Charity Shop Finds!

It’s time for another Charity Shop Fiiiiiinds!

I know it probably seems like these are weekly, the truth of the matter is that it probably is a regular occurrence for us, but, when you have a family of three and are trying to save but still want to be able to go out and not spend a fortune, this is what ends up happening.

On the plus side, I’ve made it my goal to tackle my donate TBR after pushing through my eARCs which, I’m doing okay with my pace, so, I’m hoping this summer will be the tackling of my physical TBR! [*laughs at self, knowing I’ll keep requesting on NetGalley*]

Hubs had a day off this week and we went out to buy me a jacket, but popped into a couple of charity shops to kill time, we ended up with these finds:

  • James Stewart Biography (3.25) [He is my favorite actor. Ever.]
  • Ben-Hur .50P
  • The Lady Midnight .50P [This has some faded sprayed edges but in otherwise good condition, but I’m too lazy to put photos of these as they’ve already been put away]

Then this weekend we got:

  • The Alienist [I had borrowed it from the library when I read it, but it was part of a sale, 3 for 1.50]
  • Sparkling Cyanide 3 for 1.50
  • And Then There Were None 3 for 1.50
  • Artemis Fowl 3 for 1.50
  • Kidnapped 3 for 1.50
  • Little Women 3 for 1.50 [This one completed my daughter’s set of classics!]
  • The Bear and the Nightingale 1.00
  • Gulliver’s Travels 2.00 [We liked this copy better and will donate our other copy next weekend!]
  • Ever After High 2.00 [Daughter fled with that one so no pic of it lol]
  • The Good Women of China 1.00
  • A History of Scotland 1.00
  • Frankenstein .50P
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea .50P
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes .50P
  • The Secret Garden .50P

So, we spent about 12.00!

It’s going to be a long March Haul post when I get to it…

Down The TBR Hole

It’s a meme kinda day after having a slight book hangover from finishing Descendant of the Crane. So which one have I picked? A new one for me to do!

Down The TBR Hole, a meme originally hosted by Lia @ Lost In A Story where you clean up your TBR of all those books you’re never going to read and sort through it and get a better handle on what all you got! (If someone can slide me the current host, I’ll gladly update this post)

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well that’s going to change! – Lia @ Lost In A Story

What do you do?

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I’m laughing, this is going to be a very uneventful TBR cleaning. My earliest books are ones I own and just haven’t gotten around to yet and I’ve cleared out physical books I’ll never read already so…I’ll skip the first four and go to numbers 5-9.

The last place Suze Simon expects to find herself during Valentine’s Day is a cemetery. But that’s what happens when you’re a mediator – cursed with the “gift” of communicating with the dead.

That’s how Suze has ended up at the graves of a pair of NCDPs – Non-Compliant Deceased Persons – whose drama didn’t end with death. It’s Suze’s job to make sure they move on—for good.

But the NCDPs aren’t the only ones with problems. The reason Suze is spending her Valentine’s Day with the undead instead of her boyfriend, Jesse, is because he’s having so much trouble adjusting to life after death . . . not surprising, considering the fact that he used to be an NCDP himself, and now his girlfriend busts his former kind for a living, while he tries to cure his kind of what used to ail him.

Can Suze use her mediating skills to propose a mutual resolution, and bring all these young lovers together – including Jesse and herself – especially on the night Saint Valentine declared sacred to romance?

Or will she end up alone—and possibly undead—herself?

Stays. I’ve read the rest of the series and it’s one of the ones I like reread as well. I didn’t know this one existed until this year. [I did a super purge to my TBR a few months back but I’m back to accumulating them like candy]

In this exciting adventure about the wolf pack that saved the life of a young girl when she was lost on the tundra, Julie has returned to her family, but her wolf pack has a story all its own.

Fearless but inexperienced Kapu is now the new leader of the pack. He must protect his wolves from the threats of famine and disease and, at the same time, defend himself from bitter rivals, both inside and outside the pack, who are waiting for their chance to overthrow him. The strength of Kapu’s leadership will determine not just the well-being of the pack but its very survival.

Jean Craighead George’s research and first-hand observation form this engrossing epic tale that’s sure to draw readers into the fascinating world of wolves.

I’m actually not 100% sure I haven’t already read this back in grade school and I’m a huge fan of the other two, so, stays.

Dead to Me is a 10-page short story that connects The Dragon Heir to The Enchanter Heir. It picks up with Leesha Middleton on, as she would say, “the blind date from hell.”

The date gets worse when she encounters the magically damaged, undead victims of the Thorn Hill Massacre for the first time. 

