ARC August Progress: Week 3

ARC-August-2014

My week

I felt like I’d made absolutely zero progress on ARC August this week, but it turns out I’d done more than I thought! Although I’ve barely read at all since Monday, I got a lot of reading done over the weekend and finished 2 ARCs, so I’ve now hit my reading goal!

 

Reading this week

Number of books completed: 2
Total # pages read: 866
Number of reviews scheduled/posted: 0

 

Plan for next week:

I’m hoping the bank holiday will give me a little boost this weekend, but I’m also working on some upcoming blog stuff so I’m not sure how much I’ll get done.  I’ve started The Girl With All The Gifts and I’d ideally like to get that read and two reviews scheduled this week.  Other than that I don’t have any real plans – I’ll be trying to make some progress on Bout of Books but those won’t necessarily be ARCs so I’m not including them in my target!


 

ARC August stats

Number of ARCS completed: 6
Total # pages read: 1599
Average pages read per day: 117
ARC Sources: Netgalley (5), RealReaders (1)
Number of reviews scheduled/posted: 2 (Fool’s Assassin & Apple and Rain),

Bout of Books 11.0 Progress

My goals: 7 hours + / 600 pages+ / 2 books / updates

Progress


Wednesday

Today was my first day of taking part in the readathon as Matt was here until this morning.  I’ve not made too much progress yet (6:30pm), just reading a little on my lunch break.  My plans for this evening are basically cooking, watching Great British Break Off and Operation Wild with my family, and then reading a bit before bed!  I started The Girl with all the gifts on my lunch break and I’m hoping to read at least a bit more tonight!

Reading:  The Girl with All the Gifts
Time spent reading:  1 hour
Pages read today: 87                                       Total pages read: 87
Books completed today: 0                           Total books completed:  0
Books completed:  0

 

 

Thursday

I didn’t get a chance to read on my lunch break today as I had various boring errands to run, but I did get a little done when I got home from work.  I’m quite enjoying The Girl With All the Gifts so far but I wouldn’t say I’m hooked.  I’m feeling pretty shattered though, so I’m thinking of taking a hot chocolate up to bed, reading some more of The Girl With All the Gifts and then an early night! (I lead an exciting life like that!)  I probably won’t end up updating again tonight so instead I’ll leave you with my progress so far today.

Reading:  The Girl with All the Gifts
Time spent reading:  40 minutes
Pages read today: 70                                       Total pages read: 156
Books completed today: 0                           Total books completed:  0
Books completed:  0

Top Ten Tuesday (#59): Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling me I MUST Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted at The Broke and The Bookish where they post a list idea and everyone is welcome to post the list with their own answers. This week’s topic is “Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling You That You MUST Read”.

The Fantasy

They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he’s part man, part myth, and mostly street-corner rumor. And they are wrong on every count. Only averagely tall, slender, and god-awful with a sword, Locke Lamora is the fabled Thorn, and the greatest weapons at his disposal are his wit and cunning. He steals from the rich – they’re the only ones worth stealing from – but the poor can go steal for themselves. What Locke cons, wheedles and tricks into his possession is strictly for him and his band of fellow con-artists and thieves: the Gentleman Bastards. Together their domain is the city of Camorr. Built of Elderglass by a race no-one remembers, it’s a city of shifting revels, filthy canals, baroque palaces and crowded cemeteries. Home to Dons, merchants, soldiers, beggars, cripples, and feral children. And to Capa Barsavi, the criminal mastermind who runs the city. But there are whispers of a challenge to the Capa’s power. A challenge from a man no one has ever seen, a man no blade can touch. The Grey King is coming. A man would be well advised not to be caught between Capa Barsavi and The Grey King.Even such a master of the sword as the Thorn of Camorr.

As for Locke Lamora …

 

Princess Elisa is a disappointment to her people. Although she bears the Godstone in her navel, a sign that she has been chosen for an act of heroism, they see her as lazy, useless and fat.

On her sixteenth birthday, she is bartered off in royal marriage and shipped away to a kingdom in turmoil, where her much older and extremely beautiful husband refuses to acknowledge her as his wife. Devastated, Elisa decides to take charge of her fate and learn what it means to bear the Godstone.

