Weekly Highlights is a feature that I used to do a few years ago that I have deicded to revive and revamp! So on Sunday’s (hopefully every one but it may be every other!) I plan to do a Sunday Summary, detailing what books I have read or am reading, what posts I posted, what books I received or bought and what posts/books are upcoming next week.
It is inspired by The Story Sirens In My Mailbox, Books, Biscuit and Tea’s Showcase Sunday, Kimba Caffeinated’s Sunday Post, and the British Letterbox Love, and Kris’ Wednesday Weekly.
Posts From the Week
This week has flown by – and I missed last weeks Sunday Summary too! – but I did manage to get a few posts up which is great!
The first post that went live is an extract from A Good Death by Michael Bagley – you can find it here.
The second was a review of The City of Second Chances by Jane Lacey-Crane; hint: I LOVED IT. You can also enter the giveaway to win an ecopy of the book too. Check it all out here.
Then I have the lovely Nillu Nasser on the blog with a guest post about her protagonist. Find out her favourite things about him here.
And lastly, today I shared my review of the brilliant Paper Avalanche by Lisa Williamson. You can read my thoughts here.
Books I Read
The Lilith Gene
Title: The Lilith Gene Author: M. Cassol Publisher: Clink Street Publishing Published: 29th November 2018 Pages: 232 Format: ebook Source:: Review Copy from Author Add It:Amazon UKGoodreads. Summary:Vesna, a Serbian PhD student in Art History living in Tuscany, is a master rock climber. The only thing she can’t get a grip on is her love life. Beset by terrifying panic attacks that strike every time she allows herself to be intimate with another woman, she strives to avoid the so-called mermaids in her life. Olga is a widened-eye nurse trainee in Sarajevo. It’s 1912 and Olga is all too keen to document her life and the world changing around her in her diaries. Olga’s passion for nursing is only rivalled by her love for her anguished boyfriend Gav. The arrival of the obscure Patient J.D. 347 at the hospital is about to change everything for Olga. Everything will change for Vesna too, when she meets the compelling art restorer Rafaella Guaritore. Rafaella holds the key to Vesna’s research into influential women painters of the Renaissance and the metaphorical Lilith Gene that all the rebellious ladies in art are believed to share. Will Rafaella hold the key to solving Vesna’s mysterious recurring dreams and find the root of all her anxiety? Or is the answer to Vesna’s problems hidden in Olga’s diaries?
The City of Second Chances by Jane Lacey-Crane
Title: The City of Second Chances Author: Jane Lacey-Crane Publisher: Aria Fiction Published: 11th December 2018 Pages: 414 Format: ebook Source:: Review Copy from Netgalley Add It:Amazon UKGoodreads. Summary:She’s already met The One, it was just that Mr Right came along at the wrong time….
Evie Grant is forty-five years old, a widow, and single mum of two children about to leave the nest. Suddenly alone in the family home, Evie realizes she hates her job, hardly goes out and hasn’t had a date since who knows when…
So it feels like fate when the opportunity arises for a girls trip to New York City. Staying with her sister on the Upper East Side, Evie is enchanted by a snow-covered city consumed by preparing for Christmas. Bobble hat firmly on, Evie is walking through the city one day when she bumps into Daniel Roberts, Hollywood heartthrob and one-time boyfriend of hers.
It’s now or never for Evie – but she open her heart to the possibility of a new beginnings and true happiness once again….?
Funny, real and wonderfully romantic, this is the perfect feel-good read to keep you warm this winter!