Cinda Williams Chima’s new book The Enchanter Heir (10.1.13) is the first of two new Heir Chronicles novels in which familiar faces return, new characters take center stage, and not everyone gets a happy ending.

So this is apparently 3.5 in the series and I’m laughing because it’s only 10 pages, so, I’m not sure? I’m not a huge fan of this series but I’ve read the first three…or…four…no three? Anyway, they stare at my shelf and mock me for being lukewarm about them. I’m gonna say chuck it out [but I’ll probably end up skim reading it anyway, I’m horrible like that]

They called it the Thorn Hill Massacre—the brutal attack on a once-thriving Weir community. Though Jonah Kinlock lived through it, he did not emerge unscathed: like the other survivors, Jonah possesses unique magical gifts that set him apart from members of the mainline guilds. At seventeen, Jonah has become the deadliest assassin in Nightshade, a global network that hunts the undead. He is being groomed to succeed Gabriel Mandrake, the sorcerer, philanthropist, and ruthless music promoter who established the Thorn Hill Foundation, the public face of Nightshade. More and more, Jonah’s at odds with Gabriel’s tactics and choice of targets. Desperate to help his dying brother Kenzie, Jonah opens doors that Gabriel prefers to keep closed.

Emma Claire Greenwood grew up worlds away, raised by a grandfather who taught her music rather than magic. An unschooled wild child, she runs the streets until the night she finds her grandfather dying, gripping a note warning Emma that she might be in danger. The clue he leaves behind leads Emma into Jonah’s life—and a shared legacy of secrets and lingering questions.

Was Thorn Hill really a peaceful commune? Or was it, as the Wizard Guild claims, a hotbed of underguild terrorists? The Wizards’ suspicions grow when members of the mainline guilds start turning up dead. They blame Madison Moss and the Interguild Council, threatening the fragile peace brokered at Trinity.

Racing against time, Jonah and Emma work to uncover the truth about Thorn Hill, amid growing suspicion that whoever planned the Thorn Hill Massacre might strike again.

So, I’ve read the first three apparently, I think I will say, Stay but if it doesn’t get any better then that means this one…

The delicate peace between Wizards and the underguilds (Warriors, Seers, Enchanters, and Sorcerers) still holds by the thinnest of threads, but powerful forces inside and outside the guilds threaten to sever it completely.

Emma and Jonah are at the center of it all. Brought together by their shared history, mutual attraction, and a belief in the magic of music, they now stand to be torn apart by new wounds and old betrayals. As they struggle to rebuild their trust in each other, Emma and Jonah must also find away to clear their names as the prime suspects in aseries of vicious murders. It seems more and more likely that the answers they need lie buried in the tragedies of the past. The question is whether they can survive long enough to unearth them.

Old friends and foes return as new threats arise in this stunning and revelatory conclusion to the beloved and bestselling Heir Chronicles series.

Will probably not stay if Four is somehow worse than the others. They’re not bad they’re just like straight up middle of the road kind of books for me.

So there we have it kept basically 3/5, possibly 4/5, I did horribly at this!

My Top 5 [YA] Fantasy Series

Hey guys, today I’m bringing you my favorite YA fantasy series. These are all favorites of mine so, there’s not really a particular order this time! Here we go…

5. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy

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This trilogy was one of the first as a teenager to just suck me in,  break me, put me together again, and then repeat. I loved it and it’s something that I recommend with such, like, hope, I truly wish those who decide to read it love it as much as I do but it’s so not for the faint of heart. I only rec this to those who love darkness and beauty all wrapped in one. I have Libba Bray’s Diviners but I haven’t gotten around to it yet and I hope to. I honestly think Gemma is one of my favorite protagonists ever. (I WILL GO DOWN WITH THAT SHIP)

4. The Chronicles of Narnia

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I need to be upfront, I only got to book four as a child, but, I plan on reading the rest. I ended up just pausing and forgetting as I went on to read other things at that time. My favorite so far had been The Magician’s Nephew. There was something extra magical about it for me and I actually read it first as well so I didn’t read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe first like some do. One thing though I know, I always feel like Susan gets a bit of a crap outcome, so, that may have been why I dragged my feet with reading the rest. Still a land of magic that has stayed in my heart.

3. His Dark Materials

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Honestly, this one rocked my world to its core. Philip Pullman doesn’t mind about doing things that can cause an uproar in the real world. People were not happy with this book but I was, I was thrilled. And not to mention his world building just floored me. Lyra is another favorite protagonist of mine and the fact that we get to see her again in the second Book of Dust just has me screaming like a fangirl, and oh yes, I totally preordered it. This is one of the few series I also could get my husband to read, he hated me afterwards due to who his favorite characters was, but, it was totally worth it because he loved it as much as I did. Still can’t get him to read La Belle Sauvage though, bahah.

