My Favourite Spooky Reads!

Hey guys! Since it’s Halloween and all that, I’ve decided that the last blogpost of the month is going to be something different rather than a review…and I’m going to share with you some of my favourite spooky reads!


The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

THWSeventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.


Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan

cirque du freak

Darren Shan is just an ordinary schoolboy – until he gets an invitation to visit the Cirque du Freak…until he meets Madam Octa…until he comes face to face with a creature of the night.

Soon, Darren and his friend Steve are caught in a deadly trap. Darren must make a bargain with the one person who can save Steve. But that person is not human and only deals in blood…

 

 


Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

wuthering heightsWuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine’s father. After Mr Earnshaw’s death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine’s brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries. The action of the story is chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature.


We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

WHALITC

Merricat Blackwood lives on the family estate with her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian. Not long ago there were seven Blackwoods—until a fatal dose of arsenic found its way into the sugar bowl one terrible night. Acquitted of the murders, Constance has returned home, where Merricat protects her from the curiosity and hostility of the villagers. Their days pass in happy isolation until cousin Charles appears. Only Merricat can see the danger, and she must act swiftly to keep Constance from his grasp.

 



The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

accident seasonIt’s the accident season, the same time every year. Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom.

The accident season has been part of seventeen-year-old Cara’s life for as long as she can remember. Towards the end of October, foreshadowed by the deaths of many relatives before them, Cara’s family becomes inexplicably accident-prone. They banish knives to locked drawers, cover sharp table edges with padding, switch off electrical items – but injuries follow wherever they go, and the accident season becomes an ever-growing obsession and fear.

But why are they so cursed? And how can they break free? 


Basically, I’ve loved all the books I’ve listed and I would love to be able to reread any of them given the chance this spooky evening!

And what about all of you? What are some of your favourite spooky reads? Let me know in the comments below!

Advertisements

November TBR!

Hey everyone. I guess since Deptcon3 reading was so important for the last few months I didn’t really to monthly TBRS or I didn’t stick to them. I’ve got a heap of netgalley books as well as ARCs and finished copies that I want to read, and I also really want to reach my Goodreads goal of 100 books, therefore I’m really going to try stick to this one!


My November TBR!

 

I’m actually really really excited for this TBR! I want to dive in to them all right now! Of course my first read will be Undercover Princess by Connie Glynn since I’m thirty pages in, so hopefully my review will be up before its release date!

And what about you guys? What’s on your November TBRs? Let me know in the comments below!

Review: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

genuine fraud

Genuine Fraud

by E. Lockhart

YA Mystery, Contemporary


The story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete. 
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two. 
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains. 
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.


Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a digital ARC to review in exchange for an honest review!!

Firstly, I know that the blurb is very vague and I also know that I’m going to struggle to review this a lot without spoilers. But I’m going to try my hardest.

I don’t think I should go over what the plot entails because as I’ve already said, it’s like impossible to do without spoiling something. The plot was basically told in reverse. We started the book in the present and then through a series of flashbacks to different times and locations, the story plays out like it happened. This was a clever way to tell a story but for me personally, I think it was so confusing. I’m actually sit not sure what the book was about.

I loved We Were Liars so it’s safe to say I was disappointed when I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would have. However, I am a big fan of E. Lockhart so there were some things I enjoyed about this book.

I loved how tense it was – that even though I didn’t really have an idea of what was going on, I couldn’t stop reading and found myself flying through it. As well as that, the plot twists in this thriller left me with my jaw dropped. Lockhart has a unique writing style that I just love and sometimes I do laugh out loud at some of the things her characters say.

I also really adored the characters of Jule and Imogen and in the best way possible, how they were totally stone-cold bitches. I loved the various references to Victorian novels like Dickens and I loved the mystery behind these characters and their backstories. But at the end of the day, I only wish this book was more coherent so I could understand the story more and enjoy it.


Rating:

★★★

My Netgalley books: Past & Present!

Hey everyone.

I thought that a fun blog post would be to have a look at all of the books that I’ve made contact with on Netgalley – whether that be ones I’ve reviewed, ones I have to review, ones I’ve requested and ones that I’ve been rejected for. Hopefully this will make some people feel better if they’ve been rejected for the same books. Trust me, you are not alone!

I will start off by saying that my feedback ratio right now its… 57%. I know. I know. I want to die. I want it to always be over 80% but I recently went out of control and requested too many books. And I’ve been starting to get approvals and I’m just like..aaaaaah. 

Anyways, I don’t want to be ungrateful because I love the heck out of Netgalley. So without further ado, I’m going to show you my Netgalley books. I’m also going to link some of my reviews in case you want to check them out!

