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!

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    July 2017 Wrap-Up

    July was one of the craziest months work-wise so I am glad I managed to read at all. Books definitely became my solace.
    I was overall really lucky this month! They were mostly great reads.
    Shame I didn’t get to go to the movies this month, nothing really piqued my interest. I hear good things about August, though!
    I had my third and last Bookishly experience, which ended with a bang. I definitely recommend it and will be posting a wrap-up post for it soon.
    I managed to grab my Kindle and head to the beach on the odd weekend so that was great.
    So yeah, July was pretty darn amazing!


    Summary:

    Total Books Read: 5

    Longest Read: Betrayed (Lake of Sins #4) (513 pages)

    Shortest Read: Holding (272 pages)

    Book of the Month: All Our Wrong Todays

    Favourite Cover:

    Challenges Progress:

    GoodReads: 47/52

    British Books Challenge: 22/12

    2017 Netgalley & Edelweiss: 40/35


    July Books:

     

    My first read of the month actually started mid-June. Borne by Jeff VanderMeer is an extremely imaginative book, as is expected from the author.

    However, like in my previous experience with his work, even though I thoroughly enjoyed the world he created the writing lost me at times and I never really felt the urge to pick up the book unless I was in a very specific mood. I also wished I had had more explanations by the end, not just hints.

    I rated it 3.5/5 stars.

     

    Betrayed (Lake Of Sins, #4) by L.S. O’Dea is the fourth instalment of a YA Dystopian series I have been thoroughly enjoying.

    This one did not grip me nearly as much as the others because it is quite heavy on the romance. Still, I went through it quickly as usual and cannot wait to find the answers in following books to a few clues given here.

    I rated it 3.25/5 stars.

     

    I had trouble staying with Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica mainly because the main character annoyed the heck out of me and I did not find certain aspects of the book believable.

    Still, I enjoyed it somewhat and it left me pondering about the good things in life and how feeble they are, as well as how even when we mean well we end up doing bad things.

    I rated it 3/5 stars.

     

    Well, Holding by Graham Norton was a bit wish-wash for me.
    The character development was okay but as a mystery, to me it failed to deliver.
    I still enjoyed it, it was a different read than usual, with the overweight sergeant.

    I rated it 3/5 stars.

     

    I finished the month with a bang, All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai was definitely the book of the month for me.

    The writing completely grabbed my attention, and I have to tell you, I am quite picky with humour.
    Even if not fully unexpected, the way the story developed completely had my attention and considering we are talking about time travel here I found it believable.
    Definitely recommend it if you are looking for a light read about a heavy theme, with a lot of soul searching and thought provocation involved.

    I rated it 4.5/5 stars.

     

     


    Where I got the books:

    Author

    • Betrayed (Lake Of Sins, #4)

     

    Edelweiss

  • All Our Wrong Todays
  •  

    Netgalley

    • Borne
    • Every Last Lie
    • Holding

     

    Features:

     

    Other Posts in July:

  • Unboxing #3

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

    June 2017 Wrap-Up

    June was a quick month where work was so insane I barely managed to read at all. Actually I was stuck with the same book from mid-month onwards and I am still not done. I just don’t have any desire to read… It’s work, sleep and sometimes play games on my phone.

    So, sadly, I only managed to read two books this month.


    Summary:

    Total Books Read: 2

    Longest Read: The Night Circus (502 pages)

    Shortest Read: Mr Make Believe (344 pages)

    Book of the Month: The Night Circus

    Favourite Cover:

    Challenges Progress:

    GoodReads: 42/52

    British Books Challenge: 22/12

    2017 Netgalley & Edelweiss: 36/35


    June Books:

     

    My month could have started a lot better. Mr Make Believe by Beezy Marsh seemed like the perfect light read but I could not related to it and the main character frankly annoyed me.

    It felt that the author tried too heard to bring Marnie into such a glamorous world that the way she got there did not seem believable at all, even though the day-to-day situations were, which made me not enjoy the book much.

    I rated it 2.5/5 stars.

     

    I had been putting off The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern for a while now because it struck me as an epic that deserved my undivided attention and I was right. I am glad I saved it for when I had time of work. It is quite an endeavour and I highly recommend it to fantasy fans.

    I rated it 4.5/5 stars.

     

     


    Where I got the books:

     

    Book Depository

    • The Night Circus
    •  

      Netgalley

    • Mr Make Believe
    •  

      Movie Reviews:

     

    Features:

     

    Other Posts in June:

     


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

    May 2017 Wrap-Up

    May was such a full month. Maybe because of that I was beginning to wonder if it would ever end!

