First Lines Friday – 30 October

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:

“She couldn’t remember the first book she had eaten.”

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

Continue reading “First Lines Friday – 30 October”

Goodreads Monday – The Summer Children by Dot Hutchinson

Welcome back to Goodreads Monday! 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 Summer Children (The Collector #3) by Dot Hutchinson. This is book three in thriller/horror The Collector series and has an impressive 4.28 rating on Goodreads!

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The Disney Parks Book Tag!

Ah, Disney. Who doesn’t love Disney and the Disney parks? It’s been a freaking long ass time since I went to one of the parks but it’s definitely on my bucket list to go back and experience it as an ‘adult’! A few years ago I discovered some childhood photos taken at Disney (world or land I can’t be sure) and well, while you can’t say much about my fashion sense (coz clearly I didn’t have any and neither did my brother), you can definitely tell these were happy times!

But back to this tag… I was tagged to do the Disney Parks Book Tag by the wonderful Kay @ Hammock of Books and awesome Brittany @ Perfectly Tolerablego check out both their blogs because they have great content and they’re lovely people to follow so you won’t regret it! Thanks for tags, lovelies and I’m sorry its taken so long for me to get around to doing this tag. First up, the rules!

The Rules

☆ Mention the creator and link back to original post [Alexandra @ Reading by Starlight]
☆ Thank the blogger who tagged you [done above!]
☆ Answer the 10 questions below using any genre
☆ Tag 5+ friends
☆ Feel free to copy the heading graphics

Oof, it took me a hot minute to recall a title set along the river but this heart-stopping thriller certainly ticks that box! I’m still amazed by Caine’s writing versatility 😍 Wolfhunter River is book three in the Stillhouse Lake series — which is crazy and absolutely thrilling!


You guys… I’m kind of shook because scouring the dark corners of mind (and Goodreads), I’ve realised that… I haven’t read (m)any ‘swashbuckling high seas adventures’… Wot wot?! Can it be true? It sadly is. Many of them adventures are still on TBR though! For now, I’m leaving you with A Gathering of Shadows because there’s certainly some swashbuckling in this favourite series of mine!


Ooh, just looking at this cover again already covers me in mad goosebumps and makes me wanna cry! But I have to give a shout out to Rules for Vanishing because even I, most Ultimate of Chickens™️, managed to read this and loved it! Ugh, this book was drowning in eerie vibes.


Surprisingly absolutely no one, the Illuminae Files absolutely takes the cake for this one! Ugh, I love this series so much 💞 Kristoff and Kaufman can take all of my monies!


Ugh, Where the Crawdads Sing was just beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I loved Kya and the lyrical descriptions of the marsh lands and of nature swept me away to an enchanting but also dangerous world that I’d love to one day see IRL.

I feel like I also have to give an honorary shout out to The Natchez Burning Trilogy for this prompt. This trilogy is one of my all-time favourite thriller/court drama and is just *chefs kiss*!


A Curse So Dark and Lonely was of course the first book I thought of. There’s no Beauty & the Beast (retelling) without that eerie and beautiful enchanted castle!


The Trials of Morrigan Crow, book one of the Nevermoor series, was an utterly enchanting and whimsical read! There were fantastical adventures, magical and terrifying creatures, and otherworldly settings. This was an absolute treat to read! 💞


Okay, I’m cheating a little bit with The Mountains Sing. There is some trekking through mountains but that’s not what the whole book is about. It is an absolutely stunning, heartbreaking and hopeful read though and I would highly recommend this debut for those interested in own voices reads!


I haven’t read very many Spanish inspired fantasy books (I could also be totally wrong because my memory very often fails me) so Incendiary was a refreshingly set fantasy world with a cool magic system that I can’t wait to learn more about in the next book!


Another non-surprise here with Aurora Rising (this is totally a space opera, right?)! This book was a fabulously crazy, fast-paced space adventure that was full of all the things! Seriously, just read it.

