September 2017 Wrap-Up

September was sweet!

Another cycle has finished at work so that was good and I finally managed to tale some time off, the last week of the month, where I didn’t do much besides sleeping, reading and soaking up the sun.

I was lucky with my reads! I also watched a couple of films but didn’t feel like writing a review. Guess I am going through a phase in that department.

That’s about it!


Summary:

Total Books Read: 3

Longest Read: Little Fires Everywhere (336 pages)

Shortest Read: Narcissism for Beginners (208 pages)

Book of the Month: An Uncertain Grace

Favourite Cover:

Challenges Progress:

GoodReads: 53/52

British Books Challenge: 22/12

2017 Netgalley & Edelweiss: 46/35


September Books:

 

My first book of the month was An Uncertain Grace by Krissy Kneen.

I wanted to try something different so I went for this erotica/speculative fiction short story collection. There are only 5 of them, connected by a common thread, and I have to admit I was blown away. Great story telling, amazing world building and a new view on sexuality.

I rated it 4.5/5 stars.

 

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng was pretty darn great.

These are memorable characters and I loved the portrait of a picture-perfect community disturbed by someone who dared live outside their rules.

I rated it 4.25/5 stars.

 

 

My last book of the month was Narcissism for Beginners by Martine McDonagh.

The book portrayed a few heavy subjects through the eyes of a breezy young man who is slowly coming to terms with the fact he needs to grow up, while learning the secrets of those around him – his guardian, his guru father and his elusive mother.

I rated it 4/5 stars.

 

 


Where I got the books:

Edelweiss

  • Little Fires Everywhere

Netgalley

  • An Uncertain Grace
  • Little Fires Everywhere
  • Narcissism for Beginners

 

Features:

 


How was September for you?
Do you have a Wrap-up post? Please link it below!

Advertisements

Stacking The Shelves [24] September 30th

sts3

Stacking The Shelves is hosted at Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!


Greetings!

I hope you are enjoying your weekend so far.

I added one single book to my shelves this week.

Wish you all a lovely day!


Netgalley

You never know who’s watching…

Corinne’s life might look perfect on the outside, but after three failed IVF attempts it’s her last chance to have a baby. And when she finds a tiny part of a doll house outside her flat, it feels as if it’s a sign.

But as more pieces begin to turn up, Corinne realises that they are far too familiar. Someone knows about the miniature rocking horse and the little doll with its red velvet dress. Someone has been inside her house…

How does the stranger know so much about her life? How long have they been watching? And what are they waiting for…?

I couldn’t resist a psychological thriller with a hint of horror! This seems good.


And that’s it for this week!

Have you read this book or do you plan to?

Are you excited about reading any particular books you got this week?

Please comment below and if you have a STS post please post it in comments.

Narcissism for Beginners

Title: Narcissism for Beginners

Author: Martine McDonagh

Genres: Contemporary | Humour

Length: 208 pages | 2807 Kindle locations

Source: Netgalley

Publisher: Random House UK

Publishing Date: March 9th, 2017

Rating: 4/5

Premise:

When Sonny turns 21 years old he embarks on a journey to find out more about his origins.
As he goes through 5 letters his guardian wrote to him, while making disturbing discoveries on his own, Sonny’s world takes quite a turn.

Review:

Narcissism for Beginners is the story of a breezy young man who’s been through a lot and is about to go through a lot more emotional turmoil. It addresses difficult subjects such as different kinds of dependency – emotional and substance, to name the most frequent, and Sonny’s sarcastic tone helps cope with that.

I enjoyed this book. The writing is at times too rambling for my taste but at the same time it’s part of its charm. The breaks of pace when Sonny would abruptly change what he was narrated kept me interested.

The book is written in second person singular, as a letter addressed to Sonny’s mother, and despite the somber tone the ending was redeeming enough.

