irish blog

My Super Late June Wrap Up

Better late than never right?….

Books Read

Shadowland (Cassandra Palmer, #4.2) Updating Pritkin (Cassandra Palmer, #5.5) The Force of Wind (Elemental Mysteries, #3) Milk and Honey Sputnik Sweetheart First Drop of Crimson (Night Huntress World, #1) Ride the Storm (Cassandra Palmer, #8) Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7) Feral Sins (The Phoenix Pack, #1) Faro's Daughter My Life as a White Trash Zombie (White Trash Zombie, #1)

Highlights

Ride the Storm

Ride the Storm by Karen Chance ★★★★★

The 8th book in Chance’s Cassie Palmer series sees several long running story lines come to a head (at last!). I had been waiting with bated breath for some of these and was not disappointed with the outcome.

The series follows Cassie Palmer, a clairvoyant time-traveling disaster magnet (love her!!), on her adventures ( or misadventures…) as the supernatural community’s new leading clairvoyant, The Pythia. Cassie isn’t your usual urban fantasy leading lady, she’s much more of an “every-woman” than a “warrior-woman” thrust into strenuous situations she isn’t prepared for. And, heck, we’ve all been there!! Cassie handles it all though and comes back swinging.

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Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur ★★★★☆

I gave this 4 stars but 3.5 would be more accurate. A lot of the poems really resonated with me but I disliked the formatting and it occasionally seemed more like whining from a young woman’s diary than observations on life.

A lot of poetry seems to be written in this format now, all lower case and just a few sentences… it doesn’t seem like poetry to me but who the heck am I to judge!

Some parts I loved some I found frustrating but I guess the point of poetry is to make you feel something which it certainly did.

The Force of Wind

The Force of the Wind by Elizabeth Hunter ★★★★★

The 3rd book in Hunter’s Elemental Mysteries series is a slow burner for the most part and then explodes into a rousing inferno. Three anticipated story lines come to a head with varying outcomes.

The Elemental Mysteries follows Giovanni Vecchio and Beatrice De Novo as they unravel the secrets behind Beatrice’s missing father, Giovanni’s long lost library, his iniquitous son and how these things may be connected.

Oh and Gio is a vampire with fire elemental abilities.

First Drop of Crimson

First Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost ★★★★★

Now I know everyone seems to LOVE Cat and Bones from Frost’s Nighthuntress series but I gotta say I preferred this spin-off novel way more. I don’t know what it is about those two but I just don’t like them all that much… Cat and Bones are not the main characters in this book but I would recommend following the authors suggested reading order. There are some definite spoilers for Nighthuntress if you’re reading it.

This one follows two friends of Cat and Bones as they battle a shape-shifting demon. Much more paranormal romance focused than the other series as well. A very fun read, I gobbled it up.

Sputnik Sweetheart

Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami ★★★★★

This one really surprised me. I had never read anything by Murakami and only listened to this because it was part of Scribd selects last month. I didn’t really know what to expect from the author or the story (I was flying totally blind) but it grabbed me and sucked me in like a whirlpool. The story follows a disquieting love triangle (not the annoying YA kind) between K, Sumire and Miu. The relationships the three characters have really highlight human emotion, the need for connection, friendship and desire.

Lover Avenged

Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward ★★★★★

Took me ages to get into this book and damn near got whiplash from all the POV’s. Freaking loved it in the end though. This is the 7th book in Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. The romance plot for this one centres on Rehvenge but the book follows most of the main characters. The story is very exciting and the lessers are finally starting to look like a serious threat and interesting enemy.

Faro's Daughter

Faro’s Daughter by Georgette Heyer ★★★★★

Despite Heyer being considered the mother of Historical Romance by many, I had never heard of her. I had spotted the audio book on Scribd selects a few times but never gave it much of a glance until last month. I couldn’t sleep and this was free and short, I figured ‘what the hey?!’. I ended up loving the story. It reminded me a bit of Elizabeth Hoyt’s or Kresley Cole’s historical romances with a sassy strong willed heroine and a roguish hero engaging in an intriguing têteà-tête. 

