Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Blog Tour Review - The Glovemaker by Ann Weisgarber


The Glovemaker by Ann Weisgarber
Published 22nd February 2019 by Pan Macmillan 
Star Rating - ***.5
Goodreads Challenge - 8/50

I was gifted a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

In the inhospitable lands of the Utah Territory, during the winter of 1888, thirty-seven-year-old Deborah Tyler waits for her husband, Samuel, to return home from his travels as a wheelwright. It is now the depths of winter, Samuel is weeks overdue, and Deborah is getting worried.

Deborah lives in Junction, a tiny town of seven Mormon families scattered along the floor of a canyon, and she earns her living by tending orchards and making work gloves. Isolated by the red-rock cliffs that surround the town, she and her neighbors live apart from the outside world, even regarded with suspicion by the Mormon faithful who question the depth of their belief.

When a desperate stranger who is pursued by a Federal Marshal shows up on her doorstep seeking refuge, it sets in motion a chain of events that will turn her life upside down. The man, a devout Mormon, is on the run from the US government, which has ruled the practice of polygamy to be a felony. Although Deborah is not devout and doesn’t subscribe to polygamy, she is distrustful of non-Mormons with their long tradition of persecuting believers of her wider faith.

But all is not what it seems, and when the Marshal is critically injured, Deborah and her husband’s best friend, Nels Anderson, are faced with life and death decisions that question their faith, humanity, and both of their futures. 

My Thoughts
I do enjoy reading a historical fiction every now and again and when I was offered a chance to partake in this blog tour I thought it would be a good opportunity to break up my reading. The synopsis sounded interesting and I was keen to give it a go. 

This book was not quite was I was expecting. Based on the synopsis I thought we were going to be getting a historical fiction with some elements of mystery and that is what we got but there was more to the story than just that. This book had quite a heavy focus on religion, especially the Mormon faith. I don't really know much about this faith so that made the story quite interesting to read and, although there wasn't a mystery as such, there was enough compelling elements that kept me reading. I've read in other reviews that this story was also influenced by real places, people and events so that also made it quite an interesting read. 

The author did a good job with the writing of this one. The setting was quite atmospheric, it's set in a small settlement, in the winter with lots of snow, and I felt really immersed in the world. It was quite a slow developing story however, I read it quite quickly as the atmosphere and the mysterious elements kept the story moving along. The author also provided us with some great descriptions of places and events throughout the story and that helped to keep my interest in the story too. 

I enjoyed the characters as well. They were a close knit community and they all looked out for each other however, they all had their own moral dilemmas to deal with. This made for some really interesting character dynamics. Deborah and Nels were two of the main characters and I feel like these were written particularly well. They had lots of conflicting feelings and emotions and this made for some interesting reading. Simon was another key character and, although he wasn't necessarily present throughout the story, the letters that the author interspersed throughout meant we got to know him too. 

Overall I quite enjoyed this one. Definitely a completely different story to a lot of the things I've been reading recently but it was nice to give something different a go. I enjoyed the slow and atmospheric pacing of this one and the character dynamics made for an interesting story. 

Overall Rating (3.5*)

Author Bio:

Ann Weisgarber was born and raised in Kettering, Ohio. She has lived in Boston, Massachusetts, and Des Moines, Iowa, but now splits her time between Sugar Land, Texas, and Galveston, Texas. Her first novel The Personal History of Rachel Dupree was longlisted for the Orange Prize and shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers. The Promise was a finalist in the Western Writers of America Best Historical Fiction Awards.

Thanks for Pan MacMillan for the opportunity to read and review this one and for allowing me to take part in the blog tour. You can check out the rest of the tour spots below. 

Monday, 25 February 2019

Mailbox Monday - Weekly Book Post

Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme that was started by Marcia of To Be Continued. The aim is simple, for people to share what books they received in their mailbox that week. To check out everyone else's posts head over to the Mailbox Monday blog.

This week I received...

Poppy Haviland and The Secret of the Lively Widow by Michael Barra with Amber Lively Barra

I was lucky enough to be gifted this one by the publisher, Troubador Publishing, in exchange for an honest review. 