Feedback Sent

Give Feedback

  • Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (which I was just approved for this morning and I’m excited!)
  • How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne (!!!)
  • Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard (also !!! omg!)
  • The Upside of Falling Down, by Rebekah Crane
  • Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart (65% through and loving it!!)

 

Not Active – Pending Requests

  • I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan (I’m being sent an ARC but it would help boost my feedback ratio when I’m done!)
  • Undercover Princess by Connie Glynn (again, I already have a physical ARC so I won’t be too bothered if I don’t get approved!)

 

Not Active – Declined Requests

  • Renegades by Marissa Meyer (may have cried several times…)
  • Everless by Sara Holland (I have a physical ARC so pffft whatever)
  • 27 Hours by Tristina Wright (was totally not expecting to get approved anyways, haha!)
  • The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (have a physical copy, already devoured and adored!)
  • Monster by Michael Grant (I need this in my life so bad!!!)
  • A Change is Gonna Come by Various
  • Moonrise by Sarah Crossan (was sent a lovely physical ARC and already read and of course loved it!)
  • When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (again, I wasn’t really expecting to get approved for this but I bought the ebook and cannot wait to get stuck in!)

 

So there you have it. All of the books on my Netgalley shelf. Now I want to hear from all of you!!

Are you brave enough to talk about your declined requests? If so, let me know in the comments below!!

Review: It Only Happens in the Movies, by Holly Bourne

IOHITM

It Only Happens in the Movies

by Holly Bourne

YA Contemporary, Romance


Audrey is over romance. Since her parents’ relationship imploded her mother’s been catatonic, so she takes a cinema job to get out of the house. But there she meets wannabe film-maker Harry. Nobody expects Audrey and Harry to fall in love as hard and fast as they do. But that doesn’t mean things are easy. Because real love isn’t like the movies…

The greatest love story ever told doesn’t feature kissing in the snow or racing to airports. It features pain and confusion and hope and wonder and a ban on cheesy clichés. Oh, and zombies… YA star Holly Bourne tackles real love in this hugely funny and poignant novel.


So, I’m sure if anyone knew me at all, you’d know straight away that I’m one of Holly Bourne’s biggest fans. She is definitely in my top three favourite writers because her books are just amazing.

I started with the Spinster Club trilogy and fell in love instantly – quickly, might I add, moving onto Manifesto and Soulmates. So I’ve been itching for some new writing from this author that I adore and thankfully I snatched a copy of It Only Happens in the Movies when it came out. I had high hopes for this book…and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

I love how bloody realistic her books are! I’m not sure about anyone else, but Audrey and Harry’s romance is probably the most legitimate teenage relationship I’ve ever read in YA. She just gets young adults. She understands them.

The book follows Audrey, who starts a job at the local independent cinema and meets Harry. She’s going through the worst shit at home with her dad leaving her family for another woman and also the recent break-up of a boy she thought she loved. She’s not ready to open up her heart so soon, but when she meets Harry, everything changes.

And of course this sounds like a cliché plot – but that is the whole point! One of the greatest things about this is that Bourne deconstructs the whole idea of romance in movies and TV shows and what it’s really like in the real world. She captures a true portrayal of love in the wittiest way possible.

Her characters are again, one of the best things about this book (I love Leroy and Alice and of course Auds!)  – as well as the feminism threaded throughout the book. Am I the only one who bloody love when Bourne’s characters go on a feminist rant? I need more please. Like maybe just an entire novel with feminist rants. Take. My. Money.

So, to conclude, I really, really enjoyed It Only Happens in the Movies. It definitely lived up to my expectations and I literally just got approved for Holly’s new adult book on netgalley so you will probably find me curled up under my duvet, savouring every last page just like this one.

See you all soon, and please, READ THIS FABULOUS, HILARIOUS, IMPORTANT book!!!!


Rating:

★★★★★

 

My Writing Update #4 – Writing Advice!

Hello everyoneeeeee.

It’s Sunday, the 22nd of October and I am fairly confident I’m going to hit 20k today.

This is probably being totally cocky, but after being at Deptcon3 last weekend and listening to all the author’s give different pieces of writing advice, I wondered what advice would give if I were on the stage. Now obviously writing is just a loved hobby of mine and I’m nowhere near as established as those authors were, but I’d like to think I would be able to impart a little writing wisdom alone on someone, considering I’ve been doing it since I was 12.

And I think it was a thread on Twitter that I saw that said that there’s no piece of advice that fits all, you know? Like not everything is going to work for everyone. Writing every day only applies to some people. Writing in the morning between 6am and 9am only suits some other people too. For me, I have a couple of pieces of advice.