    A lot of responsibilities at work but also chances to unwind and relax so overall a good one.

    They were all pretty long books, most over 400 pages, and the last one dragged on, so even though I had hoped to squeeze in one more read I think I did pretty well regardless, considering how crazy it has been at work.

    AND I reached my Netgalley & Edelweiss challenge goal, woohoo!

    May was pretty darn awesome.


    Summary:

    Total Books Read: 7

    Longest Read: The Follower and The Teacher’s Secret (432 pages)

    Shortest Read: Waking Gods (Themis Files #2) (320 pages)

    Book of the Month: Waking Gods (Themis Files #2)

    Favourite Cover:

    Challenges Progress:

    GoodReads: 40/52

    British Books Challenge: 22/12

    2017 Netgalley & Edelweiss: 35/35


    May Books:

     

    I began the month with The Marsh King’s Daughter, by Karen Dionne and boy, what a start.

    Reading about a woman who spent her childhood growing up in the marsh with a man who abducted her mother at 14 was never going to be easy but I really appreciate what the author managed to accomplish with this book. It is quite profound and I recommend it if you are able to deal with some pretty heavy stuff.

    I rated it 4.25/5 stars.

     

    Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig was such a tender and emotional story about an autistic teenager with a huge heart who never ever lies with her mouth. It’s amazing what difference a few nods will do in her life.

    I think this novel accurately addressed the stress dealing with such a person can be and also the amazing potential they have to love and be loved.

    I rated it 4.25/5 stars.

     

    I moved on to The Follower, by Koethi Zan.

    I found it dragged on and I could not take to any of the characters. I did not find them interesting nor was invested in finding out what happened to them. There were a few engaging snippets but overall I don’t really recommend it.

    I rated it 2/5 stars.

     

    The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite had the potential to be an amazing, heartbreaking story but I feel it tried to be too much in one book and that it dragged on, so I didn’t much enjoy it…

    I rated it 2.75/5 stars.

     

    Waking Gods (Themis Files #2), by Sylvain Neuvel was SO good, even better than the first book.

    I was not keen on a couple of things but it didn’t put much of a dent on my overwhelmed enjoyment. I highly recommend this series.

    I rated it 4.5/5 stars.

     

    My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood was interesting enough but I was annoyed by the main character and tired due to the twist and turns the book would constantly take. I actually found the reveal interesting, though partly expected, so that I finished the book more intrigued than during the first half or so.

    I rated it 3.5/5 stars.

     

    I struggled with The Teacher’s Secret, by Suzanne Leal because there were too many characters and the pace was slow.

    Still the book was well written, and if you can keep up with the pace it will be an enjoyable read, just don’t expect major twists.

    I rated it 2.5/5 stars.

     

     


    Where I got the books:

    Edelweiss

    • The Marsh King’s Daughter

     

    Netgalley

    • The Original Ginny Moon
    • The Follower
    • The Darkest Lies
    • Waking Gods (Themis Files #2)
    • My Sister’s Bones
    • The Teacher’s Secret

     

    Movie Reviews:

     

    Features:

     

    Reblogs:

  • International Kindle Paperwhite Giveaway
  •  

    Other Posts in May:

     


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

    April 2017 Wrap-Up

    April was an amazing month! Things were so crazy busy at work that I was afraid I would not get much reading time, but I managed to make books my refuge, dive right in and get lost in them – and in the process, keeping my sanity.

    I continued challenging myself to read new genres/stuff I would not normally read, and began the month with a non-fiction book, followed by a YA book that I won in a giveaway.

    I have been playing with my Instagram account and, though I still have a lot to learn, I am quite happy with the experience. There are some proper talented people out there, let me tell ya. The pictures I come across are quite inspirational.

    My usually dormant artistic bug bit me during a trip to Tiger and I bought watercolour crayons and paper, having created my very own bookmark. It is incredibly amateurish but hey it’s mine, and the process was actually quite relaxing, so even if I don’t stick to it I am happy that I tried.

    There were a few lovely sunny days and I feel overall quite content so cheers to April, thanks for bringing me joy!


    Summary:

    Total Books Read: 8

    Longest Read: Gambit (556 pages)

    Shortest Read: Virginia (57 pages)

    Book of the Month: All the Good Things

    Favourite Cover:

    Challenges Progress:

    GoodReads: 33/52

    British Books Challenge: 19/12

    2017 Netgalley & Edelweiss: 28/35


    April Books:

     

    My first book of the month was Lady Killers: A Compendium, by Tori Telfer.