As an invading army threatens to destroy her new home, and everyone at court manoeuvres to take advantage of the young princess, Elisa becomes convinced that, not only is her own life in danger, but the whole world needs saving. But how can a young girl who has never ridden on horseback, never played the game of politics, and never attained the love of a man save the world? Elisa can’t be sure, but she must try to uncover the Godstone’s secret history before the enemy steals the destiny nestled in her core.

 

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite – the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfil her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?
Shadow and Bone – Fantasy / YA

 

Historical Fiction

Josie Moraine wants out of The Big Easy – she needs more than New Orleans can offer. Known locally as a brothel prostitute’s daughter, she dreams of life at an elite college, far away from here.
But then a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie caught between her ambition and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans is luring Josie deeper in as she searches for the truth, and temptation beckons at every turn.

 



Two young women become unlikely best friends during World War II, until one is captured by the Gestapo.

Only in wartime could a stalwart lass from Manchester rub shoulders with a Scottish aristocrat. But then a vital mission goes wrong, and one of the friends has to bail out of a faulty plane over France. She is captured by the Gestapo and becomes a prisoner of war. The story begins in “Verity”’s own words, as she writes her account for her captors.Truth or lies? Honour or betrayal? Everything they’ve ever believed in is put to the test . . .


Here is a small fact – you are going to die. 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier. Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall. Some important information – this novel is narrated by death. It’s a small story, about: a girl an accordionist some fanatical Germans a Jewish fist fighter and quite a lot of thievery. Another thing you should know – death will visit the book thief three times.

 

The Dystopians

Imagine you’re the only boy in a town of men. And you can hear everything they think. And they can hear everything you think. Imagine you don’t fit in with their plans… Todd Hewitt is just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man. But his town has been keeping secrets from him. Secrets that are going to force him to run… The new edition of this unflinching novel about the impossible choices of growing up features the short story, The New World. Set before the events of The Knife of Never Letting Go, it is the story of Viola’s dramatic journey to the New World.

 

Los Angeles, California, Republic of America

He is Day.
The boy who walks in the light.

She is June.
The girl who seeks her brother’s killer.

On the run and undercover, they meet by chance. Irresistably drawn together, neither knows the other’s past.
But Day murdered June’s brother. And she has sworn to avenge his death.

 

When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he’s not alone. He’s surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade – a walled encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible stone maze. Like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they came to be there – or what’s happened to the world outside. All they know is that every morning when the walls slide back, they will risk everything – even the Grievers, half-machine, half-animal horror that patrol its corridors, to try and find out.

 

The Romance


When Jacqueline follows her long-term boyfriend to college, the last thing she expects is a breakup. After two weeks in shock she wakes up to her new reality: she’s single, ignored by former friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.

Leaving a party alone, she is assaulted. Rescued by a stranger in the right place at the right time, she just wants to forget that night. But when her attacker turns stalker she has to make a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Her savior proves protective and intriguing, but he’s hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly, knowing who to trust is anything but easy.

 

Which of these recommendations do you agree with? Which should I skip?

Early Review: No In Between (Lisa Renee Jones)

Review: No In Between Amazon| Goodreads

SPOILER ALERT: As No In Between is book 4 in a series, there may be some spoilers for earlier books.

“Chris and I have faced our demons and bared our souls to one another in Paris. Now that we are back home in San Francisco, I want to believe that nothing can tear us apart. Not Ava’s accusations against me to the police, or Chris’s fear that he will destroy me as he feels he did Amber. And not Mark, who was once too intimately a part of our lives, and who I can see crumbling inside out. He believes he is invincible, just as I want to believe Chris and I are invincible. We have to be invincible. We need each other too much for any other ending.

 

Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Length: 256 pages
Source: Review copy from NetGalley
Series: Yes (#4 in the Inside Out series)
Publication Date: 19th August 2014

Plot: ★★
Characters: ★★
Readability: ★★★
Overall: ★★

 

The story

The story picks up pretty much where Revealing Us left off – Chris and Sara are just arriving home from Paris, preparing for Ava’s trial.  Chris and Sara are trying to prepare themselves for what promises to be a nasty trial, while also balancing their relationship, issues from ther past and their worry over Ella.

