Monday, June 30, 2014

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.


Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
Guys, this book. I have no words. It's incredible. Locke and Jean are such amazing characters, and the plot is so full of twists and turns, you never know what's going to happen next. I was laughing, I was crying, I was at the edge of my seat and biting my nails ... in short, I loved it. I know I keep saying this, but you need to read the Gentleman Bastard series. Best fantasy series ever.

Bring Him Back by Scott Mariani
This is another prequel novella to the Ben Hope thriller series. It's fun reading about a young Hope and finding out what made him who he is today, but as always I wish these novellas were longer.

This was the first book off my summer TBR list. You can see what I thought of it here.

Serenity: Those Left Behind by Joss Whedon, Brett Matthews and Will Conrad
This is a graphic novel based on the brilliant but gone-too-soon TV series Firefly. The story is set in between the show and the movie Serenity. It was nice to visit that universe again, even in comic book format.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
I have already read the first two books in the Inkheart trilogy, but I wanted to reread them before picking up the last book. This is a wonderful story about 12-year-old Meggie who loves books. Her father can read characters out of books but this is a dangerous ability to have.

Goodreads challenge status: Read 22 of 35 books – 5 books ahead of schedule.


I've started the second book in the Inkheart trilogy, Inkspell by Cornelia Funke. I've never read a series back to back before, I always break it up with other books in between, so it will be an interesting experience.


Next I will pick up Inkdeath, the last book in the trilogy. I can't wait to see how it all ends. After that I'll probably choose another from my summer TBR list.

What are you reading this week?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thoughts on The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane
By Neil Gaiman

First published: January 2013
Read: 18-21 June 2014
Format: Paperback

Book online: Goodreads | Amazon
Author online: Website | Twitter | Facebook

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed - within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it. His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang. THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac - as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly's wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark. (Goodreads)

My thoughts

I adore Neil Gaiman. In addition to being a very inspirational and witty man, his stories are pure magic, and even the ones I don't care too much for (like American Gods) are so imaginative and compelling that I can't help but admire them. I'm not sure what I expected from The Ocean..., but whatever it was, the book was nothing like it, in the best way possible.

It's very hard to describe what it's about - on the most basic level it's about a grown man reminiscing about certain events from his childhood - but that summary doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. There is magic, evil, friendship, monsters, and cats; and it raises the question, are any of our memories truly real? In the end I think it might be better to read it knowing as little as possible and just go where the story takes you.

Gaiman's writing is, as always, flawless. It's so lyrical and beautiful, and it almost has a rhythm to it; it washes over you in waves and it's like you're floating along on the words. It probably sounds weird, but it's hard to explain. His writing just moves me.

So, is this my favourite Neil Gaiman book? Not at all. Is it in any way exceptional? By no means. But it is a story that will stay with me, because I was a child once too.

Bottom line: A beautiful, haunting and touching story about childhood memories and ... Oh, nevermind, it's Neil Gaiman. Read it.

My rating:

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature / weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we make a top ten list from a given topic.

This week's TTT topis is:

Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR List

I'm a mood reader, so I usually don't plan what I'm going to read next until I'm done with my current book, but this year I want to try and stick to a summer reading list as much as possible. These are all books I've wanted to read for a while; some old, some new and some rereads.

1. Inkheart / Inkspell / Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke
I've already read the first two books in the trilogy and loved them, but it's been a few years and I want to binge read the whole series. (Don't you just love those covers?)

2. The Nemesis Program by Scott Mariani
This is the latest installment in the Ben Hope series. It just came out and I can't wait to read it.

3. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
This is my favourite Gaiman book and one of my favourite books of all time, and lately I've been craving a reread.

4. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
I also want to read Gaiman's newest book. I'm very excited, because it's Gaiman, you know?

5. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
I've been thinking about starting this series for quite a while but never got around to it. Now that all the books are out (aren't they?) I'm finally ready to see what all the fuss is about.

6. The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
I loved The Shadow of the Wind when I read it years ago, and I really want to experience Zafón's beautiful writing again. Plus, this is a long overdue library book so I should probably get to it soon. ;)

7. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
I've heard so many good things about this book and I'm really excited to read it. If I like it, I'll probably read the rest of the trilogy right away.

8. On the Road by Richard Hammond
I just love Richard Hammond, okay? While his best book is said to be On the Edge, I'm just not ready to read about the horrible car crash he was in, so I'm aiming for this autobiography about his early years instead.

9. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Sarah's books are perfect for long, light summer nights. I adored The Girl Who Chased the Moon and The Sugar Queen, and I've been saving this for a while because I want to savour it.

10. End of Enemies by Grant Blackwood
When I've read The Nemesis Program I won't have any more Ben Hope books to read for quite a while, so I need another thriller series to fill the gap. This one sounds interesting.

What is on your summer TBR list?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Thoughts on Coin Heist

Coin Heist
By Elisa Ludwig

First published: 10 June 2014 by Adaptive Studios
Read: 13-20 May 2014
Format: E-book

Book online: GoodreadsAmazon
Author online: Website | Twitter | Facebook

I received a review copy from the publisher through NetGalley

The last place you’d expect to find a team of criminals is at a prestigious Philadelphia prep school. But on a class trip to the U.S. Mint—which prints a million new coins every 30 minutes—an overlooked security flaw becomes far too tempting for a small group of students to ignore. United by dire circumstances, these unlikely allies—the slacker, the nerd, the athlete, and the “perfect” student—band together to attempt the impossible: rob the U.S. Mint. This diverse crew is forced to confront their true beliefs about each other and themselves as they do the wrong thing for the right reasons.

