Monday, March 23, 2015

Musing Mondays

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: What is your favorite lesson learned, or quote, from a recent book you’ve read?

I recently read Barracuda by
“I want two scars, one on each of my shoulder blades.”
He shrugged in confusion. “What do you mean?”
“Two scars,” I repeated, “for where my wings used to be, where my wings were torn away from me.”

Monday, March 16, 2015

Musing Mondays

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week… 
 THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: How often do you use your local library? Are you happy with their availability?

I don't use the library as much anymore. I used to go every Saturday to the nearest branch to my home and look for new things to read, but that was before I started receiving so many review books. Now I usually have more than enough to read at home!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Musing Mondays

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Who (or what) influences your reading most?

I'm not really influenced by anything or anyone these days when it comes to reading. I tend to read whatever catches my eye. Once in a while, I'll glance through "Best of" lists to find something new to read.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas

BarracudaHe asked the water to lift him, to carry him, to avenge him. He made his muscles shape his fury, made every stroke declare his hate. And the water obeyed; the water would give him his revenge. No one could beat him, no one came close.

His whole life, Danny Kelly's only wanted one thing: to win Olympic gold. Everything he's ever done-every thought, every dream, every action-takes him closer to that moment of glory, of vindication, when the world will see him for what he is: the fastest, the strongest and the best. His life has been a preparation for that moment.

His parents struggle to send him to the most prestigious private school with the finest swimming program; Danny loathes it there and is bullied and shunned as an outsider, but his coach is the best and knows Danny is, too, better than all those rich boys, those pretenders. Danny's win-at-all-cost ferocity gradually wins favour with the coolest boys-he's Barracuda, he's the psycho, he's everything they want to be but don't have the guts to get there. He's going to show them all.

He would be first, everything would be alright when he came first, all would be put back in place. When he thought of being the best, only then did he feel calm.

Should we teach our children to win, or should we teach them to live? How do we make and remake our lives? Can we atone for our past? Can we overcome shame? And what does it mean to be a good person?




This is one of the most moving and exquisite novels I’ve read in a long while. The author offers an incredibly authentic voice in his flawed protagonist, Danny Kelly, which lingers in the reader’s mind long after the last page is done. 

The writing is relentlessly poignant. It is honest in a manner that is sometimes difficult to read, but offers some gorgeous sentences that resonate with anyone who has ever strived for something and somehow lost their way. The manner in which the author told the story also adds to the many dimensions this novel has to offer. It takes the reader back and forth through time, tingeing the victories of Kelly’s early life with the knowledge the reader has of what is to come. The last couple of pages, in particular, are difficult to read, but give the novel the perfect ending.

The honesty of the writing might not for everyone. The author does not shy away from anything, which makes the novel both exciting and brutal to read. 

This is a novel that I will be recommending to everyone for a long time. With its compelling story and a protagonist that leaps off the page, this one is a must read.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Musing Mondays



Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: What’s your favorite genre? Why?

I love horror novels, especially Gothic horror. Give me Dracula, or The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and I am a happy, happy reader. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Showcase: Dare to Dream by Carys Jones











 I am so happy to be part of the Dare to Dream release day! Below you can find all the information about the book and the author. You can even see the exclusive book trailer.






About DARE TO DREAM: 
The world was going to end. Of that, Maggie Trafford was certain.
Fourteen-year-old Maggie Trafford leads a normal life. Well, as normal as being crammed in a three-bedroom house with four siblings and a single parent can be, anyway. But despite being somewhat ignored at home, Maggie excels, earning top grades, a best friend who would do anything for her, and stolen looks from a boy in Maths.
It’s not until the dreams start that Maggie realizes “normal” is the least of her problems. Every night, she lives the same nightmare—red lightning, shattered glass, destruction. But nightmares are just that, right? No one believes her when she says it’s an omen. At least, not until the already mysterious pillars of Stonehenge start falling.
No longer alone in her fear, Maggie and the world watch with bated breath as one after another, the historic stones tumble, like a clock counting down. But only Maggie knows what it means: when the last stone falls, destruction will reign. And when the world ends, there’s only one option left—survive.
Horrifying and raw, Dare to Dream is equal parts tragedy and hope, detailing the aftermath of apocalyptic catastrophe, the quest for survival, and the importance of belief.

About Carys Jones:
Carys Jones loves nothing more than to write and create stories which ignite the reader's imagination. Based in Shropshire, England, Carys lives with her husband, two guinea pigs and her adored canine companion Rollo.

When she's not writing, Carys likes to indulge her inner geek by watching science-fiction films or playing video games.

She lists John Green, Jodi Picoult and Virginia Andrews as her favorite authors and draws inspiration for her own work from anything and everything.

To Carys, there is no greater feeling then when you lose yourself in a great story and it is that feeling of ultimate escapism which she tries to bring to her books.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sherlock Holmes The Missing Years: Japan by Vasudev Murthy



Sherlock Holmes, The Missing Years: Japan It's 1893. King Kamehameha III of Hawaii declares Sovereignty Restoration Day ... Tension grows between China and Japan over Korea ... The Bengal Famine worsens ... A brilliant scientist in Calcutta challenges the system … The senior priest at Kyoto's Kinkaku-ji temple is found dead in mysterious circumstances. Dr John H. Watson receives a strange letter from Yokohama. Then the quiet, distinguished Mr. Hashimoto is murdered inside a closed room on a voyage from Liverpool to Bombay.

In the opium dens of Shanghai and in the back alleys of Tokyo, sinister men hatch evil plots. Professor Moriarty stalks the world, drawing up a map for worldwide dominion. Only one man can outwit the diabolical Professor Moriarty. Only one man can save the world. Has Sherlock Holmes survived the Reichenbach Falls?

Writing a new novel starring Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson can either be a fun homage to the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, or it can be a painful game of imitation that leaves readers cringing. This was the latter. 

For one thing, the timeline where this story is supposed to happen makes absolutely no sense. The plot takes place within those three years where Holmes was considered to be dead after fighting with Professor Moriarty, but it allows Watson and Holmes to meet again before the canonical meeting in “The Empty House”. Considering how surprised Watson is in the original Doyle story of their reunion, this add-on leaves readers scratching their head. If Watson already knew he was alive because of this fanfiction passing as a novel, then why would he be so shocked in Doyle’s story?
That blatant disregard for canon is not the worst thing that this novel has to offer, unfortunately. 

There are endless pages of exposition explaining how Holmes survived, which are laughably unrealistic. There is the fact that now apparently Moriarty survived Reichenbach, as well, making that entire Doyle story pointless. There are also ridiculous suggestions at Holmes’ interest in philosophy of any sort, including vegetarianism. Most of the characters, apart from Watson, speak like Holmes, including one man who uses the same detection skills as the famous detective. There are the mind-numbing travelogue pages that boil down to “we got on a train, we got off a train.” I could go on and on about the faults this book has to offer, but the worst one, the one that made me push the novel aside time and time again is that it was boring. I have never found a Sherlock Holmes story boring, not even the ones written towards the end of Conan Doyle’s patience with the character. The characters were pale copies of the originals and the plot was laughable. Although the book is marketed as seriocomic, it is neither serious nor comedic. Just dull.  

This is not a good Sherlock Holmes story, as you have probably deduced by now, pun intended. Stick to the originals or to the ones approved by the Doyle estate.