2. Immortals 

The Immortals was one of my favorite and first forays into proper fantasy. I mean I read others but this was one of the first YA/Middle Grade, aside from Harry Potter. And also like HP, it is also one of the handful of series that I reread frequently. In fact I’m due for another reread but I have so many things to read this. year, we’ll see what happens haha. This quartet focuses on a girl named Daine who has wild magic. Her powers remain my favorite out of all the magical powers I’ve read about and that’s impressive. Not to mention Tamora Pierce just dominates at writing strong women, and Daine is no exception to being a strong female in Pierce’s writing-verse. And it’s a book where I love the couple. Yes, that’s right, me, the cynic.

1. Harry Potter 

Am I that predictable? Yes. Do I care? No. I was the generation that grew up with HP books coming out, doesn’t make me a bigger fan than anyone else, it just means that I had to deal with waiting for the books to come out, so really, the rest that discovered it afterwards are awesome for that reason haha. But no really, like anyone can, I discovered this as a child, in fact I read the first book when I was 11, I had refused to read it the first two years it was out because it was all my friends would talk about, but afterwards, I was hooked like everyone else. There’s still nowhere I would rather be than Hogwarts or Diagon Alley, or even the Burrow. They all feel like home to me.

There we have it, my top 5 for this week! Next top 5 will be Manga. And don’t be put off, these were the ones I read as YA and you can bet my Fantasy picks will be including so many more diverse books, I already know Descendant of the Crane will be a favorite, halfway through and it’s gripping and engaging and all around amazing!

Toodles!

Off Planet eARC Review


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GoodReads Blurb: In an all-too-plausible future where corporate conglomerates have left the world’s governments in shambles, anyone with means has left the polluted Earth for the promise of a better life on a SpaceTech owned colony among the stars.

Maité Martinez is the daughter of an Earther Latina and a powerful Aunare man, an alien race that SpaceTech sees as a threat to their dominion. When tensions turn violent, Maité finds herself trapped on Earth and forced into hiding.

For over ten years, Maité has stayed hidden, but every minute Maité stays on Earth is one closer to getting caught.

She’s lived on the streets. Gone hungry. And found a way to fight through it all. But one night, while waitressing in a greasy diner, a customer gets handsy with her. She reacts without thinking.

Covered in blood, Maité runs, but it’s not long before SpaceTech finds her…

Arrested and forced into dangerous work detail on a volcano planet, Maité waits for SpaceTech to make their move against the Aunare. She knows that if she can’t somehow find a way to stop them, there will be an interstellar war big enough to end all life in the universe.

There’s only one question: Can Maité prevent the total annihilation of humanity without getting herself killed in the process?

Maité Martinez is half human, half Aunare, a Latina Aunare who has grown up hiding her background and constantly having to cover her tracks. Even with life in Albuquerque being stable enough, a job as a waitress, volunteer teacher at a gym and a Crew that consist of some of the only people she trusts. Unfortunately, Maité isn’t just a half Earther/half Aunare, her father is someone that SpaceTech would love to goad into a catastrophic game of war.

Not only that but SpaceTech has a different plan for Maité, instead of giving her the same punishment as other half Earthers, she’s sent to the planet Abbadon. The question is, can Maité survive long enough to try and thwart SpaceTech’s plans, and will she be able to help her friends and family?

Honestly, I found Maité so relatable, she’s a young woman thrown into a world where she’s struggling to survive and that’s it, that’s her goal, sure, in the end, she wants to do more but at the very start, we have someone who is trying to just survive. Her Father is a very important Aunare but she has no memory of him after Liberation week (when all the Aunare were shunned by Earthers, but I won’t go too much into that and give it away). All Maité knows is that he’s alive out there and that her Mother and her hope to someday be free of Earth with possibly reuniting with him.

People can show incredible strength when faced with adversity and Maité shows just that, I was so impressed by her throughout the book, and I loved the people who helped her along the way, not to mention there’s Declan the human who she trusts and enters her life as everything goes crazy and then there’s Lorne an Aunare who she’s not sure how she’s connected to other than he knows her and is close to her father.