The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab

This was another one I was lucky enough to receive from the publisher, Titan Books. Despite now owning 3 books by V.E. Schwab, with a 4th on the way, I haven't actually read anything by this author. I'm looking forward to diving into this one next month. 

The Mermaid by Christina Henry 

This is one I received in a book swap on Facebook. I enjoy fairytale retellings so I'm looking forward to this one. 

Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller

I picked up this one from the Library. It's a virtual reality sci-fi which sounds a bit like Ready Player One, which I loved, so I'm excited for this one too. 

Have you read any of these? Which ones would you recommend?

I'd love to hear about the books you received this week. 

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Harry Potter Giveaway Unboxing

Stacey over at Whispering Stories was doing a Harry Potter themed giveaway on her Instagram and I was lucky enough to win all the wonderful goodies. I thought I would do an unboxing post for you as there was some great stuff. 

I received a wonderful big box filled with goodies. Everything was well packaged so everything arrived at my door safe and sound. 

The first thing I pulled out was this colouring set. Included is a 48 page colouring booklet, a build it yourself 3D Firebolt broom and 48 colourable gift tags. 

Also on the colouring theme was this lovely Harry Potter colouring book with some beautiful illustrations to colour in. 

Next was this Marauder's Map notebook. Who doesn't love stationary! 

Some Buttered Beer flavoured lip balm is up next from Little Shop of Lathers. It smells amazing, kind of like vanilla. 

 In this package we had a Hogwarts Crest keyring and some pin badges. I especially like the Dumbledore's Army one.  

Finally we have the items I was most excited about. These two Funko Pops. I've recently started collecting Funko Pops, mainly Harry Potter ones, so these will go great with my collection. On the left we have Augurey from Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindlewald and on the right we have Ginny Weasley with Tom Riddles Diary. 

So they were all the wonderful goodies in my giveaway package. I'm so pleased with them all. Thank you so much Stacey for providing me with the opportunity to win these. 

Friday, 22 February 2019

Review - Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files, #3)

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Published 13th March 2018 by Rock the Boat
Star Rating - *****
Goodreads Challenge - 9/50

Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they'll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady's cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza's ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha's past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.

My Thoughts
So this series has definitely made it up there as one of my favourites. I loved this final instalment just as much as the other two books. It was fast paced and action packed with lots of shock moments and twists and turns, definitely a roller coaster of a ride.

In this one we follow both groups from the previous two books as well as a new group of characters based on Kerenza. Asha and Rhys are the focus of this new group of characters and, although I really liked them, I didn't feel their story line was as well developed as the others. I think this was because the other characters had whole books whereas Asha and Rhys didn't really as we were also following the rest of the group on their mission. That being said I do really like all of the characters in these books, especially the younger ones. I like how much they care for their future and they didn't give up even when things got tough and people didn't believe in them. I also think AIDAN is one of the best characters ever! He was so well developed and you were constantly questioning his motives. He was very morally grey and I loved it.

This book is formatted in the same was as the previous two and, as I've said in previous reviews, this makes for a very quick and fast paced read. I also think this format works really well for the story as a whole and fits well with the plot. Although this was a quick read, I did find this one was a bit slower in the beginning compared to the others. We were following Asha and Rhys mainly in the beginning and this meant there wasn't too much action however, this quickly changed as we got further into the book. The latter half of the book was full of twists and turns and things you didn't see coming. It was full of 'OMG' moments and I felt like my heart had been ripped out several times and then pieced back together. I enjoyed the conclusion too and I thought all three character arcs and story lines wrapped up really well together.

Overall, as you can probably tell, I loved this book and this series as a whole. It was a fantastic fast paced, roller coaster ride and I would definitely recommend picking it up. Please don't let the size of the books or the format put you off because I can guarantee your going to love it!

Overall Rating

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

The NetGalley BookTag

I saw this tag on Christina Reid's blog Chrikaru Reads, you can check out her answers here. Like any book blogger I love NetGalley so I thought this would be a fun one to take part in. 

Who is one author whose books you automatically want to read, regardless of what they are about?