Paper Avalanche by Lisa Williamson
Title: Paper Avalanche Author: Lisa Williamson Publisher: David Fickling Books Published: 3rd January 2019 Pages: 368 Format: Paperback Source:: Review Copy from Publisher Add It:Amazon UKGoodreads. Summary:Ro Snow is the girl no-one notices – she doesn’t go to parties and she doesn’t have friends over. Besides, even if anyone tried to call on her they’d discover that no. 56 Arcadia Avenue isn’t her house at all – it’s her decoy house. Because her real home, a few doors down, is a tip of rubbish and paper and she can’t remember the colour of the carpet it’s been so long since she’s seen it. Her mum, Bonnie, is a hoarder and Ro lives in terror of social services finding out about the squalor she is forced to live in. But when Noah moves in next door, Ro can’t hide the truth from him and she finds herself opening up for the first time in her life. And then there’s the new girl at school, the adorable and persistent Tanvi who can see that carefully hidden something-special in Ro too. And it’s not long before Ro’s carefully constructed castle of loneliness is crumbling down around her, but if she’s out in the open, so is her painstakingly guarded secret …
Who Let The Gods Out? by Maz Evans
Title: Who Let the Gods Out? Author: Maz Evans Publisher: Chicken House – Nudged Audio Published: 2nd Feb 2017 Listening Time: 7 hours and 16 minutes Format: Audible Source:: Bought Add It:Amazon UKGoodreads. Summary:Elliot’s mum is ill and his home is under threat, but a shooting star crashes to earth and changes his life forever. The star is Virgo – a young Zodiac goddess on a mission. But the pair accidentally release Thanatos, a wicked death daemon imprisoned beneath Stonehenge, and must then turn to the old Olympian gods for help. After centuries of cushy retirement on earth, are Zeus and his crew up to the task of saving the world – and solving Elliot’s problems too?
Books I’m Reading
Hard Copies Reading
Title: Dumplin’ Author: Julie Murphy Publisher: Harper Collins Published: 28th January 2016 Pages: 284 Format: Hardback Source:: Bought Add It:Amazon UKGoodreads. Summary:Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body.
With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.
Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any girl does.
Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.
Title: A Curse So Dark and Lonely Author: Brigid Kemmerer Publisher: Bloomsbury Published: 25th February 2016 Pages: 496 Format: Paperback Source:: Review Copy from Publisher Add It:Amazon UKGoodreads. Summary:Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall, is cursed. Forced to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he can only be freed by love. But at the end of each autumn he is transformed into a beast hell-bent on destruction, and after so many failed attempts, his kingdom and its people are barely holding on.
Harper’s life has never been easy, but she’s learned to be tough enough to survive. She won’t let anything hold her back, not her cerebral palsy or her mother’s deteriorating health. But when she is sucked into Rhen’s world, nothing is as it seems. Powerful forces are standing against Emberfalll … and it will take more than a broken curse to save it from utter ruin.
Title: Missing, Presumed Author: Susie Steiner Publisher: Harper Collins Published: 25th February 2016 Listening Length: 13 hours and 15 minutes Format: audiobook Source:: Bought Add It:Amazon UKGoodreads. Summary:Mid-December, and Cambridgeshire is blanketed with snow. Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw tries to sleep after yet another soul-destroying Internet date – the low murmuring of her police radio her only solace.
Over the airwaves come reports of a missing woman – door ajar, keys and phone left behind, a spatter of blood on the kitchen floor. Manon knows the first 72 hours are critical: you find her, or you look for a body. And as soon as she sees a picture of Edith Hind, a Cambridge post-graduate from a well-connected family, she knows this case will be big.
Is Edith alive or dead? Was her ‘complex love life’ at the heart of her disappearance, as a senior officer tells the increasingly hungry press? And when a body is found, is it the end or only the beginning?
Here are the books that I’ve received this week!
Fierce Fragile Hearts is the stunning companion novel to Sara Barnard’s YA bestseller Beautiful Broken Things. It is about leaving the past behind, the friends who form your future, and learning to find love, in all its forms.
Two years after a downward spiral took her as low as you can possibly go, Suzanne is starting again. Again. She’s back in Brighton, the only place she felt she belonged, back with her best friends Caddy and Rosie. But they’re about to leave for university. When your friends have been your light in the darkness, what happens when you’re the one left behind?
I received this one from the publisher and I could not have been more excited upon opening the package! I absolutely love Sara Barnard and cannot wait to read this new one of hers! Thank you Pan Macmillan!
