Tuesday, 8 July 2014

June mini reviews and what I'm reading now

Yeah, yeah, this is a week late, but SSSSSH BUSY.  Last month was quite an interesting one - the Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour, a week basking in the Croatian sun, etc etc - so despite not reading as much as I expected on holiday I actually finished quite a few books, yay!
~ What I Read ~
Lady Audley's Secret
by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
I started out the month by finishing up this potboiler of a Victorian novel for the readalong - even though I never actually finished the readalong POSTS.  I'm definitely slipping this summer...  Anyway, it was just as melodramatic as I remembered, and a lot of fun even if it's definitely not the best novel I've ever read!  3.5 stars, plus bonus points for the beautiful PEL cover.  :) 

Doomed (Damned 2)
by Chuck Palahniuk
Next up was the second book in Palahniuk's Damned trilogy, which I started last month.  I actually liked it more than Damned; that one was crazier and more shamelessly grotesque, with Madison traversing Hell with her new friends, whereas in this one she's stuck in Purgatory (drifting around on Earth as a ghost) watching the consequences of her accidental phone call to her grieving parents in the first novel.  It was still mad, and occasionally disjointed, but it felt a bit more grounded than the last book, which helped.  3.5 stars.

Boys Don't Knit (Boys Don't Knit 1)
by T.S. Easton
Hands down one of the funniest, most charming books I've read in ages.  If you threw Shameless, Skins, Adrian Mole and a bag of yarn into a magical bookish blender, this is what you'd get.  It's about a boy called Ben who joins a knitting class as part of his parole after accidentally taking out a lollipop lady with his bike... only to find that he's good at it.  Really, really good.  It's very British, very funny, very earthy, and anyone who's been to school here in the last fifteen years or so will feel right at home with these characters.  LOVED IT.  4.5 stars!

Lisey's Story
by Stephen King
You know how sometimes someone on the internet recommends a book that you'd not normally give a second glance, but then you see it somewhere serendipitiously and it rings a bell and you decide to give it a go because WHY NOT?  That's what happened with this book, and it was SO GOOD.  It's Chris from The Reading Rhodes's favourite book, and I spotted it in the library one day, and that was that.  It's a big novel - 700 pages or so - and quite slow-building, but so worth it.  It starts out as a gentle story of grief and recovery after the loss of a spouse, and becomes a fascinating and exciting novel taking in everything from sisterly love to other worlds to mental illness to stalker violence.  Not one I'd have picked up on my own - but I'm glad I did!  4.5 stars.

Geek Girl (Geek Girl 1)
by Holly Smale
Awww, this was so much fun.  Bex bought it me for the Ninja Book Swap last autumn, and I took it to Croatia with me at the end of the month and devoured it over a couple of long hot sunlounger days.  It's perfect poolside reading, like a cross between The Princess Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada.  It's about a fashion-clueless geek called Harriet who is accidentally 'spotted' during a trip to The Clothes Show live with her best friend Nat, who has always dreamed of being a model.  The novel's about how she takes this opportunity to do something new, finds a way to reconcile it with her own values, and deals with the fallout with her friends and family.  It's smart, easy to read and very cute - bring on book 2!  4 stars.

Lullaby (Watersong 2)
by Amanda Hocking
I read Wake last year by the pool in Fuerteventura, so it felt right to read the second book in the series this year by the pool in Rovinj!  In fact, this series has become so entwined with beautiful holidays, hot sun and sea breezes in my mind that I think I'm going to re-buy the first book and keep them all.  Anyway, in this second book Harper is trying to find Gemma, her younger sister, who has been spirited away by the beautiful Penn, Lexi and Thea, and is struggling to resist the darker side of her new life as a siren.  It's an easy read, and I enjoyed this one more than the first novel.  Hopefully I might even finish the series this summer!  4 stars.
~ What I'm Reading ~
While I was on holiday I also read the first 200 pages or so of June's TBR Challenge pick, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore, and the first chunk of The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.  I've nearly finished the latter and have already preordered the sequel, which is exciting!  After that I hope to go back and finish Lamb because I was really enjoying it, it just wasn't quite light enough for sweltering days on a sunlounger when my brain was melting.  I'm also still reading A Match to the Heart: One Woman's Story of Being Struck by Lightning by Gretel Ehrlich, which was my May TBR Challenge book but proved so frickin' purple of prose that it was driving me nuts; I put it aside for a while and haven't picked it back up since.  Oooops.

How was your reading month?  What was your favourite book of June?  And what are you reading to kick off July?  I hope you're all having a wonderful summer!


  1. Boooooks! Indeed you did read quite a bit, my good lady! My brain has been too busy for books of late (which I HATE SO MUCH) so I think I read, like, books in June or something. READING FAIL. *sniffs* *edges closer and closer to Lisey's Story* *Seriously I really want to read it* *what am I even doing right now?*

    1. I had about a week where I was too busy to read much - like, no pages on some days - and by the end I felt really OFF. Like some fundamental part of my living experience was missing. Just like when I was really miserable and couldn't read. It makes me feel all wrong. :(

  2. Yay, you're reading Lamb! I know I've only just finished it, but I still feel like I am now officially part of the Christopher Moore is awesome gang and can act like I've been aware of this fact for years :)

    How was the holiday?

    1. The holiday was lovely - beautiful scenery, big trees, one cracking good thunderstorm, lovely food, a beautiful saltwater pool, massive gardens dotted with sunloungers... it was gorgeous.


  3. I need to get Boys Don't Knit, if only for the fact that my mum thought Josh was a girl because he knitted. I think she thought I was about to come out to her as a lesbian... I think I read the sample chapters last year and it's on my wishlist.

    I should really get round to reading Geek Girl too. Also 5th Wave sequel? I didn't know about this! *runs off to order*

    1. Boys Don't Knit is so good! It's just... the sense of humour so perfectly matched mine, and there were some ridiculous moments straight out of Brit-com territory, and KNITTING. *coughs* What exactly did your mum think 'Josh' was short for? :P

      YES THERE IS A SEQUEL. (So, technically a 2nd 5th Wave, haha.) GO FORTH AND GET ON THAT SHIT, ELLIE.

  4. I tried really hard to read Lamb last year. Everyone I talk to who read it seems to love it, but I just could not get into it at all. I hope you have better luck with it than I did. I can't wait to read The 5th Wave! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much and I had no idea there was going to be a sequel!

    1. Ohhh, I've really enjoyed it! I love the deadpan sense of humour and Joshua's rocky philosophical road to learning how to be the Messiah. It's so cleverly done, I love it!

      The 5th Wave is excellent, I hope you enjoy it. The sequel's coming out anytime now I think, so hopefully that'll be dropping through my letterbox before the summer's over!

  5. oooh Croatia?! I was pretty much all over Europe this summer, but managed to miss Croatia, which I hear is breathtakingly beautiful!
    As for the books you're reading, I'd like to read Geek Girl! The hot summer weather is good for those lighthearted, short, poolside reads.

    1. The tiny part of Croatia we saw was really gorgeous! Before we went everyone we spoke to had either been there or had friends who had been and said it was beautiful, and we weren't disappointed!

      Frothy summer reads are just the best when it's hot, you're right. You want something you can just dive into, even when your brain's slowly frying in your head. Lovely holiday image there. :P


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