I’m tagging:

Becky | Ali | Leah | Evelyn | Katie

No pressure to do this if tags aren’t your thing. Also, even if I haven’t tagged you here, feel free to go for gold if you want to do this one and link back to me so I can check out your answers too 😍

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 spent a good chunk of the day reading The Wrongful Death which is Book III in The Great Devil War series. Although there are some bits that I’m not enjoying so much, mostly an awkward pre-pubescent romance that seems a little forced. I honestly wish the ‘relationship’ between two characters was platonic as I think it’d be more believable. Still, I’m really enjoying Andersen’s imagination of hell. The more I read the series the more I wonder what inspired and continues to inspire Andersen to bring this hellish world to life. It’s so interesting but also obviously very dark (even the humour).

An unfortunate chain of events makes Philip responsible for the untimely death of the school bully Sam—the Devil’s original choice for an heir. Philip must return to Hell to find Sam and bring him back to life, so that fate can be restored. But trouble is stirring in Lucifer’s kingdom and not even Philip can imagine the strange and dark journey that awaits him. A journey that will take him through ancient underworlds and all the way to Paradise.

The Wrong Death is volume 3 of The Great Devil War series.

What are you currently reading?

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Review: The Ruins by Scott Smith

Note: I wrote this review in October 2018 but since this Top 5 Saturday was about plants/flowers on the book covers, I decided to share my review for this book (I honestly thought I’d already shared it before)!

Goodreads: The Ruins
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Panda Rating:


Trapped in the Mexican jungle, a group of friends stumble upon a creeping horror unlike anything they could ever imagine.Two young couples are on a lazy Mexican vacation–sun-drenched days, drunken nights, making friends with fellow tourists. When the brother of one of those friends disappears, they decide to venture into the jungle to look for him. What started out as a fun day-trip slowly spirals into a nightmare when they find an ancient ruins site . . . and the terrifying presence that lurks there.

*minor spoilers ahead*

We all know how much of a chicken I am, so while I did enjoy reading it, I know this isn’t something that I’ll be reading again! I’m writing this review directly after finishing it so I think I’m still feeling the lingering effects of the horror and nausea that were my constant companions for at least a good 50% of the book. I still find myself looking around in paranoia for any cracks in the wall and I’m keeping my feet lifted and well away from dark spaces, such as the one under my bed. Ya know, just in case there’s a killer plant/tree with acidic sap in its vines that will grab my legs and pull me under there to devour me.

I wanted to sprint through this book but the level of detail just wouldn’t let me. I would find myself trying to skim ahead but worried that I’d miss some important detail and so I’d force myself to slow down. I thought the pace at the start was good but towards the latter half of the book, as there was less “action” involved, the pace slowed down considerably. I also didn’t particularly latch on to any of the characters. I don’t know if it was intentional as the characters were on a beach holiday but I found that the characters were either extremes of passive and lazy or neurotic and overthinking and it didn’t make it easy to lend any sympathy. Although several times I did question how I’d react if I were in their shoes… Would I be the complainer? The proactive leader? The joker or the drunk? Or would I be the quiet one that decides that enough is enough and “get things over with” as quickly as possible? What would be my instinctive reaction?

While Scott Smith writes in a very simple and straightforward way, I found that sometimes his writing was unnecessarily detailed, to the point where I found myself really fighting not to skip ahead. I understand that Smith was trying to expand on the characters’ thoughts and how they were coping with their situation – the thoughts, rationalisations and emotions of a human facing imminent death (but being in denial about it) – but I feel that if much of this content was taken out, the story would still flow and you wouldn’t miss out on any crucial details. I have to admit that when we got to the end and still got no further information about this killer thing – how did it get there and how long has it been there? where did it come from? how many people had it killed? – I felt frustrated. Almost like I was robbed of this information with no chance of ever learning more. But I guess maybe that’s the appeal of these horrors?