No In Between is the fourth book in Lisa Renee Jones’ Inside Out series, a series I’ve been loving so far! You can read my reviews for books 1, 2 and 3, but the short version is I gave all of them four stars! Unfortunately, No In Between just didn’t live up to the earlier books for me.

No In Between is the first book of the series where I’ve found it difficult to get back into the story.  I definitely think it’d be worth re-reading at least Revealing Us before getting stuck into No In Between because at this point the mystery is getting complicated, and it took me a while to remember who everyone was etc.  I also admit that I hadn’t read My Hunger or His Secrets between going in, which may have had something to do with my slow reconnection.  However, this shouldn’t be a large influence as a note from Lisa at the beginning says “you don’t have to read [His Secrets] to enjoy this story”.

I found No In Between felt dragged out, and I honestly felt this book was largely unecessary.  At 256 pages, No In Between is quite a lot shorter than the first three books (at 384, 351 and 256 pages). Whilst the first three felt sharp, snappy and successfully built the tension, No In Between in comparison felt like it was just going over the previous ground.  Don’t get me wrong, it was full of twists and turns, but it didn’t seem to actually go anwhere.  For me, the lact of progress with the story meant that for me all of the tension that had built up and built up through the first three books, instead of being resolved, was left hanging.  I would have preferred this to be bunched together with book 5 to make a longer but satisfying read.

 

 

 

The characters

The main cast of characters are the same we’ve seen throughout the series: Mark, Sara and Chris.  Chris is great, and Mark remains the mysterious, elusive man you can’t help but want to know more about!  Sara’s vulnerability made her more relatable, and it was great to see the way Chris dealt with that vulnerability. I definitely found Chris and Sara’s relationship the hightlight of No In Between.

As well as our main three, there’s also a large number of supporting characters, including both characters from the earlier books and some new characters.  We see more of the Walker brothers from the Tall, Dark and Deadly series which I liked, and I loved seeing a tiny bit more of Crystal.  However, I personally thought there were a few too many characters for a book where little truly happens; at times it felt like some of the characters were only there to give you more possibilities for what happened to Rebecca.

 

final thoughtsI had very high expectations of No In Between based on the fact I thought the first three books were brilliant, but unfortunately No In Between just didn’t live up to those expectations.  It’s full of twists and turns, some steamy sex scenes and some touching moments between Chris and Sara, but the lack of resolution means that for me this would be much better if you could read it immediately before the next book, rather than alone.

 

Buy it? This is one I’d maybe buy on a deal, but perhaps after the next book is out too!
In a nutshell: Would almost certainly benefit from a re-read of Revealing Us first but unfortunately this one disappointed me.

Other Reviews of No In Between: Sensual Reads | Page Princess | Drue’s Random Chatter

The Weekly Recap (#29)

So I scheduled my Weekly Recap last week and forgot all about it until about halfway through the week when I realised my post hadn’t gone up so this is actually two weeks of recapping.

This week on the blog

Incoming

I got my tuition fees invoice this week and no progress on a career development loan yet so no book buying for me!

 
Total spend: £0.00

My Week

The first week was pretty great!  Matt was here until Thursday and we had a very busy but enjoyable few days. Everybody wanted to catch up and hear about his trip so we didn’t get huge amounts of time to just chill out but we had a great time.  We saw Guardians of the Galaxy, went out for dinner with my family, saw some friends and went shopping with his mum.  Then Thursday it was back to work for me and back off to uni for him to work on his dissertation.

Since then I’ve mostly just been focusing on my ARC August/Beat the Heat goals and I’m pretty pleased with my progress!

This week I’ve got a few things planned aside from work.  Matt came home today and he’ll be here until Wednesday morning.  I’m at work tomorrow but Tuesday we’re going to have a nice day in London to ourselves, maybe head to the Natural History Museum, before the George & Robin event with my dad in the evening (who’s super excited and has no idea I’ve already read Fool’s Assassin so I’m being very careful not to spoil it!).  Then Ill just be at work and maybe doing some work on a secret blog project ;)


Reading

 

Finished:


Up Next:

No idea, whatever jumps out at me!