I recommend it, but you probably need to have a stomach to deal with heavy stuff.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Sep 25th to Sep 28th, 2017
GR Review

Little Fires Everywhere

Title: Little Fires Everywhere

Author: Celeste Ng

Genres: Contemporary

Length: 384 pages | 4158 Kindle locations

Source: Netgalley

Publisher: Penguin Press

Publishing Date: September 12th, 2017

Rating: 4.25/5

Premise:

Shaker Heights is supposed to be the perfect neighbourhood. Everything is planned and everyone tries hard to contribute to the standards.
But Mia and Pearl’s arrival to the neighbourhood will deeply affect the lives of those they come in contact with. Elena Richardson in particular will make sure that mysterious Mia will not upset the carefully constructed utopia.

Review:

Little Fires Everywhere was a very engaging read. I always wanted to know what came next to each of the characters.

In this sort of Stepford-wifey neighbourhood, our characters try hard to live up to the standards they truly believe in, and our Elena Richardson in particular makes sure she helps the less fortunate and raises her children to do so. Issues of race, sexuality, teen discoveries and much more are addressed through a miscellany of characters. There are a handful of main ones and I enjoyed getting to know each of them. Indeed, I was quite a fan of the writing and development of characters.

The writing is quite unique. We are presented with different perspectives and what would have happened had a character known something. Situations that are approached earlier will be revisited under a different point of view. And this allows the reader to truly get in the shoes of each of the characters and actually commiserate even with the less deserving ones. The fact is everyone has their motives to act how they do and each has their own way of thinking and belief of what is right. The question is what are they willing to do to defend that.

This was very enjoyable and I highly recommend it.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher. Edelweiss and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Sep 10th to Sep 24th, 2017
GR Review

Stacking The Shelves [23] September 23rd

sts3

Stacking The Shelves is hosted at Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!


Hello there!

Gosh, it’s been a while since I last wrote one of these, huh?
The fact is I have not added any books to my shelves in over a month.
This past week I saw a few I liked and requested them on Netgalley, though. I was granted access to two of them!


Netgalley

You think you know the truth about the people you love.

But one discovery can change everything…

Eight-year-old Billy goes missing one day, out flying his kite with his sister Rose. Two days later, he is found dead.

Sixteen years on, Rose still blames herself for Billy’s death. How could she have failed to protect her little brother?

Rose has never fully recovered from the trauma, and one of the few people she trusts is her neighbour Ronnie, who she has known all her life. But one day Ronnie falls ill, and Rose goes next door to help him… and what she finds in his attic room turns her world upside down.

Rose thought she knew the truth about what happened to Billy. She thought she knew her neighbour. Now the only thing she knows is that she is in danger…

I have read other books by this author and they are usually quite entertaining, even if I am not a fan of the endings.
This premise sounds really interesting and I am looking forward to digging into it.


‘You know that feeling? When you want something so badly, you almost feel you’d kill for it?’

Be careful what you wish for…

Kat and her husband Nick have tried everything to become parents, and are on the point of giving up. Then a chance encounter with Kat’s childhood friend Lisa gives Kat and Nick one last chance to achieve their dream.

But Kat and Lisa’s history hides dark secrets.

And there is more to Lisa than meets the eye.

As dangerous cracks start to appear in Kat’s perfect picture of happily-ever-after, she realises that she must face her fear of the past to save her family…

Also sounds very mysterious! I think this book has the potential to explore people’s strongest wishes and what they would do to achieve what they want, while exploring their ‘dark secrets’, so I had to request it.
Also, I loooved the cover.


And that’s it for this week!

Have you read this book or do you plan to?

Are you excited about reading any particular books you got this week?

Please comment below and if you have a STS post please post it in comments.

An Uncertain Grace

Title: An Uncertain Grace

Author: Krissy Kneen

Genres: Erotica | Science Fiction | Speculative Fiction

Length: 238 pages | 2337 Kindle locations

Source: Netgalley

Publisher: Text Publishing

Publishing Date: January 31st, 2017

Rating: 4.5/5

Premise:

Five erotic short stories taking place in a near future.

