First Lines Friday – 18 September

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are the rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“Let me tell you the problem with university students: they’re stupid as f**k.”

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

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Blog Tour Review: Hollow Road by Dan Fitzgerald

🎉 Happy Book Birthday to Hollow Road! 🎉


I’m back with another blog tour with The Storytellers on Tour for Hollow Road (Maer Cycle #1) by Dan Fitzgerald. Thanks to the Timy & Justine for organising this tour and thanks to the author for the copy in exchange for an honest review!

Be sure to click on the banner below to check out the rest of the bloggers on tour!

Goodreads: Hollow Road (Maer Cycle #1)
Publication Date: 17 September 2020
Genre: Fantasy
Panda Rating:

Legends describe the Maer as savage man-beasts haunting the mountains, their bodies and faces covered with hair. Creatures of unimaginable strength, cunning, and cruelty. Bedtime stories to keep children indoors at night. Soldiers’ tales to frighten new recruits.

It is said the Maer once ruled the Silver Hills, but they have long since passed into oblivion.

This is the story of their return.

Carl, Sinnie and Finn, three companions since childhood, are tasked with bringing a friend’s body home for burial. Along the way, they find there is more to the stories than they ever imagined, and the mountains hold threats even darker than the Maer. What they discover on their journey will change the way they see the world forever.

Travel down Hollow Road to find out which legends are true, and which have been twisted. 

Buy: Amazon

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Blog Tour Review: The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips

Hi friends! I’m so excited to be back for another @WriteReads blog tour for The Beast and The Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips. Special thanks to Netgalley and Egmont Publishing for the eARC in exchange for an honest review!

Be sure to check out all the other bloggers participating in this tour here.

Goodreads: The Beast and the Bethany
Publisher: Egmont Publishing
Published: 01 October 2020
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Panda Rating:

The most exciting new children’s book of 2020 and a modern classic in the making. The Beast and the Bethany has all the classic macabre humour of Roald Dahl with the warmth and charm of Despicable Me, finished off with a gleeful bite of Little Shop of Horrors! This book should be on every little monster’s birthday and Christmas list.

Ebenezer Tweezer is a youthful 511-year-old. He keeps a beast in the attic of his mansion, who he feeds all manner of things (including performing monkeys, his pet cat and the occasional cactus) and in return the beast vomits out presents for Ebenezer, as well as potions which keep him young and beautiful. But the beast grows ever greedier, and soon only a nice, juicy child will do. So when Ebenezer encounters orphan Bethany, it seems like (everlasting) life will go on as normal. But Bethany is not your average orphan . . .

BUY NOW: Amazon

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#WWWWednesday: 16 September

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

I’ve somehow managed to read seven books since last week and I honestly have no idea how. Just kidding, I do. I literally spent all my time outside of work reading (and admittedly, I also spent a little time I should’ve spent working also reading–I’m so undisciplined 🙃)! It’s been a mood.

The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life by Dani Jansen ★★½
I’m sad to say I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I’d hoped to. It had its cute moments but ultimately, the MC irritated me too much and the side characters and overall storyline weren’t fleshed out well enough. Review to come!

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara ★★★★☆
McNamara takes you on an incredible ride in this book. It’s obviously dark, gritty and compelling but at times I also felt overwhelmed with all the information she presents–it’s really a lot. It’s sad she didn’t live to see him caught, but her work definitely kept the GSK’s name in the spotlight. Review to come!

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Blog Tour Review: Love at the Little Wedding Shop by the Sea by Jane Linfoot

I’m back with another blog tour and this time it’s for Love at the Little Wedding Shop by the Sea by Jane Linfoot. Thanks to Rachel @ Rachel’s Random Resources for organising this blog tour, and to Netgalley and One More Chapter for providing the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Be sure to click on the banner below to check out the rest of the bloggers on tour!