This has been my best sci-fi read in a while and I loved that it was not only YA but that Maité was half Latina, it made me so happy ❤

Erin does a great job of world building with Abaddon and I cannot wait to see who she expands her universe in book 2. Though I definitely would never want to go to Abaddon lolol. She also does a spectacular job of making Maité more than just a slightly ‘alien’ looking human, her body is different and therefore reacts differently to human things and that is a breath of fresh air as sometimes people forget their aliens are NOT humans. The attention to detail is there and I loved it. And you can’t help but feel for Maité for all she goes through and all she’s willing to go through to prevent a war between the humans and Aunare. Not to mention she’s lost and dealing with finding herself and being comfortable with who and what she is and the changes she’s faced with.

Trigger warning: Sexual assault, violence, extreme pain.

Pros:
-Kick ass Latina-Aunare protagonist
– Humanoid alien race that is still different enough from humans to be interesting especially in their internal workings
– Strength in more ways than one, not just physically but emotionally and not just from our Maité but from those around her
– Not all humans are evil, and there’s such a great level of trust between Maité and those that become her friends in New Mexico and Abaddon.
– Amazing platonic male best friend (Roan) who does not turn into part of a love triangle!
– There’s still the hint of a love triangle trope between Maité and two others if you love that trope!
– YA Sci-Fi (something we always need more of!)
– Some very cool fight scenes
– The antagonists aren’t there much as individual characters but man do you hate them!

Cons:
-Not enough Roan
– You may hate that there’ll probably be a love triangle
– It may be hard to read all Maité goes through (most of it is just pushing past physical and emotional endurance, which is traumatic for her and you feel for her)
– The Aliens could have been more alien but I thought Erin did well by making them human enough looking that you’d believe mating between species was possible
– Uh, there could have been more cool space flying but I’m not gonna complain -too much-
– You will have to wait until 2020 to read more lol

** I received this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review, and I truly did love this book and if you love YA/Sci-fi, I recommend you give it a try and hope you enjoy it! **

 

The Dresden Files: Storm Front


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First off, let me say that I was regarding this book with a huge amount of skepticism. Looking at the cover the man reminded me of people I knew in High School, people I did not at all like [I mean like specific people here lol not a generalization though I mean to be fair I hate everyone equally].

But it was for a book club, it was short, and it was a Wizard Private Investigator. I mean…you all know by now. MYSTERY IS MY WEAKNESS [And Sci-fi!]

So I rounded up my rating to four stars on GoodReads but it is a 3.5 in my books, a solid fun read, but had its issues.

Note: This is the first of The Dresden Files

Pros:
– Mystery and Fantasy a bit of a modern-day sprinkling of noir as far as it goes the office with the creaky fan with the mysterious woman client.
– We are getting a really awesome urban fantasy world.
– The author could really make me chuckle with some of the things he had our dear Wizard say
– It leaves you wanting to know more, what about this kind of mysterious White Council, when do we get to know more about Mac the Pub owner, how will his friendship with Murphy go after this?
– It’s fun and easy, it’s not there to make you think, but it’s not a bore either.
– Talking Skull ❤  Bob is literally the best part of this
– The reverence fairies have for pizza, I connected with them on a spiritual level
– The fact that Harry couldn’t really interact with technology, it was pretty amusing most of the time
– Deborah Chester was a Professor of his, I love her, she wrote my absolutely favorite Sci-Fi trilogy [*coughs and unashamedly links you back to the Sci-Fi picks post*]
– I want to go to Mac’s Pub, and I want a steak sandwich. Now please and thank you.
– A nice easy way of world building [gets a little too explanatory as Harry’s narrating it to you, but, overall enjoyable!]

Cons:
– I hated Harry most of the time. I hate how he saw the female characters but I could respect that this was done from his point of view so we don’t really know how the women are, only how he sees them [for the love of all that is good, please someone tell me he gets less horrible with this] I mean he basically is a chauvinist
– How are women attracted to him? I’m sorry but if my husband didn’t shower for a week, I would not be like -tosses bedroom eyes- [And I would hope he would throw my ass in the shower if the roles were reversed] But more to the point of it,
– At one point I wanted to take Murphy and shake the living crap out of her, she got so annoying and it seemed to really contradict the fact that they were supposed to have had trust in the first place, it didn’t feel like they did, to begin with in my opinion.
– So, someone brought up a good point that had been nagging me at the back of my mind in their Goodreads review; WHY DOES HE CONTINUOUSLY NOT HAVE HIS STAFF? THERE IS NOT ENOUGH WIZARDY THINGS FROM THE WIZARD
– Don’t read this for strong female characters, you’ll be filled with cliches, and, that works with some, like Mac, but not for the others
– Harry wears a duster and boots with sweatpants at one point, I was already annoyed that he wore the duster. This pushed me too far, I nearly screeched and flipped a table over
– This is no literary masterpiece, and a lot of times Butcher’s writing will get awkward and clunky but he always smooths it out at the end. But, don’t read this to be filled with meaningful insight.