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Faith has
read 41 books toward her goal of 60 books.
hide

 

Challenge Progress

  • Seriously Series:
    • Series Started in 2014: 17/18
    • Series Started before 2014: 14/18
  • LGBTQ: 2/3
  • TBR Pile Reading challenge: 12/21
  • Review Pile Reading Challenge: 25/31

 

How was your week?

Review: Apple and Rain (Sarah Crossan)

Review: Apple and Rain Amazon| Goodreads

When Apple’s mother returns after eleven years away, Apple feels whole again. But just like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother’s homecoming is bittersweet. It’s only when Apple meets someone more lost than she is that she begins to see things as they really are.

A story about sad endings.
A story about happy beginnings.
A story to make you realise who is special.

 

Author: Sarah Crossan
Length: 330 pages
Source: Review copy from NetGalley & Purchased copy
Publication Date: 14th August 2014

Plot: ★★
Characters: ★★★
Readability: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★

The storyApple has spent the last eleven years wishing for her mother.  Wandering why she left and why she never came back, all Apple wants is for her mum to come home.  She loves living with her nan, but she’s also beginning to chafe at being picked up from school and generally not being let out of sight.  She also wishes she had her mum to just talk to about things she couldn’t discuss with her nan, things like boys, petty arguments at school and make up.  When Apple’s mum does show up out of the blue though, it isn’t exactly the seamless family reunion Apple expected, and she has to face up to the reality of a mother she’s only ever imagined until now.

I found the story a bit predictable but very enjoyable and VERY hard to put down! Between how quick the story moves, the very short chapters and the easy-to-get-lost-in voice of Apple, I told myself ‘just one more chapter’ for far too long when reading it.  The fact that the story was a little predictable didn’t particularly bother me, because it’s just as much about the journey and the character development as it is about the end result.  In that respect, and with Apple’s clear voice, it reminded me a little of something like Thirteen Reasons Why.

Apple tries to build a relationship with her mother as she fears her relationship with her best friend is disintegrating, she goes through so many upheavals, and then on top of all that she’s also given a new English teacher, who tries to engage the class with poetry.  The poetry in Apple and Rain is used really well, and it really helps to see exactly how Apple feels – although her voice is very clear, she’s not always upfront with herself about how she feels, so the poetry gives you that little bit of insight beneath the mask.

The characters

I don’t want to say too much about the characters because learning about them was one of the highlights of the story for me and I don’t want to take that away if you haven’t read it yet!  So just a few quick thoughts from me on each of them.

Apple is great – although she’s only 13 she comes across as more mature.  At the start of the story Apple definitely comes across as younger and more naive – she idolises her mother, she worries about Nana making her look uncool etc but she grows brilliantly throughout the book.  Sure she makes mistakes, but what teenager human doesn’t?!

Rain and Del are both brilliant characters.  I couldn’t decide on an overall favourite character but it’d definitely be one of these two!

Apple’s mother Annie is really well developed.  I loved the fact that she was shown as making mistakes and having flaws without being the villain.  Unfortunately for me this was overshadowed a little by Apple’s issues with her dad, who she seemed determined to see as the bad guy and which I found a little frustrating.

 

 

final thoughtsApple and Rain was a quick, cute, enjoyable read, but it wasn’t the emotional rollercoaster I was expecting.  It can be a little bleak at times, but it’s fundamentally a heart-warming story about families, relationships, and growing up.  I’ve seen so many great reviews for Apple and Rain, and I really enjoyed it, but it wasn’t as deeply emotional as I was expecting, so I liked it but wasn’t overwhelmed unfortunately.

 

Buy it? This is one I’d borrow or pick up on a deal.
In a nutshell: All in all a good read, but didn’t have the impact I was expecting.

 

Other Reviews of Apple and Rain: Fluttering Butterflies | YA Midnight Reads | Reading Lark

ARC August Progress: Week 2

ARC-August-2014

My week

Pretty pleased with my progress this week!  Another 2 books read, which takes me up to 4 in total.  My goal for the month was set at 5 so I’m well on track for that side of things!  I also finally wrote and scheduled some reviews so that’s a start on my (perhaps over-ambitious goal!) of 7.