My Life as a White Trash Zombie

My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland ★★★★★

First of all, how cool is that cover?! About as cool as this freaking book!! Such a fun story that may seem familiar if you’ve watched iZombie but only as far as both protagonists are blond females who happen to be zombies and work in the morgue. Another similarity is that the zombies seem to remain intelligent and fresh as long as they continue to eat brains. But White Trash Zombie was so much fun!! I listened to the audio book of this and the narrator was amazing, I highly recommend the audio.

The story follows Angel Crawford after she wakes up in the ER after an apparent overdose with no idea what’s going on, a new job and delivery of mystery milkshakes. Her “life” takes some mad turns and then a serial killer shows up to keep things interesting. Brilliant story, I ordered the next book before I even finished this one.


So that’s it for June. I didn’t read too much last month (I’ve already read more this month) but it was a good month. I really enjoyed almost all of the books I read.

Now I’m off to do dishes, make dinner and listen to my audiobook. Laters!

Ride the Storm – Karen Chance

Ride the StormTitle: Ride the Storm
 
Author: Karen Chance
 
Genre: Urban Fantasy
 
Series: Cassie Palmer #8
 
Goodreads Rating: 4.34/5
 
 
Synopsis: Ever since getting appointed the chief seer of the supernatural world, Cassie Palmer has been playing catch up. Catch up on the training she missed being raised by a psychotic vampire instead of at the pythian court. Catch up on the dangerous world of supernatural politics. Catch up on the powerful, and sometimes seductive, forces trying to mold her to their will. It’s been a trial by fire that has left her burned.

But now she realizes all that was just the warm up.

Ancient forces that once terrorized the world want to return, and Cassie is the only one who can stop them.

 
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What I thought about the book:
Wow!! I said finally so many times reading this book!!!
Amazing, it was everything I wanted and so much more and of course now I’m dying for the next one.

My only complaint is that the action scenes sometimes slow down the story and I ended up skimming them a bit after a while. Chance writes great action scenes but I’ve noticed with the last 2/3 books they’re getting more frequent and it kinda stalls the story. Cassie does often make important discoveries during them but there’s more than one way to do that.

***Some Spoilers Ahead***
Some great things about this book:
  • Cassie finally starts taking charge of situations
  • We get so many questions answered
  • Pritkin!!! So much amazing Pritkin stuff
  • We find out what Mircea is really about
  • A certain someone finally makes an appearance

There’s a lot of really interesting character development in this one, especially with Rosier and Roger. Fatherly love seems to be a bit of a theme here with three Dads influencing Cassie in major ways.

And Mircea! I always really liked Mircea (but loved Pritkin) but after this, I’m not sure how I feel. Especially after the last few sentences of the conclusion.

Book Depository Link

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My Rating:
 5 paws
Ride the Storm
I got this as an ARC from NetGalley.
wrap up monthly reading books bookblog

May Wrap-Up

It’s monthly wrap-up time again folks!! Hope you all had a good reading month. I had a pretty good one, got about 10 books in and enjoyed them all.

Unmasqued Unmasqued by Collete Gale ★★★★☆

(FYI this is a durrrty book) Retelling of The Phantom of the Opera. So much better than I was expecting, this one is for everyone who wanted the phantom to get the girl.

Master of Seduction (Sea Wolves, #1) Master of Seduction by Kinley MacGregor ★★★☆☆

I wanted so much more from this book. I expected it to be a cheesy and silly as the cover but it was a bit….boring.

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1) Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams ★★★★☆

So witty and mental and fun to read! I didn’t enjoy it as much as Hitchhikers Guide but it was still great.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5) The Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling ★★★★★

My favourite one!!! A lot of people dislike this one because of teenage angst but I think it’s well founded. Love it!

Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #4) Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill ★★★★★

Awesome urban fantasy series. Merit kicks ass!!

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1) Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs ★★★☆☆

Interesting but not really for me.

Drink Deep (Chicagoland Vampires, #5) Drink Deep by Chloe Neill ★★★★★

That UF series again. This one is my favourite so far. Merit really comes into her own here and the world gets so much bigger.

The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire, #1) The Greyfriar by Clay & Susan Griffith ★★★★☆

Steampunk vampire apocalypse, you say? Hell yes!! Very heavy with the world building at the beginning but awesome story.