    I requested this as part of my new year challenge to read new genres. I enjoyed it but I think I would have been more invested had the cases portrayed in the book been more contemporary. Instead, they took a tone of myth and my thirst for understanding wicked minds was not quenched.

    I rated it 2.5/5 stars.

     

    Gambit (The Prodigy Chronicles #1) by C.L. Denault was an extremely fast-paced read.

    I had quite a few issues with the book as I yearned for less clichés and more character and world development but it was still enjoyable.

    I rated it 3/5 stars.

     
     
     

    All the Good Things, by Clare Fisher was amazing. It is a harrowing book and I had to put it down on a couple of occasions because to be frank it was bringing me down but it is also very beautiful and has the most perfect ending.

    If you can handle tough reads I highly recommend this.

    I rated it 4.5/5 stars.

     
     

    The Lost Children (Detective Lucy Harwin #1) by Helen Phifer was an ok beginning to a crime series.

    There are just so many out there better done that I didn’t enjoy it much. I couldn’t take to the main character, for one. And there wasn’t enough of the premise of the children in the asylum, which was what pulled me in. Some things were quite predictable and I just don’t think I will be following this series.

    I rated it 2.5/5 stars.

     

    Just when you think you have read pretty much everything you could about twisted female characters, The Girlfriend, by Michelle Frances brings things to a whole new level.

    Mother and girlfriend face off in desperate attempts to keep the other out of Daniel’s life. And they are willing to do some pretty desperate things, for sure. This book is extremely rich in terms of character development and, although there were a couple of things here and there I didn’t much like, I do recommend it.

    I rated it 4.25/5 stars.

     
     

    Virginia by William Esmont was a quick, enjoyable read.

    Although there were a few situations where I wished the main character had acted differently and some parts dragged on, I think this novella has a pretty good balance between keeping the author interested while not giving too much away and it ended up being a creepy, interesting read.

    I rated it 3.5/5 stars.

     

    Well, we can’t love every single book, right? It has been a while since I read one I enjoyed so little.

    The Abscission Zone, by Samuel Muggington was an extremely bumpy ride where we get to follow a couple of characters who annoyed the heck out of me.

    I doubt I will be reading anything else by this author.

    I rated it 1.5/5 stars.

     
     

    The Ridge by John Rector was a Stepfordwife-type of novel that got quite creepy and enjoyable at times. However, I could not much get several of the main character’s actions and I finished the book with many unanswered questions.

    It is a book to appreciate for the journey.

    I rated it 3.25/5 stars.

     
     


    Where I got the books:

    Edelweiss

    • Lady Killers

     

    Giveaway

    • Gambit

     

    Netgalley

    • All the Good Things
    • The Lost Children
    • The Girlfriend
    • Virginia
    • The Abscission Zone
    • The Ridge

     

    Movie Reviews:

     

    Features:

     

    Reblogs:

     

    Other Posts in April:

     


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

    March 2017 Wrap-Up

    March is over and it was an AMAZING month!

    I signed up for Edelweiss, at long last. For some reason I thought I would not be able to since I am from Portugal. I have now gotten 5 ARC and really look forward to all of them.

    It’s not the most user-friendly website, is it? Even after watching the tutorials I felt a bit lost. I am more used to it now but I still much prefer Netgalley’s layout with the Recently added section and the Categories one.

    I also became a Book Depository Affiliate! That basically mean I get a tiny amount (5% I think) of whatever people spend on that site with no cost to them. All you have to do is click the Book Depository banner in my sidebar before purchasing. Obviously I won’t know who bought what, I just watch the numbers rise. This is the closest thing I have ever done to even remotely resemble making money with my blog so I have been really excited. Sadly, my count remains at:

    I created accounts in Pinterest and Instagram. Though I am still learning how to work with both I am finding it really enjoyable. Pinterest is so inspiring and makes me want to buy all sorts of pretty things that appeal to my inner bookworm, and Instagram has so many cool pictures by book lovers that make me wish I could do that sort of thing one day.

    I won a giveaway and got a lovely present from a fellow book blogger. So yeah. It was quite an emotional roller-coaster of a month!

    Things got quite busy at work towards the last few days. I participated in a professional training and education fair in Lisbon and had loads of fun. I met an ex-student from BIMM Brighton, Rory from Rory Indiana and am now officially a fan! Not only does he seem to be a great person but he also plays and sings really well. I especially like their song Self Sabotage but also Tough Love and Empiricism but yeah well pretty much anything ahah. He played a couple of songs from his coming up album and they sound really good. I made a video with my crappy phone (still saving up for a proper new one) and posted it in my Instagram.