 

Reading this week

Number of books completed: 2
Total # pages read: 895
Number of reviews scheduled/posted: 2 (Fool’s Assassin & Apple and Rain),

 

Plan for next week:

I’ve got a pretty busy week ahead this week, so just trying to get through Little Lies this week.  I’m at a barbecue on Saturday, then Matt’s home Sunday-Wednesday, and I’m at work all week too, so not expecting to do quite so well this week!  I’d like to try and read all of Little Lies and write at least one review though.

 

ARC August stats

Number of ARCS completed: 4
Total # pages read: 1599
Average pages read per day: 106
ARC Sources: Netgalley (4)
Number of reviews scheduled/posted: 2 (Fool’s Assassin & Apple and Rain),

Harry Potter MotW #6: If you could be a character for a day, who would you be?

[This is a response to Leah’s Harry Potter moment of the week. If you’d like to join in, head on over to Uncorked Thoughts for the full schedule of upcoming themes!

The theme of this week’s Harry Potter Moment of the Week is the “If you could be a character for a day, who would you be?“.

Oooh this is one of the easier HP moments I’ve taken part in….

Luna seems like the most obvious choice to me, because she does what she wants and therefore has the most freedom!  If I wanted to be sociable I could go hang out with Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville and Ginny, but equally if I wanted to wander around staring at things like I’d never seen them before, no one would think anything of it ;)  I also think Luna would probably know the hidden secrets of Hogwarts because she’s observant like that.  I’d be able to see the Thestrals, to explore the Library and the Room of Requirement in peace, and play around with magical clothing (roaring hats anyone?) without anyone giving me a second glance!

Who wouold you want to be for the day?

Top Ten Tuesday (#58): Top Ten Series I’m Not Sure I Want To Start

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted at The Broke and The Bookish where they post a list idea and everyone is welcome to post the list with their own answers. This week’s topic is “Top Ten Books I’m Not Sure I Want To Read”.

I’ve adapted it slightly and picked ten series I’m not sure I want to start – it’s not that I don’t want to read them so much as I’m wondering whether they’re worth committing to when I already have a huge TBR list!

The Ones on my Shelves

 

Shifters (Rachel Vincent)

There are only eight breeding female werecats left . . .
And I’m one of them.

I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.

Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.

I’d been warned about Strays — werecats without a Pride, constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female, and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.

This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back . . . for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I’m no meek kitty. I’ll take on whatever — and whoever — I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays — ’cause I got claws, and I’m not afraid to use them . . .

Average GR rating of book 1: 3.84 | Number of books in the series: 6

 

The Morganville Vampires (Rachel Caine)

College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don’t show many signs of life, but they’ll have Claire’s back when the town’s deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood. Will she be able to face the town’s terror or will she drown like everyone else?

Average GR rating of book 1: 3.94 | Number of books in the series: 15

 

Darkest Powers (Kelley Armstrong)

My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.

All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don’t even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost – and the ghost saw me.

Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won’t leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a “special home” for troubled teens. Yet the home isn’t what it seems. Don’t tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? it’s up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House…before its skeletons come back to haunt me.

Average GR rating of book 1: 4.03 | Number of books in the series: 3

 

Wall of Night (Helen Lowe)

 If Night falls, all fall . . .

In the far north of the world of Haarth lies the bitter mountain range known as the Wall of Night. Garrisoned by the Nine Houses of the Derai, the Wall is the final bastion between the peoples of Haarth and the Swarm of Dark—which the Derai have been fighting across worlds and time.

Malian, Heir to the House of Night, knows the history of her people: the unending war with the Darkswarm; the legendary heroes, blazing with long-lost power; the internal strife that has fractured the Derai’s former strength. But now the Darkswarm is rising again, and Malian’s destiny as Heir of Night is bound inextricably to both ancient legend and any future the Derai—or Haarth—may have.

Average GR rating of book 1: 3.68 | Number of books in the series: 3

 

Everneath (Brodi Ashton)

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her boyfriend—before she’s banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance—and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s queen.