A quick fun read I’ll be reading more Dresden Files, but, if the lack of depth to the female characters and Harry’s wardrobe continues, I may have to rate down more.

Charity Shop Finds!

I know this seems like it just happened last week, and that’s because it did!

But this time we were down our own high street and decided to mosey along in to see if they had anything new as we hadn’t been in a month.

And holy cow we struck gold!

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So these were originally .50P each but the shop does a deal, 2 for .99P

The Tom Sawyer edition is from 1958/1959 and was a school prize to someone back in the day, the award plate was still in it! We had just recently bought Far From the Maddening Crowd but couldn’t decide if this cover was nicer so we picked it up to compare, we’re keeping both lol.

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Carrie Fisher!

I have never read a book by Carrie Fisher and I picked this one up as my husband spotted it, I can’t wait to get to it! [You know, eventually]

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Again, 2 for 99P!!

Every time we go down the High Street we all like to wander around Waterstones, and while walking around I had paused to look at the copy of Ulysses, it was 10 quid and we just didn’t want to spend that on it, at least not at the moment so we passed it by. Then, we went to the charity shop next to it, and lo and behold, this was 50P on its own but since we bought so many we scored it for 49.5P lol. The book next to it is called Wellington: The Years of the Sword.

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I’ve been eying this Mandela biography for a while now, we saw it at a charity shop last week and I had spied it at the library but I’m holding off on more nonfiction from the library until I return my Romanovs survey. So! This was meant to be!

 

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Look at these covers!

I own Maze Runner and I found it enjoyable and though I have the others on my Kindle I couldn’t help myself. I would have bought Maze Runner again if they had it and it matched and donated my other copy, but, they didn’t. These things are basically brand new and they have such nice covers! The copy I bought was out my library store back in Texas and is lovely but just has some notes scribbled in, and some highlights, I don’t mind though, it’s fun to read what they thought lol. Okay getting off track, anyway look at these pretty books!!! LOOK AT THEM ALL!

 

In the end, we got 9 books for £4.46, four on the 2 for .99P deal and one ‘full’ price at .50P

There we have it! The post is late today because honestly I was super busy and mini-me had a birthday party. I’m off to watch more of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

[I’ll have a review tomorrow]

 

 

 

Bloom

This review is going to be done a bit differently!

Today, I will not be giving a rating!

Why? I’m not usually a romance reader and I don’t think this should be constricted to a 1-5 scale as I don’t want that to impact you all on reading it [or not] so today, there shall be no coffee cups or planets!

Blurb: Holly Juniper had no idea she would fall in love with a monster. 

Every winter a mysterious portal appears in her family’s barn. Nothing has ever come out of it, and she barely pays it any mind. Until a woodland nymph named Nia steps through it and into her life. 

Holly is vehemently opposed to her sticking around, not wanting her family play host to a monster, but eventually, Nia grows on her in a way she never expected. 

Over the course of three months, the two fall in love. Despite them both knowing, come spring, Nia will have to return to her world through the portal, and she can never return. 

[Book One in the Monster Love Novella series.]

As I said, I typically don’t read romances but who couldn’t resist one with a female trans protagonist who is completely relatable as a ‘youngin’ in love? Not to mention in love with a Nymph who is the coolest looking nymph I’ve ever heard described.

On a more serious note, you root for Holly the whole time, she’s insecure, she’s shy and drawn into herself from the world and you want her to know she’s worth so much more than she thinks, and Nia does just that and it’s so palpable the way Holly’s insecurities and fears are written. It’s also written in a nice easy going style, you read it as if someone is orally telling it, the dialogue that you would hear from people of that age group (there is some profanity and steamy scenes for those who would like to know this). And I love how much that Holly’s family supports her and clearly love her.

I really want to hit home that I’ve been wanting to diversify my reading, I want to grow as a reader and so I was thrilled to be offered a chance to read this novella that gives us such a great girl as Holly and as I’ve never read a book with a trans character before (don’t worry guys this won’t be my last) this just felt like such a breath of fresh air!

If you’re into romance and wanting to read some urban fantasy mixed in with some slice of life (it’s set on a farm in Pennsylvania) then this is the novella for you!

[I received a copy of this in exchange for my honest review as part of #Reviewpit]

GoodReads Link Here