Zombie's Bite (Dorina Basarab, #0.1) Zombie’s Bite by Karen Chance ★★★★☆

Prequel novella to Chance’s Dorina Basarab series, available for free from her site. It’s set before the series but I wouldn’t recommend reading it before Midnight’s Daughter.

Bossypants Bossypants by Tina Fey ★★★☆☆

I thought this would be a lot funnier. It was very interesting though.

The Handmaid's Tale The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood ★★★★★

Harrowing. Everyone should read this.

Curse the Dawn (Cassandra Palmer, #4) Curse the Dawn by Karen Chance ★★★★★

There are only two book worlds I would like to live in and they are Harry Potter (obv) and this series. I love it!!!!!!!!!!!


Had one DNF this month and that was…..

Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas #1) Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris

100 pages in and zzzzz boring. I’ll check out the show when it comes out.

Slade House – David Mitchell

28953095Title: Slade House
 
Author: David Mitchell
 
Genre: Horror
 
Series: n/a
 
Goodreads Rating: 3.82/5
 
 

Synopsis: Keep your eyes peeled for a small black iron door.

Down the road from a working-class British pub, along the brick wall of a narrow alley, if the conditions are exactly right, you’ll find the entrance to Slade House. A stranger will greet you by name and invite you inside. At first, you won’t want to leave. Later, you’ll find that you can’t. Every nine years, the house’s residents—an odd brother and sister—extend a unique invitation to someone who’s different or lonely: a precocious teenager, a recently divorced policeman, a shy college student. But what really goes on inside Slade House? For those who find out, it’s already too late. . . .

Spanning five decades, from the last days of the 1970s to the present, leaping genres, and barreling toward an astonishing conclusion, this intricately woven novel will pull you into a reality-warping new vision of the haunted house story—as only David Mitchell could imagine it.

 
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What I thought about the book: This book sounds so creepy, right?… Well, it’s a little bit meh. It certainly has it’s creepy moments but with the story broken up into a cycle of decades, I felt like I was reading a prologue over and over again. The story only really takes off near the end and then it was really interesting (bit late by then though!).
I found out after reading that this book is set in the same world as The Bone Clocks which I haven’t read. I enjoyed this one enough to get The Bone Clocks, it seems to be a bit more popular (by a bit, I mean double readership).
 
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My Rating: 
3 paws

Get the book on Book Depository

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zazzle bookish photography shop promotion

Shameless Self Promotion

I know I know, self-promotion is annoying but I gotta do it!

If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed I’m into photography. I have been for a good few years and I have thousands of photos just sitting on my hard drive eagerly anticipating the day I put them to use! Well, that day has come!! Last night I set up a Zazzle shop to sell some (very few up at the moment) as posters. Zazzle is running a 50% sale on posters at the moment so now is the time to buy, people!!

I will be adding more bookish stuff soon as well. I love bookish merch but find it hard to get something that suits my taste. So I guess I gotta make some!!

Here are a few examples of what I’m selling. Click on a picture to view it on Zazzle ❤

every accomplishment starts with the decision to try black and white cliff by the sea portrait

macro photograph lily flower with rain drops

Rainy Street Light with Quote

cloudy irish sunset with quote aim for the sky

If you check out my store, thank you so so much. It really means a lot to me. If you buy something then you are the most amazing person in the world and I love you!!

 

Do you Book Club?

Good morning everyone!

Hope you all had a great weekend and a not so bad Monday.

I’m sure everyone has heard about the Wizarding World Book Club at this stage but in case you haven’t Pottermore is launching an official Harry Potter book club in June. I’m sure there are a bunch of these on Goodreads already but it’s really cool to have an official international one.

my vampire book obsession goodreads group book club

 

I avoided book clubs for years because I don’t like being told what to read but I always loved the idea of a book club (I’m also a big ol’ introvert and avoid social situations). I was one of those people who joined Goodreads groups, lurked for a little bit and then never returned. Occasionally I would comment in the introductions thread and not a peep after that. Last year I joined a group whose name alone sang to my soul, My Vampire Book Obsession. It was so easy to chat with people and everyone loved the same books as me. I had found my online book family! (and I absolutely love you guys!!) I loved it so much I eventually became a mod and now torment people with reading challenges (you guys love it, don’t try to deny it). Once the books were the right genre I found I didn’t mind being told what to read. I ended up increasing my reading from 2 or 3 books a month to 2 or 3 books a week! (I’m a slow reader so that is a huge increase)