Average GR rating of book 1: 3.81 | Number of books in the series: 3

 

The Ones I Don’t Own Yet

 

Reboot (Amy Tintera)

Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.

Average GR rating of book 1: 3.93 | Number of books in the series: 2 so far

 

Midnight Thief (Livia Blackburne)

Growing up on Forge’s streets has taught Kyra how to stretch a coin. And when that’s not enough, her uncanny ability to scale walls and bypass guards helps her take what she needs.

But when the leader of the Assassins Guild offers Kyra a lucrative job, she hesitates. She knows how to get by on her own, and she’s not sure she wants to play by his rules. But he’s persistent—and darkly attractive—and Kyra can’t quite resist his pull.

Tristam of Brancel is a young Palace knight on a mission. After his best friend is brutally murdered by Demon Riders, a clan of vicious warriors who ride bloodthirsty wildcats, Tristam vows to take them down. But as his investigation deepens, he finds his efforts thwarted by a talented thief, one who sneaks past Palace defenses with uncanny ease.

When a fateful raid throws Kyra and Tristam together, the two enemies realize that their best chance at survival—and vengeance—might be to join forces. And as their loyalties are tested to the breaking point, they learn a startling secret about Kyra’s past that threatens to reshape both their lives.

Average GR rating of book 1: 3.77 | Number of books in the series: 2 so far

 

October Daye (Seanan McGuire)

October “Toby” Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae, has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a “normal” life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas…

The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening’s dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby must resume her former position as knight errant and renew old alliances. As she steps back into fae society, dealing with a cast of characters not entirely good or evil, she realizes that more than her own life will be forfeited if she cannot find Evening’s killer.

Average GR rating of book 1: 3.74 | Number of books in the series: 7 so far

 

Fire and Thorns (Rae Carson)

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

Average GR rating of book 1: 3.83 | Number of books in the series: 3

 

Breathe (Sarah Crossan)

Ever since the Switch, when the oxygen levels plummeted and most of humanity died, the survivors have been protected in glass domes full of manufactured air. Protected . . . or trapped? Or controlled? Alina’s a revolutionary who believes we can save the environment. Quinn’s a Premium who’s never had to worry about having enough air. His best friend, Bea, is an Auxiliary who’s never worried about anything but having enough air. When the three cross paths, they will change everything.

Average GR rating of book 1: 3.67 | Number of books in the series: 2

 

Which of these are must reads?  Any you think aren’t worth getting into?

Beat the Heat & Bout of Books Goals

BeatHeatRATbutton2ndA1

The Beat the Heat Readathon conveniently takes place for the last three weeks of ARC August (which I’m also taking part in), so it just makes sense to take part ;)

I’ve been doing okay on my ARC August goals: I’ve so far finished 2 of my target of 5 ARCs.  (My reviews are a totally different thing but they don’t count as part of Beat The Heat so for now I can forget about them)

My goals for the Beat the Heat Readathon are mostly about keeping my ARC August progress going, but I’d also like to read at least one book off my shelves, as I’m pretty behind on my TBR Pile Challenge.

Beat the Heat Goals: 4 or more ARCs /At least one book off my shelves

Bout of Books
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

 

Okay, so you might be wondering why I’m signing up for Bout of Books when I’m already taking part in ARC August AND Beat The Heat – I mean how many readathons can one girl need right?
Well okay, I admit, some of it is just because I didn’t want to choose between them but there’s also a twisted logic here….

 

ARC August and Beat The Heat are great because I can get so much done over the space of a month and because taking a day or two off doesn’t throw off my goals the way it can with a short readathon.  BUT short readathons are great because I can really devote a few days to making reading my priority.  I can’t realistically keep that up for a few weeks or a month at a time without burning out, but I really love the buzz and achievement of a few days of just dedicated reading.  Hence, signing up for all the readathons!

 

Bout of Books isn’t great timing for me this time around as I’m working and Matt’s home for the first half, but for Thursday-Sunday at least I plan to just read as much as I can.

 

Bout of Books goals: 7 hours + / 600 pages+ / 2 books / Daily updates
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