I have a few auto-buy authors but I think my main ones are Rick Riorden, Holly Black and Marissa Meyer. 

What makes you want to request a book on NetGalley?

I've always tried to not go too overboard with NetGalley books because you know, feedback ratio. If I'm having a general browse I'll often be drawn to books because of their cover or because I've heard buzz surrounding that title on Twitter. I've also requested books I've seen promoted by the publishers on Twitter and I've been contacted by the publisher to review a few too. 

Feedback Ratio
Do you review every book you read? If not, how do you decide what books to review?

Yes, I will review every book I read, regardless of rating, on Goodreads. On my blog however, I will only write full reviews for books I enjoyed, mainly 4 and 5 stars but I do review some 3 stars. Any other books I usually just feature in one of my mini review round ups and in my wrap up. 

If you could create one badge to display on your blog, what would it be for?

I'm not really sure for this one. Maybe one to promote my love of an author or a specific genre like, Rick Riorden Raver or Fantasy Fanatic. 

Wish For It
What's one book you're absolutely dying to read?

There's lots of books I'm anticipating this year, check out my most anticipated releases post if you want to see them, but one that springs to mind is Kingsbane by Claire Legrand. I loved Furyborn and I can't wait to carry on with this series. 

NetGalley Challenge
What is the last book that you received as an ARC that you reviewed? If you've never received an ARC, what's the last book you reviewed?

I've most recently written a review for The Glovemaker by Ann Weisgarber but I haven't posted this yet as it's for a blog tour. A couple of other recent reviews of ARCs and books I was gifted include, The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons and In Fallen Woods by R.N. Merle. I'm currently reading a NetGalley copy on Enchantee by Gita Trelease so I'll be posting my review of that as soon as I'm done. 

So there are my answers for the NetGalley Book Tag. Hopefully this has given you a bit of an insight into my reading and reviewing habits. 

If you like the look of this tag I'd love for you to take part and share your links with me. 

Monday, 18 February 2019

Mailbox Monday - Weekly Book Post

Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme that was started by Marcia of To Be Continued. The aim is simple, for people to share what books they received in their mailbox that week. To check out everyone else's posts head over to the Mailbox Monday blog.

This week I received...

All the Lonely People by David Owen

I was lucky enough to win a couple of giveaways on Twitter this week. This was the first one from a lovely fellow bookworm. 

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

This was the other giveaway I won and this one was from the publisher. 

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

I received this one in a books for trade. I've had my eye on it since it came out so I'm excited to get to it soon. 

Iremonger: Heap House by Edward Carey and Tribute by Ellen Renner

A lovely book lover was giving away some ARCs on Twitter and I picked these two because they've been on my radar for a while so I thought I would give them a try. 

That's all of the book post I received this week. I was really lucky this week as I haven't actually paid for any of these other than postage for the trades. 

Have you read any of these? What did you think?

What books did you receive this week?

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Mini Reviews


The Robber Bridegroom by Brothers Grimm
Published 26th February 2015 by Penguin Classics (first published 1812)
Star Rating - ****
2018 Goodreads Challenge - 34/50

My Thoughts
I do enjoy a good fairy tale and this little book had 7 from one of the best fairy tale writing duos, The Brothers Grimm. Fairy tales as we know and love them today in modern times are something we would read to children. They are often magical, whimsical and fun however, the Grimm's fairy tales are completely the opposite. These tales are dark, full of murder, blood and gore. In this collection you read about Robbers who murder children, giants who have their heads cut off and an evil queen who dances to her death in hot iron slippers. These tales are not for the faint hearted and nothing like those we read to children today. Even the iconic Snow White, which is featured in this collection, is darker than the familiar Disney version. Each of these tales features many fairy tale tropes that, if a lover of these sorts of things, you will be familiar with. They often follow a similar story structure and they all have morals that your supposed to consider at the end. That being said, I enjoyed the collection for what it was and I would quite like to get my hands on a full collection of the Grimm's tales. 


