Archive | May 2016

Musing Mondays – Monday 23rd May

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Happy Monday! Here’s another Musing Monday, courtesy of Books and a Beat.

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Name a book you thought you wouldn’t like, but ended up loving.

Today I’m answering ‘I wish I could read____ but….’ and this is a toughie for me. I’ve interpreted the prompt a little differently than maybe you expect, but I’m going to talk about not enjoying a book (shock!!)

So I wish I could read ‘Find Me’ by Laura van den Berg, but I’m really finding it a struggle. I hate giving up on books and not finishing them, but I’m just finding this such a tough read. I don’t find myself intrigued by the plot or the characters anymore, and I feel like I’m only reading it to get it out of the way.

I don’t think I’ll write a full review of it, either, because that would be super unfair to the author. Maybe I’ll include it in my upcoming summer reads, as I have read about 80% of it. I guess it just wasn’t for me.

Do you have any experience with a book you just couldn’t finish??

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Name a book you thought you wouldn’t like, but ended up loving.

Interesting question, because I thought to myself, why would you buy a book if you didn’t think you’d like it??

Having said that, I bought Jodi Picoult’s The Storyteller, thinking it would just be okay. I bought it for Jodi, not for the plot, because, to be honest, I don’t really like reading Holocaust stories. I find them so sad and demoralising, and in some cases they can be quite repetitive. (An exception to this is, of course, The Book Thief, which is a work of genius).

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However, maybe because of Jodi’s skill as a writer, or because of the multi-perspective narrative form her novels take, I found The Storyteller captivating and engaging throughout. It was a fantastic read in the end, and I’m really glad I read it. I remember staying up into the early hours of the morning to finish it – not a good idea as it was the day before New Years Eve!

So let me know your thoughts – have you read The Storyteller? And that closes up Musing Mondays for this week! Check out all the other responses on Books and a Beat’s page!

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Maybe Someday – Colleen Hoover

I am a huge Colleen Hoover fan. Her books are so honest and so real that the connection between the characters and the reader is so vivid and tangible that you just can’t stop reading.

Maybe Someday tells the story of Sydney and Ridge. Sydney is living in a perfect little bubble: she loves her studies and her part-time job, she loves her boyfriend, and she loves hearing the music from the opposite balcony every evening.

Unfortunately, bubbles don’t always last, and when Sydney finds out her boyfriend Hunter is cheating on her with her roommate, the only person left to help is the boy across the balcony. When Ridge invites Sydney to move in, in exchange for writing lyrics to his music, she begins to think that maybe with his help she can heal her heart… but moving on isn’t always easy.

As I said, Colleen Hoover’s characters are so complex and genuine that they cease to be fictional and jump off the pages. The way she describes emotions and feelings is both beautiful and heartbreaking that her novels are always a compelling read. I found myself speeding through the novel and trying to swallow up as much as possible.

The dual POV, alternating between Sydney and Ridge, adds a level of understanding that perhaps the reader wouldn’t get if it was just narrated from Sydney’s viewpoint. Because of the complexity of their characters and the dynamic between them, you need the double narrative to fully explain their feelings. Almost as if Colleen had merged Hopeless and Losing Hope to give both views.

She doesn’t shy away from background characters either. I feel like in Hopeless it was very much Sky and Holder’s story, whereas Maybe Someday recognises the importance of the supporting cast of Warren, Bridgette, Brennan and Maggie.

What’s great about a novel about music is that Colleen Hoover actually provides a soundtrack to go along with it. I must admit, I didn’t listen to the songs as they appeared, because I had a pretty good idea in my head of how I wanted them to sound, but I think having a soundtrack to a book about music is a genius idea.

There was something that annoyed me throughout the book – but I don’t want to give away spoilers (if the blurb doesn’t give it away, I won’t either) and my gripe goes directly with this spoiler. However, my gripe was resolved by the end of the novel and in a way, the way in which Hoover went about it added an extra level of depth to the Sydney/Ridge relationship.

All in all, this was another powerhouse work by Colleen Hoover. If you like romance, music and true emotion, this is the book for you. If you’re a miserable person, with no heart, it’s probably best if you don’t read it.

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Maybe Someday is published by Atria, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. 

Musing Mondays – Monday 9th May

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Throwing out another Musing Monday today, courtesy of Books and a Beat.

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: What is the best book you read LAST year?

Today I’m answering ‘I’m currently reading…’ and the book(s) I’m currently reading are two in fact! So I in turn ask you this question, do you have to concentrate on one at a time or can you read more than one book at once?

Most of the time I read one at once, but every so often I find myself dipping into two at the same time, whether that’s because I’m reading one in print and one on my Kindle or something similar. And I almost always have one book at home that I’ve put a bookmark in the last time I was home and then come back to the next holiday. (Even though I’m not actively reading it, I usually count it as a book I’m reading!)

So at the moment, I am currently reading:

Find Me – Laura van den Berg

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AND

Maybe Someday – Colleen Hoover

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I also have A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman on the go at home.

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: What is the best book you read LAST year?

Really tough one because I read so many great ones! These include some really popular books, so I could say The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins or Me Before You – Jojo Moyes.

But I think I’m going to go with a book that I think deserves a lot more love, and that’s The Good Liar – Nicholas Searle.

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Roy is a conman living in a leafy English suburb, about to pull off the final coup of his career. He is going to meet and woo a beautiful woman and slip away with her life savings.

But who is the man behind the con and what has he had to do to survive this life of lies?

And why is this beautiful woman so willing to be his next victim?

It was such a cleverly written book and so skilfully done. I felt compelled to keep reading to find out more about Roy and his story, alongside his plan. I really recommend it to anyone – it was a rollercoaster of a read: it cranks up and up and hurtles down with twists and turns that make you unable to put it down.

That closes up Musing Mondays for this week! Check out all the other responses on Books and a Beat’s page!

Musing Mondays – Monday 2nd May

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I’m trying something new today! Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Books and a Beat, which asks you to answer  one of the following prompts and a random question:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Name any 5 books from your “to be read” pile (even if it’s a “virtual” pile).

I’ve gone for ‘I can’t wait to get a copy of…’ and the book I can’t wait to get a copy of is I See You by Clare Mackintosh.

I just finished I Let You Go (you can read my review here) and it was probably the best book I’ve read this year and definitely the best thriller since The Girl on the Train, so I’m really excited to see what Clare does next.

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Name any 5 books from your “to be read” pile (even if it’s a “virtual” pile).

Let me whip out my Kindle app and have a look…

  1. Maybe Someday – Colleen Hoover
  2. The Fever – Megan Abbott
  3. Find Me – Laura van der Beg
  4. The Shock of the Fall – Nathan Filer (yes, still)
  5. Asking for It – Louise O’Neill (yet to buy….)

You can read my full TBR list here, and let me know what books you want to read soon!