The Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo

BLOG“Kaz leaned back. ‘What’s the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?’
‘Knife to the throat?’ asked Inej.
‘Gun to the back?’ said Jesper.
‘Poison in his cup?’ suggested Nina.
‘You’re all horrible,’ said Matthias.”

Six of Crows was one of those books that sat on my bookshelf for a while. Purchased amidst the praise and rave reviews, and even though I was eager to experience the story for myself, the reading mood was never quite right. Recently, however, when I saw that a friend was going to read it, I finally grabbed it off my bookshelf and dove in. I do love a good heist story, so the premise of this one completely had my attention: Kaz, a leader of one of gangs of the city of Ketterdam is offered an opportunity that would bring him immense wealth, but the deadly and near impossible heist requires a skilled crew of individuals. Being a skilled and resourceful criminal himself, he knows just the people he will need to achieve the impossible. What we get is a team of compelling characters that makes this such a page-turning read:

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Continue reading “The Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo”

The Future Is Bright: Five Books I Am Looking Forward To

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I am not usually one to have lists of upcoming books or do intensive research into yearly releases. However, I do like to keep an eye on new books by authors that I have read and enjoyed in the past. And from time to time I get swept up in the hype of a new release that I am all too eager to read. This past week I kept coming across announcements for books that made me so happy I felt the need to share my excitement, all in a tidy little list. 🙂 These are my top five most anticipated releases (in order of release date): Continue reading “The Future Is Bright: Five Books I Am Looking Forward To”

Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave

BLOG“I’d been wrong about the ways we move past the versions of ourselves that no longer fit. I’d thought it involved running, as far and as fast as your feet could carry you, from your former selves. I didn’t understand that was the surest way to wind up exactly where you started.”

Sunshine Mackenzie has it all as a cooking video sensation with millions of fans, a line of cookbooks and the soon to be star of an upcoming show on the Food Network. People fall in love with her down-to-earth persona and story of humble beginnings that led her to a new life in New York with her devoted husband. Yep, Sunshine is living the ideal life. Until she gets hacked. With her secrets revealed to the world, Sunshine loses her show, her fans, her apartment, and her husband all in one fell swoop. And where else can a person go when they lose everything, but straight back to the beginning. Back in the childhood home that she had left firmly in the past, Sunshine is forced to rethink her reality and what kind of life she wants to lead.

Hello, Sunshine is a breezy, charming read that I enjoyed quite a bit. It gave me those wonderful summer reading vibes providing a lovely escape. I loved the way Sunshine tells her story and the way the book is narrated. She does not paint herself as a victim or a hero, just someone finding her place and making mistakes along the way. The twist in the story is an interesting choice that you may or may not see coming. I wasn’t particularly surprised but I do wish it was addressed more clearly because aspects of it felt really problematic. I do appreciate that the story did not go the typical route and overall had a more realistic feel — examining the price and consequences of opening ones life to social media and the many dangers of living a “curated” life.

This was a pleasant, enjoyable novel and I am looking forward to reading more from this author.

Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier

BLOG“There’s things happen at Jamaica Inn, Mary, that I’ve never dared to breathe. Bad things. Evil things. I dare not even admit them to myself.”

On a gloomy November evening, Mary Yellan finds herself on the way to Jamaica Inn and into an uncertain future. Her mother’s dying wish was for Mary to find a home with her beloved sister, Aunt Patience. However, upon her arrival Mary is greeted by a crumbling structure that acts as a home to violent acts and dark secrets. Her Aunt Patience is a shadow of the woman she used to be; meek, frightened and at the mercy of her abusive husband. Mary is thrust into the eery environment of her new home and as she slowly uncovers her uncle’s crimes, she gets swept up in the madness. Meanwhile, an unexpected connection and attraction to her uncle’s brother develops, leaving her questioning just who she can trust.

“Dead men tell no tales, Mary.”

I absolutely love Daphne du Maurier’s writing. She creates atmosphere like no other and I cannot help but be completely drawn into whichever story she tells. This is my third du Maurier novel, after Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed, and Jamaica Inn is no exception. As soon as I started reading I was transported to this eerie, unsettling environment and became completely engrossed in Mary’s story. What secrets hide within Jamaica Inn? What will happen to Mary? Who is there to trust? Question after question kept me engaged and the atmosphere was absolutely chilling. The constant air of uncertainty kept me guessing and I was truly not sure where the story would go. There were a couple of sections where I would have preferred a quicker pace and for the story to progress a little faster, but I never wanted to put the book down. Atmospheric and captivating, Jamaica Inn is another must-read Daphne du Maurier novel.

The Bookshelf Edit: Surround Yourself with Books You Love

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A bookshelf is a personal space. One that reflects the reader’s interests, preferences, curiosities. Shelves filled with stories that drew their attention, sparked their imagination enough to have found a home within their home. But it is not just about the content of the shelves themselves and the books that reside there. What is often fascinating is the space itself. How are the books organized? A neat and tidy alphabetized system? Or maybe stacks of volumes line the walls and lie scattered on the floor, no longer finding room on overflowing shelves. Continue reading “The Bookshelf Edit: Surround Yourself with Books You Love”