Stardust by Neil Gaiman
My edition was published 4th October 2007 by Headline Review
Star Rating - ***
2018 Goodreads Challenge - 36/50

What I Liked: I loved how magical the plot was but still rooted in realism, there were lots of interesting ideas and concepts which I enjoyed reading about. I enjoy Neil Gaiman's writing style I think its unique and interesting and he does a great job of keeping you engaged. 

What I Didn't Like: I would of loved for this book to be longer. I wanted more depth and detail to the characters and storylines. A lot of the plot felt rushed, especially near the end, and could of been expanded upon a lot more, like in the film. 


Tangleweed and Brine by Deirdre Sullivan
Published 18th October 2018 by Little Island
Star Rating - ***
2019 Goodreads Challenge - 5/50

What I Liked: The stories were all based around female characters with many having a feminist twist and many of the stories were quite dark and a little twisted. These are my top 3 stories...

Ash Pale 
This one was a retelling of Snow White. I was able to follow this one without too many problems and I enjoyed the way Snow White was depicted. It was a bit of a spin on the evil step mother vs princess trope and it had quite a dark ending which I liked. 

Doing Well 
This one was a retelling of The Frog Prince which I'm familiar with but I don't think I've ever read the original. This had quite a tragic ending and I think it did a great job of depicting the way woman can be treated and the hardships they can sometimes face. 

Beauty and the Board 
This one was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and it was a bit of a strange one. In the beginning I was wondering what was going on but halfway through I picked up the plot and I thought it was a really interesting and sightly disturbing twist on the idea of the 'Beast' in this fairytale. 

What I Didn't Like: The writing didn't gel with me. It was very poetic, too poetic for me to enjoy. Many of the stories were written using short sentences which made the writing feel disjointed. 

Saturday, 16 February 2019

The Valentines Day Book Tag

As you are all probably aware Valentines Day was on Thursday and I thought that to celebrate I would take part in the Valentines Day Book Tag. I saw this tag on The Caffeinated Bibliophile so you can hop over here to check out her answers and without further ado, here are mine. 

Stand Alone Book You Love


The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge
This was one of my favourite books from last year. Its short but packs a punch I would definitely recommend it. 

Dystopian Book You Love

Image result for The Hunger Games books

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I've got lots of dystopians on my TBR but apparently I haven't read many so I'm going to have to go with The Hunger Games. I don't think I need to say much about this popular series.

A Book You Love But No One Else Talks About


The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes
I love books about cults and this was a great one. I stumbled upon this one by chance and I haven't really seen anyone else talk about it and I don't know why because it's fantastic!

Favourite Book Couple


The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by McKenzie Lee
I love Percy and Monty. They make me smile. 

A Book That Other People Love But You Haven't Read Yet


Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
I loved the Grisha Series but I never got round to this one however, I need to read this before I read King of Scars so I'm planning on doing a full Grisha re-read soon. 

A Book With Red On The Cover


Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I love this series. As I'm writing this post I'm currently reading Obsidio, I really don't want it to end. 

A Book With Pink On The Cover


Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
I don't read much contemporay fiction and this one was really out of my comfort zone but I actually really enjoyed it. It does focus on some more hard hitting topics as well as the romance though so I think that's why I liked it.

You Are Given A Box Of Chocolates, what fictional boyfriend/girlfriend have given them too you?

I'm going to have to use Illuminae again for this one and say Ezra. He's great, I love his witty banter but he's also really caring towards others and always wants to do the right thing in the long term. 

You Are Single On Valentines Day.

What Book Would You Read? Something fantasy. A few high up on my TBR are Enchantee by Gita Trelease, Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan and The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton. 

What TV Show Would You Watch? I only have a few TV shows I follow religiously so I would probably catch up on them and they are The Great British Sewing Bee, Criminal Minds and Masterchef. If I'm all caught up with these I would probably watch Friends. 

What Movie Would You Watch? I'm currently watching all of the Marvel Avengers films in order ready for the new releases this year so I would carry on with that. At the moment we're on Avengers: Age of Ultron. 

As you can probably tell I don't really read or watch romance so none of that on my list, even though it is Valentines Day. 