I am personally not the biggest fan of horrors. I read this as a way to get into the “Spooky/Horror October” that many monthly reading challenges have centered on this month. I don’t dislike the genre but I just have a very, very overactive imagination that does not do me any favors when I’m trying to sleep at night. So although I don’t read them that often, I guess this book was filled with everything you’d expect from a horror – including plenty of blood and gore. I know that I’ll be imagining the scenes that played out in my head for at least days to come… Will I read another horror after this? Nope! Will I (eventually) read another Scott Smith book? Probably, yes.

Have you read The Ruins or is it on your TBR?

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 spent part of the day in bed with The Die of Death which is book II of The Great Devil War by Kenneth B. Andersen. It’s nice to be back with Philip after book one — I feel in ways that he has grown a lot although time didn’t pass in the real world when he was in hell. I’m looking forward to learning more about Mortimer (Death) and seeing what happens next!

Philip’s adventures as the Devil’s apprentice have changed him—in a good way. Although he misses his friends in Hell, he has made new friends in life.
But when the future of the underworld is threatened once again, Philip’s help is needed. Death’s Die has been stolen and immortality is spreading across the globe.
Philip throws himself into the search—and discovers a horrible truth about his own life along the way.

The Die of Death is volume 2 in The Great Devil War-series and winner of the ORLA-Award.

The Great Devil War-series is a humorous and gripping tale about good and evil, filled with biblical and historical characters, such as Judas, Goliath, and Pontius Pilate, as well as modern figures such as Elvis Presley, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, and many more.

The Great Devil War-series is a Danish bestseller, topping library and school reading lists among teens and young adults. The books have been published in more than ten countries and have won numerous awards. 

What are you currently reading?

Continue reading “Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp”

Harrow Lake Blog Tour Review

I’m back with another blog tour with The WriteReads gang and this time it’s for the paranormal horror thriller Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis. And I mean, I know–Dini, reading horror? Who am I even, right!? Yep. I’m a masochist but we’ll come back to this one later 😉 Special thanks to Dave @ TheWriteReads for organising this amazing blog tour and to the publisher and author for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!

Don’t forget to check out the other bloggers who are also on this tour!

Goodreads: Harrow Lake
Publisher: Penguin Random House UK Children’s Penguin
Release Date: 09 July 2020
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Panda Rating:

Welcome to Harrow Lake. Someone’s expecting you . . .

Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker – she thinks nothing can scare her. But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s swiftly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot. The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map – and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.

And there’s someone – or something – stalking her every move.

The more Lola discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her. 

Continue reading “Harrow Lake Blog Tour Review”

Goodreads Monday – The Institute by Stephen King

It’s the first Goodreads Monday of 2020, friends! 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.

So last week was his son’s book and this week it’s The King’s turn with The Institute. I may not be a fan of horror but apparently I do like giving in to the hype and adding them to my shelves in the hopes that I will, one day, read them 🤣 This horror/thriller has a 4.21 star average with 83.8k+ ratings and 10.2k+ reviews, which is pretty great!

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Goodreads Monday – NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

It’s the first Goodreads Monday of 2020, friends! 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 book is NOS4A2 by Joe Hill. It’s easy to forget this book has been around for a few years considering it got a lot of hype last year and that’s how I discovered it in the first place. This horror/thriller has a 4.07 star average with 92.6k+ ratings and 11.1k+ reviews, which is pretty great!

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Top 5 Saturday: Books with Beautiful Covers

We’re back with another Top 5 Saturday! I might’ve missed last week’s topic but I will come back to it at some point 🙂 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: books with beautiful covers!

I think the only reason this prompt is so hard is because there are so many options and how do I narrow it down to just five books?! But I’m going to do my best by focusing on five upcoming releases with beautiful covers (that I haven’t featured in a post before–I’m looking at you my sexy space elf)!

The Kingdom of Back is so beautiful holy wow 😍

Continue reading “Top 5 Saturday: Books with Beautiful Covers”