Because there are darker secrets behind her new home, and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.

As I mentioned above, I am a HUGE Kelley Armstrong fan and as she has recently finished her brilliant Women of the Otherworld series I thought I would try her new one. Oh, and I really love the cover It is released in the UK on 20th August 2013.

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smitih [Goodreads]

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

In This is What Happy Looks Like, Jennifer E. Smith’s new YA novel, perfect strangers Graham Larkin and Ellie O’Neill meet—albeit virtually—when Graham accidentally sends Ellie an email about his pet pig, Wilbur. In the tradition of romantic movies like “You’ve Got Mail” and “Sleepless in Seattle,” the two 17-year-olds strike up an email relationship, even though they live on opposite sides of the country and don’t even know each other’s first names.

Through a series of funny and poignant messages, Graham and Ellie make a true connection, sharing intimate details about their lives, hopes and fears. But they don’t tell each other everything; Graham doesn’t know the major secret hidden in Ellie’s family tree, and Ellie is innocently unaware that Graham is actually a world-famous teen actor living in Los Angeles.

When the location for the shoot of Graham’s new film falls through, he sees an opportunity to take their relationship from online to in-person, managing to get the production relocated to picturesque Henley, Maine, where Ellie lives. But can a star as famous as Graham have a real relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie’s mom want her to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs?

Just as they did in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, the hands of fate intervene in wondrous ways in this YA novel that delivers on high concept romance in lush and thoughtful prose.

I have a copy of this already sitting on my shelf just waiting to be read. I’ve heard some really good things about both the author and the book itself, so I’m interested to see if it lives up to the hype.

US cover

Biting Bad (Chicagoland Vampires #8) by Chloe Neill [Goodreads]

Merit has been a vampire for only a short while, but she’s already seen a lifetime’s worth of trouble. She and her Master, centuries-old Ethan Sullivan, have risked their lives time and again to save the city they love. But not all of Chicago is loving them back.

Anti-vampire riots are erupting all over town, striking vampires where it hurts the most. A splinter group armed with Molotov cocktails and deep-seated hate is intent on clearing the fanged from the Windy City come hell or high water.

Merit and her allies rush to figure out who’s behind the attacks, who will be targeted next, and whether there’s any way to stop the wanton destruction. The battle for Chicago is just beginning, and Merit is running out of time.

I’m really loving this series. Merit is a brilliant character, and I love the way vampires and politics are handled in this series. It comes out in the UK on 8th August 2013.

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein [Goodreads]

Rose Justice is a young American ATA pilot, delivering planes and taxiing pilots for the RAF in the UK during the summer of 1944. A budding poet who feels most alive while flying, she discovers that not all battles are fought in the air. An unforgettable journey from innocence to experience from the author of the best-selling, multi-award-nominated Code Name Verity. From the exhilaration of being the youngest pilot in the British air transport auxiliary, to the aftermath of surviving the notorious Ravensbruck women’s concentration camp, Rose’s story is one of courage in the face of adversity. Code Name Verity is shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.

This is already out and sitting on my shelf. I loved Code Name Verity when it came out, so I’m hoping that this book will live up to my expectations!

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas [Goodreads]

Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is bold, daring and beautiful – the perfect seductress and the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But though she won the King’s contest and became his champion, Celaena has been granted neither her liberty nor the freedom to follow her heart. The slavery of the suffocating salt mines of Endovier that scarred her past is nothing compared to a life bound to her darkest enemy, a king whose rule is so dark and evil it is near impossible to defy. Celaena faces a choice that is tearing her heart to pieces: kill in cold blood for a man she hates, or risk sentencing those she loves to death. Celaena must decide what she will fight for: survival, love or the future of a kingdom. Because an assassin cannot have it all . . . And trying to may just destroy her.

Love or loathe Celaena, she will slice open your heart with her dagger and leave you bleeding long after the last page of the highly anticipated sequel in what is undeniably THE hottest new fantasy series.

I really enjoyed Throne of Glass when it came out last year, and thought Celaena was a kick-ass character. I cannot wait to see what Mass has done with this book. I also think the cover looks gorgeous. It comes out in the UK on 15th August 2013.

I cannot believe that I have come up with a list of just nine again – sorry!

What are the top ten books on your summer TBR pile? Let me know in the comments below, or link back to your Top Ten post so I can see what makes your list.