    I got to talk with so many great people throughout the event and though that kinda goes against my nature and it was a lot of hard work it was completely worth it.

    A long, tiring, fulfilling month. Bring it on April!


    Summary:

    Total Books Read: 8

    Longest Read: I Found You (464 pages)

    Shortest Read: One of the Boys (176 pages)

    Book of the Month: You Don’t Know Me

    Favourite Cover:

    Challenges Progress:

    GoodReads: 25/52

    British Books Challenge: 16/12

    2017 Netgalley: 21/35


    March Books:

     

    My first book of March was The Roanoke Girls, by Amy Engel.

    It is not an easy theme. There were a few things I wasn’t entirely sold on and the ending was very predictable but the fact is I wanted to keep reading and would most likely have read it in one or two sittings had I had the time.

    I rated it 3.5/5 stars.

     

    Slade House by David Mitchell was amazing.

    Everytime I thought I knew what was happening the author would surprise me.
    I had never read anything by his author but now I am definitely a fan. It’s a perfect blend of fantasy, horror and paranormal – just my cup of tea!

    I rated it 4.5/5 stars.

     

    Then I moved on to The Fifth Reflection, by Ellen Kirschman.

    It takes place in a police environment and our main character is the department’s psychologist in her fifties. I found that very refreshing.
    The story was interesting as well, a bit slow paced but enjoyable. It was interesting to see how discovering who took Chrissy impacted all of the characters’ lives.
    I was increasingly more disappointed towards the ending, though.

    I rated it 3/5 stars.

     

    One of the Boys by Daniel Magariel was a very disturbing read. It’s an eye opened to not only physical but also psychological violence.

    However, I think the fact that the protagonist at times did not sound 12 years old and that all the members of this family were nameless created a distance that made me unable to get more emotionally involved with the narrative.

    I rated it 3.5/5 stars.

     

    After a short break I moved on to I Found You, by Lisa Jewell.

    The writing was very engaging, I had trouble putting the book down.
    Some things were cleverly done and I wanted to see what happened next.
    I did have trouble with some characters’ cluelessness regarding their own actions and I anticipated several revelations.

    I rated it 3.5/5 stars.

     

    The Breakdown by B.A. Paris had such an interesting premise and I had been hearing so much about it that I had to get on with it.

    Unfortunately, I was very disappointed at the characters and for about three quarters of the book everything that happened felt rather pointless. Then everything that’s relevant seemed to happen out of luck, so I just wasn’t sold on it and am in the minority with this one.

    I rated it 2.5/5 stars.

     

    Then I read The Doll Funeral, by Kate Hamer.

    I did not expect the writing to be so poetic. It was entrancing indeed but my attention wandered quite often and I found myself wishing for something interesting to happen all the time.

    Still, some descriptions will definitely stay with me. It’s just that as a story it takes too long to develop.

    I rated it 2.75/5 stars.

     

    I ended the month with a bang with You Don’t Know Me by Imran Mahmood.

    This story and characters are unlike anything I have ever read before. It is a truly compelling book that forces you to look at realities you don’t want to deal with because this 21-year-old young black man with a vocabulary that takes a while to get used to has his life in your hands. What if he didn’t commit that murder? Will you still convict him?

    Very good, highly recommend it.

    I rated it 4.5/5 stars.

     


    Where I got the books:

    Blogging for Books

    • The Roanoke Girls

    Book Depository

    • Slade House

    Netgalley

    • The Fifth Reflection
    • One of the Boys
    • I Found You
    • The Breakdown
    • The Doll Funeral
    • You Don’t Know Me

     

    Movie Reviews:

     

    Features:

     

    Reblogs:

     

    Other Posts in March:

     


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

    February 2017 Wrap-Up

    February was such an amazing month!

    I managed to read a few great books, watch a couple of awesome movies and work quite a lot on the blog, considering what I usually manage to do.

    I went through the list of blogs I followed and found that some had not posted anything since as early as 2015. Others did not post anything I could relate to. So I unfollowed some and searched for new ones. In the process I came across a couple of awesome challenges that will help me stay motivated and started two new blog features as well!

    In this month I have striven to reach out. Besides looking for new blogs, I made an effort to visit them often, liking posts and commenting whenever I had anything to say. The fact is I want to get to know you all! I really enjoy meeting people from all over the world and luckily work was very manageable during February and though I know it will start to get hectic again I will do my best to keep up.