  1. The first piece I’m definitely going to recommend is one I learned from the amazingly talented V.E. Schwab. Has anyone heard of the Calendar method? I’m going to link her video here where she explains it but basically you get a calendar, and a bunch of stickers. And everyday you set you’re own goal – whether it be 100 words or 500 words or 1000 words. And every time you write that amount of words in a day – you get a sticker! Honestly, I’ve started using it last month and this month and it has motivated me so much! If you want to know more, check out the video here!
  2. Outline as you go. I know loads of people prefer doing an entire outline of the novel before they start, but what I tend to do it have a general idea of where the story is going to go and then dive right in. I always have a notebook where I bullet point every plot point in a chapter and then right that chapter based on my mini outlines.
  3. Cold TurkeyThis is another trick I’ve just learned from Deptcon3 thanks to Meg Grehan. Basically, this is a programme that takes over your computer and you can enter either an amount of words or a length of time and the programme doesn’t allow you to do anything other than write until you reached the word count or write for that long. Sometimes it can be really frustrating when you just want to check Twitter but I definitely think it’s helped!

So I hope these pieces of advice have helped any aspiring authors or poets or anything else in some way, shape or form! As for how I’m doing, that’s a bit of a pickle.

I’m in my final year of school so I’m extremely laden down with work and study for my Big Leaving Cert this June, which means I can barely find time to write. I had planned to finish the project I’m working on now before NanoWrimo ended but that’s just not going to happen now. But maybe that’s okay. Slow and steady wins the race, you know?

What I’m currently writing:

I don’t know how long ago I wrote it but it was the second book I’d wrote. I’m think I recall finishing as my Nanowrimo project of 2015. Anyways, it’s called Through the Puddle and it’s the first book in my YA fantasy series. I’m rewriting the entire thing from scratch so it will be up to standard with my current writing ability. Let’s just say 2015 writer-me was totally focused on writing every sense into every paragraph. Yikes. I’m 18k into it so far and I plan by the end of today to have reached 20k. Fingers crossed.

Also, while on the topic of my fantasy series, I recently made covers for all the (planned) novels in the series. Important to note, I own none of the images I used and the covers are just for fun.

TPOL covers.png

What I’m currently editing:

I basically just finished doing my first edits for a YA Contemporary, Boomerangs Always Come Back and have started to send it out on submission to some agents. I’m really rooting for this one since it’s close to my heart.

And I recently started editing the second novel in my YA Historical Fiction series, The Author Labyrinth. It’s a beauty of 100k and I’m only on chapter 4. I’m aiming to finish it by the end of November but let’s see if I can make that a reality.

Hope you enjoyed this writing update, and hope to be back soon!

 

UPDATE!! It’s 1:21PM and I’ve just reached 20000 words!

 

ARC Review: The Truth & Lies of Ella Black, by Emily Barr

ttaloeb

Author: Emily Barr

Publisher: Penguin

Release Date: January 11th 2018

Genre: YA Contemporary

Pages: 288


Ella Black seems to live the life most other seventeen-year-olds would kill for . . .

Until one day, telling her nothing, her parents whisk her off to Rio de Janeiro. Determined to find out why, Ella takes her chance and searches through their things.

And realises her life has been a lie.

Her mother and father aren’t hers at all. Unable to comprehend the truth, Ella runs away, to the one place they’ll never think to look – the favelas.

But there she learns a terrible secret – the truth about her real parents and their past. And the truth about a mother, desperate for a daughter taken from her seventeen years ago . . .


Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

So I should be honest by saying that Barr’s previous novel, The One Memory of Flora Banks, didn’t do it for me. I mean, I liked it and I loved the idea of it but I just didn’t feel like there was anything…you know, spectacular about it. But her second YA novel knocked it out of the park for me. I really adored this one. It’s an intriguing, dark, twisty story of a girl who finds out her parents aren’t her real ones and discovers the horrific truth of her own birth parents.

What I loved most about this was the characters. I specifically really enjoyed reading Ella as a protaganist because she was often prone to making the worst, rash decisions and proving herself again and again to be an unreliable narrator.

I feel super lucky that I got to meet Barr at Deptcon3 and also managed to swipe one of the ARCs of this book.

If I had to pick something I didn’t enjoy about this, it was when Ella was in Rio and the insta-love happened. Like I was not expecting it at all and thought there would be a twist to the story but they supposedly fell in love within moments of knowing each other. I had to roll my eyes at that and every time the love interest had scenes in the book I started to care less and less. That was probably the reason why I’m bringing my star rating down by one. But don’t be discouraged by that one thing. This book is so great in so many ways and will keep you guessing until the very end.


Rating:

★★★★