Ari Helix has been an illegal immigrant in the galaxies for as long as she can remember. But when her spaceship crashes on Old Earth and she pulls a magic sword from an ancient willow, her destiny becomes set in stone. As the forty-second reincarnation of King Arthur she must save humanity from tearing itself apart, with only the help of an adolescent wizard named Merlin.
This female king must battle for her right to be herself, take down totalitarian governments and unite the world. How hard could that be?
I saw this one on twitter and after seeing the cover and reading the synopsis, I fell in love. I asked for a review copy and was lucky enough to receive one! Thank you so much to Oneworld Publications for this copy!
One year ago, there was a party.
At the party, someone died.
Five teens all played a part and up until now, no one has told the truth.
But tonight, the five survivors arrive at an isolated mansion in the hills, expecting to compete in a contest with a $50,000 grand prize. Of course…some things are too good to be true. They were each so desperate for the prize, they didn’t question the odd, rather exclusive invitation until it was too late.
Instead, they realize they’ve been lured together by a person bent on revenge who wants to finally unravel the truth about what actually happened that deadly night, one year ago.
Five arrived, but not all can leave. Will the truth set them free?
Or will their lies destroy them all?
How amazing does this book sound? When I heard about it, I jumped at the chance to give it a read! Many thanks to Simon and Schuster for this review copy!
Life as a half-mortal teenager should be epic.
But, for Helen Thomas, it’s tragic.
She’s just moved in with her dorky dad and self-absorbed older siblings – who happen to be the ancient Greek gods, living incognito in London!
Between keeping her family’s true identities secret, trying to impress her new friends, and meeting an actually cute boy, Helen’s stress levels are higher than Mount Olympus.
She needs to rein in her chaotic family before they blow their cover AND her chances at a half-normal social life.
Or is Helen fated for an embarrassment of mythical proportions?
Having just finished Who Let the Gods Out?, I jumped at the chance to read this fun sounding book. I’m also going to be a part of the blog tour in the new year too! Many thanks to Scholastic for this review copy!
Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth.
Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive
Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As memories of her old life haunt her, she has been forced to forge ahead in the snow-covered Canadian Yukon, learning how to hunt and trap to survive.
But her fragile existence is about to be shattered. Shadows of the world before have found her tiny community―most prominently in the enigmatic figure of Jax, who sets in motion a chain of events that will force Lynn to fulfill a destiny she never imagined.
I was very excited about this book but sadly I will need to try and acquire a different copy but that shouldn’t be a problem. This one was sent in the post and before it could be claimed by me, the dog decided it would make a good chew toy! But I just wanted to share this exciting book with you all and to send my thanks to Nina Douglas and HQ for sending this review copy!
Everyone tells Kat that her online personality – confident, funny, opinionated – isn’t her true self. Kat knows otherwise. The internet is her only way to cope with a bad day, chat with friends who get all her references, make someone laugh. But when she becomes the target of an alt-right trolling campaign, she feels she has no option but to Escape, Quit, Disappear.
With her social media shut down, her website erased, her entire online identity void, Kat feels she has cut away her very core: without her virtual self, who is she?
She brought it on herself. Or so Wesley keeps telling himself as he dismantles Kat’s world from across the classroom. It’s different, seeing one of his victims in real life and not inside a computer screen – but he’s in too far to back out now.
As soon as Kat disappears online, her physical body begins to fade and while everybody else forgets that she exists, Wesley realises he is the only one left who remembers her. Overcome by remorse for what he has done, Wesley resolves to stop her disappearing completely. It might just be the only way to save himself.
All the Lonely People is a timely story about online culture – both good and bad – that explores the experience of loneliness in a connected world, and the power of kindness and empathy over hatred.
After hearing a blogger friend gush about David Owen, I decided that I would give him a try. I requested this book off Netgalley and was very happy to be approved. I’m also going to a part of the Bookstagram tour next year! Thank you Atom for letting me read this book.