Coin Heist is a dynamic young adult caper told from the revolving perspectives of four teens, each with their own motive for committing a crime that could change all of their lives for the better—that is, if they can pull it off. (NetGalley)

My thoughts

If you know me, you'll know that I can't resist a book or movie with the word "heist" in the title, so I was thrilled when I got a chance to read this story.

The book is centered around four main characters who all go to the same posh high school. We have Alice, the nerd; Jason, the slacker; Dakota, the princess; and Benny, the scholarship kid. When the principle, who is also Jason's father, gambles away the school's money, the school is in danger of closing. That is when our four unlikely allies come up with a plan to raise the money and save the school: hack into the U.S. Mint and print their own money.

This was a quick and fun read. Each chapter is told from one of the four students' perspective, so we get to know what each one is thinking. It soon becomes apparent that while they seem like the usual high school stereotypes on the outside, each of them have their own struggles to deal with that no one else knows about. I was a bit worried that the alternating perspectives would disrupt the pace of the story, but it flowed nicely. However I didn't think their different voices were very distinct, so a couple of times I got a little confused as to who was actually telling the story but not enough to throw me off track.

Personally I wish the heist itself had been more elaborate - I think the execution seemed a little too easy, and the resolution to everything was very convenient. But that's okay, because the story is more character-driven anyway. I liked all the main characters and felt sympathetic towards them, and I really enjoyed seeing how the relationships between them developed.

Bottom line: A fun and exciting heist story for fans of Ally Carter's Heist Society.

My rating:

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Read So Far This Year

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature / weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we make a top ten list from a given topic.

This week's TTT topis is:

Top Ten Seven Books I've Read So Far This Year

I don't really have a proper top ten, because I've only read 17 books so far this year, and I only gave two of them 5 stars on Goodreads. In addition some of my 4-star reads were novellas and I've decided they don't count. So, you get a top seven instead. :)

1. Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
I aboslutely adored this book; it's totally unique, funny, and heart-warming (read my review).

2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
This was such a cute book! I loved the characters and felt like I could relate to Cath on many levels.

3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
I finally finished the Harry Potter series. Yes, I cried.

4. Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe
I've been a fan of Rob Lowe for many years, and his first autobiography was a delight to read.

5. The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
I LOVE Veronica Mars, and I'm so happy her story will continue in this new book series. This first book was like reading an episode of the show.

6. Stiltskin by Andrew Buckley
An interesting new twist on fairy tales (read my review).

7. Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
I'm only half-way through this book but I already know it's going to be one of the best reads of the year. I just love Locke and Jean so much.

What are your best reads so far this year?

Monday, June 2, 2014

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.


I actually read 6 books in May, which is quite a lot for me. Alright, most were rather short, but I did read a total of 1300 pages, compared to 400 in April, so I'd say that's pretty good. :)

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham
I adore the Veronica Mars TV series, and I was so excited about the new movie. This is the first in a book series that continues on from where the movie left off. The transition from screen to paper was smooth and the mystery kept me guessing until the end. In addition I was completely blindsided by a reveal that I did not expect to find in the books. But I'm always up for more Veronica Mars, no matter which medium, and I can't wait for the next book in the series.

Pacific Vortex! by Clive Cussler
This is the first Dirk Pitt book that Cussler wrote, but not the first one that was published. I can see why (not that The Mediterranean Caper is much better). Cussler's plots are usually highly entertaining, if far-reaching, but this story was pretty boring. Also, the female characters are just awful.

Coin Heist by Elisa Ludwig
This is a YA heist story about a gang of teenagers who decide to break into the US Mint. Review coming soon!

Passenger 13 by Scott Mariani
This is a prequel novella to the Ben Hope series. It was fun meeting a younger, less jaded Ben Hope and find out why he left the SAS. The plot is solid, except for maybe the ending, which felt a bit rushed. I'm sure this could have been expanded into a full-length novel.

Kickback by Garry Disher
This is the first in the Wyatt series, an Australian noir series about a bank robber. I enjoyed this story about the meticulous, quiet thief Wyatt, but since the series is fairly old it's unfortunately hard to find the rest of the books.

Break Out by Nina Croft
First in the Blood Hunter series. I was very excited about reading this book – space! thieves! prison break out! What's not to like? Unfortunately the answer is "a lot". I love the general premise of the story but sadly there was a lot less plot and a lot more sex than I was led to believe. I might have enjoyed it more if I'd actually liked the two main characters but as it was, I found them both simply irritating. And I think I've proved to myself once and for all that vampires just aren't my thing. I won't be seeking out the rest in this series.

Goodreads challenge status: Read 17 of 35 books – 3 books ahead of schedule.


I finally found the courage to pick up Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch. It's the second book in the Gentleman Bastard series, and those of you who have followed me for a while will know that I absolutely LOVE the first book, The Lies of Locke Lamora. I've been putting RSURS off for years now, because 1, I wanted to wait until the third book came out so I knew I wouldn't be left hanging, and 2, I think I was afraid that no sequel could ever live up to the awesomeness of Lies. I'm happy to say I was wrong on that last part. I'm about 100 pages in, but I was already sold after the first page. I can't tell you how much I love these books. The storylines, the language, the characters... It's all amazing and I can't believe I waited this long to go back to the world of Locke Lamora. I never want to leave again.


Red Seas Under Red Skies is a big book so it will keep me occupied for a while (I don't even want to think about it ending!), but after that I'll probably either want to go straight for the next book in the series or read something completely different. I'm waiting for The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman to come in, so that's an option. Otherwise, we'll see where my mood takes me, as usual.

What are you reading this week?
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