Goodreads: Love at the Little Wedding Shop
Publisher: One More Chapter
Release Date: 03 September 2020
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance
Panda Rating:

St Aidan: a cosy Cornish village where friendships are made for life and it’s always cocktail hour somewhere… Return to your favourite little wedding shop by the sea for love, laughter and a romance to sweep you off your feet!
It’s the most romantic day of the year but the girls aren’t just gearing up for Valentine’s Day and a busy wedding season ahead, it’s also the 10 year anniversary of their beloved shop! Jess is planning the party of the decade and with the champagne and cocktails flowing, sparks are going to fly…and not just from the fireworks display!

BUY NOW: Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

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#TopTenTuesday: Favourite 2020 Romance Covers

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Cover Freebie

I’m a little sad that this week is a cover freebie because I. Am. Tired and fresh out of ideas right now. 😂 I thought I’d do illustrated covers but then realised that I had already done an illustrated cover post for the last TTT cover freebie… So then I thought about what covers I’ve been loving lately and thought I’d share some of my favourite contemporary romance covers from 2020. Looking at the covers below, it’s really easy to see what kind really catch my eye: they’re (mostly) illustrated, bright and colourful, and just gives an all around fun-loving impression!

Okay, so basically I did another illustrated covers post but for romances HAH…

And I know this is a cover trend I’ve heard people say is “overdone” and that they’re completely over it, but I’m still 100% living for it! LOL if physical copies of contemporary romances weren’t so pricey I would love to add all of these to my physical shelves, but *wistful sigh* as it is, I’ll have to be satisfied with having them in my digital library (for now!) 😉

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#5OnMyTBR: Red Covers

Hello Mondays, welcome back to #5OnMyTBR, a meme created by the wonderful E @ The Local Bee Hunter’s Nook. This bookish meme gets us to dig even further into our TBRs by simply posting about five books on our TBR! You can learn more about it here or in the post announcing it. You can find the full list of prompts (past and future) at the end of this post!

This week’s prompt is: Red Covers

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Goodreads Monday – The Unadoptables by Hana Tooke

Welcome back to Goodreads Monday! It’s been a very hot minute since I did one but I figured I might as well get back into it! This weekly meme was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners and it invites you to pick a book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it. Easy enough, right? Feel free to join in if you want to! I’ll be using a random number generator to pick my books from my insanely long GR Want-to-read list.

This week’s featured book is The Unadoptables by Hana Tooke. This is a middle grade historical fantasy that was released in May 2020 and it has a 4.13 star rating on Goodreads.

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Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp

We’re back with another Sundays in Bed With… meme! This meme dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve been you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

This Sunday I’ve spent my day in bed with I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara. I was so sucked into the book that I almost forgot to do my weekly wrap up! But I finished the book ten minutes ago and my brain is still trying to wrap my head around my thoughts on this one. McNamara presents a lot of information and it did get overwhelming at times, but wow, what an incredible journey she takes us through. I had very little knowledge of who the Golden State Killer (GSK) was before this book, but damn, I might end up going down a Google black hole trying to find more information about the cases and arrest after this! Definitely recommended for lovers of true crime.

For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.
Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called “the Golden State Killer.” Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark —the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Utterly original and compelling, it has been hailed as a modern true crime classic—one which fulfilled Michelle’s dream: helping unmask the Golden State Killer.

What are you currently reading?

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Top 5 Saturday: Science Fiction Books

Welcome back to another Top 5 Saturday! Just in case you don’t know Top 5 Saturday is a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and it’s where we list the top five books (they can be books on your TBR, favourite books, books you loved/hated) based on the week’s topic. You can see the upcoming schedule at the end of my post 🙂 This week’s topic is actually: science fiction books!

Oof, do I have a lot of these or do I really have a lot of these on my TBR? 😅 I found a love for SF books when I first started reading Michael Crichton’s books back in 2010. I can’t even remember when I started reading more SFF but I do have quite a few that I’ve added to my TBR, especially in the last year+, thanks to all your wonderful recommendations. The five below are ones I already have on my physical/digital libraries and they’re just waiting to be read… (lol what’s new) I have to admit that I’m most excited to get to Becky Chambers’ books because I’ve heard endlessly good things about them!

(book covers are linked to the Goodreads pages!)

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