Storm of Odin is the youngest stormhound of the Wild Hunt that haunts lightning-filled skies. He has longed for the time when he will be able to join his brothers and sisters but on his very first hunt he finds he can’t keep up and falls to earth, landing on the A40 just outside Abergavenny.
Enter twelve-year-old Jessica Price, who finds and adopts a cute puppy from an animal rescue centre. And suddenly, a number of strange people seem very interested in her and her new pet, Storm. People who seem to know a lot about magic . . .
In Claire Fayers’ electrifying adventure Storm Hounds, Jessica starts to see that there’s something different about her beloved dog and will need to work out which of her new friends she can trust.
How cute does this one sound? I think it looks like it’s going to be a really fun read so I couldn’t help but request it. Many thanks to Stripes Publishing for letting me read and review this one!
Three sisters trapped by an ancient curse.
Three magical objects with the power to change their fate.
Will they be enough to break the curse?
Or will they lead the sisters even deeper into danger? …
I have heard so many things about Michelle Harrison over the years but I’ve not yet had a chance to read one of her books. As this is a new book in a series – and it sounds incredible – I thought I’d give her a go! Many thanks to Simon and Schuster for this one.
Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It’s the highest honor they could hope for…and the most cruel.
But this year, there’s a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she’s made of fire.
In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after–the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest.
Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. But Lei isn’t content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable–she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.
I have already heard so many good things about this book and seeing as it was still available to request on Netgalley, I jumped at the chance! I am very intrigued by this book and cannot wait to dive in! Many thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for this read.
Can wacky Christmas jumpers really mend a broken heart? For fans of The Christmas Cracker by Trisha Ashley and The Christmas Surprise by Jenny Colgan.
Heartbroken after being jilted at the altar, Sybil has been saved from despair by her knitting obsession and now her home is filled to bursting with tea cosies, bobble hats, and jumpers. But, after discovering that she may have perpetrated the cock-up of the century at work, Sybil decides to make a hasty exit and, just weeks before Christmas, runs away to the picturesque village of Tindledale.
There, Sybil discovers Hettie’s House of Haberdashery, an emporium dedicated to the world of knitting and needle craft. But Hettie, the outspoken octogenarian owner, is struggling and now the shop is due for closure. And when Hettie decides that Sybil’s wonderfully wacky Christmas jumpers are just the thing to add a bit of excitement to her window display, something miraculous starts to happen…
I got this audiobook in the 2 for 1 Audible sale and I am very excited to read it! I think I’m going to try and listen to it on my way home for Christmas and over the Christmas period. It just sounds so wonderfully festive!
We’ve all seen him: the man – the monster – staring from the front page of every newspaper, accused of a terrible crime.
But what about her: the woman who grips his arm on the courtroom stairs – the wife who stands by him?
Jean Taylor’s life was blissfully ordinary. Nice house, nice husband. Glen was all she’d ever wanted: her Prince Charming.
Until he became that man accused, that monster on the front page. Jean was married to a man everyone thought capable of unimaginable evil.
But now Glen is dead and she’s alone for the first time, free to tell her story on her own terms.
Jean Taylor is going to tell us what she knows.
I love a good thriller and this one sounds like it will be just that! After all, what do you do when you find out the person you love is a monster in human skin? It sounds incredible and I’m really glad I got this in the 2 for 1 deal on Audible!
I am trying to get better at this blogging thing again so I’ve scheduled a few posts that should *hopefully* appear on the blog! I’m also sharing the next book(s) I’ll be starting too!
Tuesday – Taking part in the Rosie Loves Jack blog tour Wednesday – Review of Millets Jacket Thursday – Review of Who Let the Gods Out? by Maz Evans Friday – Hydrorider Experience Sunday – Sunday Summary; 23rd December
To Read Next
I will be reading and hopefully finishing, Dumplin’.
And I really hope to finish reading A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer too!
And there you have it, my Sunday Summary!
What Did You Get This Week? What Cool Blog Posts Did You Write? What Are You Reading This Week?