Review:

It’s been quite a while since I so thoroughly enjoyed a collection of short stories. Considering they are classified as erotic, the detail put to speculative fiction was outstanding. These make the reader completely reconsider sexuality as a whole while taking him on her on enthralling experiences. They are all connected by a common denominator and are chronologically order, taking the reader on a trip where we see the world changing, along with the characters.

The first story introduces us to a uni English literature teacher who is presented with a work by a former student. This is not just any work though, it’s an interactive narrative where the reader not only does what the author wants but also feels exactly what the author wants him or her to feel. I absolutely loved the way the author transcribed this idea to her story and we get to watch a fairly normal guy coming to terms with the fact that he might just be despicable.
I have a feeling woman and men will have different reactions to this story. Some of the scenes were so raw and yet I felt emotional. This was quite brilliant.

The second story comes from a different place. It is actually a sci-fi experiment.
What if you could merge with other beings?
The way the concept was introduced was quite astounding. You cannot help to relate to this guy, even though he must have done something really bad to have gone to prison for that long. Still, his childhood memories as well as his longing for them make him a person, and one with feelings, and you cannot help to relate.

The third story is about a robot who looks and feels human and was created for a unique purpose – to study hebephiles, people who are attracted to adolescents. Some scenes are difficult to take in as they are quite disturbing – even though you are seeing things through the eyes of Cameron, the robot. You can feel his own struggle to try and understand how a normal 13-year-old would react, so that the data collected during the experiments is as accurate as possible. And yet he cannot help but think of his place in the grand scheme of things.

The fourth story is less about sex and more about gender. It’s getting easier and easier to transition between both sexes, and even staying somewhere in the middle. These are the sexual experiences of one such person who wants to transition to centre – neither man or woman -, while trying to deal with her feelings towards her sexuality, her partner, and her mother.

The final story is about a woman who lived well into her one hundreds and still remembers a time when fish weren’t practically extinct. This one explores life after that and what you could experience in such a state.

Reading what I wrote above, I cannot help but feel my descriptions of the stories are very diminishing. The fact is I felt enraptured by them. At times disgusted, others excited and always curious to know what came next. I am not too sure about the Liv character, it did not struck me as believable that she is described as a teller of stories and yet we see her in scientific roles. But I do know I enjoyed this immensely and highly recommend it.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Aug 29th to Sep 8th, 2017
GR Review

August 2017 Wrap-Up

August is one of the busiest months at work so I didn’t manage to read much. Sims Freeplay took up most of my time, to be honest,
I did manage to go through a trilogy I grabbed from Netgalley. It was interesting food for thought.
I also managed to watch a couple of movies so overall it was a good month.


Summary:

Total Books Read: 3

Longest Read: The Final Correction (Condition #3) (288 pages)

Shortest Read: A Medical Miracle? (Condition #1) (210 pages)

Book of the Month: A Medical Miracle? (Condition #1)

Favourite Cover:

Challenges Progress:

GoodReads: 50/52

British Books Challenge: 22/12

2017 Netgalley & Edelweiss: 43/35


August Books:

 

I began August with the first book of the Condition trilogy, A Medical Miracle? by Alec Birri.

The book had a bumpy start but it developed into quite an imaginative work of speculative fiction and I was intrigued enough to continue on with the other two books.

I rated it 3.5/5 stars.

 

The Curing Begins… (Condition #2) by Alec Birri is the sequel to the previous book. I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the previous one but then again it was quite different. The fact that the first half of the book took place in the 70s brought a new dimension to the narrative and I slowly warmed up to it, though gah insta-love.

I rated it 3.5/5 stars.

 

I finished the month with the last book in the trilogy,, The Final Correction by Alec Birri.

I am not quite sure what to make of it, to be honest. I mean, I enjoyed it, but I was quite confused.

I rated it 3/5 stars.

 

 


Where I got the books:

 

Netgalley

  • A Medical Miracle?
  • The Curing Begins…
  • The Final Correction

 

Movie Reviews:

  • The Dark Tower
  • Annabelle: Creation
  •  

    Features:

     

    Other Posts in August:


    How was August for you?
    Do you have a Wrap-up post? Please link it below!