I really enjoyed doing this tag, it was great fun. If it sounds fun too you I'd love for you to take part. Or, if you've already done this one, as I know Valentines Day has gone, then I'd love to read it. 

Friday, 15 February 2019

Review - In Fallen Woods by R N Merle


In Fallen Woods by R N Merle
Independently published on 19th April 2018
Star Rating - ***.5
Goodreads Challenge - 6/50

I was gifted a kindle copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Long ago in England, and far away to the west…

In the dark heart of Fallen Woods, Darklin, a sixteen year old witch and her mother Gressyl, live hidden among the tangled trees. They are bound to a secret coven practicing dark and cruel magic. Darklin is taught to be merciless and to despise humanity, to believe that beauty is treacherous, and that love and kindness do not truly exist.

But when Darklin has a fateful encounter with a beautiful and kind hearted young man, powerful feelings are unleashed. As urges of attraction and destruction war inside Darklin’s heart, which urge will she give way to, and where will it lead her?

My Thoughts
I was kindly gifted a copy of this one from the author in exchange for an honest review. The description sounded like something I would love, despite the romance, and I'm glad I gave it a go as I quite enjoyed the experience. 

I would describe this story as an original and unique fairy tale although, it definitely takes some inspiration from familiar tales. It reads just like a fairy tale too with a very lyrical and whimsical writing style that draws you in and keeps you captivated throughout the entire story. We focus on one main character, Darklin, and follow her story as she navigates the world and learns all about the people around her. Darklin has been brought up by a witch, Gressyl and has been taught nothing but bad things about the people of the village next to the woods in which they live. Darklin's character is very complex. At first she seems quite dis-likeable however, as the story progresses you realise just how naive she really is and doesn't really know any better. The development of her relationship with the Somerbornes, especially John, was very slow going and really explored the characteristics and traits of the human race. 

This story also draws upon some historical aspects of the time surrounding the capture and treatment of woman accused of witch craft. This made for an interesting side plot however, this novel is definitely very character focused. The main point of this story is the development of Darklin as a person, her becoming to understand and change her views of society as well as the development of her relationship with John which was very slow and gentle. There were times within the story where I was waiting for one of the family to betray Darklin as that is a common theme in these types of stories but that wasn't what this one was about. 

Due to this being quite a character focused novel there were a couple of issues with the plot. There were some aspects that could of been expended on and there were times when you were left wondering what had happened, such as how Gressyl didn't notice Darklin's disappearances. However, overall I quite enjoyed this story and I look forward to seeing what this author releases in the future. 

Overall Rating (3.5*)

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Top 5 Wednesday - Independent Ladies

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme where you discuss your 'top 5' in a variety of different topics on, guess what, a Wednesday. Full list of topics and more information can be found here on the Goodreads group.

This weeks Top 5 Wednesday topic is your top 5 independent leading ladies who aren't distracted by their love interest. This is such an interesting topic and I'm excited to share my picks with you. 

Annabeth Chase from The Percy Jackson Series


I love Annabeth. I love how smart, knowledgeable and independent she is. She focuses on her quest and doesn't let anybody get in her way, not even Percy. 

Jude from The Cruel Prince/The Wicked King by Holly Black


Jude is definitely an independent lady that doesn't let anything or anyone get in the way of her goal. She's determined to find her place in the world without the help of anyone although, she does find Carden to be an unlikely ally in more ways than one. 

Felicity from The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue


Felicity doesn't want to settle down and worry about boys like she should be doing at this time in history. All she cares about is learning and finding opportunities to study. I haven't read her story yet in The Ladies Guide to Petticoats and Piracy but I'm sure she grows into even more of an independent woman in this one. 

Harper from A Curse so Dark and Lonely 

Although Harper did gradually develop feelings for Rhen this didn't stop her from fighting for what she wanted. She wanted to go home and nothing was going to stop her. 

Kady from Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

The last one on this list is a little bit different as Kady's boyfriend Ezra is one of her main motivators in this story however, she does not let her feelings for him get in the way of what needs to be done. 

I'm sure there are a lot more independent leading ladies that I have read about but these are 5 of my most recent. 

I'd love to hear about your top 5 independent leading ladies.