But what about real life book clubs??? I always figured it was a waste of time since there doesn’t seem to be anyone around that reads the same books as me (and I’m a big ol’ introvert). Book clubs seem to focus on literary fiction and bestsellers which I have nothing against and do read just not very often. But I figured, of the ten books I usually read each month making one a book club read isn’t that daunting. So I joined a local book club last month and met some really nice people. The book was something I would never have picked myself but I ended up enjoying it (Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld) and we had a really great chat about books. I guess I shouldn’t have been so narrow-minded about the whole thing. I’m really glad I joined, it was fun and the people there were really friendly.

Goodreads groups allow you to chat every day with people as obsessed with reading as you are and in your genre. But real life book clubs have their benefits too. Like getting an introvert out of her house!


Do you attend a book club or use Goodreads groups?

Books I DNF’d

For those who don’t know, DNF means Did Not Finish.

Luckily it’s a short list. Usually, I go back and finish a DNF but some of them I have no intention what so ever of finishing.

Knight of a Trillion Stars (Matrix of Destiny #1) Knight of a Trillion Stars – Dara Joy

The audiobook of this was free on scribd a few months so I decided to give it a whirl. Ugh, what a waste of time. It was just way too cheesy for me. Every time Lorgin spoke I would just roll my eyes. Will not finish.

Bait (Wake, #1) Bait – M. Mabi

This was ok. The story was pretty slow though. There was a lot of cheating going on and they weren’t really going anywhere so I got bored and just didn’t bother picking it up again. Will not finish.

My Name Is Lucy Barton My Name is Lucy Barton – Elizabeth Strout

I was so excited to read this after reading loads of great reviews for it but man was it boring. This woman lived totally inside her own head, fell ‘in love’ with any man that was nice to her and was just plain boring. Will not finish.

Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined Life and Death – Stephenie Meyer

I just wanted to see if the story would be more enjoyable with the gender swap. It was the same. Will not finish.

From Ashes (From Ashes, #1) From Ashes – Molly McAdams

I got bored and the “love triangle” pissed me off. Will not finish.

The Exorcist The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty

I was listening to the audiobook read by the author. I didn’t like his narration. I’ll pick up the book instead.

Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #1) Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper – J.L. Bryan

This was ok. I just lost interest. Ghost trapping sounds exciting and fun but not so much for these guys. Based too much in reality I think. Will not finish.

Torrent (Condemned, #1) Torrent – Gemma James

No. Just no. Rape fantasies and slapping a woman across the breasts with a belt. Nope. I got as far as the main guy saying he cared for the girl but really wanted to rape her. What the fuck?! Will not finish.

Keystone (Crossbreed #1) Keystone – Dannika Dark

I got bored. It started off pretty good but then grew stagnant during the world building/training stage. I didn’t care about any of the characters so why bother. Will not finish.

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre Mr Darcy, Vampyre – Amanda Grange

I don’t remember anything about this… I’m a big fan of classic retellings so I might give it another go.

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4) City of Fallen Angels – Cassandra Clare

I was satisfied with the third book in the series being the end so didn’t feel much incentive to keep going. I think I will come back to this though because I really like the characters and the world.

Faithful Faithful – Alice Hoffman

I have this on my DNF shelf so I must have started it but I don’t remember a single thing about it.

The Magicians (The Magicians #1) The Magicians – Lev Grossman

Quentin was such an asshole. I got about half way.

The English Patient The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje

This I will come back to at some point I just wasn’t feeling it at the time.

Dark Prince (Dark, #1) Dark Prince – Christine Feehan

The guy in this was just too positive which is really common in PNR but got annoyed with this one. I didn’t like Feehan’s writing style either. I’ve since read a good few of her books from other series and enjoyed them so I might give this another go.

Dune Dune – Frank Herbert

I wasn’t feeling an intricate story with lots of characters at the time. I will come back to this at some point.


How many DNF’s do you have? Have you read any of these books and think I should give them another chance?