    I made an effort to post at least once a day and things that I normally wouldn’t, since Ana’s Lair is ultimately a blog for book and movie reviews. I shared bits of my day with you, stuff I bought, and stuff I found online that struck me as interesting or funny and felt it would be nice to share. Several of you took the time to like and comment these posts, which I really appreciate!

    I ventured with hashtags for the first time. I cannot begin to tell you what a noob I am when it comes to social media. The fact is I never knew what all those # thingies people use were exactly for. I knew it had something to do with Twitter but I never delved into it. Then I decided to venture there, typed #Netgalley and found all sorts of interesting things. And pronto, there was another awesome way to meet new people who had similar interests! And ‘lo and behold, it appears that they work on Facebook too. Go figure. (yes, I am still quite the noob at this)

    My final discovery was Bloglovin’. I found it is a great way to discover new content and I absolutely love the Save option.
    I added the Follow me on Bloglovin’ button to my sidebar, I hope you will add me.

    So that was February for me. Short but sweet!


    Summary:

    Total Books Read: 8

    Longest Read: Little Girl Lost (DI Robyn Carter #1) (412 pages)

    Shortest Read: The Picture of Dorian Gray (165 pages)

    Book of the Month: The House

    Favourite Cover:

    Challenges Progress:

    GoodReads: 17/52

    British Books Challenge: 11/12

    2017 Netgalley: 14/35


    February Books:

     

    The first book I picked up in February was Blink, by K.L. Slater.

    It took a while to pick up but once it did the tension gripped me.
    I did struggle with Toni’s character and both the plot twist highly advertised and the resolution did not seem believable to me but I believe fans of psychological thrillers were love the book because it is full of unexpected twists, and do recommend it.

    I rated it 3.5/5 stars.

     

    Doll House by John Hunt was a very creepy read.

    However, the premise was too cool for the way it was executed. I craved a more thorough psychological development, especially of the main villain, and I had trouble connecting with the characters. There were truly creepy parts but it could have been so much better.

    I rated it 2/5 stars.

     
     
    Wicked Prayers, by S.D. Moore was classic gore horror.

    I was truly creeped out by those descriptions but the dialogues made me cringe and not in a good way.
    I was really sad to give it such a low rating but I could not find much positive with this book.

    I rated it 1.5/5 stars.

     

    Then I moved on to Little Girl Lost by Carol Wyer, the first book in DI Robyn Carter series, and finally things started looking up.
    The prose was enthralling and I kept wanting to know what happened next. It got quite intense and it is full of twists and turns. There were only a couple of things I would have liked to see done differently. Otherwise, highly recommended. For sure one of the best of its genre out there.

    I rated it 4.5/5 stars.

     

    I wanted to read something different so I picked up Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1), by Sylvain Neuvel.

    It was a pleasant surprise! I can see not everyone will appreciate the detached narrative style as the story is told mostly through interviews, reports and whatnot, but I for one enjoyed it.
    The plot is quite ingenious as well and although the cliffhanger ending made me want to find out what happened next I was content with this book.

    I rated it 4.25/5 stars.

     

    I really wanted to like See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt. I have seen so many 4 and 5 star reviews that it makes me feel I missed something really important. At the end of the day not all books will please everyone and this struck me as overdone and repetitive, and I had really hoped for proper closure at the end after such a morose development.

    I rated it 1.75/5 stars.

     
     

    I will be trying to read one paperback per month and since The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde was mentioned quite a few times when I asked you what I should read next I figured I would give it a go.
    I found it quite a profound book that made me contemplate today’s society as much as Wilde’s. However, it exhausted me at times. Lord Henry’s constant aphorisms and all the flowery descriptions tired me and I found it difficult to focus even when the narrative became interesting again.
    Still, I am glad I read it and recommend it.

    I rated it 3.5/5 stars.

     

    I ended February with a bang. The House by Simon Lelic was a surprising, enthralling read, which narrative style pulled me in and made me care for the characters and what happened to them.

    There were a few things I would have liked seen handled differently but overall this was a fast-paced book with a strong psychological charge, which I always love.

    I rated it 4.5/5 stars.
     


    Where I got the books:

    Book Depository

    • The Picture of Dorian Gray

     
    Netgalley

    • Blink
    • Doll House
    • Wicked Prayers
    • Little Girl Lost (DI Robyn Carter #1)
    • Sleeping Giants
    • See What I Have Done
    • The House

     

    Movie Reviews:

     

    Features:

     

    Reblogs:

     

    Other Posts in February:

     


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